Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Shh... It's a secret! Join us in learning about Holiday traditions!

During the week of December 11, third graders will be learning about a variety of fall/winter holidays and how they are celebrated around the world. 
Students will learn about…
·         Christmas and how it is celebrated in the Netherlands, Greenland, Mexico and Australia.
·         Diwali and how it is celebrated in India.
·         Hanukah and how it is celebrated in Israel.
·         Kwanza and how it is celebrated in America.
We would love to hear about a holiday your family celebrates or a tradition that is important to your family.
We invite you to surprise your child and contribute to our cultural celebration FLIP GRID that we will share with students starting next Wednesday.  You are encouraged to make a quick 2 minute video to help us learn more about the many celebrations and traditions that make our families special.
Be sure to include:
·         Your name
·         Your child’s name
·         The holiday, celebration or tradition
·         What makes your time special? Clothes, food, music, activities, songs…
The FLIP GRID is sorted by classes so that we can make sure and try to get to the families in our homerooms first and then branch out and continue our learning.
REMEMBER… this is SURPRISE!  You will get to make a virtual visit to our classroom!

Using FLIPGRID is easy.
·         Click on the link-- https://flipgrid.com/3r2ytv
·         Click on the BIG GREEN + sign.
·         You will then be asked to allow the site to use your camera on your phone, computer or ipad.
·         You are ready to record.  Hit the red record button.  It will count your down, 3-2-1 and then you are recording.
·         Hit the pause button when you are finished.  You can either hit the green arrow to submit your video or push the trashcan and start over.
·         PRESTO… you’ve just contributed to our learning!

THANK YOU!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 16: December 11-15

We wish our students and their families a safe, relaxing and wonderful winter break!

12/12  Students will have an Energy Assessment this Tuesday. They have had a set of vocabulary cards and a study guide for several weeks. 

12/15  Classroom Parties and Noon Dismissal for winter break and Report Cards go home. 

1/9  STAARY STAARY NIGHT  Third grade will host a STAAR information session Tuesday evening, January 9, to familiarize parents with our May state testing  and answer any questions. We will meet in the library form 6:00 to 7:00.

HCE Dads' Club is recruiting new members.  They do several projects to support the students and teachers at HCE. If you are interested in how to join and when they meet, email warrensloan@allstate.com.

Parents are graciously volunteering for lunch duty the week before winter break. If you are interested in joining in, here is the link for sighing up.        http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4faaa822a13-teacher 

READING: Third graders will be practicing synthesizing text when responding to a short story. The process of synthesizing occurs when different ideas about a text lead to new thinking. We compare it to baking a cake. Every ingredient separately is important to the cake batter and the frosting, however when combined together something new and different is the result. The teachers will model this process, allow the students to work in collaborative groups, and then in small guided groups to refine the skill. Short stories from Cynthia Rylant's Children of Christmas will be anchor texts.

WRITING: As our children are coming to the final stages of publishing their self-selected pieces, they are becoming more aware of the importance of the revision process and how it is about the quality of their changes as opposed to the quantity. For example, instead of saying, My family likes to play board games, it is much more powerful to say, My family loves board games; our favorite is Monopoly. Third graders will be coming together to celebrate the completed final drafts in groups. We will end the week with "Fantasy Friday" writing. Our passionate authors have a special appreciation for fantasy writing, and it is something they truly look forward to composing and sharing.

WORD WORK: As students perfect spelling skills, it is important to encourage them to use independent strategies while writing. Instead of spelling words for our children, we need to respond by having them write the word the way they have seen it in text on a Post It Note or piece of paper. Guiding questions such as, Does that word look correct? or Did you spell it  a syllable at a time? help facilitate confidence and independence.

SOCIAL STUDIES: We will focus this week on appreciating many different holiday celebrations around the world.  Students will learn about traditions from Mexico, Greenland, Sweden, Israel, India, and Australia by engaging in a variety of experiences incorporating art, music, and literature. On Wednesday and Thursday, students will visit each third grade classroom, focusing on the culture and ways each celebrates. Anyone interested in adding to our study, please submit your FLIPGRID video by Thursday. An email went home with instructions. Shhhhh!!

MATH: This week students will finish working with 2D and 3D shapes. Then it is on to measuring and calculating the perimeter of polygons. Perimeter is the distance around the outer edge and the sum of all the sides. With this basic knowledge, students will also be given the perimeter and all but one side and will have to subtract to find that missing side.
Image result for perimeter                  Image result for missing side perimeter
There will be no FFF quiz this week due to early dismissal on Friday for Winter Break.

