Monday, January 21, 2013

Perimeter, Area, and LOTS of Research

Hi Sweet Friends!
I hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend!
I just wanted to share some things my students have been up to these past couple of weeks.
We have been working on perimeter and area and research activities in science and reading.
Take a peek at some of our activities:

Our tiled classroom floor is perfect for an introduction to perimeter and area.  I taped off several different rectangles and squares in the classroom and students had to determine the perimeter of the shape. Then a few days later each student had to determine the area of the shape.
2. Perimeter Bots- I found this idea from Ashleigh at Education Journey.

To make these perimeter bots, students were given graph paper to create their robots.  Then students had to write the perimeter of each shape on their perimeter bot.

3.   Cheez Its with Area
In my newest math pack called "Perimeter and Area Math Workshop and Activities", I included an activity with area and cheese crackers.
Students had so much fun with this activity.  It was a great way to introduce area.
We've also been working a lot on informational text in reading.  We worked on a story out of the basal these past couple of weeks called Turtle Bay.  This story give so much information about ocean life and sea turtles.  So I was inspired by Tara's idea from Fourth Grade Frolics to do some sea turtle research and activities with my third graders.  Students were placed in groups of 4 to do research on a particular species of sea turtle.  There were a total of 5 different species that we researched.  Students had to find information on facts about this species, threats to this species, and nesting habits of the particular species.  Fortunately, between the 2 computers and IPADS from all the other 3rd grade classes, students were able to research all of their information online.  This was great practice for the students.
Students also brought in rocks to decorate their own sea turtle.

AND in science this week, my students chose their habitat to research.  This activity comes from my "Animal Habitats Investigative Literacy Unit for Bigger Kids".

They did all the research in class and wrote their informational paragraph.
Students will create their habitat diorama as their project for home.
I was so proud of my sweet little third graders.  They did such a TREMENDOUS job with all of their research this week.  I know they learned so much about how to adequately find information and conduct their research activities.  They also LOVED this and finding out new information about a topic.  Many of my students said that they couldn't wait to go to school each morning because they wanted to do their research.

Finally, I wanted to leave you with one last thing.   I have been working hard on my newest writing unit to use with my 3rd graders.  It's finally finished, and I am looking forward to using it next week.
This 40 page unit includes the activities I use to introduce and teach my students about persuasive writing.  I've included a 13 slide Power Point Presentation.  I use the first part of this as my introduction to persuasive writing.  Then I've included 5 mini lessons on persuasive writing activities that use picture books ( 3 of these can be found on YouTube).  I use these lessons as a fun and engaging way to introduce students to persuasive writing and the persuasive techniques used by the authors of these picture books.  Students create their own shoe for "Hey Little Ant" and their own pet for " I Wanna Iguana".  Also included are 15 persuasive writing prompts.  These prompts can be copied, laminated, cut out, and added to a book ring.  I hang these in our writing center.  Finally, I've included 3 different types of persuasive graphic organizers and an assessment rubric. Once my students have a better understanding of persuasive writing, I introduce the 5 steps of writing a persuasive essay that is found on the power point presentation.  Then I choose a topic from an area we are currently studying for students to research the two sides of the topic and determine their belief or thesis.  Students can use one of the three graphic organizers to organize their essay.

Enjoy your week!

AND I want  celebrate this holiday Monday by giving the persuasive pack to the first 3 to comment below with their favorite picture book they use to teach a writing activity.


Christina Marie said...

I love the "I Wanna" booms for opinion and persuasive writing! Just found a new one called "I Wanna New Room!" Absolutely wonderful!

Christina :)
Apples, Books, and Crayons

Christina Marie said...

Er books not booms. Darn iPhone!

Collaboration Cuties said...

For persuasive writing- I love I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, Earrings, and there are so many more!

You did such hard work! That unit looks AMAZING!

Collaboration Cuties

Courtney Petzold said...

I love your persuasive writing unit. I am working on persuasive writing with my class and it is such an important concept for them to get! I have been bringing in opinion pieces from the newspaper to try to get them to see that it relates to real life!

Courtney Petzold said...

Also -- for area and perimeter, I had small groups figure out what the actual area and perimeter were in our classroom! We talked about what professions they could use this for (painting, interior design, etc). It was really neat!

Thanks for sharing your great ideas!


Courtney Petzold said...

Last comment -- I promise! I love to use LaRue for Mayor by Mark Teague when teaching persuasive writing :)

Katie said...

I like using Hey Ant for persuasive writing! It's a fun one! :) I love the perimeter bots! Perimeter is our next chapter so I will have to keep that in mind! Thanks!

Smiles from 2nd Grade

Anonymous said...

Although I'm too late for the persuasion unit, I wanted you to know that love your area and perimeter ideas! Thank you so much for sharing what you do in the classroom!