Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Let's Sing, America!

May 20, 2013
Dear Third Grade Families,
        We are so excited about our upcoming play! The children are working hard to prepare for our performance on May 28th.  Below, you will find the requirements for this year’s play attire.  We have tried to keep it fun by allowing each child to create their own unique “costume.”  We also hope that you will not have to go out and purchase anything new.

 Every child will wear jean bottoms (skirt, shorts, or jeans), a plain red or white shirt, and tennis shoes. (No graphics or logos on shirts please.)

     Here is the fun part! The other items of the costume (socks, belts, hair accessories, etc…) are up to your child, but must follow the guidelines below: 
·        Each item must be red, white, or blue (or any combination of those colors.)
·        No other colors may be worn!
·        Only “American” themed graphics like stars and stripes please!

The students will need to wear their costumes to school on May 28th for our dress rehearsal.  Please send them with a bag of extra clothes that they can change into after the performance.  They will wear the same costume again that evening for the 6:00 P.M. performance. 
                                                                          Thank You!
                                                                                      The 5 Star Bakery


Monday, May 13, 2013

Star Spangled Banner

This year, our class is participating in a musical called Let's Sing, America! One of the songs that our class will perform is the Star Spangled Banner. A few students have been chosen to learn how to sign this song in ASL. We are looking forward to seeing this beautiful performance! You can learn too. Check out these videos.  Part One    Part Two

Friday, May 10, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week- Thank You!

Words can't possibly describe how incredibly lucky we have felt this week to have such a thoughtful, sweet and creative parent support system. Every day this week, we have been showered with sweet gifts including chocolate covered strawberries, lottery tickets, framed "love" notes, coffee gift cards, a pencil bouquet, delicious cupcakes, and lunch (twice!). Our fabulous room moms even covered our lunch duty, twice!  Thank you so much for taking care of us this week. Simply put, we have the very best class and room moms in the world! Check out these pictures to see for yourself how incredibly creative and cute our gifts were. 

Love, Miss Russell, Mrs. Shall, Mrs. Felter, Mrs. O'Leary, Mrs. Rossignol and Miss Simms

Monday, April 22, 2013

We’re Wild about Animals
This week kicked off our animal unit in science which includes classifying animals and finding similar and different traits among them. The students were excited to dive in and start exploring. The class formed groups, and had animal cards to categorize however they wanted.  Our part-time zoologists wrote their findings in their science journals making sure to keep outstanding notes. 

Many arranged them by habitat, their species, and a couple groups sorted them by their favorite animals or how they looked. The class had a great time finding different combinations and had wonderful scientific conversations about what classifies an animal as a mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, fish, vertebrate, or invertebrate.

 Working together to find different combinations
They sorted by species type.

They are so proud of their work!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Report Cards and FCAT Testing Reminders

Originally, report cards were supposed to go home today; however, they will not be given out until next Friday, April 19th.  DCPS feels that it would be better to hold them until after the first week of FCAT.  We were just informed of this information so we appreciate your flexibility and understanding.  The Award Ceremony will be on Thursday, April 25th from 2:15-3:15.

FCAT Testing will begin on Monday, April 15th.  Here are a few reminders to ensure that your child is prepared for this exciting week.  Your child should:

  • get a good night's sleep each night.
  • eat a healthy breakfast (Denny's Grand Slam Breakfast is not suggested as it sometimes can cause tummy discomfort). 
  • come to school on time between 8:30 and 9:00.
  • leave all digital items such as watches and/or cell phones at home if possible. A cell phone that rings could invalidate all tests. 
Parents: Please don't forget to encourage your child to do their best, remind them that you are proud of them and they are totally ready for this week. No worries! Also, if you haven't already, please send in a love note for your child for each day of the FCAT. (Monday and Tuesday will be the Reading FCAT, Wednesday and Thursday will be the Math FCAT). We will make sure that the students receive the love notes each morning.  

Thank you for your continued support. This is a very exciting week for us and we are already so proud of each student! :) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Picture Day is Coming!

Next Friday, March 22nd is Spring Picture Day.  Students will be taking Individual Spring Pictures as well as class pictures.  If you are interested in purchasing a class picture, payments must be sent in by Friday, March 22nd.  The price for a class picture is $12.00. You can preview individual pictures before purchasing them. Don't forget to brush your hair and smile real BIG!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Ruler Game Champions

Have you heard about The Ruler Game? The Ruler Game is a fun, web based game that helps students practice US Customary linear measurement, including fractional parts. Students were introduced to the game on Friday and practiced identifying wholes, halves, fourths, eighths, and sixteenths. Today, we held our Measurement March Madness Championship.  Students played against each other in brackets until there were four people left. The last four people competed by identifying measurements on The Ruler Game up to a sixteenth of an inch! Contestants had one minute to score as many points as possible.  Here are The Ruler Game Champions (or Measurement Queen and King).
The Ruler Game Champions!
Ruler Game King and Queen
We are so proud of all the students who participated and cheered each other on! Keep practicing at home! Leave us a comment with your best score. Don't forget to tell us what fraction you practiced. (Challenge yourself to work beyond wholes and halves. You can do it! ) 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Garden Time!

For years, Dr. Zenk, Nicole's mom, has graciously been donating her time and talents to oversee Chets Creek's school garden. She's definitely the resident expert on when to plant, what to plant, and when to harvest our garden's vegetables.  She helped the 5 Star Bakery plant radishes and two varieties of carrots about two weeks ago, and we are patiently waiting as our vegetables grow. 

This week, Dr. Zenk visited each third grade classroom for a garden show and tell. She introduced us to familiar vegetables like lettuce and broccoli, and to some unfamiliar vegetables like kohlrabi. The students were intrigued and had many questions for Dr. Zenk. We are so thankful that she shares her passion, time, and talent so we can have such an authentic learning resource!  We are certainly learning new things about plants every day.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


What do plants need to live and grow?
Plants need a lot of the same things that we need to live and grow. They need air, water, food, and space.   Many plants also need soil. However, unlike us, plants make their own food. This process is called photosynthesis.

What are the four parts of a plant?
The four main parts of a plant are the roots, stem, leaves, and flowers.  This week, we've taken a close look at the job of leaves, because leaves are the part of the plant where photosynthesis occurs.

What is photosynthesis?
Photosynthesis happens in the middle of leaves and require air, water, and sunlight to produce sugar. Carbon dioxide (air) is taken in through the tiny holes on the underside of a leaf. Sunlight is absorbed by the plant. Water travels in from the soil to the roots, up the stem, and into the leaf. From the three ingredients, the plant produces sugar (food) and oxygen. The oxygen leaves the plant through tiny holes in the underside of the leaf, and the sugar travels down the stem and throughout the plant to provide nutrients. 

What did we find so interesting about the process of photosynthesis?
Plants need carbon dioxide, a gas that we breathe out, in order to live and grow. On the other hand, we need oxygen, a gas that is given off by plants, in order to live and thrive. We now see the important and mutual relationship between the two.

To take a closer look at the process, you can find this diagram either in your on-line science textbook in Chapter 5, Lesson 1, or you can refer to your green science handout in your red homework folder.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Comparing Fractions

For the past few days, in math class, students have been working on comparing fractions. The students have come up with a list of several different ways to compare fractions. Today we played a game called Capture Fractions. The goal of the game is to compare the fractions. The player with the larger fraction "captures" both fractions.

This anchor chart shows several ways that we know in order to compare fractions.

Which of these fractions is bigger?
 Leave us a comment letting us know what strategy you used in determining your answer! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Planting in Our School's Garden

Today, we planted radishes and carrots in our school's garden. The morning class planted Chantenay Red Core Carrots and the afternoon class planted Cosmic Purple Carrots. The Cosmic Purple will be spicier than the Chantenay Red. The radishes will be ready to harvest in about 24 days, but the carrots will take 65-70 days. We talked about eating the taproot of these vegetables after we harvest them. We are looking forward to it! 


Pulling Weeds

Other Plants Growing in Our School's Garden

Friday, February 15, 2013

Our New Unit Begins... Plants!!