SCIENCE:  We conclude our study of Energy with a final assessment on Tuesday. Students have had a review sheet and vocabulary cards for two weeks. Plus, we have spent two days engaged in a six station, hands on lab that has demonstrated basic concepts for each kind of energy we have studied. Students have compiled a four section booklet displaying their knowledge.







Sunday, December 3, 2017

Week 15: December 4-8

REMINDERS:

This week and next, we are wrapping up grades for this nine weeks. Report cards are going home soon. Thank you so much for making every effort to have your child in school all day, every day! 

12/5  Toys For Tots and our local fire station will collect new and unwrapped toys the morning of December 5. Students will deliver donations with their class to the hardtop where Santa and the fire truck will be stationed.

12/6  All six classes of third graders will join together for one big Grade Level Photo on Wednesday at 9:00. This is separate from the class pictures that will be taken in the Spring.

12/8  HCE Spelling Bee is scheduled for Friday morning, December 8 in the cafeteria. We wish our third grade classroom winners good luck as they compete against winners from 4th and 5th grade classes.

12/12  Students will have an Energy Assessment next Tuesday. They have had a set of vocabulary cards and a study guide for a week now. Please help your child study for this upcoming test.

12/15  Classroom Parties and Noon Dismissal for winter break

1/9  STAARY STAARY NIGHT  Third grade will host a STAAR information session Tuesday evening, January 9, to familiarize parents with our May state testing  and answer any questions. We will meet in the library form 6:00 to 7:00.

HCE Dads' Club is recruiting new members.  They do several projects to support the students and teachers at HCE. If you are interested in how to join and when they meet, email warrensloan@allstate.com.

Parents are graciously volunteering for lunch duty the week before winter break. If you are interested in joining in, here is the link for sighing up.        http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4faaa822a13-teacher 

READING:Third graders will be practicing synthesizing text when responding to a short story. The process of synthesizing occurs when different ideas about a text lead to new thinking. We compare it to baking a cake. Every ingredient separately is important to the cake batter and the frosting, however when combined together something new and different is the result. The teachers will model this process, allow the students to work in collaborative groups, and then in small guided groups to refine the skill. Short stories from Cynthia Rylant's The Children of Christmas will be highlighted during this week's study.
Image result for synthesizing anchor chart

WRITING: As our children are coming to the final stages of publishing their self-selected pieces, they are becoming more aware of the importance of the revision process and how it is about the quality of their changes as opposed to the quantity. For example, instead of saying, My family likes to play board games, it is much more powerful to say, My family loves board games; our favorite is Monopoly. Third graders will be coming together to celebrate the completed final drafts in groups. We will end the week with "Fantasy Friday" writing. Our passionate authors have a special appreciation for fantasy writing, and it is something they truly look forward to composing and sharing.

WORD WORK: As students perfect spelling skills, it is important to encourage them to use independent strategies while writing. Instead of spelling words for our children, we need to respond by having them write the word the way they have seen it in text on a Post It Note or piece of paper. Guiding questions such as, Does that word look correct? or Did you spell it  a syllable at a time? help facilitate confidence and independence.

SOCIAL STUDIES: We will continue our focus this week learning about the many different Cultural Celebrations that Texans observe.  Students will complete their 2nd 9 weeks Social Studies Project by choosing the celebration that they find most interesting and planning an imaginary event to honor the occasion.  We will end the week with a quiz on Winter Holidays. Remember that Social Studies Weekly is always available to students at home.  Log in information can be found in your students green binder.  Information can also be found in the Social Studies Website Resources on the right hand side of the blog. We will finish off the week by completing a Brain Pop quiz on Winter Holidays.

MATH: We continue our study of 2D shapes this week, specifically polygons which must be flat, have straight sides, and are closed. Polygons are named by the number of sides they have and there are several quadrilaterals, or 4 sided polygons, that students must remember. They include square, rhombus, rectangle, trapezoid, parallelogram. We will use vocabulary such as parallel sides, right angles and vertices (vertex) to distinguish one from the other.
Image result for quadrilateral 
The list of required polygons also includes triangle, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.
Related image
Students will have a short quiz on Friday on these shapes. They have cards and class notes to study. As usual, there is written Math homework on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. Their Fast Fact Friday (FFF) quiz is on Friday. 

