Important Updates

Friday, February 15th

We have had a wonderful week of learning!  We had a great time seeing the play Huck and Tom and the Mighty Mississippi today at the children’s theater.  The children looked like they really enjoyed it!  I also wanted to share with you that artifacts from Ancient Mali are on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts if you would like to take your children.  They were also able to see some artifacts in art this week which were provided to our teacher from this museum.

Next week we have several quizzes and tests coming up.  Please see my blog page – Upcoming for the dates and subjects:

The students were asked to bring their social studies notebooks home today in order to prepare for their quiz on Monday.  They will have a test on Wednesday that will compare and contrast Mali, Rome, and Greece.  Then we will begin earth cycles in science on Thursday.  We will have a test of our money unit on Tuesday.  In math, we will begin our unit on fractions on Wednesday.


Friday, February 8th

Happy Friday!  Happy end of benchmark testing!  The children have been working so very hard, and their scores reflect this for sure!  I will be putting the scores into power school for both math and reading as quiz grades by the end of next week, if not sooner. We are back to our regular routines and schedules next week.

Attached you will find our classroom list for sending in Valentines on 2/14.  I have talked with the children about not bringing in any candy items due to food allergies/restrictions.  However, if they would like to give a small item such as an eraser or pencil that is acceptable. I have also told them that they can decorate a bag (lunch size brown or white paper bag) or small box (shoe box)  to bring in to place their Valentines inside.

We began our social studies unit on the ancient civilization of Mali today.  We will continue to learn and discuss all about Mali next week. For reading, we will continue to work on making inferences to help us draw conclusions.

We will continue to work with money next week.  This week we have focused on counting up money to $5.00 as well as making change from $5.00.  We will continue to focus heavily on making change next week.  Please work with your children with real money and the various types and combinations of coins/dollar bills they can work with up to $5.00.

Friday, 2/15 is our field trip to the theater.  Please have the students to wear their class t-shirts to school on this day.  Also, they will need to pack a lunch to eat when we return back to school.  Our return time will be just slightly later than most of the 3rd grade lunch times, so we are asking that the children bring a lunch to eat in the classroom upon our return.


Sunday, February 2nd

I hope that everyone is enjoying the dry and warmer week-end!  I wanted to touch base on a few important things coming up for this week.

We are having benchmark testing this coming week Monday through Thursdays.  We have reading part 1 on Monday then part 2 on Tuesday.  We will then have part 1 of math on Wednesday and part 2 on Thursday.  Please make sure your children are rested and have a good breakfast on these mornings.

We will be concluding our unit on Ancient Greece and Rome this week.  We will have a quiz on Ancient Rome on Tuesday 2/5 and a unit test that compares Ancient Greece to Ancient Rome on Thursday, 2/7.  We will have a Young Scientist lesson in our classroom on Friday.

In math, we will be starting our unit on money on Monday.  The students will need to know how to count coins and dollar bills up to $5.00, as well as make change from amounts up to $5.00.  Please practice with your students using real money at home.  We will be using fake play money at school as well to learn these concepts in a variety of ways.

There are some changes in homework coming as well, in which I have also discussed with the students.  We will continue with cursive the same as we always have done.  In reading, they will be getting some reading review passages in a packet for the week, as well as in math.  These math packets are mostly review of concepts previously taught, but may contain a few questions here and there that have not yet been covered. I have asked them to at least try to answer those questions whenever possible.  I do not grade homework on accuracy, but rather that is has been completed and turned in on time.  In addition, they may also receive a worksheet of something we are currently working on in class, which will be due back to school the next day.  I have also stressed the importance of reading every night out loud to someone, even if it is a pet.  Just because I am not requiring a reading log, does not mean that they do not need to read nightly. Reading out loud also helps to improve oral fluency.  The criteria to be considered an on grade level reader as well as an above grade level reader change every quarter – progressively getting more difficult.  The criteria include the rate of words per minute they can read (oral fluency), as well as what they are able to comprehend.


