News from Room 3

November 16, 2014


We wrapped up Unit 3: More Fact Strategies last week. We ended Unit 3 looking at using 10 as a friendly number. The structure of the number system makes it easy for students to decompose teen numbers into 10 and some 1s. Because of their prior work with combinations of 10, students are also familiar with how much must be added to a single digit number to make 10. We ended Unit 3 by learning two new subtraction strategies that take advantage of the friendly number 10: "Going back through 10" and "going up through 10".

We will begin Unit 4: Place Value and Measurement this week. Unit 4 focuses on the following key topics:

  • Telling Time
  • Place Value
  • Length Measurement

We will begin the unit by looking at telling time. Students will review telling and writing time from analog and digital clocks from the nearest half hour and the nearest five minutes. Students will review the abbreviations A.M. and P.M. to indicate whether a time occurs during the first or second 12-hour period of the day. We will then begin to look at place value, and students will practice building numbers with base-10 blocks, writing numbers in expanded notation (i.e. 352 can be written as 300 + 50 + 2), and comparing 3-digit numbers.


The past couple of weeks we have been working on the skill of identifying main idea and details with nonfiction text. We introduced text features, and discussed the purpose of headings, captions, diagrams, text boxes, table of contents, a glossary, and an index in a text. Specifically, we discussed using text features to predict what the text will be mostly about. As a class, we read a few short nonfiction articles and practiced identifying the main idea in each article. We used the text features to make predictions of what the passage was going to be about, and then after reading the text, we practiced writing the main idea in one sentence.

In addition to finding the main idea, we practiced going back into the text to find supporting details that tell us more information about the main idea, to help us better understand what we read. We discussed the importance of rereading to find text evidence. After reading a few short nonfiction articles, students went back into the text and found details the author gave us that told us more about the main idea. We read short passages about an elephant's trunk, a prehistoric bird, workers in an emergency room, and a merry-go-round that pumps clean water for kids in Africa.

Our vocabulary words we focused on this past week were: serious, broken, personal, informs, and heal.

Writing and Social Studies

We have started our next writing unit, which is an ABC book of Evanston. To prepare for writing this book, we have been reading different ABC books and have made a list of "noticings" of what authors include in ABC books. Students noticed that each letter had its own page, each letter had an illustration, the book was in alphabetical order, each letter gave true information about a topic, and the book had an overall theme or big idea. Students began taking notes on the history of Evanston and students will begin to write one page of the book this week. Students will be assigned a letter of the alphabet to write about, and will include an illustration to go with their information. This unit ties into our social studies unit of communities, as we are focusing on the history of Evanston and are discussing important people and places in Evanston.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

November 26th, 27th, and 28th: No School (Thanksgiving Break)

Wednesday, December 3rd: Early Dismissal at 12:05 P.M.

  • As the weather changes, be sure to send your child to school prepared with a jacket, sweatshirt, gloves, and a hat, as they will be going outside for recess.
  • Please review your child's homework each night.
  • Please send your child to school with a healthy snack each day.