FIRE SAFETY: We were lucky enough to have our yearly check-in with Firefighter Al Torizzo and his fellow Goshen Volunteer Firefighter friend. The students were reminded of all the important fire safety rules and had a chance to see Mr. Torizzo's very own firetruck!
This week..... ....in reading, we have been busy looking closely at how we respond to our stories. Do our answers make sense? Are we actually answering the question that is being asked or are we getting sidetracked? When we do answer a question, are we using specific details from the story as evidence? When we are thinking about our characters, we know that a character's feeling is not the same thing as a character trait. We received a big list of character traits that would be helpful for us when responding in our notebooks. These are just a few examples of the amazing mind-work happening in third grade.
Once we can dig deeper and realize how we are responding, it is easier to set a goal that is meaningful for US. Some of us are working on writing a complete summary of our stories while remembering to only include the important details. Others are working on predictions or author's purpose. Whatever it is, setting reading goals will help up become better and happier readers!
...in writing, we are having a good time figuring out the difference between a story that speeds by moment to moment and one that stays in the moment with lots of action and dialogue. When we can hear and see this difference, it is much easier for us to stay in the moment ourselves. We are also realizing that a small moment story doesn't have to be about some big, extraordinary event. A story about playing in the backyard on a beautiful summer day can be just as mesmerizing as a story about traveling to another country. As a matter of fact, if it truly stays in the moment, it can be even more exciting! Although there are so many parts of good writing, many of us are realizing that stretching out a scene with actions, description and dialogue is a worthy writing goal to work toward!
...in math, the strategies that were once confusing are now making lots of sense. That's because we practice every morning when we come into school. Before we start writing in our journals, we solve a 3-digit addition or subtraction problem using two different strategies. By doing this, we can immerse ourselves into the idea of place value which will only make us stronger mathematicians! Some of us have a math goal of slllooowwwinnnggg down while solving a problem. Others have a goal of making sure the directions are read and followed. Others chose math fluency or subtraction strategies or spending more time on Reflex so we can get to the green light! Whatever it is, one thing is for sure - we're ALL working hard and getting better everyday!
READING~ Now that we've rounded the first bend of our reading unit and gotten to know our reading selves even better, our focus has shifted to the actual work of comprehending a story. We know that a reader's job is to make sure the story makes sense and to use fix-up strategies when it doesn't! One way to do this is by stopping and jotting a few notes to ourselves while we're in the middle of reading. We know that it's easy sometimes to let our minds wander. Stopping and jotting will keep us on track!
WRITING~ In writing, now that we have a plethora of writing ideas to choose from in our writing notebooks, we're off and....WRITING. We realized this week that when you actually use a writing strategy, IT WORKS! For example, when you can think of someone special to you and list a few moments that you've had with that person, memories start coming back. Then, you pick one and start writing! We're remembering to stay in the moment! When we do this, we realize that beautiful, moving stories do not have to go on and on and on. Sometimes, the heart of a story can come up in one or two paragraphs! We are writing warriors!
MATH~ We're continuing to work hard on our common core addition and subtraction strategies. We're starting to see why decomposing both numbers for subtraction doesn't always work. Why is that? Ask me! I'll draw some representations using base ten block drawings to demonstrate the idea of 'breaking down' tens and hundreds.
SPELLING/VOCABULARY~ We're excited for our first spelling and vocabulary test NEXT TUESDAY! The reason we're excited is because we love challenges, we love big words and we love working with our spelling partners!
....in different ways! This was the theme of the week! We really took the time to study, reflect and write about things that come easy for us naturally and things that we have to spend more time practicing. Once we took time to realize our 'smarts', we talked about the importance of consistent practice whether things come easily or are more challenging. We can ALWAYS improve and get better at ANYTHING we do! As the year continues, we'll check back often to remember just how SMART we are in our unique ways - music smart, body smart, word smart, logic smart, art smart, nature smart, self smart, people smart! There's none more important than the other and we all have something special to offer the world!
