Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 15: November 28 - December 2


Reading: It's time to immerse ourselves in a new genre.  For the rest of November and most of December, we will be reading poetry.  We hope your child has come home excited about some of the poems we have shared together during our daily dose of Focus Poetry.  Our study during the reading workshop over the next few weeks will have us reading more closely and analyzing various aspects of poetry.  Students will learn and apply the poetry vocabulary of stanzas, lines, repetition, rhyme, speaker.

Writing: We will continue to consume author's craft through various mentor texts.  We will look closely at how authors use dialogue, repetition, and descriptive detail to help readers understand and enjoy the story.  At home, you can be sure to notice and share out with your child about dialogue that you read in stories together that helps either move the story along or tell you more about the characters.  Point out details that help you visualize what the characters are seeing and experiencing in the story.



Spelling:  New words will come home on 11/30.  A test will be give 12/7.  An application grade of those words in the context of reading and writing will be given 12/8-12/14.

Social Studies:  As we continue to learn about citizens who played an important role in our communities, we will learn about Jonas Salk.  Salk's research and work with vaccines has made a huge impact on the health of our community.  

Math: Each day in math this week, we will use our multiplication strategies to learn about multiplying by 6's, 7's, 8's, and 9's. Each day, we will listen to a song that helps skip counting by each of the multiples. We will not have a problem of the week this week. We will have a worksheet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Please note that the Fast Facts Quiz will be taken on Thursday due to our Field Trip on Friday. 



Science: In science this week, we will wrap up our unit on energy. On Monday, we will create energy vocabulary cards for the energy test. The energy test is scheduled for Thursday, December 8th. On Tuesday,Wednesday, and Thursday, we will learn about sound energy. Sound energy is the energy of matter vibrating. A few of the important terms we will learn about are pitch and volume. Pitch is how high or low the sound is and volume is how loud or soft. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 14: November 21-22

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Reminders for this week:
- Please turn in permission slips for our Galveston Field Trip on Friday, December 2nd
-Tuesday, November 22nd - Dress the School Day - Wear Camo!
- No School on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday for Thanksgiving Break

Image result for turkey escapes thanksgiving free useReading: The genre of drama will be introduced this week.  Students will note and notice similarities and differences between the genre of realistic fiction (we've spent a few weeks with this) and our partner plays.  Reviewing terms like character, narrator, actor, setting, and stage will help us prepare as students work in groups to read through, analyze and perform plays based on the topic of Thanksgiving.

Writing: Forget the Houston Escape Room, the turkey needs our help!  Writers will apply author's craft to imaginative stories.  They will focus on creating scenarios that might help the turkey escape becoming our Thursday dinner!

Spelling: We will continue to look for spelling patterns to be applied within the context writing in all content areas.

Social Studies: With help from some primary sources, we will look for elements of historical truths about Thanksgiving in our plays.

Math: During class on Monday, we will review the strategies for multiplying that we've learned so far: repeated addition, equal groups picture, jumping number lines, and arrays. On Tuesday, we will learn about the associative property which states that changing the order that the factors are multiplied does not change the product. We will not have a Problem of the Week or Fast Facts on our short week. Your child will have a subtraction review worksheet that will come home on Monday as homework.


Science: In science this week, we will continue talking about light energy. Light energy is a form of energy that helps us see and comes from the sun. During class, we will discuss the difference between natural and artificial light.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Week 13: November 14-17

Reminders:
We will have an author visit Tuesday, November 15.  Please remember to place your orders for books by Monday, November 14.

Four teachers from HCE's 3rd grade team have been asked to attend a district meeting to discuss PSAs (Priority Standard Assessments).  Ms. Badrak, Mrs. Ford, Ms. Rozzell and Mrs. Scott will be off campus on Tuesday to learn more about these assessments, offer feedback, and help plan how the district will use PSAs to reach each of our learners best.

Reading: Inferences will take center stage in reading this week.  Students should know by now that we infer when we take what's in the text, add what we know (in our brains) and then draw conclusions or infer.  We will continue with our picture of the day warm-up this week.  Students will then get loads of practice in their guided reading groups.  Please make sure book bags that come home are getting back to school each day.

