Spotlight on Specials

Third Grade- 4th Quarter 2015-2016

Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


During the fourth quarter, third graders completed three projects. First, students compared and contrasted ideas about Europe and Asia beliefs about dragons. After this discussion, students used a variety of clay techniques to form clay dragons. The color students chose to paint their dragon represented the type of dragon the made. For example, a blue color represents a water dragon. Next, student learned about an artist named Maria Sibylla Merian, who is well known for her drawing of bugs. Merian was both an artist and somewhat of an entomologist! After discussing her work, students created their own bug drawings. To close out the semester, several classes created a loop sculpture. The loops were inspired by Suzan Shutan's loop installations. For this project, students worked in teams to create a giant sculpture. If you would like to learn more about each project, please read the note that accompanies your child's art portfolio! To receive updates about the art room follow me on twitter @RiverviewArt.


In our library classes this quarter students that participated in the William Allen White reading program voted for their favorite 3rd-5th and 6th-8th nominees. It was fun to see the variety of favorites this year! We explored books from the reference section of our library. We discussed the purpose of a dictionary. Students looked up words with a partner, read the word’s definition, and then matched their word to a word found in the definition. We also looked at a thesaurus and discussed its purpose. Students looked up words and identified synonyms that could be used in place of that word in their writing. We discussed the purpose of a dictionary and practiced looking up words and their definitions. We enjoyed stories read by members of the Screen Actors Guild online. We also enjoyed hearing some of the new books that have been added to the Riverview collection. Third graders can begin reading the William Allen White nominees for 2016-2017 this summer! Information about the program and a Reading Log to track your child’s reading will be posted to my website by June 1st. You can visit my website at: Please keep reading and enjoying books from the public library this summer!


3rd graders continued learning about playing recorders during our 4th quarter in music class. They learned about the basics of reading music notation and playing an individual instrument while reading the notation. There are a lot of skills to think about as they play recorders – using soft, gentle air, covering the holes completely to play the notes correctly, arrange fingers in the correct pattern to play each note, reading the notation to know which note to play, using the syllable “doo” to start each note, and counting the rhythm of the song as it is played. I have been really impressed with how well some students play already! Keep these instruments in a safe place so they’ll be ready again in 4th grade! We also spent time watching “The Sound of Music” and discussing the musical. Next year, your students will be invited to join in our Soaring Singers Choir! Look for information about this great opportunity in August! I hope you have a wonderful summer and take some time to sing and dance along the way!


This year has certainly flown by! It has been such a busy quarter, but filled with a bunch of fun events. I was constantly amazed at the third graders and their maturity and caring personalities. I noticed that about these students all year long! The students were briefly reacquainted with the parachute, (still a fan favorite), and were able to play some classic games. We then got right into striking, where students learned about striking an object using different body parts. We were able to strike balloons, as well as dodge balls and wiffle balls. The students learned how to swing their arm correctly and the amount of force they needed to put into it. We were able to learn the skills and also put them into different game like situations. After spending some time on striking, we got into volleyball. We learned all about volleyball, when it originated, and how it is played. The students were able to learn the main skills and got ample time to practice during different activities. They are all amazing athletes! They also completed their final Pacer Test of their third grade year! The last couple weeks of PE were spent talking about Field Day. We talked a lot about sportsmanship and the importance of showing great sportsmanship no matter the outcome of the activity. We practiced showing our sportsmanship while playing different games that were played during Field Day. The words they learned during this quarter were fitness, kinesthetic, agility, athlete, volley, and champion. I have had an awesome year getting to know the students, and can’t wait for the years to come!


In Third Grade we finished up our graphs in Excel. They turned out fantastic! We talked a lot about internet safety and what that means for us when using the internet at home and school. We also discussed what cyberbullying looked like and the steps to dealing with that. I would appreciate it if you would talk about safety and cyberbullying with your children. Things we push are not giving out personal information online or chatting with people we don’t know in real life and above all not meeting anyone anywhere. Please encourage them to come to you if they feel uncomfortable about anything they come across. They need to build an understanding that they can come to a trusted adult to get help or ask questions without getting into trouble. Also stress the importance of being a responsible online person. If you wouldn't want your grandma to read a posted comment or a message you might send....don't send it!

If you are looking for an activity for your child to do over the summer, consider typing skills. My site offers a full page of typing games. Check it out! I hope you have a super summer!


In guidance the last nine weeks have been busy ones. We continued to work in our Too Good for Drugs curriculum learning about good decision making, consequences, peer pressure, peer pressure strategies and ending with the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol on the body. We also had lessons on Careers, Trustworthiness, and Citizenship. Have a wonderful summer and I can’t wait to see you back in August.

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