I am always trying to collect great new ways to start the school year. Feel free to share read alouds, activities, etc that are great for third graders! I'll start: Save Fred www.nclark.net/SaveFredLab.doc I modified this activity using gummy worms, gummy lifesavers, plastic cups, and paperclips and it was a great team-building activity. I even created a homework assignment based on it. I sent home a spare cup, worm, and lifesaver. They had to use a different tool (not a paperclip) to try to save Fred and then answer some questions. It was a big hit! At the end of the year, my students remembered it as one of their favorite activities of the year. I usually use this as a social studies/building community activity.