Mrs. Schmidt's Classroom Blog

Third Grade Classroom Blog

Learning About Properties in Science

October 1, 2014 by · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Last week we learned about properties in Science class.  To practice listing the properties of an object, I made oobleck.  Check out these photos to see how much fun we had!

Name the Properties of Oobleck on PhotoPeach

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Busy Times in Grade 3 – Skype and Peace Day

September 24, 2014 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

The third grade students have been busy lately!  Last week we had our first mystery Skype with Mrs. Fenton’s thrid grade students from Providence Town School in Utah.  We took turns asking only Yes and No questions to determine the other school’s location.  Unfortunately, we had a bad connection and the call kept dropping but we still had a fun time.  After we got the correct location, we talked about our experience with the Oreo stacking and we also asked some questions to get to know them better.  Their school has about 800 students compared to only about 300 in our school.  They wear uniforms too and study the same subjects as we do.  Thanks for a great first Skype!

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On Monday we celebrated International Peace Day.  Each student in the school decorated a crane with words of peace and drawings.  Then we had a school wide prayer service.  We will be mailing our cranes to Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu Nigeria and we hope to get some back from them too.

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We took part in the Sing a Long run by Armed with the Arts  We sent them our song and they are going to put it together with others from around the world to make a group song.  Here is our submission.

St. Ignatius School Peace Day 2014 from Tina Schmidt on Vimeo.

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Celebrating Dot Day

September 16, 2014 by · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Yesterday we had a fun time in 3rd grade celebrating International Dot Day.  We read the book by Peter H. Reynolds which encourages us to try our best and to be proud of our accomplishments.   Our next step was to create our own dots.  Then we used the coLAR app to make our dots 3D.  Watch this video to see photos.

Celebrating Dot Day 2014 from Tina Schmidt on Vimeo.

 

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OREO Stacking Contest

September 10, 2014 by · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Every year my students and I LOVE taking part in the O.R.E.O. Project run by Jen Wagner as a part of her Projects by Jen.  First we made a prediction about how many Oreos we thought we could stack, then we got to work stacking.  Once a cookie was placed, it could not be moved.  The stack could not be straighten during the stacking either.  Each child tried once and then we stopped to chat about what strategies we used to get a high stack.  Then the children tried a second time.  Congrats to Anna with the highest stack – 29 cookies!!  After 2 tries, we calculated the average of our highest stacks – 20 cookies.  We submitted our average and look forward to seeing what averages other classrooms get.  We are also hoping to Skype with another class to talk about our stacking experience.  Hope you enjoy seeing these photos! [Read more →]

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Summer Time Fun

July 29, 2014 by · 13 Comments · Uncategorized

Hi Boys and Girls!  I hope you are having a fantastic summer so far!  Doesn’t it seem like it’s just flying by?  I wanted to share with you some of the fun things I am doing this summer.

ISTE teachers

In June I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to attend ISTE which is a huge conference all about using technology in the classroom.  This is a photo of me with teachers from around the world that I work with on projects throughout the school year.  Besides being from several different states, there are teachers from Canada, South Africa and Australia too!  The teacher on the far right is Mrs. Photakis from Australia.  Her school received all of the peace cranes that we made for International Peace Day last year.  It was a lot of fun to meet all of these teachers in person!  I also learned some new fun ways to use technology in our classroom this coming year.

Beach

Over the 4th of July weekend, my family and I traveled to Bethany Beach, DE.  I love sitting on the beach and reading, riding bikes on the boardwalk and eating ice cream at the shore!  This is my family: Mr. Schmidt, Deanna (on my left) and Rebecca (on my right).  Deanna is 19 and she attends Cabrini College.  Rebecca is 16 and she attends Archbishop Wood High School.

Hershey

The other day I took my daughters and my nephew, Danny to visit Hershey Park.  My favorite part is always the ride through Chocolate World to learn about how Hershey’s Chocolate is made.  I love the free candy treat that they give you at the end.

Sesame

I’ve also been to Sesame Place a few times this year because both of my daughters are working there this summer.  Here we are on a rainy day with Zoe.

I’d love to hear about what you have been doing this summer.  Please share your summer time fun by leaving a comment on this post.  Make sure you have Mom or Dad help you.  Click on the word “Comments” under the title of the post (Summer Time Fun) and scroll down the bottom to write a new comment.  There are more instructions and a video showing how to do it on the Blogging Guidelines/Commenting Page.  Look for that tab at the top of this website above the Welcome banner.  Special thanks to Nicholas for leaving the first comment.  Enjoy the rest of the summer and I’ll see you soon!

Mrs. Schmidt

Field Day 2014

June 10, 2014 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Check out more photos in the movie below!

Field Day 2014 on PhotoPeach

Global Collaborations in our Classroom

March 23, 2014 by · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Photo attribution Fredrik Alpstedt

Photo attribution: Fredrik Alpstedt

 

My students and I love making connections with other students around the world.  Our big focus this year in Social Studies is community.   By taking part in these global project, the children are able to share information about our community and country with other students and to learn more about theirs first hand.  Here is a quick overview of 3 projects that we are currently working on.

The first one is called the Edmodo Pen Pal Project and it is one that I designed and lead.  We use a social network called Edmodo which allows teachers to create a private group that is closed to the public.  Within that group, the children are put into smaller sub-groups and each week they chat about an assigned topic with their team members to learn more about them.  We are currently doing this project with 3 other schools located in Washington State, Minnesota, and South Africa.  Some of the topics we discuss include school life, favorite books, favorite games, foods, holidays, weather, etc.  This is a fun way for the students to work on the Common Core Standard for Listening and Speaking which focuses on effectively engaging in collaborative discussions with diverse partners on age appropriate topics, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly.  At the end of the project, the children will create an “Eye Opening” digital display to share what they have learned from this experience.

