Week One 2019-2020 In the books!

Here’s quick taste of our week together through photos and videos!

This first video shows us hard at work.  We were filling out a reading survey which would tell Ms. Beck through writing who we are as readers; what makes us excited about reading, what frustrates us about reading, and what we hope to learn in third grade!


Each week, we will be “buddied up” with a different student.  This week, we made secret handshakes with our buddies.  Check out when we were making them!


Below you will see photos of our buddy pairs from this past week.  What a smart looking bunch!

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Here are some pictures of us in action!

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Have a great weekend and I can’t wait to see you all on Monday for our first full week of third grade!

November 2018

Forgive me for being negligent in my blog posting, but get ready for all the pictures from November and the beginning of December you can even handle!

At the start of November, we learned about the origin of Veterans Day through a Google Slide with partners and got to share our knowledge by reflecting on our learning through choosing three graphic organizers in response.  Below you can see us learning and responding, as well as our STREAM activity in which we

The culmination of all our learning, the Veterans Day assembly, a chance to commemorate the service done for our country by brave men and women.  We were thankful to have Olivia’s step-dad join us as well as the chance to get to talk to a real Marine!



We learned about story elements in fiction texts and worked in teams to fill in a graphic organizer on Google Classroom about the story A Bad Case of the Stripes.  You all saw the hard copy come home in your child’s yellow folder a few weeks ago.  Your child should be able to identify the exposition (beginning), rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution in any fiction story they read.  They should also be able to talk about the characters, setting, and the author’s theme.



We donated cans of food and toys for the Henrico Christmas Mother, and as a grade level, we raised just over 160 cans!  Way to go, Third Grade!


We spent about a week discussing how the equals sign (=) does not just mean that you do work on one side of the math problem!  It means that both sides of the equals sign (=) are equivalent to each other!  We spent quite a lot of time trying to trick each other, but I tell you what, I could NOT trick these smarties!  Check us out sharing ways we demonstrated equivalencies with each other!



Just before Thanksgiving, we worked on using commas in a series.  We wrote sentences about things we would be eating or having over break, then we walked around and complemented each others’ work!  Well done, friends!



One of the most exciting things we do in third grade is learning about multiplication and division.  What I hope you notice we do not do is worry about memorization; we focus on representing with a variety of models!  If you haven’t asked your child to bring home their math notebook yet, do it soon!  We have learned how to multiply and divide using repeated addition/subtraction, equal groups, arrays, area models, skip counting, and number lines.  We practice our fluency with 0s, 1s, 2s, 10s, and 5s by playing games, which (if we ever get back to school after this snow) your child will bring home in a sleeve to play anytime they’d like!  It can even count as homework!


Check out Michael teaching us all (and I do mean us ALL) how to use arrays to divide!



After a two day battle of the wills, Carly is our classroom spelling bee winner, with Sunset as our runner up!  We are very proud of them both!  Actually, we are proud of everyone for having such a great attitude!


We spent a week reviewing plant and animal life cycles we have been learning about since Kindergarten by having some self-guided lessons on Discovery Education.  We then invited in our Innovative Learning Coach Extraordinaire, Mrs. Reid to come help us create Stop Motion Videos about any life cycle we wanted.  Check out our Stop Motion Google Site! Click Here ->  Plant and Animal Life Cycles



Have you heard that we are getting new computers…whenever we get back to school?  That’s right!  Our last day with these stinky Dells is whatever day we go back!  If we are going to each have our own computers, we better get our keyboarding skills up to par!  Your children have taken up the challenge set before them and have really been enjoying Typing Club!  They can access it through their Clever account!  www.clever.com/in/henrico



We went on our first family field trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where we had the privilege of seeing artifacts from Ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Mali!  While we saw some amazing things, I am sure we left with more questions than we went with.  That’s the sign of a great trip!



Carly lit our class Menorah every day to help us celebrate Hanukkah this past week!


While we can get really bummed out when it’s too cold and wet for outdoor recess, indoor recess has come to be one of our new favorite things!  Thanks to our families to hooking our classroom up with great new options for us to do other than just get on the computers!



