Student Writing & Featured Classrooms

Allana Buttersworth’s 3rd Grade Classroom

All third grade classes at Camellia Basic Elementary school in SCUSD read the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone together. The teacher read aloud most of the novel, with students either being assigned pages, or taking turns to read pages aloud in class. Each day a literature response was started in class, and completed at home. It took 4-6 weeks to complete this novel.      

During that time, pairs of students were assigned an herb to research that used either in medicine, culinary cooking, or both. They grew the herb in pots inside the classroom, or out in the school garden. Websites were provided on Google Classroom for the students to use. The structure of the report was taught as part of informational expository writing. During Open House a sampling table of cold dishes that included herbs was available. (Things like basil pesto on toast, or aloe vera juice.)     The students also participated in science experiments related to chemical changes (exothermic reactions) like combining yeast, dish soap, and Hydrogen Peroxide to create “Elephant’s Toothpaste” or the combination of baking soda and vinegar to make a volcanic explosion or blow up a balloon. These events helped the students imagine what Professor Snape may have taught in Potions 101.     

Students crafted their own wand from a chopstick (with the end previously coated in hot glue by the teacher.) They painted and put glitter on the wand, and practiced a spell from a list provided them. They demonstrated their pronunciation and hand gestures to fellow students as part of the Listening and Speaking standard.      The best part of Open House was a “selfie” station that included Harry Potter selfie props (available on Amazon.) Parents and children delighted in holding up wizard hats, wands, and the Harry Potter glasses or scar to shoot a selfie. With their teacher dressed up as Professor McGonagall, (Broadway Costumes on Franklin Blvd.) everyone had fun!      This “magical” month inspired kids to continue reading the series over the summer months.

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