Archive for the ‘Third Grade’ Category

Where Did the Year Go?

27
Jun

I can not believe that this school year is already over!  This year absolutely flew by!!  We had a good year though and now we’re enjoying our summer vacation.

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Hailey on her last day of 3rd grade.

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Hunter on his last day of preschool.

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Oh what a difference a school year makes.  My babies are growing up too fast!

I haven’t finished posting about our school activities, plus we’re doing some fun things this summer too, so I’ll still be posting this summer :-)

Tales from the Circle C Ranch Book and Lapbook Review

25
Jun

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Our favorite time during our homeschool day is when we read together. On a typical day I read a chapter from a book and Hailey reads a chapter from a book. We both look forward to reading time and I am always on the lookout for a good book we can use for school.  When the opportunity came up to review Tales from the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow author of the Circle C Adventures series, I went to the website to check it out.  I was able to download the first story in the book and was I immediately hooked!  There is also Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook that goes along with the book, and we love lapbooks so we were excited to check that out too!

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review
Susan K. Marlow has three different series of books about Andi Carter.  The first series, Circle C Beginnings, is geared for kids ages 6-9.  The second series, Circle C Adventures, is for kids ages 9-14.  The third series called Circle C Milestones is for ages 12 and up.

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review
The book we reviewed, Tales from the Circle C Ranch, is a book of short stories that answers some of the questions fans have had about the other books about Andi Carter.  We had never read any of the other books about Andi Carter but we were still able to enjoy the collection of short stories without any confusion.  The stories are set in the 1880s and tell a variety of adventures that Andi was a part of.  Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a paperback book that is 151 pages and includes 11 short stories.  This book is part of the group of books recommended for kids ages 9-14.  Hailey is 8 and she really enjoyed the book, so depending on your child I think it’s a good fit for younger kids too.  Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook is 39 pages long and can be purchased as an ebook or in printed form.  The lapbook ties US history and literature in with the stories in the book.

So, how did we use the book and the lapbook?

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 Each day we read a portion of the book.  Some of the chapters were short, so we could read more than one and others were longer.  Sometimes Hailey did the reading and sometimes I did the reading.

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Then if there was a part of the lapbook that went with the reading for the day we would do that as well.

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This is the front cover of the lapbook.

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This is inside the first folder.

Hailey’s favorite part of the lapbook was the Mercantile activity on the bottom left side of the red folder.  In it is a price list of items one might have found at the general store in the 1800s.  Hailey had to pretend it was 1874 and that she had $2 to spend at the store.  She was able to pick several items, including a toy whistle for 10 cents, a comb for 40 cents, a harmonica for 60 cents, and a few other items.

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This is the inside of the second folder.

One of my favorite lapbook activities was the limerick section.  We learned how to write a limerick and that the sillier the limerick is the better.  I thought it was going to be a hard activity for Hailey to do, but she loved it!  She wrote several limericks, and we spent the rest of the day making up more silly limericks.  She picked one of her favorites for me to share with you:

I had a lovely cat,
who was ever so fat.
He had another owner,
who was covered with toner.
The owner was a stinky rat.

Pretty silly, but we had a lot of fun with it!

I asked Hailey what she thought about Tales from the Circle C Ranch and she said it was a lot of fun to read.  She said her favorite short story was The Best Gift of All, a story where Andi was at the store trying to find the perfect gift to buy for her mother.  The problem was that Andi had spent most of her money, rather than saving it, so she couldn’t find anything to buy.  Hailey said she enjoyed that story because she thought it was more special that Andi made a present for her mom than it would have been if she had bought her one.  She also said she really enjoyed making the lapbook and all of the parts in it were fun to make.

I really enjoyed Tales from the Circle C Ranch and would definitely recommend it.  Not only does it include fun stories, but it’s a great way to learn about the 1800s.  I love historical fiction and I think using a historical fiction book with a lapbook is one of the best ways to learn.

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Civil War Unit Study Part 1

20
Jun

Civil War Unit Study

Our favorite study during third grade was definitely our Civil War Unit Study.  Both of us learned so much and had fun while we were learning.

Civil War Unit Study

It all started with this book- I had just planned to have Hailey read Harriet Tubman by Maryann Weidt.  While reading the book, she became very interested in Harriet Tubman, the underground railroad, and the civil war.  When we finished the book she begged to learn more.  So, I went with her interests.  We paused our study of ancient history, that we had been working on, and I put together a unit about slavery and the civil war.  That’s one of my favorite things about homeschooling- we can learn about what we find interesting.

Here is a small sampling of some of the activities we did:

Civil War Unit Study

These are some of the books we read during our unit.  I found many living books to use, rather than text book type books.  We both really enjoy the living books.  Even Hunter (age 3) listened to most of the books.

Civil War Unit Study

After we read Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter, Hailey made her own representation of the drinking gourd, or the big dipper constellation.  She learned how the slaves on the underground railroad would look toward the drinking gourd and follow it so that they would not get lost while they tried to find their way north.  We also listened to the Follow the Drinking Gourd song on YouTube- it has a catchy tune and we both found ourselves singing it.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey learned that slaves on the underground railroad would know a house was a safe place to stop for rest if there was a lantern burning in the window.  So, she made a lantern by gluing tissue paper onto a jar.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey’s finished lantern, with a battery operated tea light candle inside.

