Back to School

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Not sure about all of you, but I'm ready to return to school!!  We had a very nice, relaxing Thanksgiving Break, but after eating way too much and being absolutely lazy, it's time to get back to a normal routine!!  We have so much going on over the next 3 weeks.  That's right, 3 weeks until Christmas Break!  Not only do we have regular learning to conquer, we have another STEAM project coming up.  I'm going to keep it a secret for about a week, so the kiddos will be surprised.  It's going to be so much fun!  We also have our class party scheduled for December 19th. I'll send home more information about it as soon as I have it ready.  

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I look forward to seeing my kiddos tomorrow morning!!

Happy Veteran's Day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day!!  Thank you so much for your service!  Thank you for blessing me with your precious children.  Enjoy this day off and I look forward to seeing all my kiddos tomorrow!

Happy Birthday, Marine Corps!

I was on an airplane yesterday, so I did not get a chance to post this!  I hope you all had a fabulous 239th birthday!  Thank you for serving this amazing country!! 


Friday, October 31, 2014

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful, cool weather!!  Sitting inside, looking out at how gorgeous it is, makes me so jealous!!  :)

Next week we are starting multiplication.  In addition to strategies taught in our 3rd grade math curriculum, I use an additional program called "Multiplication in 7 Days".  I have used this program for about 5 years and have had great success with students mastering their multiplication facts.  Memorization of multiplication facts is not required as part of our 3rd grade math standards, however, we find it useful for them to know for this school year and future school years. 

Homework next week will be in printed form.  Each day your child will come home with a list of multiplication facts to learn.  Please only focus on the facts listed on the page.  Students will still have their daily math lesson, that will support strategies to help them with multiplication (repeated addition, arrays, etc.).  Before the lesson each morning, students will be quizzed on the facts they studied the night before.  The facts are broken down into small groups.  After the 7 days, students should have grasped multiplication using memorization and additional strategies taught through the daily math lesson.

I will post each day's facts on the blog, but please do not have your child work ahead.  It is important for them to learn these in the order the program suggest.  The goal is not to work ahead, but rather to master the given facts.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

IT'S BLOCK PARTY TIME!!!!  Congratulations to all of my kiddos for earning their tickets to Block Party!!  There were some 3rd graders that did not earn enough tickets, so let's wish them luck for Quarter 2!  My class worked hard, demonstrated wonderful behavior, and completed all of their work.  I'm super excited for them!

Don't forget that Thursday and Friday there is no school!  Also, the first round of Student Led Conferences start Monday, November 3rd.  If you forgot your assigned date, please email me for a reminder.  Your child is super excited to share with you all their progress this quarter.  They have been practicing and preparing for their Star moment.  Please try to make arrangements for sibling care, so that your Star will have their moment to shine!  We want to make sure they have all of your attention that day!

Have a nice long weekend!  Bundle up, it's going to be chilly out.

Quarter 1 is almost over!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quarter 1 officially ends October 28th.  Hard to believe the first 9 weeks of school are already over. To officially wrap up Quarter 1, students have school for 3 days, next week, due to staff development for teachers on Thursday and a workday on Friday.  

Since next week is a short week, students will not have any homework.  We will spend Monday and Tuesday setting up and preparing for Student Led Conferences, as well as, completing any unfinished assignments.  Wednesday, students will celebrate Quarter 1 during the 3rd Grade Block Party.  

Block party is an incentive activity that third grade has been participating in for the past 4 school years.  Incorporating our Social Studies theme of "Communities" students are able to move freely between all 4 third grade classes participating in fun activities.  The objective is to reward them for hard work, great behavior, and allow them some time to use socialization skills to interact with students from the other classes.  Third graders have been working hard to earn their 10 Block Party tickets.  As of today, most students have 9, with a couple of students having 8. Students must have 10 Block Party tickets to participate.  They still have Monday and Tuesday to earn. Tickets are awarded on Class Dojo and are given to students who did not Dojo Down more than twice each day, completed all class and homework assignments on time, and demonstrate positive behavior by following classroom and school rules.  I'm sure you will hear all about it when they get home!!

