What Do Birchbark Trees, Winter and Monet Have In Common?

It’s Art time, of course!

We haven’t really talked about Art on the blog before but we are doing a really cool project right now that I thought I would share with you. There is also a really nice video that I want to add before it gets lost in the wilderness of the internet.

We are doing Birchbark Trees as a winter landscape watercolour painting. This is the first time that students have used water colours in our class and everyone is really excited. Water colours are so nice as they are easy to blend together to give a really rich beautiful look to a painting. So, for this project, we started of by looking at an example of a winter landscape done by the impressionist painter Claude Monet. We also had an opportunity to look at a range of works by the artist and discussed the colours, style and types of work done by the artist. A lot of blended, light colours that give a sense of serenity or tranquility.

Once we had had a chance to view some examples, students began their paintings by creating the birchbark trees that were going to be the focus of the painting. We had a really neat way to do this, though the students found it challenging to begin with. To create the trees, students used masking tap to tape off the shape of the trees. To do this, students had to rip off a section of tape and rip the tape down the middle. This was not easy for the students but with a lot of grumbling and hand holding, we managed to complete the hardest part of the project. Having ripped the tape down the middle, the students then taped the pieces on their papers, keeping the straight sides of the tape to the inside and the rough, ripped sides on the outside so that it created a sense of the rough edges of the tree.


Our next step was to paint in the horizon line. Next class, we will be adding the colours of the sky, which should be lots of fun. Keep an eye out for the finished paintings on the bulletin board.


A Video and a Game!

Well, it’s the weekend. I don’t know about you but that first week back fairly flew by!! Anyway, it was a great week back and we got lots done. Next week will see the end of the science building unit so the students will be starting a brand new Science unit. We also have lots of other great things planned. Thanks for all your kind words and support!

Here is a video I found. For Art students have been learning basic drawing techniques using a great resource called Art Attack. The students learn to draw neat little pictures using perspective, shading and other techniques. The gentleman who created the series had a T.V show a long time ago and I was able to find them on YouTube. They are quite old but lots of fun!

Here is a new game for you for the weekend!

Ad Eundum Quo Nemo Ante Iit

Just a short post today.

Students earned their party after gaining their 75th star today. They were able to hold on to it to the end of the day and thus, we will be having our party on Friday. I have asked the students to bring something if they are able to. It can be anything as long as their is enough for the class. For example, if someone could donate some juice boxes, we would need 25 of them for the entire class (or 28 if you wanted to include myself, Ms. Wiebe and Mrs. Davies).

Students will still be having their Spelling Test, Memory Verse and Mad Minutes on Friday. For the Mad Minutes, we will be focusing on the basic facts from the 5 times tables to the 10 times tables. I have noticed that many of the students are weak in these basic facts. If you could work on these with them, that would be great.

Madeline got to solve our Math Problem of the Day today. Using Art.com artpad, she has beautifully illustrated her solution to the problem. You can see the question and the result below.

We had a great time in Science today. For the last couple of days, students have been studying five basic concepts:

  1. The Earth is very large
  2. Some objects in the sky, such as the Sun, the Moon, Stars and Planets are very large.
  3. The Moon is very large but not as large as the Earth.
  4. The Sun is super huge compared to the Earth.
  5. The Sun is a star. Compared to other stars it is medium sized.

Today, students measured a scale model of the Sun. After having learned that the diameter of the Earth is approx. 15,000 km and that the Moon is approx. 6,000 km in diameter, the students were amazed to learn that the Sun is approx. 1,210,000 km in diameter!!

We also got a great chance to see a Bill Nye video. Here is one of the segments we watched. I think this has an amazing illustration of the distances of the planets from each other.

What A Week!

First of all, I think I am about to give up on there actually being a spring. However, it was a great start to the week. The students worked super hard today and we got a lot accomplished. There was a lot of learning happening today, especially in Science. But let’s start at the beginning of the day, shall we?

