December 13, 2015 Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

Greetings on a warm and dreary afternoon!  It is hard to believe that it is nearly Winter Solstice, feels more like Spring Equinox!

Mindset Update:  Children who strengthen their resiliency, perseverance, and resolve to overcome obstacles, disappointments, set backs, and “good failures” experience less stress when faced with challenges.  This is what is termed a “growth mindset” which is a collection of traits based on the notion that one is always growing and learning, and the view that one adopts for themselves profoundly affects the way their lead their lives.  People with growth mindsets believe that they create their own future.  To help our children develop this mindset, we as teachers and parents need to first take a good look at the kind of praise that we give to our children.  We need to praise the accomplishment rather than the effort to encourage persistence and ambition.

So how do we change our words?  Instead of “You are smart” say, “You worked hard at school and it shows” or instead of “You are so athletic” say, “You worked hard and paid attention on the field”.  When we praise the effort, all children know that they can succeed with practice.  In our room we have conversations about the value of practice to improve in any area; be it music, sports, or academics.

Academics Review:

We have been hard at work on novel studies, multiplication strategies, and electrical circuits.  Last Wednesday the students completed a compass course with the help of Mr. Krissek.  The music teacher and the students have been practicing for the Holiday Sing coming up this Thursday at 9:00 am.

Building Circuits

Building Circuits

Building Circuits

Building Circuits

Academics This Week:

ELA:   In Readers’ Workshop students will be completing their novel studies and a review of the basic comprehension strategies.  Students have reviewed  making connections, questioning, drawing inferences and making predictions, and determining important information in text.  Spelling words are:  Core:  often, together, asked, house, don’t, world, going, want, school, important.  Content:  conductor, nonconductor, solution, resistance, atom.  In Writers’ Workshop students practiced cursive letter formation of m and n.  Our writing assignment was to create an opinion piece on the benefits of removing the grading system from schools.  Next week we will begin a “how-to” piece using sequencing of easy to follow steps.  We plan to practice keyboarding two times.

Math:  In Math we are going to look at multiplication using arrays as models.   We will create a poster that uses arrays of a given number to identify all the factors of that number.  We will use known multiplication combinations to play a game called Factor Pairs.  Please be sure to practice multiplication facts with your child at home.  The children who receive this support at home are learning their facts quickly and will struggle less with more difficult problems in the upcoming multiplication lessons.

Science:  In our Electrical Circuit unit we have covered series and parallel batteries and bulbs.  This has been an intense part of each day and we hope to finish up the circuits and test on Friday.  I will send home a corrected pretest on Thursday night, the electrical circuit booklet, and the green science notebook to help your child study.

Spanish:  On Monday, December 14, there will be a pronoun recheck.  Students were told about this on Monday December 7.  All students were told to take their Spanish notebooks home on Friday to use to prepare.

Dates to Remember:

12/15    Board Meeting, 7 pm  CANCELLED

12/16    Early Release

12/17    Holiday Sing, 9-10 am

12/18    Holiday Party:  Grinch Theme, 2 pm (ish)

12/21    Begins the holiday break

1/4        School Resumes