Civil War Unit Study

We learned about how the slaves made quilts and the patterns on the quilt were secret messages to help them escape to freedom.  I found printables for the different quilt patterns and Hailey colored them while I read to her.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey made this 3-D map of the underground railroad from the book Interactive 3-D Maps: American History.

Hailey really enjoyed playing Flight to Freedom, an online game where she played a slave who was trying to escape.  Not only was it educational and fun, but it was actually pretty hard to make it through the journey.

Civil War Unit Study

We learned about how slaves could only bring a few belongings with them when they ran away.  Hailey used a bandana and had to try to decide what she would have brought with her.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey also designed her own quilt pattern.

Civil War Unit Study

She made a house with a lantern burning in the window.

Civil War Unit Study

I gave Hailey an assignment to build a model safe house and she came up with this all on her own.  She used a box and set up some furniture inside.

Civil War Unit Study

There was a secret passage in the floor for slaves to hide in.

Civil War Unit Study

And a secret spot in the wall for slaves to hide behind a book shelf.

Civil War Unit Study

Then she had to write a story and pretend she was a slave who escaped to freedom.  She had to write about her journey and what happened along the way.  She did an excellent job bringing everything together that she learned about the slavery, the underground railroad, and what happened after they escaped.

There is so much to read, do, explore, and learn about!  I couldn’t fit it all into one post, so check back soon for part 2 of our study.

Homeschool Legacy Review

19
May

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We love unit studies here at Our Crafts N Things!  They are definitely my favorite way to teach.  It can be hard to try to pull everything together, so when I find a unit study that someone has already put together for me I get pretty excited!

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We were given the chance to review a unit study from Homeschool Legacy.  I looked over all of the history unit studies and science unit studies available and had a really hard time deciding!  I finally ending up picking Weather on the Move.  Weather on the Move is a 67 page, 7 week unit study all about weather that can be used for grades 2-12.  Some of the units at Homeschool Legacy have a shorter duration and some have a longer one.  The units can be purchased as a digital copy or a physical paperback.  I usually prefer to have an actual physical copy, but this time I wanted the digital copy.  There are links that you can click on, so having it right on my laptop was definitely convenient.  There were some pages that needed to be printed, but only a few, so I didn’t have to use much ink.

Homeschool Legacy Review

Weather on the Move is considered a “once-a-week unit study.”  The idea is that 4 days out of the week you do your usual homeschool lessons and activities, and a small part of the unit study, such as reading from a book.  You pick one day out of the week to eliminate your usual daily work and focus on your unit study.  Of course, since it’s homeschooling, you do what works for you. If it works better for you to break up the unit study and do a little each day during the week, that will work too.

The Weather on the Move unit study focused on a different topic related to weather each week.  The topics include: meteorology, the sun, the atmosphere, the water cycle, frozen precipitation, clouds, and extreme weather.  Each week there is a book list you can pick from at the library to go along with your topic.  There are plenty of books to pick from and even our small library had many of the books I wanted to use.  There is also a list of supplies you will need each week.  Many of the supplies were things we already had, but I did have to purchase a few inexpensive items.  Finally, there are activities suggested for the topic.  There are ideas to use for devotions, math, science, history, language arts, arts and crafts, field trips, and even family movie nights.  There is no shortage of ideas and they are all very easy to do.

So, how did we use Weather on the Move?

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First, Hailey prepared her weather journal by making a cover for it.

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The first week we focused on meteorology, and Hailey did some research about Aristotle.

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One of the arts and crafts projects was to build a terrarium.

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Hailey was able to follow the directions and get everything set up all by herself.

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It turned out very nice- and it is still doing very well several weeks later.

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Hailey did some experimenting with an “old fashioned” thermometer.  Everything is digital now, so she was pretty impressed with being able to watch the temperature go up and down.

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We did an experiment to help her understand the water cycle and what causes rain.

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Hailey made a rain gauge and has been very excited every time is rains ever since she made it :-)  She loves measuring to see how much rain we got.

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We made a cloud identification guide.  We printed pictures of the different cloud types and then glued the names and descriptions of the clouds onto the back of the pictures.

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Hailey took her guide outside each day and identified the kind of clouds she saw.

The activities I shared are just a small portion of the activities and ideas that come with Weather on the Move.  There are so many fun learning activities in this unit.  Both of us learned so much!  I felt like all of the activities and projects had a purpose.  There wasn’t anything in the unit that we didn’t learn from.  This unit study was definitely one of my all time favorites!  I very highly recommend Weather on the Move.  There are some history unit studies from Homeschool Legacy that will coordinate very nicely with what we are studying next year and I am planning to purchase those units when the time comes.

Hailey’s opinion of Weather on the Move: “I liked all of the projects and activities we got to do.  I liked making my own weather journal.  I really liked all of it, it was a lot of fun!”

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