3H Class Newsletter

May 2015

A Planetarium Visit, A Native American Guest Speaker, Jump Rope for Heart, Guest Visitors and More!

We've been a very busy class over the past few months. Aside from all of the material we've been learning in the classroom, we've also been exploring outside of the classroom. Our first special event was a guest very special to me who offered a little relief from PARCC testing. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, my mom came in to make Irish Potatoes with our class. This is a tradition my mom has been doing with my own elementary school class since I was young! The children got their hands gooey and sticky making Irish Potatoes and decorating sugar cookies. They also had a fun time hearing someone call me something other than "Mrs. Hessert!".


Our next big event was a guest speaker for our Lenape Lifeways Assembly. Our presenter had relatives of Native American decent and taught us so much information about the Native American way of life. The best part was that he brought a plethora of artifacts that he let us touch and even try on! It was the perfect introduction to our Native American unit. At Expo night, you have may noticed our weavings hanging in the hallway. Those weavings were based off a Navajo tale titled Annie and the Old One, which is the story of a young girl who tries to understand her grandmother's passing through their common bond of weaving. Most recently, children have been designing wampum belts in class, just like the Iroquois tribe did!


Soon after our guest speaker, we had our second field trip of the year to the Planetarium at Rowan University. Children not only got to learn all about constellations, planets, and space, they also had the chance to ride a bus and see college students on a college campus. They were very excited about that! The Planetarium was the perfect way to introduce our final Science unit - the solar system!


Some other highlights of the past fews months included Jump Rope for Heart where children got themselves active and moving while raising money for a good cause. I loved watching their jumping skills and spinning the rope for them! We also enjoyed showcasing our work at Expo Night, time away from school at Take Your Child to Work Day, and our visiting Poet in Residence, Therese Halscheid.

Darren trying our his prized possession with the class - his selfie stick!

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Teacher Appreciation Week Thank You!

On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who helped make Teacher Appreciation Week so special. From the flowers to the goodies to, my personal favorite, the homemade cards, I truly felt loved and appreciated as your child's teacher! I love what I do, and moments like those make it so much sweeter! I want to give a special thank you to the PTA for the generous gift cards, the organization of lunchtime goodies, and the incredible luncheon at the Smith's house. That week was such a treat and I appreciate every little detail!
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Check Out What We've Been Learning!

Writers Workshop: Children did a wonderful job finishing up our persuasive writing unit. Children learned the art of persuasion and the importance of presenting a clear and concise argument while still making it interesting for their audience. Children are very enthused about our newest writing unit: fairy tales! In our first part of the unit, children have been working on adapting one of two traditional tales. Children were able to choose to adapt The Three Billy Goats Gruff or Little Red Riding Hood. Our first goal in writing an adaptation was making a change to the story that was meaningful while still preserving the original story's story line. Students are now working on making sure that they use all of the wonderful skills they learned during our narrative writing unit to make their stories enchanting. Children have been acting out scenes from their stories to identify specific actions, thoughts, and dialogue they can include in their fairy tales.


Readers Workshop: We've started to revisit reading skills that we were introduced earlier in the year. In our recent stories children have worked on inferring, identifying author's purpose, recognizing the purpose of text and graphic features, and finding cause and effect relationships. Though these are skills we've learned about before, children have been challenged to take them one-step further at this point in the year. While reading A Mr. Rubbish Mood, for example, children were asked to think about author's purpose. Figuring out whether the author was trying to persuade, information, or entertain was not an easy task in a fictional text. Children were then asked to think about how the author's purpose related to a theme or lesson in the story. Similarly, children took the skill of finding causes and effects one step further by thinking about how one cause and effect can create a domino effect of causes and effects. After identify isolated causes and effects, children then found chains of causes and effects in the story. Children have also been gaining independence in crafting their Digging Deep responses. Children are working to create thorough responses to open-ended questions about the text that include specific textual evidence. That's no easy feat in third grade!


Math: We wrapped up Unit 8, our unit on fractions and then moved on to Unit 7 and 9 where children were asked to focus on learning multiplication and division strategies and apply them to word problems. We'll be revisiting fractions in lessons throughout the end of the year to help children who had trouble with the concepts, especially the concept of fractions greater than one like improper fractions and mixed numbers! In Unit 7 children learned more about multiplying and were able to extend the basic facts they already knew. They also learned how to solve number models with parentheses, and how to apply their knowledge of multiplication to number stories with money. In Unit 9, children learned to move beyond basic and extended multiplication facts to solving multi-digit but multi-digit multiplication problems. Children learned three strategies for doing this: partial products, lattice, and traditional multiplication. Other important skills learned in Unit 9 included dividing and interpreting remainders, finding factors and multiples of numbers, and learning about negative numbers.