This week was our last garden lesson until the spring time and we made it worth it!  We tried a bunch of different greens, dug up radishes, and tried out red and white radishes.  Boy, are they spicy! I wonder if Raul the Radish has made it to Monday night?



While our musical is obviously not going to happen this week, I can’t wait for you all to see it next week.  It’s so incredibly special.  Bring your tissues, folks.



October was BUSY!

In the time that has passed since our last blog post (yikes, Ms. Beck!) we dressed up in our finest duds and had picture day!  We can’t wait to see how fancy the portraits turned out.  Dakota said these two looked like Steve Harvey and we can’t disagree with her!

We practiced what to do in the event of a tornado, an earthquake, or a fire all in one day!  We are so safe!  There’s nothing we aren’t ready for in room 36! #safety


We completed an entire unit on animal adaptations starting with an inquiry project where students were asked to answer the question “How does the animal survive in its habitat?” on a sticky note and then over the course of two weeks, we sorted out student answers onto charts.  This is how we learned about all sorts of physical and behavioral adaptations!  It was also a great way to discuss certain habitats, animals, and it gave Ms. Beck a good idea of who knew what about adaptations!  We camouflaged fish and hid them around the classroom from each other and had so much fun trying to find them.


The grossest, but COOLEST part of our science unit on animal adaptations was dissecting owl pellets!  Check out the pictures and a video of us hard at work!


Click here to watch the us dissecting in action!


In math, we finished our unit on place value (comparing, rounding, expanding numbers, etc.) and dove head first into exploring addition and subtraction strategies!  Having a strong grasp of strategies of simple math problems and processes pays dividends later on when adding and subtracting larger numbers, which we have to master by the end of third grade!  The pictures below show some of the strategies we practiced and (as in the previous blog post) we created Flipgrids to demonstrate these strategies for other students!

There’s a picture of Porter on his chair in celebration as the first student in our class to master his math drills!  Way to go, Porter!  We are proud of you and we can wait to join you!


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Small group reading instruction is going splendidly, as well as reading stations around the room.  Check out what’s going on at the kidney table with Ms. Beck as well as the other stations around the room!



In whole group reading, we learned about nonfiction text features.  We looked through a science text book chapter on animals and labeled all the text features we could find and discussed what we learned about animals from those features in small groups.  Look at how hard we worked!


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We participated in Mix It Up lunch where we were able to sit with a mixed up group of first, second, and third graders and practice our conversational skills.  While this might make us uncomfortable at first, it’s a great way to build relationships with Mallards outside of our classrooms!  #communication


And in the event you haven’t heard, we just finished a writing unit on cracked fairy tales!  We started by hearing a story about Goldilocks and the Three Bears that was a little different; Goldilocks runs into three ghosts instead and gets turned into a ghost herself!  We worked our way through the writing process including brainstorming, planning, writing a rough draft, peer revising and editing and then typing a first final draft into our Google Drive.  What might have been our favorite part was learning that we can collaborate with one another on the same file in real time to suggest final revisions and edits!  Once we printed our final drafts, we practiced reading them aloud and then recorded our podcasts.  To hear them, have your child log into their Google Classroom via Clever and show you how to hear their podcast and those of their classmates’!


What doest 21st century collaboration look like in a third-grade classroom in Henrico County when it comes to writing?  Play the video below to find out!



It’s finally fall and we are thrilled to be ending our first quarter out strong!  Bring on second quarter!

Chromebook Practice and Flipgrid

More pictures to come soon, but check out our introduction to the new Chromebooks (our class set coming soon – we hope) and a lesson we did on them using the app Flipgrid where we taught our favorite math strategy to a younger student!


Click on the link below to see our finished Flipgrid projects! (If you need the password – e-mail me!)


What’s been going on in Room 36? A LOT of learning!

