Archive for Third Grade

Third Grade Minecraft Animal Environments

minecraft habitats

Recently, the third graders have been doing internet research about an animal during technology class. They used the information they learned to type a 3 or 4 paragraph report in Word about their animal. This series of lessons helped students practice online research strategies. They also utilized the keyboarding skills that we worked on earlier in the school year and practiced some basic word processing and editing skills.


Now the students are using what they learned about their animal to build a habitat/environment for the animal in Minecraft!


I know that many of my students know MUCH more about Minecraft than I do! So we identified the “experts” in the room and I empowered them to help their classmates if they didn’t know how to do something.


It was interesting to listen to students’ conversation and ideas about how they were building their habitats. They definitely were using what they learned through their research as they designed and worked.

IMG_1724  IMG_1727

We will be continuing to work on building our habitats next week!

Keyboarding Kids!

Second, third, and fourth grades have been spending time during technology class to work on improving their keyboarding skills.

Second graders recently started going through the online lessons from Dance Mat Typing. They are starting to learn to use two hands and all their fingers to type. The lessons include crazy characters and silly songs.

The third graders completed several months of working through lessons using the Type to Learn 4 keyboarding program. TTL4 runs on our network, tracks student progress, lets students work at their own pace, and customizes the lessons to meet their needs. The program helps the students learn to use the home row as they type.

type1 type3 type2

The fourth graders have continued to work in Type to Learn this winter. We have seen good progress with their skills. Several students tested out the “Bandana Challenge” by trying to type with a bandana covering their hands.

Parents, if your children are typing, please try to encourage them to use both hands and all their fingers!

The Secret Life of Snowflakes – 3D Animated Videos


We recently used our Dremel 3D printers to print all of the third graders 3D snowflakes. (More details on how the students created the snowflakes using the Morphi app in this blog post.) These lovely 3D snowflakes were the inspiration for the students to write a story in first person about the “Secret Life of Snowflakes.” Students used their imagination to tell about things the snowflakes liked, disliked, or wished. Their stories are very clever – I think their 3D snowflakes really helped to inspire their imagination as they wrote. Students then used KidPix software to draw backgrounds that went with their stories.

Finally the third graders used the free ChatterPix Kids app to make their snowflakes come to life. Using the app, they photographed their snowflakes on the backgrounds and then recorded audio to make their snowflakes talk! They also were able to add stickers in the app to make the faces on their flakes.

I loved hearing the dramatic expression that students used to tell their snowflake’s story! Here’s one example:

To view all of the third graders’ animated videos, click on this link:

Teacher’s note: The 3D snowflakes are amazing, but you could do this same project using snowflakes cut out of white paper set on a blue background. Another idea would be to make your snowflakes using the free My Flake app:

Disclosure: As a part of the Dremel 3D Idea Builder Ambassadors program, our school is receiving the use of the 3D40 printer for one year. If you are interested in learning more about the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 printer, you may contact  I’d appreciate it if you noted Karen Bosch/this blog post as a referral in the comments/questions section at the bottom of the form.  Thanks!


Snowflakes in 3D: with the Morphi app and our Dremel 3D Printers

3D Snowflakes

Last week the 3D graders created these gorgeous 3D snowflake designs which we printed with our Dremel 3D printers. We recently received 2 more Dremel 3D20 printers thanks to their #LearnMakeGive contest in December. It took us under a week to print 50 detailed designs.

3D snow step1

STEP ONE: We began by creating our “snowflakes” on our iPads using the Mandalas Free app. Students drew their symmetrical designs on a white background with a black line using the “Spiral 6” setting. The snowflake drawings were saved to the camera roll. Most students created several designs. The designs were detailed and each one was unique, just like snowflakes!

3D snow step2

STEP 2: We used the paid version of the Morphi Edu app on our iPads to turn the drawings into 3D. Students used the drawing tool and uploaded their snowflake picture into the app. There was a black border around the snowflake design that students needed to erase. Most students also added a loop at the top of their snowflake so they could hang it. Finally they hit the 3D button! The snowflake drawing magically turned into 3D!

snowflake printing

Miss Bosch helped the students make the snowflakes a bit thinner and made sure they were flat on the grid surface. Then students emailed their .stl 3D file to Miss Bosch. She did some final preparation on the files before printing them using our Dremel 3D40 and 3D20 printers. Having 3 printers available was amazing – even though each snowflake took over an hour to print, we were able to get them all printed in less than a week!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! The students have used their snowflakes to inspire some creative writing about the “Secret Life of Snowflakes!” Next week they are going to change their 3D snowflakes into talking animated videos to tell their stories. Stay tuned to see/hear their videos!

Disclosure: As a part of the Dremel 3D Idea Builder Ambassadors program, our school is receiving the use of the 3D40 printer for one year. If you are interested in learning more about the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 printer, you may contact  I’d appreciate it if you noted Karen Bosch/this blog post as a referral in the comments/questions section at the bottom of the form.  Thanks!




Third Grade KidPix Autobiographies 2016

The third graders recently completed these autobiography stories in computer class. In this lesson, the students created text boxes to type a story about themselves. Then they used a mixture of paint bucket and drawing tools to create their own illustration for their autobiography. I think the stories and drawings do a great job of reflecting their personalities. (Click on an image to see a larger view.)

Kahoot Tech Review for Second and Third Grade

Students, use this link and follow teacher directions to login to the Kahoot game:


Third Grade Minecraft Animal Habitat Reports using Explain Everything


The third graders recently finished creating their Minecraft Animal Habitats. They began this project by doing inquiry based research to learn about an animal’s habitat, then designed a habitat for the animal in Minecraft. They then took screenshots of their habitats and then used the Explain Everything app to record a report where they told about their habitat.  Here are some of the reports which they created. (Note: This was the students’ first time using Explain Everything, and not all reports are completed yet. A few have recording errors and need to be recorded again. We will try to finish/correct them and publish them in another post, if possible.)

Here are some of the reports which have been published:


Minecraft Animal Environment Action

This week the third-graders used their animal research to begin building an animal habitat environment in Minecraft. Here are a few photos of the students busy at work building their habitats.



Animal Environment Research Links

Use these links to brainstorm ideas about what you would need to know to build a good environment for an animal:

McPheeter’s Class Answer Garden Link

Bricker Class Answer Garden Link

Use these links to research about the environments where animals live:

World Book Encyclopedia Loginsee your teacher for the login and password if needed, then click STUDENT

National Geographic Animals – click on the picture links or type the name of an animal in the search box

Animals A to Z – by location

Animals A to Z – in alphabetical order

Animal Facts

Oakland Zoo Animals – locate by animal group

Detroit Zoo Animal Habitats – click on the links on the left side to go to a habit, then look at the bottom left to see animal links

Arkive – endangered animals, this one is a little harder to read


If you cannot find your answer using the links above, here are kid friendly search engines you may use. I will explain how to use this later – please wait to use:

Kid Rex Search Engine

Kiddle Search Engine

Third Grade KidPix Autobiographies


Over the past few weeks, the third grade classes have been creating autobiographies in KidPix. It has been a great opportunity for returning students to review skills and for new students to learn. For this project, students needed to fill a background, create and set fonts on in a text box, type a story, and then illustrate it with a mixture of drawing tools. Students had to be able to save and open their files, and we also learned a great trick to use the right click button to help us correct misspelled words. The students definitely demonstrated how their skills have grown as they typed a paragraph and drew detailed pictures of themselves!

These all were so good, I decided to show them all of in a big gallery. Click on the picture to see the full picture in a larger size!