News from Room 3

March 23, 2015


We have been working on cause and effect the past couple of weeks in reading. We reviewed key questions to ask when thinking of cause and effect, and discussed that an effect is "what happened?" and a cause is "why?". In working on this skill, we read many picture books and identified the causes and effects throughout the books. We read Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola, which provided good examples of effects, or events that happened in the book because a young boy does not listen to Strega Nona, and students helped identify many causes of those events. We also read A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. After reading the book, students had to cut apart different examples of causes and effects from the book and pair them together. Students then had to put the causes and effects in sequential order, as they happened in the book. Students had a blast with this activity, and the book provided many good examples of causes and effects for students to think about. We also discussed the lesson the author wanted us to learn from the story, which was a valuable lesson of being yourself and being accepting of others and their differences.

We have been practicing the skills of summarizing and identifying cause and effects in guided reading groups. With summaries, we have practiced identifying the main events from a book and writing a summary in sequential order using transition words. We will continue to work on this skill within our groups. We will also be working on making inferences in shared and guided reading lessons, and supporting inferences with text evidence.


We are wrapping up Unit 7 in math, and will be testing this week. Unit 7 has focused on the following key topics:
  • Addition and Subtraction Strategies
  • Length Measurement Units and Tools
  • Data Displays

Students began this unit by using multiples of 10 as breaking points when mentally adding or subtracting 2-digit numbers. Students used their knowledge of combinations of 10 (two numbers that add to ten) to solve problems like "32 plus what equals 40". Since students know it takes 8 from 2 to 10, they also know it takes 8 to get from 32 to 40. They then extended this strategy to problems with differences that are larger than 10. For example, to solve "44 plus what equals 70?", we discussed breaking the problem into two easier problems by thinking it takes 6 to get from 44 to 50, and then it takes 20 more to get from 50 to 70. Students then can solve 20 + 6 to find their answer.

Students also practiced solving problems involving three or more addends. We discussed that the turn-around rule can work for more than two numbers, and we encouraged students to look for numbers in which they could make combinations of 10.

We explored measurement by using yardsticks and metersticks to measure lengths and distances in yards and meters. Students were introduced to personal measurement references to estimate lengths. By the end of this unit, students will have been introduced to many length measurement units (centimeters, meters, inches, feet, and yards) and many measurement tools (inch rulers, centimeter rulers, yardsticks, metersticks, and tape measures). In future units, students will encounter two questions with length measurement problems: What units should I use? and What tool should I use?

We wrapped up Unit 7 by collecting measurement data and organizing the data into a line plot and frequency table, or tally chart.

Unit 8 will focus on the following key topics:

  • 2- and 3- Dimensional Shapes
  • Partitioning Rectangles
  • Equal Groups and Arrays

Writer's Workshop

We are wrapping up our Author Study Unit on Laura Numeroff. Students did a great job of adding transitions into their writing, and revising by adding more content and detail to their stories. Be sure to ask your child about their topic and character they chose to write about. We will continue to work on revising and publishing this week.

Our next writing unit will be a Persuasive Letter. We will begin this unit by looking at some mentor texts and begin a list of "noticings" about persuasive writing. We will write a shared letter together, before students begin their own letters to someone of their choice. Students will begin to brainstorm ideas for a topic, something they are asking for, and begin to think of their three supporting reasons as to why they should get what they are asking for. After drafting the body of their letter, we will focus on opening and ending their letter in a creative manner, using voice to appeal to their audience.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, March 28: Lincolnwood Spring Fundraiser from 7:30-10:30 P.M. at the Evanston Ecology Center

Friday, April 3: No School

April 6 - 10: No School (Spring Break)

A Few Reminders

  • Please review your child's homework each night.
  • Please sign the homework sheet AND behavior sheet each night to help reinforce behavior expectations.
  • Please send your child to school with a healthy snack each day.
  • Please be sure to send your child to school appropriately dressed for the weather. Now that it's spring, we are starting to have outdoor recess pretty consistently and students need to still be prepared for cool temperatures with jackets and sweatshirts.