Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 32: April 23-27

Reminders:
5/9 - Bike to School Day
5/10 - Gallery Night @ 5:00
5/14 - Math STAAR
5/15 - Reading STAAR
5/21 - Publishers' Picnic
5/24 - Chariot Races @ 8:30
5/25 - Winds of Time Parade
5/28 - Memorial Day (No School)

A big thank you to our wonderful parents who chaperoned our trips to the River Oaks Country Club and Main Street Theater. We couldn't do it without your partnership!

Winds of Time is just around the corner. In third grade we study Ancient Rome and take part in our own version of the chariot races that entertained Romans all over the empire. We need wagons to transform into chariots. Please lend us your wagon and ask your neighbors to help us out, too! The following SignUp Genius will help us keep track of what is coming. Thanks for your help!  Chariot Wagon SignUp

Reading: This week our readers will continue interacting with our third grade read aloud, Wishtree by master storyteller Katherine Applegate. It is a book that consistently leaves our children wanting more! 

An Amazon Top 20 Children's Books of 2017

The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope. 

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all.  -Amazon 

Students will be working on refining test-taking strategies using this week's feature poem, "I Saw My Teacher on a Saturday." Our third graders are becoming proficient in discussing the structure of poetry, including: stanzas, free verse and narrative structures, rhyme scheme, tone, mood, purpose, etc. 

Guided groups will be the focus this week, working with students at their individual levels to evaluate non-fiction text features. On Wednesday they will take an assessment on three genres of text and we will continue to elevate their reading skills based on the data we collect.

Writing: Our read aloud, Wishtree will be the inspiration for a poetry assignment in writing this week. The students will create a draft, then revise and final draft a piece the follows the rings of a tree through their own lives. Students will final draft on watercolor paper; what a wonderful piece to share at this year's Publishers' Picnic!

Social Studies: This week our money-saavy Cougars will continue to work through the video series Econ and Me, during their study of economics.  This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to work on effective note taking skills and to apply the concepts learned to their personal financial literacy. 

Math: This week in Math we are exploring pared tables and input-output tables. Both concepts require students to discover the mathematical relationship between numbers from one column of a table to another. 

In this table, students  must see the relationship between the number of pages and the number of pictures. The pattern can be determined vertically by adding 4 to each line (if the numbers are sequential) or horizontally by multiplying the pages by 4 to find the number of pictures. Any operation can be used in the table. Students must ask themselves "What has been done to the first number to get the other?"


Tables can be written horizontally, too.  But the process is the same. What is done to the bottom number to get the top number? In this case, you divide by 4. 

Here is a resource that can further explain the concept of function machines.

At the end of the week, we begin learning about Personal Financial Literacy. This exposes our students to the basics of economics. We will discuss credit cards and planned and unplanned spending. It is always interesting to hear how children think the financial world works. Hopefully our exploration will clarify many misconceptions they have.

Students will have written homework Monday through Wednesday nights and their usual FFF quiz at the end of the week. Please make a greater effort with your child to further their multiplication facts. We are down to the wire to being fluent and proficient at all math facts!

Science: The first half of the week we are reviewing customary weight measurement and metric and customary volume. Students will jar their memories about how we measure weight and liquids here in the United States. On Wednesday they will participate in a volume lab where they will use graduated cylinders, beakers and measuring cups to better acquaint themselves with liters and milliliters. At the end of the week we practice measuring inches to the nearest half and quarter inch. Now that we have learned fractions, this should be a fairly simple exercise.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Week 31: April 16-20

Reminders:

4/18 - Field Trip to Main Street Theater
4/20 - Progress Reports go Home
5/9 - Bike to School Day
5/10 - Gallery Night @ 5:00
5/14 - Math STAAR
5/15 - Reading STAAR
5/21 - Publishers' Picnic
5/24 - Chariot Races @ 8:30
5/25 - Winds of Time Parade
5/28 - Memorial Day (No School)

Math: This week we are finishing up our study of fractions and all ways to decompose, compare and model those numbers that are greater than zero and less than 1. Key points include:

  • Reasoning  through comparing fractions with like numerators or like denominators is pivotal!  
  • Equivalent fractions cover the same amount of area on similar whole models.
  • Models can be divided into more or less equal pieces to show equal fractions.
  • Equivalent fractions are located at the same place on number lines that are divided into different numbers of equal pieces. 
  • Be careful when number lines are not lined up exactly.
Image result for comparing fractions anchor chart


Students will work in pairs and individually to practice fraction skills. We will use our knowledge to play Fraction Brick Wall and our favorite, Fraction Taco. 
Monday through Thursday, everyone will work on a warm-up that is a spiral review of skills covered all year. On Friday, a similar warm-up will be graded and entered into the grade book. There is a POW (Problem of the Week) due and a fact quiz (FFF) this Friday.