In third grade, we do a great deal of learning what it means to be collaborators in all subject areas.  The following pictures show us working on a collaborative activity called a “math task” where I give the whole class a problem and they have to solve it in small groups, write down how they solved it, and then present their strategies to the entire class.  We also spend time reflecting on our abilities to work as teammates and what makes group work easier or more difficult.  This was our second math task of the year and I’ve already seen a marked improvement in collaboration, patience, and adventurous mathematical strategy!

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In social studies, students were asked to work in collaborative groups, following written directions, to create a world map including labels for the continents, the equator, prime meridian, and mountains and rivers (labeled) on each continent we have studied.  Much like the math task, we reflected on how these collaborations went, and we found that groups that went in with a common goal, assigned jobs, and everyone being on task were more successful in completion than other groups.  Everyone did well, but not every group was able to complete the assignment completely!  We learned a lot!



We don’t do all assignments in collaborative groups.  We have also jumped in head first into the world of Google Classroom, and if you haven’t had your child log into their Clever account and then into their classroom to show you around, you are missing out!  We have been working on a Place Value assignment, a labeling continents and oceans assignment, and recently are very, VERY proud of our first Alternative Assignment in Social Studies.  I included two examples of student worked that was turned in!  How amazing that your children have created these completely on the computers.  These Mallards are amazing!



In reading we’ve been talking about asking and answering questions, so we started with looking at artwork and thinking about what questions the artists made us think about when we looked at their art.  We wrote those questions on sticky notes, and man, your children nailed those questions.  Please zoom in to read some of those winners.  Later in the week, Ryan even made a text to world connection with one of the pieces of art!


We’ve been working hard on place value and like to do our own work and then compare our work to others.  Here we are doing work on our white boards and then sharing our strategies with others!


We also celebrated Walk to School day on Wednesday.  I walked with some of the other third grade teachers from Mrs. Stearns’ house, and I tell you what, I felt more energized on Wednesday than any other day all week!  Check out some of the great pictures you all sent to me!


We also got to visit the garden to thin the mustard greens, weed the garden paths, and try a salad “pizza.”  Yum!


A few random pictures below include what our October looks like (including a big rivalry game today!), some posters we’ve made, a sign that now sits near our turn in trays to remind us to write our names on our posters, a close-up of Mr. Snaggletooth himself, and a video of us waiting for the bus on a few days!  (“Yo, they got a backbone!”)



Weeks Two and Three

We started talking about what will be happening around the classroom during one of the most important hours of our day this week: small group reading rotation hour.  During this time, I will be meeting with a small group of students to instruct and enrich their particular needs.  While I am doing that, your children will be either completing an activity on the computer, working on a writing assignment/choice, or reading to themselves.  To prepare them for these independent stations, we spend all of September, and some of October practicing those stations.  This practice time helps to build creative problem-solving skills, cooperation, and collaboration because (as the below poster describes) they cannot talk to me unless four very specific things happen in our classroom:

Here we are building reading stamina!


We learned how to generate our own survey questions, then conduct an unbiased survey (the best we could), and create a pictograph and a bar graph using our survey results.  I am so impressed with how well they handled these activities!





We’ve continued our study of growth mindset, but we’ve also added in learning about three parts of our brain: the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.  MindUp teaches us that we have to learn strategies to control the amygdala, otherwise we will fight, run away, or freeze when it senses danger – even if there’s no actual danger!  We’ve differentiated mindful versus unmindful behaviors, talked about listening mindfully, and started our “core practice” of deep belly breathing.  Ask your child to teach you the appropriate way to breathe tonight!


This week was also our first garden lesson where we got to help weed, enrich the soil, and scatter plant lettuce that we’ll get to enjoy when the colder months come around!  Check us out in action!



Overall, another fantastic two weeks.  Keep it coming!

Get ready for the class of 2028!

This week has been absolutely one of my favorite first weeks back EVER! In four short days, we have done the normal back to school procedure stuff (where are the glue sticks, how do you sign out of the room to get to the bathroom, etc.) but we have done a lot of other great things. Check out some picture of us in action this week!

