Thursday, March 8, 2018

March 9, 2018 News

Happy March!  Spring is just around the corner, right?  We are still in the midst of our multiplication and division work in math.  This week, we spent time practicing division with remainders (some groups may still be practicing multi-digit multiplication).  We will continue this all next week before spring break. 

What marvelous reading projects that have come in to our classroom!  Thank you for taking time out of your schedules to read and present with your child.  If you (or your child) have not set up a time to present, please let me know.  Our class goal is to have all the presentations done before we leave for spring break. 

We will continue to research our Minnesota owls after we return from spring break.  The children are eager to research on the computers after beginning with books the “old-fashioned way.” 

We are almost all the way through Stone Fox in our book clubs.  The children are very engaged with this book and they have worked well in partnerships and groups.  Our goal is to finish next week and then make time to watch the movie.  We will be able to compare and contrast the movie with the book. 

Next Friday (March 16th) is our last day together before spring break and it is also a non-uniform day. 

P.E. updatewe will begin our second swimming unit next Wednesday and it will continue after spring break.

Update from the Jump Rope for Heart event: we exceeded our Lower School goal of raising $7,000 for the American Heart Association (we raised $10,355)!  As a benefit, the P.E. teachers will be taking all third and fourth graders on a field trip to the Ninja Warrior course here in Golden Valley.  As part of the efforts, we will also be awarded with gift certificates from US Games to purchase new equipment for the Lower School.  The field trip will take place later in the spring (date TBD).  Pictures from Mrs. Rice can be found at  (There is also a link to the Breck Zenfolio on the Photos section of our blog.) 

Don’t forget that the Minnesota Amazing Race project is due Monday, April 23rd.  If you need another copy of the directions, please refer to the link on the “Helpful Info” section on our class blog.  You can send in the video clip in on a flash drive, or email it to me (if it’s not too large of a file).  I will put them all together in one larger movie for our viewing pleasure (date TBD, but some time in late May).  More details to come!

On the horizon for the week of April 16th are the practice ERB tests.  A letter will be coming home soon from Mrs. Preissing regarding these practice tests.  When we return from break, we will practice for these tests.  The children will go through the Tutorial to help them get acquainted to the format (all online).  For those of you with older children, you may remember the ERB tests.  In third grade, it is simply for practice to allow the children to experience taking a test online and to familiarize themselves with the format. 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Thursday, February 22, 2018

February 23, 2018 News

The children and I will begin to prepare for conferences tomorrow.  The children will take part in some self-reflecting on their progress so far in third grade.  Like in October, your children will “run the show.”  Conference registration for all families began this morning.  Please let me know if you need assistance. 

Curricular Highlights
Math facts are important!  The children have realized this as we solved multi-digit multiplication problems (despite us telling them that all along!) this week.  We will continue this work into next week and then begin our long division chapter.  This current math learning group will most likely wrap up around spring break (that’s the goal, at least!).  The class was able to peruse owl books and take notes on which Minnesota owl each child would like to study.  They also made their final selections of which owl they would like to study.  Next week, I will put them into parliaments (a group of owls) and we will begin our research.  There will not be a new word sort for this next 6-day cycle, because of conferences.  The children will have one more sort before spring break. 

How are you all doing with the “I Love to Read” project?  If you are interested in presenting with your child, please let me know, and we will work around your schedule.  Our goal is to have these presentations done before spring break. 

Reminder: there is no school for children next Thursday and Friday due to conferences.  There is childcare on Thursday from 8:30-3:30pm; please check with Katie Peterson about availability. 

Our second Word Masters “meet” is Monday morning.  We have been practicing more analogies in class.  I’ve also reminded the children to slow down and analyze the first set of words in the analogies before they mark their answer.

