3rd Grade Fall Review 2014


  • Library Charter – Every student shared how they would like to feel when they charter2014blacksmallcome to the library.  5th graders were integral in creating actions for the charters and 4th and 5th graders determined which actions were essential.  Developing a charter is important aspect of the RULER approach to emotional intelligence. Visit this blog post to read more.
  • Celebrating Ourselves through Dot Day – Inspired by the book, thedotcoverThe Dot by Peter Reynolds, International Dot Day was started to celebrate creativity and the impact that each individual can have. The Dot is a story about a girl Vashti who is frustrated that she can’t draw and how her teacher helps her overcome the “can’t”. We read the book together, focusing on determining the author’s message in the story.
    • Creating Our Dots –  Students created their own dots, which could represent anything they desired.  They could create patterns, draw scenes, really anything they wanted inside of
      Celebri-Dot created by Kate DiCamillo Source: http://celebridots.com
      Celebri-Dot created by Kate DiCamillo Source: http://celebridots.com

      their dot.  We took a look at quite a few dots created by mostly authors of children’s books that can be found on the Celebri-dots  blog.  The one pictured here was created by author Kate DiCamillo who was awarded the Newbery Medal last year for her book, Flora and Ulysses.

    • Animating Our Dots – This week students were introduced to using the iPad cart.   We discussed the expectations for using iPads and
      assigned students a specific iPad after they signed an
      agreement form.  Students then used the free coLAR app to animate and take a picture of the dot they created in the previous week.
    • Making Our Mark – To make a connection to our own lives about the author’s message, we responded to the text by sharing how we can make our mark on the world.  Students were encouraged to dream big and be creative with their responses.  These will be posted along with their dots.


  • Point of View –  We read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew daycrayonsquitDaywalt. Not only is this book hilarious but it switches between a narrator and characters telling the story.  Each crayon writes a  letter to Duncan explaining its angst or happiness at how it is being used for coloring.  The Day the Crayons Quit is the perfect introduction to point of view. (R.L.4.6)


  • Comparing and Contrasting Characters – .  You may recognize the illustration style fromJuliasHouse the book, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke,  as the author also created the graphic novel series Zita the Spacegirl.  One week was spent reading the story and focusing on one character to describe.  We described the characters attributes and actions.  Fortunately, Ben Hatke went on a blog tour when the book was released and wrote about a few of the characters in more detail and included illustrations of these creatures.  In pairs, students chose two of the creatures that the author focused on, read about them and pulled details about each one.  They then compared and contrasted the creatures, focusing on their appearances, attitudes, actions and affinity.


  • Book Trailers and Book Holds–  Book trailers are short videos that are created to pique students’ interest in a book.  Many publishers are now releasing trailers before books are published.  Students enjoy watching trailers to learn about books they might not already know about.  After watching a few trailers, we discussed the hold process.  If a book is already checked out, students may put a hold on it.  For 3rd graders that means that they write their request in the hold notebook. It is then entered in to the circulation system by an adult.  When the book is ready it is put on the hold shelf near the library entrance with a bookmark identifying the student the book is on hold for.   When students check out books, the system notifies them if a hold book is ready for them.  After this round of trailers, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass was the book that the most students put on hold.
  • Young Reader’s Choice and Sasquatch Book Awards –  There are two regional opportunities for students to vote on the books that should receive awards.  Students were introduced to the nominees and provided time to browse students to books that they may not find otherwise and  encouragesk2015yrcsasquatchtitles them to read more widely.  Students that read at least two books from a list will be able to vote for that award in the spring.  Students that read at least 12 books from any combination of the lists will be invited to a pizza party in the library during lunch (accommodations for dietary restrictions will be addressed).  Because of the award parameters, 3rd-5th graders are encouraged to participate.  You can read more about the process, awards and how to participate in this blog post.


  • Hour of Code – During the 3 library sessions in December every grade level participated in the Hour of Code.  From the Hour of hourofcodefeatimgCode website, “The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.”  Even President Obama was involved with a video introduction to the Hour of Code 2014.  Most of the 3rd graders programming experiences took place on the iPads.   The week before winter break, students were asked to reflect on their learning.  You can read more about what students were working on in the library by visiting our Hour of Code blog post.  If students would like to continue learning, they can use the links in that post and a link to more resources can be found at the bottom of that post.  These activities encourage students to think logically, look for patterns and solve problems.  These programming environments also  allow students to practice perseverance and try different techniques to solve the challenges in front of them.