Atkinson Gazette

Room 203's Weekly Newsletter

What's UP in Room 203?

We have a pretty smooth week ahead as we slowly get back in the groove of things. Middle of the year testing has opened.

  • FPA (Reading Levels): I plan to do this with students who were below-level at the beginning of the year this week.
  • MAPS: We will take our middle of the year MAPS assessments the first week in February. Math on February 2nd and Reading on February 4th.
  • Math Benchmark: We will take our middle of the year benchmark tomorrow.

We have also figured out our Spring Field trip since our first plan had closed down. We will be going to the Flight Museum on March 29th. This is our first time to go to the Flight Museum and it looks very neat! I think the kids will love it! We will also be participating in a "Living History" program, which will be very similar to Biography Day.

Super Student: Addi Lewin

Pawsitive Panther for Caring/Friendship: Jackson McGinley

Academic News for the Upcoming Week


Last week your students did a great job of grasping different division strategies in case they didn't already know their fact families. They loved being able to learn different ways and each student found a way that really worked for them. We ended the week by having each student create their own real-life word problem and model it each of the four strategies. They were given the option to do this with technology and without. These will be on display on their lockers as we finish up tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to the middle of the year benchmark. Students will be assessed on problem-solving with multiplication and division. Students will need to look for keywords to know which operation to do. We have talked about these keywords daily. Once students finish, they will be given the rest of our math time to finish up their division strategies posters.

Tuesday we will kick off our new unit of Personal Financial Literacy. This is where our classroom economy really comes to life. We can relate our economic system in the classroom with real-world math lessons! Students will explain the connection between human capital/labor and income, describe the relationship between the availability or scarcity of resources and how that impacts cost, identify costs and benefits of planned and unplanned spending decisions, explain that credit is used when wants or needs exceed the ability to pay and that it is the borrower's responsibility to pay back the lender, usually with interest, list reasons to save and explain the benefit of a savings plan, including for college, and they will identify decisions involving income, spending, saving, credit, and charitable giving.

Keep in mind, students will continue to have math homework to reinforce skills learned in class as well as Daily 6 Review on Thursday nights. Students will also be asked to study multiplication facts for at least 40 minutes every week.


Students will be finishing up the differences between summary and retelling. They worked on the Rainbow Fish this past week and saw how when writing a summary, you only need to include the main character, problem, and resolution. They quickly noticed how concise it needed to be. Students will be getting a summary page to complete for homework this week. It will go home Monday and will need to come back Wednesday. Students will have to be reading a fiction book for this assignment.

Students should be reading 30 minutes per night and should be taking jots where applicable.

Science/Social Studies

Last week students enjoyed being able to track weather in various parts of the world. They also loved looking at our radar maps and seeing how the rain storm that came through us last Wednesday came from nothing and developed into a thunderstorm.

This week we will begin our study of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun. By the end of our unit, students will be able to:

  • Describe the positioning of the sun, moon, and earth.
  • Describe the sizes of the sun, moon, and earth in relation to one another.
  • Describe the sun's location in the solar system, what its made of, and the benefits of the sun.
  • Explain what causes day and night using the words "rotation" and "axis".
  • Describe the cause for the changing season using the words "revolution" and "orbit"
  • Explain what causes shortest and longest days of the year.

We plan to wrap up this unit by the end of January with an assessment.


Last week your students each picked a topic they considered themselves to be experts on. We've got a wide range of topics! We started by having students create a table of contents for their book. Soon after, the students got stuck, so I taught them structures to see their books in different ways, and then they created a new and improved table of contents. We left on Thursday with me just giving them the time to write. This is exactly what will take place this week. Most students are working on writing chapter 1 and when they finish they will move onto chapter 2, and so on. My goal is for them to write what they know and later I will teach them how we can use resources and information to make our writing stronger.

We started learning the different cursive curves and strokes last week. This week we are learning which lower case letters follow those curves. Cursive is being implemented on Monday's and Wednesday's. You may see some cursive come home for homework on those days.


Spelling homework will go home on Tuesday and the test will be on Thursday.

Rule: Some words are spelled with initial three-letter clusters (spr-, thr-, spl-, scr-, shr-, str-)

Example: threw, scram, shrimp, sprinkle, strike

Non-negotiables: new, several, wouldn't, similar, number

Remember, the non-negoitables WILL be tested no matter what. On Spelling City, students can practice all of the 3rd Grade Non-Negotiable words.

Important Dates

MLK Holiday

Monday, Jan. 18th, 8:30am to Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 3:30pm

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

No School for students

Class Photo Day

Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 8:30am

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

Grandfriends Day

Friday, Feb. 5th, 9am

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

More details to come!