An afternoon in 3rd Grade

On Saint Patrick’s Day when the Preschool was having a green breakfast with Dad and the Kindergarten was being raided by leprechauns, the 3rd grade was learning things in a big way.

Mrs. Haushalter’s class was busy doing St. Patrick’s “skip” math. Armed with an answer sheet and a pencil, the children “skip” from problem to problem reviewing math skills learned during the year. There were basic math equations, time telling, and area problems all designed to keep young minds moving and thinking. At each of the 36 stations, the children were given about 30 seconds to solve the problem. Then they moved on to the next one. What a great way to reinforce those concepts that they have been working on all year!

After skipping around the room, it was time to finish a two part experiment that was the culmination of a month of studying electronics. Third grade has been learning about circuitry. It was interesting to watch as they applied their learning to this final challenge and made the transmission work. Using self-made electromagnets and a battery, the students built a telegraph. Last week, they made a single station using the knowledge they had gained about open and closed circuitry. This week they worked to join two stations together. With little guidance, they had to determine how to wire the device to allow for an open circuit that would allow transmission between the two stations. As with any scientific process, the children found that some experiments work and some don’t. Two of the four teams were able to produce working transmission sets. Consolidating teams to work with the two active telegraphs and using a simple code based on the word STREAM (=123456), the children then sent messages back and forth behind a screen by recombining the letters to create mystery words for the other team to decipher.

The children really enjoyed the hands on learning experience that makes 3rd grade an active learning environment.