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.

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.