We started a new unit and are studying plants! We'll do many exciting things like planting in our school's organic garden and conducting experiments where we change variables to uncover what plants really need to survive and thrive. We started by activating our prior knowledge and recording in our journals things we already know. Students were asked to draw and label the parts of a bean seed and to draw and label the parts of a plant. In addition, if they knew the function of the plant part, they were asked to record its purpose. It looks like we are off to a great start! We can't wait to reflect on these diagrams in a few short weeks. Stay tuned to learn more about plants!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yearbook Ads on Sale Now!

The front office is currently selling yearbook ads. A business card size ad, for your child, will cost $10.00. You may include a photo with your ad. Photos will not be returned. You can also email your photo to skipperl@duvalschools.org. Please email the photo in a larger format. Please print or type your message so that we can ensure that your ad is just right.

If you are a business owner and would like to advertise in our yearbooks, each business card size ad will cost $30.00.

All ads are due to Julie Middleton, in the front office, by February 15th. If you have any questions, please call Julie Middleton at 992-6390 ext. 1102. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


This week we are studying homophones. Homophones are important to know because if you use them incorrectly in your writing, your reader will be very confused! The homophones we are learning this week are:

there- a place
their- belonging to a group of people
they’re- a contraction meaning "they are"
to- shows the direction, destination, or position of something
two- the number 2
too- as well or more than
where-a place
wear- to have something on your body
we’re- a contraction for "we are"

See if you can find more homophones as you read this week. If you find one and leave a comment on this post, you will earn a reading raffle ticket!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bill Nye Light and Color

We watched the Bill Nye Light and Color video today. We found a six minute segment from today's video that we thought you might like to watch, again. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What happens when light strikes a mirror?

Light can be absorbed, reflected, or refracted. Today, students participated in a lab exploration where they were asked to tape a target to the wall and shine a flashlight on a mirror. Their goal was to then get the light from the mirror to reflect and hit the target. They had to work to get the right angle on both the flashlight and mirror to make it work. They discovered that many different positions worked.

After they accomplished their first goal, they then joined another group. The two groups worked collaboratively to shine a light on one mirror that would reflect into another mirror, and then land on the target.

In Closing, we discussed our findings and read the correlating pages from our workbooks. Students learned that you can see objects because light reflects from the object. Flat, smooth surfaces, like water and mirrors,  reflect much better than rough surfaces. You'll notice, if you pay careful attention, that even every day objects like spoons reflect, too.

Upcoming IMAX Field Trip

We're going on a field trip to the IMAX Theater on February 26th.  We will see two films that help meet our Plant and Animal Science Standards: Deep Sea and Born to Be Wild. Both of these films will be in 3-D.  Here is what you need to know:
  • Price for Students: $14
  • Price for Chaperones: $9 (chaperones must drive themselves)
  • Money Due Date: 2/12/13 (late money will not be accepted)
  • Field Trip Date: 2/26/13
  • Students will need to bring a bagged lunch and wear their CCE t-shirts.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Color Spectrum

 Did you know that light travels in waves?  There are both visible and invisible light waves. Most light sources give off white light and white light has seven colors that are revealed under the right circumstances.  Scientists use a tool called a prism to see the seven colors in the light spectrum as they pass through the prism.  To remember the seven colors in the color spectrum you can think ROY G BIV. ROY G BIV stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

When you look at an object, the color of the object is determined by the color of the light that is reflected and absorbed. For example, a red shirt reflects red but absorbs orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. White objects reflect all colors and black objects absorb all colors. That's why you're cooler on a hot summer day in white than black. 

Today in class, we watched a short video. Click on this to watch the video. We also looked through prisms to observe the separation of the seven colors in the spectrum.   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What happens when light strikes an object?

From a previous lab, students learned that light travels in a straight line, and can travel through some substances while others block it entirely. During our next lab, we explored the question, What happens when light strikes an object?   
Each lab group used a piece of white construction paper, a flashlight, two colored markers, and a self-selected object. Following the procedures, they taped the construction paper to a flat surface, we turned out the lights, and they had to shine the light on the paper and make observations. Then, we launched Trial 1, where students placed an object in the light beam near the paper and observed what happened. They noticed that a shadow of the object formed on the paper. Next, they had to draw an outline of the shadow. Students realized that the flashlight holder and the object holder had to remain very still for the drawer to complete his/her task. They labeled this shadow, Trial 1. 

