February 24, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class
It’s Iditarod time again! We are excited to participate in the third grade class tradition of following the Iditarod.
Like last year, our study of the Iditarod began with a Skype call with a ranger from Denali National Park. She taught us about the adaptations that make sled dogs able to travel over 1,000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness.
This year our class learned about both the Junior Iditarod and the Iditarod. Here is a comparison we made of the two races using the Venn Diagram App (click to enlarge).
We researched all the mushers in the race and each of our groups picked a favorite to present to the class. Then we tried to persuade others to vote for our choice. We voted and our class choice for our 2014 musher is Jeff King!
Here are some facts we learned about Jeff King:
- He has won the Iditarod 4 times.
- In 2013 he came in third place.
- He and his family live in Denali National Park.
- He is an inventor who creates things to make mushing more comfortable.
- He is known as a great storyteller.
The Iditarod starts on March 1. We can’t wait to see who wins!
Here are some pictures of the activities we’ve done while studying the Iditarod.
Does your class study the Iditarod?
February 14, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class
In our reading class we’ve been talking about building stamina as readers. We decided that having stamina means being able to do one thing for a long time. It’s something that takes a lot of practice, because no one has a lot of stamina when something is new to them. Just like an athlete, a reader builds up stamina over time.
We have some sixth graders who come to help us in our reading class, and we have noticed that they have great reading stamina. Yesterday while they were reading we took a time lapse video of them, using the Motion Pictures app on an iPad. What you see in this video is actually 20 minutes of reading condensed into 18 seconds (some third graders from our class are sitting with them at the beginning).
6th Grade Readers from S Hamman on Vimeo.
After they left we watched the video and talked about what we noticed. Here are our comments:
- They didn’t look up from their books, even when the door opened and closed.
- They didn’t talk to each other or show each other pictures from their books, they just kept their eyes on the pages.
- They each stayed with one book the whole time, they didn’t switch books every few minutes.
- They didn’t get distracted for the whole 20 minutes.
- They are great role models for us!
The next day, we decided to make our own stop motion video. We read independently for 30 minutes. Our groups rotated during that time, but we were supposed to keep reading. How do you think we did?
3rd Grade Readers from S Hamman on Vimeo.
When we watched our video we decided that we were doing pretty well at building our stamina, but we still need to practice every day if we hope to be as good as the sixth graders.
We thought of three tips for other kids who are trying to get stronger as readers.
1. Make a good choice when you choose a book to read so you’ll want to keep reading it. Choose books that seem interesting to you.
2. Stick with one book even if it’s a little bit hard to read. You can’t tell if you’ll like it if you give up too quickly.
3. Think about what you are reading so you don’t get distracted.
Do you have any other tips for increasing your reading stamina?
February 5, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman
Today our third grade classes will be presenting our school flag ceremony. Our theme was “collaboration“, and we got together with our friends in Mrs. Avery’s class, Mrs. Moore’s class, and Ms. Myers’ class to make a video about some of the ways we have collaborated with others this year.
Why is it important to collaborate with other people?
January 26, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman
In third grade we study plants and their life cycles. This year we’ve experienced almost every part of the plant life cycle by observing pumpkins!
Like last year, we started by participating in the Pumpkin Seed Project. We divided into groups and estimated the diameter, weight and number of seeds in our pumpkins. Then we measured and counted to see how close our estimates were.
We took some seeds from one of the pumpkins and germinated them by wrapping them in wet paper towels and putting them in a plastic bag. After a week almost all of the seeds had germinated! We each took a seed and planted it in our outdoor planter. We share our school grounds with a group of rabbits, and we think they must have eaten our seedlings because over one weekend they all disappeared!
We didn’t give up on growing a pumpkin, though. We took one whole pumpkin and left a few seeds inside of it, then filled it full of soil. Over a week’s time we observed the pumpkin start to sprout a little seedling, but the sides of the pumpkin started to decompose. After a week the sides were soft and moldy, but the seedling was still growing. This time we didn’t want to give the rabbits another free lunch, so Mrs. Hamman took the pumpkin home and planted the whole thing in a planter in her back yard. We looked at pictures of it over the weeks as it grew from a seedling to a mature plant, then it developed yellow flowers. The flowers must have been pollinated because one day a tiny green pumpkin appeared! Today there are eight small pumpkins on the plant, with the largest one being about six inches in diameter. They are all still a dark green color. What do you think will happen next?
Here’s a slide show of some of the things we did while studying plants.
Have you studied plants with your class?
What did you learn?
December 14, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman
Most of us use computers and handheld devices every day. Did you ever think about what makes computers work?
December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week, and our class decided to participate in the Hour of Code Challenge. The challenge asked people all over the world to spend an hour learning about computer programming and writing code. At first we thought it would be hard to do, but we found out it was challenging, interesting and fun!
Before we started we talked a little bit about computer science and decided what we wanted to learn. We wanted to focus on gaming because that is something that interested all of us, and after we watched this video we realized kids can learn to create computer games all by themselves! We looked at some tutorials online and learned a few tasks as a whole group. To practice individually, we used iPads. There are lots of apps that help teach about programming and game design on the iPad. Here are the ones we tried:
Daisy the Dinosaur
Here is a video showing us trying each of these apps:
We decided that the really great thing about learning to code is that instead of searching for a game or program that does what you want, you can create it yourself! We want to continue learning more about coding all year. We’ll post helpful websites on our Links page as we find them.
We would encourage everyone—kids and grownups—to try coding. It’s fun and really teaches you a lot about the technology you use every day.
Have you ever tried coding?
Do you know of any other apps or websites that help teach coding?