We are in to the very busiest time of the year in 3rd grade.  Please check
and re-check our calendar.  We have many special things going on and lots of
events to look forward to.  Also, it is the time of year where end of year
testing will be taking place.  In the past, our big standardized test (MEAP)
was early in the year.  While it is nice to have the children "show what they
know" or what they have learned throughout the year and test in the spring,
the M-Step test in the spring will be interesting as it is very close to our
last round of MAP testing and other end of year assessments.  Whew!  All of
that with spring fever setting in.  Please help by making sure your child gets
lots of rest, is keeping to a regular schedule and is reminded that there is
still lots of learning going on.
  You received a packet of blue papers letting you know of upcoming events - a
Disney concert that requires a permission slip, a visit by the Lansing
Impressions 5 Science Center and our favorite speaker, "Frenchie" which
requires a $3.00 per child fee.  Thank you to all who have already returned
these forms and payment.  
  The children have been enjoying their retelling of a humorous story, The
Paper Bag Princess.  This is practice in summarizing a story as well as
visualizing as they were not shown the illustrations as they heard the text. 
They have each retold the story in their own words and illustrated it in
"frames" on, what else, but, a brown paper bag.  Each is unique and colorful.
  We are also just completing our Mystery Book Club unit in reading.  Each
book club worked together to read and and talk through the elements of a
mystery novel.  This included things like suspects, red-herons, clues, and
solution.  Book club members discussed ideas and charted each of the above
with evidence found in the text.  This was good practice in having productive
conversations with one another as well as learning good listening habits. 
Following completion of the mysteries, members worked together to talk about
how their group worked together as a whole and then also rated themselves as a
group member.  They will have opportunities to work in book clubs of genres
they select from now until the end of the year during independent reading.
  We are beginning our non-fiction reading and writing units this next week. 
The children will write a "book" to teach others about a topic they know a lot
about.  They will be partnered with another student during reading to study
non-fiction text and the elements of how it is written.  We will look at how
the text includes a glossary, index, table of contents, etc., but also, how
the text is structured.  They will then also try this is their own writing. 
This will include comparing, describing, cause / effect, and descriptive.  The
children usually really enjoy these units as we study so much narrative
throughout the year.  This is a good change of pace.
  Please watch agendas for notice regarding a test on fractions.  These kids
have been rocking these lessons!!  I have been using the new math program
(Expressions) to teach this unit.  It makes total sense to the kids.  We will
be ready for a test very soon.
  Also, we are nearing the end of our social studies unit as well and will
assess on this before too long.  Watch for study materials and study guide
coming home to help prepare for this also.
  Thank you to all of the parents who offered to attend the field trip.  I
wish we could have taken everyone.  The museum was a big hit and the kids all
wrote about their favorite exhibit.  Thanks to the parents that did attend. 
All went so smoothly!! These were Mr. Tersigni, Mrs. Hendry and Mrs. Eblen.
Thank you to Mrs. Hendry who has been in many times this year putting together
projects, preparing materials and other jobs.  This has been very 
helpful.  I also am appreciative to Mrs. Matice, Mrs. Diego and Mrs. Eblen who
agreed to pop popcorn for our class this upcoming week - on Thursday because
of the holiday.  Thanks for stepping in.  I have a great group of parent
helper and you make this all run smoothly.  It doesn't go unnoticed. I also
have a middle school helper and former student Faith M. who has put in
numerous hours organizing and prepping things for our class.  She
earns national junior honor society hours for volunteering.  All of this helps. 
Thanks a bunch!!
Happy spring!