Happy Friday

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update and I apologize for not posting.  Here’s a little glimpse of what we have been up to and what you can expect in the next week.

We have finished our latest story, Balto, the Dog Who Saved Nome, and will be moving into a new story next week.  In conjunction with our Social Studies unit, students will read about the Olympics and the many athletes that make history every couple of years.  With the reading, we will do a little research and a mini project in class regarding some famous Olympians.

Today in math, the students started multiplying 2-digit by 1-digit numbers where neither factor ended in a zero.  Several students were really excited and were ready to keep going.  Don’t worry…we will continue this next step of multiplying for the next week.  We will also continue to practice facts for speed.  I am sure many of you are listening at home and perhaps worried that your child isn’t as fast as you would like.  This is still a somewhat new concept and it is one of those things the students just have to memorize.  My advice is to have them make flash cards, play games that require speed, and make use of online games.  As we work with bigger numbers, they will also see the need to know the facts quickly.

In Social Studies, we have been studying (through books, movies, and pictures) about the Ancient Greek Civilization.  Students should have come home this weekend with their interactive notebooks in which you can find two sets of fill in the blank notes and a knowledge chart complete with hand-drawn pictures.  They should be studying this information for a quiz scheduled for next Wednesday.  We will reinforce information about Ancient Greek culture with activities on Monday and Tuesday.  Please ask the students about how they competed in our mini-Olympics today!

Finally, in writing, we are wrapping up a unit about service animals.  We have talked in detail about creating main ideas and details that support them.  Students who have not already done so, will finish their service dog story early next week.  Our morning work grammar focus will be shifting.  Every two weeks, we will focus on a different aspect of grammar and have quizzes accordingly.  Next week, we start with commas.  I also hope to start working with cursive, hitting 1-2 letters a day over the next month.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Math Benchmark, February 5th-6th
  • Jump Rope for Heart, Wear RED Spirit Day, February 6th
  • Jump Rope for Heart Event, February 10th
  • Greece and Rome Enrichment, February 13th
  • Conferences, February 19th

We made it!

It’s been a bit of a different week with a visit from Young Scientist, safety drill practice, an ice day, and a 2-hour delay.  The students have managed nicely, and seemed to respond well to taking a few steps back to regroup and talk about expectations as we close out the first half of third grade.  As a whole, we talked about responsibility picking up and students understanding that we will do activities in class, but sometimes they will have to do the memorizing at home.  Please encourage them to review at least one subject at home each evening that may not have specific homework attached.  With that in mind, please know that I am very proud of the work they are doing, especially as we continue expanding their reading comprehension and mathematical knowledge.  Here’s a look at today’s red folder and the upcoming week.

Coming Home Today

  • The latest Gator Gab from our admin team is on a green sheet of paper.  Please check it out for current info coming from the office.
  • A very colorful packet of information is coming home about Jump Rope for Heart.  Students watched a promotional video earlier this week in class, and now you can catch all the details about this fun event coming February 3.  Just ask them about the ducks!
  • There are also two rec-ball flyers and the usual stack of graded papers.

Looking Forward

  • We will enjoy another 4-day week, with Monday’s holiday.
  • In reading, we will work through stations related to our latest story, Balto, the Dog Who Saved Nome.  Students should expect to work on vocabulary extensions and use of resource books.  A comprehension quiz will be given at the end of next week.
  • After this week’s science quiz, I decided to take a couple more days to review the information and give the students one more week to really study the vocabulary and diagrams.  We will not spend any more time in class, other than to take a test on Thursday.  Students have the information in their science journals and inside the foldables we made together in class.
  • With the changes in our schedule, we did not start our Ancient Civilizations unit just yet, but have no fear.  It is still coming.  We will begin the week with a brief review of civilizations covered last year and then move into the fun that is Greece and Rome.
  • You may have noticed there were no new word study lists distributed.  The next list will come home Wednesday.
  • Students have proven that they understand the concepts of multiplication and they can figure out the problems using arrays, skip counting, and other pictures.  Now, we want to learn the facts for speed.  Please review with them nightly.  I will do several activities over the next week to keep the students practicing, but they need to be reviewing at home to increase their recall speed.  We will keep moving forward in math while also taking a portion of each day’s time to practice facts.

Welcome Back!

