January 20, 2019

It’s a busy time of year! This week, the students will take the reading benchmark on Wednesday and Thursday morning. The math benchmark will be administered on the mornings of January 31 and February 1. Please encourage your child to do his/her best on this assessment.

WORK OUT WEDNESDAYS- Each Wednesday morning students will participate in a fun exercise routine. Kids are encouraged to wear their work out gear.

STEAM NIGHT- Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30


Word Study: The test that was to be given last Friday has been rescheduled for Tuesday,  January 22. New words will be assigned next week.

Reading: We will be practicing and reviewing all reading skills that we have learned during the first semester. The students will be assigned a chapter book to read later this week.

Math: During the next 2 weeks, we will work on finding the perimeter and area of various polygons, and we will work on telling time to the nearest minute. The students also need to be able to figure out elapsed time. Example: Mary left the mall at 5:00 PM. She shopped for 2 hours. What time did she arrive at the mall?

Writing: We have been doing a lot of writing in class. Students should be using margins on the paper correctly when writing. We have practiced writing a topic sentence with detail sentences. The kids should also be experts at using synonyms, past-time verbs, and possessive nouns correctly.

Social Studies: We will continue the unit on Ancient Greece and Rome this week. A test on this information will be given next week. The main highlights that the kids should know include:


The architects of ancient Greece and ancient Rome used columns and arches in the construction of their buildings. Ancient examples still exist today.

  • Greece: The Parthenon (columns)
  • Rome: The Colosseum and aqueducts (arches)

The Arts:

Mosaics, sculpture, and paintings are displayed on buildings.

  • Greece: Pottery
  • Rome: Mosaics

The Government:

The government is based on ideas developed in ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

  •  Greece: Birthplace of democracy (government by the people); a direct democracy  
  •  Rome: Republican (representative) form of government; a representative democracy


Olympic games of today are modeled after the games of ancient Greece.

Looking forward to a great 4 day week!


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January 13, 2019

We are looking forward to STEAM NIGHT on January 24th. If you are able to donate pipe cleaners for the third grade activity, we would appreciate it!

Don’t forget that INSIDE OUT DAY will be on January 25th.

The students have taken several assessments on the computer. Please remember that copies of these tests can be found by clicking the Test Button on the blog.

Word Study: We will have our test this Friday, January 18th.

Reading: We have been working hard on identifying the main idea and supporting details in fiction and in nonfiction. We will work on all reading skills this week. I am meeting with small groups weekly to practice comprehension skills. Using Study Island at home is a great way to practice at home.

Math: Last week, we worked on the measurement unit. Students practiced measuring to the nearest 1/2 inch, inch, and centimeter. The students need to be able to identify the unit (centimeter, inch, foot, yard, meter) used to measure various objects. We also practiced measuring capacity using cups, pints, quarts, gallons, and liters. This week, we will work on using thermometers to measure temperature, and we will practice telling time. Please continue to work on multiplication facts. Students should have memorized the 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s facts. They should also know the strategies to use to find the product of all other multiplication facts.

Social Studies: We are currently working on the Ancient Greece and Rome unit. Students need to identify the location and contributions of each place.

We are scheduled to take the reading and math benchmarks at the end of the month. Students do not need to study for these tests.

Looking forward to a great week!

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December 16, 2018

I know that everyone is excited for Winter Break! We have several fun activities planned for the next 3 days.

Our classroom set of Chromebooks have arrived!

Winter Activity- We will be packing goodie bags for residents in a local nursing home.

Field Trip- We will go to the Science Museum on Tuesday. Chaperones need to arrive to school by 9:00. We will observe a science experiment, view exhibits, and watch a movie during our visit to the museum. Please remember that all students need a packed lunch on Tuesday!

Our annual Ring and Sing will be on Wednesday morning. The kids can bring a bell to ring and enjoy the fun!

Word Study- The next list of words will be assigned on January 7th.

Math- We will finish the unit on multiplication and division strategies this week. When we return from break the students learn all about measurement.

Reading- We will review identifying the main idea and detail sentences.

Science- We will discuss the effects of pollution on our environment.

Social Studies- We were scheduled to have a test on China and Egypt last week, but I have canceled this test. The next unit will be on Ancient Greece, Rome, and Mali.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Winter Break!