In Language Arts today, we continue on with our look at our next dress-up, adjectives. Using a number of websites to help explain the concept, the student now have a very good understanding of the concept. One of the things we did today was to do a couple of Pic-Lits. Pic-Lits allow you to add words to a picture describing it. Here are the two that we did today. Click on the picture to see a larger version of it.

See the full PicLit at PicLits.com

See the full PicLit at PicLits.com

Students also got their new spelling words today. You can get them by downloading the spelling words from below or from the box.net widget on the side.

Spelling N 5

Here is the link to the Spelling City list. Remember!! Bring in your report or your certificate and you too can get a free mark on your next spelling test!!!

Students also worked on a new problem of the day in Math today. Then they completed their Chapters 11-20 test. You can see the results from one of the students Problem of Day answers using artpad.com. Some really good thinking going on here!!!

In Science today, we learned about using modals to help us understand ideas and problems that are too large or far away for us to understand. For example, today we learned that the actual size of the Sun is huge compared to Earth. However, the Moon is even smaller than the Earth by almost half!!!!! We used special solar rulers and 2-D modals to help determine the approximate sizes of the planets and Sun. We also looked at this graphic below showing the size of the Moon flattened on top of a picture of the Earth flattened.

We also saw a really cool site where you can compare sizes of planets. You can go to the site by clicking the link here or going to the links on the side. I also challenged students with a question about whether there was colour in space. I said that there wasn’t. However, on further research I may be only half right. Does anyone know for sure. If you can get me the answer, I have a prize for the first one correct that can show me evidence!!!

Our Memory Verse for this week is Psalm 100:1-2:

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Finally, thanks to all the parents who were really patient last Wednesday with the Worlds Math Day. The students did an amazing job and answered a ton of basic facts questions. Many students continued on after the event was over and racked up even more points. It was a lot of fun, and hopefully, we will get a larger group of people together to get even more points and maybe even some medals!!!! I created an Animoto to show you some of the stuff that went on during the day!!!!

Starlight, Starbright, First Star I see Tonight . . .

Tomorrow is the last day of school for this week. Today was a busy day. Students are continuing to write amazing paragraphs with ly words, becauses and who/which to add interest to their writing. In social, today students worked on “grid maps” to reinforce that concept. We have also finished up multiplying by 10’s and 100’s. We have completed the times tables now and will be having a times tables test later on next week. Students can be practicing their times tables up to the ten times tables. We will soon be multiplying multiple digits which can always be a little confusing to students as it not only takes a knowledge of the times tables but also a little organization to make sure the numbers all line up properly.

As you can see, I have added a massive graphic to the side which gives an interesting, yet, humourous look at our atmosphere and the space beyond. A little tongue in cheek, but lots of fun.

In math today, we also did a problem of the day. Later on in April, students will be participating in an International Math Contest hosted by a group called Mathmatica. To prepare, we take one problem from past tests and work on them as a class. One student gets to display their solution using artpad.com. Today’s problem was a tricky one. You can see it in the solution presented by one of the students in our class, D.B.

A Mathterpiece!!!

In math today, we looked at an interesting problem. The problem was unlike any we have seen before. However, that did not stop the students of Grade 3!!! Oh no, they rose to the occasion. One of our Ben’s came up with the correct solution and used a neat site called Artpad to draw it out and decorate for us to show you!!

Here is the final piece:

So, once he finished his final piece, we hung it in our art gallery! Here it is surounded by other Mathterpieces!

You can click either one of them to make them bigger!

Some other announcements:

We are starting to get ready for the Speech Meet which is happening March 6th in Abbotsford. As you can imagine, lots of students volunteered to participate. However, only four students can do a poem and only another four can do a memory verse. As I have to have the names to Ms. Evans by the 16th, we will have to do a little in-house trial to see who can go. Therefore, if your child has volunteered to try out for the Speech Meet, they will be coming home with a memory verse or a poem to memorize. We will do the trial here in class on Tuesday.