SCIENCE:  We are in full swing with our Science unit on Energy. We have already learned about Mechanical, Thermal, and Light energies and are currently focusing on Sound. Sound is vibrating matter and oddly enough, sound travels best through a solid, then a liquid and worst through a gas. All of this is because of the molecules of each state. Vibrations can spread easily through a solid's close molecules but not so easily through a gas with molecules spread far apart. This week we will spend two days on a hands on lab about all four kinds of energy. Students will work with tuning forks, reflecting light, wind up cars, and lots more. Thank you to parents who have donated Amazon cards so we could restock our Energy lab supplies. On Monday of next week, we will review for our final assessment Tuesday on all four energies. We hope everyone has been reviewing the vocabulary cards and study guide that was sent home last Monday.
 Image result for sound energy

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 14: November 27th - December 1st

Week 14: November 27th - December 1st

Reminders:12/5 - Toys for Tots Please send a new and unwrapped gift to donate.  Children will get a chance to drop their toy with local firefighters and Santa Claus.  


December 8- HCE Spelling Bee.  We wish out third grade classroom winners luck as they compete against winners from the 4th and 5th grade classes.

12/15 - Noon Dismissal for Winter Break

READING: We will spend the week reviewing the concepts we have been working on for the past few weeks: fictional story elements, character development, character changes and theme.  We will look at how this type of reading and thinking shows up in selections students will see on STAAR. Knowing how to apply these skills in our guided reading and independent reading is key to developing a love and understanding of literature.  Taking a step back and analyzing how they can be worded and displayed in testing is also important for our smart readers to understand.

WRITING: We will finish up our study on Author's Craft.  Students have looked at a variety of mentor texts and tried their hand at a number of concepts: repetition, onomatopoeia, metaphor, dialogue, font style, punctuation, and using our sense to add descriptive details.  Writer's will use this week to choose a piece to take through publication.  We will then work through our first official revision process.   We are excited for the many stories from our lives that will soon be published and archived for the world to read.

WORD WORK:  Students have been working with their guided reading teacher to tackle words that are developmentally appropriate for where they are writing and reading.  Keep your eye out for emails from you child's guided reading teacher to know when test and application grades are coming.

SOCIAL STUDIES:  Having just finished time off for celebration, we will focus our work this week learning about the many different Cultural Celebrations that Texans observe.  Students will complete their 2nd 9 weeks Social Studies Project by choosing the celebration that they find most interesting and planning an imaginary event to honor the occasion.  Remember that Social Studies Weekly is always available to students at home.  Log in information can be found in your students green binder.  Information can also be found in the Social Studies Website Resources on the right hand side of the blog.

Math: During our math time this week, we will be wrapping up our unit on graphing. We will pair up and spend Monday and Tuesday creating each type of graph that we learned about last week using data that came from a survey given to other third grade students. Each class will get to pair up with another class to get a larger set of data. On Wednesday, we will review each type of graph for the last time during our unit. The rest of the week, we will begin our next unit on geometry. We will be working to identify 2D shapes. We will identify sides and vertices on these polygons. This week, we will have our usual homework on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Our fast facts quiz will be on Friday.



Science: On Monday, your child will create vocabulary cards for the energy unit. The review sheet and vocabulary cards are given in preparation of the energy test. The date of test is undetermined at this time as we have not completed the unit yet. On Tuesday through Thursday, we will learn about light energy. We will learn about the sources and uses of light energy. On Friday, we will move onto sound energy.  We will ask ourselves questions about how sound is made and how it travels. With sound energy, we will also discuss pitch and volume.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Week 13: November 13-17

Week 13: November 13-17

Reminders:
11/20 -11/24 - Thanksgiving Break (No School)

12/7 - Toys for Tots Please send a new and unwrapped gift to donate.  Children will get a chance to drop their toy with local firefighters and Santa Claus.  

12/15 - Noon Dismissal for Winter Break



Reading: CHARACTER TRAITS and CHARACTER FEELINGS will be our big work in reading this week.  We will focus on reading carefully and thinking about what a character does, says and thinks to determine how they feel AND what kind of person they are.  This big thinking is called an inference.  


In class, students have worked wordless books to focus on character actions.  Wordless books are a great way to practice inferring character traits and feelings as the reader have to look closely and read the body language and actions of the characters to draw a conclusion.  



Homework:  We looked at this video clip and talked about what the words...
EVERY SINGLE DAY, NO MATTER WHAT would mean for our reading lives.  Volume matters.  Please make sure that reading happens at home, every single day- not matter what.  

Writing: Descriptive details will be one element of craft we will focus on this week.  We will look at how authors use simile, metaphor and beautiful adjectives to describe in great detail the parts of their story that they want a reader to experience.  Then, we will look at how an author might use a comeback line or repetition to drive home an idea in a story.  Friday, we shared America's White Table to talk about Veteran's Day.  We will revisit this text as one of mentor texts next week.  We are thankful to the Veteran's and families who joined us in celebrating and honoring those who have served our country.  They are inspiration to our learning and our writing.


Social Studies: We will wrap up our work on community and citizenship with lessons on DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP.  Students will complete these lesson on itsLearning (the districts digital curriculum platform).The lessons focus on the important BEs of being online..

be kind... be safe... be yourself.

Spelling:  Spelling tests are staggered this year.  If you haven't yet, you will soon receive an email from your child's spelling teacher letting you know about your child's spelling sort and test date.


Math: This week in math we will learn about graphs. We will study and understand the difference between a bar graph, double bar graph, pictograph, dot plot, frequency table, and tally chart. We will work to pull information from the graphs and draw conclusions based on the data. Each day, we will create one or more of these graphs to practice. Below, are pictures of each type of graph we will learn this week:


                  Bar Graph                                                          Double Bar Graph



              Dot Plot                                                                  

                                     




Pictograph









Frequency Table and Tally Chart
















For homework this week, we will have a worksheet come home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night. We will have our usual fast facts on Friday.

Science: In science this week, we will continue discussing potential and kinetic energy. We have been discussing mechanical energy using real world examples. During the later part of the week we will get into thermal energy. The important information that we will learn about Thermal (Heat) Energy are the sources of heat, insulators, and conductors. An insulator is a material that does not allow heat to pass along it easily. A conductor is a material that allows heat to pass along it easily. We will discuss examples of each. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Week 12: November 6th - 10th




Reminders:
11/10 - Veteran's Day Program in the Cafeteria at 9:00am.  Doors open to get a good seat at 8:50a.m.

11/20 -11/24 - Thanksgiving Break (No School)

12/7 - Toys for Tots Please send a new and unwrapped gift to donate.  Children will get a chance to drop their toy with local firefighters and Santa Claus.  

12/15 - Noon Dismissal for Winter Break

Homework:  Remember that we ask that your child read for at least 20 minutes each day (outside of regular school hours).  You can also always check out our grade level weekly planner using the link on the right hand side of the blog.

Image result for infer character traitsReading: Monday students will work to show what they know about inferring theme in fiction texts.  We have had some great conversations about what lessons or messages an author might be trying to share with an audience.  Your children are critical thinkers with big hearts.  Please continue to talk to them at home about what lessons we can learn from the stories we read.

Tuesday through Friday, we will introduce the idea of character traits and character feelings and model how readers use text evidence to infer what a character is feeling.  We will also infer character traits using text evidence.  While this is something that adults have internalized, this is something that third graders need to think through and talk through each time they meet a new character.  Please continue our discussions at home by talking about characters in books you are reading, movies you are watching or television shows you see. Here are some question prompts:
What word would you use to describe the character?
Why is that a word that comes to mind?
What did the character say, do or think that helped you?



Writing: We have started our study on authors as mentors.  Over the next two weeks we will focus on craft elements that effective writers use to help readers understand and experience their story. We will create a class anchor chart to record our learning and serve as a reminder of strategies we can now try out as we write about stories from our lives.
This week we will look at how dialogue moves a story and helps the reader know more about the characters.  We will also learn about ellipse and how they help slow down parts of a story to either build tension or transition from one event to another.  Finally, we will conclude the week learning about how onomatopoeia can be used to add sensory details that help the reader feel like they are in the story. 

Social Studies: This week students will read about resources a community uses to help keep its citizens safe.  Specifically, they will learn about  police departments (and K-9 cops), fire fighters, and paramedics. They will then reflect on ways that these people help in our local community.

Math: On Monday and Tuesday, we will walk through the steps for a two-step problems. Here is an example of a two-step problem that you can expect your child to see: There were a total of 689 fans who came to the first three basketball games. One hundred forty-two came to the first game and 136 came to the second game. How many fans came to the third game?

On Wednesday, we will work to create two step problems to understand the importance of the two parts found in the word problem. On Thursday, we will solve the word problems that we created on Wednesday. On Friday, we will continue working to create word problems when given a number sentence. Reference the video below for more information on how we will teach this in class:

Two-Step Word Problem Video

We will have worksheets come home on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. We will also have a fast facts quiz on Friday. Thank you for continuing to support your child at home with fast facts and the worksheet. 

Science: In our science time this week, we will begin our study on energy. This week, we are discussing mechanical energy, we will learn about kinetic and potential energy. Below are the terms we will study during this unit:

*energy- what is needed to do work or cause change

*work - when a force moves an object
*force- a push or pull
*mechanical energy- the energy of moving objects
*kinetic energy- the energy of motion
*potential energy- the stored energy or possible energy depending on its position

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Week 11: October 30 - November 3

Reminders:
Third Grade Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 31 at 9:05 in the cafeteria.

