Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 29: March 27-31

Week of March 27

Reminders:
4th and 5th grade students will take the STAAR tests 3/28 and 3/29.
We will have a change of schedule to support a quiet test environment.  

The third grade schedule for those two days is:
8:00-10:20 Block One
10:20-12:35 Block Two
12:40-1:10 Lunch
1:15-2:05 Specials
2:05-2:40 Recess
2:40-3:00 Read Aloud

OPTIONAL SPRING CONFERENCES: We have noon dismissal on April 6 & 7 so that teachers have an opportunity to have an optional spring parent conference with parents who are concerned about their child's progress this year. There will not be any new testing information to share at this conference. It is only the 2nd week of the last nine weeks so there will not be many grades to review either. Teachers are happy to meet with parents who have questions or concerns about their child's progress.  
If you would like to schedule a conference during this early dismissal time, please sign up...

Reading: We will start the week with some strategy work in Reading.  When reading for tests, readers have to read with a difference purpose and lens.  We will discuss strategies test takers use when determining the best summary for a non-fiction selection. We will then review ways that test takers analyze poetry.  Finally, we will finish the week with a reading checkpoint to see how students apply reading strategies reviewed this week and the weeks since we took the practice STAAR. 

Writing:Writing is a process that can't be rushed.  As one of our WITS writers said, "You're never really finished; you just have a deadline."  We've worked hard in class to transform our essays from outlines to full paragraphs.  Students have learned about various ways to start or lead a read into their essays.  We will continue to work on revising and editing techniques this week as we prepare to finalize our essays to be audience ready.

Spelling:Students received new spelling words on Thursday, March 23.  They will take a test on these words on Thursday, March 30.  Teachers will then look for them to apply them correctly to their responses in reading and writing and an application grade will be taken between Friday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 5.

Social Studies:Over the next few weeks in Social Studies, we will focus on the importance of writers and artists to the cultural heritage of our communities.  Students will learn about the life and work of Maya Angelou, Larry McMurtry, Tommy dePaola and Mark Twain.

Math: During our math time this week, we will wrap up our learning on 2D and 3D shapes. We will construct a 3D shape in class and identify the shape based on its characteristics. On Wednesday, your child will take a 2D Quiz. This quiz will review the 2D shapes found on the yellow paper in your child's binder as well as the pink flash cards that went home last week. They will be asked to name each shape. In preparation for our quiz, we will also review these shapes in class. On Thursday and Friday, we will discuss area. We worked on area during our multiplication unit so this will be a quick review of the concept. We will have more graphing homework this week on Monday and Tuesday as well as fraction homework on Wednesday. We will continue with our fast facts quiz on Friday. 

Science:On Friday (March 24th), your child came home with a Solar System review sheet and vocabulary cards. The solar system test will be on Monday, April 3rd. During our science time this week, we will discuss the relationship between the sun, Earth, and moon. We will notice the limitations of the models of the solar system that we see. On Wednesday, we will learn the order of the planets. In groups, your child will make a mnemonic device to help them remember the order of the planets. On Thursday, we will create planet bracelets. These bracelets will have beads that represent each of the planets. To end our week, we will review for the solar system test playing our Jeopardy game. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week 28: March 20 - 24

Week of March 20-24
Reminders:  Third graders will have a visit from our school counselor, Mrs. Chvatal this week.  Her guidance lesson will focus on helping students think through problem solving conflicts with friends.

Reading: As we transition back to work and off of a break- we will take the week to review what good readers do and reestablish reading workshop expectations.  Some of the areas we will focus our attention this week are:

  • A community of readers cares for thier books and shares titles with one another
  • Good readers pick books that meet their needs and wants
  • Good readers think about what they are reading and stop and jot to note and remember
  • Good readers keep track of their reading and read from a variety of genres

Writing: Students have drafted essays.  This week we will focus on craft elements that help make an essay fantastic.  Specifically, we will focus on elements that grab a reader's attention and keep them engaged in a text.  First, we will focus on elements a writer can add to their introduction to hook a reader.  Some authors use quotes, others facts, or even a small moment from their lives.  Then, we will focus on using transition words.   Finally, we will focus on our conclusions and helping one another during writer's workshop think through effective ways to restate the claim.
This is BIG work.  Encourage your writer that writing is a process.  Slow and steady wins the race!

Spelling: New words will come home on Thursday, March 23.  They will be tested on Thursday, March 30.  March 31-April 6, teachers will be looking for students to apply those spelling patterns correctly in their reading and writing work.

Social Studies: As we enter into the last grading cycle, we want to make sure that we end our year as strong as it started.  We will spend this week reviewing our class contract and practicing routines and procedures that help our classroom community be a place that is safe and conducive for learning and risk taking.

