Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week 6: September 26th - September 30th


Please do not forget to sign up for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  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.




Reading:  We will continue our character study this week.  We will specifically look into how our character's actions and dialogue can be clues to help us infer traits/feelings.  We will use wordless books filled with action-based clues as well as dialogue-rich texts to expand our thinking.  Towards the end of the week, we will focus on how characters change throughout the plot of a text.  We will track character feelings/traits throughout the beginning, middle, and end of a story. In doing so, we will use text evidence (e.g. actions, dialogue) to describe their changes and understand how these traits/feelings add to the overall plot of the story. For instance, what event in the story triggered a character to behave a certain way? What did this lead to, etc?  We will continue building our bank of character traits/feelings.  Your child will continue to be exposed to synonyms for common traits/feelings such as sad, mad, happy and mean.  Their bank of traits/feelings will continue growing at a rapid rate this week!  Encourage your child to provide you with various words to describe a common trait/feeling at home.  
Writing:  We will continue reading narrative texts this week and mapping story elements on a narrative arc.  Our added focus this week will be mastering a concise retell of a story.  Our students are doing a wonderful job retelling the stories they read.  At times, their retelling tends to be rather lengthy.  Our goal moving forward in our CCP unit is for your child to retell a story in a brief but comprehensive manner.  We want them to be concise while including the most important events of the plot.  This takes practice!  We will practice concise retell in a variety of ways in the classroom:  whole group, small group, and in partners.        

Word Work:  Our first spelling test will be this Wednesday, 9/28.  Now that your child understands the spelling pattern and rule for their list, we will begin working off of our Application Spelling Menu on Thursday.  This will extend their understanding of the spelling rule as they apply it in their reading and writing. An application grade will be taken on Wednesday, 10/5.  Your child was sent home with optional spelling homework (blue sheet in green binder) last week. This menu of homework options will remain in their green binder for the year.   

Social Studies:  We will be studying the founding fathers of our country this week.  We will learn information about the lives of John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson.  We will utilize our Studies Weekly Newspapers as well as an online resource, Pebble Go, to learn facts about these men and their important role in our country's history.   

Math: We will be taking our knowledge from our place value unit and applying it with addition strategies. To start off the week, we will look at adding without regrouping with three and four digit numbers. Then we will add regrouping to our addition study with three and four digit numbers. When regrouping, it is important to remember our place value.  Some strategies we will be working with are: using manipulatives, place value chart, decomposing numbers, bar models, and place value blocks.

Keep practicing those addition and subtraction math facts every night. 

Science: We finished last week by exploring different ways we classify matter. This week we will reflect on our lab, and draw conclusions on how we classify matter. Students will then explore further the three phases of matter as solid, liquid, and gas. When looking at the different phases of matter, we will determine characteristics of each phase. Some vocabulary we will be working on: magnetic, solid, liquid, gas, matter, classify, physical properties, characteristics

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week 5: September 19-23


Please take a moment and sign up for your Fall Parent/Teacher Conference. Conferences will be held from October 19th-21st.  You will meet with both of your child's teachers to discuss academic celebrations and goals.  Please only sign up for one time slot.  Each teaching pair has their own SignUpGenius, so please click the link for your child's teachers.

Rozzell and Scott's Conference Sign up

Badrak and Jackson's conference sign up

Duncan and Ford's Conference sign up

Progress reports will go home on September 23rd. 

Reading:  In reading, we will be diving into the world of character development.  Good readers notice how characters grow and change throughout the plot of a text.  We will begin the week by brainstorming how we can describe how our characters act and feel.  We describe characters using character traits and character feelings.  Character traits tell us who a character is (e.g. confident, thoughtful, brave, bossy) and character feelings are a character's emotional response to actions around them (e.g. shocked, jealous, anxious, excited).  By the end of the week, students will be creating character maps in their Reader's Notebooks describing their characters using evidence from stories they read.  When your child is reading at home, consider asking them to describe their character's traits or feelings using text evidence (The character ___ can be described as ___ because ___.  I can describe my character as ___ because ___.). 

Writing:  Your writer will be mapping narrative texts this week in writing.  We will use both familiar and new narrative stories to model and think through the elements of a narrative story arc.  Identifying and explaining the importance of these elements (e.g. setting the stage, initiating event, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution) will provide a strong foundation of what good writers include in the stories they share.  Our hope in laying this foundation is that your writer will eventually include these elements in their personal stories they choose to write about.  

Word Work:  Your child will receive their first word work list on Wednesday, September 21st.  Your child will be provided with a word work list that matches their developmental understanding of how words and spelling patterns work.  These results are based off an Elementary Spelling Inventory we administered.  Your child will receive a new list every two weeks.   