Science: We changed up Science a little last week and began our exploration of the water cycle and its role in making our weather. How is it that the three ingredients of weather: air, water, and the sun's heat energy, make it all happen? Students will be responsible for knowing the what and why on all parts of the cycle. Target vocabulary includes evaporation, condensation, precipitation, runoff and accumulation. Students have a quiz on Thursday covering the 9 weather tools we have researched in class.

Image result for water cycle diagram

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Week 30: April 9-13

Reminders:

4/10 - Field Trip to River Oaks Country Club for Men's Clay Court Tennis Championship
4/18 - Field Trip to Main Street Theater
4/27 - Progress Reports go Home
5/9 - Bike to School Day
5/10 - Gallery Night @ 5:00
5/14 - Math STAAR
5/15 - Reading STAAR
5/22 - Publishers' Picnic
5/24 - Chariot Races @ 8:30
5/25 - Winds of Time Parade
5/28 - Memorial Day (No School)

ROCC Field Trip Information                                           Dress: Please try to send your child in this year’s gray #COUGARSTRONG t-shirt. Being dressed the same helps us better keep an eye on everyone. The weather is forecasted to be 60’s in the morning to mid 70’s by afternoon. A light jacket or sweater that can be tied around your child’s waist is appropriate.
   Lunch: We are eating an early lunch (10:00) at school in the cafeteria. Regular cafeteria food will be served. The menu for Tuesday is chicken and waffles, baked potato with cheese, salad with chicken, and Wowbutter and jelly sandwich. We will eat lunch as usual, just early.
   Snack: Everyone will be hungry when we return to school. Please be sure to send a good size, healthy snack your child can eat around 2 in the afternoon.
   Schedule: We eat lunch at 10-10:30, bathrooms and then board buses to leave at 10:45, arrive at ROCC at 11:15, restroom and then must be seated by 11:45, match is noon to 1:30, board buses and head to HCE at 1:30 to be home by 2:00 or so.
   Chaperones: Please arrive at school while we are at lunch (10-10:30) so you can help as we get ready to leave.

Math:
As we have concentrated on fractions on a number line, it is time to compare fractions in different forms. We will spend this week looking at fractions using fraction bars and circles to compare the amount of each shape that is shaded. The fraction with the larger area shaded is the greater fraction. When looking at the fractions in number form, the rules are simple. Just ask, "How big are the pieces?" When fractions have the same denominator (pieces of equal size), the numerator determines the comparison. The smaller numerator is the smaller fraction. When the numerators are the same and the denominators are different, the denominators determine the size. Larger denominators are smaller pieces and therefore the smaller fraction. 
Image result for comparing fractions anchor chart

Later in the week we will review all we have learned about fractions in a round robin activity. On Friday, we will complete a benchmark of past skills to see how we stand after our weeks of practice. Also on Friday we will have our usual Fast Fact Friday quiz and will check the Problem of the Week.

Science:
During the week we are logging the weather conditions in 10 different U.S. cities. This includes temperature, general sky conditions, humidity and wind. We are researching nine weather tools that help us forecast our own weather on a daily basis and long term. Vocabulary cards will go home this week that explain those tools. Students will be tested on them next week. Specific date to be determined. At the end of the week, we will review metric liquid volume. Students will participate in a very wet volume lab on Friday and have an opportunity to use various tools including beakers and graduated cylinders.

Image result for graduated cylinders and beakers
Reading:
All of our third grade students are participating in a grade level read aloud and discussion using the book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. It was chosen in part for its eloquent vocabulary and in addition, for its powerful themes, including prejudice, friendship, kindness, and acceptance. Please ask your child to share about the book, and his/her reactions to the characters and plot.



Most of our time in reading is being spent working in small groups, with each student focusing on a genre that is tailored to their greatest area of need. The three types of text include: expository (informational text), literary nonfiction, (nonfiction content shared in story form-biographies are an example), and fiction. It is our goal to challenge our third graders not only to comprehend these texts, but to think on a much more in-depth level. For example, What was the author's purpose for writing this piece? What in the text lead you to that conclusion? How do the subtitles throughout the text connect? What is evidence of this? At the end of the week students will be taking an assessment about the genre they have been studying.

Writing: Our students continue through the writing process, revising and editing their piece of expository text. There is a saying: "When your draft is done, you've only just begun!" This idea of revising or making changes to improve the draft's content can be daunting for our budding writers, however we are teaching and modeling specific examples of how to revise effectively. For example, deleting words and phrases not needed, changing a single word to be more interesting or specific, or changing the punctuation in some way. This is a great opportunity for students to conference with not only their teachers, but with their peers.

