Map skills continued

In Main Lesson the class continues to learn about maps by mapping their surrounding area. Yesterday students toured the interior and exterior of the school’s property in order to make create maps of COS in their books. We discussed what is important enough to be put on a map, and how symbols can be used in place of an object. In our story Todd has been approached by a man named William who will lead him to the colonists’ hiding place. William uses strange words like “patriot” and “loyalist” and Todd tries to remember back to his social studies lesson to figure out just what is going on in the past!

The class took their first spelling test today and will receive their new words tomorrow, which will include main lesson vocabulary. I have been reinforcing their spelling words in circle by having volunteers spell their words, as well as non-spelling words, while tossing a bean bag in the middle of the group. Next week the entire class will get a bean bag and do the same.

We will begin math workshop officially next week and the class will be placed into three differentiated groups. They are also practicing math by playing “quiz, quiz, trade” during circle time with flash cards. In this game, the class walks around the room with a multiplication flash card until I yell “FREEZE!”. Then they must partner up with the person closest to them and quiz them on their flash card. Their partner does the same, and then they switch cards. The whole process repeats after that. This is a great activity to get the class moving around the room and also practicing their times tables.


Map Skills

This week the students continue with their local geography block, focusing on map skills. In our story, Todd had to use a compass, his map, and his surroundings in order to get to his destination in the Bethlehem area of the past. In the present, the class is using those  same skills to map their own space. On Monday we discussed the “bird’s eye view” that maps are usually drawn in and created maps of our desks. Today we zoomed out and created a map of a bigger space; our classroom! The students are using symbols to represent the objects that they deem important in the room and are including them on their map key.

In spelling the class was given a pre-test of the most commonly misspelled words that I see them using in their daily writing. I picked 10 words that most of the students spelled incorrectly out of the 20 from the pre-test, and that is what we are practicing in circle each day. The expectation is that once these words are tested on Thursday that everyone will be spelling them correctly from now on.

In circle, the students are going crazy for hand clapping games. Today we leaned how to play “concentration 64” in a large circle, and will use it as a way to review math and other main lesson related vocabulary.

Lastly, the students are learning all about what a good reader looks like during reading workshop. The class practiced reading silently while spreading out throughout the room. Next week I will begin to conference with each student indivially during this time to better assist their reading.

* I will begin posting pictures as soon as I receive everyone’s photo permission form




First Week of School

It is so wonderful to be back at COS! The students have had a very busy week learning our classroom expectations and beginning our local geography block. During Main Lesson, the class have been hearing a story about a boy named Todd who *hates* social studies and geography. He thinks that the future is the only thing important and the past should be left in the past! When he tells his teacher Mrs. Smith how he feels, she has a plan. Before he knows it, Todd is transported to the past and has to figure out his way around without any technology. Alongside Todd, the class is learning map skills and the cardinal directions.

Next week the students will explore making their own maps, starting small with a map of their desk and expanding into the state of Pennsylvania. We will also be talking about map keys and the difference between physical and political boundaries on a map. The class will also start to learn about the county our school is in.

We also began benchmarking for math. I will use the results of this to group students for math workshop so that I can teach mini-lessons in small group based on what each student needs. Today the class was introduced to reading workshop, and we discussed the procedures for checking out books from our classroom library. The students also learned that during reading workshop they will be writing about their reading, and that I will be conferencing with them individually.

Our circle is coming along as the students are practicing different songs and movements. The class loves “The dum dum song” and “shake, shake the apple tree”. Ask them to show you the movements at home! We will continue adding to our circle as the days progress.




Supply List for the 2016-2017 School Year

*Please have the following items with your child on the first day of school. Snow gear is not needed until the winter season*

Class Supply List

Must have for the 2016-2017 School year


4 Folders

3 composition notebooks (pages do not tear out)

red pen

pencil bag

Weather related must haves

snow pants

snow boots




rain boots


rain pants (snow pants can be used as these can be hard to find)

Extra clothes

Classroom Wish List

Clorox wipes

tissue boxes

paper towels

Ticonderoga pencils

And Then They Were Done

It’s hard to believe that the school year is over and the summer break has begun (although if the kids are at home with you I’m sure there’s no mistaking they’re off for summer)! It seems that the year whizzed by so quickly and now these sweet third graders are on their way to mature fourth graders!

As a fun way to end the year, the kids had a class/family picnic and presented the play, “Johnny Appleseed“. Kids and families alike had a great time enjoying the play, delicious food, fun and sunshine! Thank you to all who came to support the children, and to those who helped plan and provided food.





And now, for summer homework …

  • Play
  • Explore
  • Eat a new food
  • Cook or bake together
  • Go for a hike
  • Read a new book or reread an old favorite
  • Laugh so hard you cry
  • Be still
  • Hug
  • Try a new sport
  • Sleep in late
  • Get up extra early to watch the sun rise
  • Paint or craft
  • Build a camp fire
  • Observe nature
  • LOVE

Have a safe and healthy summer!

