I usually hit the ground running (literally) at the start of the year, coaching our school's Cross Country team. We started the month of October taking our team of 85 students to our Family of Schools meet...where we placed first! This is a big deal for us, as we are a small rural school and very rarely get the gold at sporting events, so we were pretty pumped. This was Frannie's first year participating, and she brought home a silver medal.
Science: Grassy Guys
The Grade 3 Science curriculum in Ontario includes a study of Growth and Changes in Plants, but rather than a more simple bean-seed-in-a-cup experiment, I like to use an idea I found in an old book (What Shall I Grow?) where the kids plant grass seeds in an old sock, and decorate the face with buttons to create their own "Grassy Guy". They love to see the "hair" grow in, and to trim it and give their guy some style.
This poor guy is just starting to sprout some hair!
Writing: Procedural and Descriptive
We are very lucky to currently have a class set of laptops in the room right now, thanks to a pilot project I applied for last year, and the kids use them for almost all of their writing projects.
For procedural writing this month, they were assigned a paragraph giving instructions on how to get ready for school in the morning.
For a descriptive writing piece, students brought in a photo of a recent Halloween costume, and tried to describe it using as many senses as possible. This makes for a great hall display as passers-by are drawn in by the photographs. I also like to have writing pieces up during times of the year when parents will be in (we have progress report interviews in a couple of weeks) so parents can get a clear sense of how their child's writing compares to their peers. It's often difficult to tell whether your child is ahead, behind, or right where he/she should be without anything to compare their work to.
I'm currently reading "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl. The kids just love his work, and this one brings back memories as I used it in one of my very first ConEd teaching placements. (Available at Chapters.)
Art: Frankenstein Monsters
Another Pinterest find, the kids love this cut-paper task, perfectly timed to go up in the hall the week before Halloween.
Original pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/175288610467825793/
Flying Through Space Art
Yes, found on Pinterest, for this one the kids trace their hands and feet, and then add in the other body parts, trying to make it look like they are in a seated position flying (or perhaps floating would be a better word) through space.
Original pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/175288610469442109/
Food Drive/Staff Dodgeball Game
Right before Thanksgiving, my Leaders Today group organized a staff vs staff dodgeball game, and students had to bring in non-perishable food items in order to gain admission. We collected almost 250 items for our local Food Bank, which was a lovely way to head in to the Thanksgiving weekend. (And the dodgeball game was a blast...I only wish someone had taken photos that I could share with you...and you would not believe how sore I was afterwards!)
To wrap up the month, a look at Mrs. Winn's Halloween costume (the only "rated G" Wonder Woman attire I could find!):
Have a great November, everyone!
*** Please note, when any student's work is identifiable I do ask permission from the parents to show it here. ***