Monday, September 29, 2014

Theme, Personal Narratives, Spelling, and Government!

We will move onto Theme later in the week.  There are many common themes found in books.  These are usually tied to a lesson that the main character learns at the end of the text.  Some examples of themes are: Courage, Acceptance, Kindness, Friendship, Responsibility, Perseverance and Honesty.  We will start by examining texts that we have previously read as a class.  Then, we will move onto analyzing our DEAR books.  Students will have to provide text evidence to support their choice of theme.  We will also read fables to determine theme.
In Writing, we are continuing our focus on Personal Narrative. This week, we will listen to a read aloud of My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother by Patricia Polacco.  Students will put the events in the text on the narrative arc.  Next, students will reconstruct a narrative.  They will be given an example of a student written personal narrative.  The narrative will be cut up into pieces.  Students will have to work in a small group to "put the narrative back together."  Then, students will have to come up with explanations of why the order works.  Lastly, we will create a quick-list of writing ideas that students can use when writing his/her own personal narrative.
This week, your child will bring home new Spelling words on Wednesday.  I will meet with students in small groups to teach the new sort.  Students will practice the sort in class and then bring the words home to complete the Spelling Homework Menu.  I cannot post spelling words on the blog since student lists are differentiated each week and our spelling curriculum is copyrighted.  If you child cannot locate his or her words, please reference the spelling spiral. Each Wednesday after our small group lesson, I have the students write the spelling list in the correct sorts in their spiral so they can see a correct example as they practice throughout the week.    
Please send your child's Ziploc bag back to school on Wednesday to help him/her earn a homework coupon!  This coupon will be worth 2 points off the Spelling Menu homework.  Instead of completing 8 points, he/she will only  have to complete 6 points.  Please attach the coupon to the rest of the completed homework to be turned in next Tuesday.  Coupons cannot be saved up.  A student cannot turn in multiple coupons in one week.  The new homework and spelling test date will be written in your child's planner.
Social Studies
We are continuing our 9 weeks focus on Communities, Citizenship and Government.  Last week, we went through the voting process and now we have elected 2 Leadership Council Representatives!  Congratulations to Raul in Ms. Skrivanek's class and Avery in Mrs. Ford's class!  This week, we will focus on government leaders.  Students need to understand the leaders at each level of government: local/mayor, state/governor and nation or federal/president.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Math and Science Week of September 29th


Here we are in the sixth week of school.  You should have received your child's progress report and signed it over the weekend.  We are trucking right along now and will have quite a busy week of learning.

In Math we will start the week with a test.  The kids worked hard on Friday in partner groups on their study guide.  They should have bought it home over the weekend and looked over it with you.  On Tuesday we will review some 2nd grade skills, addition with two and three digits with and without regrouping.  On Wednesday we will be introducing four digit addition without regrouping.  Towards the end of the week we will introduce four digit addition with regrouping in the hundreds place.  We will start the kids off very simple on place value mats building numbers and adding them with manipulatives and gradually progress to the regular algorithm on paper/pencil.  This is what it would look like with two digit regrouping:

In Math Facts, we have moved on to subtraction.  This week will be graded and inputted into the online grade book.

Last week in Science we had such a fun time with Matter exploration.  The kids investigated mass, texture, temperature, magnetism, sink/float, and the three states of matter.  This week we will dig a little deeper into understanding the molecule make-up of a solid, liquid, and gas.  The kids will take a 10 question quiz in the middle of the week to review learning thus far.  It includes some Science safety and tool review, as well as some deeper questioning on Matter in which they discovered in last week's lab.

Thanks for reading!
Ms. S

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Connections, Character Traits, Narratives and Elections

We've had a great first month of school.  Your children are thinking while they are reading and sharing their thoughts with others!

We will finish up our work on connections early this week.  Last week, we reviewed and practiced making text to self and text to text connections.  This week we will finish by discussing text to world connections.  This type of reading connection can be the most challenging for 3rd graders since it requires background knowledge in world events and history.  I will scaffold our learning by connecting our text to Ruby Bridges story we learned about a few weeks ago in Social Studies.

