News from Room 3

January 20, 2015


We started Unit 5: Addition and Subtraction by working with money. Students reviewed coin equivalencies and practiced making different combinations of coins for the same amount of money. We then explored making change by using the strategy of counting up. For example, if a pen cost 56 cents and a student used three quarters to pay for it, we practiced counting up from 56 to 75 to find the change. Students enjoyed buying items, paying for them with more coins than needed, and finding the change they were to receive.

Last week, we explored strategies for mentally adding and subtracting 10 and 100. Students noticed patterns when skip counting by 10s and 100s on a calculator, and developed rules for mentally adding and subtracting 10 and 100. Students will extend this strategy using open number lines this week, adding numbers that are not multiples of 10. Students will add the tens in a number first and then continue by adding the ones.

This week, we will look at addition number stories. Specifically, we will look at change-to-more and parts-and-total number stories. Change-to-more number stories involve a start quantity that increases. Parts-and-total number stories involve two or more parts that are combined to find a total. Students will be introduced to different diagrams to use to organize the information in the number stories, filling in the numbers they know and using a question mark to represent the number that they need to find. Students will also solve temperature-change stories.

Unit 6 will focus on the following topics:

  • Data Displays
  • Number Stories
  • Strategies for Addition

Reading and Writer's Workshop

This past week, we worked on the skill of cause and effect. We discussed that an effect is what happens in a story, and a cause is why something happens. We practiced identifying causes and effects in the story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Our vocabulary words we focused on were the following: gasped, attached, frantically, swung, breathe, and delicious. We came up with an action for each word to help us remember the meaning of the words.

We also focused on doing a close reading about Martin Luther King, Jr. We set different purposes for reading the passage each time, and highlighted text evidence to support our thinking. We also practiced summarizing the passage and using context clues to help us determine what a few unknown words meant. We will continue to work on finding text evidence to support our thinking in guided reading groups and shared reading lessons.

Our next writing unit we have begun is a biography unit. In honor of Black History month in February, we have been reading different biographies of famous African Americans. Students will write a biography about one famous African American we read about and will focus on their childhood, challenges in their life, and accomplishments.


We have started our science rotations. Our class will be learning about insects with Mrs. Keen. Students will learn that insects need air, food, water, and space, and will learn about the life cycle of mealworms. Students will observe mealworms in the classroom and record observations in a journal.

A Few Reminders

  • Conference sign up sheets will be going home this week. Please fill out your top 3 conference times and return it to school by Monday, January 26th.
  • Please review your child's homework each night.
  • Please sign the homework sheet AND behavior sheet each night to help reinforce behavior expectations.
  • Please send your child to school with a healthy snack each day.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, February 4: Early Dismissal at 12:05 p.m.

Week of February 9th: Parent Teacher Conferences

Friday, February 13th: No School

Monday, February 16th: No School