3rd Grade: Big Ideas of Systems

Systems is the Universal Theme for 3rd grade. The 3rd graders started by thinking about what comes to mind when they hear the word systems.  They created a definition and shared examples of systems in their notebook. We then looked at the generalizations or big ideas and thought about if our definition fit one or more of the Big Ideas and whether our examples fit, as well.

The third graders grouped up and created a presentation to teach their classmates the understanding of one of the generalizations, or Big Ideas, related to Systems.

3rd Grade: Air Cars

This year the 3rd Graders will focus on what it means to Become a Thinker.  The goal is for the kids to learn to be strong systems thinkers.  First things first, they needed to be sure they understood the Big Ideas of Systems before transitioning into systems thinking.

To do that, the 3rd graders were asked to go through the Engineering process as they designed, built, tested, modified, and tested a Puff Car. 

We then connected each of the Big Ideas to our Puff Cars design, reinforcing the difference between a heap and a system.

3rd Grade: Big Idea of Systems

In 3rd grade the kids have been learning about the Big Ideas of Systems, learning that systems are more than just objects that have parts that work together.  That a family is a system, the weather cycle is a system, that there are systems within systems, etc.  Learning the Big Ideas will help as we work to become Systems Thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci.

The kids grouped up and took pictures around the school that demonstrated the twelve different Big Ideas.  They used an app called Haiku Deck to showcase their understanding.  Here are three of the 4 projects.

3rd Grade: Heap V System

Better late than never, I always say…or at least that is what I am going with for today. 🙂  I can hardly believe it, but three weeks ago I gave the kids a bag with a battery, paper clip, wire and lightbulb.  They had to predict whether the items I gave them were a HEAP or a SYSTEM.  They referenced their Big Ideas of Systems to help make their hypothesis.  I then gave the kids time (and LOTS of tape) to try and prove their hypothesis right or wrong.  The video below are the results of their exploration.

This week the kids brainstormed systems that fit the 12 different Big Ideas and went on a system hunt.  They took a picture of each of their 12 ideas.  They are using an app called Haiku Deck to create a slideshow for the Big Ideas.  They aren’t quite finished, so you will have to wait for their awesome presentations until next week.