Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 25: February 20-24

Important Dates and Reminders:

February
20- Presidents' Day (No School)

23- 3rd Grade Practice Reading STAAR 

24- Go Texans Day

27- 3rd Grade Practice Math STAAR

27- PTA RALLY DAY in Austin 

27-  Family Fair Raffle begins in cafeteria 

March
February 27- March 2- Family Fair Raffle in cafeteria 

3- HCE Family Fair

This week in third grade:

Reading: Readers will take the practice reading STAAR test on Thursday, February 23rd. We will spend a couple of days thinking aloud through STAAR-like nonfiction selections to become more familiar with their length and structure. We will also review fiction selections from previous PSA tests. Please be sure your child gets a good night's sleep and eats a solid breakfast on Thursday! 

Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. This week, we will move forward with the topic we chose last week. We will focus on the claim and support points, making sure our claim is well supported. Students will begin writing in essay form using their graphic organizer to help navigate this new structure. 

Be sure to ask your child what they are writing about; we have some really creative topics! 

Example of Persuasive Essay Outline (we will also include an introduction and conclusion): 




































Spelling: Students will receive new words on Thursday, February 16th and their test will be on FRIDAY, February 24th. (This change is due to the practice reading STAAR taking place on Thursday.) 

White group: Students will receive new words on Wednesday, February 15th and their test will be on Wednesday, February 22nd. (There is no change for this group.)

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit with our Econ and Me Videos!  ECON AND ME revolves around four children and their invisible friend, Econ, who applies economic principles to individuals, families, and communities. This week, we will study consumption. Econ will show how children can use their $4.00 to spend on goods, save it, or pay for services. 

Math: This week we continue our work with equivalent fractions. Students will fold paper to be able to see fractions that represent the same amount of space. They will also examine number lines to see that equivalent fractions are at the same place on the line. On this image, it is clear that 2/3, 4/6, and 8/12 are at the same place on all three number lines. 



The second half of the week we will practice model drawing to solve fraction word problems. Visualizing and drawing what is happening in a problem will greatly improve understanding. 

Mom ordered a large pizza for dinner. It came cut into
12 equal pieces. Mom ate 3 pieces, Dad ate 4, my sister 
and brother each ate one piece and I ate 2.  What fraction
of the pizza was left?


By drawing and labeling the details of the story, it is visible that the remaining piece is 1/12 of the pizza.

Students will have written homework Tuesday and Wednesday nights and the usual FFF quiz on Friday. Please monitor that your child is studying facts every night. The district expectation for third grade is for students to master their multiplication facts through 12. Many students still have a long way to go. 

We are enjoying our new online adaptive learning system, Dreambox. Students will have access to it both at school and at home. They have already received their login information and we hope you will encourage your child to take advantage of this great resource. Use this link to access the program: Dreambox. It can also be accessed on the blog page entitled Math Websites.  Ms. Moore has added Dreambox to the Symbaloo homepage. Students just need to click on their homeroom teacher's name and they are ready to go. Thank you PTA!
Science:  Natural resources are Nature's gifts to us. We use them to survive and to make products that we use every day. We will review how resources can be categorized as renewable and nonrenewable and will create a flowchart that shows both classifications. The information on this chart will be tested the week of February 27. Students will examine everyday objects and determine the natural resources used to make them, stating whether they are renewable or nonrenewable. And as the week progresses, we will try to justify why certain resources are used to make certain products. What properties make them best suited for the job?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Week 24: February 13-17

Reminders and Upcoming dates to put on your calendar:

Valentine's Day Parties will be held on Tuesday, February 14th from 2:25-2:55 in your child's homeroom. Please send cards/treats with your child to pass out during the party. Please remember: NO TREATS WITH NUT PRODUCTS! Thank you for keeping our students safe. 

WITS Field Trip to The Menil Collection: Thursday, February 16th from 8:45am-12:00pm. Permission slips were sent home on Tuesday, February 7th. Please fill out and return as soon as possible. 

February
14- Valentine's Day Parties- 2:25-2:55 in homeroom class

16- WITS Field Trip to The Menil Collection 8:45am-12:00pm

17- Noon Dismissal

20- Presidents' Day (No School)

23- 3rd Grade Practice Reading STAAR

24- Go Texans Day

27- 3rd Grade Practice Math STAAR

This week in third grade...

Reading: Readers will read articles that lend themselves to identifying cause and effect relationships within the text. We will use graphic organizers to represent our thinking and support our ideas. We will also begin looking at STAAR-like nonfiction selections to become more familiar with their length and structure. 

Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. This week, we will choose our own topic (from a class list we brainstorm together) and will set up the structure of our essay. We will be focusing on creating a strong claim (thesis) to be supported by reasons (support points). Ask your writer what they are choosing to write about first! 

Examples of Persuasive Essay Structure:



























































Spelling: Students will receive new words on Thursday, February 16th and their test will be on Thursday, February 23rd. 

White group: Students will receive new words on Wednesday, February 15th and their test will be on Thursday, February 22nd. 

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit, but this week, we start our Econ and Me videos!  ECON AND ME revolves around four children and their invisible friend, Econ, who apply economic principles to individuals, families, and communities. This week, we will study opportunity cost and how the kids learn to be resourceful with money while building their clubhouse.

Math: More fun with fractions this week. Comparing fractions can be a little difficult. The easiest ones are those with the same denominator. Just look at the numerator and see which one is larger. 
It is a little more tricky when the denominators are different and the numerators are the same. Students must think about the denominators and determine how many pieces the whole has been divided into. The larger the denominator, the more parts and the parts are smaller. Just the opposite of what most children think. A whole divided into 4 equal parts has larger pieces than a whole divided into 8 equal parts. Three of those big parts (3/4) is greater than three of the little parts (3/8). Students will be expected to be able to reason these two kinds of comparisons.
When the numerator and denominators are all different, students will h to use a model to visualize the fractions. We use sets, shapes, bars and number lines to show fractions that we are comparing. Here the number line shows that 2/3 is greater than 3/8.
This week we will also learn how to spot and create equivalent fractions. Equivalent fractions show the same amount but use different numerators and denominators. Models help students visualize fractions that are the same.




Eventually students will learn how to create equivalent fractions by multiplying or dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number. 



Everyone will have written math homework Monday through Wednesday nights. There will also be the usual Fast Fact Friday (FFF) quiz on Friday. Please help your child work toward mastering all multiplication facts. It is a third grade expectation.

We are excited to begin using a new online adaptive learning system, Dreambox. Students will have access to it both at school and at home. They will receive their login information in the next few days. We hope you will encourage your child to take advantage of this great resource. Use this link to access the program: Dreambox. It can also be accessed on the blog page entitled Math Websites.  Thank you PTA!

Science: This week we begin a unit on natural resources. Students will learn that all things are made from the gifts that nature shares with us. We will categorize resources as renewable, non-renewable and synthetic. The following vocabulary will be a focus for our learning.
natural resource - materials in nature that living things use
renewable resources - resources that can be replaced or will never be used up; these are found above ground
non-renewable resources - resources that cannot be replaced; once used, they are gone; these are found underground
synthetic resources - resources that are man-made

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 23: February 6-10

Reminders and Upcoming dates to put on your calendar:

Book Fair This Week: HCE will celebrate reading with our annual Book Fair. Students may shop during our class times listed below. Feel free to send any money that your child can spend on books. Parents are also welcome to join us during our class visit. 
Badrak/Jackson  Tuesday 9:15 to 9:45
Rozzell/Scott  Tuesday 2:30 to 2:55
Ford/Duncan  Wednesday 9:15 to 9:45

Behavior Chart Change: In order to save paper and make communication between home and school more simple, we will not be using the printed behavior charts anymore. Instead, teachers will jot down any behavior comments in your child's planner (near the bottom of the day). Please initial the comment so that we know you received our note. Thank you for supporting and reinforcing the work we do at school!

WITS Field Trip to The Menil Museum: Thursday, February 16th from 8:45am-12:00pm. Permission slips will be coming home in Tuesday Newsday Folders this week. Please fill out and return as soon as possible. 

February
9 - Donuts with Dads 

14- Valentine's Day Parties- 2:25-2:55 in homeroom class

16- WITS Field Trip to The Menil Museum 

17 - Noon Dismissal

20- President's Day (No School)

24- Go Texans Day

This week in third grade...

Reading: Readers will dive deeper into nonfiction text features. We will learn how to navigate detailed maps, diagrams, tables, and photographs and discuss how the feature supports our learning. Instead of modeling in nonfiction books, we will be focusing on articles this week. 

Essential Question: How does this feature help me (the reader) access information? 

