Monday, August 31, 2015

Writing- Writing workshop has been a fun and exciting way to get to know one another the last few days.  We will focus this year on sharing our stories.  Last week we started story sharing and taking turns listening to one another's stories.  This week we will create some resources that we will use this year in Writer's Workshop when we are trying to figure out what story to write! Students will spend a few days this week creating their own heart map.  Our heart maps remind us what people, things, and places we love.  These  will help prompt and promote storytelling and writing.  Ask your student what they placed in their hearts!!

Reading- We've been talking about our reading for days!  Students have been helping each other understanding the difference between real reading and fake reading.  We've started to focus on our thinking while we read.  We've even started to share our thinking and all this thinking about thinking is what we call metacognition. 
Students have been practicing this skill with our read alouds and their independent reading books.  We will continue practicing this skill this week and begin talking about what good readers can do when they get stuck on an idea in a book that doesn't make much sense.

Social Studies- We spent last week creating classroom community. Our study will more to focus on our greater communities and citizens who have served as great role models.  Students will be introduced to Ruby Bridges, Helen Keller and Jane Addams.  We will look at what they did to help their community in the past and how that impacts our communities today.  Students will also be encouraged to start thinking about character traits that a "good citizen" would display.

Homework-Third graders will have 20 minutes of reading homework each night.  We will start our library schedule this Wednesday.  Students should record the book title in their planner each night to show that the required 20minutes was completed.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 31st - September 4th

Happy Sunday Parents!!!

We made it through our first week!  Last week we spent some time learning third grade routines and expectations.  The kids have really been doing a great job so far and are enjoying 3rd grade! 
Last week in math we reviewed some second grade skills with place value and introduced the thousands place.  We have been working on standard form, word form, and expanded form. 

This week we will be discussing in greater depth the value of each place.  The students will be taught strategies on how to compare and order numbers using the greater than and less than sign.  We will be introducing some new Math Station games to the kids to practice these skills as well. Last week, I encouraged your child to begin practicing their math facts. The class blog has some great websites to practice - you can find these under the Math Websites page on the right side of the blog.

We skimmed the surface in Science last week.  The kids made a title page and table of contents for their Science Journal and decorated them with Science Icons.  On Thursday we talked about “What is a Scientist?” We discovered all the different types of Scientists that exist and began working on our first project.  In Science next week we will be going through Lab Safety procedures and learning the names of many Science tools.  Towards the end of the week we will take a gallery walk with a partner and work on categorizing tools by tools that are used for observation, safety, measurement, or recording.

I am looking forward to another great week!

   Mrs. Duncan

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Welcome to 3rd grade!

Welcome to 3rd Grade at Hunters Creek Elementary!

We are looking forward to getting to know you, learning together and having some fun in the process.  Feel free to look around the blog and find out a little more about what's to come this year!

Mrs. Duncan and Mrs. Ford

As you prepare for a new school year, here are some great resources...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Math and Science Week of May 4th


We have made it May!  This month gets crazy busy so hold on to your hats.

In Math last week we worked on addition and subtraction bar models.  This week we will introduce multiplication bar models.  Bar models are a very useful tool for a student to have in their tool belt.  It can take an abstract word problem and turn it into a concrete picture.  We will start the week out very simple with bar models that represent easy factors like 3 x 8 = 24.

 Tuesday and Wednesday we will review the 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication strategy as well as teach 3 digit by one digit multiplication, so that we can dig deeper into more complex multiplication bar models on Thursday and Friday like the one below.

This week's FF test will not be for a grade.  If your child is NOT on their division facts yet, they have not mastered their 3rd grade TEKS of memorizing their multiplication FF up to 10 x 10.  Please continue to study (throughout the summer too!)  

In Science we learned a lot about how amazing our sun is.  This week we will focus more on the moon and the fascinating relationship it has with our earth and sun.  The kids will make a 2D model to represent how the moon orbits the earth and the earth orbits the sun.   Latter in the week we will discuss the order of the planets and the meaning of the word limitation.  What are the limitations of the model/picture below?

1. The planets are not actually in a line and do not orbit this way.
2. Their sizes are not accurately represented in this photo.  
3. The distance between the planets are not accurately represented either.  

Things to remember this week:
Monday: Ms. Henry's retirement part @ 3:30
Tuesday: Author visit, Dianna Aston

It's going to be a great week!
Ms. S

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Synthesizing, Economics and Research Writing

Fun Things to Share for you to use at home:
During our STAAR party, I introduced Mad Libs.  The kids had a GREAT time working with partners and creating funny stories.  Here are some links to sites where you can print more mad libs to enjoy as a family at home.

I also introduced them to a childhood favorite, READING RAINBOW.  

We will get back into a more normal classroom routine this week.  We will focus in reading on synthesizing.  I love this time of year and reading strategy.  This is when the kids get a chance to apply all their thinking to a text.  We begin to notice how a text can change our thinking as we read-- so powerful!  This week we will focus on synthesizing nonfiction.  We will start by using The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown as our reading and writing model for synthesizing facts.  
This leads us nicely into finishing up reading many nonfiction sources as students work on their Planet Research.  After a few days to finish up research and note taking we will begin writing our informational expository texts on the planet your child is researching.  This is a new genre of writing for us, so we will look carefully to some mentor texts to see how veteran authors organize and structure their informational writing.  

New spelling words will go home on Wednesday.  The spelling homework menu is due on the following Tuesday (4/5) and the test will be on that Wednesday (4/6).  If you need support with spelling, please email me.  If you child looses his or her spelling words, please look at the spelling spiral as we write them down as part of our lesson on Wednesdays.

This week's work in Social Studies will have us focus on the economic concepts of: scarcity, opportunity cost, consumption, production and interdependence.  We are moving out of our work in personal economics and focusing more on business economics as we finish up our lessons.  We will be using these oldies, but goodies (ECON AND ME) to review concepts and promote discussion in class. 

Thank you for supporting good study and reading habits at home.  Students will have 20 minutes of nightly reading this week.  They should record the title and genre in their planner or a piece of paper at home to share with me the next day. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Math and Science Week of April 27th-May 1st


We are back in business!  This week we are back to a normal schedule.  We made it through STAAR week and will now resume to our regular routine.  There will be HW Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, a POTW due Friday and a Fast Facts Test on Friday that will go into the grade book.

This week we are taking a step backwards to practice a skill we feel is really important: Bar Models!  This week we will refresh the kids memories on how to use addition and subtraction bar models as a strategy to solve problems.

Monday will be part-part whole addition and subtraction bar models:

Tuesday will be joining and taking away bar models:

Wednesday will be comparing sets to add and subtract bar models:

Thursday and Friday will be double step addition and subtraction bar models:

In Science, we are starting our space unit!  The kids love this time of year!  In the beginning of the week we will study the sun and all its wonder.  The kids will discover these very important facts:

1. The sun is only a medium sized star.
2. The sun looks so big because its our closest star.
3. Other stars look so small because they are so far away.
4. The sun is made of hydrogen and helium.
5. The temperatures of the inner core and surface of the sun.
6. The sun is 4.6 billion years old and halfway through its life.
7. The sun gives us heat and light.
8. The sun drives the water cycle.
9. The sun gives us gravity and keeps us and all the other planets in orbit.  

Wednesday and Thursday we will learn about the moon.  The last part of the week we will discover the intricate relationship of the sun, moon, and earth.  

Important things:
Friday progress reports come home :)

Ms. S