Friday, February 5, 2016


Note to Parents: With the upcoming excitement of the Super Bowl, we have had an increase in students bringing football and baseball cards to school.  Students have been distracted in class and had some trouble on the playground "dealing and trading" cards.  We ask that you please have your child keep his or her cards at home. 

Language Arts
Reading- While continuing to read non-fiction this week, readers will learn a helpful strategy called determining importance.  As we read texts we will stop, think and discuss what important in important to the text rather than simply interesting.  While this sounds simple, it's a more challenging skill for third graders as they have to set aside their personal opinions and think about the information, just the facts! 

Writing- We are continuing to finish up our work on narratives.  We will focus on getting our own personal narratives on paper and practicing many different types of leads to help our readers get hooked into our stories.

Spelling/Word Work- Application grades will be taken 2/4-2/9.  New words will go home 2/10. Test 2/17.

Social Studies- Students should use the review study sheet for our first assessment on Tuesday, 2/9/16.  They can also use our newspaper, journals and online resource ( to prepare for our test.  

We've started the second half of our study and have learned about the life and work of Louis Pasteur.  We will also be learning about Jonas Salk, Bill Gates, Maria Mitchell, Henry Ford, and Cyrus McCormick.  You can reference the SOCIAL STUDIES WEBSITES page on this blog for more information and reading.

Math- This week in math we will be diving into graphing. We are still studying pictographs, bar graphs, tally charts, and dot plots.  The students will be taking information in tally charts and pictographs and creating bar graphs and dot plots to match the information.  A test question to access this skill might look like this:

The dot plot graph looks like this:

A math worksheet will come home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night. The Problem of the Week will come home on Monday and will be due on Friday. Please continue to study every night for the Fast Facts quiz. 

Science - We will be moving on to Natural Resources in Science.  All students will discuss and learn examples of renewable and non renewable resources and where they originate from.  Students should come to discover that most non-renewable resources come from under the earth.  We will merge into conservation and recycling next week.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Update 2/2/-2/12

Language Arts

Reading- We are moving into a new genre of study for a few weeks.  We will be focusing on nonfiction.  This week we will review and introduce new nonfiction text features.  Text features are things found in nonfiction texts that help the reader understand and synthesize new information.

Writing- We are continuing to finish up our work on narratives.  This week we are reproducing a narrative with dialogue and inner thinking.  We are also working on adding these elements to our own narrative stories.

Spelling/Word Work- Our spelling test is 2/3.  Application grades will be taken 2/4-2/9.  New words will go home 2/10.

Social Studies- We continue to learn about people who have impacted the Story of America. For the first half of our unit we have focused on explorers.  Men and women who were brave enough to go discover new lands! We also spent an entire week on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how his story impacted our history.  Students brought home a study sheet for our first assessment on Monday.  Please use the green sheet, newspaper, journals and online resources to help your student prepare for this test on 2/9.  We will begin the second half of our study with a look into the scientist and inventors whose creations impact our daily lives and health!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

1/25/16 - 1/29/16

Our testing is done and we are excited to get back to our classroom routine!

In math this week, we will continue to work on multiplying two digit numbers by a one digit number. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we learned about the pictorial method when we multiply. This week, we will be learning about the expanded method and box method for multiplying larger numbers. On Friday, we will begin our unit on metric measurement. For homework this week, we will have a worksheet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. A problem of the week will go home on Monday and it will be due on Friday. Our normal fast facts quiz will be on Friday.

Expanded Method

Box Method


Reading: This week we will focus on the genre of poetry.  Your children come with loads of background knowledge about this genre.  I'm including both classes anchor charts to show off all that they already know.  We will work more at examining the mechanics and meaning of poetry during the week.
Writing: We are wrapping up our work with narratives.  Students will finish mapping out their own stories as we critique what elements add value to narratives.  We will focus on critiquing authors' uses of inner thinking and backstory this week.
Word Work/Spelling: Monday through Wednesday of this week we will be taking an application grade on last week's words.  Wednesday, students will receive new spelling words.  The next test will be on Wednesday, February 3.
Fun Focus Fridays: You may have heard that we are trying out something new for Fridays.  On Fridays, for our Reading and Writing block, we will move through work stations.  Stations will focus on word work, writing, reading skills and strategies we have learned throughout the week and cursive.  Station work will be presented in a game or group work manner in hopes to make our show what you know time engaging and worthwhile.
SOCIAL STUDIES: During our unit on Story of America, we will learn about the following explorers over the next few days:
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)-An Italian explorer working for Spain who sailed to the Americas while trying to reach Asia from Europe.
William Clark and Meriwether Lewis – American explorers who, in 1803, led The Corps of Discovery in exploring the land west of the Mississippi River. They journeyed overland across North America to the Pacific Coast and back.
Daniel Boone (1734-1820)-An American pioneer leader who helped settle the state of Kentucky and created the Wilderness Road, a trail in the Appalachian Mountains that early settlers used to move west.

