Since 2013, third grade students (approximately 20) have been conducting in-depth studies of soil. They examine the soils in various locations in the Environmental Education Laboratory and the plants that thrive in those soils. Students conduct chemical studies on the soils and they study about the nutrients plants get from the soils (see photos below).
Madi and Isabelle examine the soil and search for organisms. In small groups students learn to use PASCO sensors to test soils. A group of students work with Dr. Kevin Evans, Glenville State College, to test soils.
Biological Stream Studies
Since 2004, several times a year third grade students (approximately 20) have been conducting biological stream studies in Snowy Creek. They learn about the benthic macro-invertebrates that live in the stream and categorize photographs based on physical attributes. Students go to the stream to find and identify these benthic macro-invertebrates and document their findings on a data collection sheet. Students begin to investigate water chemistry in preparation for future chemical stream studies (see photos below).
Trout in the Classroom
Crellin School has participated in the Trout in the Classroom Project for the past eight years. With a curriculum shift to the Next Generation Science Standards and the biological emphasis in third grade, third grade students have taken a special interest in the trout. Building upon these students' experiences with biological and chemical sampling and monitoring, they mimic the stream environment through the Trout in the Classroom Project. While lessons occur at each grade we have assigned third graders to the task of collecting and documenting data daily. Through materials provided by Trout Unlimited, cross curricular activities such as art, technology, and creative writing are integrated. The act of raising trout from egg to fingerling encourages conservation and promotes an understanding of the importance of a healthy watershed (see photos below).
Third grade students tempered the trout eggs and water prior to putting them in the tank. Students test water quality daily and complete the Trout Inspection Sheet. Classroom lessons include a variety of topics related to the trout.
Since 2014, third grade students (approximately 20) have engaged in caring for the farm animals on our school farm. Agriculture lessons are facilitated by teachers and community farmers. To integrate research and writing, 2015-2016 third grade students wrote the first in a series of informational texts on how to care for our farm animals. The photos in the text include students from various grade levels. The text is available below as a slideshow.