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Magnolia Third Graders Dig Into Squid
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Magnolia third grader, Makensy Wilson as she prepares to prod her squid as part of the dissection portion of her studies in the Next Generation Science Standard. Photo Contributed


Magnolia Elementary School third grade teacher Melissa Clark is excited about dissection.

Clark’s 24 students recently participated in squid dissection, with the assistance of GATE teacher Brenda Combs. The dissection is part of the Next Generation Science Standard. A lesson Clark has led for the past several years, it was enhanced this year by the addition of the students’ Google Chrome books.

“Each student is learning so much in the way of technology it blows my mind,” Clark said.

The third grade teacher presented the lesson via Chrome books. Each student then drafted their own document and shared it with the teacher.

“They never turned in an actual paper,” she said of the advance in technology and the third graders’ usage of it in a practical way.

“They have no spine so squid are part of Phylum mollusks,” nine-year-old Zoie Fischer said.

“They also have a beak-like mouth so that when they eat it goes through the radula and down into the esophagus,” Colby Crofts, 8, stated.

“This group was more advanced than any other group I’ve had,” the teacher said.

“It’s new to the students,” she added of Google Chrome, “and makes them feel very special. It’s innovative for the students.”

The hands-on portion was made possible due to a generous donation of 24 squid and one octopus by SaveMart grocery store.

“The octopus was used for comparison,” Clark said. “Each student was able to have their own squid.”

Demonstrating the level of competency offered in the third grade student reports, Clark shared this from nine-year-old Daniel Campbell: “Then it was time to take the beak some people got picks some had tweezers I had a pick. The brain was the size of a penny. Then the mantle, we cut it open with a scalper, then, I was the first person to pull out the gladius.”

“This is really exciting stuff,” Clark summarized of the partnership of traditional dissection with the technology component. “The students are really having a lot of fun.”

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