Miss Grill's 3rd Grade News

January 10, 2016

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  • Hello again! With the holiday season slowly fading in our memories, we are back on track with our normal routine...until the snow days, that is! Your children truly impressed me with how quickly they settled right back into our class routines. They were all so thrilled to see each other again!
  • I can now continue to update you through these class newsletters. It is special for me to get to share a quick snapshot of what happens in our classroom with you!

Reading Focus: Folktales

When we finished focusing on Aesop's Fables, we began to study Folktales. We have read the following folktales from around the world:
  • Roadrunner's Dance: A Southwest Folktale
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale (we enjoyed learning Spanish words!)
  • The Real Story of Stone Soup: A Chinese Folktale

While enjoying Roadrunner's Dance and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, students focused on the life lessons that these stories teach, particularly how they apply to their own lives and which lesson is the most important one that they have learned. Each child wrote an opinion writing piece on this, and since they had already written an opinion essay on a fable of their choice, I wanted to assess their skills in a more interactive and exciting way. They each created a Wixie on their devices that allowed them to type the information, as well as illustrate how they learned the lesson and an instance of when they can use this lesson in the future.

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I am sending home a rubric for this Opinion Writing piece with their grade. Ask your child to show you their Wixie in BCPS One and read it to you. They really enjoyed making these meaningful Wixie projects about their own lives!

Illustrations and Point of View

  • The Real Story of Stone Soup offers a different type of story that the students are not used to reading. The Narrator (the Uncle), is telling the reader how stone soup was created, but the is actually being tricked by the boys. If the illustrations were not there, the reader would believe the Uncle's side of the story and not realize he was being untruthful and telling the story from his point of view.
  • While reading this folktale, we focused on the importance of the meaningful Illustrations in the text. We also focused on the narrator's point of view, and how his perspective is different than the boys point of view, as well as our point of view as the reader.
  • In order for the students to become more comfortable with these skills, we always do an interactive and engaging activity to practice with each other before we apply it to the complex text. For these activities, I typically utilize the student's devices, which makes it that much more exciting!

Writing an Original Fable

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  • Now that we have read Aesop's Fables and experienced the various folktales, it is time for the students to switch roles! They will now create an original fable with the characters, setting, moral, and plot of their choice. The students have the chance to be the author now!
  • The students will be working diligently to plan, create, edit, and publish their fables. It will take a lot of determination, but they will feel so accomplished when they complete this project!
  • In February, all parents and family members will be invited to attend a Fable Fair in our classroom, where the excited students will share their fables with the audience.
  • The 3rd Grade Teachers will let you know the date as soon as we can!

Finding a Good Fit Book

  • I have taught the students how to look up the books that they are reading on the Lexile site online. They are aware of their Lexile measures, so you should keep encouraging them to check the Lexile measure of the book that they are reading or would like to read. This makes them realize if the book is too far below their range, within their range, or above their range. It is perfectly OK to be a bit above their range, but if it is too high, they will struggle comprehending the book and getting the most out of it when reading.
  • If it is too hard for them, try not to discourage them from ever reading the book, but instead tell them that in the future, they can read the book when it is the right fit for them. We want to read books that we can get the most out of and enjoy all that the book has to offer, and waiting for the correct time is crucial.
  • The student's Lexile measures are slightly higher than they were when I gave them out because they increase as time passes. Therefore, it is OK to have a book that is slightly above their range.
  • If they are understanding books that are higher than their range, this means that you can adjust and increase their Lexile score to have a more accurate number to use when searching for books.
  • Here is the Lexile website you can use at home that I showed many of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences in November.

Economics Project: Due January 20th

  • All 3rd graders are completing an Economics project at home for their Social Studies class with Mrs. Brown or me.
  • We sent home the information and the project checklist that they should be using as they complete the project.
  • They must bring in the checklist when they present so the teacher can use it to grade their project and presentation.
  • I have included the two papers below in case you have not seen them yet.
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  • When researching the steps that are needed to produce a good, feel free to use videos, online websites, books, recipes, and more!
  • We practiced sequencing the steps to produce the good, Cornflakes, in class. The students were amazed to see how corn turns into a well-known cereal!
  • The students also saw an example of a poster that we went over, so they should feel confident about the expectations for this project.

Economics Project Information

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Last Day of 2nd Quarter

Friday, Jan. 15th, 4pm

3400 Hillendale Road

Phoenix, MD

MLK Day: No School

Monday, Jan. 18th, 9am

3400 Hillendale Road

Phoenix, MD

Professional Development Day: No School for Students

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 9am

3400 Hillendale Road

Phoenix, MD

This is your child's catch up day to finish the Economics Project in a hurry!

Quarter 2 Report Cards Sent Home

Thursday, Feb. 4th, 4pm

3400 Hillendale Road

Phoenix, MD