Fusco Fun-Times

2016-2017 School Year

Celebrate Creativity, Courage & Collaboration!

This week, we celebrated International Dot Day!

We were able to connect, collaborate, and celebrate creativity this week. I read the book, The Dot by Peter Reynolds. This is a story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to "make her mark". What begins as a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self discovery and sharing. This has inspired our class to join in on this exciting self discovery and continue growing our brains and working on a growth mindset!

We were also able to Skype with the author and listen to kids all over the world ask questions about what inspired Peter Reynolds to write this book. I think we have some inspiring authors in our room, just waiting to create a new book of their own.

We ended the week by creating our own dots or "making our own marks". This was an exciting week and I was just as encouraged this week, as the students were too to make a "mark on the world"!


We set a class goal for the month of September! We will be working on lining up for the hallway quietly. If we are successful in reaching our goal 80 % of the time in September, our class will have an electronic party!

We are off to a great start so far!

Curriculum Information


This week, students took their Beginning of the Year Reading Assessments to help establish small reading groups! While I am meeting with the Guided Reading groups and performing individual conferences with your child they will be engaged in Daily 3 activities. Daily 3 is the strategy we will use during our Literacy block to practice and perfect our reading. The 3 areas we concentrate on are: Read to Self, Word Work and Work on Writing. In addition to Daily 3 I incorporate Data Driven Instruction (DDI) into every facet of our learning. Your child will become aware of reading concepts and ideas that will truly impress you! We will focus on Informational Text and all of its components, Literature and Foundational Skills and Vocabulary. We will work hard to grow as readers this year!

Our Reading curriculum is Reading Street and our vocabulary words come from each weeks story based on the phonics concept being taught. To teach with fidelity all students will be responsible for these words weekly. There is a selection of challenge words and the original set of words go along with the Vocabulary skill for the week.

We will take a Spelling Test on Friday each week and will be using the Spelling City app to perform this task. Each week your child will have required spelling activities through Spelling City. They are allowed time during Daily 3 Word Work, but if they are not completed during the school day they are encouraged to use home time to complete the tasks. If two or more are not completed by Friday they will be completing them during our WEF (Wonderful ExcitingFriday) time, so please encourage them to be staying on task with these activities, so they do not miss out on this fun time.

*** Please note if your child is not in school, they can always access their Reading task through our Haiku page. There is a variety of tasks that they can complete that aligns with what we do in class and is good practice for the Reading concepts of the week. Also, if your child misses a Friday, the Reading Street assessment is always assigned and should be taken over the weekend. Please make sure you are reminding your child to go to Reading Street Realize and complete the test. Thank you for your partnership regarding this.

Look at our wonderful hallway with our Best Part of Me writing!

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Weekly Reading Snapshot


Weekly Story: Kumak's Fish-Tall Tale

Comprehension Skills: Sequencing

Conventions: declarative and interrogative sentences

Vocabulary: unknown words and context clues

Writing: Personal Narrative

Guided Reading and Fluency practice at home!

We are working hard in our guided reading groups and getting into an excellent routine. Our guided reading groups are based on word knowledge, comprehension, and fluency.

For extra fluency practice, your child is bringing home an activity to complete at home. Your child will read the passage three times on three different days of the week. Please time your child for one minute. Count and record the number of words your child reads correctly. Record this in the boxes at the bottom of the page. The goals is try to increase the number of words each time your child reads while concentrating on these skills:

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The focus of writing in third grade is to be able to write a well-thought out response to literature, whether it be fiction or informational text.

During writing we focus on sentence development, parts of speech, paragraph development and poetry writing.

This week we continued to work on our personal narratives. We will go through each step of the writing process-brainstorming using a graphic organizer, rough draft, adding sensory words and transitions, revising and editing, final draft, and publishing!


This week we started Topic 2. Multiplication facts and using patterns. Please make sure your child is practicing their facts nightly. Thank you for your help at home!

Xtra Math/Front Row/ Prodigy– These are useful math practice websites we will be using in our classroom. Please do not forget to make fact practice a part of your evening routine. The quicker you set it up as a requirement the sooner your child will just do it on their own:) The extra practice is critical to mastery of the facts. Thank you for supporting the nightly practice of Math facts.

Practice Pages- when these come home, it is very important that your child is completing their math homework and returning it the next day. Your child will very rarely have math homework on Friday’s, but please make sure you are practicing their math facts as this will help them as we continue to work with them daily in math.

Guided Math: Guided Math will be a practice in our classroom. It is very similar to Guided Reading and allows me an opportunity to work more closely with all of my students one on one or in small group, while other students are working on lesson work or practicing their math facts for mastery.

Social Studies

Unit 1- Map Skills: Reading and Creating Maps

Unit 2- 5 Regions of the United States- Which state is in which region

Unit 3-Illinois- History and Changes to the state

***We will complete one unit of Science and then switch to Social Studies. It is easier to complete one whole unit in each subject than switch back and fourth each day since we are on a very tight schedule daily.


  • Weather and Climate- Building a hurricane proof house
  • Forces and Interactions- Build a roller coaster
  • Life Cycles and Traits- Problem based learning activity​
  • Ecosystems- Building a VEX robot to save an animal
  • Homework Policy

    Homework Policy:

    1st day late– note attached to assignment notebook to be signed by parent and returned to school the following day with finished assignment.

    2nd day late-student will be a part of a Friday Study Hall Group and will not attend W.E.F. (Wonderful Exciting Friday).

    * Missing work more than a week late will receive a zero.


    Absentee line—847-659-3711

    Please send a note in if you will be picking up your child

    Please Read 20 minutes every night and record it on your child’s calendar in their agenda (planner). Also, please sign your child's agenda each night.

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    Important Dates


    28th-Spirit Wear order forms due

    28th-Fall Picture Day-forms to come home soon!

    30th-Crazy Hair Day


    7th- No School- Institute Day

    10th- No School- Columbus Day

    28th-Career Day


    4th- End of Trimester 1

    21st & 22- No School - Parent Teacher Conferences

    23rd- No School

    24-25- No School- Thanksgiving Break


    22- Jan. 3rd- No School- Winter Break


    4th- School Resumes- Welcome Back

    16th- No School - MLK Day


    15th- End of Trimester 2

    16th-17th- No School

    20th- No School- President's Day


    27th-31st- No School- Spring Break


    3rd- School Resumes after Spring Break

    14th- No School

    24th- No School


    26th- earliest last day of school- if no emergency days are used

    29th- No School- Memorial Day


    2nd- tentative last day- End of 3rd Trimester


    Volunteers- Do you want to help out in the classroom? If so, you need to fill out and return the volunteer form. A copy of this form was at Open House. If you need another form please let me know.

    Calendars were sent home this week for September. If you are unable to make your time and day, please let me know.

    Thank you!

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    Box Tops

    We are collecting Box Tops in our class. The class that collects the most by October gets an extra recess! So fun! Send in those Box Tops if you can! Thank you so much!

    Music News from Mrs. Crowe

    This week we worked on a song from Morocco called "A Ram Sam Sam." We added instruments to the song and played a passing game. In Morocco, when they play the game they play with rocks! Ask your child what we passed around the circle instead of rocks!
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    Conley Spirit Wear

    Conley Spirit Wear order forms are coming home today. Orders are due by Sept. 28th

    Classroom donations needed:

    Tootsie Rolls




    Thank you so much!

    An ending note....

    We had another fun and fantastic week together. I am so happy to share and be a part of your child's life. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask!

    Enjoy your weekend!