Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017 News

The weather seems to be on a yo-yo, doesn’t it?  Hopefully, we will have more spring-like weather next week!

We enjoyed a fabulous Chapel this morning, led by Breck’s Native students.  Wyatt and Niya danced, showed off their regalia, and spoke about their ancestry.  Kudos to you both!  They also helped put up the Weston family tipi, which is located on the Chapel Green. 

We will continue to swim in PE class next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Our last Word Masters challenge will be on Monday.  Your children have been busy studying analogies and all the vocabulary words, as some of the words from the first two lists may appear on this third challenge.

We will have three more spelling word sorts.  After that, the students will be involved in a few end-of-the-year assessments, as well as other activities that do not involve word study homework.

We continue to practice long division in math.  We learned how to do this algorithm without remainders.  Next week, we will practice with remainders. 

Did your child tell you who (s)he is studying for their notable Minnesotan project?  We began our research this week and plan to have a “wax museum” as a culminating project.  We would like to invite you to our Doggy DJ Wax Museum on Friday, May 12th at 2:30pm.  Your child will have an opportunity to dress up in costume as their person and share “their” life story with you. 

This week in Reader’s Workshop, we began reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  We will discuss internal and external character traits of Edward Tulane, the main character, as well as other important characters.  We will build on our knowledge on how to build theories about characters and we will discuss how characters can change over time.  This book allows us to practice many reading comprehension strategies.  The children have been enthralled with the book so far.  You could hear a pin drop as I read the first two chapters aloud!  I love that your children love listening to stories and books. 

Thank you for your help and support of the Minnesota Amazing Race destination project.  You are cordially invited to the “release party” on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:30pm in the Theater.  The movie will be about an hour.  Immediately following the movie, we will head back to the classroom for the children to recap their year with you!  They can share their Portfolios, various projects, and have your help packing up materials.  Please plan to bring a sturdy bag with handles.  J  
Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 20, 2017 News

Your children did a wonderful job with the ERB standardized tests.  I think they are relieved to have them under their belt now.

Minnesota Amazing Race projects are due on Monday!  Please email me the video or send it in with your child on a flash drive.  Let me know if you need help or an extension. 

We began our second swimming unit in PE this week.  We will swim next week every day except Wednesday. 

Our last Word Masters challenge is on Monday, May 1st.  The children absolutely love practicing on Quizlet Live with the vocabulary words.  I feel like they are pros already! 

Curricular highlights

We began our long division math chapter this week.  We are also learning about division with remainders.  We practiced with cubes and smaller equations (i.e. 12/5 or 35/4).  We will continue this work next week.

The children have either finished their Minnesota owl PowerPoint or are almost done.  They have really enjoyed learning about this program.  We are also writing paragraphs about our owl research, too.  Once we are done, we will move into our map unit.  
Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13, 2017 News

What a busy week!  We have enjoyed playing outside without our snow gear, despite that white stuff that flew into town earlier this week! 

Thank you for your help and support of the Minnesota Amazing Race destination project.  I have received several video clips.  I will be compiling them into one movie.  We plan to have a “movie release” party in late May (date TBA).  I am working on securing the theater!  Projects are due Monday, April 24th.

Our last Word Masters challenge is on Monday, May 1st.  The children absolutely love practicing on Quizlet Live with the vocabulary words.  I feel like they are pros already! 

We will swim again in PE beginning next Thursday, April 20th.  Your child will need to bring in their bag on or before that date.  As before, your child can decide if (s)he wants to hang their swim gear on our lockers or bring it home each night to dry.  Discuss what works best for your family. 

This week, Mrs. Heurung introduced Gratitude Journals to the children.  On Wednesday, they should have brought home their journal along with a letter from Mrs. Heurung.  We will be developing a habit or practice of gratitude for the next month as part of our Mindfulness program. 

Next week, the children will take the practice ERB standardized tests.  We spent some time this week discussing good test-taking strategies, along with practicing how to take a test online.  As Cathy Preissing mentioned in her letter, this is simply practice for the children.  We will have five tests and they are all scheduled for the mornings next week.  The different tests are Verbal Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Writing Mechanics, and two sections of Math.  I am sure your child will tell you all about it! 

Curricular highlights

We are almost done with our longer multiplication chapter.  Your children are becoming quite good at multiplying with regrouping.  We spent a lot of time looking at the place value behind the algorithm.  Our next chapter will be long division!  You can help your child at home by practicing the basic facts (i.e. 7x8, 24/3, 9x4, etc.). 

We wrapped up our Minnesota owl research and now the children are working on their final projects.  All children chose to do a PowerPoint presentation.  As you can imagine, they are highly motivated and engaged with this technology tool, changing the theme and adding in transitions.  I keep reminding them that the facts they include are most important.  J

On the horizon we will study maps and the geographical features of Minnesota.  
Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 7, 2017 News

Happy April!  I hope you all enjoyed some quality time with your child, whether you traveled or not, over spring break.  Our class seemed eager to return and get back into the swing of things.  Hopefully, everyone can get outside this weekend to experience the wonderful weather! 

Your child’s Minnesota Amazing Race destination project is due Monday, April 24th.  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).  Let me know if you have any questions.  I will be compiling all the videos into one class movie.  We will have a “movie release” party in May (date TBA). 

Your child should have brought home the 3rd (and final) WordMasters list before spring break.  Our last challenge “meet” will take place on Monday, May 1st.  There is a link to the Quizlet site on our class blog (on the right hand side, under the Language Arts section).  Your children have enjoyed practicing the words using that fun site.  As a reminder, words from the first two lists may appear on this last test, so children should still study those words, too. 

Curriculum highlights: We are multiplying with greater numbers now!  Ask your child how to solve the problem 4x60 (or something similar).  Next week, we will practice multiplying larger numbers with and without regrouping (i.e. 37x6).    
We are busy researching our Minnesota owl.  This research will then allow us to practice our paragraph writing.  The children will determine how they want to present their research.  Stay tuned for more details!  

Birthday Wishes Collection

Birthday Wishes
April 6-21

We are collecting birthday celebration supplies for our local food shelf.  Families who use our local food shelf often are unable to buy extra items that make a birthday special, like

Cake Mix & Frosting, Candles, Rice, Noodles, Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust mix,
Paper Plates & Cups. 

Gluten-free, Kosher and Halal items are often needed by families as well. 

If you would like to donate, please bring items to school April 6-21.  Thanks!
Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17, 2017 News

The reading projects were absolutely outstanding!  Thank you for doing this (hopefully) fun project with your child and taking time out of your schedule.  One family commented that they plan to read another book together over Spring Break! 

This week, we continued our multiplication and division study of the facts 6-9.  When we return from spring break, we will do a quick review of what we have learned so far in multiplication and division and then begin the next chapter, which involves these concepts with larger numbers (i.e. 39x6).  On the blog, in the Helpful Info section, there is a document titled “Spring Break Multiplication Games.”  This document has a few games and resources for the children to practice their multiplication facts. 

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.” 

P.E. update: we will be in the Fieldhouse when we return from break, but then our next swimming unit will begin on April 20th. 

On the horizon for the week of April 17th 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. 

Don’t forget that the Minnesota Amazing Race project is due Monday, April 24th.  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.  More details to come!

Finally, enjoy spring break with your children.  Whether you are traveling or staying around town, I hope the break brings you all peace and rest!
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Community Service Opportunities

Opportunity #1 ~
Used Book Drive & Sale
Upper School students are collecting kids picture books, chapter books, YA books, adult novels, non-fiction - everything! Books will then be sold in the Middle School entrance over the two days of conferences on March 3 and 4. Every book will cost $1 and the proceeds will be used to support Reading Partners, a literacy tutoring organization.

Please bring in gently used books for the book sale. There will be donation boxes in every division through March 2. Then come shop the sale! Pick up some books to read over spring break!  

Opportunity #2 ~ Family Service at First Nations Kitchen
On Sunday, March 5 Breck School is hosting, preparing and serving the Sunday meal at First Nations Kitchen. First Nations’ Kitchen is a ministry of All Saints’ Episcopal Indian Mission in Minneapolis and has been serving healthy, organic, traditional indigenous food in a welcoming, family environment every Sunday evening since November 2, 2008.  While all are welcome at the table, FNK serves primarily indigenous people in the Twin Cities, particularly residents of nearby Little Earth of the United Tribes, the largest indigenous urban housing community in the U.S.

