Highlights of the year:
One of the highlights of third grade is learning about city government. Every quarter we elect our Mayor, Vice-mayor, Chief of Police, and Council Members. During our City Council meetings the council members discuss many agenda items that are important to third graders, and when they are done, they will open the discussion to the floor. We have made some great decisions in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Every year we learn so much about how city government is run. In our classroom city, every citizen has a job and works for their paycheck! We love payday!
Another big deal for us each year is our patriotic programs. We have sung at the Veteran's Day Program at the American Legion, the Farmer's Market, and several retirement centers. We have filled care packages with great items that we send to service personnel overseas, and we write letters to them also. We write thank-you letters to many veterans, and some of the vets from different wars and branches of the military visit our classroom and share with us.
And then there is Flat Stanley. After reading the original book about Flat Stanley, we each send our very own Flat Stanley to a friend or relative who can take him on an adventure with them. Sometimes one of our Stanleys may go on errands or a picnic. Our Flat Stanleys will send us postcards or pictures of his travels. Eventually he will come back to us. It is exciting to see all of the places Stanley will go!! We sure do keep our postmaster busy with all the letter-writing we do!
Each month we "visit" one of the continents of the world through our geography studies. We read and do research and create interesting projects to present to our classmates. After we have completed a unit on a continent, we have a passport party. One of the highlights is having food, games, or an art activity from that area. Our parents are great at providing props and costumes to make it a great day!
Guide Dogs - An excellent field trip, we go to San Rafael where they train the dogs to help blind people. We see the dogs in the different stages of training. These dogs are almost as smart as me!
Nature Hikes - Learning how to walk in nature and appreciate its beauty is a life-long skill. Whether we are hiking around the summit of Mt. Diablo or around Lodi Lake, we are always looking for "treasure." We record animal habitats and plants with our digital devices and create albums and ABC books later in our school's computer lab. Our teacher reminds us what poison oak looks like and how not to trample all over the wildlife.
Star-gazing - A fun part of our earth sciences unit is to take off for a night field trip in a rural area with a nice dark sky. Science consultant Mr. Dan Wyrick teaches us about stars and solar systems. We get to look through binoculars and big telescopes at constellations and the moon and see everything else there is to see in the night sky. Science never seemed so fun before!
AgVenture - This is a great field trip to learn about the livestock, orchards, vineyards, farmland, and everything else agricultural that happens in San Joaquin County. It gives us a lot of background information of how the settlers lived as we're about to start our pioneer unit.
Valley Days - We love learning about the pioneers, and Valley Days is the perfect way to live like a pioneer for a whole day. We dress up in pioneer clothes and spend some time in the one-room schoolhouse. Then we blacksmith, braid rope, do leathercraft and tin punch, pan for gold... Who knew that hard work could be so fun!
Highlights of the year: