More Third Grade Highlights 2022!

If you haven’t had a chance to read part 1 of these highlights, be sure to do that first! Don’t want to miss anything. 🙂

What to Do With a Box

We read a great book called What to Do with a Box by Jane Yolen. It’s about a kiddo who does amazing things with a box and their imagination. After the book, kiddos saw this on our carpet:

As they thought about which box they wanted to use, they were matching it up with what they thought their box could become. There were not at many parameters for this one–“Make something new out of your box,” were the only directions. They could add anything we had in our classroom to the project. Oh, except paint because we haven’t gotten that out yet. LOL. They could choose to work alone or with a partner, putting their boxes together to create something bigger (and probably better!).

Once we finished, kiddos created an “exhibit” to tell about their creation. They wrote 3 sentences to tell about what it was and how they made it. We set them all up around the room in a mini-museum and then did a gallery walk (after we talk about what they meant and how to follow museum etiquette, of course! 🙂 ).

Don’t you just love the buzz in the room??? I am a giant fan of that sound! 🙂

Oh, and by the way–kids LOVED this! It was definitely one of the highlights of the day, and probably the week. Which was kind of the point, really. I always have a goal during these first few days (and always, really!) of helping kids see that learning is fun, that our classroom is a safe place to make and share your ideas, to create things, to make mistakes (and messes!) and a place to explore new things by yourself and with your friends. I want to set the stage for the year from day 1!

My Favorites” Game

Kiddos played a game with their crews where they answered questions about their favorite things. This was one fun and can be played over and over again with different groups. Oh, and this one was a good place to teach kiddos how to roll dice in my room. Yep, you heard it right. I HATE the sound of clicking dice on floors and tables, and also hate when learning time is spent running after roll-away dice, so I have a lesson the first time we get the dice box out. I know you’re wondering what that lesson looked like. hee hee If you have a student in this class, be sure to have them teach it to you, and if you don’t leave a comment and I’ll add a video to show you. ;). Anyhow, they really enjoyed this way of learning about their friends.

Puzzles!

I love a puzzle! I have loved doing jigsaw puzzles all my life, and even today usually do one daily, on an app on my iPad. Every year on Global School Play day, our class puts together a 500+ piece puzzle together over the day. So as we begin the year together, I had to introduce puzzles to the class. Besides being fun, there are sooo many other skills that doing puzzles supports. Kiddos practice problem-solving, perseverance, stamina for hard things, focus, communication, play and free choice options, cooperation, and also just time to be with friends and/or make new ones. And guess what? They loved this, too. 🙂 Check out these amazing puzzle-solvers!

Library Tours–our classroom and Robinson’s!

We spent some time getting to know our classroom library, as well as the Robinson library–the latter with a scavenger hunt. So fun! I usually do this during the first days anyway, but we definitely had to do it sooner. They were dying to go book shopping and of course I had to oblige!

Mini-Me’s

We needed some mini versions of ourselves so we made some! This activity came after the book Happy in Our Skin, and we had fun creating a beautiful classroom line of US! We’ll use these as decoration as well as a way to keep track of who’s in charge (which is what we call helpers in our class!).

Ok, that’s all for now. But like I said before, keep coming back, because there will be A LOT to show you as we go through this year! I already have a list of things that aren’t on this list of “first week” things. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next post! Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave us a comment to let us know what you think about what’s going on in Rm. 204!

Welcome Back to School! First Week of Third Grade Highlights 2022

Hello, and WELCOME back to the blog! I hope to be able to give a glimpse into Rm. 204 since you do not get to go there with us every day! 🙂

This past week we worked hard to get to know each other, our classroom and our new groups (called crews) that we will work with all year. We did many things all together, somethings in small groups, and a few things independently. I was so impressed with how well they can do that last part already! It’s hard to have stamina in the beginning of the year. 🙂

Here are some highlights from our first days of 3rd grade together. Check it out!

Dot Game

Every kiddo had a colored dot on their forehead and had to find all of the others with that same dot–SILENTLY! This was a challenge for us to use other ways of communication and kiddos really and fun with it! We played it a couple of times and they got better at it every time!

What Kind of Kids are We?

This one was a fun one. It was the game where you have to “find someone who” fits a certain description. I made this based off of a book I read a couple of years ago that has all kinds of kids in it, so each box said a kind of kid.

The best part of this video for me is that kiddos are doing EXACTLY what I had just taught them about! Before this we had learned the movement technique of Stand up, Hand up, Pair up and the used it beautifully to find a partner. Do you see them comparing pinkies? That’s because that’s the thing we were using to see who took the first turn. We had practiced using soft voices, but most importantly, that the person who does the writing does the learning–so kiddos wrote on their own papers instead of on each others (which is the way this game is commonly done). When we finished, they had had the opportunity to talk to at least half of their classmates, learned somethings about others that they didn’t know (even good friends!), and had also practiced writing other classmate’s names–and spelling them correctly! PLUS , it was fun!!

Marshmallow Challenge (Take 1 and 2!)

This is a challenge I LOVE to do–often many times in the year! We were grouped into “crews” (which are small groups that we use at various times throughout the year), and kiddos were given these directions:

Once we were all sure we knew what to do and had had a few minutes to plan, teams got to work.

And here’s what happened at the end of the 18 minutes.

What?? I wanted all of their towers to fall over and for the challenge to be a complete bust? Yep. Because when you fail and make mistakes you have to figure out what worked, what to change and what to do the same. We had a great conversation about that idea that I captured in a chart. We recorded the PLUSSes and the DELTAs as we reflected on how it went:

I have to admit that before we wrote it all down, I had predicted we’d have a lot more in the red column than in the green one. Looking back on what we had done, we all agreed that this was definitely not a FAILURE situation, because look at all the positive things we DID DO!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how excited kids were to do it again, ready to change what didn’t work and do something better. We did some other things in between, but the TAKE 2 is too good not to share next. It was sooo good!

I don’t know if you can see it, but every team made a goal to focus more on the foundation this time around than the height. Smart thinking!

And this is the end result this time. :). 4 towers stood this time, and the other two were SOOOO CLOSE!!

Thanks for reading this far–I’m realizing now that there is TOO MUCH AWESOMENESS to share in one post. Stay tuned for more, and subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss anything!