In reading, we spent a lot of time figuring out what it means to build a powerful reading life. We reflected on ways reading could be the best it could be by finding a good reading spot, reading books like they're gold, choosing books we love and talking about books in relevant and meaningful ways. We also took our STAR reading assessment, created colorful bookmarks for our classroom library and started practicing our Daily Five, a part of our daily literacy block. This will include Reading to Self, Reading with a Partner, Listening to Reading, Working with Words and Writing our Reading Responses.
In writing, we warm up our writing brains every morning for morning work. It's not always easy to think of things to say, but we also know that when things are more difficult that's the time our brains grow the most! We're also in the process of setting up our writing notebooks with inspiration of people, places and things we love, wonderings, expert lists, special places and more. We completed our first narrative writing prompt and remembered all the parts of good writing - strong beginnings and endings, transition words, organization, elaboration, punctuation and spelling.
In math, we're rounding to the nearest 10 and 100, using place value to sequence numbers from least to greatest, creating 3-digit numbers to get as close to 1,000 as possible and estimating the number of hundreds while adding two numbers together. We also completed our STAR Math Assessment. That's a lot of math in one week!
We will begin our spelling, vocabulary, cursive and typing next week. Onward and upward we go in third grade....
We're continuing to spend a lot of time practicing our routines and procedures and remembering appropriate classroom behavior. After brainstorming a variety of behaviors stated positively, we created a class book imagining what it would be like if everybody did not pick up after themselves or treat people kindly or listen while others talked. We enjoyed illustrating and writing about the chaos that would ensue if our classroom rules weren't followed. We then narrowed down our rules to a simpler version for us to remember - be respectful, be responsible, be reasonable. Soon, we will be creating our own Classroom Constitution which everyone will sign.
We're also having fun learning a variety of morning games and songs to help us start the day happily and comfortably. Whether it's jokes and riddles, 'would you rather' questions, true and false, or open-ended questions we make up ourselves (while throwing a ball to a friend), there's so much to learn. We're currently practicing a morning song which includes fill-in-the blank rhymes. Not only are we learning songs but we're also working on pronunciation by singing our words clearly and loudly enough for our audience to hear. Eventually, we will sing to our Kindergarten friends so they can fill in the missing rhymes!
While there are many ways in which we will take on greater responsibilities as third graders, one of them is learning how to use Chromebooks as well as handle them appropriately and reasonably. Now that we all have RSD6 google accounts, we will be accessing many of our apps and assignments through Google Classroom. Our first assignment was to practice using a variety of features in Google Docs. These include fonts, text size, bold/italics/underline, highlight, text color and inserting text boxes. We're creating a colorful web of our Favorite Things. In order to do this, we have to learn how to manipulate the text boxes so everything fits. We're excited to eventually print them out and show them off to our friends and families!
We had a busy and informative week of learning new procedures and routines. We reconnected with friends from last year, learned interesting details about new friends, read stories, practiced and reviewed math games, unlocked doors to a maze with the help of each other and dreamed about our future. Wow! A lot was accomplished in only one full day and two half days of school! This must be third grade!
We also met our Kindergarten buddies today. Everyday we will walk with them from recess to lunch and help them get organized and settled while making this transition into the lunchroom.
We have been learning all about how to write an effective opinion piece. Having an opinion is one thing! Learning how to express it clearly, directly address our audience, and gather enough evidence and facts to support our opinion requires much more thought and effort.
We all noticed 'problems' on the playground. Then we brought them back to the classroom to talk about them as well as solutions to solve them. We then narrowed down our 'problems' to two that we really cared about and thought could be solved - building a playground for the preschool and utilizing the empty tennis/basketball courts during recess. In order to convince our audience that these are great ideas, we have to strongly state this opinion by pointing out the problems and possible solutions that are feasible. We are working together to anticipate the audience responses and making sure we address these directly in our opinion pieces. We are having fun putting these together and will soon send them off to the proper audience - Mrs. Keilty...Mr. Leone... We'll see how convincing our letters will be!
We worked very hard on the math section of the Smarter Balanced Assessments this week. Next week, we'll complete the language arts portion.