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3rd Blog – 3/3

Welcome back! We hope you all had an enjoyable break.

This week we started all new units! In reading and writing, we started with biographies. We learned that biographies are stories about real people. As such, we can read biographies using skills we learned while reading fiction stories. First, we read about a person to determine what kind of person they were. Some examples are: Raye didn’t give up because when someone told her only white men can work here, she learned about it anyway, Trudy is determined, modest, and courageous because Trudy did something that only 5 men had done, a boy is an animal lover because he spends time animals, and Louis was curious because he always wanted to know information. 

We realized that when reading a biography we usually know why that person is important or famous. So in the next biography we read, we only focused on the important information that led to how that person became famous. For example, we learned that Maya Rudolph went through hardships with her body, overcoming polio, pushing herself through pain, to be able to not only walk, but run and win three Olympic gold medals. 

Next we used different “glasses” to read biographies and instead of focusing on the person, we looked at the biography to learn information. What facts can we learn from this biography about the world? Science? Math? For example, we learned that a playwright is a person who writes plays, a long time ago teachers were more strict, Cleveland wasn’t the best team, and some animals aren’t always fierce.

We realized that biographies also teach a life lesson. What can we learn from this person’s life? We learned to be grateful, never give up on what you believe, women are not weaker and just because you’re blind, it doesn’t mean you’re different. 


In social studies, we jumped time periods and landed in New York in the 1800s. We looked at a map of the United States and realized that people were moving west. As goods traveled by boat, it made it difficult to get goods across land. People would have to travel by foot, using horses and wagons. It took a long time and cost a lot of money. DeWitt Clinton, mayor then governor of New York, heard of an idea to build a canal between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. No one wanted to back the canal, often calling it “Clinton’s Ditch”, but Clinton persisted and came up with a way to pay for the canal. But that was just the beginning of the problems. Beginning in the middle, where the land was flattest, workers had to take down trees, stumps, roots and then begin digging. They had to work in mud, find new ways to make concrete that would hold water, and even battled mosquitoes carrying malaria. Through all these problems, and after 2 years of construction, 16 miles of the canal was completed and open for business!! That left only 347 miles of canal to go!

Then came the problem of the different elevations. How do you make a boat go up or down elevation on the canal? The class struggled with this issue as well and came up with just digging deeper in the mountains, having the mule pull the boat up the canal and letting the water carry it down, and steps like they have for the flying salmon! Others were using a pulley system or putting a large pillow at the bottom to break the fall! We then learned what they actually used: a lock system! It shows the creative ways that engineers came up with to solve problems. 



The multiplication continues! This week was 5’s. We took practice quizzes and played bingo to prepare, and did very well overall. Your third grader should be pretty solid with 3s, 4s, and 5s by now. The 6s, 7s, 8s, and 12s of each multiplication table continue to give us trouble no matter what, but we’ll get there! When we weren’t practicing our multiplication tables, we got to work applying our multiplication skills and newfound division knowledge to word problems.



Welcome back! We have continued our gummy bear experiment this week and took a look at the gummies soaked in vinegar water and in baking soda water. While they grew in size, they weren’t nearly as big as our plain water soaked gummies! Next week, we will wrap up this experiment by writing our first conclusions. Writing conclusions is a skill the 3rd graders will continue to develop across 4th and 5th grade, so this is an exciting moment!