February Newsletter


Content Corner

Reading: This past month since we returned from winter break has been packed! We returned from break and finished up our study of folktales, myths, and fairy tales. The students did a wonderful job in understanding the deeper meanings found within each folktale. While reading folktales, we not only were looking for the message/moral to the story, but also looking at the characters, setting, problem, and solution, as well.

After concluding our study of folktales, we dove right into poetry. I love to teach poetry and give the students plenty of time to sample great poems and then also give them opportunities to write poems of their own. With studying poetry, we have identified the different elements of poetry and also visualized while we read poems. We will continue to work on reading and writing poetry throughout the rest of the school year. Poetry is a great way to promote good writing, by selecting vivid verbs and exact adjectives to make our poems come to life for the reader.

This quarter, we are working in literature groups reading fantasy books. The book choices were either, Top Secret, The Chocolate Touch, or Chocolate Fever. Students were given their choice of what book they would like to read and were given either their 1st or 2nd choice. Within their reading groups, the students chose whether they wanted to work independently, with a partner, or in small groups. Each day students read 1-2 chapters of their book, answered questions daily, and then wrote a 3-4 sentence summary for each chapter.

Next, we will move onto focusing on non-fiction texts. We will identify main idea and key details of our reading, as well as cause and effect. Within this unit of study we will be working on studying inventors and inventions. The students will be given a lap book with texts on the various inventors, response sheets, and a timeline to sequence these inventions over a 200 year time period. As we begin the unit we will ask the question: "Why are these inventors risk takers?" Students will learn that these inventors were notable, creative, and innovative thinkers of their time.

Writing: This quarter we've been busy writing lots of different forms of writing. We began by coming back from break to write a snowman haiku that went along with our snowmen that we created using water color. It looks great out on display in our hallway! In poetry, the students have also written a name poem and I Have a Dream poem in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and a synonym poem where they practiced using a thesaurus to find both synonyms and antonyms for their chosen word.

For a creative writing outlet, the students drew a picture of a monster and then wrote a descriptive monster paragraph describing their monster! They really enjoyed this writing project.

During Exploration time in ELA we have been working on improving our opinion writing, by using Time for Kids articles. The students have learned that in order to write a strong opinion paper they need to state both sides of the opinion, state their opinion, then support their opinion with at least 3 details from the text, and then finally end with a concluding sentence.

As mentioned above, with our fantasy literature books, the students have been writing 3-4 sentence summaries for each chapter that they read each day. This has been great practice writing complete sentences and condensing each chapter into just 3-4 sentences. We're still working on always starting our sentences with a capital and ending with an end mark.

Word Study: In Word Study we continue to use our Daily Language Review to review skills. This quarter we have also worked on synonyms/antonyms, adverbs, and abstract nouns, and multiple meaning words. We had a lot of fun learning about abstract nouns. We watched music videos on the difference between concrete and abstract nouns using "catchy" songs.

Math: Throughout this quarter, the students have been working on division and fractions. We spent a lot of time focusing on learning the strategies for division and understanding the deeper meaning of what division is all about. Now that we have dug deep into division and multiplication, the goal now is to focus on knowing the math facts by heart.

We have also begun to discuss fractions. The students have been learning about parts of a whole, parts of a group, fractions on a number line, and equal shares. We have even begun to touch on equivalent fractions a bit. You can reinforce fractions at home by using them to talk about food, toys, or any other item and how you would share them equally among your family.

We are also continuing to work on multi-step word problems. We are using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions while working through these word problems. They can be tricky - but we are working hard!

Social Studies: A major focus for us in Social Studies is our Economics unit. The students have been learning about producers, consumers, goods, services, scarcity, resources, division of labor, and interdependence. They will get to put these new terms to the test through our Carnival experience. The students will work in a small group to produce a service. They have to think about all of the things we have learned in order to create a successful service and earn a profit. We work to keep it a fun and meaningful experience. At the end of the quarter we will begin to focus on change over time in Cincinnati.

Important Dates to Remember and Seeds Sightings

Valentine's Day Party- Tuesday, February 14th

No School- Friday, February 17th- teacher In-Service Day

No School-Monday, Feb. 20th- President's Day

3rd Grade Musical-Seeger-Monday, February 27th at 7:00

3rd Grade Musical-Mongenas-Tuesday, February 28th at 7:00

March 10th- End of 3rd Quarter

March 13th-17th- MAP Testing window

Spring Conferences- Friday, March 17th

Seeds Sightings

These students in both classes have been seen spreading the seeds of the school wide LIFESKILLS.

-Ava has shown the lifeskill of active listening and responsibility by listening to directions closely and following classroom procedures.

-Aydan, Alee and Nathan are demonstrating the lifeskill of friendship by helping their fellow classmates and always having a positive attitude.

-Jack, CJ, Brody and Luke are demonstrating the lifeskill of perseverance with their school work.

- Molly is demonstrating the lifeskill of self-control throughout our day.

- Ashton, Matthew, and Cody are demonstrating the lifeskill of leadership by being a good role model through our activities and following proper daily procedures.

Steve Seeger

3rd Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies Teacher