The Ritenour Review

2016 - 2017 Third Grade Weekly News

Happy New Year!

Hello Again! It is great to be back in the classroom and spending time with your children again. I truly missed this part of my life. I appreciate everyone who reached out this week and made this week a little easier to transition back. Our little man is doing well and is loving his time with other family members throughout the week.


This week was busy bit good. In our unique situation, we took time to catch up on each others lives. Three months is a long time in the third grade world, so we had a lot of sharing each day.


Outside of the social parts, we got our feet wet with the academics again, too. In reading, we started our new read aloud, Wonder. This is a beautiful book about a boy that was born with deformities and does not seem ordinary to everyone looking at him; however, he feels ordinary and just like every other kid. In this book, we will study the characters that come along. Its a great character building book and allows us to jump in our character studies unit beautifully. In math, we started our Multiplication Passports! This is a lot of fun for the kids. This is a fun way for them to work through their facts (2-12) without the pressure of doing it on a specific timeline I would create. Each child will grasp their facts a different rate and this allows each child to perform at his/her best abilities. Several have already received a few stamps in his or her passport!


In writing, we will start our newest unit, Baby Literary Essays. This is a great unit to connect to our Character Studies Unit. In fourth grade, they will write a longer Literary Essay and it will be great for them to have the experience this year practicing this newer writing skill.


In science, we kicked off our rock unit!! I hope your child has talk about this at home, because it seems to be all the buzz at school. Rock are one of my favorite science units in third grade, so I have been happy to see all of the excitement surrounding the topic. IMI Concrete company gifted each third grader in our school a rock box. We will use those ten rocks throughout our unit and will be testing some of the rocks for different minerals. At the end of our unit, the kids get to take the rock boxes home. Several already have big ideas for creating a bigger rock box throughout time, too! Love it!

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

No Seating Arraingment

Hopefully you all had a chance to ask your child about this new change in our class! It has caused a lot of excitement in the classroom. Yes, I am now allowing each child to pick his or her own seat each day. For a person that likes control, this was not an easy decision or one made lightly. During my three months at home, I read a lot of teaching blogs and research and loved this direction for elementary classes. I felt that this idea was great for creating a student-centered classroom.


Before I simply took the assigned seats away, the class brainstormed rules to be applied to the concept and how this can help us become better students. I could've written rules on a chart paper and made sure the kids did exactly what I wanted, but this would take away from the independence of no assigned seats. In a beautiful way, the class came up with a great set of rules - many that I had in mind myself!

  • Asking yourself if this is a person you can control yourself around?
  • Sit next to someone who helps you learn - thinking of their skills.
  • Be mindful
  • Think about where you learn best in the room.
  • Take the decision seriously


Ultimately, I can make a change if its going to affect the learning process and take away from the day's joy and meaning. On this journey, I want each kiddo to think about this decision daily. From a teacher's perspective, I cannot wait to see how they grow in this area. Do they pick good partners? Do they think about the area of the room?


We decided that we would give this a one-week trial. This new change can add a lot to the learning process; however, it is not worth continuing if it brings stress, anxiety or distractions. Friday was our first day with this system and honestly, it was smooth! I expected a lot of hyper behavior or giddiness, but it was beautiful! This may be the calm before the storm, or this might be a great direction for these fun third graders. Only time will tell!


Please, continue to ask you child about his or her seat daily. Why did he choose his seat? Does this seat work well for her or should she change the next day? This will help all of us stay accountable for this new (non)arrangement. As always, please, keep me in the loop with what is working well or is not working well.

Next Week

Coming up next week:


Language Arts: We will continue with our Character Study Unit.


Math: We will review Equivalent Fractions and practice efficient multiplication strategies.


Word Study: We will have one sort for the entire class for the next few weeks. We are going to look at Homophones together. A list of this coming week's words were sent home yesterday - definitions included.


Science: If you have not heard already, we are ROCKING out in science! Yes, the rock unit is up and running and we are having a blast.

Special's Schedule

  • Monday: Art
  • Tuesday: Wellness **bring/wear tennis shoes
  • Wednesday: STEM
  • Thursday: Music
  • Friday: Library

Upcoming Dates!

  • January 16: MLKJ Day! No School
  • January 17-18: Winter NWEA
  • January 19: Field Trip to the Indiana State Museum
  • January 27: Pajama Day!
  • January 27th - Parents' Night Out and Silent Auction
  • January 30th - Simon's Hook Convocation (Topic: Bullying, Kindness, & Mutual Respect)
  • February 4th - Talent Show Dress Rehearsal (2:30)
  • February 9th - PTO Meeting (BME Cafe at 6:00)
  • February 11th - BME Talent Show (BME Cafe at 2:30)
  • February 25th - Boone Meadow Blast - free event hosted by PTO
  • February 27th - ISTEP+ Testing begins

Scholastic Book Orders

If you would like to order books for your child through scholastic's website, please click on the link above. Checks can still be sent to the classroom and I will mail the orders.