News From the Nest

A Glimpse at the Past Week

I want to begin by giving a compliment to the kids for their hard work this week. The beginning of the year is heavy with pre-assessments which give valuable information in order to begin instruction. All the students did a great job of staying focused and putting forth their best effort.

Students spent more time this week becoming comfortable in their classroom and with the teammates that they will be sitting with for the next 4-5 weeks. Working as a team, students created a team name, banner, and cheer to represent them. Building these cooperative relationships in their teams will be helpful as we progress in the year and students begin doing activities and having discussions with their teammates.

Below is each team's banner.

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This week we launched our Reading Workshop. We spent our time discussing and practicing routines. We discussed how to find books that are "Just Right" for us, how our classroom library is organized, and what it should look like and sound like during workshop. We practiced these routines while working on building our reading stamina during independent reading time. We got up to 25 minutes today!

We took the STAR reading test and students are now aware of their AR goal.

Next week, we will continue with our launching unit and introducing the reading strategies and routines we will be using as readers.

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This week we celebrated the start of our Writing Workshop. We discussed and practiced routines of WW and students spent time personalizing their writing notebooks. I appreciate all the photos that were sent in to school for the notebooks. I enjoyed looking at the photos and hearing the kids tell me about why the photos were meaningful to them.

We also spent time looking at strong pieces of third grade writing in order to compile a list of what third grade writers do and do not do. Using this list, students wrote goals that they have for themselves as writers this year. A couple examples are shown below. Take some time to ask your child what their writing goals for the year are.

Next week we will begin planning for our personal narratives. Students will decide on the small moment they will write about and lay out their ideas for their first draft.

A parent letter explaining our narrative unit along with a checklist and writing sample came home in your child's Friday Folder. We use the same checklist and writing sample in class to set goals and improve our writing throughout the unit.


We are using a word study program this year called Words Their Way. The initial assessment that was given this week was to access the spelling development of your child. Based on this assessment, each student will have differentiated word work to practice. Your child will be bringing their list home next week with ideas on how to study their words.

Because this program is differentiated based on each student's needs, we will retest every quarter to measure growth.


Students were introduced to our Unit 1 Real World Task. For this task, students will be using estimating, addition, and subtraction to plan a trip around Illinois. They will be planning two routes and determining which route is the most efficient. This week students chose the 5 destinations in Illinois that they would like to visit.

Next week we will begin our first topic: Using place value to round to the nearest ten or hundred. This will also include introducing students to the life skill of estimating.

Informative letters about Unit 1 and XtraMath are in your child's Friday Folder. Also, students can find their IXL password on the note card that is in their binder.

Math Practice

Since we encourage nightly reading practice, I want to share a great website with you that allows students to practice and have conversations about math each night as well. The website is called Bedtime Math (there is also an app for it). The website offers a problem of the day that requires students to use problem solving skills.

I will occasionally be sending math practice work home for the kids to do, but I feel that using this resource at home encourages problem solving that requires deeper thinking and discussion.

A Few Reminders

  • If picking up your child after school, please remember that your child will be walked to your car when you get to one of the first three spots in line. If you choose to park and walk to get your child, please do not walk between cars that are waiting in line.
  • There is no school on Monday in observance of Labor Day.
  • Reading Log is due on Tuesday (9/8)
  • Friday Folders went home today. Be sure to go through them at home, sign and return them. Thanks!
  • Our new specials schedule is updated in your child's binder.