One of the most important things we will learn and practice in third grade will be how to engage in civil discourse, meaning, how to have respectful conversations with people who may believe in different things.  This means that you enter and leave a discussion without needing to change the mind of the other person, but that you listen intently and you might just learn something new about a topic or about the person you are engaged with. This is a hard skill and your third graders rocked it OUT!

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In math, we explored number talks, sharing our thinking, mystery numbers, and our viewpoints of past years of math instruction.  Getting some of the cobwebs out helps to put us on a strong path for the future!

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Have you heard about the new lunch line in the cafeteria?  It’s the fanciest thing since sliced bread!  You’ve got to see this place!

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After reading a book about how problems can get in the way of our dreams, we set goals for ourselves and made the promise to not let anything get in the way of our best efforts this year!

While doing the LOOOOOONG wait for the buses, some of my friends even took advantage of the time to help me put our classroom library together and then dig into a good book!  This was NOT staged, I promise!

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We remembered how to log on to the computers and did some beginning exploration of our GoogleClassroom!  We made a post about what it means to build a community within our classroom full of students who respect the rights of each other.  We also voted for our Student-Council Association (SCA) representative and alternate!  We’re looking forward to being served by Carly and Delilah!

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In reading, we learned about making predictions and using context clues (synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples) to help us figure out the meaning of new or difficult words in text.  Here are some pictures of us working around the room on a context clue activity. I was looking to see how much self-control and direction following ability they had at the end of the day on a Friday, and I must say, I was VERY impressed with them!

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Overall, I’d say it was a solid first week!


The Past Few Weeks

We have been very focused in these past few weeks as we have been taking our end of year MAPS tests and getting ready for the Virginia Standards of Learning assessments (SOLs).  Can you believe that we are already to this point in the year?

In between all the hard work, there have been some great highlights in our weeks. We went to Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia to tour the home and grounds of Mr. Thomas Jefferson, our third president.  While we still have many questions about this complex man and his difficult to understand world, we learned a lot and had a great time!


Last week, we had a visit from a Maybeury alumni, Dr. Skateboard, who while showing us some awesome skateboarding tricks, talked to us about science, math, and the importance of setting goals and always believing that you can do just a little bit more!  Check out the photos and videos below!


Speaking of setting goals and doing just a little bit more, our friend Abbas started a trend that I hope sparks more and more “genius” time over the next few weeks.  Abbas read a book and on his own time at home, created a Google Slide presentation that he shared with me to ultimately share with the class on Alexander Hamilton.  It included facts, music, and great artwork.  Well done!


Quickly following that, Rocco shared a presentation on Harry Houdini and Tori with a presentation on John Hancock.  I can’t wait to see all the research and presentations to come!

Finally this week, we spent some time in the garden, thinning and tasting mustard blend greens, watering the plants, and loving the warmer weather!


On a more personal note, thank you so much for all the love and support this and every week of the year.  On Teacher Appreciation Week, we teachers feel overwhelmed at the amount of love poured into us and are thrilled to know that we are surrounded by a community who values our hard work for their children!  Thank you for all the wonderful gifts!

Spring Break!

Who’s enjoying spring break?  Here’s a few pictures you have all sent to me!  Keep them coming!



Rocco with Vinnie and Frannie in Arizona on a morning walk.


Abby exploring the parts of the brain in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

Manuel with his family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!

Tessa digging a hole on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina!

Winn with his sister, Kate, and cousins in Charlotte, North Carolina!

Here is Teaghen is buried up to her neck in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!

Here is Sammi climbing a tree in Hilton Head, South Carolina!

I’ll see you all on Monday!

Newsela, Google Slides, Short Reports, and a Party

It’s hard to believe that we just set our clocks forward to get ready for spring and then had a snow afternoon on Monday and delay on Tuesday, but such is March weather in Richmond, I suppose!  Mrs. Stearns was the best prepared of us all!