Example of an article with detailed text features:


Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. We will focus heavily on identifying claims and supporting points in essays we consume, but we will also begin working on our own claims! We know that authors of persuasive essays need support points to "hold up" their claim, so we will find points that strongly support our point of view. 

Author's argument =claim + support

Key Terms:
Argue
Make a Case
Point of View
Claim
Support Points
Fact
Opinion

Spelling: Students received new words on Thursday, February 2nd and will take their test on Thursday, February 9th. 

White group: Students received new words on Wednesday, February 1st and will take their test on Wednesday, February 8th. 

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit, but this week, we start our Econ and Me videos!  ECON AND ME revolves around four children and their invisible friend, Econ, who apply economic principles to individuals, families, and communities. This week, we will study scarcity. When the children decide they want to build a clubhouse, they discover there is a scarcity of wood. 

Math: In Math this week students will experience fractions on a number line. We will learn how to represent fractions on a number line with a whole located from 0 to 1. The whole can be divided into 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 equal parts. 
Students will learn how to draw and identify fractions by "swishing" the numerator and denominator of a fraction. To represent 2/3, the number line must be divided into 3 equal parts. Starting at 0, swish under the line to confirm that the denominator is 3. Then swish on the top of the line the numerator 2 to locate the 2/3 point. Two-thirds is the piece from 0 to the 2/3 mark.

We will use this "swish" method to compare two fractions that have different denominators but are part of the same size whole.

Everyone will have written math homework Monday through Wednesday nights. Students will receive a Problem of the Week (POW) on Monday. It is due on Friday. Please work with your child to complete this. Your math conversation can be very helpful. There will also be the usual Fast Fact Friday (FFF) quiz on Friday. Please help your child work toward mastering all multiplication facts. It is a third grade expectation.

Science: We wrap up our unit on Rapid Changes to Earth's Surface this week. Early in the week we will explore the constructive and destructive forces of tsunamis, hurricanes and tornadoes. Midweek we will review for our final quiz on Thursday, February 9. This is a date change from last week. Students should be studying the vocabulary cards and review sheet that went home last week. On Friday, we hope to begin a new unit on Earth's Natural Resources.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Week 22: January 30-February 3

Reminders and Upcoming dates to put on your calendar:


Souper Bowl of Caring at HCE! 
Using the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth in a united national effort to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and those in need.
When: January 23-February 3
How can we help: donate canned goods and nonperishable foods to HCE by Feb. 3rd. 
Where: Drop off items on the cafeteria stage. 

Scholastic Book orders due Wednesday, February 1st. 



February
3- Progress Reports Go Home
3- Class and Individual Picture Day

9 - Donuts with Dads 

14- Valentine's Day

17 - Noon Dismissal

20- President's Day (No School)

24- Go Texans Day

This week in third grade...

Reading: Readers will focus on finding the main idea within nonfiction texts this week. 


What features within the text can help me determine main idea?
-headings/subheadings
- title (main idea for whole book/selection)
- repeated words/phrases
- recurring ideas

Good readers use text evidence (supporting details or text features) to infer the main idea of a text. We will use familiar nonfiction books this week to find the main idea using text evidence.

Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. We reviewed fact vs. opinion statements, what it means to have a point of view, and how to make a case. We will extend that work this week and focus on the big question: what is the author's argument? 

Author's argument =claim + support

We will spend time reading other essays looking for the claim and support points that help make the author's argument. 

Spelling: Students will get new words on Thursday, February 2nd and will take their test on Thursday, February 9th. 

White group: Students will get new words on Wednesday, February 1st and will take their test on Wednesday, February 8th. 


Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit and will be focusing on budgets and how we can earn, save, and spend money. We will look at mock budgets and decide how a person or a family decides when to save and when to spend money. 

Key vocabulary words:
earn
income
budgets
savings
expenses
wants vs. needs


Math: In math this week, we are moving into our next unit on fractions. We will be discovering what a fraction is. We will review previously learned vocabulary for fractions included numerator and denominator. We will work to understand the unit fractions - 1/2, 1/3, 1/8, but we will also discuss non-unit fractions where the numerator is not one. 
 



Everyone will have written math homework Monday through Wednesday nights. Students will receive a Problem of the Week (POW) on Monday. It is due on Friday. Please work with your child to complete this. Your math conversation can be very helpful. There will also be the usual Fact Fast Friday (FFF) quiz on Friday. Please help your child work toward mastering all multiplication facts. It is a third grade expectation.


