Friday, April 6, 2018

The Past Few Weeks...

CLASSROOM NEWS








It has been BUSY at Loon Lake Elementary!  We had our Lansing Field trip, a visit from Maria Dismondy, a READ-IN, a BOOK SWAP, a PBIS ASSEMBLY, & a VARIETY SHOW!  Phew!













The M-STEP is fast approaching.  3rd graders only take the language arts and math tests.  Our testing dates are May 8th and May 10th.   Click on the link below to access MSTEP practice opportunities and sample test items:


Did you know out PTA has its own FACEBOOK page?  It has reminders to all the PTA happenings! If you're on FB, be sure to "like" the page so the PTA's postings will appear in your feed! 



LANGUAGE ARTS
The third graders have been working hard on book summaries.  Each student had to read a book of their choosing and then work on a critique and recommendation in class.


MATH
We are almost done working in unit 5.  Unit 5 covers fractions and multiplication strategies.  Keep practicing those multiplication facts!  You can click HERE if you would like to view the Unit 5 Parent Letter. Don't forget to visit CONNECTED to play EDM4 math games and print extra homework (if needed).  Also, have your child practice math skills by playing PRODIGY!



SCIENCE
Water is the most important substance on Earth. Water dominates the surface of our planet, changes the face of the land, and defines life. Weather is driven by the Sun and involves the movement of water over the earth through evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and runoff—the water cycle. Climate is determined in part by the amount of precipitation in a region and by temperature fluctuations. Human societies depend on water, and new technologies are being engineered to conserve and protect this natural resource, to provide for the needs of people around the world.
Students engage with these powerful pervasive ideas in the Water and Climate Module through the anchor phenomenon of weather in diverse climates. The guiding questions for the module are: how is water involved in weather, and are weather conditions the same around the world and throughout the year? Students explore the properties of water, the water cycle, and interactions between water and other earth materials. Students learn how humans use water as a natural resource. Students engage in science and engineering practices while investigating water, weather, and climate, and explore the crosscutting concepts of patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; and systems and system models. They are introduced to the nature of science, how science affects everyday life, and the influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world. (www.Foss.com)



SOCIAL STUDIES

Unit 4:  The Government of Michigan

In this unit students extend their learning about civic concepts related to local government (2nd grade) to state government.  They begin with an examination of the purposes of government and the ways in which Michigan’s government works to fulfill those purposes.  By exploring the concept of representative government, students learn how the power of government belongs to the people.  They build upon their knowledge of local government by distinguishing the roles of state government from local government and explore why state government is needed.  By learning about the history of the Michigan Constitution, students are introduced to the concept of limited government and explore how the powers of government are separated among the branches in state government.  They examine ways that courts resolve conflicts as they explore the judicial branch.  Finally, students consider some important rights and responsibilities of citizenship including the responsibility to be informed about public issues.

1.     Why Do We Need Governments?

2.    What is Representative Government?

3.    How Does State Government Differ From Local Government?

4.    What is the Purpose of the Michigan Constitution?

5.    How is the Government of Michigan Organized?

6.    How Do Courts Function to Resolve Conflict?

7.    What are the Rights and Responsibilities of Michigan Citizens?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Week #21 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
It’s been a very busy few weeks in third grade!  Our subject switching has been going great!  It has been fun and has taught everyone how to be a bit more flexible.  Having to teach science for a full hour 5 days per week has proven very challenging to fit in to an already jam packed schedule for one teacher alone.  Switching was the best way we could get this accomplished consistently.  The new science is also very heavy in non-fiction reading and writing.  This is on top of the language arts block the children already endure.  We are all doing the best we can to meet state standards in all areas and keep the students engaged, happy, and interested daily.  That’s a very big job!

Global School Play Day is Wednesday, February 7th!  Students can bring in board games, dolls, trading cards, etc. to play with.  However, no electronic devices are allowed.

I sent home a sheet class list with our students’ names in case your child wants to write names on Valentine’s Day cards.  But, passing out cards goes much faster if you simply have your child sign his or her name only. Our party will be on Wednesday, February 14th 2:30-3:30pm.

LANGUAGE ARTS
The third graders are incorporating information from science to create a report about crayfish.  By meshing the non-fiction topic they are learning about in science and researching more facts, they can apply what they’re learning and create a written project to share they’re knowledge.

MATH
We are working in unit 4.  Unit 4 covers measurement and geometry.  Keep practicing those multiplication facts!  I sent home the parent letter last week in the Friday Folder.  You can click HERE if you need it again. 

SCIENCE
Our 2nd unit is underway and is all about the STRUCTURES OF LIFE! Right now they are focusing on the crayfish.  Students observe and record some of the structures of a crustacean, the crayfish, and compare it to other organisms. They establish a feeding and maintenance schedule for the organisms. Students investigate crayfish behavior and map where the crayfish spend time within their habitat. Through readings, organism cards, and a video, students learn about adaptations of organisms in different environments, including different kinds of group and social behaviors. Students use a computer simulation to study variation of traits in species and explore how variation might affect survival of individuals.

MI STUDIES
We are reviewing all the information from this unit and I plan on giving the unit test by the end of this week.  We’ve covered all the questions historians ask to learn about the past.  The students investigated how Waterford went from a tiny place stared by two people in 1872 to a booming village that is still around today!

 The Three Fires are a large group of Native Americans we’ve studied.  Actually, The Three Fires was made up 3 different tribes who had similarities such as speaking the same language.  However, they had many differences too.

We moved on to learn about the French Voyageurs, The British, and trouble between the two turning into the French and Indian War, and Pontiac’s Rebellion. 

Your 3rd grader should be studying the 3 key things Michigan needed to have happen in order for it to become a state (from a territory) as well as when Michigan finally became a state.  Also, what “Boy Governor” had a major role in Michigan becoming a state and what was the Toledo War all about?


Lastly, we learned about manufacturing, Henry Ford, the moving assembly line and much more.  This was a very information full unit!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Week #15 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
The winter break is right around the corner!  I want to wish everyone HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a FABULOUS 2018!


Conferences – I do not know yet when these will be rescheduled.  As soon as I find out, I will let you know.  Thank you for your patience. 

Our Holiday Party will be on Thursday, December 21st from 2:45pm-3:45pm.   It is also PJ DAY!

Last, December 21st (in the morning) we will be doing our BOOK EXCHANGE. I am asking that all students bring a new, wrapped book to school on or before Wednesday, December 20th for the book exchange.  Boys will buy books for boys and girls will buy books for girls. We will play a game to randomly distribute the books to the students. The book should be 3rd grade appropriate and cost somewhere between $5.00 and $8.00. It needs to be wrapped and simply addressed “To: a boy” or “To: a girl”. 

LANGUAGE ARTS
The students have been working with a book titled The Name Jar. This is a multicultural book about a young girl who just moves to America from Korea and she is made fun of because her name is difficult to pronounce.  This book teaches children how to be proud of their culture, background, and to just be proud of who yhey are! 


In writing, the authors continue working on writing complete paragraphs using a topic sentence (with an indent), 3-5 detail sentences, and a final closing sentence.  Obviously we continue to work on grammar and punctuation as well as many other areas of writing. However, spelling and punctuation are areas that need to be constantly practiced and worked with. 

MATH
We are back in unit 3 covering the rest of the unit. If you recall, we mixed in a little of unit 3 before unit 2 in order to teach the students some addition/subtraction methods.  We’re back!  In unit 3 that is.  We’ve review expanded form and learned how to make close but EASIER estimates.  Click HERE to check out the parent letter for this unit.

SCIENCE

Our 2nd unit is underway and is all about the STRUCTURES OF LIFE!  The first investigation is about the “origin of seeds.”
Seeds develop in the plant part called a fruit. They are learning:
Different kinds of fruits have different kinds and numbers of seeds; seeds have a variety of properties.

A seed is an organism, a living thing.
Seeds undergo developmental changes in the presence of water.
A seed contains the embryo plant and a supply of food. A seed grows into a new plant (reproduction).
Seeds move away from parent plants via a number of seed disposal mechanisms, including wind, water, and animals.

MI STUDIES
We’ve covered all the questions historians ask to learn about the past.  The students investigated how Waterford went from a tiny place stared by two people in 1872 to a booming village that is still around today!

 The Three Fires are a large group of Native Americans we’ve studied.  Actually, The Three Fires was made up 3 different tribes who had similarities such as speaking the same language.  However, they had many differences too.

We moved on to learn about the French Voyageurs, The British, and trouble between the two turning into the French and Indian War, and Pontiac’s Rebellion. 



