We are busy, busy, busy in third grade!  We are finishing up our first math
unit involving multiplication and division strategies.  We will continue to
review these, practice with a study guide and take an assessment on some of
these concepts later this upcoming week.  It is extremely important that each
child consistently practice their multiplication fact facts.  Some of the
children are moving along very well in mastering these while others continue
to take the same fact family test repeatedly without being able to pass.  We
find time to drill / practice these facts when possible, but most memorization
and drill will need to be done at home as part of their homework.  It is a
third grade expectation that each child master 0 - 10's.  Many students are
over halfway there!  Let's all get going to make other math concepts that
follow a bit easier.  Reminders:  There are many links on the "links" page of
this website where fact practice can be fun!!  Also, each child should have a
set of multiplication / division triangles in the pocket of their planner that
will help with practice.
  The children are engaged in our study of Michigan's First People.  They are
so interested in who lived in Michigan long ago, what their lives were like
and  why they are not here any longer.  It is almost difficult to get through
lessons with all of their inquiries.  That's a good thing! 
  We have recently begun our Light unit in science.  We've investigated with
mirrors and flashlights in several different ways, making some determinations
about reflection.  We have some exciting news about a science field trip
coming up in the future - watch for news about this in your student's mail.  
  We've just completed our second writing unit - Raising the Quality of
Personal Narratives.  They all show a deeper understanding of the craft after
working through this genre a second time more slowly.  They each set writing
goals each time they receive grading on a piece of writing and know what area
they need to concentrate.  When they conference with me, we discuss their
growth and how to make improvements also.  Ask your child about "stars and
wishes" too.  Students conference with their partners and read each others
writing.  They offer "stars" about what the other author has done really well
and "wishes" about what they wish they might add to improve the piece.  This
causes each child to give "teacher-like" advice when reviewing writing.  They
are getting really, really good at this.  It will help them look at their own
writing more critically and be willing to make changes for improvement
following the first or second draft.
  We have been enjoying a whole class reading of Charlotte's Web.  I read
aloud while they each have a copy to follow along.  This models fluency,
provides for a classic book opportunity, allows wonderful conversation
regarding E. B. White's unique writing style, character study and I have
introduced the idea of finding "evidence" to support opinion about an idea
using this text.  This is a magical story and the children are very involved
in the unfolding plot.  (Those who have seen the movie seem to agree that it
doesn't compare though we will watch the movie and do a compare and contrast
when we complete the book.)
  Last Thursday and Friday, we completed our mid year NWEA (MAP) math test. 
Wow!  The kids did an awesome job.  Several students surpassed the projected
spring score set for them based on their fall score. Others increased their
fall score my many points.  We're moving in the right direction when that
happens.  I am very proud of them.  I see lots of growth in all areas and
especially in their stamina and willingness to persevere.  That's the most
important part of all of this in my book!
   Please keep on sending warm clothes including boots and gloves.  We have
been able to get outdoors a few times recently.  Yeah!  
   Mrs. Teskey