Valentine’s Day: We will be allowing students to wear play clothes with white, pink or red colours on them (not including the pants) on this Friday. We will have activities Friday afternoon on a Valentine’s theme for some fun.

First Week Back

Well, even though it was a short week, many things have been happening here in grade 3. Along with the news about being a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards, I have been looking out for new ideas and sites to add to our array of technology use in the class. Though I love technology, the massive number of applications and internet sites now available can be overwhelming at times. It can be very hard to choose the best sites to use that will have a longer lastin g educational impact on students. One of the hard things is also the fact that the students have not been able to get into the computer lab. That, however, will change this term with some time being given to the class to get into the computer lab.

We are also looking to incorporate some technology in terms of our social unit and our spelling. Later on, at the end of our mapping unit students will be learning all about longitude and latitude using a gps device to create “geocaches”. I think this will be a lot of fun for the students as well as something new for them. I have also found a great site to help inspire some interest in working on spelling words through the week. I won’t give it away now but I think the students will find it a lot of fun.

Today I introduced the students to a new site in Art. The site is called bomomo.com, It’s an art site where students can guide brushes of differing sizes and styles to create abstract art. Students can then save their art work to show others later. The site is alot of fun though the saving part might be a little difficult to do. Parents, you may have to help them to save the files if the students are wanting to print them out.

The voting blitz is still on for the 2008 Weblogs Awards. You can vote every 24 hours by going to:


and voting. One of the students said that he didn’t see anything when he clicked on the link. In that case, you may have to click on the link below to update your “flash”. On the next site, click on the yellow button with the words “Agree and Install” on it to download and install the new flash program. After that, you shouldn’t have any problems.


As tomorrow is Friday, we will be having our class meeting. If you are not aware, our class meetings happen every Friday that there is school. I use class meetings to talk about the good things that classmates do to encourage character development and positive citizenship. We also discuss, anonymously, any issues that the students may be having in the class. The goal is to give students skills and ideas on how to solve problems involving relationships and building lasting, caring friendships. My goal is to help students to move away from always having to have an adult solve their problems and rather, give students strategies and skills to know how to navigate the difficult area of dealing with problems on their own. As I tell the students, I am not always going to be with them and they need some ways to solve problems on their own. We will have lots to talk about as we deal with some normal issues from this week and focus on ways to remind each other that vacation is over and we need to get back to the business of learning.

Speaking of the business of learning, students have a test next week on the 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, and 10 times tables. Practicing those times tables with flash cards would be very helpful in preparing students for the test on Tuesday. You can also use the ideas and worksheets on Math Fact Cafe and Multiplication.com to help them prepare.

A Milestone and Some Reminders!

It was a busy day today and the students got quite a bit done. We are just about done working on our outlines and will be getting ready to turn them back into stories. The student have really picked up the idea of writing outlines and should be able to make an easy transition to writing paragraphs from those outlines.

In Art, we are working on creating pictures out of horizontal lines, diagonal lines and vertical lines. While it may seem that it would be hard to do an interesting piece of art out of just lines, I think the art will be amazing.

We reached a milestone the other day! We have gone past 2,000 visitors on our blog! We were all very excited and we are now trying to reach 3,000 by the end of the year.

Just a reminder! Students have their spelling test and memory verse tomorrow. Please help the students prepare for those!

Here is a game for you to try that looks like fun.

3D MazePlay Now!
Prepare a plastic bag near you before playing this game…

Art Work in the Class

If you haven’t been in our class lately, you probably have not noticed our neat Stick figures. Inspired by Alberto Giacometti, these stick figures represent and action from a picture the students brought in to class. Alberto Giacometti originally designed bronze figures much the same as ours as a way to characterize the anonymous interactions people have everyday in a city. As he sat watching people in a busy city square, he noticed that no one was talking to each other or even acknowledging each others existence. He created his own city square to represent that feeling. Here is his famous sculpture.


After we had studied some of his sculptures, we designed our own using pipe cleaners and tin foil. I think they came out very nicely as you can see below.