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!