We began our second STEAM rotation on Thursday.  We will be making bird feeders to hang up around campus to enhance our study of MN birds.  We talked about using “found items” to create our bird feeders.  If you are looking to “off-load” some materials, please send them in with your child.  We are looking for: cardboard, cardboard tubes, foil plates, milk jugs, milk cartons, boxes (any size or shape), wire hangers, plastic bottles (any size), wooden dowels, pencils, rulers, juice containers, rope or twine, and anything else your child may wish to use for this project.  Thank you in advance! 
Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 16, 2018 News

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Your children enjoyed seeing their surprise on the door!  Thank you for taking the time to make a “Love Note” for your special child.  We “mailed” our valentines to each other, which was great fun!  We were able to do some math with conversation hearts and reading about the history of them.  The class enjoyed ice cream floats and each other’s company, expressing gratitude for each card they opened.  We also made "Kindness Capes" which seemed to be a big hit!  The Love Notes will be up next week to enjoy them just a little bit longer! 

For the last two weeks, I have given the children a challenge each day.  We took part in the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge (or RAK for short).  Each day, I showed a short video (often of a picture book) and we were able to discuss the theme.  The videos all revolved around kindness or gratitude and how we show that to others.  A challenge was given for the day.  These challenges were easy and free.  Some included saying hello to others as we walked through the halls, giving a compliment to someone else, or thanking the kitchen staff as we got our lunch.  Perhaps you saw some kind acts at home?  February 17th is the annual day of Random Acts of Kindness, so feel free to spread the kindness! 

Conference registration begins next week!  Registration will open on February 20 at 9am for families with three or more children and it will open for all families on February 22 at 9am.  Let me know if you need help.  Please schedule so your child can come, if possible! 

Curricular highlights
We finished the National Geographic documentary about raptors and learned so much information!  One student remarked that she had taken over 100 notes!  Next week, the children will have a chance to read about different Minnesota owls.  From there, the students will be able to select a MN owl to study.  The children will be working in parliaments (a parliament is a group of owls).  Group work will lead to more research and more notes.  Throughout the process, we will practice cooperation and collaboration skills while working in our groups.  Eventually our final product will be child-driven and child-selected; each “product” will look different.  The children are very excited to become an “expert” on their own MN owl.  We are still in the midst of publishing our informational books.  We will wrap this up next week and turn our focus to more research writing about our raptors.  In math, all groups have taken the chapter assessment, which checked each student’s progress with all math facts.  Please continue to help your child find time to practice his/her math multiplication and division facts at home.  Now, our work in class will look at mental math strategies (i.e. 40x9 or 30x8) and multidigit multiplication and division. 
Thursday, February 8, 2018

February 9, 2018 News

The class enjoyed hosting Ms. Cho.  Of course, they were sad to see her go, but have learned many things about Korean culture.  On Wednesday, the children learned how to say numbers in Korean (from 1-10).  The children also had the chance to learn a traditional folk story from Ms. Cho’s childhood.  She wrote each child a note, complete with her email!  Pictures are on the Photos page of the blog.  

Tomorrow is a red/white/blue non-uniform day in honor of the Winter Olympics!

Reminder: it is a red, white, and pink non-uniform day next Wednesday, February 14th in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  We will celebrate in the classroom from 1:15-2:15pm with ice cream floats and a variety of other fun activities.

Another repeat: Conferences are just around the corner!  I am very excited to have the opportunity to share with you all that your child has accomplished thus far in third grade.  We will also be able to discuss the next steps and what we hope to accomplish during the rest of the school year.  It would be great to have your child present if (s)he is available.  Registration will open on February 20 at 9am for families with three or more children.  Registration for all families will open on February 22 at 9am.  

Don’t forget that our second Word Masters “meet” is Monday, February 26th.

Curricular highlights
The children are learning so many facts about raptors!  We began a National Geographic documentary about raptors and are furthering our knowledge on how to take notes.  Most children began publishing their informational books this week.  We decided to do these “by hand” and the children have different paper options to choose from as they publish.  Your children were so engaged and motivated that they worked for a solid 75 minutes this morning!  They were so very pleased with their progress and should be proud of themselves.  Be sure to ask your child what (s)he is writing about for this project!  Please continue to help your child practice the multiplication and division math facts.  This is important as we move into more mental math problems and multi-digit multiplication.