Math: On Monday, we will finish up our unit on graphing. Before spring break, our students created a survey and they surveyed another third grade class. They took the data from the survey and created one of the graphs we have been studying in class. Starting on Tuesday, we will be jumping into our geometry unit. We will be working to identify 2D shapes. We will identify sides and vertices on these polygons. On Thursday and Friday, we will begin classifying 3D shapes. We will categorize them by pyramids, prisms, and curved surfaces. This week, we will have our usual homework on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Our fast facts quiz will be on Friday.



Science: During our science time we will start learning about the moon. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be discussing the relationship between the sun, moon, and Earth. On Wednesday, we will also make our vocabulary cards and send home a review for the solar system unit. Towards the end of our week, we will learn about the planets. As we are studying the planets, we will learn the order and the important characteristics of each. We will teach the students a fun acronym to help them remember the correct order of the planets from the sun.  It is...."My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos!"

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 27: March 6-10

Important Dates and Reminders


March
9- Third Grade Recognition Ceremony at 9:00 in the cafeteria
11 - 19  Spring Break Vacation
20 - Students return to school


April
6 - Noon Dismissal
7- Noon Dismissal
14 - Good Friday (No School)


This Week In Third Grade

Math:  As we continue graphing data, the students will be introduced to a new graph... the dot plot or line plot.  This data representation uses columns of dots or X's to show a quantity or number. Looking at the dot plot below, student scores are written across the bottom. A dot is placed at each score to represent a student with that grade.
 
This second example, called a line plot, uses X's to show the number of people who watched TV for the different number of hours, which are shown across the number line.
Mid-week, each class will develop its own survey and gather data from their class and a neighboring class. Then the class will divide up and represent their data in 5 different forms: tally chart, frequency chart, bar graph, pictograph, and dot plot. Students will be asked to examine the data and answer questions pertinent to the information.

Students will have written homework Monday through Wednesday evenings. There will be no Problem of the Week or FFF quiz for Friday.

Don't forget to encourage your child to take advantage of our Dreambox resource. Use this link to access the program: Dreambox. It can also be accessed on the blog page entitled Math Websites.  Ms. Moore has added Dreambox to the Symbaloo homepage. Students just need to click on their homeroom teacher's name and they are ready to go. Thank you PTA!

Science:  As we wrap up our study of natural resources, we set our sights on studying our Sun and its planets. What are the characteristics of the Sun? For what are we dependent upon the Sun? As a medium size star, our Sun is responsible for life on Earth. It's light grows plants through photosynthesis. It's heat keeps us warm and causes seasons. It's gravity keeps all the planets in their orbits around it. Our moon is a natural satellite of Earth. It spins on its axis as it revolves or orbits Earth. Earth is the third planet in our solar system and it rotates on its axis as it revolves or orbits around the Sun. These three bodies depend upon each other.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week 26: February 27-March 3

Important Dates and Reminders:

Family Fair Raffle: Raffle items are displayed in the cafeteria this Monday through Thursday. Students will have an opportunity to put their tickets in prize buckets at lunch only. To buy tickets, students may bring money to their homeroom teacher first thing each morning, in a labeled envelope or baggie. Tickets will be delivered to them at lunch. Tickets are .50 each. Please send exact amounts of money; no change will be made. Raffle winners will be announced Friday morning just after the announcements.

HCE Family Fair Dismissal: No student will be allowed to go directly to the fair on their own. Please be sure you have filled out the Family Fair Dismissal form and given it to your child's homeroom  teacher. Students without this form will be sent home their usual way on Friday afternoon. Parents...arrive early (2:30ish) to get a parking space. Front doors and the gate between the gym and 5th grade hall will be open. Wait outside your child's classroom until 2:40 when children will be dismissed to the person listed on the dismissal form. There will be a sign-out sheet. Please clear the hallway by 2:55 so teachers can take the remaining children to their regular way home.

February
27- 3rd Grade Practice Math STAAR

27- PTA RALLY DAY in Austin 

27-  Family Fair Raffle begins in cafeteria during lunch times

March
February 27- March 2- Family Fair Raffle in cafeteria during lunch times

3- HCE Family Fair

This week in third grade:

Reading: Readers will be working on their biography project this week! Students chose a person last week that they are interested in learning more about and started taking notes on that person's life and accomplishments. We will revisit the features of a biography while readers turn their research into a project to display their new learning.  

Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. This week, we will focus on writing in essay form using our graphic organizer for support. Since this unit is new, we will spend more time on structure and format of an essay. 

Essential writing questions this week:
What purpose does the introduction have?
How can we transform our organizer into sentences?
What makes a strong paragraph? 
What purpose does the conclusion have? 

Spelling: Students will receive new words on Thursday, March 2nd, and their test will be on Thursday, March 9th. 

