Linear Measurement 

This week we explored the origins of linear measurement and again who people first used their own bodies to measure. We learned about cubits, spans, palms, digits, and feet.  

Then the class got busy measuring all sorts of things in the classroom. I chose which things they would measure, but they needed to choose which unit of measurement to use. It was great to walk around and hear, “Let’s measure the bench using cubits! Wait we need to estimate first!” “No, I don’t want to measure the floor with my cubit. Let’s use our feet.”  


Time & Liquid Measurement 

 As usual, we have been very busy in third grade! Last week, we discussed many different forms of measurement and how those forms of measurement are used and influence our daily lives. We discussed measurement of time, volume, weight, size, and amount. I talked to the class about how I use all these types of measurement every day in my life. We also heard a great folk tale titled Foolish Folk.   
We reviewed telling time to the quarter hour and worked a little more with time to the minute and elapsed time. 

Then we began to explore liquid measurement. I told the class that we would be making hot chocolate with milk, cocoa powder and sugar, but that I was unsure if I had purchased enough milk. No one knew exactly how many cups were contained in a gallon, so we decided we would need to do some measuring to find out. We started with a full gallon jug of water. First, we estimated how many quarts, pints, and cups might be contained in a gallon. Then, we got busy measuring. We poured the water from the gallon jug into a quart sized carton and discovered that the gallon was equal to four quarts. We repeated this process for pints and finally cups. We found that a single gallon jug contained 16 cups. The class was then very glad that I had purchased two gallons of milk, because that meant we would have more than enough for everyone in the class to have a full cup of hot chocolate. 

Then I shared the recipe with the class, but it was only written for one serving. We then got busy multiplying the recipe to make enough cocoa for 32 people. We will circle back to volume measurement later in the school year once the weather warms a little, and we can play with water outside. 


Modern Construction & Measurement 

Last week, the children finished presenting their shelters to the class. Then, we had a visiting speaker come to the class. He is a business man with a great deal of experience with renovation and construction. In fact, he even converted a barn into the home I grew up in, because he also happens to be my dad. He talked to the class about hand tools and power tools and why a person might choose either or both kinds of tools to use. He discussed why a person might choose to build a new building or renovate an old one. He also talked about all the steps that go into building a modern building from plans to inspection and the importance of making a building that is energy efficient.  


He led the class in a Main Lesson book drawing and communicated to the class how important measurement is to any building process and demonstrated the use of several measurement tools.  

That provided a bridge into our next block which focuses on measurement. We will review telling time and then jump into volume, weight, linear measurement, and money. 

Shelter Presentations 

Last week the children brought their model shelters to school and were able to share all their hard work with the entire school. Beginning on Wednesday of last week, each child had a few minutes to present their work and research to the class. They talked about where the shelter they modeled was from, what kind of people lived in that shelter, and how it was traditionally constructed among many other details.  

On Friday, parents from both third grade classes visited our classrooms and got to view the models made by all the third graders. Parent communicated that even though each child made a different shelter, they all had the same trials in building it. The children learned about a traditional shelter, but also learned about perseverance,  trial and error, disappointment, and untimately how sweet success is after working hard. After the parent visit concluded, first through fifth grades came and took a look as well.  I will attempt to create a digital file with pictures of each child and their shelter to share with you. 

We also learned about the construction of log cabins and modeled our own with bees wax.  


Shelter Fair 

Please be reminded that this Friday, January 27, we invite the parents, grandparents, and families of Third Grade to visit both Third Grade classrooms from 8:45-9:15 to view the model shelters the children have constructed.  I am truly impressed with the work they have done. Individual presentations will continue tomorrow morning most likely next Monday as well. 


South Africa to the Arctic 

Last week, we traveled from South Africa to the Arctic tundra. We learned about two South Africian tribes and their homes and communities. Then we studied the Inuit people and their homes, the igloo and tupec. The children are really becoming terrific at writing summaries of what I have shared with them during our lessons. We have been practicing organizing our ideas using graphic organizers and writing topic sentences. Often after doing this work together, they then write their summaries independently. After they have finished, I help correct any mistakes I may find in their writing. We are beginning to see many similarities between the homes we have been studying even though they separated by many, many miles and have been built in different biomes.