Atkinson Gazette

Room 203's Weekly Newsletter

What's UP in Room 203?

This week students were busy tackling middle of the year assessments. Students showed great progress and their weaknesses helped me plan out what still needs to be addressed before the STAAR test in April.

Pawsitive Panther for December: Gracie Spillman

Super Student: Tyler Higley

Academic News


Students have finished up Personal Financial Literacy! Students have enjoyed learning about the pro's and con's of credit and saving, what income is, and the differences between planned and unplanned spending. You might want to ask them if the new toy they want is planned or unplanned spending :)

Next week, students will focus on fractions! Our study will take two weeks. We will start by learning about what a whole is and then discuss what a fraction of a set is. To supplement the learning going on in the classroom, students will be asked to practice these skills on at home for about 10 minutes each night.

Keep in mind, students will continue to have daily math homework to reinforce skills learned in class as well as Daily 6 Review on Thursday nights. Also, please please please continue to work multiplication facts at home. We will continue to have quizzes Wednesday's and Friday's.

Below students are working to create the perfect Coffee Stand! They need to be money conscious and make sure they pay attention to the weather to best support their customers. This game is available to play at home through my website under Math Workshop.

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Last week students were introduced to close reading. We created the anchor chart below and discussed how when attacking a reading test, we are very much like reading detectives. We truly can't answer thick questions, with just one reading. We took our beginning of the year benchmark and modeled how to be a reading detective so when we took our middle of the year benchmark, students could apply those strategies learned. Our class average was about a 80%, which is a 20% gain from the beginning of the year! Way to go!
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Science/Social Studies

Students will continue to work on their catering company. By this point in their project, students have created a name and a food type for their company. They have also created a logo. This week, students will work on a menu and decide how much per plate the dish will cost.


Students have been spending their time learning different strategies on how to revise their work. As hard as it is to tell them that their first draft isn't publishable, we must! We have taken our first drafts and added, taken away, or rearranged words. Students have learned how to add depth where needed using depth charging. They have also learned how to take a word and add structure to it by adding details (shiny, cherry red rather than just red).

We had planned to have our first writing piece done by Friday, but with all these strategies being taught, we are still making our writing better. I will keep you posted on when students will be publishing their first personal narrative.


I have made an executive decision to not continue with Words Their Way. The students were not understanding it and were not applying it in the classroom.

From now on, students will all be learning the same spelling rule. In third grade, students are required to learn 7 rule patterns. We will follow a weekly schedule with a test on Friday. There won't be a list of words, but students will be practicing the pattern and are expected to know how to spell the pattern correctly. For instance, we will begin consonant doubling when adding an ending (hop to hopping). Throughout the week students will practice applying that rule to multiple words. Tests will always be on Friday's and students are welcome to take home their Word Work journal to practice the rules during the week.

Please remind your child that these words are not just to be memorized for the test on Friday's then forgotten. They need to be transferred and used in every subject, and most importantly WRITING!

Genius Hour

Many students are well on their way to the creating stage. While this is not a timed project, students are moving at all very difference paces. We have been spending the majority of our time researching and now we will take our information and make it our own. Last week students had a lesson on what plagiarism is and how we can avoid it.

*If you student is ready to start creating, make sure they bring their materials to class Friday so they are not wasting an hour. Many are choosing to do digital components, which is great, but some are needing poster board and other things. Make sure you discuss this with your child before this coming Friday.

TOP NEWS by Jackson Dean

Free College

President Obama will propose to give FREE community college for 2 YEARS. That would be awesome if he does that because it would help people who can not afford college.

Paris Massacre Attack

This affected paris because terrorist killed 12 people. This occurred on Jan. 7, 2015. This happened because a French satirical magazine had published controversial Muhammad cartoons. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility on the 13 of Jan. 2015.

Important Dates

Report Cards

Friday, Jan. 23rd, 3:30pm

This is an online event.

Please make sure you have electronically signed once you've viewed it.

Grandest Friends Day

Friday, Jan. 30th, 10:30am-12pm

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

GRANDest Friend's Day is a great opportunity for our children to show off their school work, art work, teachers and lockers to a grandparent, aunt, uncle, family friend, or any especially GRAND person.

Our time will be distributed like this: 10:30-10:50 Gym/10:50-11:10 Class

Valentine's Day Party

Friday, Feb. 13th, 2pm

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX