Third Grade Studies Apples

( Third grade teacher, Ms. Stephanie, sent the following description of the fun her class has had studying apples.  Makes me hungry for apple pie!)

This past week, we spent three days doing a cross-curricular unit centered around apples in honor of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday- Sept 26th.

I began the unit in Guided Reading teaching the elements of Tall Tales.  I used Steven Kellogg’s book, John Appleseed to teach all about Tall Tales- how they originated in pioneer days, exaggerations as part of Tall Tales, etc. 

In Self-Selected Reading we read books on Johnny Appleseed and non-fiction books on apples and apple trees.

In Science, we learned about the life cycle of an apple tree.

In Healthy Living we learned about fruits- where fruits come from, how they grow, why they’re important for our bodies- the nutritional benefits of fruit etc.

To end the unit, we talked about how fruit can be delicious and there are different ways to enjoy fruit, etc.  As a class, we made an apple dip (in small groups) and even worked in math concepts with the measuring of ingredients.  After all of our hard workd we enjoyed sliced up apples along with our dip.

We had a lot of fun!

Scenes From Ms. Emily’s Science Classes

5th grader exploring Newton's First Law of Motion


More 5th graders exploring Newton's First Law of Motion


7th grade using The Outdoor Learning Center to experiment whether mass affects inertia.


5th grader using interpretative dance to help him remember Newton's Second Law of Motion!


6th grade learning about sound waves . . . and a little traditional Appalachian music with claw-hammer banjo pickin'!


More studies of Newton's Laws of Motion -- The student swipes the plate out from between the glass and the lime . . .



The inertia of the lime keeps it from being swept away. Then the unbalanced force of gravity causes the lime to fall into the cup!


First Grade STEM Project #2

You’ll remember last week how Ms. Darea and her first grade class were using both her regular classroom and The Outdoor Learning Center throughout the week in an in depth STEM lesson.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Teaching STEM lessons implements higher cognitive skills for students and enables them to inquire and use techniques used by professionals in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields.

Ms. Darea uses this cross-curricular method to instill critical thinking skills and provide hands-on math and science lessons which ultimately results in a deeper scope of study.

Throughout the week, these first grade students had been studying about farming.  They learned about the food system, how tools and machines make farming easier, and about crops and farm animals.  On Friday, they used the students’ cooperative art work to tally up animals, workers, farm machines, and crops that were represented on their farms.  They then talked about numbers and whether or not they thought that there were more crops and animals  or  farm machines on real farms.  This data was then graphed and analyzed. 


Finishing up the lesson at the Screen House in The Outdoor Learning Center



First grade STEM project #1

{First grade teacher Ms. Darea wanted to share how she is using The Outdoor Learning Center in combination with her classroom and technology to implement Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) into first grade studies.  She provided these photos and the explanation below.  Sounds like awesome stuff!}

Amazing things happened in my classroom this week!  We went to The Outdoor Learning Center for two days practicing our observation and recording skills.  On Friday, during my integrated math/science block, we organized the data we collected, made a pictograph on the Mimeo Board, and analyzed the data!  There was so much math going on it was ridiculous!  The kids were totally engaged for the entire hour and a half!  First, they circled all of the plants they observed and recorded in their science journals in green.  Then, they circled all the animals in blue.  They then counted these in cooperative groups of five.  Each person had a job.  There was a recorder, a plant counter, a plant counter rechecker, an animal counter, and an animal counter rechecker.  I recorded these numbers for each group on the two column chart.  Then, I put a calculator under the document camera and showed them how to add the large numbers.  They counted 100 plants as a whole group and 96 animals.  We then took the difference of the this and talked about the numbers a little.  We even broke it down a little further into how many spiders and birds were observed.  Most kids got to come up to add their group data to our pictograph.  It was truly an amazing experience.  Look for more STEM projects coming up.  I’ve allotted time to be able to do this each Friday.  Our work through the week in science will culminate in a big integrated project like this one on Fridays.  It’s encouraging that this one turned out so well!