Time is flying by in third grade. As you will notice on our calendar and by
the unit study guide in your child's homework folder, we have completed math
unit 3. We have taken two extra days for reviewing the more difficult concepts
of this unit and have discussed various ways of solving such as drawing
pictures for measurement conversions. Taking data from one table to create
another is sometimes tricky for kids. When we do it together, they are able
to add all kinds of great ideas and information, but doing it independently is
tough for some. Some helpful tips: Every graph has two labels (I ask them to
label these first so they know the data that they are inputting.) In finding
the landmarks for data such as maximum, minimum, median and mode we have
little fun sayings we say to help us remember the difference for each.
Perhaps they can share these with you when studying. "Does Mrs. Teskey say
something about each of these in weird voices and make gestures with her arms
to show what they mean?"
We are moving right along in our government study, however, I am finding
that while we discuss the concepts that are most important, do activities,
partner read the lessons, etc., some of the children just want to fill in
answers with no thinking involved. As we saw from the recent science test -
(about 1/3 of the students didn't get a grade they were very happy with) -
this does not work with content material. I am working hard to teach them
that learning hard material in small chunks is the best way. I will be
sending the social studies textbook home one night a week with a lesson to be
read and perhaps some questions to be answered. The goal is NOT just that the
questions be answered correctly, but that they understand the material in the
lesson following reading. The lessons are not real long. Most are
approximately 5 pages. There are always questions at the end of the lesson.
Sometimes we answer these in full sentences and if not, these are good
indicators of the kinds of questions that will appear on the tests. Third
grade if the first time that studying is probably necessary for children to do
well on assessments. Review along the way rather than trying to "cram" it all
in right before the test is not very successful with young brains, or even
older ones for that matter. If we establish good study habits and patterns
now, it will make their middle school and high school years easier on parents
and predictably, more successful. At the beginning of every lesson (these are
marked in the text by number in each unit) there are also new vocabulary words
- these are good indicators of important words / ideas that they should know
also. I hope all of this helps.
The Paper Bag Princess projects turned out well. The children practiced
retelling a story and illustrating. They had heard the text a few times, had
copies of it, but had never seen the illustrations. So, they visualized what
the characters and setting might look like. Grade sheets were also sent home.
We "dressed" Thanksgiving turkeys this week. The kids had to RSVP to a
turkey feast telling why they were unable to attend. They had to dress their
turkey accordingly. For instance, if they could not attend because they were
in a soccer tournament, their turkey would have a soccer uniform and ball.
They are adorable and are hanging in our centrum. Thank you for all of the
fabric scrap and craft donations.
I also appreciate all of the Clorox Wipe donations. We are able to stay
sanitized again for a while. More paper towels would be wonderful if you
happen to have an extra roll or two around home. Thank you!!!
If you have not already sent in your child's response regarding the
Thanksgiving submarine sandwich luncheon, please do so. We will place the
order on November 20. We will plan to order according to responses received
at that time, so don't be left out if that is something your child is looking
forward to. We have only a few desserts so far. If you'd like to donate a
dessert (cookie, brownie, etc.) please let me know.
In Reader's Workshop, we are concentrating on character traits. We are
rocking on this!! We are naming what we know about characters by how the
react to what happens in the story, by what they say and by their actions. We
do this aloud with Because of Winn Dixie in our focus lesson, then the
children are asked to do this also when they read independently in their own
books. Following reading, they write about their characters in noting these
things. I have collected and graded each students reader's notebook this last
week. They have received a score in several areas. I will send these grading
sheets home. I've had discussions with them about what they should work on
and what they are doing really well. Using the strategies in reader's
workshop is what our focus will be on upcoming report cards. (Yes, these come
out in December.)
I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and break with your
family. Safe travel to you if you will be visiting other parts.