Friday, January 25th

We have made it to the end of the 2nd quarter of school!  This year is going by so fast!  All grades will be finalized by Monday 1/28 and the report card process will begin.  Report cards are set to come home mid-February.

Next week, rather than starting our math unit on money, we will be reviewing heavily multiplication and division fact strategies.  We will also continue to review math concepts from the beginning of the school year.  In reading/language arts, we will continue to work on reference materials, dictionary skills and main idea.  Ancient Rome will be our focus in social studies with a quiz at the end of the week.

Friday, January 18th

What a very busy week we have had with our MAPS testing and learning!  I have updated my blog page and there are a couple of changes of dates in Upcoming for tests and quizzes next week – please click the link to go to my blog:

We will continue to work on time in math next week.  Please note the test for time and temperature will now be on Thursday, 1/24.  We will then begin our unit on money.  The students will need to be able to count dollar bills change in various amounts to $5.00, as well as making change and comparing different amounts of money.  Please work with your students on telling time, especially on the regular, “old school” analog clocks.  I would also start working with them on counting money.

In Social Studies we are continuing our studies of Ancient Greece and our quiz will now be on Friday, 1/25.

For reading/language arts, we are continuing to work on main idea and details along with prefixes and suffixes.  We started discussing different forms of reference materials today as well, and we will be practicing using those types of materials in the coming weeks.  The students have not yet been given new word study words, but we will hopefully get our new words next week.

Thank you for working with your students at home for the extra help and support they need.


We are excited to welcome Catava Burton, HCPS Educational Specialist, to Muffins with Moms, January 18, from 8-8:30am.

In her “Are You Smarter than Your Child’s Smart Phone?” workshop she will share the latest texting

slang, secret apps, and social media tricks.  Information will also be provided on bullying/cyberbullying,

human trafficking, internet safety, and psychological impact of these issues.  Strategies will be provided

to help parents keep their children safe.  Bring your smart phone

Friday, January 11th

We have had a long and busy, productive week of learning!  Please see my blog page for Upcoming dates and information about a special speaker who will be speaking about our children’s smart phone safety:

Homework was sent home today with the children, which is not typical of me to do over a weekend.  However, it is looking like we may have a snow day (or more) next week based on the impending forecast.  The children know that they are to be prepared for their science test on whatever day we should be back in school – it was originally scheduled for Tuesday, 1/15.  We did some review today and they were supposed to write down some additional information in their agenda that they should be reviewing from past related science units.   They also should have their word study notebooks with them to complete their choice board – right now there are 4 choices and 3 should be completed.  They should also be prepared to do a word study quiz.

Math for next week will be all about time.  Please start practicing telling time at home with your children on analog and digital clocks.  They will need to know time to the nearest minute.  We will also be learning about elapsed time and periods of time.  In addition to learning new skills, we are now also reviewing prior skills.  If you have not sent in a 1 inch binder of your child yet, please do so when we return to school next week so they have a place to put these review papers for their reference and study.  The children should also be working in study island a few times per week for extra practice as well as RAZ kids and reflex math.

In reading and language arts, we are working a several skills.  We will continue to practice functional text, which they have been bringing home for homework as well as working on them in class.  We will continue to work on main idea, which will be part of their homework starting next week.  In English, we are working on prefixes and suffixes.  Our new reading skill starting next week will be all about how to use reference materials, with a bigger emphasis on dictionary skills.


Friday, January 4th

What a quick but busy week!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful and restful winter break!  I have updated my blog with several new important dates that you all need to know about –

I am asking that each parent please send in a 1 inch binder for their child.  We will be using this binder as a SOL review/study binder.  Please send them in to school by Friday, 1/11 if at all possible.

New this week – we started word study!  I have given each child a notebook to use the rest of this year for word study.  Word study is not the traditional way that your child may have done word study/spelling in the past, although it is somewhat similar.  We are not having weekly “spelling tests” from their word list.  Instead, they will work with new words for about a week and half and then they will be given a spelling quiz.  The quiz will incorporate some words from the list as well as other words that fit the patterns or features of the words they are working on during this time.  There will also be dictated sentences.  I have discussed this with the children and the importance of not just memorizing these words, but being able to apply the knowledge of the word features or patterns.  Some of their in class activities have them making words not on the list, but words that fit the same pattern or feature.  I will have them bring those home closer to time to study.

