Monday, December 15, 2014

Math and Science Week of December 15th

Dear Parents,

This will be a fast and furious 4 1/2 days!  There is still much to learn :)

Last Friday in Math your child took a Math test on Multiplication and Division.

On Monday, I will be teaching them a strategy called "The Picture Method," to solve two digit by one digit multiplication problems.  A picture is worth a thousand words so see below:

On Tuesday we will review the picture method and solve problems that end in zero.  For example:
8 x 5 = 40
8 x 50 = 400
8 x 500 = 4,000

On Wednesday and Thursday we will work on another strategy called expanded method to solve two digit by one digit problems.  It looks like this:

The kids will learn the regular algorithm later on in the year.

The Fast Facts test will be given on Thursday and will be for a grade.

In Science we are trucking right along learning about force, gravity, and magnetism.  The kids will perform a fun Science experiment on Monday about how using the simple machine pully will help make work a lot easier.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we will continue working and studying gravity in depth.  We have a fun Magic School Bus video about gravity in our future as well as great notes to write in our Science Journal.

This is our schedule on Friday:
8:00 Announcements
8:10 Movie in class
9:30 Sing A Long
10:20 Lunch
10:50 Recess
11:15 Party
12:00 Dismissal

So Exciting!  I hope to see you at the Sing-a-Long and party!

Ms. S

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We are in the home stretch, yet we are going to still be working hard this week!

We will discuss poetry vocabulary and spend one whole day this week immersed in identifying parts of a poem.  We will then look for the hidden messages that we have to infer in our reading.

Our WITS writer, Mrs. Bolton, will join us again on Tuesday to get the kids thinking more about their portrait poetry.
Then, we will spend the rest of the week publishing our narratives and landform poetry to share with you at Publisher's Picnic this spring!

There will be no spelling work this week.

Social Studies
Students have a map skills quiz on Thursday, 12/18.  The review sheet went home last week and is linked here.

We will spend one day with students working in pairs and groups of three to complete research and create an online book about a cultural holidays.  I hope their investigations spark some good conversation in class and at home!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Math and Science Week of Dec 8th


Last week we slowed the pace down a bit and spent some days learning how to write our own multiplication word problems.  The kids really loved doing this because we would pick a new theme to write about every day.  We made multiplication problems up about Holidays, birthdays, and animals.  The kids were instructed that they needed a number of groups, a number to go IN EACH group, and then ask for a total.

I went to the zoo last Summer.   I saw eight rhinos.  Each rhino was given 7 pounds of food.  How many pounds of food were the rhinos given in all?

Towards the end of the week we took those same problems and turned them into division word problems.

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?

Early this week we will study the cookies Method.  This is when you are given the total and the number IN EACH group and you are asked to find the number of groups.

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?

In the middle of this week, we will decode multiplication and division word problems and decide the appropriate strategy to solve.  The kids will do a Math circuit in the classroom for the first time!  These are fun traveling around activities.  On Friday will be the Chapter 6 Multiplication and Division test.  The kids have been studying Chapter 6 since the beginning of November!  They are getting to be multiplication and division pros now!

Fast facts were taken for a grade last week and the scores from this week will not be recorded.  Next week's fast facts test will be on Thursday due to Friday the 19th being a half day.

In Science we are finishing up our deeper study of force, a push or a pull.  The kids have some fun Magic School bus videos to watch to help them learn about how simple machines like pulleys can help make lifting easier.  We have a great lab demonstration planned with the kids on the helpfulness of pulleys.  We will also discuss gravity as a force and magnetism as a force as well.

The kids will be given dictionaries on Tuesday, courtesy of the Dictionary Project, The Hour of Code project on Thursday in the library, and will have toys for tots on Friday.

It;s going to be a fun and busy week.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Math and Science the Week of December 1-5th


Can you believe it's December already?!!

These next three weeks will be jammed packed with learning and activities and fun!  Hold on to your hats.  In Math this week we will be jumping into division head first.  Our study of division will begin basic, as we plan to use cubes and pictures to represent the process of dividing a larger group of things into smaller equal groups.   Students will practice “acting out” the process of division. We will consume LOTS of word problems and use two different strategies to solve.  The first strategy is the Octopus Method.  In this type of word problem you of course are given a total to divide and a number of groups to divide that number into.  You are in search of the number IN each group.  For example:

Ms. Skrivanek had 10 tickets.  She wanted to give five students the same amount of tickets.  How many tickets will EACH student get? 10 divided by 5 is 2 tickets each.  

The inverse of this problem is what we will study the latter part of the week.  It is called the "Cookies Method."  This is when you are given a total to divide, but this time you are told the number IN each group and you have to figure out how many groups there are.  For example:

Ms. Skrivanek had 10 tickets.  She gave two tickets to each student.  How many students were given tickets, if each student was given the same amount? 10 divided by two is five students.

