August 16, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Our First Week of School

Welcome to our first blog post of the 2013-14 school year! School started for our third grade class just over one week ago. We’ve been busy getting to know each other and we’ve already learned a lot! Here are some photos of our first week, with explanations written by students (click on the pictures to enlarge).

On the first day of school we did a math problem. We tried to estimate how many letters were in the first and last names of everyone in our class. Then we built our first and last names using Unifix cubes and counted them to check our estimate. Instead of counting all the cubes, we got the idea of putting them into groups of ten, then in groups of hundreds. We found out that all our estimates were too low! There were 346 letters in all our names.

We also did a QR code scavenger hunt. We split into color teams and used iPads to scan codes. It said to find a number on a paper posted somewhere in the room. Each paper had base 10 blocks that showed a number. When we found the right one it gave us a QR code to go to the next clue. The red team finished first.

We started writing right away. We decorated our writer’s notebooks with big stickers. We read another kid’s writer’s notebook so we could see what we could write about. Then we started writing lists of ideas. We also looked at our blog and learned about how to write a blog post. We liked seeing what the kids in last year’s class did!

We did our first Mystery Skype call! Before the call we learned how to read our maps, and we brainstormed a list of questions to ask the other class. When we Skyped with the other class we asked them yes or no questions until we figured out where they were. It was fun to talk to another class all the way across the country! [Mrs. Hamman’s note: For the third year in a row, our first Skype of the year was with Mr. Haney’s fifth graders. Thank you, Mr. Haney!] 

Our class has a box of Rubik’s Cubes. When we got them they were all perfect and finished. The first thing we did was mess them all up! We’ve just started learning about how to solve them. We have some books to help us. Did you know that the first step is to solve the four white edges on top? We are going to keep working until they are all solved! [Mrs. Hamman’s note: The Rubik’s Cubes were very kindly loaned to us by the STEM education program at You Can Do the Cube.]

We are excited to learn more and can’t wait for next week!

What did you do the first week of school?


September 6, 2012
by Mrs. Hamman

Mystery State!


Today we had our first Mystery State Skype call of the year. We talked to Mr. Haney’s class. They asked us some questions about our state, and gave us some clues about theirs. It wasn’t easy, but most of us guessed their state by the end of the call. It was really fun to talk to kids who were so far away! At the time we were talking to them it was 11:00 a.m. here in Arizona, but there it was almost time to go home!

We are looking forward to Skyping with lots of other classes this year. If you’d like to connect with us, please feel free to leave us a comment!


October 10, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman

Mystery State Skype

This photo was taken by Mrs. Hamman and edited using an iPhone app called WordFoto

In social studies we have been studying the history and geography of the United States. This year we have been learning about other states from the students who live there! We’ve been doing an activity called Mystery State. We Skype call a class in another state, and ask them questions about their state. Then they ask us questions about our state. We try not to make our clues too obvious, because we don’t want them to guess our state too quickly. At the end of the call, we each guess the other’s state.

We were introduced to Mystery State by Mr. Haney’s class, and now we Skype whenever we get the chance! Here is a Google Map with the states we have “visited” so far marked. We’d love to talk to a class in each of the fifty states before the end of the year.


Which states have you visited?

Which states would you like to learn more about?

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