Soil Exploration and Snack

In science we have started learning about soil. This week we did a soil exploration. Everyone brought a bag of soil from their house. Learners used magnifying glasses and a recording sheet to document what they saw in their soil, what it felt like, what it smelled like, and what it looked like.  We also did a Soil Walk so learners could walk around the room and check out the other soil samples with their magnifying glasses.  It was interesting to see the different colors of soil (from red to dark black) as well as the live creatures (rolly polly bugs, spiders, worms).


We have learned how soil is formed and that is is found in layers.  Yesterday we had an “Edible Inquiry” day where we made a Soil Snack Cup.  We had chocolate chips as the bottom “Bedrock layer.” We had a mix of chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, and cookie crumbs as the “Sub Soil” layer. We sprinkled chocolate cookie crumbs on top for the “top soil layer” and finished it off with a gummy worm.  The clear cups made it easy to see the soil layers and it tasted delicious!  Here’s the recipe if you’d like to make it at home. Soil Recipe FREEBIE



Candy Catapults

For our Inquiry activity on Wednesday, learners worked in groups to build a candy catapult. They had to work together to follow the written directions and use the supplies in their baggie.  Once built there was time to practice launching candy and make tweaks to the catapult. Then the classroom competition began.  Five Easter themed teams competed against each other by launching either marshmallows or jelly beans into containers worth differing points.  The Peeps team was the only team to get on the score board and won with 200 points!  Everyone enjoyed eating a bag of Easter candy during the competition too.

Building the Catapults

Practicing and Tweaking


The Competition


The Winners!



Fraction Museum

On Monday during math class we created a Fraction Museum that showed ways to equally divide shapes into fractional parts. Learners worked in groups to prepare their exhibit before touring the museum and taking notes on the various ways to portray each fractional part.

Preparing the Exhibits


Our Finished Museum


Touring the Museum



Moon Phases Virtual Field Trip

This year we are unable to attend in-person field trips. The PTO graciously offered us a grant to attend some virtual field trips.  Today we Zoomed with some scientists in Indiana at Science Central. We learned about the phases of the moon and why the moon looks different in the night sky as the month goes along. We got to ask lots of questions and learned some interesting space facts. Learners took home their own Moon Phase calendars to track what the moon looks like (on Saturday we’ll have a New Moon) as well as a Moon Phase Wheel.  Tomorrow we’ll finish making a model of how the moon, Earth, and sun revolve around each other that learners will take home too.  Thank you PTO for an awesome afternoon of science!

Gary at Science Central with a large interactive model of the moon.

Learners virtually participated and asked questions while we Zoomed with the scientists.

We learned about the phases of the moon (this is the 3rd Quarter moon).

Everyone got materials to create models to take home.


Author Share

After weeks of working on Narrative Writing, today we had an “Author Share.” Every learner wrote an imaginative narrative piece and many published their writing as a book with illustrations.  Today learners paired up and proudly read their book to two partners, listened to their partners’ books, and discussed their books (favorite part, most difficult part to write/draw, what might happen in a sequel, etc.). Each learner had also recently recorded themselves reading their book on Seesaw. Today learners got to view 3 book videos during their independent time and leave comments for their fellow authors.  Hopefully your third grader will share their book with you at home. You are also welcome to listen to them read it on Seesaw. If you need the information on how to follow your child on Seesaw, please email me and I’ll print it out for you.



Valentine’s Day

We celebrated an early Valentine’s Day at school on 2/11.  The day started with teams working together on a Valentine Math Escape Room.  They solved math problems to create the codes to unlock 4 different tasks.  Teams had 2 hint tickets they could use to get a hint from the teacher if they were stuck. Perseverance was necessary when things seemed challenging, communication skills were at work, and math skills were tested. All groups were successfully able to unlock a “sweet treat” from the Valentine box!


Later in the day we passed out Valentines and enjoyed some donated treats.  Happy Valentine’s Day!



Snow Much Fun!

For our “Fun Friday” we had lots of fun outside in the snow:  rolling down the hill, sliding on bellies, making snowmen, snow angels, and snowball fights! Here are some pictures to check out.




Magnet Explorations

We have been learning about the force of Magnetism as we completed a few investigations this week.

1.We tested how strong different magnets were by seeing which one could hold the longest chain of paperclips.

 The wand magnets were the strongest.

2. Students were given the challenge to make a magnet float.  They learned if you put 2 circle magnets on a pencil with like poles together the repelling force would make the top magnet float.

3. We tested to see which materials a magnet’s magnetic force could go through to attract paperclips.  All groups tested an index card, cardboard, and an eraser.  Then they could choose their own material to test.

The magnet’s force goes easily through the index card.

A little magnetism can go through cardboard.

One group tested a whiteboard. It attracted 1 paperclip.

One group tested a cloth shirt. It attracted 3 paperclips.



Some enLIGHTening Science

Recently we explored light. We learned that some materials are opaque (light cannot shine through them.)

Some materials are translucent (light can shine through, but you can’t see through them clearly).

Some materials are transparent (light can shine through them AND we can see through them).

We also experimented with flashlights and mirrors to see if we could get light to bounce (reflect) off the mirror and direct it to a certain part of the room or onto another mirror.


Exploring Electricity

We have been learning about electricity and got to explore circuits a bit this week during Inquiry.  On Monday, learners worked in groups to build a circuit using wires, a light bulb, a battery, and a connecting platform. There was lots of excitement as light bulbs started lighting up!


On Tuesday we tested different materials to determine which items were conductors (electricity could travel through them to light the bulb) and which were insulators (electricity did not travel through them so the bulb remained dark). Ask your third grader to share with you what was discovered during this exploration.

Cotton is an insulator.

Styrofoam is an insulator.

Plastic is an insulator.

The metal paper clip was a conductor.

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