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December 2, 2018

Just 13 days until Winter Break! We still have a lot to accomplish!

Fun days: December 14th- Pajama Day

December 18th- Field Trip to the Science Museum

December 19th- Ring and Sing and the last day before Winter Break!

Word Study: Students should be practicing their word study words each night. The test will be on Friday. New word study words will not be assigned again until 2019!

Reading: Setting aside time for your child to read at home is so important. Research shows that kids should be reading for at least 20 minutes a day.  See the chart below.

We are continuing to work on finding the main idea and detail sentences. We are practicing by reading fiction books and pausing every few pages to stop and jot the most important action. The  kids are also practicing answering many SOL type questions. Examples include: What is the main idea of paragraph 6? What question can be answered by reading paragraph 4?

Math: Multiplication, multiplication, multiplication! We have worked hard on practicing arrays, repeated addition, equal groups, and number lines. We have also worked hard on learning the 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 facts. These facts really should be put to memory. Flash cards are a great tool to help learn the facts. An awesome goal for each child is to complete addition and subtraction on Reflex Math. We are using it in class as often as we can get our hands on computers. If you can fit it in at home a few nights each week, that would be fantastic! This week, we will continue to focus on multiplication, and we will also add on division! There will be lots and lots of practice!

Social Studies: We have been reviewing the geography and contributions of Ancient China. There will be a test on Ancient China on Wednesday. Since this is a review of a second grade objective, I am sure that everyone will do great! We will move on to reviewing Ancient Egypt this week. There will be a test on Ancient Egypt on December 11th, and a test on both Ancient Egypt and China on December 14th.

Contributions of Ancient China and Egypt
China Egypt
Written language Characters, symbols Hieroglyphics
Inventions Kite, silk cloth

compass, fireworks

Paper made from papyrus,

365-day calendar, clock

Architecture Great Wall Pyramids

This covers the big ideas for the week!

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November 25, 2018

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! These next 3 weeks and 3 days before winter break will go by quickly! We have several fun activities to look forward to such as Pajama Day on December 14th and our annual Ring and Sing on December 19th.

Word Study: The students will receive new word study words this week. The test will be on December 7th. We always practice and sort the words together in our small group. Students copy the correct sort into their notebooks. They should be referring to this list as they practice sorting each night. After the test on December 7th,  students will not receive new words until 2019!

Reading: We have been working on main idea in class. We will pay special attention to finding the main idea and supporting detail sentences in fiction this week. Next week, we will move on to finding the main idea in nonfiction. The types of questions that are asked of students can be challenging. Here are some examples of what students need to be able to answer.

  • Another good title for this story would be-,
  • Which question is answered in paragraph 5?,
  • Which paragraph answers this question?,
  • Which sentence best supports the idea that ________ at the beginning of the story?,
  • Which sentence supports the idea that ____________________________?
  • Which is the main idea of paragraph ___?
  • Paragraph __ is important to the story because it-
  • Which detail about the setting is the most important to the story?
  • After looking at the title, the reader knows that this story is about-
  • Paragraphs __ & __ mainly provide details about the _____________________

Math: It’s that time! We will start multiplication this week! Yes, I know that some of the students know a lot of the facts, but in third grade the kids need to be able to SHOW multiplication using arrays, repeated addition, number lines, and equal groups. The kids will learn about the zero property, the identity property, and the commutative property of multiplication. We will also eventually work on fact families once we have learned about division. This week, our main focus will be on the 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 facts. 

****This is a perfect time to finish the addition and subtraction facts on Reflex Math. The students can then move on to multiplication.

Writing: We have a couple of fun writing projects for the next 2 weeks. Students will design a gingerbread house. It doesn’t have to be a candy house. It could be a house that a vege lover or a pizza lover would desire. I am looking for some creativity! The students will use a graphic organizer to complete the prewriting before completing the final draft. The kids will also apply to be one of Santa’s reindeer. They will need to use many adjectives to describe their qualifications for the job.

Social Studies: This week, we will review second grade skills. The kids will explain how the contributions of ancient China and Egypt have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, inventions, the calendar, and written language. After a brief review of China and Egypt, we will identify the same contributions of ancient Greece and Rome.

