August 15, 2016
Welcome to third grade! I am so excited to have all of your children in my class this year. They are so sweet! I will be sending you an email with my newsletter every week this year. In the past, I have posted it on my website for the school, but found that parents were just not visiting it frequently enough, so I am going back to emailing the newsletters this year. Please let me know if you change your email address, so I can update my contact list.
I apologize profusely for the error in the date for my Back to School Night. It is this Tuesday, August 16th from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Mrs. Bellamy and I will both be here that night and the doors will be open. Please come to room 24.
Last week was a week of getting to know each other and beginning of the year assessment to see where the kiddos are. We did begin our math curriculum, on Thursday and our Social Studies curriculum on Friday. We also did our first art project of the year, which should be finished this week. I will put them up on the bulletin board in the hall when they are completed – they are amazing!
Speaking of curriculum, we have a new English Language Arts curriculum this year (Houghton Mifflin Journeys). As teachers, we will be working on familiarizing ourselves with all that it offers and selecting what we think is most beneficial for our students each week. There are way more resources available to us than we could possibly use. We also have a new math curriculum, Eureka, that we are implementing as well, so this will be a learning year for both students and teachers!
I sent home an order form for individual pictures on Friday. The date for pictures is August 30th. I will also be sending home a letter about a Remind app we have so I can send remind messages about upcoming events to your cell phones.
Please remember that this Wednesday, August 17th is a very late start. Teachers will be attending a lecture offered by the district. School will start at 11:00 a.m. I will be gone on the 18th and 19th. My sub will be Mrs. Gentner, who has subbed for me many times in the past.
Reading/Language: We will be reading a humorous fiction story this week, A Fine, Fine School. Our target skill for this story is creating a story map (characters, setting, beginning, middle, end) and a summary, utilizing our map. We will begin by comparing the things we learn at home, to the things we learn at school and discuss in depth why education is important. We will also look at analyzing the mood of characters, using the illustrations in the text. In Language we will look at complete sentences and identify the simple and complete subject and predicate.
Math: We are beginning our year by jumping right into multiplication and division. We are learning that multiplication is a specified amount of equal groups. We have already learned that we can use repeated addition to solve multiplication problems, as well as arrays and groups. This week we will interpret the meaning of the factors and look at division as the unknown size of a group as well as the unknown number of groups. We will then look at division with an array model, just as we did with multiplication last week. We will end the week by demonstrating the commutative property of multiplication, which simply says that order doesn’t matter (2 x 5 = 5 x 2 since both = 10.) Please encourage your child to practice their addition and subtraction facts at home as well as their beginning multiplication facts.
Spelling – Our words this week have short vowel sounds. I will give a pretest every Monday. The students will bring it home so you can see what they missed. I will also send home a list for the week. Unless otherwise noted, students will be responsible for studying the first 15 words of the list for their test on Friday. There are 20 words total on the regular list. I encourage you to challenge your student to study all 20, and possibly the Challenge Words as well. The test will also include 3 dictated sentences using words from the list. I will be looking at mechanics in writing sentences (capital letters, punctuation) as well as the correct spelling of the words.
Cursive – We began learning our lower case, undercurve cursive letters last week with i, t, u, and w. This week we will learn e, l, b, h, f, k, r, s. The hardest part for most of the kiddos is getting their letters to slant forward. For 3 years they have practiced writing their letters straight up and down, and this is a hard habit to break. Any practice they can do at home will be beneficial.
Social Studies – We began our Government and Civics unit last Friday by looking at the importance of rules and laws in a community. We will continue to expound on that by creating laws for our “make believe” community on Tuesday. We will then begin to look at the leaders our community, state, and nation need to help keep citizens safe.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns!