3H Class Newsletter

January 28, 2014

Our First Weeks Back!

We've used our time in January to get right back into the swing of school! We picked up right away with learning new information across all subject areas. We also set some personal goals in terms of resolutions, and we have been working hard to regulate our own actions. We've also linked taking charge of our own actions to our seven habits of happy kids specifically the two habits of "putting first things first" and "thinking win-win". Of course we've also enjoyed some wonderful Poet of the Week projects where we made snowmen from marshmallows and created homemade dream catchers, our fabulous Student of the Week presenters included Will Duncan and Darren, and our surprise guest readers. We also had two other special treats this month which were the Mad Science Assembly and our first field trip to see a live performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Arden Theater. During the Mad Science Assembly Will C. was selected to test out air pressure, Andrew helped the scientist create a vortex, Estella helped fly a hot air balloon and Clementine rode a hovercraft! 3H has obviously been very busy!

Check Out What We've Been Learning!

Writers Workshop: We're wrapping up our informational unit by publishing our informational texts via a website called haikudeck.com. Children were forced to work outside of their comfort zones while writing their informational text and they did a wonderful job. They were expected to produce an informational piece that included a table of contents, an introduction, a non-fiction text feature, a closing, and chapters complete with correct paragraphing, complex sentences, comparisons, and at least one vignette.

Readers Workshop: We revisited some of our reading skills and started learning some new skills over the past few weeks. After reading Kamishibai Man, we read an actual Japanese legend, Peach Boy. Students were asked to use the skills of visualizing and finding cause and effects. After finding causes and effects in the story, students illustrated their favorite scene in the book without ever seeing the pictures. Soon we will compare their pictures to the illustrators pictures in the story. In lesson 10 we read a biography titled Young Thomas Edison where we learned about the famous inventor and found main ideas and details about his life. Students then partner read biographies on other famous people including Albert Einstein, Wilma Rudolph, Benjamin Franklin, and Ruby Bridges and looked for main ideas and details in those stories. In our most recent story children read Jump!, a biography about Michael Jordan, and looked for facts and opinions in the story. We learned that facts are pieces of information that can be proven true or false and opinions are pieces of information that have certain language and can be disagreed with. Finding facts and opinions was challenging at times. Try finding them at home in your read-to-self book!

Math: We started Unit 5 by learning about place value of whole numbers. Once we had a firm understanding of that, we extended that knowledge to place value of decimals. We first learned about decimals by thinking about money and comparing tenths to dimes and hundredths to pennies. Then we used base-ten blocks, thinking of a flat or 100 block as one. We thought of tenths as one long connected stick and hundredths as single cubes. Finally, we thought of decimals as part of a meter. We compared decimeters (10 cm) to tenths, centimeters to hundredths, and millimeters to thousandths. Students will take the Unit 5 test on decimals and other material covered in Unit 5 this Friday.

*This Friday, students will also take the 11 and 12 multiplication tables test. After this test, children will have learned all of the times tables from 1-12. Next Friday, February 6, children will take their first 100 question mixed multiplication fact test (much like the addition and subtraction tests we took in the beginning of the year). The test will be timed for 5 minutes and students will take the test with the goal of answering all 100 questions in 5 minutes. It is very important that students have the facts committed to memory rather than using repeated addition. Once students have answered 100 questions in 5 minutes they will move on to a 100 question mixed-fact division test. Please make sure you are practicing your facts each evening!

Science: We started a new unit in Science that students are very excited about - chemistry! Students are so excited to wear their googles and experiment with the five unknown white chemicals that we will be testing over the next couple of weeks. Each experiment children work in groups to add a new chemical to each of the five chemicals and then they record the reactions. Children use the reactions to try to decipher what each of the five mystery chemicals are.

Social Studies: The students have really taken a liking to Social Studies, especially the geography aspect of the subject that we've been focusing on. We learned about landforms across the United States in class and that discussion extended into discussions about different parts of the country and the world. Students have just started a project called "Me on the Map" where students look at their own location in relation to the world.

