Intermediate SAGE

Grade 3- 1st Quarter Unit of Study Newsletter

Units of Study

Our third grade students have been very busy in their Units of Study this past quarter! Read on to learn more about each unit!

Lights Camera Broadcast!

In Lights, Camera, Broadcast, third graders have been learning that video is used to enhance stories. They used their iPads to create videos to introduce themselves to their classmates, and we enjoyed viewing them together! In recent weeks, students have chosen destinations to feature in their Research Road Trip video packages. They have also learned how important it is to establish a purpose for a project, as that drives your research and helps you understand the types of information you need to include in your packages.

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Aviation is taking off with experiments about air flow. We will be exploring more about Bernoulli’s Principle as well as trust, drag, lift, and weight in the coming weeks.
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How-To-Train-Your-Robot is designed to introduce students to robotics. This unit is meant to enhance the students’ understanding of robots and robotics. Most will have been exposed to basic information about robots through their toys and society. Students will be encouraged to think at deeper levels about the contributions and challenges that robots make to society. Students will also explore and design their own robot programming to meet specific challenges that they develop.

Our focus this quarter has been on researching the various types of robots, their purpose, and how they impact society. Students chose a specific type of robot and identified its uses and functions and presented their learning to the class. Students have been using the Edison software to download a program to the robot to learn how a robot responds to command icons in sequence, bringing together the concepts of time, speed, distance, and geometry. Each week, students learn a new program that builds upon their previous week’s learning so that they can achieve increased driving control commands of the robot.

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Young Architect Studio

In The Young Architect Studio students think critically about the function and design of buildings and structures. They analyze the similarities and differences between different architectural styles, evaluate the intended purposes for architectural elements, use math proportion and scale, and reflect on the role of architects in the built environment.

We began our study of architecture with the question, How do architects contribute to the built environment? Students explored architects’ tools and products and then created images of their favorite spaces. They studied the concept of biophilia, human’s innate need to connect with nature, and investigated nature as a model for architectural structures. Students analyzed the use of geometry in the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and created their own geometric building designs. Then they analyzed the design elements in Frank Gehry’s amazingly creative buildings and created their own Frank Gehry-inspired digital designs.

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Kids in the Kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen is an experimental and hands-on approach to learning applied Chemistry. Cooking may be one of the oldest applications of chemistry, and the energy we use every day comes from the food we eat. Overarching themes for this course will include the storage and transfer of energy, as well as understanding the principles of chemistry used in the preparation of food. Throughout this course, students will conduct several experiments to learn about the energy found in food and the science behind food and cooking. In these photos, students were testing foods for the presence of starch – a carbohydrate.
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3D Printing

Our focus this quarter has been on learning how to access and use a 3D-CAD program. Students have learned to edit the snap grid, change measurements, manipulate shapes in the 3-dimensions, create holes and group shapes. With-in 75 minutes they were able to master how to design a small tag with initials that fit into certain size parameters. We have done research on how 3D printing is changing our society and created presentations using book creator on their iPads. These will be shared with the class using airplay and they will start to practice good presentation skills.

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Power It Up!

This past quarter students have learned how to

  • illuminate an LED and light bulbs using different arrangements of a battery and alligator clips
  • draw diagrams of different electronic circuits and use symbols and words to explain how it functions as a system
  • create a circuit with littleBits and different input and output devices.
  • use the iterative design process to test, troubleshoot, and redesign a circuit to "hack their Halloween."
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3rd Grade has been learning the Spanish alphabet. Although the Spanish alphabet appears almost identical to English, knowing the difference in sounds is important to pronouncing and spelling words correctly. Through our alphabet games and activities, we’ll also be reviewing colors, numbers, and adding in classroom objects.

Your child has Spanish for ½ hour once a week while they are at SAGE. During that time, they are not simply acquiring words and phrases in a second language. They are also gaining flexible thinking, problem-solving skills, and learning to cope with a topic in which they may not yet be an expert. I enjoy working with your students and guiding them through this process!