We will spend time in class each day practicing our words.  We will always spend the first five days learning and practicing the list pattern.  On the following Wednesday, September 28th for this list, we will take a spelling test. We will be sending an additional list home in your child's green binder along with optional spelling homework activities.  Spelling homework is encouraged, but not required in third grade!    

Social Studies:  It is "Celebrate Freedom Week" in social studies this week! We will be exploring, reciting, and comprehending the Constitution and Bill of Rights in a kid-friendly way.  Students will learn the importance of these founding documents and how they shaped our freedoms of today. 

In addition, we will learn about HCE's Leadership Council.  Students will have a chance to notice and nominate classmates whom demonstrate the COUGAR CODE.  We will total those nomination and then elect a representative for each homeroom class.

Math:  We will start of the week looking at number patterns and patterns using a number line. This will have involve looking at numerical numbers and determining a pattern from counting, or using addition or subtraction. A good way to practice would be to create number patterns at home. We will focus more on whole number patterns and not on geometric patterns. 

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Some vocabulary to discuss is: rule, increasing, and decreasing. Please continue working with your child on writing 5 and 6 digit numbers in the different forms. We worked on expanded notation this week, and extra practice at home would be a good review. 

  Anchor chart showing place value--and lovely printing too!!!...from: Tara Teaches (blog): Figurative Language Week!:

Last Friday, students were introduced to their THINK THROUGH MATH computer program. Your child will now have his or her login information in their green binder. This is a great website to do some math review at home. Please take some time next week to login and go through a lesson. We will also use this program in class.
Think Through Math


This week, we will finish discussing our first experiment of the dancing raisins and review the scientific method. In our second lab, your child will be exploring different properties of matter, which includes density, temperature, states of matter, measurement, and texture. 

Some vocabulary the students will be working on are: magnetic, gas, liquid, solid, density, repel, attract, physical properties, and matter.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 4: September 12-16

- Each third grader will receive a personal dictionary this Wednesday!  We will spend time in language arts class this week learning how to utilize their dictionaries.  
- First PTA meeting is also on Thursday September 15 from 5:50- 6:30.
- Curriculum Night is September 15th. Third grade time slot is from 6:35-7:15. This is following the PTA meeting from 5:50-6:30.
    • BEFORE Curriculum Night, please take 10 minutes and watch our third grade video Curriculum Night Video.  Information in this video will help you know about the content we will cover this year with your child.  Our meeting on the 15th of September will include: a short and fun quiz on the content in the video, classroom expectations, classroom management, communication, and homework.  We know you are busy and have worked hard to create this video and streamline our presentation in person to get you the best information in the most concise fashion.

Reading:  This week we will learn how to make connections while we read.  It is important for students to use their prior knowledge and life experiences to connect with a variety of different texts.  Connections fall into three categories:  text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world.  We will work this week to create these connections.  We will read, and then work together to think...
What about this story reminds me of something I have done?
...something I have experienced?
...someone I know?
These connections draw us closer to the text while building comprehension.   

Writing:  We will begin our immersion of our Personal Narrative/Stories from My Life writing unit.  To begin our immersion, we will review the story arc elements by reading a familiar text, Amazing Grace.  We will spend the week building off prior knowledge of narrative texts by identifying the following elements of a narrative text: setting the stage, initiating event, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.  Knowing these terms will allow us to add these elements into our own narrative writing later in the unit.   

Word Work:  We will continue to practice ways we will attack word work this year.  We will be modeling and utilizing activities from our spelling menus.  We will use generic lists again this week to practice, so there will be no formal test. 

Social Studies:  We are learning about landforms this week!  Our state is very diverse in its land features, and our week #2 Studies Weekly Newspaper will focus on identifying and explaining these features in depth.  At the end of our week, we will create a postcard highlighting a Texas landform and its specific features.  

Math: This week in math we will be finishing up on our place value unit. We have expanded are number study to five and six digit numbers. As some extra practice at home have your child create five and six digit numbers and then represent them in the three forms: standard, word and expanded form. Also this week, we will introduce expanded notation.
Anchor chart showing place value--and lovely printing too!!!...from: Tara Teaches (blog): Figurative Language Week!:    Expanded Notation - Math Classroom Poster:

Some vocabulary to discuss and work on with your child is digit, place, value, standard form, word form, expanded form.

Science: This week we will be studying the scientific method. We will go through the different parts and understanding what scientist do when conducting an experiment. We've worked our observation skills and next we will work on making predictions and hypothesis when answering scientific questions.  At the end of the week, we will go through all the steps in the Scientific method as we conduct our first experiment.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 3: September 5-9

  • Lunch with Heroes is on Friday, September 9th.  Wear red, white, and blue to celebrate eating lunch with our heroic community members!  We invite all heroes to Friday's lunch - military, police, fire department and more! Have a connection with one of these heroes?  Be sure to bring them to HCE to eat lunch with our third graders from 12:00-12:30. 
  • Curriculum Night is September 15th. Third grade time slot is from 6:35-7:15. This is following the PTA meeting from 5:50-6:30.
    • BEFORE Curriculum Night, please take 10 minutes and watch our third grade video (Will be linked and sent out shortly!).  Information in this video will help you know about the content we will cover this year with your child.  Our meeting on the 15th of September will include: a short and fun quiz on the content in the video, classroom expectations, classroom management, communication, and homework.  We know you are busy and have worked hard to create this video and streamline our presentation in person to get you the best information in the most concise fashion.
ReadingWe will learn how to preview a text this week in Reader's Workshop. It is important for young readers, when learning how to pick a good book to read, to know the process of previewing a book.  This will help them determine if the book fits their purpose, interest, and ability.  Students have been sticky note crazy!  We've introduced your child to tracking their thinking while reading using sticky notes and symbols. They have enjoyed this new found way to leave their thinking in their books. This week we will help them learn how to use their notes to create reader's response journal entries in their Reader's Notebooks.  Your child's language arts teacher will continue to administer DRA assessments.

Writing- We will begin our week continuing to brainstorm ideas for writing stories from our interests, memories, and experiences.  We look forward to hearing more stories from our students while utilizing focused storytelling with one another.  We will transfer brainstorming and storytelling into our notebook as we reflect on the question "What do writer's do?"  We will wrap up the week with students creating writing goals for this 9 week period.  

Word Work- This week we will introduce students to a variety of ways that we will attack word work in our classrooms.  They will have a GENERIC list of spelling words.  We WILL NOT be taking a REAL test with these words.  Our words will stay in the classroom and be used to help us understand and practice some components of word study.  

Social Studies- Wow!  What wonderful classroom communities we have built the last two weeks!  We are excited to use our social studies resource this week, Studies Weekly Newspaper.  We will read week 1 of our newspaper and discover how thoughtful citizens of our world have made lasting contributions to our society. 

Math: This week in math, we will be working place value. We will be looking at placing number on number lines as a strategy of comparing numbers. We are then veturing into studying five digit and six digit numbers. When looking at five digit and six digit numbers we will look at the different forms to represent the number through word form, expanded, standard form, and with number lines. 

Also we use place value to compare numbers. We discussed last week about starting with the largest place value when comparing two or more numbers. 

Some vocabulary we are working on is place, value, greater than, less than, compare, ten- thousands place, hundred thousands place

Place value anchor chart | Place Value | Pinterest:    Comparing and Ordering Numbers Anchor Chart - Part of the Interactive Math Journal for 3rd - 5th Grade Students.:

Science:   In science this week, we will be exploring our observation skills as part are work in the scientific method that will get us prepared for conducting experiments. We will discuss and apply observation skills with our senses and how that will be used as data for experiments. At the end of the week, we will have our first science experiment and go through the scientific method. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Week 2

Reminders: First day packet forms are due Friday, September 2.
We have a school holiday, Monday, September 5.  We hope you will have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.

Reading: We will continue to build routines and establish expectations for Reader's Workshop. This week students will continue to talk about our thinking while we read.  Students will participate in discussions on: What was the story about?  How do you know if you have picked a good book? What do you do when you get hung up on something in your book?  How can you track your thinking while you read?

Teachers will begin pulling students for reading assessments.  This time with your student helps us get to know them a bit more as a reader.  Please know that reading teachers will pull all 40 students for assessments during the month of September.  You do not need to prep your child for this reading time.  The assessment will give us a good look at a starting point for our instruction and guide our creation of small groups.

Classes will get to the library for the first time this week.  Our schedule is below.  We hope that many of you will volunteer in the library and help us navigate our way to great books!
Badrack/Jackson- Tuesdays at 12:40
Duncan/Ford- Wednesdays at 9:00
Rozzell/Scott- Thursdays at 9:00

Writing:  It was a pleasure to watch your children build their Writer's Notebooks this week.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know each other better and for the storytelling and sharing to begin!  This week in writing we will continue to build anchors and lists of stories we might be able to share.  Students will generate ideas and practice focused storytelling in partners before moving to writing in their journals.  
We'd love you help at home!  Cultivate a culture of storytelling at home.  Everyone LOVES a good story.  Stories we love to hear have a point and share an event we have in common with those around us or an interesting event that has made an impact on who we are.

