In mathematics, students are learning strategies that will help them solve multiplication and division story problems.  I believe in teaching students multiple strategies to solve problems and letting students choose the best strategy that works for them. I love it when students can take ownership over a certain way to solve a problem and find success. They really understand why it works and can then apply it to a variety of other problems.

Skilled mathematical thinkers have a variety of problem solving strategies in their toolbox and can access them quickly and efficiently.  They understand that the same strategy doesn’t work for all problems and are able to apply the best, most effective strategy to each problem they solve, almost effortlessly or without even thinking about it.  I want all my students to become skilled mathematical thinkers who believe they are good at math.

# Fact Practice Strategies

One 3rd grade goal is for students to know their multiplication facts fluently by the end of the school year.  Fluency means a child can state an answer in 3-5 seconds. Parent support with this process is helpful. Take a look below to see some of the strategies taught at school to build fact fluency. Feel free to steal any ideas.  🙂

# Happy Holidays!

Thank you to the many parents who helped turn our classroom into party central yesterday. The kids had a great afternoon.  Enjoy this winter break with your wonderful children!

Happy 2018 From Mrs. Rick’s Flexible Class!

From my family to yours… Happy Holiday & Happy New Year!

# Bridge Building

The Engineering Design Process

This week in science students were civil engineers constructing bridges. They used what they had learned about different bridge types and the properties of different materials to inform their bridge designs. Once a group built their bridge they had to test it for strength and stability. Groups then had to improve their initial designs based on the test results.

Watch the video below to see these engineers in action. Be sure to talk to your child about the engineering design process.

See students final bridge designs below.

# Acts of Kindness

As we entered into the holiday season, Mrs. Hutchison challenged us to remember the reason for the season.  The holidays are a time of giving and this class was up to the challenge!

We began by reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  This story helped us remember the generous nature of the tree and we vowed to be like the tree and become the most generous people we could be.  We signed our names on a self-made kindness snowflake to promise to try our best.

We then broke up into teams, to come up with ways to meet the challenge. Each team came up with an idea that they presented to the class.

Eventually each student or team worked on making it happen.

This team is coming up with a way to make another class feel special.

This team is creating a card to send to one of our Board of Education members to get him to read us a holiday story.

These kids were kind to a friend or family member without being asked.

They helped grow the Grinch’s heart.

This crew wrote “love notes” to Mrs. Theer to show her their appreciation. They also wrote notes to our bus drivers or custodians to say thank you as well.

And, of course, we had to get the office staff into the holiday spirit by singing them a jingle.

There is more giving to do this week!  Can’t wait to complete the rest of our challenging with this amazing and generous group of children.

# Magnacars

Student engineers worked hard to create Magnacars.  A Magnacar is a vehicle that solely moves using magnetic force.

Students had to design a four wheeled vehicle that could move forward without them touching it. They could only use what they have learned about magnetic force to get it to go. Watch these creative engineers in action.

# Small Moment Celebration

My students worked hard to write and publish small moment stories. A small moment story is a story that zooms in on one moment in time. For instance, a student would write about going on a ride at Disneyworld, rather than the whole trip to Disney.

During this unit students were taught how to add strong leads as well as memorable conclusions.  They learned how similes and dialogue add voice to their writing. They also learned how including a character’s inner thoughts can give the reader insight he cannot get from watching a character’s actions from the outside.

Take a look at these budding authors as they read their stories to our second graders.

# Engineers in Action

Engineering Design Process

Students continue to explore force and motion.  They became engineers this week, designing KNEX cars. Their goal? Create a vehicle that can go forward 100 centimeters while holding a weight, with one push. To do this, students had to implement the engineering design process as they first created and then redesigned to meet the goal. Watch as these engineers create and improve their products.