The commitment is roughly two hours on Sunday, March 5.  There are different jobs taking place at different times during the day.  We will work with your family to find a job/time slot that works.  This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our community through direct service.

Upper School parent Michael Florey is coordinating the effort.  If you are interested in helping, please let Michael know by email ( or by phone (612-532-1378). 

February 24, 2017 News

The children will be able to participate in the Third Grade Book Swap tomorrow afternoon.  They can bring as many books as they wish to donate, and will receive up to 5 tickets to “purchase” new-to-them books. 

The children and I will prepare for conferences next week.  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. 

We will have one more skating session in PE on Monday.  Feel free to come skate with your children (you must wear a helmet).  

Curriculum Highlights:
The children continue to practice their multiplication and division facts (x2, x3, x4, x5, and x10).  Next week, we will dive into x6.  The class was able to peruse owl books and take notes on which Minnesota owl each child would like to study.  Next week, they will make their final selections and I will put them into parliaments (a group of owls).  Before spring break, we will also dissect owl pellets. 

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.  
Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 16, 2017 News

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Your children enjoyed seeing their surprise on the door this morning!  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!  At our Valentine celebration, we played some games with conversation hearts, enjoyed ice cream floats, “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown,” and each other’s company.  We missed all our friends who were not here, so we decided to leave up the Love Notes until next week so everyone can see them.

The weather has been quite strange for mid-February, hasn’t it?  The snow has melted on the playground and signs of spring will soon appear.  Until then, we’ll continue to wear our snow gear outside (especially given how wet and muddy the playground is!).  Snow gear will come home to launder, as the majority of it is all brown from the mud. 

In math this week, we have been studying the relationship between multiplication and division.  We are creating a booklet for all of the fact families, complete with showing groups and arrays for each fact. 

We were going to select our Minnesota owl to study, but with so many kids absent, we decided to postpone until next week (hopefully).

The second Word Masters “challenge” is next Tuesday!  There will be no Word Study next week due to the long weekend. 

For the past two weeks, we have been discussing Random Acts of Kindness.  I have given a "challenge" almost every day.  Ask your child what some of the challenges have been.  Tomorrow (February 17th) is the National Random Acts of Kindness Day, so perhaps your family can find a way to celebrate!  Click here for some ideas.  

We will continue to skate next week in PE class on Wednesday and Thursday.

We will have a Third Grade Book Swap next Friday, February 24th from 2-3pm.  At that time, students should bring in any gently read books that they are finished reading and with which they would be willing to part.  The books we collect will be categorized and placed in our Commons.  The children who donate books will receive one ticket per book donated (up to 5 tickets).  They will then be able to select a "new-to-them" book from those we collected.  

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. 
Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10, 2017 News

We have been keeping busy in third grade this week!  In our STEAM class, we are building furniture for our stuffed animals.  The children learned how to use a handsaw to cut their wood pieces.  They had to make their cut list and measure out their pieces before cutting the wood.  Be sure to ask your child about his/her piece of furniture!  Pictures will be up on the Photos section soon!

We will continue to skate in PE class next week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Reminder: it is a red, white, and pink non-uniform day next Tuesday, February 14 in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  We will celebrate in the classroom from 2-3pm with ice cream floats and a variety of other fun activities.
Repeat from last week: On Friday, February 17th, Breck is offering childcare for Lower School students from 8-3:30pm.  This is a faculty workshop day.  Space is limited to 35 students and there is more registration information on the Breck Bulletin Board (or contact Katie Peterson).   

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. 

Math update: this week, faculty spent two days in meetings with our math consultant, Cassy Turner.  She met with grade level teams to talk about our successes with our new program, Math in Focus, and helped us to look ahead as we plan our continued implementation.  It was good to hear her affirm how we are teaching math in our classrooms, and how engaged our students are with new vocabulary and problem-solving strategies.  One thing we heard loud & clear was to make sure our students are “fluent” with their math facts.  So, continue to practice these at home.  Monday night, approximately 35 parents attended Cassy’s "boot camp".  As one parent commented, "I need to be in school again to learn math this way."  Much of the session was "hands-on" for parents.  Peg Bailey took notes from Cassy’s presentation and they are attached here.  They can also be found on the Helpful Info section of the blog.