In Science we will dedicate a short time to studying friction.
We have a fun experiment planned as to which the kids will use hot wheels across carpet, tile, and concrete to discover which surface the car travels the fastest/slowest on.  Through their findings the kids will deduct which surface contains the most friction.  


Friday, November 21, 2014

Math and Science for the week of Nov 24-25


We just have two days this week!  There will be NO HOMEWORK and NO FAST FACTS.

In Math we will be finishing up multiplication of 9's.  We will make groups of nine, arrays of nine, number lines with nine, and repeated addition to solve problems with 9.  Some of your child's work might look like this:

1. 8x9 = 9x8 = 72

2. seven nines = 7 x 9

3. 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 5 x 7

4. 3 groups of 9 = 3 x 9

5. 6 x 9 =
    5 x 9 + 1 X 9
    45 + 9

We will watch this you tube video on the nine hand trick to help us while we memorize our facts:

 In Science we will be finishing up our Unit of Energy.  The kids will have a great Lab on Energy on Monday.  On Tuesday, we will finish up a four door fold-able project on Energy that we have been working on and journal about the energies we have learned about in detail.  The four door fold-able will be a project grade in Science as well as a journal grade in Science when completed.

I hope all of you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Ms. S

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nov. 17-Nov. 25 in Language Arts and Social Studies


Last week we worked on talking about what strategies good readers use when comprehension breaks down.  Students agreed that when I ask what strategies they try when stuck their first response is usually, sound it out.  While that is one strategy that may help readers who are stuck, it isn't the most effective strategy.  Some other strategies we decided good readers use are:
asking ourselves- does it make sense?
if not, looking at the pictures
reading on
going back and rereading
trying out a synonym and seeing if it makes sense
looking for parts of a word we know
our list will continue to grow as students start noticing what is helpful when they come to a problem while reading.

We also started and will work until Thanksgiving on context clues.  Students know that context means that there are clues in the text that can help a reader discover a words meaning.  Students will participate in class discussions on Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters as we discover the story and uncover all the new vocabulary it has to offer.  They will also work in small groups to share strategies for comprehension.  


We will not have spelling work again until December.  Instead, students will bring home review homework on capitalization and punctuation.

Students have been working hard in writing.  We will be working on a number of pieces over the next 7 days.  Students will learn some organization strategies to guide their publication of a personal narrative.

We will then combine our work in Social Studies and Writing.  Students will learn about personification by consuming the mentor text I am the Ocean.  They will apply what they know from our work with landforms and create a landform poem with personification.  These are always some of our most amazing writing pieces.  Your child will share his or hers with you at Publisher's Picnic in May.

Finally, we will also be working on postcards to tell friends and families about vacations we have taken to different regions.  Students will be expected to apply learning and share with the recipient the climate, weather, activities and landforms they encounter while on their imaginary vacation.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Math/Science Week of November 17th


The kids are LOVING multiplication!  So far we have learned/reviewed FIVE multiplication strategies that the kids can use to solve multiplication problems.

1. Groups of-3x4 means three groups of four
2. Jumps of-3x4 means three jumps of four on a number line
3. Rows of- 3x4 means three rows of four in an array.
4. Repeated Addition in 3x4 means 4+4+4=12
5. Using facts we know to solve ones we don't know:
                    6x8 = 5x8 + 1x8
                    6x8 = 40 + 8
                    6x8 = 48

This coming week we will use all these tools above that are in our tool belt now to solve multiplication facts of 6,7,8 and 9.  Once the kids have these strategies down, we will also be studying multiplication word problems and what they look like and sound like.  In multiplication word problems you are always given a number of groups and a number IN each group as you search for a total product.

Just an FYI, a district MATH assessment is scheduled in class on Tuesday.  It is not graded or inputted into the grade book, but the data is used as a tool to drive large and small group instruction in Math.  There is no way to study for this test.  It will measure things that have been learned in class so far this year.

Most kids are now studying multiplication Fast Facts at home.  In the back of their green notebook you will see a checklist of the order in which we study our facts in 3rd grade.  They are at the bottom of this blog post as well.  Please study fast facts with your child every night.  The Quick Math app on the I-Pad is excellent practice as well.

In Science we have studied Mechanical, Heat, and Sound Energy with great detail.  The kids will now be moving on to Light Energy this week.  A study guide went home last Friday with flashcards.  An Energy Assessment is scheduled for this Friday the 21st.  It consists of 25 multiple choice questions about the four energies we have studied.

A short week is up ahead next week.  We have a FUN energy Science Lab planned on Monday the 24th to wrap up our Science Unit.  In Math for those two days, we will be tying up loose ends and making sure we are ready to start division in great depth when the kids come back from Thanksgiving break.

Ms. S