March 11, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman

Iditarod Update #2

The 2014 Iditarod Champion is…Dallas Seavey! Congratulations, Dallas!

We wrote in the last post that the end of the race would probably be very close, and it was! The first and second place finishers were less than three minutes apart.

The ending of the race was extremely dramatic and exciting. You can read about it on the Teacher on the Trail Blog: Photo Finish! If you are in Mrs. Hamman’s class, after you read the article, leave a comment on our blog with the answers to these two questions:

1. Who came in second in the race?
2. What happened to Jeff King’s team?
Here is a news video explaining how the finish of the race became so close.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

March 9, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman
1 Comment

Iditarod Update #1

Posted March 9:

Our class is on Spring Break this upcoming week. Before the break we were eagerly following the Iditarod and checking the race standings several times a day. We will find out the winner while we are on our break, and I will post the results here. As I write this our class musher, Jeff King, is in second place! Three of our other nominees (Aliy Zirkle, Martin Buser and Robert Sorlie) are in the top 10. It looks like it will be a very close and exciting finish this year!

While we are waiting to find out who wins, check out this amazing video shot by Jeff King a few days ago. We learned that Mr. King is known as an innovator in the mushing community, and his most recent idea is using a GoPro camera to film his races.  In this video you can really see what it’s like to race behind a powerful team of sled dogs!

What is your favorite part of this video?

If you had a GoPro camera, what would you film with it?

January 26, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman

Observing the Plant Life Cycle—With Pumpkins!

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!

pumpkin life cycle

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.

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Have you studied plants with your class?

What did you learn?

December 14, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman

Hour of Code 2013

Hour of Code 2013

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?