Sunday, October 15, 2017

Week #6 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
It was a gorgeous day for our Color Fun Run!  Thank you for another great event PTA! We will be collecting donations all week long.  Any and all donations are welcome!



Our class has buddies with Mrs. Ziegler's
 2nd grade class!  Every Friday for 30 minutes we will get together to learn, create, explore, teach, laugh, and have fun!  Last Friday was simply a getting to know you day but we have a lot in store for these buddies!

Lastly, our economy system is in full swing!  The bankers did a fabulous job Friday paying all the employees.  All last week was a training week with only bonus money and no fines, just warnings. Beginning Monday, I will start fining the employees for things that we've agreed upon in class such as: talking in the hall, not pushing in their chair, no name on paper, etc.


READING
I’m continuing to administer the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) to learn more about the students’ reading comprehension and fluency skills.

We will begin focusing on non-fiction texts and text features this week.  Using a non-fiction article from our Storyworks magazine, the students will be finding evidence within the text to support their thinking.  This skill takes time to acquire so we will be doing this whole groups for a while. 

Our read aloud is Fridle by Andrew Clements.   Summary: Fifth grader Nick Allen knows just how to make school more cool. In third grade, he transformed Miss Deaver's room into a tropical paradise with some paper palm trees and a sandy beach. In fourth grade, he taught his classmates to mimic the high-pitched calls of blackbirds. But now, in fifth grade, clever Nick has come up with his most ingenious idea yet. After learning about the origins of words, he decides to change the word "pen" to "frindle." At first, it seems like a harmless prank, a way to annoy his dictionary-obsessed teacher. Then the whole class starts using the new word, and the joke spreads across town like wildfire. Suddenly Nick finds himself in the middle of a media frenzy over "frindle." Will Nick emerge from the controversy a troublemaker or a hero? (Scholastic.com)


WRITING
Your third grader has been working on adjectives and nouns.  They should be able to tell you what each is, identify them, and give you examples.




In writing, the authors had another opportunity to continue publishing their first writing piece on the Chromebooks!  They are learning some key technology skills too such as how to: change the font size/color, position the cursor left/right/middle, correct misspelled words, and insert an image. 

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. 

MATH
The last lesson of unit one has the students exploring mass using a balance scale.  They saw how tiny one gram is and were able to measure some of our everyday supplies to see the mass as well as how 1,000 grams equals 1 kilogram.













We will be starting unit 2 but before we do that the third grade teachers and I want to front load the students with a couple addition/subtraction strategies that we feel are necessary before beginning this unit. The first one was introduced last week called Partial Sums Addition. Not everyone likes this method BUT it’s like having another tool in a tool box. In the long run, the students can choose the method they are most comfortable with but it is my job to teach them a variety of strategies. Check out this video to see the Partial Sums Addition strategy.



*The Unit 1 checking progress papers will go home this week. Remember third graders do not get “regular” grades. The grades are SECURE, DEVELOPING, or BEGINNING.  If your child receives a DEVELOPING they are right where they should be within grade level expectations.  SECURE is above and BEGINNING means they have some skills to work on still.

SCIENCE
This year we are starting an entirely NEW set of science standards and science kits!  It is very exciting!  Our first unit  covers Motion & Matter.  The first i-Check went home in the Friday Folder.  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

This year we are beginning with the Michigan’s History! 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!  Coming up next is all about Michigan’s first people… 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Week #5 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
Our Fun Run will be this Friday, October 13th.  It is our largest fundraiser of the year.  Any and all donations are welcome!



READING
I’m starting to test some of the third graders using the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) to learn more about reading comprehension and fluency. 



Our new read aloud is Fridle by Andrew Clements.   Summary: Fifth grader Nick Allen knows just how to make school more cool. In third grade, he transformed Miss Deaver's room into a tropical paradise with some paper palm trees and a sandy beach. In fourth grade, he taught his classmates to mimic the high-pitched calls of blackbirds. But now, in fifth grade, clever Nick has come up with his most ingenious idea yet. After learning about the origins of words, he decides to change the word "pen" to "frindle." At first, it seems like a harmless prank, a way to annoy his dictionary-obsessed teacher. Then the whole class starts using the new word, and the joke spreads across town like wildfire. Suddenly Nick finds himself in the middle of a media frenzy over "frindle." Will Nick emerge from the controversy a troublemaker or a hero? (Scholastic.com)

The third graders often respond to literature using a TAGD (title, author, genre, date) format.  I’ve been having the readers make connections to relate to characters, use inferencing, as well as try to understand a character’s point of view.