Don't Forget

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Don't forget to check your emails and respond back to the Student Led Conference assigned time slot. 

Don't forget to check your child's class blog and respond to their Friday Journal, October 10 post. They worked very hard on this yesterday.  I met with each student and we reviewed their work together.  I tried not to make too many changes, but if there were several mistakes, I scribed for the child.  I want this to be their work, not mine.  :)

Weekly Wrap Up

Boy was this a busy week!  They all are busy, but this week was busier than most.  To begin with, all Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) reading assessments are done.  Your student will share their reading level with you during Student Led Conferences. When your child completed their BAS test with me, I explained their reading level to them and showed them on the Fountas & Pinnell Text Gradient what that level meant.  Ask your child what their BAS level is and use the chart below to see where their reading level.
This week we also tested on Topic 3- Subtraction.  Pretest scores showed students had limited knowledge on basic subtraction skills (regrouping/borrowing & estimating).  We spent the week learning how to regroup and other strategies to help them subtract.  They learned basic skills, such as, adding up to find the answer, counting up by 10's and then adding on ones, using models (counters/base 10 blocks), and then simple regrouping to find the answer.  Adding up to find the answer means if you have a problem, such as, 27-18. Start at 18 and add up to get to 27.  Counting by 10's means that if you have a problem, such as, 79 - 49, you can count up by 10's from 49 to 79 to find the answer.  If the problem is 79 - 45, you count up to the 10's that is closest to 45 and then add on the four ones (Start at 45 and add 10's = 55, 65, 75, and then add the 4 ones. That took 3 tens = 30 and 4 ones = 4, so the answer to 79-45=34).  

One area of concern for many students is that they did not grasp basic regrouping (borrowing) skills in 1st and 2nd grade.  I noticed that several students did not know what to do when the top digit in the ones place was less than the bottom digit in the ones place:
After looking at student's post test scores on Pearson, we are going to have to work on regrouping strategies more.  Like I said earlier, this is a skill that should have entered 3rd grade with, but many have not.   If you want to know if your child knows regrouping skills, give them a problem, such as the one above, and see if they can regroup, without your help.  Look to see if they know what to do when that top digit is smaller than the bottom digit.  Do they know what to do when they borrow from the 10's place value? 

Have a great, long weekend!

Curriculum Night

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Don't forget that Tuesday, September 23rd is Curriculum Night at school.  Third grade will be in Computer Lab D where we will have Daily 5 Math and Reading Stations set up.  Your child will be able to show you activities they complete in each station that supports their Reading and Math lessons each week.

Daily 5 stations are designed to help students work with Spelling/Vocabulary Words, writing task, independent work, and partner work that support learning that is currently taking place or may have already been taught.  By keeping prior lessons include students continue to apply these concepts to reinforce learning.  

I hope to see you all Tuesday!!

New Page- Gallery

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Check out the Gallery page above to see photos of activities in our classroom.  I'll add pictures all year long that you can share with deployed parents or families/friends.  Hope you enjoy!

Busy Week!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wow, have we had a busy week!!  First of all, we mastered online math homework.  I am so extremely proud of the students for getting the hang of this.  I should also add all of you parents for being so extremely supportive and patient of this new learning format for your child.  Kuddos to you for allowing them to venture into this new area of learning and supporting them along the way.  You are all amazing!

Secondly, students are doing a fantastic job of learning our Daily 5 Math and Reading Stations.  They are learning the rotation schedule and what to do in each station.  This is not an easy task, since every station has a different activity.  The hardest part is making sure they are working hard and quietly on the station activity.  In another week or two they will have this mastered.

Third, all our online and school software programs are FINALLY up and running!!  So, this weekend I will make the students final username & password cards to send home. Today, students took their first spelling test using Spelling City and their  Reading Selection Test on this week's story, Boom Town.  I was very pleased with their scores, especially since this was their first time taking a online test.  Please remember that the first test scores may be lower than you expect, but that is to be expected since this is a new format for them.   

