Sunday, March 12, 2017

Early Spring(ish)

WES has decided to significantly revamp the format of what were previously Student-Led Conferences. The goal of what we are now calling Student-Led Learning Celebrations is to provide children with an opportunity to show parents what they know and have accomplished in a celebratory atmosphere. To that end, we have scheduled the Celebrations to take place at a time unrelated to any sort of reporting or assessment period. Also, teachers will facilitate the structure of their grade level Celebrations, but, unlike conferences, we will not be active participants in them. We hope this new system will help maintain a focus on the student by avoiding teachers and parents having an impromptu conference in front of the child. Here is a link to the scheduled times available for your child's Learning Celebration.

Having just wrapped up our fractions unit, the class has circled back to building upon its understanding of multiplication in mathematics. This is obviously a major area of focus in third grade. In the upcoming week we will host two candidates who are interested in filling the third and fourth grade teaching vacancy left by the retiring Mrs. Siegler. Each candidate will teach a demo math lesson to the third grade that maintains the flow and pacing of our new multiplication unit.

In science we are involved in studying forces and motion. Students have performed experiments to help explain that a force is either a push or a pull that can make objects move. The class has also investigated the effects of balanced (objects remain at rest) and unbalanced (objects move) forces. Finally, on Thursday we discussed what makes a fair test how to conduct an experiment so it is a fair test (an investigation that is designed to give a fair chance of getting good data).

Unbalanced forces
Collecting Data
Scientists at work

Having settled on a thesis (big idea) for their opinion pieces in writing, students are diligently crafting their supporting body paragraphs. We hope to have these completed within the next week or so. The audiences for these pieces range from a parent to our principal to President Trump. Published work will be mailed via USPS to the intended recipient. Students will get to see how convincing and strong their arguments were by whether their audience made the suggested changes.

During our reading block, children are discussing the arc of the story while also partner reading self-selected, teacher-approved novels. The class is also tackling spelling rules and conventions.

Mrs. Klocek invited a local author to come in and read his published book dealing with the issue of bullying. The class was engaged in the story, could understand the overall message, and asked many thoughtful questions of the author.

Grab the Bully by the Horns
Q & A after the book has been read

There is a very informative Parent Information Series ongoing at WES. It takes place on Thursday evenings and is meant to address a range of issues relevant to raising children of elementary school ages in our current culture. Check out the Upcoming Events list to the right to see if there is a topic of interest to you. The PTO and Mrs. Klocek are always interested to hear from parents if there is subject matter you think warrants addressing during a future series.

The Winter Wishes and Valentine's Day celebrations were a big hit with everyone. Thank you for your support along the way.

Happy Winter Wish recipients

Making mailboxes

Almost delivery time