Mrs. Richards' Class

January News


Happy 2016! It sounds like you all had a wonderful holiday break. I just wanted to say another thank you for all the very thoughtful and generous gifts! The students came back on Monday focused and ready to learn. 2016 is going to be a great year for the Warriors!

I hope that you all liked the beautiful frames and snowman art that your children worked so hard on. That project was solely done by the kids and it was fun to see how proud of their work they were. I realized that I neglected to send home the frame hangers that I had for them. They were supposed to be taped to the back so you had the option to hang them if you wanted. They will come home with the students tomorrow.

Field Trips: We have 2 field trips scheduled for our 3rd graders. The first one is coming up quickly on February 8th. This will be a STEAM focused field trip to Legoland. The second field trip will be in coordination with our study of Native Americans and is scheduled for May 10th. We will be visiting Mission Trails to explore where the Kumeyaay, a local Native American tribe, lived long ago. We have decided to collect for both field trips now to simplify the process. To make these outside learning opportunities possible, we need to ask for a voluntary donation of $25 to cover the cost of Legoland and bus transportation for both trips. The Mission Trails field trip will be free except for transportation. Please be looking for a letter with more information, permission slips, and chaperone sign ups by the end of the week.

Running Club:

Running Club is going strong and it is unbelievable how many miles the kiddos have ran so far this year! But it cannot happen without your help. We really need volunteers to pass out lap sticks during recess. It is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00-11:10. There is a Sign Up Genius website with dates through the end of the school year, so you can sign up for the days that work best for you (see below). It is really easy and very rewarding. The kiddos love it and will be so happy to see you out there! Thank you to everyone that has already helped out this year and I hope to see you out on the track again soon!

A Day in the Life of a Third Grader

Language Arts:

The students have started doing Language 4 Today as part of our morning routine. Monday-Thursday they complete 4 questions or activities based on a passage or grammar rules. On Fridays we have a short quiz which will test their understanding of the skills reviewed that week.

In reading we are back to learning different types of Reading Literature. The students did a great job understanding and applying the concept of point of view before the winter break. We did writing based on a mentor text Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne where the students wrote from an additional point of view based on the details in the story. We have now moved on to studying fables, folktales, and myths. The students are highly motivated to learn about and read these new types of literature.

In spelling we are still working on reviewing and applying various spelling patterns. I also started some students on vocabulary this week. Vocabulary will be focusing on academic language. The students who now have vocabulary are responsible for knowing how to spell all 10 words and knowing the meaning in order to use it correctly in a sentence for the test on Friday.


We have started our unit on opinion writing. I had the students write a piece last week on whether they liked sunny weather or rainy/snowy weather better. I was surprised at how many preferred the cold weather! I will continue to build on their previous knowledge of the opinion writing process using Standards Plus and mentor texts.


We are moving right along in Unit 3. This is a very challenging unit in that there are 3 major concepts for the students to learn and master. So far we have covered graphing and time. We started measurement this week. Please continue to work on telling time and figuring out elapsed time at home. We will review before the test, but many are still struggling with that skill. I will send out an email when we have a tentative test date. This is one they will definitely need to review and study for.

Puzzled Penguin will begin his second round of visiting homes this week. This time your child will write a math problem for the next child who takes him home to solve. They will solve the previous problem that was written. They continue to be so motivated by this fun activity!

Social Studies/Science: We have started our STEAM rotations. Our class is now going to Ms. Schofield 3 times/week for 40 minutes. They will be focusing on matter for the next 6 weeks. Make sure to check in with them and have them tell you what they are learning!

Academic Sharing: We will be starting Academic Sharing in 2 weeks. All students will be required to pick a topic, become an expert, and be prepared to teach the class in a short 3-5 presentation to the class. I will be sending home a detailed letter with the schedule and expectations outlined.

Thank you once again for all of your support!