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. Katie Brand has graciously volunteered to coordinate the calendar for parents to read to the class. She will look lovely in that beautiful, hand knit scarf. Yea Katie! It will be Wednesday 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. Don't forget that if you still want to order the knitting kit, let me know. Knitting will start this Wednesday at 8:45ish. I am happy to show anyone how to knit--you'll love it.
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 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 begin reading Third Grade Angels, 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.
Have a lovely weekend with your family---it is a time to spend together and to make memories---it all goes by so quickly. Love, Mary
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