In Trial 2, the procedures were repeated, but this time students had to put the object in the path of light near the flashlight, the source of the light. The shadow became much larger than the Trial 1 shadow. In Closing, we explored why this occurred.   With a little discussion, we concluded that in Trial 2 the object blocked more of the light because it was closer to the light source, therefore the shadow was larger.  Light travels from its source outward in all directions and casts the shadow when the light is blocked. A shadow is a dark area created when an object blocks a light path.  We see this all the time like when a tree casts a shadow, because it is blocking the light from the sun. We stand in the shadow to avoid the direct source of light and in turn stay cooler.

We followed the lab by reading the page from our textbooks on shadows.  We learned that shadows look different outside depending on how high the sun appears in the sky, and the direction of the shadow varies according to the time of day.  When the sun is in the eastern sky, the shadow that is cast is in a westward direction and is longer. At noon, when the sun is high in the sky, the shadow is shorter.  When the sun is in the western sky, later in the day, the shadow is cast in an eastern direction. That makes sense to us as young scientists, because light travels in a straight line.

How does light travel?

We are studying Energy and Its Properties, and throughout the week our young scientists have completed several labs to explore light's properties. 

During one lab, we tried to answer the question, How does light travel?  We taped a target to the wall, turned the lights out, and shined a flashlight on the target. We noticed light traveling out of the flashlight and we could see the light source on the target, however we couldn't see the beam of light as it traveled. In Trial 2, we repeated the experiment, but this time, we put a substance (baby powder) in the air. With the substance in the air, in the path of the light beam, we could see the light as it traveled from the flashlight to the target.  We had one more trick up our sleeve. In Trial 3, we repeated the steps from Trial 2, but this time we used a laser pointer. We recognized immediately that we could see the beam of light travel and that the light beam traveled in a straight line!  
Like all good scientists, we checked out theory with another lab. We used three index cards with an equal size hole in each, and lined them up  in a row, like the image shows. We put the flashlight up flush with in Card C and the light traveled through each card and hit the target. However, when we moved one of the index cards, the card would block the beam of light. We concluded that light travels in a straight line unless an object blocks the light beam.

Friday, January 25, 2013

NED Show Assembly

Yesterday, our students were treated to a Character Education assembly, the NED show. The talented presenter mesmerized students with yo tricks as he told a story promoting positive attitudes. Each initial of the character's name was integrated into the show. N-Never Give Up, E-Encourage Others, D-Do Your Best.

The program was free of charge to the school and is funded solely from merchandise purchased. The merchandise is for sale during our lunch time in the Dining Room.

NED Yo, Glow in the dark yo. Great for beginners. $6.50

Boomerang, Excellent for all skill levels. Amazing auto return feature! $10.00

Cosmic Spin 2, Ball bearing yo spins up to 4x longer than normal for advanced tricks.  $15.00

Accessories... Each  $3.50
10 replacement strings
yo yo holster
how 2 yo DVD
Amazing Yo / Kicking Tricks DVD

For more items visit www.shopNED.com.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beginning Fractions

Today in math, we began our third grade fraction unit.  Students began thinking about way to fairly share brownies.  Using their own inquisitive math minds, students began making connections way beyond the teacher's expectations! The following statements were made by students during the work period and/or closing session:
  • "I noticed that the more people you have to share the brownie with, the smaller each person's brownie will be!"
  • "I noticed that 4/4 (four fourths) is equal to one whole!"
  • "When the numerator is the same as the denominator, the fraction is equal to one whole!"
  • "One-eighth is half of one-fourth!"
  • "I can use multiplication to help represent all of the eighths that equal one whole. For example, 8 x 1/8 = 1."
This chart was made during our closing session based on what the students noticed during the work session. 
    This is the Student Sheet that the students worked on during the work session.  The yellow pieces represent a brownie cut into fractional pieces.