Also, new next week – homework is going to be changing up a bit.  They will always have a reading log to complete each week.  However, we will be increasing the amount of homework they are getting just a bit and the rigor.  Next week they will have their usual math packet and reading log.  In addition, there are daily language arts activities and I will be sending home some additional reading homework passages from time to time.  In the coming weeks I will also be requiring them to complete some assignments on study island at home.  Please be sure to check your child’s agenda daily to see this information.

Please check in with your students regarding their supplies.  I know that we are starting to run a bit low on glue sticks.  Some of them will probably be in need of new math notebooks in the next few weeks as well.


Wednesday, December 19th

I hope that everyone has a wonderful winter break with their families!  We have had a very busy and fun few days!  Thank you to the room parents, and all of the parent volunteers who helped make our activities a success!  I truly appreciate all of your help and support!

We will be going back into science when we return from winter break learning about animal relationships.  In reading, we will be working on finding the main idea in both non-fiction and fiction.

In math, we will continue with measurement – we will pick back up with temperature.  We will also be spiraling back to previously taught skills to help keep these things fresh and this will also help in areas where your children may have been a little weaker.  We will also be going back to review what we have learned in measurement in these past few weeks.  You will see your children’s tests grades in power school.  These tests were taken on our new chrome book computers today.  The test itself was more challenging in addition to having complete it on the computer.  We will be doing many activities on the computers after winter break as well to help get the children more acquainted with our new chrome books and just over all computer skills.  I did not have time to make copies of the tests for those who did poorly to take home with them today to make corrections.  I will have them ready the day we get back from winter break.  The test questions are the type that they will be seeing on their SOL tests.  I am constantly stressing to them to read everything carefully and to use strategies.  I tell them that strategies are their best friend!  Yes, they may take some more time to arrive at an answer, however, they are very helpful in helping to get the correct answer!

I have sent a reading log home with them for homework over break.  It is very important that they are still reading some every day!  They are trying to beat my time spent reading over the break!  For additional practice in math, reading, and English, they should go into study island and work on some assignments.  I hope they come back well rested and ready to pick up the pace!


Thursday, December 13th

I am going to send my weekly update tonight rather than tomorrow since I need to share some important information about the changes in dates of your children’s assignments.  Please ask to see their agendas and sign them as they have written in important information regarding homework, quizzes, and tests (provided they copied them correctly from the board).  I have also update UPCOMING on my blog.  The weekly homework will now be due next Wednesday 12/19 due to our snow days.

We will have a quiz in math on capacity, Tuesday 12/18 and we will have our test on all of the measurement we have studied the past few weeks on Wednesday, 12/19.  Unfortunately, due to the number of snow days, I have to test on that last day.  I feel that I cannot wait to test on the material when they come back without having to reteach much of the information.  I am going to ask the students to take their notebooks home tomorrow as well.

In social studies, they will have a quiz on Ancient China and Ancient Egypt also on Wednesday 12/19.  They will need to be able to compare and contrast these 2 ancient civilizations.

Lastly, we are in desperate need of more containers of icing and hot chocolate.  Please go to the sign up genius if you can please send in anymore of these items.

Without the icing, we will not be able to make the gingerbread houses.  This is a 2 day event that we will start on Monday morning to build the house, then on Tuesday afternoon we will decorate them.  I do plan for a movie and hot chocolate on Wednesday afternoon, and hopefully another fun activity provided we get our tests and work out of the way!


