January 31, 2016

Natural Resources

We have learned that natural resources are things from our environment that help people. Examples of natural resources are trees, oil, the sun, wind and water.

 All natural resources can be put into one of three categories:

alternative energy

Nonrenewable resources are resources that cannot be replaced.  When they are gone, they are gone.  Minerals and fossil fuels are examples of nonrenewable resources.  Fossil fuels are made from dead plants and animals having pressure and heat on them for many years.  Then they are mined and burned for fuels.  Oil, coal and natural gases are examples of fossil fuels.  Many of our power sources are run on fossil fuels, and these resources are becoming scarce in our world.

Renewable resources can be replaced.  Examples of these kinds of resources are trees, animals, oxygen and water.  These resources are able to be replaced in a short amount of time and are always being replaced in our world.

Alternative energy resources can never be taken away from our world.  They will always be with us in the form of waves, wind and solar energy.  Scientist are working on ways to use these resources for our power instead of fossil fuels.  They hope to do this so we don't loose all of the fossil fuels in our world.

STUDENTS:  There are several activities you can share on natural resources.

1.  Write a paragraph explaining how fossil fuels are made.

2.  Write a paragraph about natural resources in which you explain the difference between nonrenewable resources and renewable resources.  Also, give examples of each kind of resource.

3.  Write an acrostic poem using the word "renewable" explaining what renewable resources are as well as giving examples in the poem.


Many people believe hurricanes can be one of the most dangerous storms the earth sees.

These storms are fierce and leave nothing but destruction in their paths.

They have been known to wipe out complete towns with their damaging winds and water.

STUDENTS:  Many people believe hurricanes are dangerous storms.  Do you agree or disagree?  Use evidence from the text Severe Weather Alerts to support your answer.

Book Challenge #14 & #15

Dear Students,

      This Book Challenge update had me read another book in a favorite series as well as introducing a brand new book series to me.  I will start with the favorite series.  Seth challenged me to read I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944,  I had a feeling I would enjoy it simply for two reasons.  One reason is because I love the I Survived series.  The other reason is because I love to read anything to do with World War II.  This book shows WWII from a different point of view.  As Americans we usually see WWII from the USA's side.  However, in Europe, many people were treated unfairly years before America joined the war.  This book showed how it was for those in Europe who were run out of their homes.  I loved the different aspects of the invasion this book showed.  The author did not limit herself to just one part of the invasion, but shows the reader lots of ways the Jews had to run to escape the Nazis.  This book is full of history, action, adventure and surprises!  I would recommend it for sure!

      The second book was one Lily S. challenged me to read.  It is called.Thea Stilton and the Chocolate Sabotage.  OH. MY. STARS!!!! Can I just say how much I am in love with this series now?  I love how it emphasizes vocabulary words.  I love the little mouse puns that are all through the book.  I love how this one incorporated so much of our social studies standards into the book. I am going to be reading more of these for sure! I really liked this one and how it was a mystery.  I usually don't like mysteries, but I love how all the friends worked together to solve the problem.  What a great life lesson that is for us!  Of course, I love the chocolate involved!  I can't wait for the next one I read.

I would recommend these books to any of you!  I know a lot of you have read the I Survived series, but if you haven't read the Thea Stilton or Geronimo Stilton books, go NOW!!!!


Mrs. Becky

January 26, 2016

Goods and Services

Almost everyone needs goods and services. People use money and trade for goods and services that they want or need.
Goods are things that are made or grown. Some goods are made, such as clothes, computers, and cars. Other goods are grown such as fruits and vegetables. All goods are made from natural resources. This does not mean that the good is a natural resource. For example, a table may be made from the wood of a tree. While the tree is a natural resource, the table would not be a natural resource.
Some of the goods that are made in the United States are sent to other countries. Those goods are called exports. Some goods are made in other countries and are shipped to the United States. These goods are called imports.
A service is work that someone does for someone else. A doctor and police are people who provide services. Some services are paid for by taxes, or money paid to the government. Taxes pay people like public school teachers and police officers for their services. Other services are not paid for with taxes. These services include lawn care, hair salons, and taxi drivers.
People that make goods are called producers, because they make or produce goods. People that purchase goods and services are called consumers. Many people are both producers and consumers. Producers depend on consumers to purchase their products. This allows them to make a profit. Consumers depend on producers to make the goods that they want and need. This is called interdependence.

STUDENTS: After reading the text and looking at the 2 world maps, answer the following prompt.  Goods and Services are sent from the United States all over the world.  Do you think that the United States is dependent on imports from other continents?  Why or why not?

January 21, 2016

A World of Art

Our world is full of all different kinds of art.
We have cave paintings from the earliest times that show us how they lived
and what they hunted.
We have simple pictures that were carved and used for storytelling as well as 
for trade.
Paintings are still treasured in museums and other places showing us how people looked
and celebrations from years ago.
Dances are done to celebrate, to show rites of passage and to entertain.
Storytelling has evolved into books, plays, movies and theater.
Music has taken us through people's emotions as they experience different times
in life.

All of these are different types of art that have been important over time to many different
societies in our world.

STUDENTS:  As you read the introduction to our text A World of Arts, you learned how art was and is so much more than just drawings and paintings.  You also learned how each one of these was important to people in our world.  Do you agree that art is important to the world in which we live?  Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

January 19, 2016

The Panama Canal

          Have you ever heard the phrase, “I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth?”  Many people use this phrase to describe having to go out of the way to get somewhere.  Instead of a straight shot to where they wanted to go, they had many detours before they finally made it to where they wanted to go.  For many years, whenever a boat needed to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, the sailors would have to go “around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  There was not an easy way or a short cut.  The sailors would have to navigate their boat around the Cape Horn, the area between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica. 

            Why was this a problem?  For one reason, it was a long journey.  Going around the horn would add close to 1,000 miles to each trip a sailor would make from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  While that is an inconvenience, the problem was the type of weather a sailor would have to encounter when coming into the cape.  Winds gusting at a range from 50-80 mph would meet a ship as they tried to steer through the cape.  With these winds came waves that might reach up to 90 feet high.  A crew would only have a window of about 100 days a year where they would not encounter these conditions.

            As explorers studied maps, they were convinced there had to be another way to get from one ocean to the other.  Everyone came back to one place on the map – the Isthmus of Panama.  This isthmus joins Central America to South America. To the east, the Caribbean Sea would eventually meet the Atlantic Ocean while the Gulf of Panama would merge into the Pacific Ocean on the west side.  The isthmus at one place was only 30 miles wide!  How close the two oceans were while being so far away.  Would there be a way to cut right through Panama?

            There were many problems that kept the canal from being built.  France had begun building a canal, but due to diseases, flooding and, eventual bankruptcy, they had to stop.  They wanted America to pick up where they had left off, but other problems stood in the way.  Panama had to win its independence from Colombia, and eventually did in 1903.  Since America had helped them gain their freedom, the following year, a treaty was made between the USA and Panama to allow the USA to finish building the canal. 

When finally finished in October 1913, the canal came in at 48 miles long and 200 feet wide.   The Panama Canal helped launch the United States into a world trading empire as well as allowed other countries to expand their trading.  The US Navy was able to protect America during times of war thanks to the Panama Canal.  Ultimately, the east could finally get to the west without “having to go around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  

STUDENTS: Explain why the Panama Canal was necessary for the world.  Use evidence from the text and the map to support your answer.

January 12, 2016

Which Government is for You?

What Kind of Government Would You Want Ruling You?

            In our world, many people have different visions of how people should be governed.   In early civilizations, a monarchy was the way groups of people were ruled.  In a monarchy, a monarch, a king or queen, would rule over the people of a state or country.  This leader was born into this position and held the position for life or until the next of kin was ready to assume the throne.  The monarch would make the decisions he or she thought was best for the people or even primarily for the monarchy.  The king or queen would not listen to, and some didn’t care about the people they led.  Some countries do have groups of men and women who will help the monarch make laws and other decisions that will be in favor of the people.  Ultimately though, the monarch makes the absolute decisions. 

            There were some citizens who abided under the rule of a monarch, did not appreciate being told what to do and how to live.  Sometimes these citizens would rise up and revolt.  The fighting might result in a change in the government to a democracy.  Others would just up and leave their home country to find a new land to begin a democracy, a type of government where the people have an active role in voting for those taking part in the government.  Ancient Greece was one of the first countries to have a democracy.  Their form of democracy was called a direct democracy.  This meant that each person was able to have a voice as to what going to happen and the rules that would be put in place.  The majority of countries with a democracy now have a representative form of democracy.  This allows the citizens to vote for those they want representing, or speaking for, them.  The candidates, men and women wanting to run for a place in the government, tell the citizens the ideas they have for the state or country.  Then, the citizens are encouraged to vote for the candidate they feel would do the best job.  While they are some stipulations to holding an office in a democracy, most any citizen can hold some kind of office in the government unlike a monarchy.  Time limits called, terms, were also set so one person is not always in an office.

            While some citizens fought the monarchy for a democracy, some citizens wanted to be in complete control or to dictate what happened in the government.  In this form of government, a dictator would come in with force and use their armies to wipe out the leaders that were presiding.  When the dictator would gain complete control, they would make all decisions without consulting the citizens of that country.  He or she would not listen to the citizens of the country when making decisions that would affect them.  What made a dictatorship different from a monarchy was the laws made by the dictator were usually very unfair to the citizens.  Plus, the dictator rarely followed the rules himself even though punishment was given to citizens who broke the laws.  A dictator was usually in office until another person or group of people were able to take back control.

            Each of these kinds of governments is found all over the world.  While some of these are better than others, no type is perfect.  Which do you believe is best?

STUDENTS:  After reading the text and viewing the diagram above, which government would you like to have where you live?  Why would you choose this form of government for your life?  Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

January 5, 2016

Water Scarcity

 For many people, water has never been a big story in their lives. This is because they live in communities that have good water supply systems. They turn on the tap and clean water flows, everyday of the year. This makes it very difficult for people to appreciate how precious water is.

Water is life. Plants, animals and humans all depend on this invaluable natural resource for life. Besides this, water is used in moving waste, cleaning and sanitation, manufacturing, construction and farming. Almost every human activity you can think of involves some use of water.

Water covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface, so how can there ever be scarcity?
Less than 3% of water on earth is fresh water, and the bulk of this is trapped in snowfields and glaciers and not easily accessible. The rest form the seas and oceans and cannot be used in the same way as fresh water. Only a tiny fraction (0.014%) is surface water in the form of rivers, lakes and swamps.

Naturally, the 3% should be enough for all humans and animals on earth, but unfortunately, many factors have caused a major upset in the flow and use of fresh water and has caused massive crisis in many regions of the earth.
 water scarcity

But why should you care?
We should care because a lot of the factors that cause water scarcity are broadening and becoming more complex and uncontrollable. This means if we do nothing in terms of preserving and using it wisely, it is only a matter of time that all regions shall begin to experience water crisis and all the repercussions that come with it.

** This text and map was taken directly from http://www.eschooltoday.com/global-water-scarcity/global-water-shortage-for-kids.html 

STUDENTS: After examining the map and the text, compose a paragraph to answer the following:  What areas of the world are concerned with the scarcity of water?  What effects will water scarcity have on the area with the greatest scarcity?

January 3, 2016

Book Challenge #12 & #13

Dear Students,

     I was really hoping to get more of YOUR books read over Christmas break.  However, I am glad to say I did get 2 of your books read as well as some books that I just wanted to read.  Isn't that what Christmas break is all about anyways?  So what did I read over the break?

      Kendyl read a book for enrichment after school that had a lot of my favorites rolled into one book - Christmas, World War, New York City, historical fiction and diaries.  It is called When Christmas Comes Again.  I absolutely loved it! I have read these Dear America books before, but had never read this one.  I really like them for many different reasons, so when Kendyl told me about this one I was ready to read it.  Most of the historical fiction books I read take place during the Civil War or World War II.  This book took place in World War I.  I don't know if I have ever read anything from that time period, but loved it.  I will be looking for others now to read from this time period.  One of my favorite things about the book was seeing Simone change.  She grows up in a very well-to-do family in New York City.  Her mother is from Paris ( I loved that we had just studied France when I read this.).  Simone decides she needs to do more to help the war effort than just roll bandages at home.  She leaves a life of comfort and joins the war effort going back to her mother's home city of Paris.  The book really gives a great look at life during the war for families back home, soldiers and those who were helping.

     The next book I read was a challenge from Kaylee.  I was excited about this one as well even though it is a genre of books I don't normally care for - mysteries.  Kaylee challenged me to read Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Dance Off.  This was a great book for many reasons, but I loved seeing Nancy Drew as a young child.  As you get older, there a a TON of Nancy Drew books you can read.  Boys, never fear!  Nancy had great friends, the Hardy Boys that you can read about instead of having to read about a girl!  I love how Nancy doesn't let being a girl stop her.  She is a great problem solver and uses her brain to think about how to use the clues given to her to solve the problem.  You think you have the mystery solved when others pop up into the story! I would recommend this one to any of you!

     What did you read over the Christmas break?

      Your bookworm teacher,
Mrs. Becky

January 1, 2016

Five for Friday: Christmas in Europe

Again, something I haven't done in forever, and almost didn't make it today!
This 5 for Friday is brought to you by my students!
This is their 5 for Friday about our recent Market Day - Christmas is Europe.
They are pretty excited, Doodle Bugs Teaching!


The students loved being the tour guides for France.  They welcomed all the other third grade classes and taught them about France.  I just took pictures! I loved seeing them stepping up and being wonderful teachers for their friends.  They each took a 20 minute session to be tour guides.
They loved the berets I found for them.  They thought that was amazing!
See this post for more of how we taught our friends.


The food from all the different countries was a huge hit!
In France, we had Ratatouille, bread, cheeses and sparkling grape juice.
In Russia, we enjoyed pirozhki, beet chips, Russian tea cakes and Russian tea.
In Germany, chocolate was devoured.
In England, English tea and cupcakes were a hit.
In Spain, Spanish meatballs and a Spanish punch was served.
In Italy, salomi, panettone bread and cheese were inhaled.




We just had the best time going from country to country. We also enjoyed our "layovers" in the different rooms.  Our county librarian brought Christmas books that showed the different countries and cultures in Europe. The kids enjoyed her telling the stories.

Another layover found us in a room where we put together puzzles of the world.
We were joined by our superintendent of schools!
Some chose to spend the layover time coloring.

Learning about Europe

Each country was so unique.
We loved how Italy was set up like someone's house for us to visit.
In Russia, it was so cold because in Russia it is cold.  We also loved the art in Russia.
In Germany, we ate great chocolate.
In Spain, we learned some of the language from a university professor!
In England, we got crackers we could pop open and find candy! 




We had such a great time just being with our friends.
We taught them and they taught us.
It was a great way to spend time with our best friends.



What a great trip we had!
Check out #ECESEuropeanTour on Instagram and Twitter to see more.

Christmas in Europe: France

Many of you who follow my blog know our social studies standards have changed 
We have worked hard to try to get these standards to the students in many different ways this year.
We have changed so much of the way we teach including how we do our behavior system.
The students earn money each day and at the end of the 9 weeks we have a Market Day for them to spend their money they have earned.

This 9 weeks we crossed the ocean for Market Day and explored the continent of Europe.
The majority of the students' money was spent on buying their passports.
They had to fill out an application for the passport and send it off.
My class was worried because as of Wednesday morning our passports had not arrived and our flight was due to leave on Thursday morning.
They came in though with time to spare!

Mrs. Kim, our principal, bringing the special delivery package to us.
They were so excited the passports had arrived!
In the standards, the students are suppose to be able to locate and identify 6 countries in Europe.
They are also to know the history, geography, culture and government of these countries as well.
We have worked on most of these elements except the culture, so we thought Christmas would be a good time to get that in - as well as be a fun way to learn.  There are 6 third grade classes, so each of us drew a country.  

My class got France.
Now, it was up to us to learn as much as we could about the culture of France and then be able to teach our friends when they came to visit on Market Day.
You can see here some of the ways we prepared for our visitors.
The kids worked hard on getting the room ready as well as preparing themselves to be the tour guides on Market Day.

Here are some shots of the day in France as they taught their friends about France.

When the visitors came in, passports were checked and stamped to show they had visited France.
Then, they colored a French flag and glued it to their suitcase.
They also colored France on the map that was on their suitcase.

My students that were in charge of the art of France wanted us to have our own Louvre.
This was the perfect spot for it.
Each child made their own Mona Lisa.  Our visitors were able to use a QR code to show the real Mona Lisa exhibit at the Louvre.
We also studied Claude Monet who was from France.  We recreated his Water Lillies painting and, again, a QR code was used for the students to see the real painting.

For our food station, the students were able to purchase
Ratatouille - which they LOVED
Muenster cheese
Brie cheese
Sparkling Grape Juice

The students that were in charge of the language did a cute job.
They found a website and created a QR code that would speak to the students in French.
They also had little French men with speech bubbles coming out of their mouths.
The top speech bubble would have a word in English and when you lifted it up, it would show you how to say the word in French.

The Eiffel Tower was the central focus of the room.
The kids loved this part of the room.
They would gather to have their picture taken, but the especially loved the QR code that allowed them to have a live camera feed on the Eiffel Tower.
It was super cool!



We were so blessed to have many parents and grandparents join us as well as members from our county's central office.
              It was a trip to remember!
Check out our #ECESEuropeanTour on Instagram and Twitter to see more.