Well, it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me.  I trust that each of you enjoyed the long-awaited winter break, but I’m sure many of you were ready to get back into the normal routine of school.  The students have come back refreshed and with a great energy to finish out our first semester.  I have not shied away from asking the children to think this week.  We have eased our way back into the curriculum with a refresher on several reading strategies that students often encounter when responding to comprehension questions.  Included in these lessons were activities dealing with sequencing, making predictions, identifying cause and effect, and distinguishing between fact and opinion.  Our current writing unit has students looking at specific descriptions, the art of organizing main ideas and details, and the use of word referents as we read about different service animals.  In science this week, students have done a nice job looking at earth cycles that explain why we experience day and night, the four seasons, and the apparent change of the moon’s shape.  All in all, I believe the children have enjoyed the first week back and I look forward to continued excitement in our last two weeks of the 2nd quarter.

Coming home today:

  • There is a flyer from the PTA concerning an upcoming author visit and how you can order copies of her books.
  • The blue sheet is the January Newsletter from the third grade team.
  • The half-sheet of yellow paper details information from Mrs. Wright about the upcoming Jump Rope for Heart event.

Looking ahead to next week:

  • In Writing, we will continue looking at pieces that focus on service animals.  Students will complete the Empowering Writers pillar model for writing, and then work on creating their own piece about a particular service dog.  I will be looking for details and a lack of repeated words in particular.  Students have also picked back up with their word study lists.  They should be working throughout the week on various homework assignments in order to prepare them for their weekly tests on Tuesday.
  • Our Reading unit will also center around service animals as we read about the actions of Balto the famous Alaskan Husky known for delivering medicine to Nome, Alaska on a very dangerous, but important night.  We will review several of the strategies discussed this past week as we momentarily move back into our reading textbook for this short story.
  • In Math, we will round out our look at the last two factors and then rev up our practice and manipulation of these numbers.  Students should be practicing facts at home every night to increase their speed knowledge for further mathematical success.  We will talk more about how division is multiplication’s inverse operation.  As there are different levels of comfortability with these concepts already, there will be opportunities for students to practice and expand where they need it focus individually.
  • Students have been told about a quiz on Tuesday in Science that will cover the Earth Cycles we have discussed this week.  They should be familiar with vocabulary such as axis, orbit, rotation, revolution, and tilt.  We have completed several cloze passages and diagrams to help students study.  Then, we will move into another anticipated third grade favorite – our Social Studies unit on Greece and Rome.

We can do it!

There is only one more week before the highly anticipated winter break!  What does that mean?  We had a cleaning party!  Today the students were very helpful in cleaning many of the surfaces we touch each day.  They wiped down their desks, the common tables, the door handles, etc. in our effort to cut back on germs spreading.  We want to keep everyone healthy and in class!  It is so important for students to be here everyday so they can be a part of the conversations and the hands-on activities that supplement their notes and worksheets.

This past week was a fun beginning to the concepts of multiplication.  We have illustrated five ways to show multiplication and the students showed a great eagerness to practice making arrays, do some skip counting, and even fill in a few multiplication tables.  I have asked them to review the easy ones (0, 1, 2, 10, 11) and their rules this weekend.  We also watched a short BrainPop video on Cesar Chaved and discussed his work for better working conditions for migrant workers in the early to mid 1900s.  We have concluded our first round of novel studies with the rest of third grade, which many students really seemed to favor.  We hope to do this again in the second semester, but for now we will return to homerooms and a couple of short stories in our reading book.

Coming up next week:

  • In math, we will keep building the students’ multiplication foundation.  We will add the 3, 4, and 5 tables to our repertoire as we circle back around and practice more with the strategies we learned this week.  Students will take a concept quiz on Wednesday to show what they know.
  • Social Studies will continue with more reading about Famous Americans.  We will spend more time learning about Eleanor Roosevelt and Thurgood Marshall early in the week.  Students will then take a Famous American test on Thursday.
  • Our reading next week will focus on identifying main ideas and details as well as relating to characters as we read several seasonal texts. Students can expect to read several short stories throughout the week and use the text to support their answers to comprehension questions.
  • We will take a word study quiz on Tuesday, but there will be no new words until we come back in January.  We will continue talking about word referents and also look at suspense as the students create a snowy tale.
  • FRIDAY FUNDAY – We will have the Jingle Bell Run and Holiday Sing Along next Friday morning from 9:00-10:00.  Third graders are scheduled to sing in the MPR starting at 9:00 am and then enjoy jingling around the track at 9:30 am.  That afternoon, we will enjoy our class enrichment complete with a snowball fight, book exchange, and some yummy treats!  