Picture of the day is a great activity to promote language development, conversation and inferring skills at home. Some sentence stems we use in class that can get things going at home are:
I see ________________.  I infer _________ because _______.  I wonder __________ because ____________.  Looking at a picture you can infer location, temperature, season, time of day, sounds, thoughts, actions, reactions, and conditions.  You can find picture of the day resources on Wikipedia (please monitor for appropriateness).  Photos from magazines and books work well too.

Writing: Onomatopoeia, ellipse, and dialogue will be three author's craft elements that we focus our writing eye on this week.  We will read and critique pieces from published and familiar authors to see how these elements help improve the story and experience for the reader.
We have very much enjoyed our last two weeks with Mrs. Cion, our WITS (Writer's in the Schools) partner.  The children have dug deep into their favorites and created portraits in the style of Giuseppe Arcimboldo.  It taught all of us more about each other and reminded us how important details are to help others understand and appreciate our work!

Spelling:  Students will receive an application grade on spelling words this week.  Please continue to help them practice and understand spelling patterns at home.  We will not send home new words until 11/30, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Instead, we will be focused on pushing students to apply their spelling patterns in their reading, writing, spelling and social studies assignments.

Social Studies: Our focus on good citizens this week turns to Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton.
Harriet Tubman was a brave woman who used her resources to escape slavery through the Underground Railroad.  She then risked her life to help others do the same.
Clara Barton founded the Red Cross.  We will discuss, in class, how the Red Cross and other non-profit business work for the common good.

Math: In math this week, your child will begin studying multiplication. At the beginning of our unit, we will be learning to create multiplication sentence and drawing pictures of these sentences to get a visual of multiplying. Throughout the week, we will be learning to create equal groups, repeated addition, skip counting on a number line, and arrays. All of these methods will help our gain a foundation of multiplying.


Equal Groups

Skip Counting on a Number Line
"4 jumps of 2"

Repeated Addition

Arrays

For math homework this week, your child will receive a worksheet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night. Our fast facts quiz will be on Friday. A problem of the week will be given on Monday and it will be due on Friday. 

Science:  During our science time this week we will begin studying Thermal Energy and Light 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. For light energy we will discuss the sources of light, how light is used, what the words transparent, translucent, and opaque mean. We will begin our science project in class which is a foldable which includes examples of the four forms of energy that we study. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Week 12: November 7 - 11

Reminders for November 7-11:
11/7 - Third Grade Recognition Ceremony at 11:00 in the Discovery Center - we will be recognizing students who receive attendance or honor roll awards based on their 1st 9 weeks report card.  Parents and family members are welcome to attend.

11/8 - Election Day at HCE 
Please pack a nut free lunch this day.  
We will be eating in our classrooms 
while voting is taking place in the cafeteria.

11/11 - Veterans Day Program at 9:00 in the cafeteria - please have your child wear red, white, and blue. Progress Reports for the 2nd 9 weeks will be sent home this day.


Reading:  Students will start to learn to notice when they infer while reading.  Inferring is something we do ALL the time.  You notice that your friend isn’t as talkative and you ask what’s wrong.  You see a picture of people bundled up and comment that the weather must have been cold.  These sorts of thoughts are what we call an inference.
In third grade, we use our schema (background knowledge), plus text clues to help us make an inference about characters, settings and events in the stories we read.  Some sentence stems we use to help us organize our thinking are:
I see (or I read) ________________________.  I know ____________________.  So, I can infer_______________________.


Writing: We’ve worked hard to understand the structure needed to share a story worth telling and writing.  The next few weeks we will begin to dig into mentor texts to examine author’s craft (the author’s style of writing). Each day we will either focus on a particular author or craft and to read, notice, analyze and then try to apply in our own writing.

Spelling:
Spelling words went home on 11/2.  Spelling test on 11/9.  An application of spelling grade will be given sometime between 11/10-11/22, so please keep practicing words at home.  We don’t want students to just memorize words, but we hope they will internalize spelling patterns and begin to apply them in their daily work.