This week we really beefed up our access to technology this week with the addition of digging into Newsela (link found on our Clever homepage) and Google Slides.  Newsela is a site full of age and reading level appropriate news articles meant to give students a broader point of view, a chance to interact with me through annotations of the articles, and a chance to add to their own vocabulary with a personal word wall.  If they haven’t shown you this at home yet, ask them to see it!  We have also been creating a Google Slide presentation to accompany our short reports we have been working on for the past three weeks.  This was really just something extra, but they have loved being able to find pictures and share their knowledge in a more interactive way.  Ask them to log on to their google account at home and they can share their slide with you by e-mailing it to your e-mail address!


For some old school writing, I had to show off Miss Tori’s writing this week.  In small group reading, her group read a book about the forming of the Constitution and all that was going on around that time.  In the book, there was a beautiful painting of the delegates all gathered around what seemed to be the signing of the Constitution, so I challenged them to be news reporters.  They had to report back to their readers, who couldn’t see what they were seeing, what was going on in the “room where it happened.”  While all the information might not be correct, Tori’s writing evokes great emotion and anticipation.  All the writing in that group was outstanding.  Well done!

On Friday, using the official Maybeury podium, we shared our short reports with our classmates and Mr. Fernald for a bit.  We discussed what it means to speak loudly in front of a group, making some eye contact, enunciating clearly, and not rushing through so everyone can enjoy all our hard work!  They did phenomenally!  I caught two reports on video, so be sure to check those out below.




The sun was out and we were protected from the wind on Friday, so out to the garden we went for our lesson, where we talked about weeding the garden to get it ready for spring planting!  We also had a delicious kale, spring lettuce, carrot, and snow pea salad at the end.  Thanks to our farmers for always having a great lesson in store for us!


Finally, this weekend was the Mallard Auction where parents and teachers get to raise money and morale for the students we love so dearly.  I had such a great time and I can’t wait until next year.  Check out all the fun we had!  I hope you all had a great weekend!

A great week behind us, a great week before us!

Maybe you’ve heard that we have welcomed a new friend to our family!  He might not always know what we are talking about, and he might (rightly) think we are a little crazy, Lutfullah is a hard worker, eager to participate, and has proved that math is truly the universal language!  Welcome to the entire Hamgar family!

Last week was National Foreign Language Week so each morning on the announcements, different students were teaching us how to say various words in different languages, since so many different langauges are spoken at Maybeury.  One language surprise in our classroom this week, was that on Braelyn’s birthday this Thursday, she pulled out this Japanese birthday song after I sang to her in boring old English! (Click on the video to hear her sing!)


Did you know that EVERY year, students who receive ESL services (English as a Second Language) have to take 4 more tests than native English speakers?  They have to take a test to determine their reading, speaking, listening, and writing level every, stinkin’ year!  To celebrate finishing most of these tests so far, we had balloons, crowns, rainbow cookies, and surprise notes of encouragement for 7 of our ESL family members! We are so proud of all the hard work they put in every day and we love learning along with them!

Friday was another Spirit Day to celebrate Seuss Month (PJ, Stuffed Animal and Slipper Day) and yet again, your children did not disappoint.  I even caught them all sleeping when I was trying to teach!  Check out this video!

In terms of what we learned this past week, we learned how to access age appropriate news reports on Newsela through our Clever website, worked more on our research and short reports, talked about author’s purpose in nonfiction texts, discussed how paying attention to sequence can help us understand fiction and nonfiction, compared fractions on a number line, and learned about how simple machines make work easier.  Here are pictures from throughout the week.


Your child had the opportunity to spend some of their hard earned mallard money on a ticket to the dance party in the cafeteria on Friday afternoon. It might have only been for 30 minutes, but we got down! Check us out in action! (Click on the video to see our sweet moves!)

What a glorious way to end the week.  Don’t forget to dance your clocks one hour forward tonight! Hooray for spring being on its way!

