Augustine Spud"tastic" News!

Growing leaders with GRIT!

Curriculum Updates

It is hard to believe that we are already in the third marking period. This is a critical point in third grade. In this marking period the students will show the most growth. Not only do the expectations increase but your student’s working stamina is also challenged. This marking period really begins to focus on independent learning and reading in order to learn across all parts of our day. Additionally, this marking period begins to mirror fourth grade expectations. This is where grit and having a growth mindset is critical!


To follow are curriculum updates.


PSSA- Due to the many, many, many snow days- the PSSA assessment has been pushed back. Our scheduled days are now March 24th- April 4th. I know that the previous dates were on your calendars and that you were trying to ensure your child’s attendance. I urge you to still ensure that your child is in school for our testing window. From this point forward we are working very hard to prepare for these achievement tests in reading and math. Their attendance daily until the test is essential for your child’s preparation. I am weaving PSSA test- taking strategies into our school days. This is being done within the curriculum. The children are learning how to answer multiple-choice questions and understanding how to write a fully developed written response that cites evidence from their reading. My goal is to really build their self confidence and to familiarize them with the expectations as this is their first time taking the PSSAs. I am very confident that each student will do well, as the Central Bucks curriculum is rigorous and does a fantastic job in preparing students for all state assessments.


Reading- Recently the students finished Unit 2- Science at Play. The students really enjoyed this unit and gained a greater understanding of how science plays a role in everything we do. Within this unit, students learned the following skills and strategies: antonyms, summarizing, identifying cause and effect relationships, the importance of text features, contractions, analyzing idioms, compound words, similes, making predictions, identifying text structure, and how to answer comprehension questions in a paragraph structure. The unit culminated with the students completing their first inquiry project. The students worked in a small group in order to answer a question related to science and their reading. The students made a conjecture, researched their question using Lead 21 resources, and put together a paper presenting their learning. I was very impressed with their enthusiasm and most importantly their learning.

We are now working in Unit 4, The Story of the Earth. In this unit students will answer the question, What is the story of the Earth? We will focus on various skills and strategies like visualizing and questioning. The students will continue to strengthen their skills when answering a comprehension question that requires text evidence and is written in a paragraph form.

Please don’t forget how important it is to sign your child’s reading log. This ensures that you have reviewed their reading response. I hope you are seeing a big improvement in the reading response from the start of the year.


Writing: As you know grit is a big focus in our classroom. A story that models the power of grit is Leo the Lightning Bug. We first looked at this story in the beginning of the year. Our purpose in looking back at this story was to use it as a mentor text for our writing. The students wrote similar stories that focused on having grit and on having a growth mindset. Within this fiction writing unit, the students applied not only good story structure skills, but they also applied literary devices in order to make their writing have a stronger voice. The students will be typing their stories over the next week. Please be on the lookout for a copy arriving home soon.

Our next unit centers upon researching a famous American who made a difference. We are linking our current Social Studies unit with writing. The students will further develop their research skills and write various pieces to show their growth as writers and their knowledge of the famous American they are researching. They will also create a power point focused on how gritty their famous American was. This intense work will culminate with a wax museum project. I will send more information soon. With our many snow days, dates are changing for many things.


Math- As you know we are in Unit 6- Geometry. We are just about finished with the Unit 6 lessons, but I will not be testing for another week or so. The students are going to need to review skills before a test can be considered. Again, our many snow days have challenged the students in making the necessary math connections.

Thank you for you commitment to your child’s study buddy fact challenge. It is so important that your student know their multiplication facts. Now that we have independently studied each times table, we will now shift to daily fact practice with all facts. In class, the students will show their mastery by taking daily multiplication quizzes.


Social Studies- We are currently learning about Famous Americans and ordinary people who made a difference in their community. This unit supports our work in writing, as previously mentioned. The students will take a test on their understanding in the next week or so. Again, our snow days have delayed our timeline for completion.


Science- As soon as we complete our Social Studies unit, we will begin our unit on Motion. In previous years, this unit strongly focused on simple machines. The focus has now shifted to the concepts and big ideas centered upon motion. The students will be completing a Motion Assessment instead of the simple machines assessment from years past. The students will love this unit! From creating collisions, to understanding concepts such as gravity and friction, to using laptops and motion detectors in order to describe and track motion- this is an exciting unit!

Quote of the week!

Reminders

1. Please encourage your student to have a good chapter book each day! If you need recommendations, please ask me!


2. Please sign your student’s homework book daily.


3. If possible, please consider replenishing your student’s supplies. Pencils are in great demand now!


4. We will have our Valentine celebration this Tuesday, 2/18.

Just a little grit!

Have you seen the recent Olympic commercials? P&G has created a line of commercials that focus on the effort and grit that is needed to be at the games. At the end, it does thank moms, but I think these commercials are applicable to both mom and dad!
P&G Thank You, Mom | Pick Them Back Up | Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Thank You

Thank you! Thank you so much for your continued support of both your child and me. I especially want to say thank you for supporting our snow day work. I know first hand how hard it can be to have your child do school work at home. It has been challenging to say the least with the constant days off from school to build on concepts and new ideas. The work that you supported your child with at home was helpful to keep them connected to our classroom goals.



In case you were wondering, I initially held off with my weekly updates because of the days off. I never anticipated planning lessons for just a day at a time. I didn’t want to send information and then have to revise it constantly. I did rely upon your student to share the happenings in our classroom. Regardless of the future snow days- my weekly updates are back! Thank you for your patience and understanding.