Monday, May 29, 2017

Muffle's Truffles - a third grade Math Exploration

All Grade Levels participate in Math Explorations with "Contexts for Learning" units.  Each unit poses a bigger problem for students to engage with.  In Muffle's Truffles, students work as design team members to create different sizes of truffles boxes for Muffle's Chocolate Shop.  Students look at how many sizes of chocolate boxes they can design and then need to evaluate which of their creations are best likely to meet Muffle's needs.  Students use an number of different strategies to figure out the math and then present and justify their conclusions.

More on Mystery Powders

Continuing to explore their Mystery Powder Unit, Mrs. Bennett's Third Graders observe and take notes on the attributes of their mystery powders.  Learning to think like a scientist is an important part of the Mystery Powder unit.  The Star Student Bear thinks perhaps she might need better fingers and a thumb to be a very good scientist.  Humans and Bears have different physical characteristics.  What do you think might be most important for a scientist?

Research and Reading in Third Grade

The Star Student Bear is keenly interested in how the Research Groups are deciding how to choose their next topics.  He listens intently as students await their new research topic assignments in Readers Workshop.
Learning to read and write about non-fiction topics is an important part of Third Grade!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Glorious Day for a Big Backyard Outing in Third Grade

 All classes at Bowman School participate in the "Big Back Yard" program.  With their teachers and parent volunteers, students have the opportunity to investigate the natural environment right outside of Bowman's doors.
 We are lucky to have our school connect to conservation land.  It provides many different kinds of habitats for students to investigate.  Today the Bear was excited and curious as he participated with small groups as they spent time observing and identifying specimens found in Bowman's watershed.
He was pretty surprised earlier in the week to discover that a flock of geese had decided that the marshy puddle by the Kindergarten was a good place to stay for a while.

We think that the land that Bowman School was built on 50 years ago must have been a marsh or other kind of wetlands. It is always surprising to see how wet our grounds get with even a little bit of rain.

Literacy Research in Third Grade

The Big Bear is listening for accurate information as a literacy research group presents its information about Grizzly Bears to the class!  The Bowman Bear thinks he's an expert on all kinds of bears -- and was surprised at how much new information he learned.  Learning to read and write about non-fiction is an important part of our readers and writers workshops.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A return visit to Mrs. Bennett's Class...

Today the Star Student Bear joined Mrs. Bennett's third grade class.  He was excited to see that the children were involved in a "Mystery Powder" unit.   This unit lets students go through the scientific process to make some hypotheses about what five different kinds of white powder might be.

Here the Big Bear is exploring the Mystery Powder kit and the guidelines for being safe while doing science experiments.  He has his safety glasses on and is ready to go.  What are other safety considerations you think the Big Bear needs to know?

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Learning in Ms. Perdiz' Class!

First graders enjoyed the Big Bear's help as they built their aquariums and terrariums as part of their life cycles unit in Science. The Bear listened carefully while the students talked about what they observed with the organisms and drew diagrams.

In First Grade, many classrooms use the RAVE-O program to help integrate the many neural pathways the brain uses to develop automatic and fluent reading.  The Star Student Bear thinks it is pretty cool that by learning about word meanings and word parts (like the ending -ed, always means that the event is in the past) they can be "word detectives".  The Big Bear helped students find the many hidden treasures in words during a word work lesson. The Bear held the word treasure box as students pick out a few words and thought of the many interesting meanings that words can have! 

How many interesting meanings can you find for the word "bat"?  First graders get to think about how silly a sentence would be if you get a picture of the wrong bat in your mind while reading a sentence like... 
"He hit the ball with the bat."