Short Reports, Dr. Seuss, and Our New Friend

This week I challenged your children to think for themselves and start to research a topic so that they may later write a short report.  They had to choose a topic (from a reasonable set of choices) after looking at variety of nonfiction books.  They then had to write down what they already knew and what questions they had about their topic.  They also had to write down what resources they needed to gather to conduct their research.  On Wednesday, we started our research in the Maybeury library, using public library books that Ms. Beck gathered for us, and using safe online resources (Online Encyclopedias, PebbleGo, DK Find Out, etc.). While we are doing research, we are learning what it means to take notes in our own words, so that we don’tplagiarize someone else’s words.  We also have been creating a bibliography as a record of where our information is coming from.  Over the next two weeks, and once our research is complete, we will start writing our short reports, revise and edit them, publish, and then share our findings.  This has been a really great time of independent and challenging (in the best way) time in our classroom.

On Friday, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by dressing up as our favorite Dr. Seuss character.  I promised them that the most creative costume would get a free week of no homework, and they got me.  All of the costumes were so good that they are ALL getting a free week of no homework next week. The most you may ask them to do is read for 20 minutes each night. The looked amazing.  Absolutely unbelievable.  Check out these crazy kids.

We also welcomed a new friend to our class this week.  Lutfullah (Loot-foo-lah) comes to us from Afganistan and has been a perfect addition to our room 36 family.  We are so glad to have him, and we are eager to help him learn and to learn from him as well. I’ve already learned how to say “hello”,”face”, and I’m working on some other phrases this weekend in Dari.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Camping Day and more

Once we got past rocking our mid-year math benchmark, we dug into making inferences, or drawing conclusions, in nonfiction texts.  This skill mainly comes from previewing the headers and, using our background knowledge, trying to infer what we think the section will be about before reading.  Then we read the section and think back about the header.  Could we think of another header that would be just as good?  Check out what we mean in the picture of Marcelo and Ana’s work below.

We also learned how to really “dig into” pictures when making inferences in nonfiction. We practiced looking at primary documents first and tried to figure out what was going on in the document or photograph without any context first.  We dug into our brains and thought about all the things we knew about what we were seeing, while covering up the captions.  Once we had exhausted ourselves that way, we uncovered the captions and used the information the author gave us to deepen our understanding of the photographs.  We also shared out our initial inferences and then our deeper knowledge!


Here are just some bonus pictures of us working hard during reading rotations throughout the week.

The best part of this week had to be Friday, where when we used our class earnings to buy Camping Day! While the original plan was just going to be to “camp” for the first hour, spending time listening to cricket and campfire sounds while working under “tents” was so enjoyable that we made the decision to camp all day!  Check out some pictures and a video of what might end up being our favorite day of the year so far!


Can you believe we’re almost to March? Have a great warm weekend, everyone!

Before our amazing field trip the Virginia Rep Theatre to see “Songs from the Soul” (which I highly suggest all of your families go to again before the end of February), we did a little making inferences around the room.  Check us out in action!


After all the snow days and mid-year meetings one on one with Ms. Beck to determine our current reading levels, small group instruction is about to get back on track!  This week we worked on making inferences about characters based on author’s clues and our own background knowledge, learned about personal pronouns, discovered ways to determine if we should multiply or divide in a word problem, and learned more about natural event cycles. Here are a few pictures of us in action.

I hope you’re all having a great rainy weekend!


WE WERE AT SCHOOL FOR FIVE WHOLE DAYS LAST WEEK!  Can you hardly believe it?  Yesterday I worked hard on your child’s report cards, which will be coming home on Monday, February 12th.  That means we have officially hit the mid-year point of third grade.  We are half-way through, with so much more to do!  I’m ready to keep working hard if you all are!  I think (knock on wood) we are one of the only third grade classes that hasn’t been hit with all the sicknesses, so let’s keep it that way.  We are religiously washing our hands as we come in to the class, and lovingly making each other wash our hands if we catch each other with our hands anywhere near our mouths during the day.  Kudos to you all for putting forth that effort to all this grossness this time of year!  A clean room 36, is a happy room 36!

