Medcalf Minutes

Aug. 31 - Sept. 4

Anderson Grove Purpose and Direction

Purpose: The purpose of Anderson Grove Elementary is to prepare all students to achieve their greatest potential and to positively impact the future.

Direction: In collaboration with families and community, our direction is to support and prepare all students for success through high expectations and individualized learning in a safe and positive environment.

Values & Beliefs:

Family Atmosphere

Collaboration and Communication


Continuous Improvement

3 Be’s – Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible

Notes from Mrs. Medcalf

  • Thank you to all families who have generously supplied our classroom with so many supplies! We are lucky to have so much support! Tissues and hand sanitizer are always on our request list, especially as we head into cold season! Thank you again!
  • Homework - Students did an amazing job of completing homework and getting turned in on time. Look for homework envelopes to come home on Tuesday and will be due back on Thursday.
  • AG Expectations - The staff and students at Anderson Grove continue to work hard implementing our school-wide expectations. Below is a copy of expectations for being safe, respectful, and responsible in various locations around school.
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Monday - Day 9 - Media/Check Out Day
Tuesday - Day 10 - Music
Wednesday - Day 1 - PE
Thursday - Day 2 - Music
Friday - Day 3 - Art

Literacy Link from Ms. Johnson

Here are some great 3rd grade books that you should check out!

Summer Reading is Killing Me by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith (Puffin, 2000). Sam, Fred and Joe happen to have in their possession a bona fide time traveling book. When one of the boys absentmindedly puts their summer reading list in the book, they find themselves in the midst of a literary battle of evil against good!

Judy Moody by Megan McDonald (Candlewick, 2002). Yes, Judy is a third-grade girl but she is very much the tomboy. Judy comes up with the most intriguing solutions to problems such as having to sit next to a kid who eats paste and a toad that pees on her!

Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka (Puffin, 2004). The book begins with three boys celebrating a birthday. One of the presents happens to be a book with a card that states, "Be careful what you wish for." Once the book is opened, the boys are transported back to the time of knights, giants and dragons.

Check back next time for some more great reads!

A Peek at our Week

**Note: It's an exciting time in 3rd grade! This year, our students are part of a group helping to pilot new reading, writing, and spelling programs. For reading and spelling, we are piloting the materials from National Geographic's Reach 4 Reading program. We will not be using the Words Their Way approach with a sort - students will receive their new list of words each Friday to bring home over the weekend. In writing, we'll be piloting the newest version of Lucy Calkins materials. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.**

In Class: Students will continue developing their "muscle memory" so they can increase their stamina while at Read to Self during reading workshop. They'll also begin working on building stamina for Read to Someone. Using realistic fiction texts, readers will learn about plot and the comprehension strategy "Plan & Monitor." This strategy focuses on previewing and making predictions about what they will read about. Vocab: action, difference, gift, problem, receive, solution, kindness, need, plot, prediction, preview, understand, value, want.

At Home: Many studies have shown that students who read 20 minutes a day have increased vocabulary skills. Help ensure your child's success by doing this with him/her. This week, practice previewing and predicting by following these easy steps:

1) Read the title of the book or chapter. Think about what you'll read.

2) Make predictions as you read.

3) Read on to check whether your predictions are correct or incorrect.


In Class: Writer's will collect a couple more ideas for stories and then move into understanding expectations for workshop this year. They'll build their stamina for writing as the begin our first unit: personal narratives. (This builds off of the "small moments" they studied in 1st and 2nd grade.) The first strategy that writers will learn is how to generate ideas for a story.

At Home: Practice our strategy this week. Ask your child about a person that matters to him/her. Think about three "crystal clear moments" with that person to help brainstorm ideas. Can your child retell the story across his/her hand or by using signal words? (first, then, next, after, finally)


In Class: Mathematicians will continue to practice addition and subtraction with 2-digit numbers using the "add/subtract by place value" and "add/subtract one number in parts" strategies. They'll do this when learning to play the game "Capture 5." They'll also work on figuring out "how many more" to 100 to understand difference using the 100 chart and number line to represent their thinking.

At Home: Encourage your child to practice his/her addition and subtraction facts by playing the following games at home!

Number Jump


Ghost Blaster

Sum Sense

Addition and Subtraction Game

Social Studies

In Class: Historians will build on what they've learned about Native Americans and explorers to understand the impact on later communities. They'll study different communities (missions and colonies) and people that eventually fought for America's freedom from England. Vocab: legend, fort, colony, colonize, mission, citizen, expedition, territory, drought, debt, interpreter, Quaker, pilgrim, tax, protest, legislature, patriot, independence, revolution, constitution.

At Home: Check out these websites with your child to learn a little more about the concepts being studied this week.

Famous Explorers

Lewis and Clark

The Colonies

American Revolution Sites


In Class: Students will study their first list of spelling words. The pattern this week is short a and short o vowel sounds. Words: action, bonds, chance, confident, doctor, example, follow, grand, happen, humanity, longing, outstanding, possible, talent, tasks.

At Home: Your child should practice his/her words everyday for 10-15 minutes. I recommend keeping a spelling notebook at home. Have your child try using each word in a sentence and then writing it out in the notebook. He/she can even draw a picture with each one to show understanding of the word. We also have access to our spelling list words on This site has fun games for students to play while studying their spelling words. There are parts of the site that require payment but please do not feel like you need to pay for them! The free games are a great way for students to review!