White group: Students will receive new words on Wednesday, March 1st, and their test will be on Wednesday, March 8th. 

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit with our Econ and Me Videos!  ECON AND ME revolves around four children and their invisible friend, Econ, who applies economic principles to individuals, families, and communities. This week, we will study interdependence. This week, Tom and Sean arrive late for rehearsal and say their small jobs don't matter. Econ shows them a real-life example – the amusement park, where Sean and Tom depend on all the people who work there.

Math: On Monday, students will take the Math Practice STAAR test. The results will help us better plan for instruction the rest of the year. Tuesday and Wednesday we will review and assess all that we have studied about fractions. On Thursday, we begin a fun unit on graphing data. Tally charts, frequency tables, dot plots, pictographs and bar graphs are the kinds of representations we will explore for showing data from a survey. The following is a combination of a tally chart, complete with the typical tally marks, and a frequency table that shows in numbers how often a color was chosen.
A bar graph has many important parts. It can be horizontal or vertical and always has a scale that allows you to figure out the value of each bar. Students must discover that scale and then write the value of the bar at its end. On the following graph, the scale is 2 (counting by 2 from line to line).
Pictographs use symbols to represent a certain number of items. That number is defined in the key. Without a key, there would be no way to determine the value of each category. At times only half a symbol is shown. Students must use a value half of the number given in the key. 
Students will have written homework Tuesday and Wednesday nights and the usual FFF quiz on Friday. Please monitor that your child is studying facts every night. The district expectation for third grade is for students to master their multiplication facts through 12. Many students still have a long way to go. 

We hope you will encourage your child to take advantage of our Dreambox resource. Use this link to access the program: Dreambox. It can also be accessed on the blog page entitled Math Websites.  Ms. Moore has added Dreambox to the Symbaloo homepage. Students just need to click on their homeroom teacher's name and they are ready to go. Thank you PTA!
Science:  Students will examine everyday objects and determine the natural resources used to make them, stating whether they are renewable or nonrenewable. And as the week progresses, we will try to justify why certain resources are used to make certain products. What properties make them best suited for the job? Students will be tested on the Natural Resources flowchart that we all filled out last week. Each teacher will make the date known to her classes. Conservation is the final focus for the week. We will discuss the importance of using our resources wisely and, if possible, finding alternative fuels for the world.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 25: February 20-24

Important Dates and Reminders:

February
20- Presidents' Day (No School)

23- 3rd Grade Practice Reading STAAR 

24- Go Texans Day

27- 3rd Grade Practice Math STAAR

27- PTA RALLY DAY in Austin 

27-  Family Fair Raffle begins in cafeteria 

March
February 27- March 2- Family Fair Raffle in cafeteria 

3- HCE Family Fair

This week in third grade:

Reading: Readers will take the practice reading STAAR test on Thursday, February 23rd. We will spend a couple of days thinking aloud through STAAR-like nonfiction selections to become more familiar with their length and structure. We will also review fiction selections from previous PSA tests. Please be sure your child gets a good night's sleep and eats a solid breakfast on Thursday! 

Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. This week, we will move forward with the topic we chose last week. We will focus on the claim and support points, making sure our claim is well supported. Students will begin writing in essay form using their graphic organizer to help navigate this new structure. 

Be sure to ask your child what they are writing about; we have some really creative topics! 

Example of Persuasive Essay Outline (we will also include an introduction and conclusion): 




































Spelling: Students will receive new words on Thursday, February 16th and their test will be on FRIDAY, February 24th. (This change is due to the practice reading STAAR taking place on Thursday.) 

White group: Students will receive new words on Wednesday, February 15th and their test will be on Wednesday, February 22nd. (There is no change for this group.)

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit with our Econ and Me Videos!  ECON AND ME revolves around four children and their invisible friend, Econ, who applies economic principles to individuals, families, and communities. This week, we will study consumption. Econ will show how children can use their $4.00 to spend on goods, save it, or pay for services. 

Math: This week we continue our work with equivalent fractions. Students will fold paper to be able to see fractions that represent the same amount of space. They will also examine number lines to see that equivalent fractions are at the same place on the line. On this image, it is clear that 2/3, 4/6, and 8/12 are at the same place on all three number lines. 



The second half of the week we will practice model drawing to solve fraction word problems. Visualizing and drawing what is happening in a problem will greatly improve understanding. 

Mom ordered a large pizza for dinner. It came cut into
12 equal pieces. Mom ate 3 pieces, Dad ate 4, my sister 
and brother each ate one piece and I ate 2.  What fraction
of the pizza was left?


By drawing and labeling the details of the story, it is visible that the remaining piece is 1/12 of the pizza.

Students will have written homework Tuesday and Wednesday nights and the usual FFF quiz on Friday. Please monitor that your child is studying facts every night. The district expectation for third grade is for students to master their multiplication facts through 12. Many students still have a long way to go. 

