Camp Packard: 3rd Grade News

In efforts to Connect Parents and Guardians to our Classroom

Math in the classroom...Geometry, Time, Measurement and more...

Geometry has been a lot of fun for our students to learn about. Geometry is everywhere. Have your child show you the 2D and 3D shapes all around your home :) Elapsed time is a hard concept for students to understand. Having your child figure out the time you need to leave the house in order to arrive on time to an appointment, a hockey game, or a birthday party for instance will help them see the real world connection with importance of time. Fractions continue as part of our Measurement unit. Reading a ruler correctly, rounding to the nearest half or quarter inch is a skill we are working on. One way I have worked with fractions at home with my boys is measuring with our measuring cup as we bake. Showing them equivalent fractions, and adding and subtracting fractions, has helped them see that fractions don't have to be so scary to use. :) We have also created a all-school graph in our front hallway, you may have seen some of its data. The class enjoyed helping me put up data related to the cost of the most popular meals in the lunch room. Very interesting! You can see some of this on our blog...

Reading in the classroom... helping your child make inferences.

We are working on making students tune into the inferences we make as readers and the clues that are helping us make those connections as we read. Here is a list I found that can help with making inferences at home. I hope you find them interesting and useful :)

Things Parents Can Do:

  • In a non-judgmental way regularly ask the child what they think about things and what reasoning did they use to come to that conclusion.
  • Explain that we make inferences all day long, not just when were reading. Encourage a conversation about this. For instance, what does he learn from a person‟s facial expression? How does he know that?
  • Make your own thinking processes more apparent to the child. (Teachers call this a think- aloud). For example, you notice that the sky is turning dark, explain to the child that this means that it is probably going to rain.

  • Play guessing games like “Twenty Questions.”

  • Ask the child higher order thinking questions like “Where are do birds go when it rains?” “What would have happened if the South had won the Civil War?” Ask the child to explain his reasoning. Ask follow up questions to model how thinking evolves over time.

  • Ask the child to figure out unknown words using context clues and ask her to explain how she figured out what the word meant.

  • Let your child express his own conclusions and have him describe his thinking. Let him decide whether he has come to the best conclusion or not.
  • Have the child make predictions at places in the book that are the “cause” of an effect. Again, have the child describe her thinking.
  • Help the child think about the bigger picture by discussing the title or significant events in a story. Guide the child to realize that thinking changes over time as more is learned.

Resource copied from

Writing and Research in the classroom...

In Media, students are starting their country studies and research on the North American Continent. Students are choosing a topic of interest to compare and contrast between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico among other countries in North America. Students will record information they learn and compare and contrast the information learned between the countries. Students will then use persuasion to encourage travelers to go there for their found reasons. It will be so exciting to see what they develop and create on their own. We plan to be done with this project in time for the Global Arts Festival to present to families.

We have also been Skyping with others around the country and have some future dates set up to play Mystery Skype. Have your child explain how we "play" Mystery Skype. We also took a virtual field trip to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West via Skype. It was so cool having these museum staff show us numerous artifacts the Plains Indians used to live and survive. Ask your child what they used as a "water bottle". :)

Students are also continuing to do their own individual Genius Hour research on wonder questions they want to find the answers to that keep swirling around in their minds... once they find the answers to their question, they can put together a presentation to show to their classmates what they have discovered.