Room 28 Happenings!

Important Dates

Today: Math tests should be in red folders on the way home! If your child does not have their math test it is because they made corrections in class today and I still have them. Those not sent home today will be sent home tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21
: Curriculum Night for 4K-2nd at 6pm in the mini-theatre.

Thursday, September 22: Early Release day. Dismissal at 11:40

Thursday, September 22: Curriculum Night for 3rd-5th at 6pm in the mini-theatre.

Friday, September 23: Interims go home.

Friday, September 23: Green Apple Day of Service.

Content and Curriculum

Reading and Writing: As writers we are going to continue building up our personal narratives of a true memory story. As readers, will be focusing on how to talk about our books and retell the most important parts of a story.

Math: We will begin our inquiry into addition. As third-graders, we will focus a lot on regrouping when adding 3- and 4-digit numbers. A firm understanding of what regrouping means and looks like in addition will make subtraction across zeros and subtraction with regrouping much easier to understand when the time comes. We will be spending lots of time, especially next week, practicing our regrouping strategies. My goal is for your mathematicians to truly understand how numbers work-not just be able to repeat a behavior they've seen me demonstrate.

Science: We will spend this week focusing on the influencing factors behind why/how habitats change (natural occurrences, human influence) and how animals adapt to changes in habitat. Please see your child's unit of study notebook for what we have covered most recently.

Homelessness in Columbia

I am a firm believer that all the learning that happens within our classroom 180 days of the year should lead to social action and change by your children. As a result, I try to introduce current events and world happenings in our classroom through the lens of "how can I as a third-grader at DFES make a tangible difference?" Our very own Savannah has taken up the mantel of helping the homeless population in Columbia by creating homeless outreach bags. When Savannah shared about this during morning meeting one day, the rest of the class latched on and we as a classroom community are brainstorming ways to help Savannah help the homeless population of Columbia. We're still in the early phases of our social action but I am BEYOND excited about the initiative and agency your humanitarians have already shown! This promises to be an INCREDIBLE look at how learning can be a tool for social change :D

Here's the link for Savannah's GoFundMe to raise money for the outreach bags if you'd like to donate:

How to Improve Reading Comprehension

In reading workshop and throughout the day as we use reading as a tool for learning, I emphasize with your kiddos that reading is a meaning making process. We use the language of "reading is understanding" and "what we read has to make sense." I've copied a great article about how you can help your growing reader improve their reading comprehension at home. This article by Yamini Pathak is a must read!

1. Find books that interest your child.

It sounds like a no-brainer to pick out books that speak directly to your child’s passions, but for a while, I was making the mistake of bringing him books that I thought he should read instead of the ones he wanted to read. Once I realized that he would devour any book that featured dragons, dolphins, or magic, things became much easier.

I’ve learned that, while you need to let your kids lead when it comes to choosing books, it also helps to introduce a variety of formats. Here are some categories you can explore:

· Picture books intended for older kids

· Graphic novels

· Nonfiction books, atlases, children’s encyclopedias

· Digital books for the iPad or laptop

· Magazines like National Geographic Kids or Highlights

A fantastic resource for book lists by age, grade level, and topic is the Pragmatic Mom blog. Whenever I’m looking for great books related to a specific topic — for instance, books about birds, life on a farm, or science fiction for kids — I check the blog and rarely come away disappointed.

2. Read aloud.

Once my kids moved from picture books to chapter books, I found it tiring to read longer texts aloud. Besides, I figured they could read on their own now, so what was the point of reading to them? My son’s teacher helped me see the many benefits of reading aloud to older children:

· Older kids love being read to as much as younger ones do! It is easier for kids at the end of a long school day to have a loving parent read to them so they can relax and simply focus on the story.

· When you read together, you can stop from time to time and engage in meaningful discussion about characters and plot points. This will allow your child to spot the defining moments in a story. You can expect some wonderful and surprising conversations to emerge from these exchanges.

· Your child can also stop you and ask for clarification when you read together, instead of making incorrect assumptions about difficult words or situations.

3. Listen to audiobooks.

Audiobooks offer similar benefits to reading aloud, especially when you make it a family activity. We use audiobooks in the car on road trips, or even when running errands around town. Aside from giving parents a break from reading aloud, some benefits of audiobooks are:

· To introduce complex books, like older classics with great storylines. We listened to Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories” multiple times on a recent road trip. I know my kids would not have the patience to read through the complex sentences in old-fashioned English, but the beautiful prose makes for wonderful listening.

· Kids learn the correct pronunciation for new words. Many audiobooks are read by actors with crisp enunciation, and kids can learn how reading with expression brings a book to life. When you purchase an audiobook online, not only does it include a synopsis of the content, but it also has a review of the narrator’s reading style, which allows you to get an idea of what the book will sound like.

Some parents I know are concerned that kids will get so used to listening that they won’t want to make the effort to actually read. This can be remedied by having kids follow a print version of the book along with the audio.

4. Talk about what you read.

This is it! Discussion is the key to great reading comprehension skills. It is also the most time-consuming activity, and requires parents to commit the time and effort on a regular basis. We’ve started a weekend book club at home with an hour (sometimes more) dedicated to discussing what we read. It has not been easy, but the resulting improvements have been obvious.

The more you and your kids talk about the books they read, the better they will understand what they read. The following are useful points to touch on in your book discussions, as suggested by my son’s language arts teacher:

· Discuss how the book makes your child feel

· Compare and contrast the main characters in the story

· Draw parallels between characters and real life situations faced by kids

· Draw parallels between characters in the story and those in books read previously

· Discuss “what-if” scenarios and make predictions about what happens next

· Discuss “what would you do if this happened to you?” scenarios

· Talk about what a character did and what it tells you about her

Contact Me

Third-Grade Teacher

Dutch Fork Elementary School

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