We are making great progress and time is flying by in third grade.  Thank
you to all who took time to attend parent teacher conferences.  I enjoyed
meeting each of you and having the opportunity to speak to you regarding your
child's progress.  As always, feel free to keep in contact by email or phone
calls should you have any questions or concerns.
  The students have begun compiling the writing portfolios and have received
two pieces of scored writing to make comparisons in several categories.  Their
writings will be passed back as they are completed and scored, but kept in
these portfolios so that we may compare various elements, set goals for our
next piece and continually look for areas of growth. We are into the second
week of our writing unit, "Raising the Quality of Personal Narratives." Along
with writing portfolios, students will begin to keep a Learning Notebook
within the next week.  Data will be collected in many subject areas.  Graphing
scores, grades and written goals for themselves within a personal notebook is
a way for them to monitor and to reflect on their learning.  Graphs create a
visual for their scores / growth in areas and the written reflections cause
them to think of where they have come from and where they'd like to be.
  Unit 1 Math math tests will be passed back to kids this week.  I am very
pleased with scores.  From what I can see so far, our new Math Expressions is
helping students learn concepts more deeply with strategies that help to solve
in concrete ways.  Our second unit addresses the multiplication facts that we
have yet to practice as well as other concepts.  Please look for a note to
come home regarding which facts your child has passed in class and those that
they need to really focus on.  At home practice is so very important for mastery.
  Our current reading unit focuses on "Understanding Characters."  We are
studying how our characters change.  We are noticing in our reading how subtle
reactions to events, dialogue and feelings the characters show tell us
internal qualities of the character.  We are learning to note these things as
we read, then respond about it following reading and share our "noticings"
with a partner.  Most are enjoying this part of our reading workshop.  We use
our class read- aloud, Because of Winn Dixie to find all of these things as a
whole group before the kids are asked to try it on their own with the books
they are each currently reading individually.  I have many wonderful readers
this year and they are able to pull out great information.  It is most impressive.
  We have another lesson or two in our study of plants.  Watch the calendar
page and agenda for notification of test.  We will then move to our study of
animal classification.  The children seem to enjoy the "switches" as we call
it, between our class and Ms. Knoedler for social studies.  They are studying
Michigan's Geography, titled "Meet Michigan" when with her. 
  Please remember:  Spelling tests are each Friday.  Children receive a new
list of 15 words following the test.  Words will turn up again and again
throughout the year.  They are not just one week's spelling words that the
kids should practice for one week only.  A few of the children still are not
proficient in the list from the first two weeks of school.  Please keep these
lists each week and practice as words will continue to show up. 
  Please send warm clothing.  Though this week is supposed to warm up, this
past week caught many students off guard and without proper clothing for
recess.  There were many red hands and faces when they came back indoors. 
Layers and warm coats are always a good idea.  It is most often windy on that
  Thank you to all of you who agreed to send in food for Halloween afternoon.
 If you were not asked, we will get you another time.  Also, thank you to the
moms who helped with the crafts and setting up food.  Again, we will get
another crew next time.  It went very smoothly thanks to a combined effort.
Enjoy the fall colors!