Miss Grill's 3rd Grade News

October 10, 2015

Welcome Back to Our Class Site!

Thank you for continuing to visit this site and catch up with what is happening! As the 8th week of school approaches, I am seeing amazing growth in the student's reading, writing, and discussion skills. It is very exciting for both me and the students.

ELA Skills of the Week

1. Writing a (Stoplight) Paragraph
2. Importance of Photograph, Captions, and Text

3. Annotating (Taking Notes) on Sticky Notes while Reading

Stoplight Paragraphs

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  • The students had so much fun learning about and writing Stoplight paragraphs!
  • Before they wrote their own, students were given one sentence. They had to walk around the room to find similar sentences that shared their Main Idea in order to create a paragraph.
  • They worked in groups to arrange the different sentences within the paragraph, figuring out the topic sentence, details, and the closing sentence. Once they presented to the class and we 'edited' the students, moving the sentences around, seeing which ones made sense, and more, they cut and glued the sentences down to make a Stoplight paragraph! They practiced indenting and color-coding each part of the paragraph.
  • We also discussed using transition words to begin each detail, which we will dive deeper into this coming week with Sequencing.
  • Then, each student wrote a paragraph about their Pet (either one they have or one that they wish they had!)

Cut and Paste Stoplight Paragraph Example

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Memorable Moments

  • I was truly amazed to see just how interested the students became with paragraphs after these lessons. A few were writing stoplight paragraphs for fun during 'Work on Writing' time, and others were ecstatic to share real-life examples of Stoplight paragraphs.
  • One student started it off when we were going out to recess. He said, 'Miss Grill, going to recess is like a Stoplight Paragraph!'
  • Amazed that I was actually engaging in a conversation about paragraphs while getting ready for recess, I was intrigued!
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  • He said, 'Lining up for recess is like the Green light and our topic sentence. We are so excited to go out to recess! The games and activities we play at recess are all of the details, and when we line up and come back in, it is the Red light because our recess has stopped and it is time to end Recess.'
  • The entire class became excited and for the rest of the day, students were finding different examples of paragraphs using real life examples.
  • This is my goal for every skill that I teach. I love to find ways that we can use real-life experiences to make what we learn meaningful!

Annotating the Text with Sticky Notes

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  • We discussed how the text provides so much information for the reader. We cannot possibly remember all of it!
  • Only writing down the most important points in the text is a difficult skill for students, because you have to sort through all of the words in the text, decide what is important and what you can leave out, and then put it into your own words.
  • This made the students use their prior knowledge of finding the Main Idea when reading and use it to help them take notes.
  • Students practiced reading the text, 'Whooping Cranes in Danger,' as they read it heading by heading, paragraph by paragraph, sifting through the important ideas and writing notes down in their own words (paraphrasing)
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  • We primarily focused on summarizing each paragraph using one sentence, in our own words. 'Whooping Cranes in Danger' is a very lengthy text, and when we dive deeper into this text this coming week, the students can use their notes, rather than feel overwhelmed when faced with re-reading the entire text again to find information.
  • At first it felt difficult and strange for the students, but with enough practice, it was incredible to see the students taking notes on their sticky notes for each heading, jotting down quick thoughts, and breaking the information down into their own words.
  • The true test of how well they took notes will be when we Sequence this text and find Cause and Effect relationships. The goal is for them to not have to re-read 12 pages of information and search through it again, but to use their notes in order to practice these skills!

Whooping Cranes Video

You might be asking yourself, what is a Whooping Crane? You can watch this video here for more information! This is what we are reading about in our text!
operation migration whooping cranes.mov

A Look Ahead to This Week

  • We will be taking our annotations on Sticky notes from the text, 'Whooping Cranes in Danger' in order to Sequence the steps of how the scientists helped this amazing animal's population grow.
  • Transition words will also be a focus with this skill, because when we write a sequenced order of events, we use these words to transition between each thought.
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  • We will also use our notes to find Cause and Effect Relationships between what the scientists did and how their actions effected the Whooping Cranes.
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Book Talks

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  • Book Talks are done each Friday using the books the students are reading for the weekly Reading Journal Homework.
  • Students have a few minutes to share a quick synopsis about what they have been reading at home in the past week.
  • We talk about grabbing your audience's attention and getting them interested in the book! Of course, we do not want to give away the ending!
  • They want other peers to add this book to their 'Book Wish List.' This means they have to talk with excitement about what is happening!
  • Even if students have not completely finished reading it, they can give their group a preview of what they have read.
  • They can add what they predict will happen next, a special moment, a funny part, etc., all while talking up their book to their friends.
  • This will become more natural as the year goes on, but right now, practicing at home with your child will really help! The discussions will get deeper over time.
  • Your child can give a Book Talk to you, and you can build their confidence and help them brainstorm what they want to share before they come to class on Fridays.
  • You could also ask them questions about what they are reading to get them thinking more about what they could talk about.
  • Another great idea is for you to model a Book Talk with your child. A quick summary of what you have read so far, why you are enjoying it, and a few feelings about the book and/or characters would be such a helpful example for them to see!

Towson Science Interns

The students LOVE when the Towson Interns come on Thursdays! They participate in hands-on experiments that excite them! The Interns are teaching the students the 'Matter' Unit, which is a 3rd Grade Unit. They teach consecutive lessons each week. There are 4 interns, and each one has a group of 5-6 students. Every Thursday afternoon is a high-energy atmosphere!


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No School for Students

Friday, Oct. 16th, 9am

3400 Hillendale Road

Phoenix, MD

There is no school for students this Friday.
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Recorder Money

Monday, Oct. 12th, 9am

3400 Hillendale Road

Phoenix, MD

Students are continuing to bring in recorder money for Mrs. Tice. Please send this in as soon as possible. If you need another form, I have extra ones. The students enjoy learning how to play recorders! I still remember when I learned in 3rd Grade! (My mom does, too...)