We love using our Kidblogs to connect with other students and the Student Blogging Challenge is the prefect way to do that.  This challenge runs twice a year (starting in September and March) and lasts for 10 weeks.  Each week Miss W, a retired teacher from Tasmania, will give the students 8-10 different choices of blog posts that they can write around a specific topic.  These posts help them learn to be better bloggers and to connect with other students.  There are over 1,000 students registered at the present time from USA, Canada, Russia, Australia and China.  Teachers volunteer to mentor the children which means they will leave comments a few times to guide the children in this process.  The children are also encouraged to visit the blogs of other students in the challenge to leave comments and start conversations to foster learning.  Last week our challenge was to write a post listing great places to visit in our state or country.  My students chose a topic and then used Power Point to create a slide with a few facts and photos of those places.  We saved the slide as a photo and then turned it into an online jigsaw puzzle using Jigsaw Planet  Here’s a link to those puzzles if you’d like to try them.  Jigsaw Puzzles about State and Country   Not only did we have fun and learn more about the places in our area, we also talked about Creative Commons and how we can’t just take photos off of the internet and call them our own.  Mrs. Yollis in California did a great experiment with her students that helped us learn more about why Creative Commons is so important.  You can view that here:  Creative Commons Video  If the children wanted to use photos from the  internet for this project, they used FlickrCC and gave attribution by listing the name of the person who took those photos on their blog.

Our last and longest global project is the Flat Connections project called “A Week in the Life.”  In this project, we are connected with about 300 students from USA, China, Nepal, Thailand, and India.  Students will be working in small groups on Edmodo to discuss one of these topics: school, leisure, language, clothing, environment, food, celebrations, housing, and transportation.  The children will discuss and then take photos and video about that one topic to share with their group members from the other schools.  They will collaborate to create one final digital project in VoiceThread showing images and facts about this topic and how it plays out around the world.  All teams will upload their VoiceThreads to a project wiki (link in the beginning of this paragraph) so it can be viewed by all members of the project.

All of these global projects help my students and I learn first hand about the world around us.  Places like South Africa, China, and India that were once just dots on a map, are now real people that they talk to and learn about.  The children love seeing both our similarities and differences.  These projects also help the children learn to respect and appreciate the customs, cultures and opinions of others.

Tellagami Book Reviews

February 27, 2014 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Our third graders recently wrote a book review using the Tellagami app.  They created an avatar on the app, took a photo of the book for the background and recorded their voice for the review.  I embedded the final projects into the Padlet.  Special thanks to library specialist, Shannon Miller, for the idea.

CLICK HERE OPEN OUR BOOK REVIEW PADLET

Padlet

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Catholic Schools Week 2014

February 3, 2014 by · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Catholic Schools Week 2014 on PhotoPeach

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Mystery Skype with Indiana

January 29, 2014 by · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Today we had the privilege of Skyping with a third grade from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Carmel, Indiana.  Their computer teacher, Mrs. Barks, and I connected on the Catholic Schools Week Mystery Skype site.  Instead of doing the 20 questions type of Skype, we decided to use a set of 10 questions that I formulated that give more facts about the state.  Some of them included weather, crops, location in the USA, famous people and places in the state, nicknames, state symbols, etc.  The children worked in pairs to ask and answer the questions during the Skype so that every student had a chance to talk to the other class.  The OLMC students only had 10 minutes before the Skype to prepare their answers.  We were very impressed with how well they did!    Before we started the sharing, we all stood up to say a prayer together.  How wonderful it was to pray together across the states!

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Here are some of the things we learned:

  1. Their town has 79,000 people compared to only 2,500 in Yardley.  But our state has twice as many people as their state.
  2. Both of us have singers that were born in our state.  Taylor Swift in PA and Michael Jackson in IN.  We also both grown corn and produce milk.
  3. Their state nickname is the Crossroads of America and the Hoosier State.
  4. The Indy 500 takes place in their state.
  5. They have also experienced very cold weather and snow this winter.  They sometimes experience tornadoes.
  6. They have over 600 students in their school compared to only 300 in ours.

At the end of the call, we asked some questions about books that we like to read and we also talked about our uniforms and our weather experiences.  We had a fun time and hope we can connect with them again!

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We were planning to share some of the things that we do during Catholic Schools Week but we ran out of time.  Maybe the OLMC students could leave us a comment telling us?  We’d love to hear from other Catholic Schools too!

At our school we had an Olympic theme for Catholic Schools Week.  Each classroom created an anthem and a flag and we shared them at an Opening Ceremony and Prayer Service.  All week long the students earned points for their room by doing good deeds, winning competitions, keeping their lunch table neat, etc.  At the end of the week we will add up the points and award medals to the winning homerooms.  We made cards and gift baskets for our bus drivers, fire fighters, police and the armed forces.  We also created Birthday Boxes.  We get large cake boxes from a local bakery and fill them with all the things someone might need to celebrate a birthday party: cake mix, candles, frosting, sprinkles, hats, plates, cups, napkins, party favors, a book, a toy, etc.  The boxes are decorated by the children and donated to a local food pantry to be given out to those who might not have the means to buy party supplies for their child.   Our week ends with an annual Talent Show which is always a fun night.

Birthday Boxes

Birthday Boxes

Please leave us a comment to share how your school celebrates Catholic Schools Week!

 

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