Third Grade Updates

Dear Parents,

We have had an interesting month, to say the least, with all of our snow days. We are looking forward to more consistent weather in February, but will be on our toes, as usual.

We have reached the midway point of our school year, which usually means reminding students of our third grade expectations, for both work and behavior. We are focusing our attention on doing our best work - presenting neat, organized work and trying to improve with each assignment. One way you can help your child with homework is to ask them if they have done their best work. Is your writing neat and easy to read? Did you include details or show your work (especially with math)? These gentle reminders can improve the students' ability to self-moderate. Behaviorally, we are emphasizing taking responsibility for our actions and learning to self-regulate. Students are encouraged to make good choices to limit distractions and improve focus.

As part of Black History Month, we have done several read alouds and class assignments in connection with the Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights Movement. We read about the lunch counter sit-ins throughout the south, Ruby Bridges' first day of school, and we continue to use Nelson Mandela as an example of a man who let his light shine. We will continue these readings throughout the month of February and beyond.

In Friendship,

The Third Grade Team

Love That Dog/Hate That Cat

The kids did a wonderful job of learning to support their inferences with concrete evidence from the text. They practiced asking questions, formulating hunches, using background knowledge, and finding clues from the story. After reading Love That Dog as a class, we are going to stretch ourselves as readers by reading Hate That Cat (the sequel) with some teacher guidance, but more independent work. In reading groups, the students will have the opportunity to build ideas together, sharing inferences and evidence to support their thoughts.

National Park Research

Our Flat Rangers have returned. The park rangers at almost all of our parks were incredibly generous, sending letters, brochures, taking pictures with our flat rangers, and other exciting materials. The students were thrilled to open their packages, which gave them new information and new ideas for their own brochures, which are slowly, but steadily moving along.

Looooong Division

We are continuing to trudge through the challenge of long division in math. All of the students understand the concept of division and how to divide materials when they are concrete. Writing out this method in the traditional way has proven much more difficult. We will most likely have an assessment at the end of next week, and will give students plenty of chances to practice these skills in class and at home.