March 27, 2016 Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

I am sure that everyone has had a great break and is ready to get back to work!  I had a wonderful visit with my family in Maine, although it did snow six inches on Monday.  

Here are a few photos from before the break:
In our new science unit, students create roller coasters using an on-line learning activity from Foss.  

Piya and Zander working on building a roller coaster in science class.

Piya and Zander working on building a roller coaster in science class.

Clementine working on her roller coaster in science.

Clementine working on her roller coaster in science.

More roller coaster engineers!

More roller coaster engineers!

Students also presented their Cereal Box Book Projects on the Friday before Spring Break.  All the kids did a great job on these! 

Cereal Box Book Project

Cereal Box Book Projects

Coming up next week:

ELA:  In Readers’ Workshop we will use leveled texts with a focus on water.  Students will work on main idea, drawing conclusions, and interpreting author’s purpose.  This will be all completed within class time.  Students are also working on novels in guided reading groups and the accompanying assignment may come home if your student needs more time to complete the work.  Spelling Core words are:  book, gave, order, open, ground, could, really, table, remember, tree.  Check your child’s assignment notebook for the content words.  In writing we will continue to work on our personal narratives.  Students have brainstormed, chosen their idea, and developed introductions that grab attention.  Now students will use sequencing strategies to begin their rough drafts.  Along the way we will add descriptions and dialogue.  

Math:  This week we are continuing our work on fractions by looking at the different ways to identify fractions based on their shading and we will expand our work on placing fractions on number lines. Math homework will be assigned on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.  Students will have Rocket Math on Tuesday and Friday when they will have an opportunity to “show what they know”.

Science:  In science we will continue our unit on Motion and Matter by experimenting with tops and then creating our own cars using materials from our new kits which include wheels, axles, and bearings. I am inviting students to bring in their Pinewood Derby cars for a car show on Wednesday.  We will not race them on a track, but I think that the kids would love to show their cars to others.  We will also watch a video on how to make a Pinewood Derby car that is fast.  (Thanks, Mr. Freeman!)

Specials:  All specials will have full time this week!  

Looking forward:  We are still working out a few conflicts in the PARCC assessment schedule.  I will let you know the final schedule as soon as I know.  NWEA will be in May, so let’s not worry about that testing yet.

Parent Workshop:

“Your mind is a garden.  Your thoughts are the seeds.  You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”  As teachers and parents of young children, we want our children to grow flowers, not weeds! How can we plant more flower seeds and fewer weed seeds? New research supports that students with growth mindsets experience more success.  What is a growth mindset and how can we nurture it?  A growth mindset helps our children identify new strategies and approaches to solving problems, both in school, at home, and in the community.  Join PCCS teachers for an hour of information, sharing, and growth as we examine this compelling concept.

  • April 6, 6:00: Parents of third and fourth graders
  • April 13, 6:00: Parents of fifth through eighth graders
  • May 18, 6:15 Parents of  Kindergarten through second grade

Meet us in Muir Hall, Comstock Building.  Please RSVP to Cynthia McGovern at

Important Dates:

3/30 Farm to Table
4/2   Daughter Dance
4/5   Green Challenge Assembly
4/6  Early Release
4/6  Growth Mindset Parent Workshop
4/15 Teacher Institute, No student attendance

Enjoy this final day with your family and we will see you all in school tomorrow!

PS:  Please peel all eggs before sending them to school in lunches.  Thanks from the Cleaning Fairy!