The Ritenour Review

2015 - 2016 Third Grade Weekly News

Websites to Use at Home

Math Sites:

  • Scootpad: go to -> login using username: first-last and password is lunch code -> click on scootpad icon
  • We have used Word so far.
  • Newela: Current Event Reading

**We will add to this list in the coming weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Reading: We are continuing to work with informational texts, along with their personal choices in topics and books, we also read some texts on Henry Ford and the physics of sound. We are continuing to look for "pop-out" sentences to identify the main idea. As a whole, I am still seeing a tendency identify they main idea as word or phrase(the topic). We are working diligently to get away from stating the topic and continue look for the complete main idea. Along with that skill, we are looking to find complete ideas to support that idea. This is a daunting task; however, we all know this is a skill that will help in many areas of their lives as they get older.


We are continuing to work on subtraction and addition strategies. I know, I know. The traditional method is the easiest at home. I am still seeing a lot o fkids struggling to explain the place value and meaning in their steps, so it is hard to move them into more efficient strategies. The smaller steps encouraging them to build out their numbers will help them see the entire number in a problem and see how the solutions truly work. I have attached a few videos and pictures to help with a few of the versions we are working on in the classroom. I am open to a lot of strategies - every kid will look at math differently. At the end of the day, I want each child to be confident in their explanation of the strategy he or she picks.


Our Genius Hour Kick off delayed us a little in our writing; however, we still were able to get some work done. We have been learning about concluding sentences in a paragraph. We know a good writer likes to wrap things up and tie it back into the original/main idea.


We kicked off out newest science unit - SOUND! This week, we focused mainly on the vibrations of sound. They focused on sound sources (mouth, clapping hands) and sound receivers (ears). We are working on understanding that vibrations cause sounds. They all had a lot of fun playing with tuning forks and a few even played around with a tone generator. Fun times coming up!

Next Week's Mentor Sentence

The owl pumped its great wings and lifted off the branch like a shadow without sound. ~Owl Moon

We will focus on compound predicates and possessive pronouns. Compound subjects and predicates will be our focus over the next few weeks.

Coming Up Next Week:

Specifically in each subject we will be getting into the following:

  • Math: We will review our math tests and make personal goals. Our fourth unit will focus mainly on measurement and geometry. As with each unit, we will incorporate our skills previously learned with our new concepts. Addition and subtraction of multi-digit numbers will be revisited many times throughout this unit. As always, building a stronger understanding of multiplication facts (0-12) will benefit each child, too.
  • Reading: We will work on cross-synthesis of multiple texts. This will be key with our genius hour research beginning this week.
  • Genius Hour!! Each child has selected a topic and asked a beautiful question to answer over the next few weeks. Look out for their proposal sheets. This week, we will spend the a good amount of time daily, researching our questions and taking notes on our findings.
  • Science: We will continue our unit on sound. This week, we will explore sound generators and musical instruments in miniactivities to find out what causes sound and what changes the pitch. They will investigate variables that affect changes in pitch: the length of vibrating objects and the tension on vibrating strings.

Upcoming Dates

  • December 5th - Body Safety lessons (K-4th)
  • December 13th - Boone Meadow Voices concert @ 7:00
  • December 21st - Last Day of School before Winter Break

  • January 7th - Students return to school
  • January 23rd - Family STEM Night "Cardboard Challenge" 6:00-7:30

Building Genius Hour Questions (Deep Thinking!)

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Tuning Fork Explorations

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Novel Engineering

Novel Engineer is a fun activity to culminate any book! As we finished a book, we brainstormed possible problems in the book that could be solved with an engineering solution. We also talk about the possible client in the book - just like a real engineer. In our brainstorming, we also talk about constraints - material, space, money, time. After our brainstorming, each group decides what problem in the book they want to solve and they are given a portion of time to brainstorm their creation. Once the time for brainstorming is up, each group can begin their designing process. This round, they were all given 30 minutes. As time progressed, a few groups realized they should've used a little more time and slowed down. Other groups realized they needed to speed things up. This was a wonderful kick off to our Genius Hour unit. Time constraints, research limitations, material shortages, and many other trials will come up over the next few weeks. The goals is to use their time wisely (all of it!) and think outside of the box when things do not go smoothly. I LOVE this process. I look forward to doing it again with other books.
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Landfill and Indiana State Museum Field Trip

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The View from the Golf Course

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The Beginning Stages of a Landfill Plot of Land

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A Current Landfill Mound

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