This highlights the big ideas for this week. Let’s make it a great one!


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November 11, 2018

This is our last full week before Thanksgiving! The kids are so excited to perform for you during the Veterans Day Program. The kids will perform for the school at 9:00 AM on Monday morning and again on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. Please remember that the students should wear red, white, and blue for both performances.

This week, we are collecting can goods for the Henrico Christmas Mother. I would love to be the ELES Turkey Queen this year. I am cleaning out my pantry today to find some great foods to donate.

Word Study: This Friday will be the first word study test of the second nine weeks. The kids always have 3 dictation sentences to go along with the test. I check for a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, the word study word spelled correctly, and for the correct punctation at the end of the sentence.

Reading: We will focus on prefixes and suffixes this week. The students need to know the meanings of some of the commonly used prefixes such as un-, dis-, re-, and pre-. They also need to know the meaning of some of the commonly used suffixes such as -ed, -ful, -er, and -less. We will also continue to focus on story elements. Students completed several story maps on fiction books last week. It is time for a fiction grade this week.

Math: We will continue to work on word problems and on adding and subtracting numbers through 9,999. We are moving on to equalities and inequalities. Ex: Does 42 + 35 = 29 + 48? Learning multiplication facts is just around the corner. We will start with the 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 facts.

Science: We have been studying the differences between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. We will be ready to have a test on this information on November 20th. So far, we have studied streams, rivers, marshes, swamps, ponds, and oceans. We will focus on terrestrial ecosystems this week. Students will complete a project in class on an animal of their choice.

This covers the highlights of our upcoming week. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday night!

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November 4, 2018

We are already at the very end of the first nine weeks grading period. I am looking forward to meeting with many of you on Monday night for our conference. Don’t forget that Tuesday is a student holiday. The second marking period officially begins on Wednesday and will continue through the month of January.

Did your child share the virtual Spooktacular lesson that we completed with the Math and Science Center? Students were able to touch bats and explore the way that spiders can catch their prey.

Did you know that in a couple of weeks each classroom will have their own set of Chromebooks? Last week, Mrs. Robinson, our technology expert taught the students how to use the Chromebooks. I can’t wait for each child to always be able to have access to technology.

Have you checked out the Power Test button on the blog? This is where I will place the tests that the kids have completed online. The tests should be available for you to print at home and use for practice. Once each child has access to a Chromebook each day, we will complete most of the unit tests on these. The kids have to be familiar with the types of questions that will be asked on the NWEA tests in April and the SOL tests in May.

Don’t forget that students will be performing in the Veterans Day program during school at 9:00 AM on November 12th and during the PTA meeting on November 13th. The students will wear red, white, and blue.

November 9th is a school spirit day. Wear your favorite emoji shirt.

I originally stated that the next Lunch Bunch Book Club will be on November 15th, but I am moving it to the 16th. The book is My Father’s Dragon. It’s not too late to start reading it!

Word Study: New word study words will be assigned this week. The beginnning of the new nine weeks offers a fresh start. Please encourage your child to practice sorting and spelling the words each night. The test will be on November 16th.

Reading: We have been working on identifying the differences between fiction and nonfiction. If you are looking for ways to help improve your child’s reading skills, I would suggest reading nonfiction books. This can be a challenging genre for third graders. This week, we will focus on identifying story elements in fiction. Examples include characters, setting, plot, problem and solution.

Math: We have been working hard on adding and subtracting numbers through 9,999. Students also need to be able to estimate sums and differences through 9,999. We have also focused on solving word problems, especially multistep problems. We work on this every day! This week, we will begin the unit on patterns. Adding and subtracting will also continue to be a big focus.

Writing: Students designed monsters and wrote descriptive paragraphs to describe their monster. We continue to work on using those “jazzy” words to enhance our writing. Friday the students made adorable turkeys. This week, we will use a graphic organizer to begin writing about 3 main things we are thankful for in our lives. We will review how to use commas in a series and continue to work on spelling plural nouns correctly. We will also review when to use apostrophes.

