A Trip to the Ellis Bird Farm

Today we enjoyed a fantastic field trip to the Ellis Bird Farm! While we were there we learned about beavers, owls, butterflies, goats, bats, pond life, and of course…birds!  We also played some games and even built our own nestboxes to take home.

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To learn more about the Ellis Bird Farm, CLICK HERE.

Grade 3’s, what was your favorite part of the day?  What interesting things did you learn?  Did you touch or see anything cool?  Did you enjoy making your nestbox? Where do you plan to hang it?


A Visit from the Medicine River Wildlife Centre

We had some extra special guests to our classroom today! Erin Young, and Otis the Great Horned Owl visited us from the Medicine River Wildlife Centre.

During their visit, we learned all about the Centre, and the work it does for wildlife rehabilitation.  We saw photos of a variety of animals who have been helped by their organization. We also learned about what to do, and what NOT to do if we encounter an injured or orphaned wild animal. 

Perhaps the most important thing for students to take away from Erin and Otis’ visit, is their powerful message about respecting our environment and the animals in it.

Thank you so much to all the families who sent in a donation for the Wildlife Centre. We were able to present Erin with $207.00 today!

Grade 3’s, Otis was definitely a big hit! What did you LEARN today  from Erin and Otis?

If you are interested in learning more, CLICK HERE for more information about the Centre.


Rocks and Minerals

This week we started a new Science unit called Rocks and Minerals. During this unit we will be learning about;

– the rock cycle

– how to classify and identify rocks (color, lustre, texture, hardness, presence of carbonates)

– how rocks break down to become soil

– ways we use rocks and minerals

We would like to thank Mr. Nicholson for coming in to talk to us about diamond mining! His presentation was a fantastic introduction for our unit. We really enjoyed seeing the pictures that he showed us, and we are excited to learn more about how coal becomes a diamond.

On Wednesday our class also had a Rock Show to show off our rock collections. 

As you can see, we had some very interesting and unique samples to show!

Grade 3′s, do you have a favorite rock of your own?

Where do you like to hunt for rocks? Who do you go rock hunting with?

Can you describe the most unusual rock that you saw during our rock show?

Ears, they’re not just for earrings!

We are busy learning about hearing and sound in Science. Our class now knows;

– how sounds are made

–  how different vibrations create different pitches

– how human voices work

– how our ears hear sounds, and how our ears help us balance


We will be examining safe hearing levels over the next couple of weeks, and comparing our hearing to that of different animals.

Grade 3’s can you think of any examples of places or times when sounds may be TOO LOUD? What can you do when you are exposed to loud sounds to protect your hearing?

Building – Flower Vases


As we continue with our Testing Materials and Building Design Science Unit, our class has moved from understanding structure and design, to putting this knowledge into independent practice! 

Last week our building challenge was to make a paper vase, using only 4 pieces of paper and some tape. Our vases needed to be between 25-30 cm tall, and be able to hold up 4 top-heavy silk flowers.

After the vases were complete, most agreed that they might do some things differently if they were given the chance to build their vase again. What had started out as an “easy” task had turned out to be much more challenging than many of us expected.  Still, in the end, everyone managed to be successful with their creation!

Grade 3’s you handled this task very well! what was the most challenging part of building your vase? What did you learn about bases and stability?

Strength of Joiners by Jamie, Ethan and Chace

This afternoon we worked as a group to build cubes in Science. We used paperclips, plasticine and pipe cleaners for our joiners. The pipe cleaners were the easiest, and the paperclips were the hardest to build with. We think the pipe cleaners were the best overall. Tomorrow we will test our cubes to see which is strongest! 



Grade 3’s, which cube do you think was the easiest to build? Which cube do you think will be the strongest? Why?

Testing, testing, and more testing!

We have started the year off with a whole lot of testing in our classroom! Fortunately, the bulk of our testing has not been on the students, but rather on a variety of building materials and designs as a part of our first Science unit.

Last week we tested a variety of papers for strength in an effort to determine the strongest one. We were honestly shocked at our results. While most of us hypothesized that cardstock would be our strongest paper, none of us were prepared for HOW MUCH weight one piece of cardstock would hold. P1000872

Today we explored the strength of arches vs. the strength of squares. Once again, many of us were in for a surprise. Arches are MUCH stronger than squares!

We look forward to testing many more materials and designs over the upcoming months. Grade 3’s, what things are important to remember when we try to do a fair test? How did we make sure that our arch test was fair?


By Mrs. Wirtanen Posted in Science

Testing Rocks and Minerals

Our Science class has been a bustle of activity and synergy the few past days! We have been working in small groups to test rocks and minerals, and then classify these samples according to their physical characteristics.

Please take a look at our student blogs to learn more about the types of tests we have done.

Mrs. Wirtanen’s Student Blogs

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By Mrs. Wirtanen Posted in Science


There was a lot of excitement in our classroom today as Kayla N. demonstrated how her volcano works. In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much, that we ended up performing the experiment twice!


Thanks for bringing in your experiment for us to see Kayla!

Grade 3’s, Can you describe what happened during Kayla’s demonstration? Do you remember what type of rocks come from volcanoes? Also, do you remember what lava is called before it reaches the earth’s surface?  Did you enjoy watching the eruption?

By Mrs. Wirtanen Posted in Science

Rock Show!

Today our class held a “Rock Show” as part of our Rocks and Minerals Science unit. We have many budding rock hunters in our class and everyone was very excited to share their collections. 

(Click on the images below to see an enlarged photo.)

As you can see, we had some very interesting and unique samples to show!

Grade 3’s, do you have a favorite rock of your own?

Where do you like to hunt for rocks? Who do you go rock hunting with?

Can you describe the most unusual rock that you saw today?

By Mrs. Wirtanen Posted in Science