Friday, January 25, 2019

Watery Week


Southern view left of Bridge 2 
Field Trip

Our visit to SOMAGEP, Mali's water quality organization, was informative and fun. 

The kids used notebooks and or amazement to enhance their memories of our shared time. 

And previously studied topics reappeared. Cool!

Salt used in water treatment!

Volume in liters; lots and lots of liters. 

Pumps and filters

Have a look inside the lab with your gracious guide, Mr. Aboubacar.

The kids were truly grateful for the time and knowledge SOMAGEP shared with us. 



We actually did an on-campus field trip earlier in the week and got a closer look at the water pumps and filters under our pool. 

Our own gracious guide, Mr. Baba
Hand Pumps

And our watery week started with our own hand pumps and early discussions about vacuum, suction, pressure, force and matter. 

Fun Math

IXL is great! I'd say. But, a division of IXL, is a total blast!! This weekend or week or some point, I highly recommend letting your third grader show you, and soon you'll agree her or his online practice time will be time well-spent. So, super fun and actual math practice, really? Yes!! Of course, there will be IXL recommended skills on the blog next week. 

End of Semester Music Show

                                                                          Trust me, rousing applause followed.

Happy Birthday C!

We've added yet another 9-year-old to our ranks. 

Yummy cake!

What a week! 

Report cards will go home Thursday so be on the lookout!

Enjoy your weekend,

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Pandora's Box?


Yeah, Pandora's Box...

But, ideally, the hopeful part of the storied box wins out. Anyway, money is math and it clearly excited the kids. Just watch this video. 

In the video, they were choosing menu items with a $20 budget. I must say their choices were balanced and reasonable. That's hopeful.

Cashing In

Their future pay may not be the cash kind, but they'll be savvy with the numbers anyway.

Down to Earth

We began our water unit with some experiments that involved measuring amounts of water and testing drought vs. flood conditions on millet plants.

Monday, I will email you details about an upcoming water-related field trip. 

Think Now

We will definitely go beyond the water cycle in our exploration of water.

Out of 14 opinions from this Think Now, four said yes. 

Adjectives Adjectives

What does the 'A' represent?

The kids were shown the typical order of adjectives in the English language and then challenged to describe random things. Fun!

Brain Break!

Chomp it! Chomp it!

Music Show


I read a study (here) that showed how IXL users demonstrated greater math achievement than students who did not use IXL. And the significant growth came with just 38 minutes of IXL math per week. Obviously, I would love it if you found a few minutes each week for your third grade math learner to practice math skills on IXL, too. According to this research, it will help.

Here are some third grade skills to work on over the coming days (not necessarily the weekend): Math - FF.5 (drawing the shapes will help), E.7 & E.8; Language Arts - T.1 - T.8 & C.1

That's it for now!

Enjoy your weekend,

Friday, January 11, 2019

We're Back!


Indeed, we're back and closing out the first half of the school year.

Winter Break Essays

Winter Break book devotees

All of the kids have taken home either a completed essay or a draft to work on and revise. In either case, please have a look and perhaps help with any recall that might enhance the storytelling. Structurally, one thing we're continuing to work on is a cohesive story beginning, middle and end. Please keep this in mind when you read the draft and possibly make suggestions. Other mechanical details (e.g. punctuation and spelling) we will work out in class, as always, so please try not to make those sorts of corrections. Just have a look and help with recall, if need be. Thanks. 

Guessing Metrics 

My phone has a measurement app for lengths so, soon enough, goodbye meter sticks, rulers and sensory-hardened spatial awareness. Sigh. In the meantime, the kids will learn how to guess and verify measurements (i.e. length, volume, weight) the old school way - by hand. This week we had more fun with lengths.  

From Salt to Water

In our ongoing exploration of everyday substances we moved on from salt, including an engaging discussion of power, imperialism and Gandhi. 

And we made salt shakers...

...or a shaker for some other tangy seasoning.

Then we made rain!

We made rain!!
Rain drops!!
The Future

We had a couple kids from the 4th and 5th grades come in to share their academic experiences. Before you know it, the 4th grade will be a reality.

What is Good?

A Nietzsche-inspired discussion about morality that yielded interesting thoughts and discussions during our morning Think Now.


Since the kids have essays to hopefully work on, I'll suggest IXL skills next time. Nonetheless, each knows the IXL areas we explored this week, if someone eagerly wants to login again. And as always, simply read at home for pleasure and to build "stamina" whenever possible. Reading is good. 

Happy New Year!