*On Tuesday October 23rd, third grade will have their first experiential learning day. From 8:30 to 11:25, your student will be participating in movement and team building activities. Please help your student dress appropriately for the weather and send them in with their water bottle. *That afternoon your student will take part in a Chewonki presentation about predators and prey. They will see an owl, snake, and tarantula. This is a wonderful presentation!
*November 1st is outdoor classroom day. This is a global initiative to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning and play. The third grade team is in the process of finalizing our plans and will be contacting you soon.
*On Monday November 5th, the third grade will take our first field trip to the Darling Marine Center. During our time at the DMC, students will begin their oyster studies. If anyone is interesting in volunteering, please contact me. We will leave school around 8:30 and return for dismissal.
You should have all received the new AOS93 Habits of Work. Your student’s habits of work will be reported on their report card. We spend time daily talking about what makes a good learner. Students are working on being responsible, respectful, and engaged learners. I use these terms often and next week your student will be giving themself a number grade (1-4) for each habit of work.
Responsible- Last week, I gave each student a pencil with their name on it. They have been trying to be responsible and keep track of their pencil. I give a small weekly prize such as an eraser cap if they can show me their pencil weekly.
Writing: We have split the entire third grade into writing intervention groups. Each student will receive at least one weekly writing lesson in a small group. Mrs. Dempsey, Ms. Gregg, and Mrs. Babcock are leading these lessons daily as we enrich our writing curriculum. Students have been working on their personal narratives these past few weeks. Next week they will begin writing a folktale.
Reading: All students will have at least one weekly conference with their homeroom teacher to discuss the book(s) they are reading. During this time, we discuss the CAFE strategies. CAFE stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. Struggling readers will receive small group intervention for 15-20 minutes one to three times a week. Please continue having your student read for 30 minutes a night. If you need books, we are happy to send some home with your student.
Math: Every math group has completed the Unit 1 assessment on addition and subtraction this past week. If we feel that your student needs to be working in a different group, we will contact you. Unit 2 is the start of multiplication and many students have been looking forward to learning their facts. The third grade teaching team is happy with our decision to create three leveled math groups. Each classroom does number corner individually which allows for great discussion among all levels.
Science: Your student has been assigned a sixth grade buddy. Every Friday, Mr. Feltis’ homeroom comes into our classroom to work. In small groups, the six grader and third grade students work together on science investigations. On Friday, they rotated around the classroom to 14 different stations where they had to decide if the objects were fossils or not. We have been making work on CERs- which stand for claims, evidence, and reasoning. If anyone would like to join us for science buddies on Friday at 1:15-1:55, we would love your assistance.
Social Studies- We started out the year by studying geography. Your student has been assessed on the continents and oceans. We also expect all students to know our planet, continent, country, state, and hometown. We will be diving deeper into the state of Maine in a few months. Our visit to the DRA to learn about Native Americans introduced the students to our current unit on the Wabanaki tribe.
Homework: Besides reading, there is no required homework. I do have some students who love homework and I will be better at providing them with additional work to take home. I do recommend students continue working in their optional home connections math journal. I am happy to correct their work and help them on anything that is challenging. This workbook can be beneficial for students struggling and it also has some challenging questions for more advanced students. In the next few weeks, your student may come home with multiplication flash cards which they can practicing independently or with support.
Class Blog- I will post this update on the blog and add a few pictures as well. On the blog, you will find our specials and instrument schedule. I have also included upcoming events. One of my personal goals for this school year is to get better at documenting your student’s day.
September was a busy month and flew by for all of us. Students had the opportunity to explore all aspects of our large third grade classroom community. The third grade teachers are very happy with how our classroom setup is working.
The students are familiar with the flow of our days and they are learning how to function in their new spaces. We have a structured routine that is perfectly in sync with the other third grade classes to avoid distractions, noise and chaos. Our typical day looks something like this:
8:00-8:40 - Arrival and Morning Work (differentiated math practice)
8:40-9:00 - Morning Meeting (a class check-in, greetings and schedule of the day) Done in classroom pods
9:00-9:20 - snack outside with whole grade
9:20-9:50 - one of our specials
9:50-10:20 - Mentor Sentences (grammar and parts of speech) Done with classroom pod.
10:20-11:20 - Math (differentiated grouping with one of the three teachers)
11:20-12:10 - Recess/lunch
12:10-12:40 - Read to Self while I meet individually with students.
12:40-1:15 - Differentiated writing Instruction and Daily 5 (literacy choices) Done with the entire third grade
1:15-2:00 - Project Time involving science or social studies.
2:00-2:25 - Come together whole grade for a read aloud
2:25 -2:35 - Pack up and listen to poetry or go outside
August 27, 2018
We are all very excited about the beginning of school, just a few days away. There will be some surprises waiting for our students when they arrive. Based on professional development and new educational best practices, the third grade team has decided to open up our classroom walls to create one large learning space for all third graders. We will be team-teaching in order to best meet the needs of all of our students. Within this large, open classroom, we are providing quiet work times and work spaces and will have the opportunity to provide small group or individualized instruction, in addition to gathering in a common area for large group instruction. Every student will still have their own home-pod with their assigned teacher and their own storage cubby within that teacher’s space. Students will arrive at their own teacher’s classroom door. We have designed the space to have designated learning areas to share amongst all third graders. They will travel to specials within their home-pod, but will spend the majority of the day learning alongside all third graders and accessing the expertise of all three third grade teachers. All communication will still be between only you and your child’s home-pod teacher and you will only have parent-teacher conferences with that specific teacher. We will be adjusting things as the year goes on and will most certainly change course if need be. Rest assured we will only do what is best for all of the students. We are optimistic that the third graders will have a terrific learning experience this year.
I hope everyone had a fun summer full of lots of adventures and outdoor time. I spent part of my summer hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington with my boyfriend, Adam. We enjoyed many days of postholing in snow, sunny weather, ice melt river crossing, and listening to marmots and pikas squeak. I have many stories to share and look forward to hearing about what you did this summer. I also traveled by car to the UP, which is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to visit my parents, grandma, two dogs, and two cats who live on a homestead. I had a fabulous summer, but am excited for my first year as a classroom teacher at GSB.
These past few weeks I have been busy working with my team as we set up our classroom. The third grade classroom is unique and full of cozy, quiet, and comfortable areas to do your best work. Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Gregg, and I are so excited for you to explore our large library, maker space area, cozy rug, and many options for flexible seating. We have many wonderful lessons, projects, field trips, and experiences planned for you. See you on Wednesday!