The Ritenour Review

2015 - 2016 Third Grade Weekly News

Curriculum Night

A heartfelt thanks to everyone that took the time to come out on Thursday evening. I know it can be tough to juggle your kids, your busy work schedules and still finding the time to join our classroom to learn a bit more about the day-to-day life. Again, I know those thirty minutes do not cover nearly enough, and I feel like I try to share my entire heart and year for teaching third grade into that time. If you need me to extend any conversations or concepts, reach out to me and I will gladly go into more detail in any area. Even if you just want to come meet me for coffee at school and share more about your kid. I'd love that, too!

Pet Owners' Sadness

As you may have heard from your child, we were very excited to add fish to our aquarium Friday! We did everything to a T. We even tested the water three separate times to ensure we were giving our fish the best environment to thrive. Unfortunately, as many pet owners experience, we lost a few fish on Friday. We are not 100% why, but I am proud of how each child handled the sad loss. They were mature and understanding. They did everything right, but in the end, we did not get to keep a few of our fish friends. Our other friends are thriving. Best of hopes to keep the remaining fish alive.

This Past Week

Each day this week got better and better. They are starting to work as a team and communicate beautifully with on another. They are recognizing their unique skills and using them to help the team as a whole. The first few weeks of school can be crazy - understanding expectations, new flexible seating, meeting new friends, learning new schedules, eating lunch MUCH later. Bit by bit, they are getting into a very nice routine.


In reading, we worked on setting goals for our first reading unit. Each child looked at their pre-test for the unit. Each unit we use in reading works with a learning progression. Your second grade teachers used the same style of learning progressions. In third grade, we encourage our students to look at different skills and see how they should progress as they become stronger readers. To assist, I scored their pre-tests. The number they received on a question allows them to go to the appropriate level on the learning progression and make a reasonable, attainable goal they can aim to reach by the end of the first reading unit. This is a daunting task but very important! When each child takes a seat in the driver's seat for his/her education, we will start to see a lot of growth. They need to want it more than we want it for them.


In math, we have started our first unit in math. We dove into reviewing how to use a number grid. We looked for patterns: down a row is +10, up a row is -10, diagonal to the left and down is +9, etc. We took those findings and put our knowledge together with a new game called Number Grid Difference. This has allowed us to practice our skills with subtraction, showing our thinking, and allowing each child to think outside the box for strategies. We ended our week working with rounding. This reviewed skill can help us make educated estimates - a wonderful skill used to double-check our thinking.


In writing, we are working on building a list of ideas to inspire true stories. We took some time to list important people in our lives and bullet point those small moments. We also took some time to sketch our favorite places and remind our selves of small moments of memories that live in places we have experienced.


Our newest adventure this wee was to begin our science journey. We kicked off our life science unit with some seed exploration. Through hands-on activities, later supported by reading materials, we have that seeds are uniquely different, but all come from fruits. They are now in the middle of an active observation to prove that seeds are dormant living organisms. We are playing around with an experience to see if seeds will grow with only water. Stay tuned and ask you third grade about his or her findings next week!

Coming Up Next Week:

Next week, we are looking for normal - or at least a bit more routine.


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

  • Math: Time and Data Analysis
  • Language Arts: We will work with a mentor sentence from My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacio.
  • Reading: We will continue to look at the arc in a story. Revisit retelling.
  • Science: We will continue to watch our seed experiments.

Upcoming Dates

August 30 - Girl Scout Registration 6:00-8:00pm (Zionsville Town Hall)

September 25 - Jog-A-Thon

October 3rd (afternoon) & 4th (afternoon/evening) - Student Conferences/E-Day

Book Tasting: Tasting Different Genres

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First Grade Book Buddies

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