Social Studies: HCE
students will participate in our first book election.  Our two candidates are the Book of the Month stories – Fine, Fine School and “Let’s Get A Pup!” said Kate.  Students will individually vote electronically on November 8 and the winner will be on the morning announcements on Wednesday, the 9th. The winning book will be displayed in library! 
Students will also be practicing for and performing in a Veteran’s Day performance this week.  This a wonderful way to learn about and honor the men and women who defend and protect our country.  This will help us move into our work on Good Citizen’s for the rest of the 9 weeks grading period.

Math: 
On Monday, your child will take their subtraction test to finish our subtraction unit. We will continue to practice subtraction in class with our daily problem solving as well as through homework. The rest of the week we will begin learning about rounding numbers. We will round two and three digit numbers to the nearest 10 or 100. Along with rounding, we will also learn strategies for adding and subtracting rounded numbers.

Examples:
Numbers rounded to the nearest 10: 24 is rounded to 20. 78 is rounded to 80. 312 is rounded to 310.

Numbers rounded to the nearest 100: 345 is rounded to 300. 876 is rounded to 900.

We will have a problem of the week come home on Monday and it will be due on Friday. Please study fast facts daily. A review worksheet will come home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.


Science: In science this week, we will learn about mechanical energy and thermal energy. We will review kinetic and potential and discuss examples of what each type of energy looks like. As a class we will go to the playground and discuss when potential and kinetic energy is used while we are on the playground each day. We will have groups discussing when potential and kinetic energy is used on the swings, slide, monkey bars, soccer, and football. For thermal energy we will discuss the sources of heat that we use and things that are insulators and conductors.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Week 11: October 31st - November 4th

Parents,
Thank you for supporting our classes during Field Day. It was a fun filled day and we appreciate your added spirit.

Reminders for this week:
Mrs. Ramos spoke with students on Friday and told them about how children in her court celebrate adoption day.  She encouraged them to bring a stuffed animal from home to donate to children serviced in the courts.  Mrs. Ramos explained to us how this day becomes just as special as a birthday for many children.   This is often also the first toy the child will have ever received.  We appreciate any and all stuffed animal donations.Donations due 11/4.  We love when the real world and our learning tie together.  This is a BEAUTIFUL real world example of what good citizens do- something we will study in Social Studies over the next few weeks.

Friday, November 4th is a Noon Dismissal. Please remember to send a note with any change of transportation on that day. We will have an alternate schedule that day.

Reading: Good readers use context clues to help them make meaning of the words in the text.  This week we will work together in a variety of text to notice the many ways an author uses context clues to help readers make sense of the story. The example on the left shows you some of the things reader can use to help make meaning of new terms and vocabulary.  Be sure to talk to your reader about new, multilple meaning and difficult vocabulary words as they read at home each night.

Writing: We continue to analyze stories from our lives to make sure they are a story worth telling.  Stories worth telling follow the narrative structure.  We will read, summarize, analyze and determine theme for a few more stories this week.  Practicing storytelling at home can be a fun and meaningful way to connect learning at school to home.  This also helps when students move to write in workshop-- this way they have stories to pull from!

Spelling:  Continue to practice spelling words from last week at home.  At the beginning of this week, in class, teachers will be observing and assessing how students are able to apply spelling patterns in their work.  New spelling words will come home on November 2 and be assessed on November 9.

Social Studies: We've wrapped up our learning on early explorers and will spend the next few weeks thinking about what GOOD CITIZENS do! Good citizens work to make their communities a great place to be.  We will discuss many ideas over the next few weeks like-- voting, obeying laws, keeping promises, serving on a jury and volunteering.  
Students will have a chance to learn about why it is important for citizens to vote this week.  We hope to give them a small taste of what Election Day is like with our very own HCE favorite book election.  We will hear from people supporting both the candidates (book choices!).  Stay tuned, as November 9 we will learn which book of the month students have enjoyed most!
  
Math: In math this week, we will be finishing up our unit on subtraction. 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 and Thursday, we will review all of our subtraction skills. On Friday, we will take our subtraction test. *SUBTRACTION TEST IS MOVED TO 11/7*

We will NOT have homework on Monday! Happy Halloween! On Tuesday, a worksheet will go home that reviews analog clocks. On Wednesday, a worksheet with subtraction practice will go home. Please study for fast facts on Friday. We will NOT have a Problem of the Week this week.

Science: During science this week, we will complete our discussion on Mixtures. Later in the week we will begin our unit on Energy. Energy is the ability to move and do work. We will review four forms of energy: sound, light, heat, and mechanical. We will begin with Mechanical Energy and discover that there are two types of Mechanical Energy: Potential and Kinetic. 

*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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Week 10: October 24 - October 28

Parents, 
Thank you all for making our conferences a huge success! We believe that communication between parents and teachers is a key component for student achievement, so we truly appreciate your support and involvement. 

Red Ribbon Week!
Each fall during Red Ribbon Week, communities around the country unite to educate children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. This year's national Red Ribbon Week theme is YOLO - You Only Live Once...Be Drug Free!!!!!  HCE wants to emphasize the importance of making healthy choices, staying positive, and focusing on the future!
Please encourage your HCE Cougar to participate in the following dress up themes and remind them YOLO!!!!!!
  • Monday - "My Future is Bright"   Wear neon.
  • Tuesday - "Team Work Makes the Dream Work"   Wear your favorite sports team jersey.
  • Wednesday - "Fight For Your Future"   Wear camo.
  • Thursday - "Peace, Love, Happiness"   Wear tie dye.
  • Friday - "Hair's to a Healthy Lifestyle"   Crazy hair day
Classroom Spelling Bees will be held during the school day this Friday, October 28. The top 2 winners from each class will advance to the School Spelling Bee held on Thursday, December 8. One final Bee practice for all grades will be this Wednesday morning from 7:25 to 7:55 in room 7.

FIELD DAY: Friday, October 28th  Third graders will take the field in a battle of the countries this Friday from 10:15-11:45. Come cheer on your child's team as they race to each event with unleashed spirit!  Lunch this day will be from 12:20 to 12:50.

Please consider supporting Ms. Jackson’s flexible seating Donors Choose fund. 

Reading: Readers will continue exploring theme in both familiar and non-familiar texts. Each day, we will focus on a new theme and brainstorm books that model each lesson. Themes/lessons we will focus on this week:
  • Teamwork
  • Honesty
We will also spend time discussing and writing about the differences between plot and theme. We want our learners to be able to not only identify them, but to support it with text evidence. Students' written responses have been more detailed as we are focusing on citing our thinking with text evidence. 

Writing: Writers will be introduced to new Stories From My Life (or SFML for short) this week to focus on our core questions with unfamiliar texts. We will work on concise retelling through Q1 (What is happening in this story?) and identifying theme/lesson through Q2 (What does this story mean?). Finally, we will map the story on the narrative arc to identify all of the important elements. Writers will continue exploring SFML narratives in their own writing.

Example Story Arc   

Spelling: Students received new sorts/words on Wednesday, October 19th. The assessment on those words will be this Wednesday, October 26th. Remember to utilize the at-home spelling practice if your child could benefit from additional practice at home

Social Studies: We are wrapping up our unit on famous explorers! We will complete our pop-up book (to be showcased during Publisher's Picnic!) with important facts about Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Lewis & Clark, and Christopher Columbus. Our students have loved learning the details of how these explorers have contributed to our nation and our world. 

Math:  This week students will continue their study of subtraction and how it relates to the real world. We will review the different kinds of subtraction (take away, compare, missing part) and the scenarios in word problems that require either addition or subtraction. Distinguishing between the two is critical. Students will try their hand at writing their own story problems based on a short list of criteria and then solve them, keeping in mind the expectations we have followed all year. Students on their addition and subtraction facts need to study for FFW and FFF. Multiplication will only be tested on Friday's FFF. There is no Problem of the Week (POW), but there will be the usual written homework Monday through Wednesday nights. 

Science:  Having completed our Matter unit last week, we move on to investigating mixtures. A mixture is a combination of 2 or more ingredients where the ingredients keep their own properties and can easily be separated. We will discuss the tools used to separate those ingredients because of their properties.
         Image result for mixtures                                

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week of October 17-21

Parent/Teacher Conferences are this week: October 19-21.  Use the links below to secure your spot.  We can't wait to celebrate the successes of your child and discuss their goals moving forward. Please remember that Thursday, October 20th and Friday, October 21st are early dismissal days. Students will be let out at 12:00 pm so please plan accordingly! 

Please consider supporting Ms. Jackson’s flexible seating Donors Choose fund: Jackson

Reading: Readers will continue exploring theme in both familiar and non-familiar texts. Each day, we will focus on a new theme and brainstorm books that model each lesson. Themes/lessons we will focus on next week:
  • Believing in yourself
  • Being happy with what you have
  • Accepting others' differences 
  • Always acting kind to others
We will also spend time discussing and writing about the differences between plot and theme. We want our learners to be able to not only identify them, but to support it with text evidence. 

Writing: Writers will be introduced to new Stories From My Life (or SFML for short) this week to focus on our core questions with unfamiliar texts. We will work on concise retelling through Q1 (What is happening in this story?) and identifying theme/lesson through Q2 (What does this story mean?). Finally, we will map the story on the narrative arc to identify all of the important elements. Writers will continue exploring SFML narratives in their own writing.

Example Story Arc   

Spelling: Students will get new sorts/words on Wednesday, October 19th. The assessment on those words will be the following Wednesday, October 26th. Remember to utilize the at-home spelling practice if your child could benefit from additional practice at home.

Social Studies: We will continue our unit on famous explorers! We will finish our pop-up book with important facts about Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Lewis & Clark, and Christopher Columbus. Our students have loved learning the details of how these explorers have contributed to our nation and our world. 

Math: Last week we began our study of subtraction with simple subtraction without any regrouping and regrouping in the hundreds and thousands places. This week we will review and then begin to subtract over zeros where multiple regrouping is necessary. As they progress right to left from the ones place, to the tens, to the hundreds and then to the thousands, students have to continually ask themselves "Can I do that?" in order to assure that the top number take away the bottom number actually works. If not, then regrouping or borrowing has to be done. Many are familiar with the rhyme "More on the floor, go next door" as a way to help determine if regrouping is needed. In applying subtraction to everyday life, students will examine word problems and differentiate among the three types of subtraction. "Take away" subtraction is the one with which kids are most familiar. Given a total number of items, a part is taken away leaving a remaining part. "Compare" subtraction presents students with two numbers where they are to find the difference between them. Words such as "how many more", "how much longer", and "how many fewer" are our key to this kind of subtraction. Often times, the comparative or "er" form of an adjective is used, such as taller, heavier, shorter, and farther. The third kind, "Missing Part" subtraction, gives the student the total number of items and describes a part and then asks what the other part might be. Here are some examples:

Take away:  643 students attend Hunters Creek Elementary. If 97 students transfer to another school, how many students will remain at the school?   643 - 97 = _____


Compare:  HCE has 643 student and MDE only has 477. How many  more students does Hunters Creek have than Memorial Drive?   643 - 477 = _____

Missing Part:  Ms. Rozzell has 41 students in both Math classes. 17 of them are girls. How many boys are in her classes?     41 - 17 = _____ 

Whether your child is on addition, subtraction, or multiplication facts, always study daily for FFW and/or FFF. Addition and subtraction have an extra opportunity for success on Wednesday and will not have to study for a Friday quiz if they make a 90% or above mid week. There is a POW that is due on Friday. Please take this opportunity to work with your child and discuss strategies for finding a solution.

Science:  We wrap up our study of Matter this week with a review of vocabulary and concepts and a unit test on Wednesday. Students have had vocabulary cards and a study guide for almost two weeks and we hope they have reviewed them nightly. After parent conferences, we will take a look at mixtures and then it is on to an extensive study of the different kinds of energy around us.