-This is your child’s Tuesday Folder, which should come back to school on Wednesday, with the back sheet signed.  (Take it out and flip it over for more places to sign!)  If there are ever tests or assignments for you to sign and return, they will be on one side of the folder, stamped so you know what to do!  Remember that from now on, and school wide, yellow folders will be coming home with graded papers on Tuesdays!  Don’t look for them on Mondays anymore!

-Our “I can” statements for this week are as follows:

Reading – I can draw conclusions/infer what the author has left out of a fiction passage using clues from the text and my own background knowledge.

Writing – I can write a friendly letter.  I can use personal pronouns in my writing.

Math – I can multiply two digit by one digit numbers.

Science – I can describe the events and significance of natural event cycles.

-I hope to see many of you tonight for our Parent SOL night!  This is the night where the third grade teachers get a chance to meet one evening with just the parents of third grade parents to talk about all the ins and outs of SOLs.  If you can’t make it, we will be sending home any papers in your child’s folder next Tuesday, so be on the lookout for that packet!

Field Trip permission forms (Va Rep Theatre) and money ($15) are due this Friday, February 2nd, so if you need another form, please let me know so I can send one home with your Baby Duck tomorrow!

This Friday is Sports Day.  Your child may dress up in their favorite sports team attire (appropriate for school) to support their favorite football or any type of athletic team!

Mid-year benchmarks are nothing your child needs to study for; however, I do want you all to have them on your calendar so that you can send in some extra love with your child on those days!  Both reading and math will be over two days, and the scores will only be to help me direct my instruction more intensively!  These tests give me a ton of good information, but they are NOT to stress your child out!  Reading – Wednesday, February 7th & Thursday, February 8th; Math – Monday, February 19th & Tuesday, February 20th.

Book Fair & Field Trip

This past week was the Book Fair at Maybeury and we loved getting to visit the library to make lists of books we wanted!  It gave me a good idea of books my smart Mallards are interested in, and gave them a chance to voice their opinion on a variety of books!  I am so thankful to all the families who bought new books for our classroom library!  Thank you.  Thank you!  THANK YOU!


We had a great time on our field trip to the Valentine Museum on Friday.  We got a tour of the 1812 Wickam house and found neoclassical influences around the house.  Ask your child if they know what “neoclassical” means.  We also took a class to learn about the three different kinds of columns (doric, ionic, and corinthian) and played a game called “Richmond or Ruins” where we had to determine if pictures shown on a screen were of Richmond architecture or from Greece and Rome!  We did pretty well, believe it or not!  Lastly at the Valentine, we realized that we were already familiar with an ancient author, Aesop!  We then were able to design our own amphora with a mythological creature of our own making.  We quickly hit the streets for an hour tour around the city seeing Greek, Roman, and Egyptian influences around MCV, VCU, the Capitol Building, the Governor’s Mansion, and churches along the way.  We had a glorious time.  We then rushed back to school for lunch and recess.  What a day!


Overall, it was a pretty awesome day!

Busy Bees

The past few weeks have been insanely busy! First of all, did you hear that the third grade pumpkin on for best decoration at Mayboory?  It’s no Wonder we won.  Reading this book so far has taught us much about inclusion, being kind, and thinking about how others go through life with their own struggles just like we do.  What an incredible story!  Ask your child about anything they’ve learned while we’ve read it this year.  We hope to finish it soon!

We have been learning about narrative elements in fiction (including the plot, climax, problem and solution), identifying parts of speech in weekly mentor sentences, differentiating between possessive vs plural nouns and contractions vs plural nouns, tackling models of multiplication and division, and remembering the life cycles of various plants and animals.

We were all very proud of our classmate, Winn, for being one of the three running for Secretary/Treasurer of the SCA this year.  He gave a great speech and made us all proud to be a part of his journey!  Way to go, Winn!


With Veterans Day being this past Saturday, and celebrating with an assembly on Friday we loved learning about how there are people out there right now protecting our inalienable rights.  We have talked a lot about how even though we are a diverse population, that diversity amongst Americans makes us stronger!  Thank you, Veterans!