Science: We have moved back to our animal unit. We will continue to review adaptations and food chains and begin discussing ecosystems. Students need to know the difference between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Yes, so much to learn! We will begin an animal project in class this week. Students will research an animal of their choice. We will have a unit test on all things related to animals and ecosystems before the Thanksgiving Break. The kids will make flashcards to help review all of our topics. This is a great study habit to set in place for all future tests. Third graders really do need to study!

Social Studies: We will keep reviewing the continents and oceans and all of the landforms and water features we have learned. Up next, we will study the reason for Veterans Day and the history of Thanksgiving. We will also review the second grade SOL on contributions of China and Egypt.

Looking forward to a fabulous week! As always, please ask if you have questions!

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October 22, 2018

Can you believe we are getting close to the end of the first nine weeks? Conferences are right around the corner. Be on the lookout for an email from me containing the Sign Up Genius to schedule a meeting with me.

Writing: We continue to work on using those “jazzy” words in our writing. This week, the students will create a monster and write a paragraph to describe it. The kids are expected to use adjectives, to use homophones correctly, and to use correct spelling and punctuation. This will count as a writing grade.

Word Study: New words will be assigned for each group this week. The test will be on November 2nd.

Reading: We have been working hard on using nonfiction text features and on using functional text. Ex: recipes, fliers, schedules, etc. We will continue to use nonfiction skills this week.

Math: We are starting a new unit this week on 3 and 4 digit addition and subtraction. Students will need to learn to estimate sums through 9,999. We will also practice solving lots and lots of word problems.

Social Studies: We should be ready for the oceans, continents, hemispheres, land and water features test on Friday. The kids will need to label a map of the oceans and continents. (This is a review of second grade skills.) They will also need to be able to label important land and water features on 5 of the continents. There is a lot to know! The kids should be very familiar with the features for North America as this is a review of second grade. Look for study information to come home on Tuesday.

AFRICA: Major rivers, mountain ranges, and other geographic features

  • Nile River – The Nile River is the longest river in the world and flows northward.
  • Atlas Mountains – The Atlas Mountains separate the coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara Desert.
  • Sahara Desert – The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world.


ASIA: Major rivers, mountain ranges, and other geographic features

  • Huang He – The Huang He (hwäng’-hê ‘) or Yellow River flows through much of China. The Huang He is located in the north-central region of China and flows
  • eastward.
  • Himalaya Mountains – The Himalaya Mountains are home to some of the highest peaks on Earth.  
  • Gobi Desert – The Gobi Desert is Asia’s largest desert.


EUROPE: Major rivers, mountain ranges, and other geographic features of Europe:

  • Mediterranean Sea – The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea situated between Europe to the north, Africa to the south, and Asia to the east.
  • Alps Mountains – The Alps are the largest mountain system in Europe.
  • Italian Peninsula – The Italian Peninsula is a boot-shaped peninsula in southern Europe extending into the Mediterranean Sea.


NORTH AMERICA: Major rivers, mountain ranges, and other geographic features of North America

    • Mississippi River: One of the longest rivers in North America
    • Rio Grande: Marks part of the boundary between Mexico and the United States
    • Rocky Mountains: Located in western North America and extend from Canada to New Mexico
    • Appalachian Mountains: Located in eastern North America and extend from Canada to Alabama
    • Great Lakes: A series of interconnected freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America

SOUTH AMERICA: Major rivers, mountain ranges, and other geographic features of South America

    • Amazon River: The second longest river in the world
    • Andes Mountains: The longest continental mountain range in the world
    • Amazon rainforest: The largest tropical rainforest in the world; includes many types of plants and animals

Science: We will pick back up with the unit on animals. During the next 2 weeks, we will study animal relationships (food chains) and ecosystems. There will be a test at the end of this unit. The kids will also complete an inquiry lesson on pollution and make super creations in the STEM LAB.

Important Dates:

Monday: Wear RED to show that at Echo Lake, we respect ourselves and others.

Tuesday:  Wear your sweats and workout clothes to show that we make healthy choices about our bodies.

Wednesday:  Wear “mix” matched socks for Mix it Up Day where we mix it up at lunch and recess to make new friends

Thursday:  Wear your favorite college gear or dress to represent your future career to show you are thinking about a bright future ahead.

