On Tuesday, the third grade had the wonderful opportunity to spend most of the day in the Tassajara One-Room School House. The students wore adorable pioneer clothes and completed lessons which the school might have been given in the 1880’s. They stepped back in time and wrote with quill pens and ink, used chalk on slate board, and played traditional games. Big thanks to all of the “Pioneer Moms and Dad” that came along and participated in this fun day.
Third graders studied the pioneers and worked on projects to show their learning. Their projects included quilt square watercolor paintings depicting what pioneers saw as they traveled west, and model covered wagons containing objects that pioneers would have carried in their wagons. They also incorporated lessons from their narrative writing unit into their study of the pioneers. They made pioneer journals, in which they created a pioneer character, developed a scenario that character experienced, and wrote journal entries from that character’s point of view. The skills they drew from their narrative writing unit include using graphic organizers, such as a story mountain, to create the structure of their story, writing Show, Don’t Tell sentences in which they explored what the characters feel through picturing their faces and actions, and using their storyteller’s voice, telling the story bit by bit with description. They read Little House on the Prairie and students displayed their learning in a comprehension interactive notebook. As the culmination of their unit, students presented their pioneer characters and journal entries to the parents, reading and telling their stories.
This week, Kindergartners worked with their third grade buddies exploring, gathering and charting their candy information. They love working and collaborating with their buddies, and learning through talk. Sadly, no candy was eaten. 😉
On Tuesday, the sixth and third grade went to the Valley Vista Staging Area in Moraga to help the local watershed. The two classes worked together to remove an invasive plant called scotch broom, which has taken over the area. They learned how it destroys the native food web, how they can help by removing it, and making room for more native plants to grow. In connection with that, they also planted buckeye seeds in order to help restore the area to a more native habitat.
It was hard work, but they did a great job helping to restore the area. Additionally, the third and sixth graders had a lot of fun together.
Special thank you to the parents who helped out! We could not have done it without you.
Last week, the third graders went to Sisi’s Cafe to read their non-fiction books. It was so much fun drinking hot cocoa and reading our books. Activities like these help students develop a love for reading.
Right now, the third graders are “reading to learn” and are practicing high-level concepts like “identifying main ideas and supporting details,” “inferring within the text,” and “cross-text(s) synthesis.” In third grade, students need to do the following to practice cross-text(s) synthesis: “When I read two texts (or parts of a text) that teach about the same subtopic, I can find the information on a subtopic from both texts (or parts of one text) and put that information together” (Calkins & Tolan, 2015). It is good for students to have fun while they are practicing these difficult reading strategies.