October 24, 2015 Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

I had a fantastic experience at the Midwest Environmental Education Convention in Madison, WI.  I was able to rub elbows with other classroom educators, naturalists, and college professors, all of whom are committed to instilling a love of nature and stewardship of the earth in our youth.  Over the next few months, I hope to be using some of the new curriculum ideas and strategies that I picked up.

I hope that everyone is going to send in a donation for the Squash and Recipe Booklet.  Ms. Moyer collected several recipes and we were even able to include the Butternut Squash Stew from Farm to Table.  Send in your donation (what you think is appropriate) and we will send home a squash and the recipes.

I have a funny squash story to share.  Last week when I went out in my backyard to play with my dog, she galloped over and dropped her toy at my feet.  I picked her toy up and in my hands I was holding a squash!  She harvested her own “toy” from our garden.  I tossed it across the yard and dutifully she retrieved it, but did not drop it.  Instead she ate it.  Love that dog.


Academics this week…

ELA:  In Readers’ Workshop this week we are finishing up The Chocolate Touch.  Over the course of this book study we have expanded vocabulary through definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and context clues.  The comprehension study has included all types of questions from “right there” questions to “think about it” questions, requiring students to explain their evaluation of a character’s actions.  Each time students are asked to use text evidence to prove their answers, causing them to find the proof in the story.  Students have also done character study and cause and effect activities.  As the final assessment tool, the students will compose an apology letter from John to Susan, in which he will make a plan on how he will change in the future (not be greedy).   Please check back for the core and content words, I did not bring home my spelling binder since I needed to leave it for the sub.  Writers’ Workshop:  This week we will continue with our Grammar study of nouns working on plural nouns, proper nouns, and capitalization rules.

Math:  In Math we are setting the foundation for the study of the area of a shape using tetrominoes.  A tetromino is a shape that is made from four squares.  These four squares can be combined in only five different configurations.  These shapes will serve as tools for covering a larger area and then determining area.  This week we will not introduce the traditional formula; however we will work on the concept of area through counting the squares (or tetrominoes) withing a larger shape.

The five possible tetromino combinations.

The five possible tetromino combinations.

We will begin Rocket Math the week of November 2, so begin working on easy multiplication facts at home.

Social Studies:  We have studied several of the early explorers to the New World, including Amerigo Vespucci and John Cabot.  This week we will add Giovanni Verrazano, Jacques Cartier, Juan Ponce de Leon, and Hernando de Soto.  Students will also complete a map that outlines the routes of several of the explorers.

Gardening:  Once again, be sure to reserve your special Butternut squash!  Send in your donation and we will send a squash and a recipe booklet.  This week we hope to prepare the beds for winter, so we will harvest the broom corn and place it in the greenhouse to dry, clean all the plant debris from the beds, and chop the plant matter in small pieces for the compost.

Book Buddies:  This week we are going to Mrs. Jackson’s room on Wednesday afternoon to help with their seed starting.  If you have any partial bags of seed starter soil, we would love a donation!

Friday:  This week on Friday we will have a busy day beginning with the field trip to the Genesee Theater for the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival.  We will be gone from 9:30 – 12:30.  Lunch will be at 12:30 and recess at 1:00. Students can prepare for the parade at 1:30, the parade is at 2:00, followed by the party.  Remember that Mr. Rodriguez is sponsoring a pizza lunch for our class.  He will provide cheese and pepperoni pizza, cider, and an apple. If your child doesn’t want pizza, then send in a regular lunch.

Spanish:  SALSA day is this Wednesday!!

Dates to Remember:

10/29:     School board meeting

10/30:     Field trip to storytelling festival

10/30:     Halloween festivities

11/1:         Time Change:  Fall Back

11/3:        Green Challenge Assembly

11/4:        Early Release:  new furniture

11/5:        Early Release:  new furniture