Friday, December 7th

We have had quite the busy week of learning here in room 209!  We have continued reading new and different fairy tales and applying different reading strategies to help comprehend them.  We will continue this on into next week as well.  They had a fun writing assignment this past week that is a secret for now, but you will love it!  Today we starting brainstorming ideas about the writing of our own fairy tale, which we will work on and hopefully complete by the time we go to winter break.  Many things that are upcoming will depend on our weather situation and if we miss any days of school!  We studied Ancient China this past week and I had the kids to take some of their own notes to help them with some classwork assignments.  Next week we will study Ancient Egypt.  We will wrap this up the week of Dec 17th and the students will be assessed on comparing and contrasting these 2 ancient civilizations.

As for math, we have been working on our measurement unit.  So far we have learned about linear measurement, area and perimeter.  We began learning about capacity today and glued in our first set of notes into our notebooks.  If you have extra time, I would work with your children by going on a scavenger hunt of items in your house and garage and discussing how you would measure these items – would it be better to use a ruler, yard stick, etc?  How tall or long are these items?  If they can visualize some of these things it will help them to better estimate them. .   The same holds true for capacity – how much liquid can a container holder.  We will need to know cups, pints, quarts, gallons, and liters.

Also, as far as our linear measurement, we are measuring in centimeters to the nearest centimeter only – they are applying what they have learned about rounding to determine this.  For inches – we are measuring to the nearest ½ inch – if a line for example measures at exactly 3 inches – the answer is 3 inches.  If the line goes beyond 3 inches then they need to determine is it then closer to the 3 inch mark or 3 ½  inch mark.  I have gone back over that with them the past few days and we checked the homework for this week together so that they would get correct answers and hopefully clear up any confusion.  I have taught them various strategies to use with our measurement unit and ask that they use them to help them get the correct answers.  Unfortunately, some students feel like strategies are for babies or they don’t want to take the time to do them.  I have spoken to them over and over again all year about the importance of using strategies.

Friday, November 30th

We had a chilly but very nice field trip to Tredegar today!

Next week in reading, we will continue working on our Fairy Tale unit to help us with the strategies of sequencing of events, character elements, and comparing/contrasting two books,  In math, we will be learning about area and perimeter.  We will begin our next social studies unit which will carry us to winter break of Ancient China and Ancient Egypt.  This will mostly be a review for most students as they studied these civilizations last year.  However, this is now being moved to the 3rd grade curriculum starting this year.  I have put several dates for quizzes and tests in the Upcoming area of my blog.  If there are any changes to these dates, I will let you know, but they should be fairly accurate unless we were to get any weather that would cause us to miss school.

Please check in with your children to find out how their supplies are holding up.  As you can tell, we glue in many pages of notes, so some students are running quite low on glue sticks.  Some students may also be in need of new notebooks for some subjects.


Tuesday November 20th

Please enjoy your holiday break to spend time with you loved ones!

For the week of 11/26 we will be starting a new math unit on measurement, which will carry us to winter break.  This first week of the unit we will be learning about linear measurement  – we will learn how to measure and estimate.  In reading, we will begin a unit on Fairy Tales that will also continue up to winter break.  We will be using various Fairy Tales to continue working on story elements, adjectives (which will also be part of grammar/English), and we will be doing various writing activities.  One of our writing activities will be to write our own Fairy Tales!  I cannot wait to see their final products!  We will continue working a bit more on ecosystems this week and conclude with our field trip on Friday 11/30.

 Friday November 16th

Once again we have had quite a busy week of learning.  We have been working on persuasive writing about why we would not eat our turkeys!  We have also enjoyed working on an in class ecosystems project.  As we are wrapping up this week and looking toward next week – we will have our ecosystem science unit test on Tuesday 11/20.  The kids are responsible for knowing all of the vocabulary and how to apply their knowledge.  We will continue working on story elements in reading.  In math we will work on division strategies.

If you have not sent in any canned goods or non-perishable food items, please consider sending in items on Monday.  This is our last day to collect these items for the Henrico Christmas Mother.

Please be sure to send your child with a coat so that they can go outside for recess.

