Atkinson Gazette

Room 203's Weekly Newsletter

What's UP in Room 203?

The week is finally here! This Tuesday and Wednesday your child will be taking the STAAR assessments. I have full confidence that each student will do great! We spent all last week preparing through review games, centers, and small group instruction.

We will begin testing at 8:30 a.m., so please be sure your child is on time!

Super Student: N/A

Pawsitive Panther for March - Self Control/Patience: Alex

Academic News


Last week students were able to finish up their Google Doc with a frequency table, bar graph, pictograph, and dot plot of their data collected through a survey. When everyone finished, I had them create their own "test-like" questions. At first the students struggled and they weren't sure what was a good test question for their data. We brainstormed together on how we can create one-step and two-step problems. After that, each child went on their own to create 4 questions. Once finished, they shared their document with a friend and they answered each other's questions. The kids had a blast!

We also reviewed skills that our class as a whole was low performing in by playing STAAR Wars. This review game definitely kept students engaged! They kept asking me if we could play this even after STAAR was over!! I also met with small groups to reinforce skills and to clarify any questions students might have for the test this week.

This coming week, we will start with a Math Review Jeopardy game and STAAR Wars. Tuesday we will take the Math STAAR. Students will be given 4 hours of uninterrupted time to complete the test. After both tests are finished, we plan to give students time to finish up their second STEM activity. We will be using our newest knowledge of graphing to graph our data from the frog parachutes.

Keep in mind, students will continue to have daily math homework to reinforce skills learned in class as well as Daily 6 Review on Thursday nights. Also, please please please continue to work multiplication facts at home.

Language Arts

Last week we followed the same format as our math. We started with a read aloud from The Gollywhopper Games, had 30-minute reading rotations (Raz-Kids, Time for Kids with critical thinking questions, Making. Inferences Videos, Reading Comprehension SCOOT, and a small group with me). Then we used our remaining time for read-to-self and STAAR WARS.

I was able to use this time to review their practice STAAR test and clear any implications students may have had. The majority of students struggled with summary, so we spent 10-15 minutes each day talking about how we can find the summary with fiction and non-fiction texts. This was really an eye opener for my kids. They saw how we can't look for beginning, middle, and end in non-fiction, but instead how we must look for the most important ideas from the text.

This week, we will continue reviewing through centers and games. After the reading test on Wednesday, students will spend Thursday and Friday on STEM.


With the STAAR test approaching, we didn't get to our spelling work last week. I am going to try my hardest to get it in this week, so students can take their spelling test this coming Friday. We've got about 3 more spelling rules for 3rd grade, so students will still practice each one before the summer break. We will also be starting cursive after the STAAR.

Spelling Rule #4:

"Doubling consonants in the middle of words" ex. puzzle, rabbit

Just a reminder, that each spelling pattern gets added to Spelling City and students can practice them on there at any time. If you would like your child's log-in, please let me know.

Please remind your child that these words are not just to be memorized for the test on Friday's then forgotten. They need to be transferred and used in every subject, and most importantly WRITING!

Science/Social Studies

We began our second STEM activity two Friday's ago. Students had a goal to create a parachute that would safely bring a frog down to the ground. Their objective is to have the frog in the air the longest amount of time. On their first meeting, students were put in groups and worked through the engineering process (imagine, ask, plan, create, and imagine). Students were really focused on steps 1 and 2. This last Friday, students were able to work together to create and test their parachutes. Some groups noticed that their time was 3 seconds and then questioned, "how can I make this better?" They hit it right on!!

This week, students will be given some time on Thursday to create and test, before we time gather the real data Thursday afternoon. Friday we will spend our time presenting our data in a graph.

I hope they have shared these experiences with you because they can't stop talking about them with me. They love it, and trust me, there will be more coming!

STEM Parachutes Test
STEM Parachute Test

Genius Hour

We will be back on track for Genius Hour this week. We've had a busy couple of weeks and I know I have eager students ready to present and others ready to research more.

*If you student is ready to start creating, make sure they bring their materials to class Friday so they are not wasting an hour. Many are choosing to do digital components, which is great, but some are needing poster board and other things.

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Friday Reader

A special thank you to Mrs. Thomason for coming to read to our kids!

News from Miss Atkinson's Class

Man Went to Jail for Flying Gyrocopter over White House

There was a guy who went to jail because he flew a little helicopter onto the White Houses property. The man's name was Douglas Mark Hughes. He may face up to four years in jail because the laws say you can not fly a helicopter into the grounds of the White House. Aircraft are banned from flying in the area of the Capitol and the White House without permission.

This is News Reporter Jackson Dean - inside UP!

Important Dates


Tuesday, April 21st, 8:30am

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

Reading STAAR

Wednesday, April 22nd, 8:30am

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

Author Visit

Wednesday, April 29th, 8:15am

3505 Amherst Avenue

Dallas, TX

Author Dianna Hutts Aston will be coming to UP! Students have learned about her non-fiction texts in their library time. She will not have books for sale at the visit to sign, but you can bring a copy with you for her to sign if you'd like.