Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mid-Winter News

Happy February everyone. Tomorrow Mr. Miles will begin mailing report cards. This is the second quarter and both the academic and behavioral expectations of third graders have increased since our last reporting period. The change in standards may be reflected on your student's report card as they possibly work towards improving respectful listening skills, maintaining a quiet body, sustaining productivity throughout work periods, and putting forth strong effort when completing assignments. 

The class has just wrapped up a supplementary math unit to help solidify and build upon third graders' multiplicative understanding. This mini-unit, entitled Groceries, Stamps and Measuring Strips, comes from the Contexts for Learning Mathematics series. Your child will also be bringing home a set of student created flash cards that he or she can use either independently or with your assistance to gain fluency with basic multiplication facts. Sorting the cards into two groups, Facts I Know and Facts I Am Working On, and then practicing with the working on pile for ten minutes a day will make the task most manageable.

Students are digging into what it means to write an opinion piece. We are learning to craft a strong, bold thesis statement (student opinion or big idea) and support it with solid reasons. Some of the ideas generated so far have been: I think I should have my own room; I think we should have a class pet; We should have more toys on the playground; The cafeteria should serve chocolate milk; and Third graders should have their own desks. We are also starting to explore grammar and the parts of speech. Nouns  (person, place, thing, or idea) were the first part of speech tackled. Our work will be stored in a Language Notebook which will serve as a reference for students. During reading periods the class is learning how to participate in Literature Circles (ask your child what they are and how they work) while reading shared novels. At the same time they are participating in mini-lessons around getting to know a character by noticing how they talk and act, arriving at a deeper theory based on evidence, and making observations to come up with an idea about what they are like. Word work continues during reading sessions with students focusing on both sight words and traditional spelling patterns.

We are about to kick-off a Forces and Interactions unit in science. This will have loads of hands-on, minds-on activities. It also includes engineering tasks built into some lessons.

Yesterday your third grader should have received his or her Winter Wishes parent letter and attached student survey. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this special WES tradition.

Cover letter that accompanied student survey sent home 1 / 31

Just last week the class was introduced to the typing instruction program Keyboarding Without Tears. Students will progress through the program at an individualized pace while using the Chromebook assigned to them. The system is designed to build typing speed, teach general computer skills, and inform students about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.