Friday:  Wear orange to show that you stand up against bullying.

Friday: Social Studies Test

November 2- Word Study Test


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October 10, 2018

We are super busy in room 21! We enjoyed having our first Super Parent Reader, Mr. Tiwari, last week. He chose some great books that the kids really loved. We are looking forward to many more parent readers this year!

Here are some of the topics we are working on this week.

Reading: The students worked hard on answering questions using fiction texts. We are currently working on identifying nonfiction text features. Ex: diagrams, bold print, captions, table of contents, etc. In our small groups, we will be reading lots of nonfiction books to practice using all of the text features. Students will create their own diagrams, use their research skills to locate new facts about animals, and complete nonfiction text features scavenger hunts in the library.

Word Study: Students have been given a new list of words. The first day that the words are assigned, we meet in our small groups and practice sorting the words under their correct header. There is always a correct written sort in your child’s word study notebook in case your child forgets how to sort the words for the week. The next test will be on October 19th.

Writing: We are working hard on including those “JAZZY” words in our writing. Students have several lists of adjectives that we have glued into their notebooks to use a resource when writing. The kids just finished writing poems about scarecrows. Our class work is hanging on the wall across from our classroom door. Stop by and read the poems the next time you are at the Lake!

Math: Number sense- Wow! There is just so much to learn! We have worked on reading and writing 6 digit numbers. The students must know how to write the numbers in standard form, word form, picture form, and expanded form. We are currently working on rounding numbers to the nearest 10, 100, and 1000. Practice at home when you can! This is a challenging skill. Example: Round 145 to the nearest 10. Answer- 150

Social Studies– We are reviewing the 7 continents and the 5 oceans. We will also learn about many land and water features on all of the continents. There is a lot for third graders to know!

Science– We are finishing the unit on adaptations and will take a 2 week break from science while we are working on the social studies unit.

This covers many of the things that we are working on in class. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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September 24, 2018

I think this just might be our first full week of school this year! I am looking forward to getting a lot accomplished in class.

Flashlight Fridays, Lunch Bunch Book Club, and Buddy Reading

Let’s get these kids to LOVE reading! We had our first Flashlight Friday last week. Some of us spent a lot of time reading. Some of us spent a lot of time finding the perfect place to sit, and some of us spent a lot of time shining the flashlight all over the ceiling while making cool designs. We will definitely have some more rules set up for this week’s adventure. 🙂

I am so happy that so many kids are going to participate in October’s Lunch Bunch. I think we are going to have a lot of fun.

Also, soon we are going to be partnering up to Buddy Read with our neighbors, the preschoolers. What an awesome way for our third graders to practice fluency and using expression while reading!

Word Study– It’s official- We have finally started word study. I was only able to meet with one group today, but I plan on meeting with the other 3 groups tomorrow. Beginning tomorrow, word study notebooks should ALWAYS be kept in your child’s backpack, so that he/she can have it each night at home and each day in class. The FIRST word study test will be on Friday, October 5th. Look for word study homework to come home most Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Reading– Hip Hip Hooray! We will start our reading groups this week. Students will read a variety of books from our school book room and books that I have received through Scholastic. Wait until you see how many books I was able to order for our class this month! Our focus will be on fiction this week. Students will practice asking and answering thoughtful questions about the stories they read.

Math– We will take the graph test tomorrow. This does not mean that we are done with graphs. There are still some tricky questions that we need to master, but first we must have a good understanding of addition and subtraction. We will continue to work on graphing all year long! Our main focus for most of this week will be place value. Students will need to be able to read and write numbers through 999,999. We will begin by reviewing position of a number versus value. Then we will move onto expanded form, word form, and picture form. This is not an easy unit. Please look over the math homework each night that it comes home.

Science– We are starting one of my favorite units, animal adaptations. Students need to know the differences between a behavioral adaptation and a physical adaptation. There is a lot of vocabulary to learn. I am tentatively planning a quiz for this Friday. Students will bring home their word study notebooks and flashcards later this week to prepare.

Writing– We are still focusing on writing great paragraphs. We will continue to work on making nouns plural and making sure that we are spelling the plural nouns correctly.

This sums up most of what we will be working on in class. Always feel free to ask if you have any questions.





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