Thursday, September 29, 2016

For those interested in subscribing to our class Blog, you can register in the Follow by Email section to the right. I think and hope you'll get email updates when something new is posted. Thanks to Audrey R. for bringing this feature to my attention.

This is also my first pass at creating and maintaining a Blog, so if you have suggestions of ways to enhance or make it more meaningful please share them with me. The audience is you, the parents. Therefore, I want to craft it to suit what you are looking for and find most valuable.

The class is off to the river tomorrow to collect non-living and living matter that will be used in the creation of the classroom river model.

Thank you to Scarlett, Jackie, Buzz, Bryon, and Kim for volunteering to help chaperone the class as they meander the fields of SculptureFest next Tuesday.

Although Picture Day was today, we will have a retake day in the coming months. Don't panic if it slipped off your radar screen.

Next week we'll send home subtraction cards that students can work on in order to gain mastery and automaticity of their facts (small number computation problems).

Working on building reading stamina
Reading up to 30 minutes now 
Morning Meeting with Ms. Gauvin

Students working on their 3-D Tinkercad designs
A first "draft" 3-D  printed model and the accompanying house it's based on 

Music class is spent working on recorder skills

Friday, September 23, 2016

Here are some images capturing a bit of what we've been up to lately in third grade.

Concluding Morning Meeting with the activity Night at the Museum

Students catalog what they find in the Ottauquechee River 

Instruction at the Tuffet Lounge

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

As we approach the conclusion of the first, abbreviated month of school, our third grade class community is really coming together. Students are becoming familiar with their new classroom spaces, expectations and systems. That means children are being given greater responsibility and independence as they dig into the work of being thoughtful third grade learners.

In math, the class is focusing its efforts on building their place value understanding and strengthening its computational fluency in addition and subtraction. We are currently working on numbers within 1,000. Students often use "break numbers apart" as a strategy, which requires them to add numbers by their place value. For instance, 342 + 129 = _____ becomes (300 + 100) + (40 + 20) + (2 + 9). This is an effective and efficient strategy that builds understanding of place value...a key step prior to teaching any sort of algorithm (shortcut).

In reading, we're working on creating habitual readers in our students. Toward that end, the focus thus far has been on them understanding what kind of readers they are and how they can create a "reader's life" at home and school. They have nightly homework at this stage which includes 30 minutes of independent reading and the completion of a reading log entry. Yellow reading log packets were sent home Monday, September 19. Your child should fill out the log at home Monday - Thursday and then return it to school on Friday for a teacher review. They'll be handed back to students the following Monday for students to resume the weekly routine.

Third graders have been building writing stamina by looking to their personal lives for small moment stories and writing long and strong about them. They are encouraged to think of important people, places, objects or animals for inspiration. Some of these first draft stories will become polished, published narratives.

Our integrated science and social studies unit using the Ottauquechee River as topic to dig into sense of place, mapping, life cycle and ecosystem concepts is well underway. After walking the village numerous times, students drew maps of our study area with the important landmarks found along the river identified. They will be replicating some of these landmarks using the Tinkercad online program and printing them using the STEM Lab's 3-D printers. These structures will then be placed on our classroom river model in the appropriate location. Our first trip INTO the river took place last Friday with students working in teams to inventory and draw as many different things as possible that they found in the river and along its banks. Many unique and mystifying creatures were found lurking on the underside of river cobbles. These are the critters we'll be using to teach the concept of life cycles. Though they start their lives in the water, almost all of them live their brief adult lives as flying insects!