Your 3rd grader should be reviewing the 3 key things Michigan needed to have happen in order for it to become a state (from a territory) as well as when Michigan finally became a state.  Also, what “Boy Governor” had a major role in Michigan becoming a state and what was the Toledo War all about?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Week #12 in Review

CLASSROOM NEWS

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  On a giving note, what a wonderful turn out of support from our Loon Lake Families for the food drive for The Hospitality House! 
Thank you so much!



READING
In class I’ve been reading the book titled Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.


SUMMARY:The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends, and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship-and forgiveness-can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.
Awards and Recognition:
Newbery Honor book
Parents' Choice® Gold Award Winner
(Katedicamillo.com)

We've been learning about character traits and being able to have evidence to prove a character does in fact have that trait.  

The third graders will also continue focusing on non-fiction texts and their text features. The students have been using science and social studies texts to find evidence in order to support their thinking. 

 WRITING
In writing, the authors have been learning how to write  complete paragraphs using a topic sentence (with an indent), 3-5 detail sentences, and a final closing sentence.  Obviously we continue to work on grammar and punctuation as well as many other areas of writing. However, spelling and punctuation are areas that need to be constantly practiced and worked with. 














MATH
We have been working in unit 2 after pre-teaching addition/subtraction strategies that we felt necessary before beginning this unit.
Strategies covered include: 
Partial Sums Addition
Column Addition
Traditional Addition
Counting Up Subtraction
Expand and Trade Subtraction
Traditional Subtraction



 Click HERE for the Math Unit 2 Parent Letter.

SCIENCE
The Motion & Energy unit has been completed. This week we will be reading a few nonfiction articles that accompany the unit and reviewing the concepts.  Please use past i-Checks that were sent home as study material.  I plan on giving the unit test on Thursday or Friday this week. 




MI STUDIES
We’ve covered all the questions historians ask to learn about the past.  The students investigated how Waterford went from a tiny place stared by two people in 1872 to a booming village that is still around today!

 The Three Fires are a large group of Native Americans we’ve been studying.  Actually, The Three Fires was made up 3 different tribes who had similarities such as speaking the same language.  However, they had many differences too.


We moved on to learn about the French Voyageurs, The British, and trouble between the two turning into the French and Indian War.  We moved on to Pontiac’s Rebellion and will soon be learning all about how difficult it was for Michigan to become a state.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Week #9 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
Wow!  What a busy couple of weeks between water problems and Halloween! Since it’s been six weeks of school and procedures/daily routine are running smoothly, I’ll now be updating the blog twice a month instead of weekly.





READING
We will continue focusing on non-fiction texts and their text features. The students have been using science and social studies texts to find evidence in order to support their thinking. 




The third graders are reading independently
each day for 25 minutes!  Great job class!

WRITING
In writing, the authors continue publishing writing pieces and learning how to proofread and edit their writing. They've also been adding transition words to their writing pieces to help make their writing flow better.






Spelling and punctuation is an area we’ve been working on as well.  This is not something that is done overnight, however, practicing and editing each day does make a difference. 

Lastly, we started learning about paragraph writing last Friday.  The students now know now that a paragraph needs an indent with a topic sentence.  This week we will be working on supporting detail sentences and concluding sentences.

MATH



We will be starting unit 2 shortly but before we do that the third grade teachers and I want to frontload the students with a couple addition/subtraction strategies that we feel are necessary before beginning this unit.
Strategies covered include:

Partial Sums Addition
Column Addition
Traditional Addition
Counting Up Subtraction
Expand and Trade Subtraction
Traditional Subtraction


SCIENCE
Our first unit covers Motion & Matter.  We have completed investigations #1 & #2.  We took the second i-Check last Friday.  This will be coming home later this week for you to see.  The i-Check is basically a check-in for each set of investigations to see how the students are doing with the material that was just investigate/presented. These are good to keep to use as study material for the final BA at the end of the unit. 

MI STUDIES
We’ve covered all the questions historians ask to learn about the past.  The students investigated how Waterford went from a tiny place stared by two people in 1872 to a booming village that is still around today!


 The Three Fires are a large group of Native Americans we’ve been studying.  Actually, The Three Fires was made up 3 different tribes who had similarities such as speaking the same language.  However, they had many differences too.