We are enjoying our new online adaptive learning system, Dreambox. Students will have access to it both at school and at home. They have already received their login information and we hope you will encourage your child to take advantage of this great resource. Use this link to access the program: Dreambox. It can also be accessed on the blog page entitled Math Websites.  Ms. Moore has added Dreambox to the Symbaloo homepage. Students just need to click on their homeroom teacher's name and they are ready to go. Thank you PTA!
Science:  Natural resources are Nature's gifts to us. We use them to survive and to make products that we use every day. We will review how resources can be categorized as renewable and nonrenewable and will create a flowchart that shows both classifications. The information on this chart will be tested the week of February 27. Students will examine everyday objects and determine the natural resources used to make them, stating whether they are renewable or nonrenewable. And as the week progresses, we will try to justify why certain resources are used to make certain products. What properties make them best suited for the job?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Week 24: February 13-17

Reminders and Upcoming dates to put on your calendar:

Valentine's Day Parties will be held on Tuesday, February 14th from 2:25-2:55 in your child's homeroom. Please send cards/treats with your child to pass out during the party. Please remember: NO TREATS WITH NUT PRODUCTS! Thank you for keeping our students safe. 

WITS Field Trip to The Menil Collection: Thursday, February 16th from 8:45am-12:00pm. Permission slips were sent home on Tuesday, February 7th. Please fill out and return as soon as possible. 

February
14- Valentine's Day Parties- 2:25-2:55 in homeroom class

16- WITS Field Trip to The Menil Collection 8:45am-12:00pm

17- Noon Dismissal

20- Presidents' Day (No School)

23- 3rd Grade Practice Reading STAAR

24- Go Texans Day

27- 3rd Grade Practice Math STAAR

This week in third grade...

Reading: Readers will read articles that lend themselves to identifying cause and effect relationships within the text. We will use graphic organizers to represent our thinking and support our ideas. We will also begin looking at STAAR-like nonfiction selections to become more familiar with their length and structure. 

Writing: Writers will continue our persuasive/argumentation essays unit. This week, we will choose our own topic (from a class list we brainstorm together) and will set up the structure of our essay. We will be focusing on creating a strong claim (thesis) to be supported by reasons (support points). Ask your writer what they are choosing to write about first! 

Examples of Persuasive Essay Structure:



























































Spelling: Students will receive new words on Thursday, February 16th and their test will be on Thursday, February 23rd. 

White group: Students will receive new words on Wednesday, February 15th and their test will be on Thursday, February 22nd. 

Social Studies: We will continue our economics unit, but this week, we start our Econ and Me videos!  ECON AND ME revolves around four children and their invisible friend, Econ, who apply economic principles to individuals, families, and communities. This week, we will study opportunity cost and how the kids learn to be resourceful with money while building their clubhouse.

Math: More fun with fractions this week. Comparing fractions can be a little difficult. The easiest ones are those with the same denominator. Just look at the numerator and see which one is larger. 
It is a little more tricky when the denominators are different and the numerators are the same. Students must think about the denominators and determine how many pieces the whole has been divided into. The larger the denominator, the more parts and the parts are smaller. Just the opposite of what most children think. A whole divided into 4 equal parts has larger pieces than a whole divided into 8 equal parts. Three of those big parts (3/4) is greater than three of the little parts (3/8). Students will be expected to be able to reason these two kinds of comparisons.
When the numerator and denominators are all different, students will h to use a model to visualize the fractions. We use sets, shapes, bars and number lines to show fractions that we are comparing. Here the number line shows that 2/3 is greater than 3/8.
This week we will also learn how to spot and create equivalent fractions. Equivalent fractions show the same amount but use different numerators and denominators. Models help students visualize fractions that are the same.




Eventually students will learn how to create equivalent fractions by multiplying or dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number. 



Everyone will have written math homework Monday through Wednesday nights. There will also be the usual Fast Fact Friday (FFF) quiz on Friday. Please help your child work toward mastering all multiplication facts. It is a third grade expectation.

We are excited to begin using a new online adaptive learning system, Dreambox. Students will have access to it both at school and at home. They will receive their login information in the next few days. We hope you will encourage your child to take advantage of this great resource. Use this link to access the program: Dreambox. It can also be accessed on the blog page entitled Math Websites.  Thank you PTA!

Science: This week we begin a unit on natural resources. Students will learn that all things are made from the gifts that nature shares with us. We will categorize resources as renewable, non-renewable and synthetic. The following vocabulary will be a focus for our learning.
natural resource - materials in nature that living things use
renewable resources - resources that can be replaced or will never be used up; these are found above ground
non-renewable resources - resources that cannot be replaced; once used, they are gone; these are found underground
synthetic resources - resources that are man-made