Third Grade News

The Lamplighter School January 26- February 22, 2016


Third graders are on the case! This month, students will read mysteries in book clubs. Students will take notes as they read to keep track of the mystery. Who is the detective in this story? Who are the suspects? What are the clues? Detective stories require the reader to pay careful attention to detail as they collect the clues that will help them solve the mystery before the detective. Readers also make inferences as they consider a suspect's motive for committing the crime. Students will predict the solution, discerning between a guess, a reasonable prediction, and a conclusion based on textual evidence. These skills in close reading, inference, and prediction translate across many genres, not just mysteries.

During January, we will also focus on writing mechanics. Students will practice using end punctuation correctly, including finding and correcting run-on sentences. They will also review rules for irregular plural nouns and distinguish between plural and possessive nouns.


We are currently learning about “really big numbers” and decimals. The children are learning to read, write, and compare numbers to the hundred millions place as well as decimals to the thousandths place. Their exploration includes using base-ten blocks to help them manipulate and understand parts of a whole. IXL levels B and W are aligned with these two topics and are good practice for the children. also has good place value and decimal games. In addition to these two computer sites we will be reinforcing concepts in class using a variety of hands-on activities.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of your child learning the multiplication facts and recalling them with automaticity. Knowing math facts is much like learning sight words for reading. Remember how slowly your child read a few years ago when he/she was still working on decoding words? If your child doesn't know math facts, he/she will struggle to figure out the equation, risking speed and accuracy. This also affects his/her confidence. Please continue helping your child master these facts. If you need advice or strategies, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Special Area Classes

Environmental Science with Mrs. Cauley

In January we will review the hydrologic cycle with a unit called River Cutters. How water shapes our world is a wonderful, hands-on experience with third graders dripping water into tubs filled with diatomaceous earth. They are observing how the water cycle affects our earth’s past, present and future. Our River Cutter’s unit and local creek observations facilitate their understanding of how water has changed and continues to change our environment. The students have the opportunity to see how water flowing over time (one minute at two drips per second equals 1000 years in one study) changes the terrain of the earth (in their tub). Several experiments will alter the time, slope or speed of the water.

Our Maker Space project is to construct something that each environmental science student could sit on outside when the grass is wet. So far they have determined by testing that a tarp is the sturdiest material rather than laminating film, newspaper, baggies, trash bags, and corrugated cardboard. Their next challenge is to make it more comfortable if sitting on the rock areas.

Science with Mr. Burton

Third grade students have just reviewed the engineering design process. Our first warm up design challenge was to build a chair for Woodstock (Snoopy’s stuffed animal friend). Soon, we’ll be beginning a long unit on Lego robotics where students will build basic robotic structures and learn how to program them.

Media Center with Mrs. Vermillion

Youth Awards and Visiting Author

During the month of January, we are reviewing the Caldecott, Newbery, and Bluebonnet Youth Awards. Students are exploring diverse works of art from past Caldecott winners. We are comparing various mediums used by the artists, such as watercolor and gouache. The Youth Awards will be announced Monday, January 11, 2016.

On Tuesday, January 26, former Lamplighter parent Michelle Grimes will read from her new book "Where's Pidge?" To order a copy, please go to the media center page on the Lamplighter website to fill out a form.

Technology with Mrs. Ogden
Third grade will soon be exploring Tinkercad, a 3D program that allows students to use 3D objects they have explored in math classes to create new things. This program allows us to create objects in a CAD program for potential printing in the 3D printer. This design process is an important piece of the engineering process.

In order for your child to participate I need your help. I will be sending home a permission slip with your child. Please use the second and third pages to create a Tinkercad account for your child. (I cannot create the account for you.) Once your child’s account has been created, fill out the bottom of the first sheet and return it to school. Thank you very much for your assistance with in our 3D program.

Looking for a website to help enrich learning at home? Check out my educational blog to find a list of educational websites and apps that can help reinforce 3rd grade skills at home:


Monday, Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Day - No School

Monday, Jan. 25 Speaker Series: Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 2 Lower School Lunar New Year Assembly 11:00

Tuesday, Feb. 9 Valentine's Day at Lamplighter

Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 10 and 11: Conference Days - No School

Tuesday, Feb. 16: Lamplighter Night at the Perot 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Ask Your Child...

Ask you child to explain the mystery he/she is reading in book clubs. What clues have you collected? Who are the suspects? Why do you think the suspect did it?


Ask your child to explain the pattern observed in the place value chart.

In the number 418,905, explain the value of the 0. Why is that number important?

In the number 1.634 what is the value of each digit?

Third Grade Teachers

Leslie Bledsoe - Math (yellow and blue) - - ext. 321
Lauren Hardage - Math (red and green) - - ext. 319
Nick Leggatt - Literacy (yellow and blue) - - ext. 320
Becky Walker - Literacy (red and green) - - ext. 420