On Friday afternoon, we got to celebrate our first quarter achievements and hard work with a Mallard Rally in the gym!  We talked about how we set goals, work towards them, overcome stress and adversity, deal with frustration, and set new goals for the coming quarter!  Mr. Fernald got the teachers involved with a teamwork activity.  Check it out the winning 5th grade team in action below!

Did you know I completed my fourth half marathon this weekend?  It’s true!  Mrs. Jones and I worked together all fall to prepare, although nothing could have prepared us for just how cold it was on Saturday morning.  We didn’t end up going quite as fast as we wanted, we worked hard, felt great, and enjoyed knowing that all of our hard work helped us to achieve something that we really wanted to do.  Now, my body is really sore and I’ll be taking Monday off to treat myself to a day of relaxation and reading.  I can’t wait to cozy up with a good book all day on the sofa.  I’ll miss you all, but I’ll see you on Tuesday!

One more thing:


Our last two weeks…

Over the past two weeks, we have been “extremely” busy, as Jeremy might say!  Let’s start off talking about our surveys we designed, executed, and then turned the data into bar graphs and pictographs.  Did you hear that Ms. Beck is a better singer than Beyonce?  According to room 36, it’s the truth!


In small group reading instruction, we don’t only read great books on our perfect levels.  We also discuss patterns in words that might help us decode new words, and we write!  Check us out in action!


Speaking of writing, something we do every single day in third grade is write!  While sometimes it’s as short as a mentor sentence lesson where we discuss what makes certain sentences from books we read exceptional, sometimes it’s working on a narrative or expository prompt from brainstorming to publishing.  Here we are in all stages of work.


We were lucky enough to have a visit from the Math Science Innovation Center (MSIC) this week to have a lesson about Animal Adaptations.  We learned how to determine if something is living or nonliving, we experienced how camouflage works to protect animals from becoming dinner, we learned about how scientists and inventors work together with biomimicry to make our world better.  Thanks, MSIC!


Finally, this Friday in the garden, we learned about how when plants have small seeds, we sew a whole bunch of seeds together when planting and then have to thin the seedlings later to give the plants room to grow.  You can see this demonstrated in the photo of Brianna, Rocco, and Daejanae below.  They were being the Spinach Triplets!


Like the mustard spinach, we are growing more and more every day!

Theatre IV, Deep Belly Breathing, & Getting DTB

We started off our week with an amazing visit from Theatre IV and their beautiful production of Pinocchio!


We read a book called What Does It Mean to Be Present and practiced our deep belly breathing skills.  This should come in handy not just when we rotate through reading stations, but anytime we are overwhelmed or stressed out.  Deep belly breathing calms our amygdalas down so our prefrontal cortex can make wise choices!

We really got going in reading groups this week and have been working our hardest in reading rotations. If you aren’t working with Ms. Beck at the macaroni table, you might be reading to yourself, practicing reading skills on Study Island or another assigned website, or completing a writing activity in the “Work on Writing” station.  Here are some photos of us hard at work during reading groups last week!


We also started digging into adding and subtracting big numbers, looking for addition and subtraction key words in word problems, and breaking apart those word problems with a 4-square graphic organizer to better understand what we are being asked to do.


Friday was “Fluffy Friend Day” if you chose to spend your mallard money on that item, but don’t worry, we’ll have another one soon!


I hope you all had a great weekend.  It certainly was a beautiful one!  Don’t forget we’ve got Mayboory coming up soon!  Will I see you there?

Last week tonight

Last week included walk to school day, a week full of the writing process, finding things we have been talking about in grammar in our reading, and just plain hard work!  What many of us found, especially with our writing, was that our first ideas are usually pretty good, but that everyone has room to grow.  I mean, if Thomas Jefferson, our third president, the founder of the University of Virginia, the writer of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, chose to revise the Declaration of Independence, even we, mindful third graders at Maybeury Elementary, can find something to revise and edit in our writing.  Everything can be made better.  Our theme for the next few weeks is shown in the last photo below: Don’t settle for great. HUSTLE!


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