January 17, 2016 Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

We were finally able to get out on Wednesday afternoon!
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After our hike we took a few minutes to enjoy a turn around the playground!

Last week we were able to finish up lattice multiplication method, view and reflect on a Martin Luther King video, and wrap up Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth.  Students will have a social studies test on Tuesday morning.  

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Students work on models of the Jamestown fort.  View them in our hall.

Mindset update:  Some of the teachers are planning to hold a parent information meeting on Growth Mindset in the early spring.  We hope that many families will join us.  You may have noticed that I have been offering retakes and do-overs on many assignments and assessments.  This is part of a growth mindset classroom environment.  

Academic Updates

ELA:  This week in Readers’ Workshop students will work in small groups using Literature reading packets. The genres include mystery, realistic fiction, and historical fiction.   We will continue to practice cursive handwriting during grammar verb study  and practice keyboarding in the computer lab.  Core spelling words are:  almost, live, page, got, earth, need, far, hand, high, year.  Content spelling words:  New England, middle, southern, Quaker, Puritan.

Math:  The kids have done really well using the lattice method of multiplication.  They are working so hard!  They will need to keep up the hard work next week as we begin our traditional multiplication algorithm.  To ensure that students get the practice that they need, they will have homework each night.  Please give them access to a calculator so they can check their work and then have then do an error analysis to find any mistakes.  Common errors are failure to regroup, inaccuracy in addition, and unfamiliarity with multiplication facts. Give them a multiplication chart to support their work during homework.  However, when they are practicing facts, do not give them the chart! With your help and their hard work, they will succeed.

Social Studies:  This week we will use “Mr. Zoller’s Podcast” Youtube videos to introduce each of the Colonial areas:  New England Colonies, Middle Colonies, and Southern Colonies.  Students will learn the year of establishment, founders, and the reasons for founding.  Students will create a 13 Colonies Map and receive a study guide to help them understand the specific difference between each region.

Environmental Ed: Ms. Naomi came to our room and helped with a lesson on insulation.  Students created a nest of found materials and monitored the rate of melting of a large ice chunk.  This lesson was used as a demonstration of the importance of insulation to preserve ice as a means of food preservation in the past.  Students learned how ice was harvested and stored using handsaws and giant pincers.  

Service Learning:  Soon we will begin to consider selecting seeds to plant in the early spring cold frames.

Specials:  All specials will meet as usual, except we will miss Spanish and PE on Monday.

Have a wonderful week,

Cynthia McGovern