Science: In science this week, we are moving forward with our discussion of rapid changes to the Earth's surface. On Monday, your child will come home with vocabulary cards and a review sheet for rapid changes. We will have a quiz over this material on Wednesday, February 8th. The rapid changes that we will discuss in class are volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes. We will examine each of these changes and discuss how they are constructive and destructive to Earth's surface. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 21: January 23-27

Upcoming dates to put on your calendar:

January 
25 and 26- Reading PSA2


February
3- Progress Reports Go Home
3- Class and Individual Picture Day

9 - Donuts with Dads 

14- Valentine's Day

17 - Noon Dismissal

20- President's Day (No School)

24- Go Texans Day

This week in third grade...

Reading: Readers will continue to consume and analyze non-fiction texts. This week, we will consume biographies and compare them to narrative non-fiction texts. We will analyze the presentation and text features the author uses in biographies compared to those used in literary non-ficton. We will be reading biographies on important Americans we have studied in social studies!

Writing: Writers will begin a new unit on writing persuasive/argumentation essays. We will explore issues, discuss what it means to take a side, and look at how to support our claims with valid support points. We will read many examples and analyze essays for several days, as this genre is new to our third graders. We can't wait to see the topics they choose as the unit unfolds! 

Spelling: Due to the district Reading PSA2 we will be administering on Thursday (1/26), third grade will not be giving new spelling words this week. In lieu of spelling for the week, we will begin our cursive unit. Students will get new words on Thursday, February 2nd. 

White group will take their first test on Wednesday, January 25th. 

Spelling change reminder: Due to our WITS schedules and differentiated grouping across ELA teachers/classrooms, we will be moving our spelling day to Thursday this semester (with the exception of the white group that will stay on Wednesday).  

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit and will be focusing on businesses in America. How can one idea spark an idea for a business? Why are some businesses successful and some are not? We will read about Ray Kroc and how he transformed McDonald's. 

Math: We will spend this week learning different strategies for 2 digit times 1 digit multiplication. We will begin with a picture model where students use a place value chart to build a picture of a product. 42 X 3 looks like this.

PICTURE MODEL


Students will learn how to multiply numbers with trailing zeros. Examples of these are 30, 200, 7000.  They are a digit followed by only zeros. When multiplying these, we multiply the non-zero number first and then add on the appropriate number of zeros. For example,   60x3=___. Multiply 6x3, which equals 18. Then add on the one zero to make 180.

Our next strategy is the expanded method. The two digit number is expanded to form an addition problem showing the value of tens and ones. That is then multiplied by the 1 digit to get an addition problem of the products. The final step is to add the two numbers to get a final product. The expanded method looks like this.

EXPANDED METHOD

The same idea behind the expanded method is put into a box for the box method. The process is the same, just a little cleaner and organized. The box method looks like this.

BOX METHOD

The last strategy, and the one most parents recognize, is the algorithm or mechanical process for finding the product. Starting in the ones place, you multiply and write the ones and carry over or regroup into the tens. Then multiply the tens place and add in what you regrouped from the ones. The algorithm looks like this.

ALGORITHM
Towards the end of the week, we will have a quick introduction to our next unit, fractions. Students will learn that a fraction is part of a whole and that each number in a fraction has a special name and definition. The top number, or numerator, tells you the number of equal parts you are focusing on. The bottom number, or denominator, is the total number of parts the whole is divided into. Students will learn that a unit fraction is one with a numerator of 1. For example, 1/2 and 1/3 and 1/8 are all unit fractions.


Everyone will have written math homework Monday through Wednesday nights. Students will receive a Problem of the Week (POW) on Monday. It is due on Friday. Please work with your child to complete this. Your math conversation can be very helpful. There will also be the usual Fact Fast Friday (FFF) quiz on Friday. Please help your child work toward mastering all multiplication facts. It is a third grade expectation.

Science: This week we finish our study of weathering, erosion, soil, and decomposition. Students will understand that soil in different places is different because of the unique rocks, plants and animals that are naturally there. We will begin a study of forces that result in rapid changes to Earth's surface. These include earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides. We will discuss the layers of our planet, especially the crust made up of many tectonic plates that float on the liquid mantle. Students will learn how to categorize these forces as constructive (build up Earth) or destructive (tears down Earth), or both and why.