Word Work:  This week we will administer the Words Their Way Inventory.  This assessment will be given three times throughout the school year to track students progress and developmental understanding of how words and spelling patterns work.  This assessment is not graded.  It will be used for information to help develop lessons and small groups that will target your child's learning needs.

Social Studies: We will introduce our Social Studies resources to students this week.  They will work to build their Social Studies resource folder and journal.  We will also use our story sharing in Writing to continue to build our classroom community.

Math:Last week in math we learned about classroom procedures and routines. We began reviewing some second grade skills. This week we will continue working on standard form, word form, and expanded form on numbers up to 100,000. 

This week we will be discussing in greater depth the value of each place.  The students will be taught strategies on how to compare and order numbers using the greater than and less than sign.  We will be introducing some new Math Station games to the kids to practice these skills as well. Last week, I encouraged your child to begin practicing their math facts every night or five minutes. The class blog has some great websites to practice - you can find these under the Math Websites page on the right side of the blog.

Science: We skimmed the surface in Science last week.  The kids made a title page and table of contents for their Science Journal and decorated them with Science Icons.  On Thursday we talked about “What is a Scientist?” We discovered all the different types of Scientists that exist and began working on our first project.  In Science next week we will be going through Lab Safety procedures and learning the names of many Science tools.  On Tuesday,  we will take a gallery walk with a partner and work on categorizing tools by tools that are used for observationsafetymeasurement, or recording.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Welcome to 3rd Grade!

We are excited to a new year and ready for the FIRST day of school!  

  • ·         If your child did not purchase school supplies, he or she will need $5.00 to purchase a planner from the front office.  Third graders keep track of daily homework in planners.  This will be a great organizational tool for your child to learn to use this year. 

  • Third graders need to go to the gym before school begins each day. They are welcome to walk to our classrooms at 7:45am. 
  • Children will be counted tardy if they arrive after 7:55 A.M.

  • Children will be counted absent if they arrive after 9:15 A.M.

  • You are welcome to escort your child to class on the first day of school, but please allow him or her to enter the room independently.

·         Please send a healthy snack and a reusable water bottle daily. We have snack time each morning after specials.   Due to peanut allergies across the grade level, we ask that you send peanut free snacks and lunch items this year.

·         Your child’s lunch number will be the same as it was last year. We will have lunch numbers available for any child who might have forgotten. We eat lunch from 12:00-12:30 daily.

  • Dismissal is at 3:00 P.M.  If your child will be picked up in a car in parent pick up, you must write his or her name on a piece of large yellow paper. Please write your child’s first and last name as large as you can on the paper. This will help the teacher on duty to see and call your child’s name in a timely manner.

  • It can get chilly in the classrooms. Please send a light jacket, sweater or sweat shirt in your child’s backpack so that he or she will be comfortable. Remember to write your child’s name on the tag inside so that it can be returned if lost.

READING:  During reading this week we will be talking about books and the ways that reading impacts our lives.  
To help with this practice, you can talk to your child about your reading life.  Do you enjoy novels?  Do you read the newspaper?  Are you an e reader or a paper reader?  Are you a member of a professional or personal reading group?  What story was your favorite when you were a third grader?  
WRITING: This week we will introduce the writer's notebook and establish expectations and procedures for writer's workshop.  We ask that students bring pictures, stickers, and mementos to decorate their writer's notebook by Thursday, 8/25.  Please make sure to send things that are okay for us to glues and adhere to the journals.  Items will not be returned.

SOCIAL STUDIES: For the first few weeks of school we will be building our classroom community through games, conversations and activities that help us learn more about each other.  

MATH: In math this week, we will begin setting up our math journals that we will use daily for word problems. We will discuss thing about ourselves that involve numbers: shoe sizes, address, phone numbers, age, number of family members, etc. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we will review vocabulary for addition and subtraction and think of words that mean the same thing as adding or subtracting. We will not have homework in math this week. 

SCIENCE: During our science time this week, we will set up our interactive science journals. We will create a table of contents that will help us stay organized this year. We will brainstorm types of scientists in our world and your child will have the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of a scientist. On Thursday and Friday, we will discuss lab safety and complete a gallery walk with science tools. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Welcome to Third Grade!!

Welcome to 3rd Grade at Hunters Creek Elementary!

We are looking forward to getting to know you, learning together and having some fun in the process.  Feel free to look around the blog and find out a little more about what's to come this year!

Your Third Grade Teachers