Genius Hour Projects

During the last two weeks of school each learner chose a topic of interest to learn more about. Their task was to become a genius (or expert) on that topic and then share their learning with the class.  Learners could make a Google Slide Show, poster or book. Today was presentation day. We learned so many cool facts!



Third Grade Game Day

Today all three third grade classes had some fun outside together for an end-of-year Game Day. We started with some beach ball relays.  Classes competed against each other. Partners ran back to back with a beach ball between them.  Our class won!


Next we lined up and passed the beach ball over heads and then between legs in a relay called “Over/Under.”  We didn’t win, but we got a lot faster on our second try.


Next we did some good old fashioned races.  First the boys in each homeroom raced and we identified the top 3 runners.  These boys competed against the top boys in the other homerooms.


Next the girls in each homeroom raced and we identified the top 3 runners.  These girls competed against the top girls in the other homerooms.


Finally the top 3 boys and girls raced in the finals.  Our class had 2 of the top 3 fastest third graders!

 Aaron B.- 1st place
Kurtis- 2nd place
Lilah- 3rd place

We all enjoyed some ice pops and then learners had the choice to play kick ball, hula hoop showdown, or relax and hang out on their beach towels.




Fun Day!

This afternoon we had loads of fun at Fun Day! A big thanks to Mrs. Jackson for setting up 6 fun stations for our homeroom to rotate through. We were divided into the Blue Team and Gray Team for some friendly competition and EVERYONE got wet!!

Station 1: End Zone- Learners ran through the opposing team to grab a football and get back to their end zone without being tagged with a pool noodle.

Station 2: Hula Hoop Showdown- One member of each team jumped through the hula hoop path until they came face to face with an opponent.  Learners did a battle of Rock, Paper, Scissors and the winner continued on the path.  If you made it to the opposite side you scored a point for your team.


Station 3: Water-Topia- Make your way through the obstacle course of equipment, puddles, and a sprinkler. Fill your cup up in the pool then race back to the starting line to dump it into a bucket and pass the cup off to the next runner. The team that filled their bucket the most won. (We had a tie!)


Station 4: Super Soaker Tag- Three students were “It” and ran to spray the others with a water wand. If you got sprayed then you became It.

Station 5: Cardio Kickball- The pitcher rolls balls without stopping.  The kickers kick and immediately run the bases without stopping. The fielding team hustles to collect all balls and put them in a box. Once the last kicker kicks its a race to see if the kickers can run the bases faster than the fielders can collect the balls.

(Sorry no pictures, I was too busy as umpire!)

Station 6: Rollerball- Learners stood in a circle with their team and rolled a giant ball at the opponent inside the circle. The opponent tried to collect all the shirts that were on the ground before he/she got hit with the ball.



Releasing our Butterflies

Today we released our butterflies into our butterfly garden.  It was so exciting to see the butterflies fly out of their netting habitat and into the world! We never knew which way they would fly once free.  We hope they all feel at home in our garden.

 One last peek before we released them.


 Watch out! Butterflies on the loose!

 This butterfly was enjoying an orange slice and didn’t want to fly away.

 We left the orange slice near a flower.



Raising Butterflies- stage 3 (they emerge!)

This morning I arrived at school just in time to see our first butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. I took a video to show the class when they arrived.  During the day 3 more butterflies emerged. We now have 4 butterflies and 5 chrysalides.  Maybe some more will emerge tonight! We put sugar water and a slice of orange in their enclosure for them to drink. We will release our butterflies on Wednesday.    


Rock Exploration

Today we wrapped up our study of rocks and minerals by exploring some rocks up close.  Each learner brought rocks from home or found some on the playground. We also had some rock and mineral collections to look at from the Brecknock Science Closet.  Learners sketched their rocks, described the color, evaluated the luster and texture, and tested the hardness by scraping them with a nail. We then took a “Rock Walk” around the room to check out everyone’s rocks.



Raising butterflies- stage 2

On Thursday and Friday our caterpillars started their transformation to the next stage of their life cycle.  Each caterpillar attached itself with a sticky substance to the lid of the jar.  They then hung in a “j” position and shed their exoskeleton. This revealed the chrysalis that is underneath. Now the caterpillars are pupas. Their bodies changes to liquid inside the chrysalis and then reforms as a butterfly. Most attached themselves to the top of the jar lids, but some weren’t sticky enough. We propped the lids up on little stands to place inside the butterfly netting habitat and put the others on paper towels in hopes they can still metamorphosize and emerge.

 The caterpillars attach themselves to the jar lid and hang like a “j”

 They shed their skin one last time to reveal the chrysalis underneath.

 The jar lids sit in little stands.

 It will take 7 to 10 days for butterflies to emerge.


Butterfly Garden

Today we planted the Third Grade Butterfly Garden at Brecknock. This project aligned with our Performance Task for Module 6 where students are asked to educate the community on what we can do to help Monarch butterflies. Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed which is the sole source of food for their caterpillars.  Milkweed is harder and harder to find in nature since humans are building and expanding. Monarchs also migrate all the way to Mexico each year for the winter and need to drink nectar from flowers to give them the energy they need for this long trip. The Brecknock Butterfly Garden has both milkweed and high-nectar producing annuals to help Monarch butterflies. We got donations of zinnias, angelonia, marigolds and lantana from the Garden Spot High School Plant Science Class. Mulch was donated by Durrell’s Estate Management. All third graders helped to plant the flowers. We hope this garden will be home to the butterflies we are releasing as well as many other wild butterflies!



Raising butterflies- stage 1

We are learning about butterflies this spring. This year we are raising butterflies so students can witness their miraculous life cycle change up close. A special thanks to the PTO for the funds to purchase our butterfly kits!  We are raising Painted Lady butterflies.  They arrived as caterpillars in little jars on May 3rd. The jar contains the food the caterpillars eat. For the first 48 hours the caterpillars might be quite still while they adjust and acclimate to their new surroundings.  Then they will be busy eating and growing! They will shed their exoskeletons several times while growing.  Stay tuned to see what happens next!



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


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