Third Grade News

December 2015

Mark Your Calendars

December 10 - 6:30 Holiday Chorus Performance

December 17- Box Top Deadline

December 17 - Chick-fil-a Night

December 18 - Winter Party 9:00-10:00am

December 21-January 5 - Winter Break

January 6 - Student's Return to school

Reading Rocks

We have worked diligently meeting the goals for reading for the first semester. I’m extremely proud of the students that are reading and documenting their reading on the weekly Homework Reading Logs and on their 25 Books Reading Campaign Log. The students received a Book-It! Pizza Hut coupon for their efforts. Congratulations! However, we still have some students that are not on task with their Reading Logs and/or 25 Books Campaign Goal. Please encourage your child to stay on task weekly.

We will have a Reading Assessment December 10, 2015 which will cover the skills/strategies taught in reading. The students received a Reading Resource Folder with a snapshot of reading skills to use as a reference as they continue to learn.

In the month of December, we will continue to read and review Main Idea-supporting details, describing characters in a story-(traits and feelings), Figurative Language, Point of View, Cause and Effect, Sequence, Recounting a story, and continue to review historical figures.

Students will also know their current reading level by December 18, 2015.

Reminders: 25 Books Campaign- Students should have 16 books read and documented in their log. Please encourage your child to follow the reading schedule.

Monday- Thursday Reading Homework: Read for 20-30 minutes and fill out the Reading homework Log. A reading log was sent home with the dates written. Please initial the log.

Friday- Sunday- Students should work on the 25 Books Campaign Log

Pizza Coupons will be awarded randomly. Please help your child remember Tuesdays are library day and Friday I will check the Reading Log homework.

READING gives us a place to GO when we have to STAY where we are!

Writing for Success

Students have submitted final copies of their informational writing samples. Although we did work through the parts of this piece together, the final pieces are completely student created. I gave guidance but allowed them to complete these independently so that their work showed exactly where they are as writers at this point in the year. I have conferred with each child individually to make sure they understand their grade, my comments, and how to improve their work. I also gave students who earned either a D or a U an opportunity to rewrite their papers and submit them to me by today. Again, this had to be completed at school and completely independently. Some students took me up on the offer while others did not. As this is a writing sample, there is not an opportunity for retakes on this assignment. If your child scored poorly and you feel that they can do better, please have that conversation with your child and stress the importance of taking pride in their work and doing their best every time. As I have explained to them, they will not get a "retake" at the end of the year when they are taking their Milestones and writing is a big part of both the Language Arts and Math assessments.

I'm including a great website that you can utilize at home to help your child grow as a writer. There are several interactive components that will help to make writing fun. Of course, just putting paper to pencil is always a great way to practice as well!

During the month of December students will continue to work in class on their informational/research writing sample, most of them are already done! This is their first long (5 paragraph) writing sample so it has taken some time to complete. Our goal is to have these completed and published (hand written final copies) by the end of this week.

Once we are done with our informational writing we will work on a short unit on writing to a prompt and then a short letter writing unit. **Please send your child to school with a plain (any color will do), stamped envelope. DO NOT ADDRESS IT! Students will be working on proper letter format as well as addressing envelopes in order to mail the letters. Please make sure to write your child’s name on the inside of the envelope so I know who’s is who’s. If we do not get enough participation we may not be able to complete this activity, so please send in a stamped envelope ASAP. Thank you!

How can you help prepare your child? Well, if you're doing holiday letters or cards allow your child to use their neatest handwriting to help to address the envelopes or draft the letter. Your child also knows how to edit and revise so you can always have them check over your work if you'd prefer! Have them pay special attention to the placement of commas in letters, dates and addresses. We appreciate your helping us to create great writers!

Remember, another great way to keep your child fresh on their writing skills is to have them keep a journal over the winter break.

Grammar Fun

Students will begin previewing using quotations in dialogue. They will also learn about the four types of sentences, imperative (command), interrogative (asking), declarative (telling), and exclamatory (excitement) so that they can include a better variety of sentences in their writing. We will continue and review this skill when we return in January.

Math Corner

We are finishing up our unit on area by reviewing the formula and trying different ways to find area of composite figures by decomposing them into rectangles. Our test over this unit will be Wednesday, December 9th.

Once we complete this unit, we will be working on graphing and continuing to work on solving two step word problems. Make sure the students are following the "read three times" rule when they are doing their math homework.

First read - Form a picture in your mind

Second read - Underline or write down important information

Third read - Plan and solve!

Two step word problems will be incorporated into tests in future units throughout the year.

Investigating Science

Soil Weathering and Erosion.

Soil is the next unit. The students will compare and contrast the texture, particle size and color in top soils (clay, loam, potting soil, and sand). They will also compare weathering and erosion, and determine how water and wind can change rocks and soil over time.

As in the past, we will complete our weathering, erosion and soil unit through the workshop model and science labs. Listed below are the Lab Book chapter names and pages needed to prepare for the test. These pages should have already been completed, so you can use them to study.

There will be a quiz on the vocabulary words tentatively scheduled for Wednesday Dec. 9th.

The test is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday Dec. 15th.

Chapter: How Can Water and Wind Change the Land pages 24-29. The vocabulary words are: delta, deposition, erosion, glacier and weathering.

Chapter: What is Soil pages 30-33. The vocabulary words are bedrock, humus, soil, subsoil and topsoil.

Rocks and Minerals Test: On Monday of this week, I conferenced with all students regarding their tests and test grades. As stated in the retake policy, each child can retake 1 test per subject per quarter. If your child has not retaken any tests in Science this quarter (2nd), they were offered a summary mastery ticket if requested (I gave them a chance to decide if they wanted to retake the test or keep the grade. Some said no, or wanted to check with parents first). The mastery tickets must be filled out and returned prior to the retake day on Friday Dec. 4th. If I do not have a mastery ticket, they cannot retake the test. Friday Dec. 4th is the final retake day for the Rocks and Minerals Test.

Word Study

We are finishing up the root vid and vis this week meaning "to see". Next week we will study the root port which means "to carry". When we return from break we will review both of these roots before moving on to our next one.

Social Studies Update

TEST date change: The Historical Figures Unit test will be Tuesday, December 8, 2015 due to the number of student absences and incomplete classroom assignments. We have reviewed the material and most of the students know about the Historical Figures- Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, and Mary McLeod Bethune!! Please visit Mrs. Blanchard’s eCLASS Page for additional information about Historical Figures.

Historical Figures Project information was sent home today. Please ask your child for the project information. The project is due December 14, 2015. Students will present their projects the week of December 14-18, 2015.