“Parenting Quiet Kids” ~ this is a complimentary online course for parents of 3 to 9 year olds offered exclusively to the Breck School community.  The handout can be found on the Helpful Info section of the blog or click here. 

Curricular highlights
Multiplication and divisionoh my!  The children have had lots of fun practicing facts this week.  They were very excited to get started with this chapter.  We did a quick fact check and will make some flash cards for those facts we are working on remembering. 

We continue to read general owl information and take notes.  We are learning so much about owls and raptors!  Next week, we will choose the owl we want to study and start some research. 

Don’t forget that our second Word Masters “meet” is Tuesday, February 21st. 
Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2, 2017 News

I can’t believe it’s already February!  I always feel like the days go so quickly beginning in January.

All 3rd graders will jump their hearts out tomorrow afternoon from 2:15-3pm.  You are more than welcome to come join us in the Anderson Gym.  It is a non-uniform day for the children.  They are encouraged to wear red or pink in honor of hearts or anything “Super Hero” themed.  Our Lower School goal is raise at least $7,000.

The class has enjoyed hosting Miss Park these last two weeks.  Of course, they are sad to see her go, but have learned many things about Korean culture.  Yesterday, we learned how to say “Happy New Year” in Korean and the traditions around that time of year.  The children practiced bowing to each other, as well as played a game with Korean money (think Monopoly money!). 

On Monday, February 6th, from 6:30-8pm, Cassy Turner will present her “Singapore Math Boot Camp” for parents in the Middle School Dining Room.  Ms. Turner will be here on Monday and Tuesday meeting with Lower School faculty.    

We will skate again next week, beginning on Wednesday.  Please help your child remember to bring in his/her skating bag, complete with helmet, ice skates, and skate guards.  Feel free to come help tie skates at the ice arena if your schedule allows!

Our Valentine celebration will take place on Tuesday, February 14th.  We will exchange Valentines, enjoy a tasty treat, and celebrate our friendships.  Our class party will be in the afternoon, from 2-3pm. 

On Friday, February 17th, Breck is offering childcare for Lower School students from 8-3:30pm.  This is a faculty workshop day.  Space is limited to 35 students and there is more registration information on the Breck Bulletin Board (or contact Katie Peterson).   

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. 

Curricular highlights
Hopefully, your child has shown you the book project for the month of February.  Some children have told me what book they are reading for the project.  I hope you have had a chance to decide how and when to read the book.  This project is due on March 6th (or before if you finish the book before that).  As the directions state, if parents want to come in to present with their child, we will arrange a time that is convenient around your schedule.  More information to follow as the date gets closer.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

In math this week, we began studying multiplication and division.  Multiplication is repeated addition, so we have been looking at problems in that way.  We will continue to work with multiplication and division across the next few weeks. 

The children were very excited to have the Raptor Center come visit on Monday.  Mr. Mike brought a red-tailed hawk, an American kestrel, a great horned owl, and a bald eagle.  We learned so many new facts about raptors.  This event was a wonderful introduction for our Minnesota owl study.  This week, we also read some information about owls and are learning how to take notes.  On the horizon, the children will be able to choose an owl to study and research. 

Don’t forget that our second Word Masters “meet” is Tuesday, February 21st. 
Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 27, 2017 News

Bonjour from Voyageur Day!  We had so much fun this week learning about the Voyageurs, specifically George Bonga (see if your child remembers this individual we read about in class), to bartering and trading with classmates, to watching a portrayal of the Voyageurs.  The children have learned so much!  Thank you for your support as they gathered items to barter. 

Other Curriculum Highlights: We wrapped up our bar modeling unit in math.  Next week, we will begin our multiplication and division chapters.  We will explore what these two operations actually do (multiplication is repeated addition and division is repeated division and equal groups) and solve problems.  We will continue practice the basic multiplication and division facts, too.  On Monday, the Raptor Center will be here with four different raptors.  This presentation will kick-off our Minnesota owl study.  Our science and writing will collide as we study Minnesota owls and learn how to research specific topics. 