Juan de Oñate (ca. 1550-1626) A Spanish explorer who founded the first European settlements in the upper Rio Grande Valley, including the city of El Paso. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Thank you for offering your children life experiences and a chance to read over the break!

Please make sure to reference the email from Mrs. Ford about upcoming assessments.  We will be giving a NRT assessment and CoGAT over the next two weeks.  Testing will require us to move schedules around, so our blocks of learning will be modified over the next few weeks.  The information below will catch you up on the learning that we will cover from 1/11-1/22.

Language Arts
Reading- We have entered the second C in the CCP process.  Students have consumed (read) many great examples of narrative.  We will spend the next few days reading like critiques to determine if an author uses various craft elements to enhance their story.  The next few days we will look at ways to use dialogue to move a story rather than just using dialogue for the fun of making commas and quotation marks!
Writing- Students will begin using the narrative arc to help them plan out a story before writing. This pre-writing tool is helpful for writer's to use to see if a story is worthy of taking to publication.  If the parts of a narrative aren't clear, it might be a story simply worth remembering but not taking through the writing process to publication.
Spelling-Your children completed a midyear inventory last week in Word Study.  I was so pleased to see how they have progressed in their knowledge of spelling concepts.  We will reorganize ourselves into new spelling groups this week.  New spelling words will come home on 1/13.  Our test will be on 1/20 and an application grade will be taken between 1/21 and 1/26.  Your support at home with spelling concepts is appreciated.

Social Studies
The third 9 weeks brings us to our unit called, Story of America.  You may remember it as history! :)  Last week we discussed the terms; past, present, future, year, decade, century and millennium.  We will use the next few weeks to think about the time and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Students will work to complete a learning menu.  Activities on the menu will challenge them to think about their dreams for our country, how MLK Jr.'s life and death impacted the way we do things today and ways we can honor those who have made a difference in the history of our country and world.

In math this week, we will continue working on multiplication and division. On Monday, we will play the game kahoot which will review the vocabulary and skills from multiplying and dividing. On Wednesday, we will review for our test on Thursday. We will prepare in class for our test so no review will be sent home. On Thursday we will take our multiplication and division test. Due to testing this week, we will not have a problem of the week. On Monday, your child will come home with an addition and subtraction review worksheet. We will have our normal Mangahigh homework on Tuesday and Wednesday night. We will still have our fast facts quiz on Friday. It will not be a grade this week.

In science this week, we will begin keyboarding. We will spend the three days that we are not testing learning how to keyboard. We will work on the proper keyboarding posture and we will work on using the home row keys. We will spend these days doing lessons and practice building keyboarding skills.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Language Arts and SS Update for 12/14-12/18

Monday 12/14
Students brought home a YELLOW interview.  We are hoping this sparks some conversation about the cultures and traditions close to the heart of your family.  We will take a few moments each day to have students share their information.  We will be noticing differences and similarities between cultures.  We hope this will serve as a special way for students to share part of their personal history with our class.

Tuesday 12/15
Social Studies quiz, please make sure you used the green sheet to review map skills. This will be a short and very straight forward quiz.  Helping your child think through the notes on the review and practice cardinal and intermediate directions at home will be the best way to make sure he or she is ready for the quiz on Tuesday, December 15.

Wednesday 12/16
We will head to the Menil Museum for our WITS field trip.  At the Menil, students will continue to write pieces inspired by art.

Thursday 12/17
Students will complete their project for the 2nd 9 weeks.  They will work throughout the week to create and design their own island.  It’s important for students to be able to meaningfully apply the parts of a map.  We always get some really creative ideas… watch out Atlantis!!