Lastly, our field trip to Tredegar Iron works and the James River walk has been rescheduled for Friday, 11/30.  Your children are coming home with a new form to be completed and returned back to school by Monday, 11/26.  The trip has already been paid for, so do not send any more money.  I am hoping that our original chaperones will still be able to help us out and attend.  Chaperones for this trip – please let me know one way or another if you are able to attend.


Friday November 9th

We have had a wonderful week of learning!  Please see my blog for important updates in upcoming:

A few things for next week:

  1. Our field trip is scheduled for Tuesday 11/13.  Please have the students wear their class t shirts over top of another layer of clothing.  It is supposed to be quite chilly and our trip is mostly outside.  They should also wear comfortable walking shoes.  Please send a lunch with them – it can be in a lunch box this time if they like or a bag like last time with their name on it. We will be eating there.  Please do not send money with your children – we will NOT be visiting the gift shop or making any type of purchases.  Also, I want to give you a “heads up” – in the event of pouring rain we will not go on our trip.
  2. We are having a canned and non-persishable food drive starting on 11/12 through 11/26 – please consider sending in an item or two (or more) if you can!  A flyer will be coming home with them on Monday.
  3. I have changed the date of our science unit test on ecosystems and the human impact from 11/16 to 11/20.

As far as what we are studying and working on in class goes:  Math will be learning strategies for multiplication.  Even though many students know their times tables, they need to be able to identify models and use strategies.  This is part of the math sol 3.4a-d.  If you ever want more information about the sols (standards of learning), please visit the VDOE (Virginia Department of Education) website.  There is a wealth of information on their website including past released test samples.  Many times math is about how your arrived at your answer and not just the answer only.   In reading we will continue to learn about and apply our knowledge of story elements.  For science, we will continue learning about the ecosystems that they have notes on in their science notebooks and how humans can impact them.


Friday October 26th

We have had a very busy week of learning!  We have many exciting events coming up next week to help the students have some fun while learning.  Please see my blog:

– Upcoming – for  a current schedule of events next week and on into November.

We will be wrapping up our geography unit by Friday, November 1st.  The students will have a unit test to cover all of the geography and map skills they have been learning on Wednesday 10/31 and we will complete part 2 on Friday.  They should be completely prepared on 10/31, however.  I sent home a blank map with them today to help them study as they will have to label all of the continents, oceans, and be able to identify the geographic features on each one that they have glued into their notebooks.  We will finish with our last continent in regards to geographic features on Monday.

Our field trip to MSiC is on Thursday.  They are going to love this lesson!  It is one that I used to teach when I worked there.  On this day, they need a bagged lunch that can be disposed of at the center.  We do not want to take lunch boxes to keep up with while we are there or on the bus.  Their names should be on their bags please.

Please have your students use Study Island, Reflex math, and RAZ kids at home for extra practice.  They should be able to log into their accounts using the Clever application.  In addition, there are other sites that might be of interest to them as well for other subject areas.


Friday October 19th

It was so nice to make it through a whole week of school this week!  Please see my blog for updates, especially Upcoming:

Picture day is on Monday.  This was rescheduled from last Friday 10/12.

This week the children have a had a few opportunities to work on computers.  They should be able to log into clever from home and get on  many of the websites.  They have been set up on reflex math, study island for math, Epic, and RAZ kids for reading.

Thanks to everyone who is able to help out with our Pumpkin Math day by donating items and/or your time!  I am very appreciate of your support.  As a reminder, if you are coming in to help with this activity, you must complete a volunteer application form prior to the day of this activity.  Anyone who does not have this form on file will not be allowed to come up to our classroom.  This form can be found on our school’s website.  If you do not have access to a computer, or cannot find one, please let me know so that I can send one to you asap.


Friday, October 12th

I hope that everyone made it through the storm without much damage!  What an unexpected day off!  With this being said, the students were told several times that they would have their math test on Monday the 15th.  I told them several times to make sure they had their math notebooks in their backpacks so that they could review over the weekend.  The test will cover our whole unit of place value, rounding, comparing numbers and ordering numbers.  Their homework and reading logs will also be due on Monday.

