The Ritenour Review

2018 - 2019 Third Grade Weekly News

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Rube Goldberg Extravaganza Project

As we enter the final stretch of the third quarter, we will focus on Simple Machines, Motion, Design and Rube Goldberg. Your student will begin learning about “Simple Machine Tasks” based on the principles of Rube Goldberg. The idea is that each student will build a contraption at school that includes simple machines and energy transfers that ultimately performs a simple task such as flipping a switch or putting a ball through a hoop. We are working with a timeline with certain rules each student must follow. The focus of this project is on process – real science is about trying and failing, and trying again. We want our students to experience this first hand, as well as learn important concepts in our unit on motion, energy and the design process. Our Rube Goldberg project is strategically placed in the IREAD window. We want the kids to work hard in the morning on their IREAD assessments and play hard with their Rube Goldberg projects in the afternoon.

Breakdown of our schedule:

  • February 15th - March 6th: Learn about Simple Machines and Motion Designs
  • **Supplies need to be brought to school by the March 8th.
  • March 7th and 8th: Learn about Rube Goldberg
  • March 11th and 12th: Preplanning and Design
  • March 13th – 18th: Rube Goldberg Construction and Troubleshooting
  • March 19th – 20th: Trouble Shooting and Reflection
  • March 21th: The Rube Goldberg Extravaganza

Project Requirements:

  • 100% of the project is to be completed at school.

  • Your child will be working within a small group. Please, ask your child to whom he or she has been assigned.

  • Students must keep a cost diary– this should cost as little as possible. Items found around the home are considered $0.

  • You must use at least different 3 simple machines in your Rube Goldberg machine.

  • You must use at least 5 energy transfers (steps) to complete your task

  • You must use only supplies that are on the “approved supplies” list. *Anything outside of the list must be approved.

  • Other than that, the sky is the limit for this project. Don’t be afraid to use your creativity and think outside the box!

We would like to extend an invitation to parents to come take a look at the student’s creation on Thursday, March 21st in the 3rd Grade Hallway, from 5:30 – 6:00pm. Wellness Night begins at 6:00pm and we encourage you to stay and enjoy the evening with your family. This is the best time for parents to view the students’ displays and take photos. Rube Goldberg contraptions are made out of recyclable materials and any that you can donate would be greatly appreciated.

Last week, a letter went home to each family. The back of the letter has more information regarding acceptable materials for this project.

P.S. Be sure to check out the Rube Goldberg site (even more can be found on Google):

Below Freezing Again?

I don't know about, y'all, but I am ready for some warmer weather! The thought of another indoor recess day makes me quite sad. We LOVE being outside and running. Fingers crossed for some warmer days soon.

Here is a look into our coming week:

Word Study:

Continue to check your child's yellow folder for his/her weekly spelling sort. The more they practice their sorts, the more words they will be able to tackle when they read and write.


We are working on looking at secondary characters this week. Yes, we will still work on identifying the character traits of our main characters, but it is important to understand the role of our secondary characters, too. We started the conversation with our newest read aloud, Wonder. We have up to EIGHT secondary characters we are tracking. We have a few interactive contributions we are working on as a whole. Plus, each book club will be doing some of the work with their books, too. Read Across America Day brought a lot of joy to our reading time. I look forward to seeing them keep that passion moving forward.


We are learning to address our audience in a persuasive speech. We are learning how important it is to think about their feelings and reactions PRIOR to finishing our reading. We are learning to address concerns and worries in the flow of our writing to make our readers feel heard and understood.


We will finish up our sixth unit this week. Look out for a study guide going home TOMORROW. We have a busy week, and I want to make sure they have plenty of time to look at the concepts on the test, Friday, March 8th. Our final two lessons this week will focus on the order of operation (we already addressed parenthesis) and writing our own word problems for multi-step problems. The plan is to review the study guide and play our favorite review game on Thursday.


We will finish up our most recent experiment working with our four-wheel carts. We experimented with starting our carts at different positions on a ramp (inclined plane) and measured the difference between each ending spot. We will push our thinking with the concept of force, gravity, work and potential/kinetic energy.

This week will also focus on learning about Rube Goldberg, the rest of the simple machines and brainstorming for our own projects

Upcoming Dates


  • 1st-15th - DigiLab
  • 11th-14th - 2nd Grade Informances
  • 12th - Blood Drive 2:00-7:00 PM Cafe
  • 13th - Spirit Day - One Color Day; PTO Meeting in Cafe @ 6 PM
  • 18th - ZCS Growth Forum w/ Dr. Robison @ 6:30-8:00 PM Cafe
  • 18th-22nd - Book Fair
  • 19th and 20th: IREAD Test Dates
  • 20th - Dine for Dollars at Buffalo Wild Wings (all day)
  • 21st - Rube Goldberg Extravaganza AND Wellness Night 6:00-7:30 PM
  • 22nd - PTO Boone Meadow Mixer
  • 29th - April 7 - Spring Break
  • 10th - PTO Mtg
  • 12th - Spirit Day - Twin Day
  • 17th - 3rd grade music performance @ 6:30 PM
  • 23rd - ILEARN testing window opens (3rd/4th gr)
  • 24th - Spirit Day - Who's Your Hero Day; Dine for Dollars @ McAlisters Deli 5-8 PM

4th-8th-Disabilities Awareness Week, Crazy Hair/Hat Day on 3/8