Third Grade Tribune

News from 3L and 3R December 15, 2015

Happy Holidays

We want to take a moment as the year 2015 comes to a close and thank you for your continued support. It's hard to believe that we are already half way through the school year. Your children have adjusted well to the many changes that come with a new grade level as well as a new building. We are very proud of them and their constant willingness to put forth their best efforts and work. They come to school with smiles and full of laughter each and every day. It is a true joy to be their third grade teachers!

We believe everyone is ready for a much deserved break. We wish you and your families a wonderful, safe, and relaxing 2 weeks. We look forward to seeing everyone upon our return in January of 2016!


In reading, students have spent the last few weeks studying folktales. While reading the myth, Hercules, and the fable, The Crow and the Pitcher,students identified the central message (moral/lesson) of each and responded to questions using evidence from each selection. Before winter break, students will compare and contrast three of the folktales we’ve studied and have the opportunity to make a billboard advertisement, persuading their audience to listen to the central message of one of the folktales. We have also been reading Dexter the Tough by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Haddix will be visiting our school on December 16th and students are anxious to meet her, as they’ve been excited to find out what happens in each passing chapter!

In writing, students are finishing their conservation brochures this week. They have done a wonderful job making these brochures 'pop'. Some students have chosen to illustrate the brochures and others have chosen to use technology to enhance their brochure. Overall, they've impressed me with their dedication to this quarter long writing piece! In language we will be finishing the study of verbs before winter break. Students have learned the difference between action verbs and linking verbs and have practiced identifying the subject and predicate parts of a sentence. On December 11th, students were reassessed for their third quarter spelling groups. Please continue to study spelling words with your child and ask them to practice the spelling patterns they are studying.


Units 6 and 7 will primarily focus on division. During these units students will explore division problem types and contexts that support them. They will solve problems with groups, arrays, and diagrams using counters and drawings. These activities not only build division concepts; they help students to learn to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Recently mathematicians were introduced to a new online math system know as Reflex. Reflex is a game-based system that is designed to help students of all ability levels to develop instant recall of their basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Reflex's adaptive online system continuously monitors performance and creates an optimal learning experience for every child. And, as parents, you have access to reports that help you understand your child's progress at a glance. With fast-paced games for students and rewards for effort and progress, students keep coming back for more!

Developing automaticity with math facts is essential for mathematical success. I would highly encourage students to practice their math facts nightly. Reflex is a fun and engaging way to do this at home.


"What is Matter?" This is the question scientists have been working on during our lab time. Scientists observed various properties of matter including color, shape, texture, mass, and volume. We used tools such as balances, spring scales, graduated cylinders, and syringes to gather our data. After analyzing the results scientists concluded that matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.

Next, scientists dove into the three states of matter- solids, liquids, and gases. We learned the characteristics of each by writing and singing a song called "What is Matter?". Ask your child to share this song with you to see if you can explain the differences between a solid, liquid, and gas.

Finally, with the help of our new classmate, Mr. Snowman, scientists will explore how matter can change from one state to another. For example, when a heat source is introduced a snowman can turn from a solid, to a liquid, and eventually, to a gas. Poor snowman!!

Important Dates

December 16- Margaret Peterson Haddix author visit

December 18- 2:20 Winter Party

December 18- End of Second Quarter

December 18-January 4- Winter Break

January 8- Report Cards Available on line

January 18- Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No School