Computers: We've taken on three separate tasks in computers. The first task is to help children prepare for PARCC by familiarizing themselves with the website features and tools. We also took a practice test on the website (available in a link in this newsletter) as a class and the children took the practice test independently. Our second project in computers is working on Haikudeck.com where children are publishing parts of their informational texts. Children can access this website and work on this project from home by going to the "Tech Resources" tab on my e-board and clicking on the "Haiku Deck" note. Our third project is using Excel to create graphs that record the amount of plants grew over the first few months of the school year. Children are learning to use excel functionally, but they are also learning to edit their graphs for color and font.

Important Dates and Information

  • Want to help our classroom? We're in need to paper towels! Please send in an extra roll if you have one at home. Thank you!
  • Friday, January 30 -Spaghetti/Bingo Night - 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday, February 3 - Author visit from Jerry Pallotta
  • Friday, February 6 - Spirit Day
  • Wednesday, February 11 at 11:00 - Book Fair
  • Friday, February 13 at 11:30 - Class Valentine's Day Party
  • Friday, February 13 - Half Day
  • Monday, February 16 and Tuesday, February 17 - No School for students
  • Week of March 2 - Read Across America Week
  • Friday, March 6 - Spirit Day and Family Fun Night
  • Week of March 16 - PARCC PBA testing

Upcoming Student of the Week and Poet of the Week Dates

  • Friday, January 30 - Marcus - Poet of the Week
  • Week of February 2 - Estella - Student of the Week
  • Week of February 9 - Loudon - Student of the Week
  • Friday, February 20 - Clementine - Poet of the Week
  • Week of February 23 - Tory - Student of the Week
  • Friday, February 27 - Daire - Poet of the Week
  • Week of March 2 - Ana - Student of the Week
  • Friday, March 6 - Claire - Poet of the Week
  • Week of March 9 - Owen - Student of the Week
  • Friday, March 13 - Max - Poet of the Week
  • Week of March 16 - Marcus - Student of the Week
  • Friday, March 20 - Catherine - Poet of the Week

Scholastic Book Orders due March 2!

  • Scholastic Book Catalogs went home last week. Orders should be placed online and are due March 2!
  • Ordering online is fast and easy - VISIT scholastic.com/readingclub
  • ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code: HG4VD
  • SHOP from a carefully curated selection of the best books, value packs, and Storia eBooks
  • SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classroom
  • All book orders will be shipped to our classroom so we can celebrate the joy of reading together!

Important Online Resources and Login Information

There are many amazing resources for you to use on the computer at home. Included here is information for logging onto Typing Agent, Haiku Deck, Moby Max, Think Central (Journeys), and Everyday Math. This information can also be found on my e-board.

Typing Agent:

  • Children can log on through this link:
  • Username: Student ID number (used to log on to computers at school)
  • Password: "password

Haiku Deck:

Moby Max:

  • Click here to work log onto Moby Max: http://www.mobymax.com/signin
  • Username: student ID number; Password: "password"
  • Practice third grade math skills with "Math" icon
  • Practice reading and answering questions with the "Stories - Reading Fiction and Nonfiction" icon
  • Practice your facts! Use the "Fact Master" icon to practice your addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Students will start with a placement test which will assess which facts students need to work on most. Fact practice will then be based on individual student's current knowledge. Children have a limited about of time to answer each fact, which is excellent for practicing speed. When children answer a fact incorrectly, the correct answer will be explained to them.

Think Central (Journeys):

  • Click here to access the Journeys website https://www-k6.thinkcentral.com/ePC/start.do
  • Username: student ID number; password: "password"
  • Click on "My Library" to access our student ebook. We are currently reading stories in Book 1. If you and your child will be reading the Journeys story online, please note that in their homework planner so I know he or she does not need to bring home their Journeys textbook.
  • Want extra reading material that relates to our main selection? Click on the "Journeys Leveled Readers" for short stories that correspond to the main selection.

Everyday Math Online:

  • Click here to access the Everyday Math https://www.everydaymathonline.com/student_login.html
  • Username and password are located in the front or back of each child's planner.
  • Students can access Everyday Math games for grade three and before or beyond. Children really enjoy playing these games in class, and they are a wonderful way for children to practice their math facts and skills!
  • You can also access "Algorithms in Everyday Mathematics" and the "Algorithms Handbook" which both explain the different processes we learn in class in case your child is having trouble with her or her homework.