Open House - the time of year every parent of a school-aged kids looks forward to most #parenting #kids #school #thirdgrade #homework

Every year, Emily's school hosts an Open House. Usually in the month of May. It's one evening per year where the classrooms are open to the families for two hours and the kids get to lead you through all they've been working on.

Their class has some land snails!

The teachers are there to explain all the time and effort put into the projects, highlight which works your kid enjoyed the most and/or worked the hardest on, and to answer any questions you may have about any of it.

Fractions! So fun to see what she came up with: a bird chasing a mouse. haha!

Emily's animal report was a huge research-based project all third graders worked on for more than half the year. She had to pick the animal, research facts about it from at least two sources, produce an outline, animal interview, and rough draft. Then, final draft included typing it up and drawing and labeling a picture of it. Lastly, they had to make a diorama of the animal in it's habitat, complete with food source, predators and living quarters.

It's a super fun, relaxed evening where the kids are the stars of the night!

 This year's main field trip was to Hidden Villa. It started with weeks of preparation beforehand, including meeting their Naturalist guide and learning all the "do"s and "don't"s of visiting. Afterwards, each child had to write up (then type!) a report about what they saw, what they learned, what they loved, and anything else relevent that day.

Reading Buddies are something all third graders get. They meet with a Kindergartner they are assigned to every week to help them read through a book. This is the interview project done with her buddy, Chloe, this year. 

 The Otter is her school mascot. You can find one everywhere you look!

 Who doesn't love an alliteration?!? "Pink pip pippies pipping at parks"

Research-based papers are BIG in third grade. Lots of book and online research went into Emily choosing to do her "very important person paragraph" on Sojourner Truth.

They are teaching kids economics in third grade now, too! This was just one example of what they have learned this year. 

 One of THE BEST things her teacher does is turn things they are turning into little songs. The kids LOVE it and it really helps Emily remember things!

Emily's "area" model drawing 

Emily with the museum curator - they took a field trip to our Natural History Museum

"Then and Now" - a project about our city's main street downtown area 

Also, the MPR (multi-purpose room) is set up like an art gallery. The art docent program at our school is HUGE! It's a program lead by parent volunteers, with real curriculum, in which projects are done with each class once or twice per month. You might remember THIS POST where the main projects done each year are auctioned off for thousands of dollars. I bid the highest thus, winning Emily's class project this year! :) The art docents set up many of the pieces worked on each year, with at least two of each child's pieces featured.

And no evening would be complete without a super silly post with a friend! :)

It's just mind-blowing all that she has done and learned in only third grade. She's working really hard on learning to type by touch (they have time in the media center and classroom 3-4x each week to practice these skills and all tests going forward are computerized!) as all projects going forward have to be typed.

Homework is sent home weekly, which we choose to do a little at a time each day and includes:

30-40 minutes of free choice reading every day
1-3 math review worksheets
Online SpellingCity vocabulary games - they have a test each week

It's really not a big deal and takes less than about 45 minutes per day; however, Emily has suffered when she has waited until the weekend to do it all at once. Natural consequences, right? :)

Projects are only 2-3 times per year and we make Emily do it all herself. It's important to us that she does her best, on her own, so that she has something to learn from and can feel good about her hard work.

Right now, Emily's favorite period of the day is music. They have been practicing The Wizard of Oz play to put on for parents next week. Emily is one of the flying monkeys. She about died of joy when she got her part. haha My animal-loving girl. I hope to have pics of that next week.

At recess, Emily is really active and tends to choose playing organized games right now including: kickball, four-square, and volleyball.

She has a billion friends and is that super easy-going kid that will play with anyone who wants to play, too. I love this about her and know it will serve her well in life!

We are sad third grade is coming to an end but are very much looking forward to alarm clock-less summer days and non-structed play time!


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