With plenty of love and gratitude,

— Mrs. Lagler

Fresh Air and Sunshine!

This past week was filled with plenty of fresh air and sunshine as the students had many opportunities to have Main Lesson, snack, and lunch outdoors. They are truly enjoying this wonderful Spring weather.

The kids started the week with some measuring practice while they made garlic knots! They were delicious and we all smelled “really good”!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2-1/4 C warm water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 C unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 4 C unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced (adjust for your personal taste)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced (1-1/2 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil

Add minced garlic and parsley to melted butter/oil and heat, for two minutes, over low heat. Set aside to cool.

Stir water, yeast and sugar together in a large bowl. Leave for 5 minutes until mixtures becomes frothy on top. Add oil, flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well .

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic. Don’t add more flour to the dough. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 12 inches. Cover with a cloth or plastic and let rest for five minutes. Divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-8 inch rope and tie into a knot. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush with warmed butter/olive oil, spread the garlic and parsley with the butter on top of the knots. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Serve warm! 

Next, the class moved outside to build with Mr. Rob. For their third grade building project, the kids cut and constructed a fence around the school garden boxes. Thanks to Mr. Rob for helping with the project. The fence is both functional and beautiful! Well done, third grade!


In the middle of the week, the students took some time to pose with their Math Body Doubles! They really do look alike!


Finishing out the week, the kids spent the day at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm. It was a hot day, but they saw so many wonderful things, I don’t think they minded the heat! They experienced a one-room school house as it was in 1893 – ladies first! Girls on the right of the classroom, boys on the left. They also met some young animals – ducks, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, goats, and pigs, Oh My! They learned about family life during the late 1800s– cooking, sleeping, and chores. It was a full and exciting way to end the week!


The kids even had fun jumping into the hay stack! And as you can see, I also had a great time!


That’s all for this week. The end!


Measurement Put Into Practice

This week, the students had opportunities to put their measurement skills into practice during some great day-to-day activities. First, they made soup! The students washed, chopped, diced, sliced, measured and cooked plenty of veggies. During lunch they got to eat the delicious results!

Here’s the recipe if you want to have your kids cook for you at home!

Third Grade Veggie Soup

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Cup onions, diced
  • 2 Cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 Cup celery, diced
  • 1 Cup peppers (red or green), diced
  • 2 Cups zucchini, diced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning mix
  • 1 tsp herbed salt
  • 2 quarts veggie stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Cup pasta

Wash and chop all veggies. Heat oil in a large stock pot on medium heat. Sweat the veggies until tender but not browned, 10-15 minutes. Add the seasonings and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the veggie stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 20-25 minutes. Return to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to directions on pasta box. Serve and enjoy!

Next, the students started working in the school gardens. First they had to prepare some raised garden boxes by layering newspaper over the grass, watering the paper, and then adding soil. They got to measure by the wheelbarrow for this activity! They also hammered stakes into our straw bale garden. Who knew gardening could be such fun!!

Later in the week, the students worked with Mr. Rob, the substitute Games & Movement teacher, to learn about Stropharia rugosoannulata — or Wine Cap mushrooms! The kids prepared mushroom beds and inoculated the beds with spore. By the end of this week we hope to find mycelium weaving its way through the prepared bed!

A Fun-Filled Week

This week brought some fun-filled learning. On Wednesday, we joined Mrs. Moore’s third grade class for some assembly line soup making. The students chopped many types of veggies in preparation for the Third Grade Friendship Soup that will be for sale at Saturday’s Spring Faire! Hope we see you at the faire, and please do try our soup!


On Thursday, the class spent some time having fun with shaving cream and spelling words. Working with a partner, a mat full of shaving cream, and their spelling words, the kids practiced by writing their words in the shaving cream. It sure was good clean fun!


Today, the kids used their volume measuring skills to make fun dough (a Play-doh like product). They measured and stirred and then we cooked the mixture. After cooling, the dough was set to cure over the weekend and the kids will have fun with it next week!


At the end of the day, the class rehearsed their pieces for the Spring Faire performance tomorrow. They sounded outstanding!!


Tractors, and Chickens and Coops, Oh My!

This week brought some excitement from the farm to our school! On Tuesday, Mr. Ahlert of Red Earth Farm, and parent of a Mt. Laurel Kindergarten student, came with his tractor and large rototiller to prepare some soil for planting. Grades in the school will use these plowed plots to plant oats, sunflowers, pumpkins for pies, and wildflowers.

We also worked on measuring how much items weigh. The kids used both a digital and balance scale to compare weights and to discover how much items weigh. The kids even had some fun finding items that weighed as much as they did when they were born! Next, we are moving on to volume measurement.


Today, the kids were reunited with some of the chicks they watched hatch back in March. Now eight weeks old, the chicks were able to return to school! We took some time admiring the new chicken coop, built by Mr. Lagler, husband of Mrs. Lagler, and then prepared the space for the chicks. Happy kids, happy chicks!