Picture day and Donuts with dad with be rescheduled, however, we do not have any dates for that.  I will let you know when I find out.

You will be hearing from room parents  early next week.  They will be reaching out for help and item donations for our first big activity, which will be on 10/31.  Please be sure to complete a volunteer application if you would like to come in to help with any of our events this year, or chaperoning any of our field trips.  These forms can be found on our school’s website.  If you cannot locate it, let me know and I will send a form to you.

Starting early next week, we will be beginning a new math unit.  Our math unit will cover addition and subtraction of 4 digit numbers, estimation of sums and differences, and word problems.  This unit will be heavy in computational skills and problem solving skills.  We will begin with one step word problems and advance to multi-step problems.

We will also be starting a major social studies unit that will cover maps skills and geography.  We will be gluing in many notes and maps into their social studies notebooks so that they have this as a reference to prepare for the unit test.  I will be telling the children to take their notebooks home nightly in order to review and be prepared for this test.  They must be responsible and make sure that it is put back in their backpack to come back to school, as we will be adding things to it almost daily.

Please check their agenda’s for test/quiz dates as well as my blog page that is updated at least weekly with important dates:

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, October 5th – we have had a busy week of learning this past week.  We continue to learn about animal adaptations in science and will have our final test on Wednesday 10/10.  We have moved on from place value to rounding numbers in math.  Next week we will continue to review place value and rounding and learn about comparing numbers.  There is a unit test on all 3 areas next Friday.  Please see the Upcoming link for all important dates.  Also, as a reminder, students do not come to school on Monday.  Enjoy the long week-end!


It was so wonderful to see everyone who could make it to back to school night last night!  The kids are continuing to make the adjustments necessary for 3rd grade.  We have continued working on rules and laws in social studies this past week and their test is upcoming on Tuesday, 9/25.  On Wednesday we will begin our science unit about animal adaptations.  We have finished with graphing in math and are moving into place value on Monday.

The kids are doing a great job learning how to use their agenda’s, write down homework, and maneuver in a 3rd grade classroom.  Below are some notes involving classroom communication and homework procedures:

Agendas – Great job parents on all the kids having agendas! The kids are responsible for writing their homework and any important communication every morning when they arrive at school (it is written on the board for them to copy).   I also sign off on each day of the agenda, so if you want to jot me a note under the day, this is a great place for quick communication.  I am also expecting the parents to sign or initial their child’s agenda everyday. This is how I know that you have seen what their homework assignments are, as well as any other important communication that you need to know about.

Homework – We started homework this past week.  The kids received  a reading log that is printed on card stock.  They can read 10 – 20 min a night and have a parent sign off on it.  That reading log should be able to get us the whole 1st nine weeks of school and should be kept under the homework tab in the kids accordion folders. The reading logs need to be returned with a parent signature every Friday.   The kids will also get Math and Cursive HW packets each Monday Morning for HW as well.  The packets are labeled with each days assignment. Please do not move ahead as those skills will not have been taught yet, and  I do not want them to do things incorrectly.   I will introduce the cursive letters at school for the week and the kids will just practice the cursive at home.  I will NOT check the whole HW packet (for both Math and cursive) and the reading log, until each Friday.  It is also a way of trying to teach our 3rd graders to become more independent and responsible.  The HW packets should also be kept under the HW tab on the kid’s accordion portfolio as well.

Portfolios –   The kids labeled their own accordion portfolios.  They will be responsible for taking the accordion folders back and forth to and from school each day.  There are tabs for all of their notebooks, so if HW is ever confusing you can refer to the notebooks in their portfolio.  There is also a tab in the portfolio that says “take home” – these are papers that can be cleaned out daily and stay at home.  I will send home work we complete in this folder, that is simply finished classwork that we no longer need but I still want the parents to be able to see.

Tuesday Folders – every Tuesday your child will bring home their blue cubs folder.  We call this our Tuesday folder.  This folder will be filled with graded papers, as well as any other important forms, permission slips, or school information.  Please go through and clean out this folder weekly and return it back to school with your child on Wednesday.