Social Studies: Third grade Cougars are fine tuning their note taking skills as they continue their study of economics using the Econ and Me video series. Even though the videos date back to the 80s, (just looking at the hair makes that evident) their appeal is great, and the information still rings true today.  Students are learning about the importance of making smart economic choices, and understanding the benefits versus risks of each decision.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Week 29: April 2-6

Reminders:

4/10 - Field Trip to River Oaks Country Club for Men's Clay Court Tennis Championship
4/18 - Field Trip to Main Street Theater
4/27 - Progress Reports go Home
5/9 - Bike to School Day
5/10 - Gallery Night @ 5:00
5/14 - Math STAAR
5/15 - Reading STAAR
5/22 - Publishers' Picnic
5/24 - Chariot Races @ 8:30
5/25 - Winds of Time Parade
5/28 - Memorial Day (No School)


Math: As we better understand how to compare fractions with like denominators on a number line, we move on to comparing fractions with the same numerator but different denominators. The key is to visualize how big the pieces are. A very difficult concept for many students is that, as the denominator gets larger, the number of pieces the whole is divided into increases AND the size of the pieces gets smaller. The bigger the denominator, the smaller the pieces. So, 3/5 is smaller than 3/4 because the "fifths" pieces are smaller than the "fourths" pieces.
Image result for comparing fractions with unlike denominators

Related image
4/5 > 4/10

Later in the week we will begin a study of equivalent (equal) fractions or fractions that show the same amount but use different numerators and denominators. We will use various models and manipulatives to visualize the area covered by equivalent fractions.  
Image result for cuisenaire rods equivalent fractions
Students will construct a Fraction Taco and practice exchanging one fraction for its equivalent while playing this very fun game. 
We will also learn the box method of multiplying 2 digit X 1 digit. It is similar to the expanded form we learned last week but is put in a neat little box. Finally we move to the usual algorithm that most adults use.
Our usual Problem of the Week and Fast Fact Friday quiz will take place on Friday, April 6.

Science: This week students will complete an activity researching the current temperatures in 4 cities in different parts of the U.S. and world and record those temperatures on thermometers with different scales. Tuesday students are introduced to an on-going weather unit and will examine tools used by meteorologists to view current weather conditions and the movement of weather patterns across our area, state and country. 
Image result for weather map

Reading: Our readers will be working on how to approach a piece of text to determine which parts  are important vs. interesting. (Oftentimes these are two different things.)  The first step is to preview a piece of text to develop initial understanding. Secondly, the text is read and read again, this time considering what the writer would most want the reader to know. In addition, our children will continue their work evaluating the genre of test, and how it is uniquely different from other genres. For example, if you were reading a book for pleasure, it would not be typical to take notes, highlight key sections, or navigate how to best answer created questions. This is necessary when working through our state assessment.

Writing: Expository writing shouldn't sound robotic or leave the reader feeling bored!! This week HCE writers will work on developing effective endings. They have experimented with creating leads that draw a reader in, so now they will work on leaving the reader with "food for thought". Although the purpose of an ending is to restate the topic, it should be memorable and not repetitious. The models the teachers provide will give valuable insight to this craft.

Social Studies: Our global economy is complex, so it is never too soon to learn about how economies operate and the key concepts involved. This work our third graders will be using a video series called Econ and Me to understand about saving vs. spending, needs vs. wants, as well as how goods and services as well as producers and consumers are central to an economy. Who knows? By the end of study, we might just have the next child entrepreneur in our midst!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Week 28: March 26th - 30th

Week 28: March 26th - 30th

Reminders:
3/30 - Good Friday (No School)
4/10 - Field Trip to River Oaks Country Club for Men's Clay Court Tennis Championship
4/18 - Field Trip to Main Street Theater
4/27 - Progress Reports go Home
5/9 - Bike to School Day
5/10 - Gallery Night @ 5:00
5/14 - Math STAAR
5/15 - Reading STAAR
5/22 - Publishers' Picnic
5/24 - Chariot Races @ 8:30
5/25 - Winds of Time Parade
5/28 - Memorial Day (No School)


Math: During math this week, we will continue in our fractions unit. On Monday, we will use cuisenaire rods to identify and compare fractions. 



On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we will learn to use a place a fraction on a number line and then use the number line to compare fractions. Reference the video to understand how we will be teaching this concept to your child: Video for Fractions on a Number Line. Due to our shortened week, we will only have a worksheet on Monday and Tuesday night. The fast facts quiz will be moved to Thursday.

