3H Class Newsletter

May 2016

Police Dog Visit and Field Trips

We hit the ground running after Spring Break and haven't missed a beat since. On Thursday, March 31, a police dog came to visit the third grade classes at Central School. We thought a visit from real, live police dogs would be a great connection to one of our recent Journey's stories, Aero and Office Mike! It was so neat to hear about how much training and schooling both the dog and the officer had to go through. There were so many similarities between the police dogs we met and Aero, including their origin, the Czech Republic!

This Spring, we've also embarked on a few field trips. On Friday, April 8, we visited the Planetarium at Rowan University to kick off our new science unit on Space. The following week, April 15, we took a walking trip down to Greenfield Hall to start focusing our learning from communities in the United States to our own community. In addition, on Tuesday, May 17, the PTA was nice enough to purchase tickets for all third grade classes to visit the Arden Theatre for a showing of The Stinky Cheese Man. The play's genre will be the perfect compliment to our final writing unit, fairy tales. Adventures like these help us create third grade memories that last a lifetime!

Field Trip to see "The Stinky Cheese Man" at the Arden Theatre

Tuesday, May 17th, 8:45am

40 North 2nd Street

Philadelphia, PA

We're going on our last field trip! Third grade classes will be going to the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia to see a performance of The Stinky Cheese Man. This is a wonderful connection to our upcoming writing unit, fairy tales! An email will be sent out this week when our field trip permission form has been posted to Genesis. Next week, look for a chaperone form in your child's take home folder if you're interested in joining us!

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Check Out What We've Been Learning!

Math: We've been learning all about fractions and multiplication. Learning about fractions takes a certain mindset so it's a topic we revisit often just to keep our minds thinking that way. One way I try to help the children think about fractions as a part of a whole is to think back to when we learned about decimals and relate the two. At home, pointing out fractional parts (i.e. "We're 2/7 of the way through PARCC" was our morning message one day this week) is a great way to help your child continue to think about fractional parts. Some particularly challenging aspects of fractions that we continue to focus on have been finding fractional parts of a whole, for example, finding 4/5 of 20, and locating fractions on a number line, especially when they move into mixed numbers and improper fractions. Try problems like these out at home as well!

Children were especially proud to learn how to multiply multi-digit numbers by other multi-digit numbers. We learned two strategies: partial products, which we call the "bowtie" method, and lattice. I've been adding videos of these strategies to our homework notes so if your child is ever having trouble using a strategy, feel free to see if there is a video on that night's homework note to help! Children actually learned lattice through discovery, by looking at a completed lattice problem and figuring out the method. I was impressed with how quickly children were able to grasp each of the tools and how eager they were to learn more. We took a minute in class, in fact, to think back to how daunting they would have seen math problems that solve with ease way back in September. Don't worry! I will also be teaching traditional multiplication to the class!

Reading: Children read two biographies recently. Children worked hard to identify main ideas and details in Young Thomas Edison. We followed that story with Jump!, a biography of Michael Jordan. Children worked to identify facts and opinions in that story, which proved to be a challenging task at times. Children also learned about Albert Einstein, Ruby Bridges, Wilma Rudolph, and Benjamin Franklin by reading picture book biographies and searching for facts and opinions in partnerships.

In our most recent story, The Science Fair, children worked on being close readers. We practiced being close readers by looking at characters' actions, thoughts, and words in video clips, short excerpts, picture books, and our shared text. We've also been practicing this skill in guided reading. One thing we highlighted about close reading is that good readers stop, reread, and examine parts of the story that give lots of evidence about the characters, setting, or plot.

We also recently learned to find causes and effects in Dogzilla, and we learned to identify non-fiction text features in A Tree is Growing. One important lesson we learned about non-fiction texts is why readers choose to read non fiction which is to learn and to remember the information. Non-fiction text features help readers do those two things. The non-fiction stories we've been reading also tie in perfectly to our informational writing unit!

A final goal we've set as is class is to really focus on being strong and engaged independent readers. Children have been working towards reading at least 1-3 books a week. On Fridays, children have been writing to me about their independent reading book.

Writing: We dove right into our persuasive writing unit by writing a few flash drafts about big changes we wanted to see in the world and smaller changes we wanted to see on our playground. Children were encouraged to discuss and brainstorm persuasive writing topics at home by looking for problems they see around them and thinking of potential solutions. Over the course of a few weeks, children worked on writing one persuasive speech of their choosing. Children examined strong speeches and learned what writing moves they could incorporate into their own writing.

Children are now working on their informational writing. We have some awesome topics in class ranging from sports like football, baseball, bowling, hockey, surfing, roller blading, archery, and soccer to topics like baking, embroidery, art, and even electric circuits. Children have loved researching about their topic and becoming experts. We've learned that a lot of information writing uses our narrative and persuasive writing moves to make it more interesting than just facts, facts, facts. One important goal we're working on a class is self editing and recognizing missed punctuation, capitalization, word endings, and misspellings on our own. It's a tough job!

Science: We completed our chemistry unit. We started by learning about physical properties of chemicals. Children worked in groups to identify five unknown, white household chemicals. Each science lesson children added a new chemical to each of the five unknowns and recorded the reactions they observed. Children used those reactions to make predictions about the unknown chemicals. Don't be surprised if you see your child looking through the household chemicals you have at home! In the end, children made concrete poems to display their predictions about the unknown chemicals.

Social Studies: We continued to learn about continents and countries. We're slowly zooming in our on world to learn about states. Children have really enjoyed figuring out their global address. They completed a "Me on the Map" project where children illustrate each part of where they live. It was a hit! Most recently, we've started to focus more on Native Americans. The students began learning about Native Americans back in March when we had a Lenape Lifeways Assembly. Now we're learning more about the Native American way of life and children are going to start a fun weaving project this week!

PARCC Testing Information

PARCC Testing Monday, May 2 - Wednesday, May 11

English Language Arts Test: Monday, May 2 - Thursday, May 5

Math Test: Friday, May 6 and Monday, May 9 - Wednesday, May 11

We have been/will be testing in the morning from Monday, May 2 - Monday, May 9. This typically happens from 8:55 - 10:45. We will be testing in the afternoon on Tuesday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 11. This will begin around 1:00 and go until the end of the school day.

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3H Shelebration Performance

Friday, June 10th, 2-3pm

1 Lincoln Avenue

Haddonfield, NJ

You're invited to our class Shelebration Performance! Children will practice, recite, and act out poems written by the famous poet, Shel Silverstein. This event is not only fun, it is a wonderful way to practice reading fluency and public speaking skills. Children will need to work on props at home to prepare for their poem. Look for information in your child's planner in the beginning of June. We can't wait to see you there!

*In the event that an issue arises on that date, the performance will be rescheduled for Monday, June 13 at 2:00 in our classroom.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • May 2 - 11 PARCC testing

  • May 6 - Spirit Day - Wear your Central School gear!

  • May 12, May 19 - Battle of the Books Lunch Meetings

  • May 12th, 16th, 18th and 19th-ART GOES TO SCHOOL

  • May 13th-Interim “Send Home” Date (3:30 pm)

  • May 17 - Arden Theatre field trip

  • May 24 - Central School Spring Concert @ 7 pm

  • May 26 - Battle of the Book County Battle @ Central School

  • May 30 - No School - Memorial Day

  • May 31 - June 2 - Visiting Poet to third grade

  • June 6 - 10 Spirit Week

  • June 10 - Shelebration 2:00 in our classroom, Room 214 (make-up date June 13)

  • June 15 - Field Day!

  • June 15 - 17 Half Days

  • June 17 - Last Day of School

Poet of the Week Schedule

  • Sage - Friday, May 6
  • Henry - Friday, May 13
  • Sam - Friday, May 27

Student of the Week Schedule

  • Xander - Week of May 9
  • Jocelyn - Week of May 16
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