Thursday, February 16, 2017

Curriculum Update

In Reading, we have been using nonfiction texts to read about and research different countries.  The kids have been practicing note taking strategies to organize the facts that they are learning.  They are working on a presentation using LucidPress.  They will be sharing their learning with their classmates tomorrow.

In Science, we have been learning about matter and energy. We completed a written review on Monday and Tuesday, and played a jeopardy game review yesterday.  The kids are taking an assessment today, and I know they will do great! Next we will be learning about the Water Cycle, which actually builds on what they learned about heat energy causing matter to change states.  It will be a short unit.

In writing, students are writing opinion pieces about a topic they have strong feelings about.  For example, recess should be longer, students should be allowed to chew gum in class, people should not text and drive… these are a few student’s topics.  We are following an OREO format which means they state their Opinion, give Reasons and Examples, and then restate their Opinion.

In math, we have been learning about fractions and how to compare fractions.  We have compared fractions with like denominators as well as those with like numerators.  We have also used a number line to compare fractions. Next we will be learning about equivalent fractions.

Monday, October 31, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016

News Oct. 17-21

I hope you all were able to access your child's report card through Infinite Campus.  If you weren't able to, please contact the school office for assistance.

It's been a few weeks since I have given you a curriculum update.

In Communication Arts, we have started learning about Non-fiction texts.  Students are using text features such as table of contents, index, headings, captions, and diagrams to help them navigate through NF texts.  Many times students get stuck on reading fiction chapter books and overlook the value and discovery of NF books. We have been practicing strategies for determining unknown words, responding to our reading through quick jots, and marking spots that speak to us with annotating marks.  This unit ties in perfectly with our 2nd quarter writing focus: Informational writing.  Students are each choosing a topic to research and write an informational book about.  Many students have already chosen their topic. Most students chose an animal, there are a few students who chose other topics. I have put some books on hold at the public library that students can use for research.  But they can also pick out their own books to use at the public library or our school library.  We will use some data bases to research online as well.

In Math, we started our multiplication unit.  The first unit was just getting an understanding that multiplication is combining equal groups.  We used repeated addition, arrays, story problems to represent multiplication sentences.  As we move on in multiplication, students will learn different facts, such as 0,1, 2, 5, 10's.  As we move through these lessons, students will be taking timed tests to "earn" toppings for an ice cream sundae party.  So, now would be the time to start practicing flash cards at home.  I will be sending home information about the multiplication incentive (ice cream sundae party) this week along with a list of websites that can be used to help your child as they learn their facts.

​In Social Studies, we have been working on our Government Unit.  For the past two weeks we have focused on the Declaration of Independence and the National Anthem.  We learned when and why these two documents came to be important in the foundation of America.  This week we will start learning about the Constitution.  Students will learn the duties of the three branches of government. 

Our Fall Party is coming up on Monday, October 31.  If you want to attend, the costume parade will be from 1:45-2:00 in the gym, and the party will be from 2:00-3:00 in the classroom.  There are a few supplies that still haven't been signed up for if you are interested in donating.​  Please note, we now have 21 STUDENTS if you are sending in snack. Students should bring their costume in their backpack to change into in the afternoon.  Remember, no masks, scary makeup, or pretend weapons are allowed.  If your child should not participate in the class party for any reason, we will have an alternate celebration they can attend with the specials teachers.  Just let me know if that is the case.

I look forward to seeing you at Parent Conferences on Wednesday or Thursday.  I sent home reminder notes with your child last Monday, along with a short form if you would like to talk to me about specific issues.  This will help me be better prepared for our conference.
Friday, September 30, 2016

News from Sept. 26-30

Thank you to all of you who sent back your Support Your Timberwolf envelope.  If you haven’t returned it yet, it’s not too late!  You can still return it next week or you can make your donation online

Today an orange flier is coming home with your child to tell you about our coin drive next week and our Spirit Week the following week.  All next week, students will be able to donate coins to containers with teacher pictures on them.  The top three teachers with the most money will get a pie in the face, silly stringed, or wrapped up like a mummy!  This has been a real hit in past years.

Next Friday is our Global Cardboard Challenge.  Students always look forward to this day!  If you are interested in helping that day, please use the following link
We are also collecting cardboard boxes and donations of heavy duty tape for students to use to make their creations.  As I mentioned earlier in the week, students can order a lunch from home or they can order a sack lunch from school that day.  They will let me know their choice on Wednesday.

This week the third grade teachers from across the district were able to attend a full day training with Instructional Technology Facilitators.  We learned several useful tools that we were able to come back the next day to put into practice.  It was a day well spent!

Your child might have mentioned our science activity with apples this week.  We have been learning about plants, and this Mystery Science lesson taught them about selection and how to grow the best, biggest, and sweetest fruit.  We tried 5 different kinds of apples.  The Jonathon apples were a big hit (they came from the apple orchard and were soooo delicious!).  We took our Plants assessment today.  We actually tried a digital option and the results weren’t user friendly, which resulted in us completing a written test.  It was worth a try though! J

In math we reviewed subtraction with regrouping (2 digits) and also used place value blocks to demonstrate regrouping with 3 digits.  We will continue 3 digit subtraction next week.

In reading, we read some really great books and practiced answering questions with text evidence.  We also looked at the Central message that the author was trying to get across to the reader.  Lastly, we touched on literal vs. nonliteral language.  We signed up for an additional online reading resource called Students can access it from home by using my login and password: scottc  There were many books to choose from and students seemed to enjoy the selection.

Students started writing their revised drafts into a Google doc on next week we will share our writing with classmates so that we can help one another edit and make more suggestions for revisions.  Students can access their google classroom accounts from any computer and from home if they would like to work on it from home.

I still have a few parents not signed up for parent conferences.  Please email me or call the office to schedule your conference time. 

Also, as the quarter is ending soon, please be sure that you have activated your Infinite Campus account, as this is how report cards will be accessed moving forward.

Ask your child to share with you the activity we did for our class meeting today! It was called the Hand Game.
Friday, September 23, 2016

News from Sept. 19-23

Today your child is bringing home a white envelope for our Support Your Timberwolf fundraiser.  There are instructions taped to the front as well as an information sheet enclosed.  We are hoping that 100% of our families will be able to donate, even if it is a small amount.  There is an online link that you can share with family members for them to also donate.  I know you all probably help support other family member’s fundraisers by purchasing wrapping paper, popcorn, etc.  Now is your chance to ask for their support in return. We want all students to return the white envelopes, even if you donate online or if you are unable to donate.  The class with the most envelopes returned will earn a pizza party.

Remember that MONDAY, Sept. 26 is PICTURE DAY!  You can order pictures online at  and use the code KM986013Q0

This week in reading we prepared to give Book Talks.  Students chose a fiction book they have read this quarter to tell about.  We are going to be recording and sharing these soon.  Technology wasn’t working correctly this week for us to be able to finish our projects.  We also have been answering questions about a book, using evidence from the text to support our answers. 

In writing, we are still working on our personal narratives, but we are in the revision stage.  We are looking back through our stories to see where we can add dialogue, and where we might add paragraphs and transition words.

In science we continue to learn about plants.  This week our focus was more on the life cycle of the plant.

In math we finished estimating and rounding and began adding three digit numbers with regrouping.  Next week will be a big learning week as we delve into subtraction with regrouping.  This always seems to be a struggle for some kids.  So, this would be a good topic to provide some extra practice or support at home.  On  students can access the math folder where a list of links for subtraction practice are listed.

This week we completed our first Acuity tests in reading and math.  We will take this test 3 times this year.  It will help students be prepared for MAP testing at the end of the year.  The teachers use the data from the tests to help us alter our instruction for what skills students might be lacking. 

Don’t forget that TONIGHT is our Tiffany Ridge playground night!  Make sure parents attend with your child and do not drop students off.
Friday, September 16, 2016

News from Sept. 12-16

This week in reading we worked on noticing parts of the story that speak to us and recording those thoughts.  One way we did that was by using annotating marks with sticky notes.  Another thing we did was use thinking stems to help guide our thinking.  We wrote in depth off of our thinking stem notes.  We have been using our reading journal as a place to record our thinking while reading.

In writing we wrote our personal narratives scene by scene in a booklet and worked on writing leads that catch the reader’s attention.  We also discussed the importance of “editing as we go”, paying attention to our spelling, capitalization, and punctuation as we write.

In social studies we took an assessment for Communities.  We started our Science unit about plants.  Students enjoyed looking up-close at leaves and stems.  We have been using a supplemental science website called Mystery Science that is really fun and hands-on.  It also gives students time to discuss and reflect with their classmates.

In math, we had a big week with rounding to the nearest ten and hundred and estimating sums.  We will continue this for a couple of days next week as we estimate differences.  Please check in with your child and see how they feel they are doing with rounding.

We started changing classes for our Word Study groups this week.  Right now we are just introducing the games and activities so students will know the expectations.

A few students (not everyone) should have brought home mid-term reports.  Please send those back signed next week.  We had another great week in third grade!