Looking forward to a great week with the kiddos!

And the count is on…

Welcome to December!  Can you believe it is already here?  That means that we are only three weeks away from our big winter break!  In those three weeks, we will maintain pace in all subject areas, continuing with our novel studies, finishing up our measurement unit before beginning computation, and spending some time with famous Americans.  Here’s what to expect in the next week specifically:

  • Math: We will talk about measuring capacity, both in the metric and customary systems.  Students will have the opportunity to create their own gallon figure to help them remember the customary conversions.  Towards the end of the week, we will review all units of measurement in preparation for our test the following Tuesday.
  • Social Studies: Students will do a lot of reading in the content area and make connections to literature as we talk about stories, legends, and biographies.  We will spend some time reviewing famous Americans they have studied in the past as well as add a few new ones to their repertoire.  All of this will focus on the contributions of these individuals to our society as a reminder of being good citizens.  New figures in 3rd grade include Thomas Jefferson, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and Cesar Chavez.
  • Language Arts: Each student will continue working in their novel study book and should expect homework from their respective teachers.  Quizzes are given every few chapters and each child is responsible for keeping up with the tasks assigned by the novel study teachers.  We will distribute a new word study list on Wednesday, and students can expect to incorporate content specific material into several writing assignments this week.

Short Week Coming Up

It was another week of good moments.  The students did a terrific job singing their Thanksgiving songs and reciting their poetic lines as a part of Tuesday’s PTA performance.  We have all enjoyed participating in Spirit Week as we dressed in crazy outfits or walked around with messy hair.  More importantly, the students have shown a lot of generosity collecting toiletry items for the homeless as we support this month’s SCA benevolent project.  Our novel studies have started off with a bang, and the students seem to be enjoying the change of pace.  They also enjoyed our Dome Theater movie treat on Friday as well.

In Your Child’s Bookbag this Week:

  • The PTA has sent out a half sheet explaining a month-long fund raiser going on until December 14th.
  • The bright yellow slip explains our Encore Presentation of “A Turkey of a Tale” on Tuesday, November 25th at 1:30 pm.
  • Rubber-banded together, your student should be bringing home their graded papers from the first nine weeks.  On Friday, the students enjoyed looking back at activities we completed during the first quarter.  They then selected three of their best pieces of evidence to start their 3rd grade portfolio.  Each student completed a Self-Evaluation looking back on areas where they did well as we started the year and areas where they hope to make improvement in the coming marking period.  All of these papers are now yours to do with what you wish.

Quick Look at Next Week

  • We only have two days…Monday and Tuesday…before Thanksgiving Break!
  • We will continue with our novel studies and take a word study test on Tuesday.  In science, we will review life cycles covered in previous grades, and in math, we will continue practicing with length, weight, and temperature.  And in light of the impending holiday, we will, of course, enjoy a few holiday themed activities.

Happy Weekend!!!

 

Proud Teacher!

I was very impressed with the work the students did this week as they worked cross-curriculum to hone their research and reporting skills as they wrapped up our study of habitats and animal adaptations.  Thanks to Mrs. Hedrick for her assistance as the students explored One Search and collaborated on Google Drive.  I’m looking forward to hearing the students present on Monday!  The students also did a nice job with our flexible schedule this week and showed excellent behavior during our Veterans Day Assembly.  And to top it off, our class received great reports from all resource teachers this week!  Let’s keep it up!

Looking ahead:

  • NOVEL STUDIES:  Starting on Monday, all third grade students will be split into four different groups for our first novel study.  Each third grade teacher will lead students through one of four books: Henry and Ribsy, The War with Grandpa, The Cricket in Times Square, or The Landry News.  During the three-week study, students should expect daily classwork, four comprehension quizzes, and a final test.
  • MATH: Our measurement unit will continue as we look at customary and metric units for weight and mass.  Students can expect to work with vocabulary such as pound, ounce, grams, and kilograms.
  • WRITING: Students will continue working through their word study lists, and we will talk about persuasive writing as students put themselves in a turkey’s talons during the Thanksgiving season.  We will also take another look at The Lost Kitten story that students struggled to punctuate last week.
  • SCIENCE:  We will begin another science unit looking at earth’s resources as well as plant and animal cycles.

