Third Grade Newsletter

The Lamplighter School

All School Program


· Students come to school as usual

· Performances are at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

· Performances 1 and 2, please park in the north field and enter through Cook Gym.

· Performance 3, please park in the north field and enter through the auditorium.

· Only students performing in the third performance at 1:00 p.m. need to bring a lunch. Students do not need to bring a backpack.


Third graders are wrapping up their expert nonfiction books. They are including glossaries, putting interesting details in fact boxes, and decorating their covers. In our study of folktales, students compare versions of tales and practice expressing a concise plot summary of each. They also explore the values and ideals that the cultures, settings, and authors advocate through their stories. In class, we have read dozens of versions of Cinderella, from ancient to modern. The students compare and contrast the adaptations using graphic organizers, and note the common threads that link and support a theme: Cinderella stories feature a rags-to-riches progression, a typically magic helper, an important event, and an important person who takes an interest in the Cinderella figure. As the students begin to write their own Cinderella style tales, they will make sure to include these details and maintain a consistent theme.


During the winter break please be sure your child practices multiplication facts. We have worked on strategies for learning the facts during our All School Program schedule and will begin multiplication Mad Minutes when we return to school in January.

Also in January we will begin our work with really big numbers and decimals. The major concepts to be conveyed during this study are:

  • Recognition of numbers to the hundred millions as well as decimals to the thousandths place
  • Read, write, compare and order whole numbers and decimals
  • Use whole number and decimals in real life contexts

One concept that is very important to the understanding of decimals is recognition of what is representing the whole or one. This is an idea that we will stress in class in order to promote understanding. If you see that your child is confused when working at home on decimals, please ask if they can identify the “whole” of the problem they are working on. You might suggest they remember that 100 pennies equals the whole dollar, just as hundredths can equal one whole thing.

Special Area Classes

Art with Mrs. O’Krent

Third graders will begin the New Year with a study of Navajo weavings: the geometry, patterns, and materials used. They will then create a weaving on a small cardboard loom. Students will learn how to create diagonals, which open up a wide range of designs possibilities for their weavings. This study of Navajo weaving is integrated with third grade's Native American social studies unit.

Music with Mr. White

December brings the annual All School Program. The All School Program is a performance opportunity within the overall Lamplighter curriculum. This year's theme is "Continents.” Under Mrs. Ogden first grade will research and create its own performance piece. Second, third, and fourth grades combine their talents to research, create, rehearse, and perform their own pieces. The children combine learning and fun, working together to create and perform a polished work of art for their parents, relatives, and friends!

In January third grade begins its explorations of how instruments of the orchestra produce sound. Students will learn the basics of woodwinds through the recorder, each child being provided a fine instrument that they will keep. We also continue our exploration of traditional music notation, with students able to read rhythmic and pitch notation on the treble staff.

Drama with Mr. Peck

With the poetry readings now in our rear-view mirror, we turn our attention to the Native American plays. Students should be memorized and ready to act when they return from break. Have your child show off their section of the play to family and friends during the holiday season. It’s a great way to practice in front of an audience and receive feedback and ideas, and it can be a fun “join in” activity because someone has to play the other part! Contact Mr. Peck if you have any questions or need another copy of the script, which is located in the Resource Guide.

Technology with Mrs. Ogden
I am looking forward to technology time with your children again in January! When we return from break we will begin learning to create projects in Scratch 2.0. Scratch was developed by MIT to teach students programming skills. The program encourages problem solving and reasoning skills in an easy to use format that students find incredibly fun to use. Please help your child to remember to use all 10 fingers whenever he or she is using a keyboard. Students are invited to continue to practice typing skills with the fun at-home typing games, on the Web resources tab of my weebly page:

Media Center with Mrs. Vermillion

On Thursday, December 4, the Media Center hosted Lamplighter’s annual Open House, an event that allows parents and students to purchase books honoring faculty and staff. Thank you for your generous participation. If you missed this occasion, we do have books available. You may send an order form, an email, or phone the media center and we will be glad to take care of this for you. Danielle Cate and Treasure Hickman, co-chairman and their volunteers were instrumental in creating a successful event. Sandy Diamond and her staff created the support needed to make this run as smooth as possible.

Winter Break is a grand time to read together with your children. Curl up with a blanket and enjoy some of our newest purchases. Classic Starts 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Wishing Spell or Rick Riordan’s Blood of Olympus. Get lost in a book over the holidays!

Books have more than changed my life—they have made it possible.” ~Myra Cohn Livingston

Reminders & Events

  • Thursday, December 18 is Silly Sock and Holiday Hat day.

  • All School Program is Friday, December 19 with performances at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

  • A gentle reminder: In consideration of our children’s safety, heeled shoes of any kind, including wedge heels, are not allowed at Lamplighter. We encourage our students to play at recess and participate in PE---they cannot do this in heeled shoes, as there is a risk of injury. Approved athletic wear pursuant to the Lamplighter Handbook: all students should wear well-fitted, closed-toe, closed heel shoes of the "athletic" or "tennis shoe" style.

  • The winter holiday is December 22 until January 2, with classes resuming on Monday, January 5.

Ask your child...

  • What are some interesting things you have learned about China?

  • What are some useful multiplication strategies?

  • Which version of Cinderella did you enjoy the most? Can you summarize the plot?

  • What specific qualities make a story a Cinderella story?