News from Room 3

September 30, 2014


We have spent the past couple of weeks focusing on characters and the setting in stories. Specifically, we discussed that you can describe a character on the outside (their physical appearance) as well as the inside. Students learned that when we describe a character on the inside, we think about their actions, feelings, thoughts, and dialogue to identify character traits that describe them. We discussed that setting refers to "when" and "where" a story takes place.

As a class, we read Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea and students completed a word web describing Mr. Putter. We also spent time discussing problem and solution, as many story structures include a beginning, middle, and end. We discussed that the characters, setting, and a problem are introduced in the beginning of a story, the middle of the story is focused on attempts to solve the problem, and the end of the story involves a solution to the problem. Students worked to identify the problem and solution in the story, as they completed a beginning, middle, and end graphic organizer. Ask your child to tell you about Mr. Putter's problem in the story, and how he solved it. We also read Owen by Kevin Henkes, and practiced identifying characters, setting, and the problem and solution in the story using a graphic organizer.

Our vocabulary words for the week were: share, wonderful, company, delighted, thinning, and enjoyed. We created actions to help us remember each word! Be sure to have your child show you the actions and tell you the meaning of each word.

Our Word Wall Words we have focused on so far include: because, than, too, what, said, again, their, house, who, when, your, know, great, and could.

This week's Word Wall Words include: were, favorite, about, they, and should.

Please continue to talk about "good-fit books" at home with your child. Have your child tell you about how they choose a good-fit book. We teach students that if they do not know 3 or more words on the first page, it is not a good fit. After reading the first page, students should answer the comprehension question "Who did I just read about and what just happened?" as a way to check if they understand what they are reading.


Last week, we began Unit 2: Fact Strategies in math. Unit 2 will focus on the following key topics:
  • Place Value
  • Number Stories
  • Helper Facts
  • The Commutative Property of Addition
  • Even and Odd Numbers
  • Equivalent Names for Numbers
  • Frames and Arrows

We reviewed place value by counting collections of $100, $10, and $1 bills. Students learned to play The Exchange Game as a way to practice counting and making exchanges with money. Students made exchanges among bills to illustrate that a $10 bill has the same value as ten $1 bills, and a $100 bill has the same value as ten $10 bills.

We discussed that a "unit" is what you are counting or measuring. Students practiced solving addition number stories and writing a number model, with a unit, for each problem. Most of the number stories fit in one of these two categories: parts-and-total or change-to-more. An example of each type is found below:

Parts-and-Total: Two or more separate parts are known. Find the total.

Beth has 7 dollars. Joe has 6 dollars. How many dollars do they have in all?

Number Model: 7 + 6 = 13 (dollars- unit)

Change-to-More: Start with a given number of items. Increase that number. How many are there now?

Beth has 4 dollars. Joe gave her 5 dollars. How many dollars are there now?

Number Model: 4 + 5 = 9 (dollars- unit)

We spent the end of the week looking at doubles facts and combinations of 10 (two numbers that add to 10). Students used their knowledge of doubles and combinations of 10 as "helper facts" to help them solve other facts, such as 4 + 5 and 8 + 3. For example, in 4 + 5, students can think one more than the easier double 4 + 4. Similarly, students can think of 8 + 3, as 10 plus one more, as they know 8 and 2 make 10, and then add one. We will continue to practice using doubles and combinations of 10 to help solve other addition facts. Continue to practice doubles and combinations of 10 facts at home to build fact fluency and automaticity with these key facts.

Writer's Workshop

We have read a variety of mentor texts for our personal narrative unit. Students have spent time writing about different personal narrative prompts to begin to think about a topic that they would like to take through the writing process.

Last week, students began to think of a small moment that they wanted to write about. After picking a small moment, students made a web and began to think about their five senses to describe the small moment. Students thought about what they saw, what it smelled like, what they heard, what it felt like, and what it tasted like to stretch their small moment out with sensory details.

Ask your child about the topic they plan to write about for their personal narrative. Talk with your child about sensory details they remember from the small moment they chose.

A Few Reminders

  • Conference sign up sheets will be going home this week. Please fill out your top 3 conference times and return it to school by Monday, October 6th.
  • Please review your child's homework each night.
  • Please sign the homework sheet AND behavior sheet each night to help reinforce behavior expectations.
  • Please send your child to school with a healthy snack each day.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 1: Early Dismissal at 12:05 p.m.

Tuesday, October 14: Picture Day

Tuesday, October 21: Fall Conferences

Wednesday, October 22: Fall Conferences