Think Tank in Third

Weekly Update- September 9, 2016

Our Week at a Glance

Another great week of learning happening in The Think Tank!

Reading: We are almost through the 1st 20 days of Reader's Workshop. We're working hard to establish reading expectations and assess students to prepare for Guided Reading groups! Next week we will start talking about Author's Message and working in our Readers' Notebook.

Math: We started working on rounding to the nearest ten and hundred this week. We will continue working on rounding to the nearest 10 when there are more than two digits in a number, because that's were most students struggled. We are really focusing on proving our answers, because we learned that mathematicians justify their answers. For this skill we would expect students to use a number line or another method to justify their answer. We are trying to get away from students just using the trick of "5 and above round up," because this doesn't know that they actually understand why they are rounding up.

Writing: We worked on creating a heart map to brainstorm ideas for writing. We will continue working on making lists to begin Writer's Workshop so that students become more comfortable coming up with ideas to write for an extended period of time. We want writing to be enjoyable for students, so in the beginning, they will be writing about many things of their choice, that they love.

Genius Hour: Students have chosen their topics for Genius Hour and started coming up with questions for their research. Next week we will discuss thick and thin questions to narrow them down for research.

Coding: This week we did a hands-on, unplugged (no technology) coding activity. For this activity, students got to write directions for making a paper airplane. We have learned that coding involves algorithms and programming, which requires a programmer to come up with a series of directions. We discussed how we have to be very precise when writing directions. We also know what the word precise means!

Social Studies: This week we started learning about maps to introduce our Flat Stanley project. Please be sure to turn in an address to mail Flat Stanley if you have not yet done so.

Important Upcoming Dates

Picture Day: Friday, September 16th. We will send home order forms as soon as we get them.

Curriculum Night: Thursday, September 15th from 6:30-7:30 PM. We will only have about 40 minutes in the classroom, so we will most likely not have time to answer everyone's questions, so we will be sending home a short survey for you to send in your questions ahead of time, for us to address that night. We will also have an area where you can write your questions down if you think of one that night and we will get back to you the days following Curriculum Night.

MAP Testing: MAP testing started this week to get a baseline for students. Today we took the reading portion, and on Wednesday, September 14th we will be taking the Math MAP test.

Think Tank Tip of the Week

What are some questions I can ask my child while reading?!

We need students to not only think about what's going on within the text, but to think above and beyond what is said in the text as well. Beyond the text questions deal with comparing/contrasting, making predictions, considering a character's feelings, lessons from the story, etc. Above the text questions deal with why the author writes they way he/she does.

Click here to see a list of within, above, and beyond the text questions you can use with your child at home.

In Need of Head Room Parent(s)

We are in need of two head room parents, one for Miss Pratt's homeroom and one for Mrs. Callahan's homeroom. If you are interested in this position, please contact one of us! Thank you so much for considering this, as we know you are all very busy!

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We Are Famous! (Kind of) :)

We've been using math lessons and brain research from to kick off our year. Jo Boaler, a Stanford Professor, and the creator of, saw one of our tweets and asked to feature us in her newsletter! So now when teachers read this week's newsletter, they get to see US working hard and learning in new ways. How cool is that?!

Click here to read the newsletter. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see our picture!