Friday 12/18

We will spend our morning in our homeroom classes focusing on a district created lesson to discuss bullying and the importance of our actions and words.  

Then, we invite you to join your child for the HCE Sing-A-Long.  Third graders will participate from 9:30-10:00a.m. in the café.  

 Lunch will be at a different time, 10:45-11:15 and our holiday party will be from 11:15-11:45 in our classrooms.  

Please remember to send a note if your child will make a change in transportation for this day.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Update for Week of 12/14 - 12/18

Week of 12/14 - 12/18

It is hard to believe that our Holiday Break is almost here! Here are a couple of reminders about our upcoming week:

1) Wednesday is our field trip to the Menil Collection. Please have your child wear their white HCE spirit shirt. We will be back in time for lunch at school so no sack lunch is needed.

2) Friday is a Half Day! On this day, our schedule will be:
8:10 Announcements
9:30 Sing-A-Long
10:10 Recess
10:45 Lunch
11:15 Holiday Party 
12:00 Dismissal 

Math: In math this week, we will continue learning about Division. We started working on division last week. On Friday we worked on the Octopus Method. We will continue practicing with this method during the week as well as learning the Cookie Method. Below are examples of these two methods. For homework this week, your child will have three Mangahigh assignments. Please note: the Fast Facts Quiz will be on Thursday - 12/17. We will not have a problem of the week assigned this week. 

There were 56 lbs of food for the rhinos. The zoo wanted to share that food among 8 rhinos.  How many pounds would each rhino get, if they all got an equal amount?

There were 56 lbs of food for the rhinos at the zoo. The zoo keeper gave each rhino seven pounds of food.  How many rhinos were there at the zoo?

We learned a new station game for multiplication on Friday called Circles and Stars! 

Science: During our science time last week, we discussed force, motion, position, and work. We discussed friction with a toy car lab and on Friday, we did a gravity demonstration. We will continue discussing gravity this week and begin learning about magnetism.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Update for the week of 12/7

Week of December 7th - 11th 

READING- Students will apply what they know about the structure of a narrative to reproduce unfamiliar stories this week.  This exercise helps students apply what they know about narrative structure to make sense out of pieces of a story.  It's kind of like putting together a puzzle with out looking at the picture.  You know where the edges, corners and center pieces go and this helps you create the entire picture. 

This week and next I will be pulling students to administer their middle of the year reading assessment.  Please make sure that students are getting a good nights rest and a good breakfast so they will have everything working in their favor to do well.  

WRITING-Your kids have done an EXCELLENT job with descriptive writing!  This week we will focus on a project for our work that we will save and share with you at publisher's picnic.  Students will take one emotion.  They will illustrate the emotion and then create a descriptive writing piece about that emotion without using the word and only using language that helps you understand the emotion.  After our work last week, I can't wait to see what descriptive and creative ideas they will use in their writing.

WORD WORK-New spelling words came home 12/2.  We will assess on 12/9.  Students will then have from 12/10-12/16 to apply their spelling words to their writing and work for an application grade.  We work for 10-15 minutes each day to practice our word sorts.  A white copy of your child's words should have also come home for you to spend time working on at your convenience.

SOCIAL STUDIES- Literacy dominated last week and we have some catch up to do in Social Studies.  This week we will finish our discussion on parts of a map and globe and focus on the compass rose.  The compass allows us time to review cardinal directions (north, south, east and west) and introduce intermediate directions (northwest, southwest, northeast and southeast).  This is a great time to play some Simon Says at home using cardinal and intermediate directions. Always remember that you have access to our online resource to help your child review what we have learned in class. 

MATH- In math this week, we will review all of the strategies of multiplication that we have learned so far. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be creating multiplication word problems. On Thursday and Friday, we will begin working on division. We will be learning two methods for division. Your child will have Mangahigh homework on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night. The assignments can be found on the Weekly Planner page. The problem of the week will be due on Friday and the Fast Facts Quiz will be on Friday as well. 

Octopus Method - You know the total and you know the number of groups

Cookie Method - You know the total and you know how many in each group

SCIENCE - This week we will be discussing force, friction, and motion. As we are learning, we will be discussing these words and definitions:

Motion-is a change in position  
Position-where an object is located.
Work-happens when a force moves an object over a distance. 
Force-is a push or pull that causes an object to move, stop, or change direction