Lastly, I am so excited about the student blogs.  Thursday, they worked on the background colors and began their first post.  They are super excited about working on the blogs, so I told them that with your permission they may work on them at home.  I just ask that they do not post items that are not school related.  In a couple of weeks, they will start typing their Friday Journals in the blogs so that you can respond back to them. 

Next week we will begin our grade level  math assessment and reading assessment.  Monday and Tuesday your child will be testing on 3rd grade level math concepts and reading concepts.  The data from these assessments will be used for school improvement purposes, as well as, data for providing math or reading services to struggling learners.  We still have to administer the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) and Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI).  Once all assessments are complete I will send home a report with how your child scored.  It will probably be the beginning of October before that report goes home.  

Have a fantastic weekend and I look forward to seeing your child on Monday!!

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 1, 2014

I hope you all have enjoyed this beautiful weekend! I know I have.  It was nice getting caught up on chores and work! :) 

Please remember to check the class blog for this week's homework.  Go to the "Homework" link and click on this week's date.  The Pearson Math homework will appear each day, instead of all at once.  This way I can teach the lesson and then your child can practice the strategy for homework.  All homework should be complete when your child comes to school Friday morning.  Around 8:00 am on Friday, I will check Pearson for homework completion.  

I hope you have a fantastic week,
Lisa Nassar

Meet and Greet 2014/2015

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Welcome Back students and parents!!!  I am so excited to meet all of you today.  I cannot wait to see my sweet students and their smiley faces.  We are going to have a fabulous year filled with technology rich learning and lots of fun. 

Mom and Dad, you have homework tonight!  I am going to give the kiddos a night off, so I'm sure they will enjoy watching you work while they play! :) At Meet and Greet you were given a handout.  Please complete each item on the list.  Once you are done, leave me a comment below.  If you do not have a Gmail account, then select the Anonymous link and put your name in the beginning of your post, so that I will know who you are. 

I look forward to reading your comments and email me if you have any questions.  Have fun!

Back to Work!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Can't believe I have one more day until I return to work!!  It's been a fantastic summer,  but I have to admit that I'm ready to meet my new kiddos!  I also can't wait to see my colleagues, especially my team.  After a summer of dealing with a newly diagnosed heart condition, I am ready for a routine that keeps me busy and hopefully not too stressed.  Enough blogging, going to finish my To Do list for the house and then tackle my classroom tomorrow!!  Third Grade here I come!!!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Spent the week, except for Thursday, working in my classroom.  Decided to get it done, or close to done, before we go on vacation so that I don't have to worry about it when I get back.  I still have a few things to do, but the  big items are done.  Love the way it's turning out.  Took down most of the polka dots and changed to burlap and chevrons.  It's not completely done, but here's what I've got done so far!  
Love the front door!  I am so proud of myself when I say that I actually made the burlap bunting.  If you know me, you know that this is a triumph!  The Welcome sign was made by a company named  Sparkled Whimsy off of Etsy.  I designed how I wanted it to look and she made it for me.  It's absolutely beautiful and made of solid wood.  You can't see them, but it came with the cutest little black wood boards to show when we are in Specials or at the computer lab, recess, or lunch.    You can see the basket of the boards on the picture two down from this one.  You should definitely check out the Sparkled Whimsy store on Etsy.  Wonderful company to work with.
Love, love, love my Welcome bunting that I MADE!!! 
Okay, so the cute picture frames at the top of this picture I actually painted myself.  I also made the rules pictures that are inside the frames.  Once again, if you know me, you know that even painting these frames is amazing!  I should also add that I made the burlap bow to go on my burlap bulletin board. 
View from front door
This bulletin board will eventually have Writing Center items on it.  Stay tuned!
Love my Ikea buckets with the cute "Lost" labels on them.
One of my Listening Centers
Check out those cute painted R E A D letters.  Recognize that paint color?
Reading and Math Word Work Area
Teacher Time table.  Love my new tabletop easel from Really Good Stuff
Class Jobs
What?  More colored picture frames!  Found these at Michaels for $1.79 each.  Couldn't pass them up.  They were marked down 70%.  Got some small ones for .39 each.  Stay tuned to see the small frames.
Student work display wall
Another student work display wall
Computer Stations with my cute Computer Rules signs

That's about it for now, but I am NOWHERE near done.  The rest will have to wait for August 18th!  On vacation until then!  :)

Still on Vacation!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Still on summer vacation!  Will post in August!  :) 

Last Day of School

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

As our year has come to an end, I wanted to thank each one of my parents for all of your support this year. Without your help, my job would not be possible.  Thank you for being supportive, thank you for listening when I had a concern, thank you for making me laugh, thank you for all the wonderful gifts I have received this year, thank you for the sacrifice you make each day for our country, but most of all, THANK YOU for allowing me the opportunity to work with your child.  They are all such a blessing and I am going to miss them so much.  I hope that wherever the military takes you that you always try to stay in touch.  My school email should always  remain the same and I will always do my best to keep the blog up.  If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to ask.  
Please take a moment to watch the video below. This is something I do at the end of the year for my students.  It's fun to see how much we've done this year and how much they have grown.  I hope you enjoy it!

1 more day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Today officially marks our last full day of school.  We cleaned out, broke down, and tore down all day long. It was exhausting, but I couldn't have gotten it done without my kiddos.  They worked so hard today! Tomorrow we celebrate our year with a party and some down time just enjoying our last few hours together.  I know the kiddos are excited to begin their summer break.  Some are moving on and some are staying.  Whichever the case, I hope that they keep in touch with me through this blog or email.  One of the drawbacks to teaching DOD is that we don't always get to follow our kiddos as they grow up.  Occasionally a former student finds me and it's always so exciting catching up with them.  Enjoy your evening!

5 More Days!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

We officially are down to five more days left of this school year.  We have completed all of our learning standards for the year.  Students celebrated Monday when we completed our last Math topic, to include the assessment and our reading assessment.  It was a mad dash, especially with all the time we missed this year due to weather.  We are now wrapping up our year with completing our learning journals. Their math journal is complete and we are finishing up our interactive language arts journal.  It's a great review and a resource for students to use next year.

As we approach summer vacation, please keep in mind that it is very important for students to read over the summer. Research shows that students who do not read over the summer can lose up to two months of reading achievement. (See http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/03/stopping-the-summer-slide/http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/03/stopping-the-summer-slide/).   The same applies to practicing math concepts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).  To help your child, I've included some activities students can use to help maintain their learning achievement.  Just spending two hours a day reading and practicing math, will help your child begin next school year with confidence.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Feedback Needed!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I would like your feedback on the use of this blog.  Would you please post a comment on how you feel the blog has helped you this year?  

  • Did you refer to it when you needed something?  
  • Do you feel the blog kept you up to date?  
  • Is there anything you would like to see added that would help you?  
  • Also, can you let me know if your deployed spouse was able to access the blog (if they had the chance to).
Any information you can provide would be great.  During the summer I like to make updates and changes.  Your feedback would help me make this blog better for next year. I'm open to all suggestions/comments/etc that will make the blog a great place to visit.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

(Photographer Unknown)
As we enjoy this weekend, let us not forgot the meaning behind Memorial Day.   Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers that died.  In 1971, Congress declared that Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May.  Click on the link below for more information. 

Enjoy this beautiful long weekend, but take a few minutes to explain its true meaning to your child. 

God Bless America

Busy Week

This is not only a short week, but a busy week in our classroom.  With having Monday off, we have to squeeze math into 3 days, so that we will be ready to run/walk for the Eagles Run on Friday.  I know the kiddos are super excited about Friday's activities.  Eagles Run is always a blast and so much fun wrapping our year up with a family picnic and festivities.  

We also have the NFL Play 60 camp on June 5th.  Permission slips went home on Friday.  Students must have a signed permission slip to participate.  This camp is run by the Carolina Panthers, therefore, they will not allow a child to participate without the form signed. 

