The Ritenour Review

2015 - 2016 Third Grade Weekly News

Websites to Use at Home

Math Sites:

  • Scootpad: go to -> login using username: first-last and password is lunch code -> click on scootpad icon
  • We have used Word so far.
  • Newela: Current Event Reading

**We will add to this list in the coming weeks.

Hello, Snow!

Field Trip Reminder!

Our field trip to the Southside Landfill and Indiana State Museum will be on Tuesday, 13, 2018.

The snow was a delightful end to our school day! The kids were beyond excited to see those white, flakes floating down. I am pretty sure I saw most kids walking with his/her mouth wide open attempting to catch as many as possible on the trip to the buses. A site of pure joy!

We worked hard this past week! We are learning to be efficient with our time; however, that does not mean rush. We are learning to work with a sense of urgency and not drag out each assignment and activity. Up until this point, I have honored their work ethic and allowed more time when needed. We are hitting a point of the school year and time is important. Time constraints are important, too. It is all a balance in the elementary world - well the entire world really - and we are trying to find that balance daily.

Reading: We are still working with non-fiction texts and we will for quite a while. We worked on reading challenging texts, texts of our choice and pushing ourselves to new goals. We looked at the learning progression between second, third and fourth grade. We looked at the expectations they were given last year and compared those to what a third grader should be doing with non-fiction texts. As always, we like to challenge ourselves; therefore, we looked at the fourth grade expectations, too. Each child made meaningful goals. I was blown away by the genuine effort they used in making those goals. Here a few examples:

  • Identify the important details and not the unimportant details (similar to fiction goals)
  • Work on using our own words and not copying the author's
  • Thinking about the WHOLE text and the main idea that can be supported throughout the text
  • Reading small chunks of a text (possible a subsection) and processing the information before moving forward
  • Taking time when reading text - not rushing
  • Looking for pop-out sentences to give away the main idea


We spent the majority of the week learning and practicing strategies for two and three-digit addition and subtraction problems. This is still something we will need to continue practicing, but we have started to pick up steam. Again, with all of our concepts, it is vital each child can explain the strategy he uses. We have identified many successful strategies and your child has had plenty of time to practice several. We took a quiz this week and you should see those in your child's Tuesday folder next week. Part of the quiz was to estimate and use two strategies to solve the same problem. We are learning how important it is for a mathematician to work out a problem in different ways to check ourselves. I am still seeing kids work out the problem two separate ways, solve for two different answers and move on. We will continue to work on being efficient with our strategies and checking our work in a reasonable way. We are getting closer and closer to a stronger understanding. Rome wasn't built in a day though :)


We have taken a nice turn with our writing. We worked hard on our topic sentences this week. We are writing informational books on topics we felt we knew a lot about - without researching. We focused on each chapter/paragraph and worked hard on our topic sentences. Since reading's focus is very similar, we are using those same conversations to drive our writing. Writing is an area that we have been moving slllooowwwly. We are working on moving a little quicker - being efficient. I want to teach the writer and not necessarily the writing. I want each child to carry these lessons and concepts into each writing piece and not focus on the perfect writing piece. We will work on completing our writing next week.


We finished up our geography unit. It was so much fun seeing each child become passionate about the states they researched. The last few days several groups presented their facts to the class. I think they were more excited to share the state icons: birds, flowers, rocks, flag. Although, as their teacher, I was ecstatic to listen to the environmental problems they found in their state and how those states are trying to fix the problems. We are world changers in here!

Next Week's Mentor Sentence

We will not have a mentor sentence next week. We will focus on Genius Hour concepts next week. I have some fun, challenging activities we will do in class. I am hoping to get their wheels turning and get them to think outside the box!

Coming Up Next Week:

Specifically in each subject we will be getting into the following:

  • Math: We will continue to practice our addition and subtraction skills. We will mix in some multiplication skills next week, too. Our unit test will be the week of Thanksgiving. A review sheet will go home next week.
  • Reading: We will work on cross-synthesis of multiple texts. This will be key with our genius hour research coming up soon!
  • Genius Hour!! It is that time! We will be kicking off our genius hour unit next week! I will send another blog in a few days to explain the concept and share some of my past students ideas. There will also be a form I would love for you all to fill out. We would love to know your skills, interests and talents, too!

Upcoming Dates

  • November 10th - BME Talent Show Rehearsal 2:00pm
  • November 12th - Veterans Day Program 9:30am
  • November 13th - Landfill and State Museum Field Trip
  • November 17th - BME Talent Show 2:00pm

Geography Fun!

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