Reminder: the Jump-a-thon is next Friday, February 3rd from 2:15-3pm in the Anderson Gym and the theme is Super Heroes.  Feel free to join us!

Has your child chosen his/her location for the Amazing Race Minnesota Destination Project?  The directions can be found on the “Helpful Info” section of our class blog.  Let me know if you have questions.  I have already received a few, so thank you!

All 3rd graders will have the chance to participate in the “I Love to Read” project for the month of February.  Please read the note (check briefcases on Monday) and let me know if you have any questions.  I hope this will be a fun opportunity and way to connect with your child over a love of books! 

We continue to practice our Word Masters words.  Your children have clearly been studying!  We will have some more analogy practice next week in preparation for the next meet on Tuesday, February 21st.
Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 20, 2017 News

Thank you to Noah Carlson, Susie Melnick, Robert Miller, Jakk Netland, and Julia Wilcox for accompanying us on our field trip to the Minnesota History Center on Friday.  We visited the “Then, Now, Wow!” exhibit that took us through different parts of Minnesota history.  We had a fun “scavenger hunt” that helped to guide the children through the exhibit.  We also took a class titled, “Logging in Minnesota” and had fun in the Grainland activity area.  Be sure to ask your child what (s)he learned at the museum. 

What a wonderful All-School Chapel we had on Tuesday to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The children were so attentive!  We had a chance to hear from the guest speaker, Winona LaDuke, and we were excited when we saw her in a documentary we are watching about Minnesota history.  In conjunction with our study of Dr. King, we were

In math, we have continued our bar modeling chapter, including two-step problems.  The children have described this chapter as fun, but tricky.  Most agreed that they can solve it using addition and subtraction, but find it challenging to draw the bar models that represent the work.  We will continue bar modeling next week.   

Next week, we will debrief from our field trip and discuss the Voyageurs in depth as they relate to our Minnesota history.  A note is coming home today about a special event that will take place next Thursday, January 26th.  Children will be able to take part in a bartering activity (see note).  We will also play a different bartering game that involves no verbal communication (we shall see how that goes!).  Lastly, we will read articles about specific Voyageurs. 

On Monday, our student teacher from South Korea arrives!  Miss Seeun Park is coming to us from Seoul National University and I had the chance to meet her on Friday afternoon.  She is very excited to be at Breck School and she cannot wait to meet the class on Monday morning! 
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Box Tops!

Calling all BOXTOPS!  Please bring in boxtops by February 14th.  Containers are located near door D in the Middle School.  The money raised by boxtops supports student led Philanthropy Projects.  They do expire, so please bring them so that we can redeem them.  Thanks!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Breck Summer Programs

Breck Summer Programs 2017 Registration

Breck Summer Programs 2017 registration begins on Tuesday, January 17 at 8:00AM! We hope you will join us for "The Most Fun Under The Sun!" Please contact Katie Peterson, with any questions. The digital brochure is available on the Breck website or go to our online registration page here! 

January 13, 2017 News

We have been working through our Bar Modeling chapter in Math.  This is a brand new concept to the children, and they have been doing a great job with it.  It has given us another chance to demonstrate our growth mindset and how we can learn something new, even though the knowledge may not come right away.  We will continue to practice bar modeling next week. 

We have focused on studying the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. this week.  These conversations have tied into this month’s C.A.R.E. theme of Tolerance.  During Writer’s Workshop, the children chose a quotation of Dr. King and wrote what it meant to them.  We sang and danced to songs about him.  We also practiced finding the evidence in an article about him.  Lastly, we read some poems and pictures, as well as watched part of his “I have a dream” speech online.  Next Tuesday, we will honor Dr. King during our All-School Chapel.  We will talk about peace and what that means to us.

We will travel to the Minnesota History Center next Friday, January 20th.  This is a REGULAR uniform day for the students.  Thank you in advance to our parent volunteers! 

The second Word Masters meet will be on Tuesday, February 21st.  I plan to send home more practice analogy tests over the next few weeks.  Keep studying the new words, but don’t forget the old ones, as some of them will appear on this second meet.