Students need to continue to read for 20 minutes each night and record the title in their planner.  This is part of their study habits and daily routine which are assessed and reported on the progress report each grading cycle.

This week we will introduce our first writing genre study, personal narrative. We will spend the next few weeks sharing examples of personal narratives and noticing and naming the parts of a narrative.  This week we will focus on learning the vocabulary for those parts of a narrative (setting the stage, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution).

Spelling words came home last Wednesday.  This Tuesday, 9/23, spelling spirals are due.  They should hold your child's spelling homework.  They have had a week to complete 8pts of spelling assignment choices on the spelling menu. On Wednesday, 9/24 students will have their first spelling test.  Since this is our first week to test, there will not be a spelling grade on the progress report.  New spelling words will be introduced and go home on Wednesday, October 1.

This week we will learn about HCE's Leadership Council.  Students will have a chance to notice and nominate classmates whom demonstrate the COUGAR CODE.  We will combine those nominations and then elect a representative for our homeroom class.  We will use this real world example to guide our study and learning about voting.  We will close up the week by learning about our local government and comparing our mayor and city council to the roles of our school principal and leadership council!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Math and Science Week of September 22nd


We have a full week this week!  On Wednesday we will be visited by an Author in the library, Thursday we have our first field trip, and on Friday your child will bring home their progress report.  Be looking for that over the weekend to sign and return.

This week in Math we will take what we know about rounding to the nearest ten and hundred, addition, and subtraction and put it all together.  The kids will be required to look at a three digit Math problem, round the numbers, and then solve like this:

You will see some rounding practice come home every day this week.  Monday we will round to the nearest ten, Tuesday to the nearest 100, and on Wednesday we will round a three digit two different ways, to the nearest ten AND hundred.

EX: 329 to the nearest TEN is 330
EX: 329 to the nearest HUNDRED is 300

On Thursday the kids will bring home a Chapter Review and will need to study it on Thursday night for the Unit test on Chapter 2.  If the kids don't finish the study guide at school, please work on it with them at home.  The test will be on Friday.

Science is fun this week!  We will be diving into properties of Matter.  The kids will have a lab on Tuesday and Wednesday that is a station rotation.  It will be six different stations discovering mass, texture, magnetism, temperature.  The kids will get to use a lot of different Science tools and explore.  Here's a pic of our Gobstopper Experiment this past week.  Ask the kids to tell you all about it!

It's going to be a busy and fun week!
Love, Ms. S

Friday, September 12, 2014

Math and Science Week of September 15th


We are trucking right along and have completed our study of place value for the time being.  Next week we will move on to Mental Addition and Subtraction Strategies as well as estimation.

On Monday we will introduce the Chapter will some number bond review from second grade as well as a review of rounding to the nearest ten.  For example:  4 and 5 make 9, so 4+5=9 and 5+4=9, as well as 9-4=5 and 9-5=4.

On Tuesday we will go over two Mental Addition strategies without regrouping.  The first one is called, "Add the tens, then the one"
EX: 45+62 is like 45+60.  This equals 105+2=107

The second strategy is called, "Add the tens, then subtract the extra ones."  
EX: 35+58 is like 35+60.  This equal 95-2=93

On Wednesday we will work on Mental Subtraction strategies very similar to Tuesday, only now we will be subtracting.  In one strategy, you are rounding down and adding extra ones.  In the second strategy, you are rounding up, and then subtracting the extra ones you tacked on when you initially rounded.  

Ex #1 68-34 is like 68-30.  This equals 38-4=34.
EX#2 63-48 is like 63-50.  This equals 13+2=15.

On Thursday the kids will be adding larger numbers close to 100 mentally.
Ex#1 86+95 is like 86+100.  This equals 186-5=181.
Ex#2 94+97 is close to 100+100.  This equals 200-6, 194-3=191.

The kids will be playing some fun station games to practice these skills.

On Friday will be FAST FACT FRIDAY!!  This Friday's grade will be entered into the grade book. 