Science: This week during science, we will learn how to read a thermometer to measure temperature. We will practice reading thermometers using scales of 1, 2, 5, and 10. These are the most common scales for a thermometer. On Wednesday, we will begin using technology to research temperatures of cities in different regions of the United States to understand the variety of seasons and temperatures we have in the US. By the end of the week, your child should understand how to identify the scale of a thermometer to determine the temperature.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Week 27: March 19 - 23

Week 27: March 19 - 23

Reminders:

3/20 - Third Nine Weeks Recognition Ceremony @9:00 in the cafeteria

3/30 - Good Friday (No School)


Reading: This week in reading students will dig into the data from their Practice Reading STAAR and set personal goals.  Reflection and goal setting are key components to our learning.  We will dive deeper into expository reading and learn about a variety of topics including- marine animals, cultural holidays, animal adaptations, how things are made and the solar system.

Writing: Students will finish up lessons on craft elements they could use while revising one of their expository essays.  We will also try out this week was to add details, anecdotes and thoughtful reasoning to support our claims in writing.

Social Studies: The fourth 9 weeks brings us to our study of Economics.  This week students will discuss needs and wants.  You can watch BRAIN POP JR. videos at home to further learning and discussion at home.


Math: This week in math, we will begin our unit on fractions. On Monday, we will introduce fractions and the vocabulary that goes along with this unit. On Tuesday, we will talk about unit fractions where the numerator is always one. On Wednesday, we will go beyond unit fractions and talk about non-unit fractions. On Thursday and Friday, we will use unifix cubes to create fractions and understanding the numerator and denominator.


For homework this week, we will have a worksheet come home on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We will also have a problem of the week come home and it will be due on Friday. Our fast facts quiz will also be on Friday.


Science: Before spring break, your child came home with a Solar System review sheet and vocabulary cards. The solar system test will be on Friday, March 23rd. 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 Monday and Tuesday, 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 Wednesday, we will create planet bracelets. These bracelets will have beads that represent each of the planets. On Thursday, we will review for the solar system test playing our Jeopardy game. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Week 26: March 5 - 9

Week 26: March 5 - 9

Reminders:
9 - Report Cards go home
12-16 Spring Break (No School)
20 - Third Nine Weeks Recognition Ceremony at 9:00 in the cafeteria
23 - Solar System Test
30 - Good Friday (No School)

Reading: Our students worked hard last week and showed amazing effort and skill on the READING practice STAAR test.  Please look for an email from your child's reading teacher by Friday, March 9th to tell you more about your child's reading strengths and areas for growth.  Mostly, know we are PROUD of their reading accomplishments thus far and it is only MARCH!




Narrative NonFiction will continue to be our genre focus for this week. Above you can see some of the titles we have been reading and discussing in class.  Specifically, this week, we will teach students a silly song that can serve as an EXCELLENT strategy for writing summaries or answering STAAR like questions about summary with narrative.  For a sneak peak, or simply to keep the fun going at home, check out this clip.



Writing: Essays will continue to be our genre of focus.  This week we will look at how to write a strong lead.  We will look at many styles and try them out with our first drafts to see which style might be most effective.  Below is a sample anchor chart.  Something like this will be built together in our classroom this week as we write.


Social Studies: Students will finish up their work with map skills.  We hope that maybe a few students have gotten excited and talked to you about how we learned to play BATTLESHIP using our grid map skills.  This week, we will also look the cultural traditions associated with St. Patrick's Day.

Math: During our math block this week, we will continue to look at division strategies and how we can apply these strategies to word problems. Your child will work to create division word problems to help with their understanding of the parts of  division word problems. On Wednesday and Friday, we will learn about area (Area Video). We have taught area models during our multiplication unit and we will make the connection between area and the area models we have already studied. On Thursday, we plan to complete a reflection paper from the practice STAAR that was taken last Monday. This tool helps your child zone in on the concepts they really understand and helps us to identify areas of need. We will send this paper home with your child so that you can use this as a discussion tool at home.



For homework this week, we will have a worksheet come home on Monday - Wednesday. We will not have a problem of the week this week. We will take a fast facts quiz on Friday. If you plan to be out of school on Friday, please let your child's teacher know so that they can take their fast facts quiz before the break.

Science: This week during science, we will continue talking about the relationship between the sun, moon, and Earth and our other planets. On Monday, we will work on the next set of vocabulary cards for the solar system unit. We will send home these cards and review sheet so that your child will be able to study nightly for our test. The date of the test Friday, March 23rd.  During the rest of the week, we will be studying the planets.