Lights, Camera, Auction! Come party like a celebrity Saturday, November 4th, at the Weston Houston Memorial City. The fun begins at 7pm. Auction Tickets

Early Voting for SBISD Bond is all this week. Please vote in the school bond election. No tax increase is needed. Bond Information

We have students with allergies so please pack nut-free snacks. Snacks should be dry and healthy to promote student learning and not create a mess. 
Examples:     

  • Saltines, graham crackers, pretzels
  • Fresh or dried fruit/vegetable sticks or slices
  • Cheese cubed or sliced·        
  • Applesauce (in the squeezable containers)
  • Goldfish/Cheeze-its or Cheese Nips
Reading: As we continue to study story elements, including plot, we are going to begin investigating how to determine the theme(s) of text, including in works of art, and in visual media. We will be discussing the differences between plot and theme, as well as what a theme is and what it is not. (This is a difficult concept for third graders, and is on-going. This understanding is fine-tuned with consistent examples and exposure to a variety of themes with familiar text.) A theme is defined as an observation about life that is inspired by an author's text. It does not, however, consist of a single word or a command. Some examples of themes from well-known text: 
Little Red Riding Hood- Do not trust everyone you meet.
The Three Little Pigs-Hard work and patience pay off in the end.

The Third Grade Language Arts teachers were given the distinct privilege of attending a national conference called Literacy for All, thanks to our amazing PTA, and we had the opportunity to learn from some of the most distinguished educators throughout the world. A message that resonated throughout was the importance of giving our children numerous opportunities to read and write based on their interests throughout the day. Continuing these opportunities at home is crucial to growing lifelong readers and writers. Please make time to enjoy reading and writing together whenever possible! 

Writing: We will begin the week and the diminishing October days completing a piece of fictional writing that focuses on the craft of personification. Personification is the skill of giving human or "person-like" qualities to something that is not human. Third graders will be drafting, revising, and editing a persuasive piece from the point of view of a pumpkin who simply wishes not to be picked. Small guided writing groups will provide opportunities to model effective revising and editing skills.
As the week progresses, we will be working on stories from our lives and how to incorporate a variety of "craft" strategies to enhance the effectiveness. Each strategy will be introduced in the context of effective third grade writing. 
Sample of Craft Strategies

















Handwriting: Third graders are developing their cursive skills by practicing daily for 5 to 10 minutes. It is a goal that our students will leave third grade writing and reading cursive fluently.

Spelling: We strongly believe that spelling skills develop by allowing our children to independently attempt words that challenge them. We are continuing to explore the six main syllable types and using syllabication to break apart more complex words using commonly used spelling rules. For example, every syllable contains a vowel. When your child writes at home, avoid spelling words for him/her; instead, allow him/her to attempt the word and look at it. Ask, "Does this word look correct? If not, try again." Praise attempts to spell independently and reread written work to notice spelling inaccuracies.

Social Studies: Third graders will use Social Studies Weekly as a reference to identify the main reasons that citizens join/thrive in communities. They will complete a visual organizer that requires supporting ideas from the text. It is an effective set of lessons that require students to justify responses with textual evidence. 

Math: This week we continue to reinforce the concepts and strategies related to subtraction. We have concentrated on "take away" and "comparing" subtractions and the difference between the two as far as wording and bar models. Take away subtraction happens when something is removed from the story in some way.  Comparing subtraction involves finding out how much larger one number is from another. Vocabulary associated with comparing subtraction includes "how many more/less", "how much less/more", and numerous comparative adjectives ending in "er" such as longer, higher, shorter, farther, heavier.  At the same time, students have practiced subtracting with multiple regroupings, including over zeros. This is difficult for some, so we will continue to reinforce this skill. This week we will introduce the third kind of subtraction known as "missing part". Given a total and a known part, students are asked to find the missing part. Often times, the word NOT is used or implied. For example...The car lot had 1,428 cars and 854 of them were clean. How many cars were NOT clean? Friday will be our usual FFF or Fast Fact Friday quiz. Please be studying every night so your child will master addition facts and then subtraction.

Science: We conclude our Matter unit this week with an assessment on Tuesday. Vocabulary cards and a unit study sheet went home a week and a half ago so students could begin studying the concepts that will be tested. Vocabulary questions will always have a word bank or will be multiple choice. Next, we will spend a few days learning about mixtures and the tools that can be used to separate their ingredients according to their properties. A mixture is defined as two or more ingredients that keep their own properties and can be separated back to its parts.