Science: We found out the names of the five chemicals we worked so diligently to observe over the past few months. Most children were correct about their predictions! The mystery chemicals included talc (baby powder), sugar, baking soda, and alum.


Social Studies: Children have continued their study of Native Americans. We started learning about the Iroquois tribe and their way of life. One fun project we're working on now is, after learning about wampum belts, children have been working on creating their own wampum belt design using the symbols and colors that the Native Americans used. Children have also shown an interest in learning more about Native Americans on their own. Abby brought in some wonderful pictures of the recreation of a Native American village from her visit to the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. Children were so interested in her first hand experience of seeing how the Native Americans lived.


One other aspect of Social Studies we've been working on is our biography projects. Children read all about a person of their choosing and then created a biography project on that person. Children are excited to share their projects with their classmates, other third grade classes, and you on May 29 at 2:15. The sharing will be very informal, but you're more than welcome to join us!

Poet in Residence, Therese Halscheid

A highlight of the entire school year was writing poetry with a published poet, Therese Halscheid. Therese is a traveling poet who finds inspiration from the experiences she has all over the country and sometimes, the world. She writes incredibly moving poetry and inspires the children to do the same. Thanks to the PTA, she was able to join our class for three hour long sessions over the course of a week and, in those three sessions, she helped children craft incredibly deep and moving poetry on their personal reflections and the world around them. Her simple delivery, where she discusses an author's style and choices in a famous poem and then allows children to go off and try that style for themselves, offers children a chance to be creative without confines. I sincerely hope you had a moment to look over your child's poetry folder at Expo night. The poems are so moving that each year parents ask me whether or not children had help in writing the poems in their folders, which I assure you, they did not! Once we've finished sharing the poetry in school, look for you child's folder to come home so you can take a peek through it!


If you want to learn more about Therese, check out her website here: http://www.theresehalscheid.com/

Asha Christensen at TEDxKids@SMU 2012

Biography Book Sharing Session

Friday, May 29th, 2:15-2:45pm

Middle School Cafeteria

Join us in sharing our hard work on our biography projects!

PARCC Testing Complete!

I was so impressed with the way children were able to navigate their way through PARCC testing both in March and in May. I was proud of the number of children who worked with incredible diligence and used all of the time provided to compose thorough and detailed answers that displayed all of the wonderful knowledge they have. Trust me, those questions are no easy feat!


On highlight of PARCC for students seemed to be the lack of homework and the addition of extra recess! I have to admit, I like having time to watch them play and interact outside of the material we are learning in school.

Shelebration!

Friday, June 12th, 2-2:45pm

3 Lincoln Ave

Haddonfield, NJ

You're invited to a celebration of Shel Silverstein and poetry on June 12 in our classroom, room 214. Your child will be presenting Shel Silverstein poems independently, with a classmates, and as a group!

Estella's Poet of the Week project was making fans!

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Upcoming Student of the Week and Poet of the Week Dates!

  • Vinnie - Poet of the Week - Friday, May 22
  • Ian - Poet of the Week - Friday, May 29
  • Claire - Student of the Week - Week of Monday, June 1
  • Lily - Poet of the Week, Friday, June 5
  • Sam - Student of the Week - Week of June 8

Important Upcoming Dates!

  • Friday, May 22 - Early Dismissal for Students (12:30 pm)
  • Monday, May 25 - Memorial Day - No School for Students
  • Thursday, May 28 - 3H Greenfield Hall Walking Field Trip AM (permission slip to come home today)
  • Friday, May 29 - Biography Share at 2:15-2:45 in Middle School Cafeteria
  • Friday, June 5 - Spirit Day!
  • Week of June 8 - Spirit Week!
  • Friday, June 12: CS Awards Assembly
  • Friday, June 12: Shelebraton! @ 2:00 pm in our classroom, room 214
  • Wednesday, June 17: Field Day; 1/2 Day; 3H End of the Year Party @ the Vest's house!
  • Thursday, June 18: 1/2 Day
  • Friday, June 19: 1/2 Day, Last Day of School, 3H End of the Year Party rain date!