Matter Experiments

We are learning about Matter during Inquiry. We have done 2 cool experiments so far.

Mixing Solid and Liquid

Students experimented with adding drops of liquid (vinegar) to solids (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda). They used a pipette (dropper) to drop a little liquid at a time. We took time to observe and record what happened.  The most exciting step was watching the gas bubbles created when the vinegar was added to the baking soda.


Balloon Blow-Up

Our next experiment was to see if we could harness the gas created by mixing vinegar and baking soda and use it to inflate a balloon.  It worked! We tied off the balloon and noticed that the gas was very dense because the balloon dropped quickly to the floor compared to a balloon filled with air. We repeated the experiment a second time using more baking soda and inflated the second balloon slightly bigger!

 Before: The vinegar is in the bottle, the baking soda is dangling in the balloon.

 After: When we tilted the balloon up the baking soda fell into the vinegar and a gas was created that blew up the balloon.

 For our second try we put more baking soda in the balloon.

 The balloon inflated even more!


Thanksgiving Escape Room

Today for math learners worked in groups on a Thanksgiving themed Escape Room.  The “Thanksgiving Thwarter” (an evil villain) locked the turkey, pies, and side dishes in the oven and they had to solve clues to unlock all 5 locks.  Only two groups rescued dinner in the one-hour time limit. Applying math skills in a problem solving setting can be harder than you think.  Also, working together well and communicating can be a challenge if everyone is passionate about their own idea.  As the year goes on we will have other escape room activities for learners to practice their collaboration and math skills in a fun way.  Hopefully your Thanksgiving feast is delicious and not burned.  If it is, blame the Thanksgiving Thwarter!




Stockings for Soldiers

“Because Brecknock Cares” the third-grade classes made crafts to contribute to the Keystone Military Families Stockings for Soldiers campaign. All craft supplies were donated by Art of Recycle. The third graders made washcloth teddy bears that will brighten a soldier’s day and can then be dismantled and used as a washcloth, something many soldiers say they need.  The finished crafts were donated to be placed in stockings that Keystone Military Families will distribute to soldiers serving all over the world.



Let the Multiplication Begin!

Today we started our Multiplication unit.  Students will learn about the concepts of multiplication and how to use skip counting, repeated addition, multiple groups and arrays (diagrams of rows and columns) to solve multiplication problems.  A few learners have already started memorizing multiplication facts while others have worked on reviewing addition and subtraction, but everyone will begin Multiplication Math Racers on Monday 11/1.  Today we listened to this book during math class to kick off our unit.

The main character loves to count and doesn’t think she needs to memorize her multiplication facts. After a crazy dream where she tries to count everything and realizes it takes too long, she is convinced to learn multiplication.

All the children seem so excited to begin this new learning! They will be setting monthly goals for how far they hope to progress with their math facts. Thank you in advance for all the time you will set aside to help your third grader practice flashcards and meet these goals!


Parent/Teacher Conference Sign Up

Please sign up for a parent/teacher conference on either 11/11 or 11/12. You can choose to meet in-person or virtually.



Fire Prevention Day

Yesterday the Bowmansville Fire Company and Fivepointville Ambulance Company came to Brecknock for Fire Prevention Day.  The fire fighters shared some important safety tips with us and then everyone was invited to climb through the fire truck and ambulance to check them out. Every learner got to take home a bookmark, cup, and fire helmet too.

Here are the important fire tips that were shared.

  • Campfire safety: Remember to Stop, Drop and Roll if your clothes catch on fire near a firepit or campfire. No rough housing near the fire.
  • Make sure you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at your house.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand for small fires.
  • Clean out your chimney. Lots of fires start as chimney fires.
  • Close bedroom doors to keep fires from spreading easily through the house.
  • Make sure to have a designated meeting spot outside your house in case of an emergency.



Global Read Aloud

Next Monday is the kick off of the Global Read Aloud. All around the world teachers are reading aloud the same book to students in different schools.  This year’s chapter book for third grade is Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott. We are looking forward to hearing the book and making connections with students around the country and world.

Today we did a Mystery Meet to figure out where the class is that we will connect with weekly. We connected via Zoom and took turns asking yes/no questions to narrow down the location of each school. We started with “Are you north of the equator?”  Next we asked “Are you in the United States?”  Once we knew they were in the USA we asked questions like “Are you west of ____?” or “Does your state start with the letter ____?” We looked at the big projected map and discussed and voted on our next question after hearing their response and then one of our learners asked their class through the Zoom connection. We narrowed it down and guessed correctly that they are in Michigan!  They almost got our location with their final guess of New York.

 We waited patiently for the Zoom to start even though we were so excited!

 Mrs. Bielecki’s class consulted their maps to ask us the first Yes/No question.

 We started by looking at a world map to narrow down the continent. Then we narrowed down their country.

 Then we used the United States map and a compass rose to find out which part of the country their state was located in.

We will connect with Mrs. Bielecki’s Third Grade class at Horizon Elementary School in Holt Michigan via Flip Grid each week.  Ask your third grader to tell you about it!


Class Meetings

Each day we have a class meeting during the half hour between lunch and recess. We start the meeting with a circle question where we pass a “talking item” and each have a turn to answer the question of the day. The questions might ask “What’s your favorite….” or “Would you rather….”  Today’s question was “Do you have an unusual talent?” It’s been fun to listen to everyone’s responses and it lets us get to know one another better.  Our class meetings end with a read aloud. Tomorrow we will finish our first chapter book, Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli.

The middle portion of our class meeting focuses on a Positive Trait. Our first positive trait was Cooperation.  It is defined as “Working Together for Success”.  We use a reflection paper with each Positive Trait. On our Cooperation page we drew a picture of someone we cooperated well with and wrote what we did.  We listed three tips to help us cooperate in school.  We cooperated with a partner to draw an American flag. Also, we cooperated with a partner (and then the whole group) to see how many words we could make using the letters in COOPERATION.


This week’s positive trait was “Integrity: Doing the right thing, when when no one is watching.” Our reflection page had spots where we drew a comic book style reflection with a speech bubble or thought bubble to show how we could show integrity in certain situations (example: The teacher heard talking at your table and reprimanded your neighbor.  You were the one actually talking.  What could you do?) We also drew a picture and wrote about a time when we showed integrity. Here we are with our finished Integrity reflection pages.  Next week’s positive trait is “Empathy: Understanding and feeling other’s feelings (Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.)” Look for these reflection pages when they come home each week to continue discussions on these important life skills and positive traits.


First Week of School

This school year started off with a great first week! The kids were so excited to get back into school, see friends, and begin the “routines” they are familiar with.

On the first day of school I read the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni. This little black fish has a brilliant idea to teach the little red fish to swim together in the shape of a large fish so they can go exploring through the ocean rather than just hide among the rocks, fearful of large fish.  This year third grade has a hallway bulletin board that features fish decorated by each student and teacher.  It says “We all swim together in third grade.”  Just like Swimmy, I hope our class learns to work together to accomplish many exciting things this year as we swim together in our “school”.


On Tuesday we started math with a fun activity called 1-2-3 Math. It’s a game like rock, paper, scissors where learners put out fingers on one hand.  Partners then add to find the total number of fingers and look up front to see what discussion prompt matches their total.  After chatting for a few minutes they found a new partner and played again.


We spent a lot of time this week learning how to navigate our computers and log-in to different resources and tools we will use for learning this year. We are slowly becoming more proficient at finding and completing independent assignments on our Google Classrooms. We also took some pretests to show what we already know in math and language arts to guide my instruction.

We enjoyed a “Fun Thursday” extra recess as a reward for ending the week with lots of behavior stars and completing all our work!



Welcome Survey

Parents, please click here to complete this quick survey to share with me your preferred contact information. I want to make sure I can easily communicate with you throughout the year.  Thank you for your time!

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