In Science we will be moving on from learning HOW to make observations, to actually making some observations through the Scientific Method and an experiment we will conduct with the kids early in the week!

Next week we will have a counselor lesson with Ms. Clifton on Monday, Picture day on Tuesday, and Curriculum night on Thursday at 5:30.  Please watch this video in internet explorer before you come to curriculum night so you can be ready with great questions!

See you Thursday!
Ms. S

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fiction Elements, Visualizing, Good Citizens and Spelling Menu Practice

Reading- We will continue to discuss fiction text elements Students will be reminded of the importance of characters, setting, and plot (problem and solution) in fiction texts.  Then, we will move into visualizing.  This is an IMPORTANT reading strategy that helps kids and adults monitor comprehension as we read.  If we can't see it in our minds (visualize it) then we aren't understanding what's happening in the story.  We will focus on what words an author uses to help us create these images.

Writing- Your children have written two journal entries in their Writer's Notebooks.  Last week we learned about a sharing style called point.  The students reflected on what they liked about POINT and had this to say-- "You get to know someone better when you hear their story."  "I like that they told me something nice about my writing."  "It felt good to get a compliment."  As we work to write in a variety of ways this week, we will continue to use POINT as a way to reflect on our writing and get to know one another better.  

Word Work- This week, students will learn about our Spelling Menu.  We use a menu each week as part of our 3rd grade spelling homework.  Students will learn this week about each of the options on the menu and the where, when and what of spelling homework.  If you have access to a thesaurus and/or dictionary at home, great.  There are multiple choices about working with definitions, syllables,  synonyms or antonyms on our spelling menu. If you do not have access to a thesaurus, I will teach your child this week how he or she can check resources out from me each evening.

Social Studies- We will continue our work on Good Citizens this week in Social Studies.  Last week we learned about Ruby Bridges and Helen Keller.  This wee we will focus on Jane Addams, who started the Hull House, one of the very first community centers in America.  We will also learn about Clara Barton who was instrumental in starting the American Red Cross.  
Students will be encouraged to think about the power that volunteers have to make a community run well.  If you volunteer, please share what you do and why you do it with your child.
Towards the end of the week, we will learn about first responders in our community and nation.  Officer Miller will speak to our classes on Wednesday and we will have our Lunch With Heroes this week as well.  If there is anyone in your family or community circle who is a first responder, please talk about this person's commitment and dedication with your child.
Homework-Third graders will have 20 minutes of reading homework each night.  We checked out library books last Thursday, and will return to the library each week on Thursdays.  Students should record the book title in their planner each night to show that the required 20 minutes was completed.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Math and Science the Week of Sept 8-12th


In Math next week we will be wrapping up Chapter 1 with four digit place value.  On Monday, the kids will be bringing home a study guide to study for their Math test on Tuesday.  The test will include:

Standard Form: 4,678

Expanded Form: 4,000+600+70+8

Word Form: four thousand, six hundred seventy-eight

Patterns in a list: 4567 ______  4587  4597  _______   _______

Patterns on a number line:

Building Numbers:  

The latter part of the week we will introduce the ten thousands place as well as the hundred thousands place.  The students will build numbers to 999,999.

In Science, we have been working on Science safety and Science tools.  Next week we will discuss how you make observations with their eyes, ears, hands, nose, and mouth.  The kids will practice describing different objects and their properties making observations with their senses.  In the middle of the week, we will be playing The Properties Game and having a FUN time with that!!  

Next week is Lunch With Heroes on 9/11.  Have your child wear red, white, and blue that day.  The kids will be eating with firefighters, policemen, FBI agents, etc...

We now have turned in all of our red first day folders and are trucking right along with the routine of school.  Thank you to those who have signed up for my remind text messages.  

Skrivanek's Homeroom please sign up using:
Ford's Homeroom please sign up using:

These will be Math and Science reminders from ME such as, "Math test tomorrow, study guide is in your child's HW folder," or "Science Test tomorrow!"

It's going to be a great week!