Spotlight on Specials

2nd Quarter Third Grade

The Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


During the second quarter, third grade students worked very hard to complete the following art projects:

African Mask Painting: Next, students learned about masks made by different African tribes. Students discussed the purpose of the masks within these cultures. After this discussion, student drew their own African inspired mask on a piece of fabric and outline the mask with black glue. Students painted the mask with tempera paint.

Pollock Guitar: During this lesson, students learned about Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. They discovered that after Pollock’s death, a company turned the wooden painted floor of Pollock’s studio into guitars. Students discussed how this would make them feel as an artist. After the discussion, students created their own drip painting inspired by Pollock and turned their painting into a guitar collage.

Physical Education

Second quarter was filled with a lot of exercise and fun! We began the quarter with a multitude of aerobic activities. Aerobic activities are activities that keep the students moving and gets their heart pumping. Third grade is a fun year for students because they are able to begin playing more complex games. They learned about their heart rate and how they can find their own pulse. We got to play games such as Hula-hoop Relay, Capture the Flag, Gladiators, Clock Warm-Up, and many more. Students were very active and had a lot of fun while doing so! We then jumped into our throwing and catching unit. I wanted the students to really perfect their throwing technique and practice the three cues they learned, 1) step with opposite foot, 2) aim at target, and 3) follow through. After we practiced our technique, we were able to play games such as Mat Ball, Star Wars 2, Perfect Pass, and Save the Statues. The students also completed their second pacer test of the year and did absolutely fantastic! Our words for each week were energy, pulse, endurance, nutrition, aerobic, power and accountable. I look forward to the rest of the year!


In our library classes this quarter we have been reviewing the differences between fiction and nonfiction. Students worked in small groups to put call numbers in order, then practiced with a partner and independently, using call numbers to find books in the Everyone, Fiction, and Biography sections. By the end of third grade, students should be able to easily locate books from these three sections on the shelves and transfer that skill to a public library setting. We discussed, however, that biographies in the public library can sometimes be found in the 920’s in the nonfiction section, rather than being in a separate biography section as they are in our school. Students watched a video previewing some of the exciting books that were coming to the Scholastic Book Fair. Students were introduced to our Destiny electronic catalog. They explored using this system on laptops and iPads. Students can also look up books from home with this link: . The William Allen White program is in full swing, and students are busy reading the nominees. If the reading log that was sent home earlier this year has been misplaced, a copy can be found on my website at


A large part of the second quarter was focused on our performance, “Pirates! The Musical”. I was so very proud of the amazing job your students did with this show! It was so much fun to put together! After the performance, we did some reflecting and self-evaluation of our performance. Students had some wonderful thoughts on what went well and what should be considered for next year’s performance. We spent a bit of time reviewing rhythm reading and writing, including quarter notes, eighth notes, quarter rests, half notes, and we learned about some new notes and rests. Students also began playing accompaniments on barred instruments while they sang a Hanukkah song, “Burn Little Candles”. To finish off this quarter, we spent some time learning Winter Holiday songs for the school-wide sing-a-long! In the next quarter, look for information about recorders!! I am excited to teach 3rd graders all about reading the notes on the music staff and playing their very own instrument!


Third graders reviewed MS Word this quarter and their writing skills by working on a collaborative project called "Monster Exchange". Understanding different text types is one of the objectives children will learn about in third grade. We will discussed the characteristics of technical text, focusing on directions. Students created their very own monster, named it and composed directions for drawing their monster. Our classes will be teaming up with other classes to redraw their monsters. Year before last we were partnered with Mrs. Wagoner’s third graders in Atlanta, Georgia and Prairie Village, KS. We are excited to trade our work. Students from our partner class, will attempt to draw our monster based upon our directions and we will draw theirs.

Towards the end of the quarter we were able to get a quick introduction in computer coding through a series of interactive tutorials. Students participated in The Hour of Code a program sponsored by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and many other technology innovators to get kids excited about programming.


The second quarter of school has flown by and we have been busy learning about The Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation is a cognitive behavior approach that teaches students self-regulation. The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking concepts and visuals to teach students how to identify their feelings and understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings. We spent several weeks reviewing and learning about feelings and what events produce certain feelings. We learned that there are four zones; Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. The Blue zone describes when one feels sad, tired, sick or bored. The Green zones describes a person feeling happy, focused, and ready to learn. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs. In the Yellow zone a person may be feeling frustration, stress, anxiety, excitement, or even the wiggles. The Red zone describes a person who is experiencing anger and explosive behavior. We learned several tools to help us move and maintain in the green zone. The strategies we learned were lazy eight breathing, six sides of breathing and a calming visual chart. The students were given a copy of these strategies to use if needed throughout the school day. When we return we will be learning how to identify a problem and individual triggers we have that can impact our day.

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