WRITING
In writing, we continue planting seeds and making sure we have lots of ideas in our notebooks. We have also been reviewing nouns and how adjectives are so important in order to make the authors’ writing more vivid and detailed.  Descriptions help a reader visualize what is happening in the piece of writing.

 Last week the authors started publishing their first writing piece on the Chromebooks!  This is very exciting and does take a while but it was a great start. 
  
 











MATH
We just about finished with UNIT 1!  I plan on giving the unit 1 Checking Progress Wednesday, October 11th.  The best way to study for this is to have your third grader go over math boxes they gotten wrong and try them again as well as going over the past homelinks.









SCIENCE
This year we are starting an entirely NEW set of science standards and science kits!  It is very exciting!  Our first unit will cover Motion & Matter.  A lot has been covered and the student just wrapped up change of motion.  If force is balanced than there is no motion.  If there is unbalanced force, motion can change.



MI STUDIES

This year we are beginning with the Michigan’s History! This week we learn about questions historians ask.  Last week the historians worked with clue #1 (a map of Waterford from 1872) and clue #2 (an article with historical facts about how Waterford became a village). We still have 3 more clues to go!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week #3 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
As we continue to get used to our daily schedule and classroom routines/procedures, we are also learning how to be flexible and resilient.  We had a shelter in place drill as well as a fire drill last week.  The students did great with both drills!

Ms. Qonja was a guest reader in our room last week!  She read a wonderful book titled The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.  This book is about standing up to bullies to make a difference.



We learned a bit about the constitution and the preamble by reading We the Kids! last week.



LANGUAGE ARTS
I plan on having the third graders take the i-Ready diagnostic computer test this week in reading. If they have their own headphones and/or mouse, please have them bring it to class this week all week.

I finished reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.  The students were surprised by the ending and loved the character “Fudge” who is Peter Hatcher’s younger 3 year old brother. There are more books in this series if your child wants to continue reading about this family’s adventures. However, I would not recommend SuperFudge just yet.  It is set around the holidays and it’s better left for older students.

The third graders continue responding to literature using a TAGD (title, author, genre, date) format.  I’ve been having the readers make connections to relate to characters.

Lastly, the third graders have been reading independently for 19 minutes!  I am very impressed!  That means the WHOLE class!  Each child finds a comfortable place to take his/her book box full of books to read the entire time.  Not get up and get a drink or sharpen a pencil.  READ!  This wonderful!


In writing, the third graders has a museum walk to share their completed writer's notebooks!  Everyone was so proud to share their individual masterpieces













We continue planting seeds and making sure we have lots of ideas in our notebooks so that when it comes time to choose a story to bring through the writing process, we have plenty of options.  We have also written to picture prompts as well as done a few quick writes.  We are building stamina in writing too.  Those little muscles need to get stronger so the children can write for longer amounts of time.


We began using our word study book and our first sort was on long vowel sound using CVCe pattern (consonant, vowel, consonant, e).  We study the words and other words that use the pattern.  There is no test.  I look for the patterns in the students' writing, daily, work, and formative classroom assessments.








MATH
We are working in UNIT 1!  At Curriculum Night we decided to have homelinks sent home on Mondays (due Wednesdays) & Wednesdays (due Fridays).  This way, families would get two nights to complete the homelinks.  We do want this homework to be done WITH parents; however you choose to do that.  Each homelink is a review of what has already been covered in class.  
 
Open number time to show elapsed time.

Ready, set, show!

Click HERE to play the EDM4 online math games!

Each student received a math journal as well as a Student Reference Book (SRB).  The third grade mathematicians were finding elapsed time using an open number line, using tally charts to create bar graphs, and counting up and back by 10.   

Click HERE to see the Family Note about what you can expect in Unit 1.

 SCIENCE
This year we are starting an entirely NEW set of science standards and science kits!  It is very exciting!  Our first unit will cover Motion & Matter.  The scientists tested out the force of gravity and how magnets work.  Key words so far are: gravity, repel, force, attract.














MI STUDIES

This year we are beginning with the Michigan’s History! This week we learn about questions historians ask.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week #2 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
It was another great week last week!  Thank you so much for taking time to come to Curriculum Night last Wednesday.  I know how busy everyone is and I truly appreciate your time.  If you could not attend, I sent home the handouts in your child’s Friday Folder.

**NO SCHOOL THURSDAY**

As part of a visible thinking routine, we used compass points to safely share our feeling about third grade so far.  Then...we had parents try the same routine at Curriculum Night! The students were so excited to discover the similarities and differences between their own feeling and the feelings of the parents. 











The third graders have been working hard on building stamina in reading and writing.  They have also been working on transitions.  Basically this means moving from one subject or task to another quickly, quietly, and with as little redirecting as possible.  This takes time and each day they are improving.

As a reminder, here is our specials schedule:
3rd Grade Lunch will be from 11:30-12:10pm
Monday – Block Recess 2:10-3:10pm
Tuesday – P.E./Music 9:10-10:10am & Library 12:45-1:15pm
Wednesday – Music 9:10-9:40am/ P.E. 2:45-3:15pm
Thursday – P.E./Computer Lab 1:40-2:40pm
Friday – ART 1:45-2:45pm


READING
I read the book titled Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon to the class last week.  This book focuses on being proud to be you and to stand up for yourself.  The students had to write about a time they felt proud of themselves.  I was amazed at how many children wanted to share.  Building a positive classroom environment is such an important priority.

Currently I am reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.  SUMMARY: Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes! (AMAZON.COM) 

The third graders have been responding to the story using a TAGD (title, author, genre, date) format.  I’ve been having the readers make connections to the story and try to relate to the characters.


Lastly, the third graders have been reading independently for 16 minutes!  I am very impressed!  That means the WHOLE class!  Each child finds a comfortable place to take his/her book box full of books to read the entire time.  Not get up and get a drink or sharpen a pencil or talk to a neighbor.  READ!  This wonderful!


WRITING
In writing, we have been planting seeds and making sure we have lots of ideas in our notebooks so that when it comes time to choose a story to bring through the writing process, we have plenty of options.  To help us do this, the writer’s notebook homework assignment that went home on the first day of school to decorate the composition notebook is due on September 18th.  All of the photos, stickers, words, etc. help our writers with ideas and memories for stories as well as take ownership of their notebook.




MATH
We began working in UNIT 1!  At Curriculum Night we decided to have homelinks sent home on Mondays (due Wednesdays) & Wednesdays (due Fridays).  This way, families would get two nights to complete the homelinks.  We do want this homework to be done WITH parents; however you choose to do that.  Each homelink is a review of what has already been covered in class.
 









We've been able to log on twice to the Chromebooks to use the Everyday Math online Games!  The students have access to these games at home too!  Just log on using the card I sent home on Curriculum Night or the one I had your child tape in the front of their planner.















Each student received a math journal as well as a Student Reference Book (SRB).  The third grade mathematicians reviewed telling time, finding elapsed time using an open number line, rounding to the nearest tens and hundreds, as well as how to play the Number Grid Game.   Click HERE to see the Family Note about what you can expect in Unit 1.










SCIENCE
This year we are starting an entirely NEW set of science standards and science kits!  It is very exciting!  Our first unit will cover Motion & Matter.  This past week the scientists used magnets, paper clips, tongue depressors, straws, and rube bands to test out the force of gravity.  
Key words so far are: gravity, repel, force, attract.


MI STUDIES
This year we are beginning with the Michigan’s History!

More to come!  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week #1 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
It was a terrific first week back!  The students got to know each other.  They also learned about me and I learned about them as well.  We had some GO NOODLE fun and played a few games.




We are learning the classroom procedures and daily routines. This includes our daily schedule which is still being ironed out. So far our FAPES looks like this:

3rd Grade Lunch will be from 11:30-12:10pm
Monday – Block Recess 2:10-3:10pm
Tuesday – P.E./Music 9:10-10:10am
Wednesday – Music 9:10-9:40am/ P.E. 2:45-3:15pm
Thursday – P.E./Computer Lab 1:40-2:40pm
Friday – ART 1:45-2:45pm

READING

In order to create a love for reading and show the students how fun reading can be, I am currently reading one of my favorite narrative/realistic fiction texts to the class called Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.  SUMMARY: Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes! (AMAZON.COM) 












The third graders are building their reading stamina and making connections to texts in order to better understand what they are reading.

WRITING
In writing, we are mainly planting seed ideas and making sure we have lots of ideas in our notebooks so that when it comes time to choose a story to bring through the writing process, we have plenty of options.  To help us do this, the writer’s notebook homework assignment that went home on the first day of school to decorate the composition notebook is due on September 18th.  All of the photos, stickers, words, etc. help our writers with ideas and memories for stories as well as take ownership of their notebook.


MATH
We began working in UNIT 1 last week!  Each student received a math journal as well as a Student Reference Book (SRB).  The third grade mathematicians worked with partners to find out information using their SRB as well as reviewed how to use a number grid. Click HERE to see the Family Note about what you can expect in Unit 1.













SCIENCE
This year we are starting an entirely NEW set of science standards and science kits!  It is very exciting!  Out first unit will cover Motion & Matter.  Stay tuned!




MI STUDIES
This year we are beginning with the Michigan’s History!

More to come!