And finally, we are looking forward to entertaining you with our Thanksgiving Musical Tuesday night at the PTA Meeting.  Please join us in the MPR at 7:00 pm on November 18th.

Happy Friday!

It was a nice four-day week with productive parent-teacher conferences, a wonderful community service and career enrichment, and continued progress as we worked through the curriculum.  I was very proud of the students who were awarded the Golden Shoe for the first nine weeks, showing responsibility of wearing their tennis shoes regularly on PE days.  After running a combined 18 miles during Success Week, our class brought in 174 items for the food bank collection.  Students in room 19 were also very proud to donate several gallon-sized bags of candy for the troops.  All in all, it was a great week of community service, one that I hope the students remember not for the prizes or title they might earn, but for the people they are helping.

Coming home today:

  • Square One Art: Please read over the packet that came home with your student if you are interested in ordering items with your child’s artwork.
  • Gator Gobbler Walk/Run: Check out the yellow flyer about a fun exercise opportunity coming up toward the end of the month.
  • Graded papers include book report rubrics, money tests, and several editing sheets.  The students were given some time on Thursday to make corrections on their money tests in order to earn points back on their final grade.  The two practice editing stories are to be reviewed over the weekend.  Students will be given a similar story on Monday for a grade.

The plan for next week:

  • Our Veteran’s Day Assembly is Tuesday, November 11th at 8:30 am.  Please feel free to join us for a special speaker, sing-along, and slideshow of the many veteran’s in our lives.
  • We will begin our math unit on measurement.  As we will be working with both customary and metric units, the more you can make measurement connections in daily conversation, the more confident your child will feel in class.
  • Students will be put into groups of three as they put their new knowledge of ecosystem vocabulary into practice.  We will spend time in the library researching the various organisms that live around the world and the adaptations they use to hunt, hide, and survive.
  • We will wrap up our work with “Wild Shots” and other animal texts before our Novel Study Unit that will begin November 17th.  Students should expect a quiz on Thursday.

Happy Pumpkin Day!

The students have worked hard all week on their book report mobiles.  Each day, we read a seasonal short story to highlight the different sections of their book reports and demonstrate how they should be writing about their own book selections.  I was very pleased with the way that many of the students came to school prepared to type, used their time wisely on the computers, and creatively illustrated the setting, main character, and favorite scenes.  They were all eager to complete their projects and hang the mobiles above their desks.  We have also spent a good portion of the week continuing to practice counting coins and making change.  Students worked through math stations and were challenged by a couple of Math Maven Mysteries.  Delving into our animal unit, students have been introduced to a lot of new vocabulary this week as we lay the foundation for an upcoming science research project.  We continue to have busy days, and I hope the students are finding them interesting and exciting as well!

Coming home today:

  • MAPS Scores - Each child is receiving a sealed envelope in which you will find a letter explaining the test taken back in the first few weeks of school as well as your child’s scores.  I will be happy to discuss any questions you might have at conferences next week.
  • Move Your Feet Slips - These half sheets of paper are to inform you of your child’s participation in the Success Week Run.  You are encouraged to make a donation to our Can Food Drive next week.  Thanks to those families who have already sent in several items.
  • Veterans’ Day Assembly - Mrs. Roye is looking to see if any family members will be in attendance at our Assembly in a couple weeks.  Please see her blue letter for more details.
  • PICTURES - Those of you who pre-ordered fall pictures will be receiving a package.  For anyone who was absent or would like to retake their pictures, make-ups will be on Thursday, November 13th.  If you are not pleased with the original pictures, you will need to return the package in order to have them retaken.

Looking ahead to next week:

  • We will return to our READING textbook, looking at a non-fiction selection, “Wild Shots,” as a supplement to our current work in science.
  • I have decided to bump our MATH Money Test back to Wednesday.  We will wrap up our review on Monday, take our assessment on the 5th, and then spend some time looking at patterns.
  • Our SCIENCE unit on animals will continue as we begin discussing structural adaptations, make a distinction between instincts and learned behaviors, and discuss defense mechanisms.
  • We will continue to press forward with our WORD STUDY units.  With next week’s holiday, students will take their tests on Wednesday and receive new words on Thursday.  The following week will return to our regular schedule.
  • CONFERENCES are next Tuesday, November 4th (also a student holiday).  Many of you have already signed up for a time slot, and I look forward to meeting with you.  If you would still like to schedule a conference, please use Sign-Up Genius to do so.