If you are like me, you are thinking about Christmas and trying to find the perfect gifts! Each year I get a few questions about ideas for good educational gifts, so I thought this year I would put together a little blog post with some suggestions. If you happen to plan on shopping online, consider signing up for Ziggedy so our class can earn from your purchase! (more info on the side bar to the right). So...on with the fun stuff!
Candy Craft Chocolate Pen
GoldieBlox Ruby Rails
Sphero BB-8 Robot
I think books make the very best gifts of all. These are some of the most popular books with the third graders:
A few more favorites:
Sometimes people like to purchase Christmas gifts for the class too! You are, by no means, obligated to get a gift, but if you planned on it, feel free to check out our class wishlist for ideas.
So, hopefully this list was helpful to you. If you have a specific area you are wanting to help your child develop and are looking for a gift to help, let me know and I'll see what I can find.
I hope you all had a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving and are enjoying a last few days of rest before we head back on Monday. I had a great Thanksgiving and am getting a lot of the Christmas jobs done around the house before the whirlwind of December hits!
In science, we are working on learning how the different parts of a plant help it to grow and survive. We started by looking at the plant as a whole and will move on to examine some of the special parts of plants next week. We'll start with the stem, then the roots, leaves, and flowers. It it always a lot of fun!
We had a lot of fun in social studies over the last 2 weeks. The students have been working hard to learn about the Native Americans of Michigan. They have been focusing on where they lived and what their lives were like before the explorers came. Each student chose one of the 6 main tribes and spent some time researching. They used this research and our Maker Space to create a village scene to teach us about their tribe. They came out really cute and are on display in the hallways (Thank you, Mr. Erickson for giving us the boxes!)
One of the highlights of our Native Americans unit each year is our "feast". It has never fallen so close to Thanksgiving before, so it was really fun how it worked out! For the feast, the students mixed up some chicken and wild rice soup in my crock pot first thing in the morning. I also brought smoked fish, jerky, popcorn, and cranberries (fresh and dried). Before the students are allowed to eat, they have to figure out what each item has to do with the Native Americans. They are so clever, they had no trouble figuring it out! There was also an added element to our feast; part of the feast was locked up! The kids split into 6 groups and had to follow the clues to unlock some the goodies for our feast! It was so fun and the students solved all the clues and unlocked the last box in just over 45 minutes.
In social studies today, we were reading about the Native Americans of Michigan. I found these neat videos that I shared with the kids and thought I'd post them in case they wanted to rewatch them. They're both from Canada, but apply to the tribes in our area as well.
In language arts, we presented our published books at a writing celebration on Halloween! The kids have been enjoying checking out each others' books from the classroom library! We are now moving onto our next published piece which the students decided to write about Michigan! Each of the students chose two topics that interested them and will be in charge of researching, writing, editing, and decorating a page in the book for each of their topics. When finished, we'll have the book professionally printed for our library! The kids are all super excited and are having a lot of fun learning about their topics!
The Candy Caper
As with anything new, I was pretty nervous that this was going to crash and burn, that the kids would get stuck/frustrated/bored and this would have been a huge waste of time and money. Thankfully, it was not, but there are some things I learned pretty quickly.
A Peek into the game
Before starting this Breakout, I had already been planning a Halloween themed breakout, so that will be our next try. It is based on the book called Vunce Upon a Time, so I'm calling the breakout "Vunce Upon a Treasure Hunt". The breakout begins when a letter falls from the book as we are reading it. It explains to the kids that there Dagmar (the main character from the story) has hidden his stash of candy in our room and that they can share it if they can find all 5 missing keys. To find the keys, the students break up into 5 groups and follow a series of clues that lead them to their final key. For the most part, my original plans should work, but having completed our first breakout, there are a few small tweaks that I'll make. We're also going to try to beat the timer too, so that should add a new element as well. Overall this intro into the world of breakouts was immensely helpful for me and should help frame my thinking as I plan our future activities. It was also an amazing adventure in cooperation, critical thinking, and active learning for my students! I can't wait to breakout again!
So, it was a bit of a crazy week and weekend, which means I didn't get a chance to do an update. Instead, I'm going to post a gallery with some pictures from last week. It's kind of lame, but the time change has been really hard for us in the Erickson household, but I'll be sure to post a good update next weekend.
If you want to know more about last week, I'll be making another post shortly. I've also been asked to write a blog post about our Breakout Edu games, so I'll be posting that in a little bit (if I can stay awake, that is!)
** Also! We're doing Mass this week! It is Thursday at 9 if you would like to join us! **
Hi! I'm Mrs. Erickson and I am the 3rd grade teacher at St. Francis de Sales. To learn more about me, click here.