## Friday, August 31, 2007

### Friday?!?!

I can't believe it is already Friday! We have had a very busy and productive week.

This morning, in math, we continued to work on place value and we began creating the largest and smallest numbers possible given three individual digits. For example, if the digits are 583, the largest number would be 853 and the smallest 358. During reading we played a getting to know you game. Ask your children about it...it was a lot of fun! Then the class visited Mrs. Thompson in music.

This afternoon we will continue to read Frindle. We will also begin learning the characteristics of a personal narrative, as we write about a special memory, and we will begin our Crime Lab Investigation science unit. We will make fingerprints and then analyze the three different patterns that are common; arch, loop and whorl.

I hope everyone has a wonderful three day weekend...remember that the Braggin' Dragon posters and a picture of each student needs to be turned in no later than next Friday!

Please feel free to add comments to our blog! I enjoy knowing that it is being read.

## Thursday, August 30, 2007

### Braggin' Dragon

Well, we certainly have a lot to brag about at DES and throughout the school, our bulletin boards will show it! Every classroom will have a Braggin' Dragon bulletin board, for their class, in the hallway. To begin the year, students will get a white sheet of construction paper to decorate with things they are proud of about themselves. Then, beginning in October, they will choose a piece of school work that they are proud of to display in "their space" on the Braggin' Dragon board.

So...either today or tomorrow, each child will bring home a piece of blank, white construction paper. Your child needs to decorate it with pictures, words and symbols that represents them and what they are proud of. Additionally, I need a picture of each child (no larger than 4x6) that is NOT attached to their poster. This will be put on the bulletin board in "their space". Please have your child bring in the picture and the poster NO LATER than Friday, Spetember 7.

Air in our classroom...as you know DES is an older building...the air situation could be better...but it is what it is....SO, you might want your child to bring a sweatshirt or a sweater to LEAVE in the classroom for days when the air is too cold! Just a suggestion!!! Nobody wants to sit next to the AC unit but someone has to!

Today, Mrs. Howard, our new and AWESOME counselor, came in to do an introductory lesson. Ask your child about "filling a bucket".

In reading, we read The Art Lesson, by Tomie dePaola and practiced making connections to the text. We discussed how making personal and emotional connections can better help us understand characters in stories.

This afternoon we will visit the computer lab for the first time this year AND we will finally create class rules. Yesterday I got sidetracked by reading the letters the students wrote to me and answering the questions they asked...it was a lot of fun getting to know each other better!

Homework tonight: My math class got a worksheet (place value) and students need to read for 15 minutes. They can also work on their Braggin' Dragon poster.

## Wednesday, August 29, 2007

### And we continue marching along....

Day three...is this still the "honeymoon period" or have I truly lucked out with an incredible class?!?! I am having a blast!!! The children continue to be polite and they seem to be great listeners. They have picked up the class routines with ease which makes my life so much easier. Additionally, the children, as a whole, have wonderful personalities. They seem to get my sense of humor and want to do their best. I can't ask for more than that!

In math today, we continued working on place value and writing numbers in different formats. For example, three hundred twenty six (word format) would be 326 in standard form and 326=300+20+6 in expanded notation. We are working on two and three digit numbers. The children did receive a homework worksheet.

When we got back into homeroom, the students learned about some more expectations, such as using the sign language sign for bathroom if they are raising their hand to go to the bathroom and the issue bin. The issue bin is a poster where students can write questions or "issues" on post-it notes when they need me, but either I am working with a student or small group or it is just not an appropriate time to communicate their thoughts/needs.

After that, the children began writing letters to me telling me at least 2 things about themselves and asking me 1 question they would like to have answered about me. While they were working on that, I continued with my QRI testing (the reading assessment).

Funny story...when I told the class that I would be doing more QRI testing, a child said, "You can do that??? I didn't know teachers could do eye tests." Obviously, she had heard me say I would be doing more "I" testing...it was funny...and cute!

This afternoon, I hope we will share the children's letters, I will answer some questions about myself and we will finally create class rules and jobs. There is always so much to do the first few weeks of school and I ALWAYS over-plan!!!

Just a few nuts and bolts...
Every student needs to bring in a \$15 check payable to DES for their plastic folder, Time for Kids and their planner. Please put it in an envelope that says TFK/Planner or mark that in the memo section of your check.

Students are expected to read for at least 15 minutes EVERY night...this can be a book, the newspaper, a magazine....whatever!

## Tuesday, August 28, 2007

### Day 2...

We are off and running...We switched for math today. My math class got through a complete lesson, beginning with a warm up, followed by some direct instruction. Then the children used manipulatives (base ten blocks) to further cement their knowledge. Finally, we practiced with the old pencil/paper/worksheet method...they even got some homework tonight! We are working on place value....using the placement of a digit within a number to determine its value.

We also learned about anchor activities, once we returned to out homeroom. Anchor activities are activities the children can work on when they are finished with the independent work or classwork. The children seemed excited to get started!

They worked very well today and I was able to get some reading assessments in. I will be assessing all of my students to see where they are in their decoding/sight words/reading comprehension, so that I am better able to plan my instruction to meet all of the children's needs.

This afternoon we will create some class rules, identify class jobs and get toknow eachother a bit better. Also, Ms. Jones will stop by to read to the class!

I really am enjoying this group of children...they are well behaved and they seem to enjoy being in school...at least so far!!!!

## Monday, August 27, 2007

### First Day of School

I can't believe today is the first day of school. The summer went by quickly but it's good to be back at DES. I can already tell that this group of children is going to be awesome. There are 21 children in the class; all bringing their unique personality to the mix!

This morning we spent a good bit of time learning the routines and expectations in the classroom.

We also set up our notebook (binder). Some children need to purchase larger binders so that everything fits. Most children brought their own pocket folders, since it was on the supply list. However, this summer, the school made a decision to purchase plastic folders for the children. These will serve as their home folders. Therefore, the children will not need the paper pocket folders.

We also took a math preassessment for unit 1. This helps me determine what students already know and what they need to learn. It will also be used to create math classes. Some students will be going to Mr. Vogel for math; others will stay with me.

This afternoon we will be visitng the media center and checking out books. We will also meet the new media specialist, Mrs. Rose.

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at dana_c_holman@mcpsmd.org and check into the blog frequently to keep informed about our third grade class!