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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Math and Science Week of April 20th


This will be a hard week for our kiddos.  To honor all the brainpower they will use this Tuesday (Math) and Wednesday (Reading) on the STAAR test, there will be no homework and no fast facts test this Friday.  We will resume the following week.  On Monday we have a fun reviewing activity planned that allows the kids to walk about the room the entire time and collaborate with a partner. Tuesday and Wednesday's schedule is as follows:

8-8:30 Pass out testing materials
8:30-12:30 Testing Window
12:45 Lunch
1:15 Specials
2:05 Recess
2:45 Pack Up
3:00 Dismissal

On Thursday and Friday we will work on the two digit by one digit multiplication algorithm.

The kids and I have worked very hard getting ready for this test on Tuesday.  Please set them up for success these next few days as they take their first STAAR exam.  They need:

1. A good night's rest
2. A solid breakfast 
**lunch is at 12:45 instead of 12:00, we provide 2 snacks but it won't replace a solid breakfast
3. A stress-free morning with plenty of time to get to school
4. Layered clothing in case they get cold while testing
5. Chapter books/books of interest to read when done testing
6. Lots of praise and encouragement! 

Thank you parents for all your help and support! Wish us luck!
Ms. S

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Math and Science Week of April 13th-April 17th


This is our last week to prepare for the STAAR next Tuesday and Wednesday.  This week the kids will be working in small groups, partners, and independently.  On Monday and Tuesday we will focus on time, temperature, measuring, measurement units in customary and metric, addition and subtraction word problems.  The students will take a quiz on Tuesday and I will go over each child's mistakes one on one with them.  On Wednesday and Thursday we will focus on place value, ordering and comparing numbers, multiplication and division.  The kids will again take a quiz on Thursday in which I will go over their  mistakes with them one on one.  On Friday the kids will have an assortment of word problems to work through with a group.  Our hope is through this process we call STAAR Camp this week, the kids will go into that test with little to no surprises.  The homework this week will be an assortment of patterning, dot plots, multiplication and division word problems.  There will be no Problem of the Week due on Friday.

There will be a fast facts test this Friday that will be inputted into the grade book.  This year, we started multiplication fast facts tests nine weeks earlier than we had in the past because the expectation from the state changed.  By the end of 3rd grade, every third grader should master their multiplication facts up to ten. 10/42 kids have mastered all facts up to 12 and are on division.  This is awesome!!  Thank you for working hard with them.  This makes everything they do in Math and Problem Solving easy and fast.

In Science we just finished up our Weather unit.  The kids took an assessment on Thursday.  That will be coming home in the Tuesday Newsday folder.  This week we will use our Science time to finish up a cloud book project that we have been working on.  Towards the end of the week, we will talk about units of mass and volume in the metric and customary system.

With family fair rescheduled, I will copy and paste last weeks commentary about it:

Transportation this day is always insane.  The directions for success are as follows:

1. Please arrive at 2:30 to find a parking spot.  It will be difficult.
2. Make your way to the cafeteria to receive a "ticket" to dismiss your child.  There will be a line.
3. Head to the classroom at 2:50 with your ticket.  No child will be dismissed without a ticket.
4. 3:00 All children will be sent home their "regular way" if no one has picked them up.

See you Friday!
Ms. S

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Movies








Math and Science Week of April 6th-10th

Dear Parents,

Important dates this week:
Friday-Family Fair

Hello and welcome to Family Fair week!  This week is wild and exciting for the kids because they can purchase raffle tickets to win prizes announced on Friday.  The kids look forward to this week every year. HCE gives one free raffle ticket to each student.  I will give this ticket to your child on Monday.  If you would like your child to have additional tickets, please send money Monday-Thursday.  Thursday is the last day to purchase tickets as winners are announced Friday morning on the announcements.  Transportation this day is always insane.  The directions are as follows:

1. Please arrive at 2:30 to find a parking spot.  It will be difficult.
2. Make your way to the cafeteria to receive a "ticket" to dismiss your child.  There will be a line.
3. Head to the classroom at 2:50 with your ticket.  No child will be dismissed without a ticket.
4. 3:00 All children will be sent home their "regular way" if no one has picked them up.

The beginning of this week will be dedicated to finishing up our 3D study of shapes.  We classified our 3D shapes into 3 categories: shapes with curved surfaces, prisms, and pyramids.  Sometimes it is difficult for a student to tell the difference between a prism and a pyramid.  Prisms have square faces and pyramids have triangular faces.  I tell the kids to just look for the Apex, or the point, at the top of the pyramid to differentiate.  This week we will focus on the vocabulary edges, faces, and vertices.

Thursday and Friday mark the beginning of what we call in 3rd grade, STAAR CAMP.  From this point forward we will intensely be getting ready and prepared to take our state exam.  The kids will work independently, in pairs, and in groups to solve very difficult multiple-step word problems dealing with all the skills we have learned thus far.  Thursday and Friday will be dedicated to the review of 2D, 3D, congruence, symmetry, patters on a number line, and fractions on a number line.  A quiz on Friday will be given after some intensive review.  This weeks homework on reading a graph and answering questions will reflect what we will review next Monday and Tuesday of next week.

A Fast Facts test will be given but not taken for a grade this Friday the 10th.

In Science we are finishing up our unit about weather.  The kids should have brought home 18 flashcards and a study guide Thursday.  The flashcards are on weather tools, the water cycle, and the four types of clouds that we study in 3rd grade.  This week we will finish up studying the four types of clouds.  An Exam will be take on Thursday the 9th over our weather unit.

We have a lot going on!  Thank you for reading!
Ms. S

Friday, March 27, 2015

Math and Science Week of March 30th-April 2nd


Important Dates this week:
Friday-Good Friday (no school)

Welcome to the 4th nine weeks of 3rd grade!  The kids and I are in a great groove and working hard.  In Math this week we will start the week off with a 2D Test on Polygons and Non-Polygons.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we will talk about one line of symmetry, two lines of symmetry, and multiple lines of symmetry.  We will create things with symmetry as well as draw lines of symmetry on certain objects.  The kids will also work in groups and study each letter of the alphabet, drawing and agreeing among their peers how many lines of symmetry each capital letter has.

For a fun Symmetry game CLICK HERE

On Thursday we will begin our study of three dimensional shapes.  We will become more familiar with terms such as base, faces, vertices, and edges.  We are categorizing our 3-D shapes into 3 categories.

This first category is 3-D figures that have curved surfaces like the sphere, cylinder, and cone.

The next category are prisms such as the cube, triangular prism, and rectangular prism.  Prisms are prisms simply because their faces are either rectangular or square.

The last category we are studying is Pyramids like the square pyramid, the rectangular pyramid, and the triangular pyramid.  Pyramids are simply named by whatever their base is.  Pyramid faces are always triangular with a point at the top:


In Science, We have moved on to weather.  Last week we focused on Weather tools and the students and I made a flip chart together of 9 major tools that meteorologists use to predict the weather.  They are as follows:

1. Weather Balloons

2. Thermometer
3. Barometer
4. Hygrometer
5. Anemometer
6. Wind Vane
7. Rain Gauge
8. Weather Satellites
9. Weather Radars/Maps

Each child has also been assigned a specific city in the United States and are monitoring and logging the weather of that city for the next ten days.  This week we will be finishing up studying the tools that meteorologists use to predict weather and begin our study of the water cycle.  Important vocabulary for the water cycle would be:

1. Evaporation
2. Condensation
3. Water Vapor
4. Precipitation
5. Run-Off
6. Accumulation

Thanks for reading,

Ms. S