Lastly, we only have 12 school days left!  I cannot believe how fast this year went by!! I know the kiddos are ready to be done and become 4th graders and I agree with them, but I'm going to miss them.  The next 12 school days will be busy, but fun!!  Have a great weekend.

End of Year Assessments

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I cannot believe it is already end of year assessment time! Thursday we started our end of the year math assessment. This assessment measures DoDEA 3rd Grade Math Standards that your child is required to learn.  With 47 problems, I break the test up to about 10 problems a day until we finish it.  This way students do not tire out. So far, I'm very pleased with how they are doing on it.  Each day, I grade the page they finished so that on the last day I can immediately give them a final grade.  It is my expectation that your child score a 85-100% on this assessment to show 3rd Grade Math Mastery.  With daily lessons, Daily 5 Math, homework, and one-on-one teacher time, students should reach this expectation.

This week I also start testing students on the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS).  This is our reading assessment that measures students comprehension and fluency. Students in 3rd grade take this assessment twice a year- beginning and end.  Third grade students should end up on a Level L-P.  Most students are already within this range or higher.  I've included a BAS Text range below for you to use once I have tested your child.  

We also have our Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) test to take before June 5th.  This test measures your child's reading comprehension.  The SRI provides a lexile score for the student to use when selecting "Just Right" books.  

Once all assessments have been completed, I will send home a report with the scores for the whole year so that you can see your child's progress over this school year.  This report is something that I do and is not required by the school or district, but I feel that you need to know exactly where your child is and how much progress they made this year.  I plan to have all reports ready to send home by the last day of school.  Report cards will be mailed home by the school. 

Have a great weekend!!
BAS Text Levels

No More Homework!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I sent out an email to all parents letting them know that tomorrow is the last day of homework for the year. After looking at the calendar and all the events we have coming up, there are going to be several interruptions to our instructional time.  Because of this, I will have to be creative with our lessons to allow for the fun we will have.  This will cause problems to scheduled homework, so it's easier to go ahead and wrap up the year with no more homework.  

As always, please have your child continue to read 15-20 minutes each night.  They also have access to IXL so they can continue working on the 3rd grade concepts.  So, there are several options for nightly work.  Enjoy!

Teacher Appreciation Week

Saturday, May 3, 2014

While exploring my favorite website, Pinterest, I came across this teacher poem.  It summed up so much about teaching.  As teachers are being acknowledged this week for the work we do, I think it's important to note that teaching is something I chose to do.  I absolutely love getting up each day to see those sweet, smiley faces.  No matter what is going on in my world, they make me feel loved.  Teaching is the most rewarding thing I've done in my life, besides being a mother.  I wouldn't trade my job for anything in this world.  I am truly blessed to have my job and the amazing kiddos and families I work with.  


Friday, May 2, 2014

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything, so I figured I would jump on that today!!  I've been out of work for over a week now due to medical reasons.  I've missed my kiddos so much.  I have been keeping up with a few of them on Gmail.  Each day I've checked and am so excited when I see a new email from them.  They definitely have a way of making you feel loved.  Their sweet words always make my heart feel good.
I'm heading back to work on Monday, regardless of what the doctor says.  I cannot stay home any longer and be away from my kiddos.  I cannot wait to see their faces on Monday morning.  Have a great weekend everyone and get some rest!

Bridge Building final day

Friday, April 11, 2014

I was going to add these photos to the previous post, but thought they were just too good to post at the end of that post.  Today was the last day of our STEAM Challenge-Bridge Building.  Students put finishing touches, completed all of their evaluations, cleaned up their area, and worked on their presentation skills.  It was a busy, busy day!  I am so proud to introduce the most amazing bridges that held 12 pounds of weight.  They would have held more, if I had more weights to add to it, but I did not.  

I also want to say thank you to the parents that were able to make it in for the presentations today.  The students loved it and did an amazing job explaining STEAM to their parents.  I am so incredibly proud of all of them!  Enjoy the final STEAM Week Bridge Building Challenge pictures!