Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Card Exchange

For the second year in a row, our class has participated in a holiday card exchange with classes from around the United States and Canada.

This project is one of the many collaborative projects coordinated by Jen Wagner, an amazing teacher who is willing to share her great ideas.

Our first task was to create some cards for all of the classes on our list. Our theme was SNOW!

When we finished we had lots of cards to send out.

Then it was time to wait for cards to come in. The week before our Holiday Break we had enough for everyone to open a card.

First we used Google Earth to see where the schools from our friends were located.

Then we got to open them! 

We put the information in a spreadsheet to compare and contrast the different schools. Click on the link below to see our data.

Christmas Card Spreadsheet

Look at these beautiful cards!

We had great fun collaborating with other schools with this project. We would love to hear your thoughts or questions about what we did. Please share them with us in the comments section below.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hour of Code

Last week our classroom participated in the Hour of Code.

What is the Hour of Code? 

The Hour of Code is an introduction to computer science. It introduces the type of logical thinking necessary to write computer code.

Check out the website here: Hour of Code.

Students were able to write code for a variety of different characters.

Some chose to write code for Elsa and Anna from Frozen.

Some chose to write code for Angry Birds.

Minecraft was a very popular choice.

And of course, with the Star Wars movie coming out this week, there had to be a puzzle for Star Wars!

We had to move the blocks to tell the computer how to make the characters move.

It took some time, and the puzzles didn't always work out the first time. We had to try more than once to solve them, and ask each other for help.

However, we stuck with it, and we were able to solve the puzzles!

When we finished, we received a certificate for working on our puzzles!

If your child enjoyed coding and would like to continue on his or her own, check out this link on our classroom website with additional coding opportunities.

Coding Websites

Let us know what you think of what we learned about coding. Please share in the comment section below.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Properties of Multiplication

In Mrs. Essenburg's third grade classroom we have been working hard on learning multiplication!

One very important part of multiplication is understanding the different properties and how they help us solve problems. There are quite a few properties of multiplication.

There is the Zero Property.

In other words, any factor times 0 is always 0. 

8 x 0 = 0
557 x 0 = 0 and
0 x 3,238 = 0.

There is the Identity Property.

Don't forget the Commutative Property.

That means that we can flip the factors around and we still get the same product.

So 3 x 7 = 21. But 7 x 3 = 21 too!
It works with addition as well.

Of course there is the Associative Property.

This means we can move the factors in all different places and if we use the same numbers we'll still get the same product.

So 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 = 24
But 4 x 2 x 1 x 3 = 24 as well.
So does 3 x 4 x 1 x 2!

Don't forget the Distributive Property. It's very important! It helps us to solve problems with larger numbers.

There will be more on the distributive property on the bottom of this post. It is so important it gets a special definition!

After learning about all of these properties, we made a paper slide video about what we've learned. Check it out below!

We also learned how to make a screencast to show more about how the Distributive Property works. A screencast is a short video explaining a skill. If we can teach a skill to others that shows a real understanding of that skill.

Please check out our screencasts below.

Here is Ashlyn and Izzy's screencast about the distributive property.

Here is Jillianne's screencast showing how to do the distributive property.

Here is Dorothy's screencast showing us how to use the distributive property when we multiply.

Here is Camden and Lainie's screencast about the distributive property.

Here is Jason and Andrew's screencast on the distributive property.

Here is Jackson and Brody's screencast showing the distributive property.

And here is Joey's example of the distributive property.

Understanding the distributive property is so important! It will help all of us as we move into multiplying larger numbers.

We have shared a lot of information about the different properties of multiplication. Please let us know what helps you when you multiply numbers. Do you use these properties, or do you use other strategies? Whatever strategy you use to help you with multiplication, we would love to hear about it. Please comment below.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fact and Opinion

In Mrs. Essenburg's Classroom we have been learning how to tell the difference between facts and opinions.

What is a fact?
A fact is something that can be proved. 

For example, Thanksgiving is a holiday in November is a fact. We can prove it is true by looking at the calendar.

What is an opinion?
 An opinion is something we think or believe

For example, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of all is an opinion. We can't prove it, and some people might agree and others might disagree.

As we read, it is important to think about what we are reading and determine whether statements are facts or opinions. Thinking carefully about what we read helps us to understand the text in a deeper way.

We did a lot of fun activities to practice understanding the difference between facts and opinions

One activity we did was to make puzzles for our classmates to solve using the Stick Around app.

Here is a puzzle that Jillianne and Lainie made about facts and opinions about Tabby Cats.

Izzy made a Fact and Opinion puzzle about Fall.

Then, we worked together with a partner to research a topic that we found interesting. We wrote down facts and opinions about that topic, and used Book Creator app to write pages for a book.

We wrote one page with facts and one page with opinions. 

Then we put them together to make a class book!The video below shows our class book set to music. Check out the facts and opinions about our topics.

Different opinions are a great way to start a discussion! It is fun to talk about opinions that we agree or disagree with. Can you choose an opinion from the video above and let us know if you agree or disagree with the opinion and why? We look forward to your comment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween Happenings!

It was a pumpkin filled day in Room 15 last Friday. We were able to have a lot of fun with pumpkins while learning at the same time.

We focused on three new vocabulary words:





We had six pumpkins in our classroom. One we set aside for later (more on that below), so that left five. Each table group was given a pumpkin. Of course we had to give each of our pumpkins a name!

Our pumpkins were:

Hard Head Bob

and Rusty.

First we had to find the mass of our pumpkin. What does the word mass mean?

Mass tells how much matter is in an object. Figuring out the mass of an object is similar, but not the same as, figuring out the weight of an object. We measured the mass of our pumpkins using kilograms.

What is a kilogram?

A kilogram is a unit we use to measure mass or weight. We made our own kilogram weights!

Then we used the kilogram weights to help us estimate what the mass of our pumpkin might be. We observed our pumpkin closely and discussed with our group what the best estimate might be.

Then we put our estimate in a Google form.

We also learned the word circumference.

What does the word circumference mean?

We observed our pumpkin closely again to try to estimate the circumference. We used centimeters as our unit of measure. We then entered those estimates in our Google Form.

We also counted the number of creases in each pumpkin and entered those in the Google form as well. 

Here are our estimates!

After estimating, it was time to find out what the mass and circumference of each pumpkin actually was. 

We made a prediction. We thought that the larger pumpkins would have more seeds than the smaller pumpkins.

Then it was time to find out! We got inside our pumpkins and counted the seeds together.

Check out our chart below for the actual measurements and how many seeds each pumpkin had. Our prediction was partly correct. One of the larger pumpkins had more seeds. The other did not.

 Finally, it was time for our last pumpkin. 

For this pumpkin, we were going to see how many rubber bands it would take for our pumpkin to explode!

First we predicted:

What do you think the mass of the pumpkin is?
How many rubber bands would we need to put around the circumference of the pumpkin for it to explode?
How long would it take?

Here are our predictions:

Then it was time to find out. Watch the video for our pumpkin explosion!

The results were:

Mass: 8.6 kilograms.
Rubber bands: 288
Time to explosion: 31 minutes.

What is your opinion of our pumpkin investigations?

Have you ever used mass, kilograms, or circumference before? If you have, how have you used it?

Please share in the comment section below.