It was great to see so many of you at Oxbow Expo.  The kids are always excited
to show you what they've been doing in class and specials.  We are on the home
stretch, but still have so much to do as you can see by our calendar. 
Unfortunately, most of our testing is pushed to the end of the year.  We took
our first section of the MAP test, our language arts section, this past week.
 Some of the children improved tremendously from their fall score.  This shows
how hard they have worked throughout the school year on language arts
concepts.  Many exceeded their projected spring score.  I am very proud of
them as I know you are as well.  We will take two more sessions of the MAP,
math and reading.  Immediately back from our Memorial Day break, we will begin
the M-Step test, the "new MEAP."  5th grade reports that it is a long test and
as it is all taken on the computer, it will be difficult for the 3rd graders.
 We will do out best, push through and it is what it is.  I know they are as
prepared as they can be.  If you will please be sure they are well rested and
well fed, we'll be "good to go."
  The children are really enjoying their non-fiction reading and writing
units.  We are studying the features of non-fiction and how it is so different
than reading a narrative story.  We are learning how to use these features to
our best advantage, especially in our content area textbooks.  This learning
carries over into our writing of non-fiction books.  They have each chosen a
topic to write about and are well on their way in drafting a book that
includes many non-fiction text features such as headings, captions, a
glossary, diagrams, bold print, etc.  The work they are capable of is truly
impressive. These are not research reports, but instead, they are writing from
what they know; what they are an expert on.  
  In science, we are exploring force and motion.  We use a popular children's
book "Sheep in a Jeep" to learn many of the concepts necessary to understand
this unit.  The kids run trials to discover why jeeps go further on different
surfaces (friction) and travel further (inertia) if no forces act upon them.
They are illustrating their findings on posters to show their understanding.
  We are at the point in social studies where MI becomes a state.  We will
incorporate the unit on economics - wants / needs and their MI studies
continues from there in fourth grade.  We are using our social studies lessons
to practice many of the non-fiction text lessons in reading such as finding
main idea and supporting details.  These are things that will help them in
upper grades when looking for particular information and are good strategies
for studying.  
  Most of the students have passed most of their multiplication facts through
10's.  Yeah!!  Some are almost there and a few are still working away at the
lower numbers.  I believe that each of these students are capable of learning
these facts.  It certainly will help them problem solve much more quickly if
they can master these.  There is still time to practice on website links and
old fashioned drills.  Passing through 10's is a 3rd grade goal.  Thanks for
your help with this.  
  Please continue to send light's Michigan!  The weather can
change in 10 minutes.  Thanks so much.