Part of our third grade curriculum is to use technology to publish a piece of writing.  Students typed out their opinion essays in the computer lab during our writing time.  It was so rewarding to watch the kids proudly get their essays from the printer and say, "Wow!  I wrote all this!"  Until they typed their pieces, students had the introduction, their 2 examples, and their conclusion on different pages in their writer's notebook.  This was the first time students saw it all together.
    They worked very hard on this unit.  It took us a few weeks as I guided them step-by-step.  Soon, students will have to prove to me that they can write an essay (with paper and pencil) all in one sitting, without me taking them step-by-step.

Thank you to all the parents that were able to make it to our morning of math games.  We hope you had a great time learning some games that you can play at home with your child!
Both classes are going to the book fair this Tuesday!  The scholastic Book Fair has very reasonable prices for wonderful books!  If your intention is for your child to buy books with the money you are sending in, please make sure to tell him/her.  There are other things (posters, pencils, etc) for sale that students often buy, and then they don't have enough money to actually buy a book at the book fair!

We had such a wonderful "read in your pajama party."  Students also earned 10 classroom wildcat hero tickets, so we got to enjoy Wesco popcorn, too!  Student did such a nice job reading quietly by themselves.  That has been one of our learning targets lately- to read for an extended amount of time.  You would be surprised (or maybe not) how difficult it can be to just sit and read.  Some students tend to want to wander around the room, clean out their book bins, sharpen pencils, use the restroom, pass back papers, etc.  That is not allowed!  Students need to learn to get lost in a book, to put everything else aside and focus on their reading.  See if your child can read for 20 minutes, completely uninterrupted.
We started off our morning finishing up our shamrocks from the other day.
I can find the main idea of a non-fiction text and details that support it.

Today during reading we had some laughs as I read aloud a non-fiction article titled "Vomiting Isn't Just Gross."  Not only did we learn a lot about why we vomit, but we also used this high interest article to further discuss main idea and details.  We talked about how the main idea is just that; an idea- a complete idea.  The main idea of the article can't just be "vomiting."  That is not a complete idea.  After talking with kids at their tables, students decided that "Vomiting is healthy" or "Vomiting protects us" would be better main ideas.

We then talked about how the details have to support that main idea.  Then, students were broken up into small groups and they read a different article that was at their reading level.  Some articles were about Michael Jackson, MP3 players, meat eating plants, tornadoes, and break dancing.  Students had to complete a box (main idea) and bullet (supporting details) for the articles.
We had our final trip to the YMCA for pool school.  Thanks to all the dads who were able to help with the boys.  It is greatly appreciated!

This week's topic was ice safety.  Students learned what to do and how to help someone who may have fallen thru the ice.  Once alongside the pool, students practiced crawling on their bellies and acting like they were crawling on ice.

You should have received their classroom booklets
.  On the back of those booklets are coupons to swim at the YMCA.  What a great activity during this long winter!

Here are pictures from our last pool school.

We had a wonderfully packed day on Thursday.  We did hour switches, so I was able to review adverbs, adjectives, nouns and verbs with students as we completed a hilarious Valentine's Mad Libs.  We all had a few laughs at the stories that were created.  Both classes also began working on their "Heart Maps" which are pictures of things and people we love.   These maps will help us when we are struggling to have something to write about.  Here are a few examples:
With the rest of our day together, we made some Valentine crafts, played a Valentine listening game, ate delicious food thanks to those of you who contributed, opened our Valentines, and watched a short Ramona movie.  I took many pictures of the students as they passed out their valentines.  There is such excitement and flurry of activity!
On Tuesday we had two field trips that we combined into one day to help save on busing costs.  We started our morning out at pool school at the YMCA and then headed over to the Lakeshore Museum.  When we got there, we enjoyed our lunches before going on a scavenger hunt through the museum.  The museum goes so well with our third grade curriculum of the Michigan Native Americans, fur trading, lumbering, animals and their adaptations.  Students were wonderful ambassadors for Montague as they traveled quietly around the museum only touching what they were supposed to.  Way to go kids!  And thank you to the huge number of parent volunteers!  We greatly appreciated the help.

Don't forget, the museum is offering a free Valentine's science time (see previous post with the flyer).

In pool school, students learned about life jackets.  They learned why we should wear them, how to pick one out, and if it fits correctly in order to save a life.  Students then got to wear them during pool time.  Students were shown the best way to float in order to wait for someone to come and help.  We had some brave kids wearing life jackets jump off of the platform, even though they don't know how to swim.  Students also practiced huddling together for warmth and to help one another float.

First- a pool school slideshow!

And now a slideshow of the museum.
This week at the YMCA, students learned what to do if they ever get stuck in a rip current or undertow.  In the classroom portion of Pool School, they acted out what to do and once the students got in the pool, they practiced it.  Students used their kicking legs or wave boards to make waves and currents as other students learned to swim through them.  It looked like students had a great time!  Please enjoy a slideshow below of pictures from last week.