Newsy Update from 3 M

Ah, the beginning of a new year!

Welcome to the magical year of third grade!

Good morning and how lovely to have seen all of you for back to school night,
I was so happy to see you sitting in my classroom and to have a chance to tell you a little about my program. I always look forward to Back to School Night because I know that it is my one chance to have all of you in one place and to give you the same information at the same time. Unfortunately, I felt like I was doing " the Amazing Race" in a fifteen minute span and I lost my map. There were so many things that I didn't get to or glossed over, but I think I touched on the important things. Just a couple of reminders: could everyone make sure that you sign off on your child's reading every night, and that you initial the special. I just like to know that the children are making that connection with their parents. Gayle Greene has graciously volunteered to coordinate the calendar for parents to read to the class. She will look lovely in that beautiful, hand-knit scarf that she will earn. Yea Gayle! It will be on C Day Morning at 8:30 till 8:45ish followed by knitting. I would love to have each parent be able to read at least once during the school year. It is such a treat for your child to show you off. Knitting will start on Tuesday, the 25th of September at 8:45ish. I am happy to show anyone how to knit--you'll love it. If you have friends, grandparents, anyone who would like to join in, bring them in.
First and foremost, I love your children. The day flies by and when we think it is lunch time, it is really dismissal. Isn't that the perfect job, when you don't know where time goes? They are still learning how to transition from subject to subject. They do like to chat with one another and have to be reminded to shhhhhhhhhh. However, it is just the beginning of the year. I hope they have shared with you Artistic Sharing. Ask them, --we have our first one coming up next Wednesday, I think. If you have a talent that you would like to share, please have your child sign you up. Do we have any musicians in the group? Artists etc.? As adults we serve as an inspiration to our children. I look at my own children and see how they have mirrored what they have seen me do over the years. As my husband says, ' the apples didn't even fall off the tree'. Children learn what they live.
On to our school day. We began reading The Hundred Dresses, another friendship novel. The children are learning to write a complete answer to the questions I pose to them from the chapter, in paragraph form. They would be happy to just answer yes or no, but I would like them to learn how to 'explain' their reasons for their answer. Our major task, at this point, is starting each sentence with a capital letter and ending with a form of punctuation. It's harder than it sounds---believe me. They will also be learning how to write 'thinking' questions on their own. A thinking question is one that does not have a 'yes' or 'no' answer. Usually, this type of question leads to a good discussion.
In math, we are reviewing place value and addition and addition properties and learning how "to write to explain" how you came to a solution. It is very difficult for children to be able to transfer into writing the steps they took to come up with an answer, so I take them step by step through the process until they are confident with their abilities.

This is the year of LONG field trips. They are all in conjunction with our Social Studies and are spread out towards the end of the year. I would say we have about 3 to look forward to--I'm always looking for more. What a wonderful hands-on experience it is for the children.

The children may have come home all excited about starting their own businesses. We watched a movie called, "Caine's Arcade". It is on MagicalMary3.com and tells the true story of a little boy who builds his own arcade out of cardboard boxes and made a business out of it. After the children and I discussed the movie, their eyes lit up and I could see their imaginations taking off. I watched as they grabbed a partner/friend and started to talk about how they could be like Caine and have their own business. Ah, the magic words! They came back to school with all sorts of things that they want to create, from 'an amusement park in the back yard to cardboard arcade to making pom-poms. They also had lists of all the materials they are going to need. Needless to say, I can't provide all of their supplies and hope that they can find them at home. We will have B Day afternoon to work during our "Choice -time". They would like to have a business fair at the end of the year to sell their wares ( paper money, of course). I think I will have to dust off my knowledge of Economics so that they have an understanding of supply and demand, wants and needs etc. This, to me, is part of progressive education where ideas come from the children (with a little nudge from me). I will keep you posted on our progress.

Reminders: knitting supplies by Sept. 25th--size 9/10 wooden needles, a skein of yarn, and a cloth bag to keep the knitting in. A sketch book--81/2 x11 and can be cheaply purchased at Walmart--we use them for zentangles (meditative drawing) and independent drawing, a water bottle at school and cubby clothes in a plastic bag, labeled. Thank you.

Have a lovely weekend with your family---it is a time to spend together and to make memories---it all goes by so quickly. I look at my children and 8 grandchildren and, often, wonder, 'how did I become a grandmother, I was just going to my kids' back to school night?" Appreciate every moment, even the crazy ones.

Love, Mary

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