## Wednesday, March 30, 2011

### Last Day of MP3

WOW! That's all I can say about the title.

In math we took our second quiz for unit 5. The quizzes have been scored and should be in your child's binder in the math section.

In reading the students completed their research projects and had a chance to read their books to their classmates. These will be sent home on Friday. I still need to score them.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to PE. When they return, they will share their instruments with the second graders through a gallery walk. The instruments will be coming home today!

Remember...no school for students tomorrow. Teachers will be working on report cards and planning for the final marking period!

## Tuesday, March 29, 2011

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning in math we added and subtracted money. Mrs. Arul also worked with a small group on counting coins. I worked with a group identifying fractions of a set. MOST students need to complete their classwork for homework. A few will not have a worksheet to complete. ALL will have a quiz tomorrow.

At the beginning of our reading block, I focused on teaching the direct link between a topic sentence and the details in the paragraph. We even created a topic sentence together, as a class, to math details I had listed on the board. Then the students worked on their research projects while Mrs. J., myself and a parent volunteer conferenced one-on-one with individual students.

Following lunch and outdoor recess we will have a class meeting that will focus on the importance of treating all with respect...and the possible consequences. Then we will share our instrument projects with the fourth and fifth graders through another gallery walk.

## Monday, March 28, 2011

### The End is Near!

Wednesday marks the last day of the third marking period! How crazy is that!?!?! This year has really flown by!!

In math we practiced counting and writing money for different values. While the students worked independently Mrs. Arul and I met with small groups. One group worked on identifying fractions of a set. The other group practiced counting coins. There is a worksheet for homework and we will have a quiz on Wednesday.

In reading I modeled using our graphic organizer to write the final paragraph of our research project (accomplishments). My instructions focused on organization and varying sentence structure. Students were taught how to combine two ideas into one longer sentence.

Then the students wrote their rough draft for their accomplishments paragraph and resumed working on the final copies of the other paragraphs. Mrs. J. and I met with individual students to meet their specific needs.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to art. When they return we will share their "Be a Good Citizen" posters. These will be displayed on our class Braggin' Dragon board before being sent home.

## Friday, March 25, 2011

### TGIF

This morning in math we had our first quiz for Unit 5. The students did quite well! The quiz did not include fractions of a set or money. We will have another quiz, including these skills, on Wednesday.

In reading we did an activity to help the students think about using "voice" in their writing and matching it to their audience. They worked with a partner to write the idea, "I read a great book.", as if it were the first sentence in a letter to their mom and dad, their grandmother, Mr. McGee, and a classmate. After that, the students continued working on their research projects while Mrs. J and I worked individually with students to revise and edit their writing.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to music. After that, Mrs. J.'s son, Pat, will visit to do a demostration about sound using his guitar. Then the students will do gallery walks in both third grade classrooms to view each others instruments.

## Thursday, March 24, 2011

### Thursday...Down to the Wire

Tomorrow is the big day! The sound projects are due! Remember, students are expected to bring an instrument, a diagram and a paragraph!

In math we continued to count and write money. While the students worked independently Mrs. Arul and I met with small groups working on identifying mixed numbers on a number line and identifying fractions of a set (ex. 1/3 of 12).

We began reading by reading and discussing an article about rock climbing and sedimentary rocks in the March issue of National Geographic. Then we discussed our biography research project and based on student feedback we decided to begin the final copy for the fame and childhood paragraphs. We will finish our rough draft for the accomplishment paragraph tomorrow...or Monday. :-)

While the students worked independently, I worked one-on-one with students to listen to their reading and revise their writing. Mrs. J. was also available to help revise and edit writing.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students will go to the media center. When they return Mrs. Howard and Mr. Romer will do another counseling lesson.

Remember sound instrument projects are due tomorrow.

Also, a big shout-out to my #1 fan, Nathan, a student at Towson, who visited and observed our class this morning!

## Wednesday, March 23, 2011

### Hump Day

This morning we had our class pictures taken. Therefore, our math classes started late and were cut short. We managed to make the most of our time, though!!

After reviewing some skills we have been working on with fractions, we reviewed the names and values of coins. Then we practiced skip counting by 25, 10 and 5. Unfortunately, at that point, we ran out of time...NO math homework tonight!

We had a sort-of "catch up" day in reading...I say sort-of because I had to do ONE lesson, right? So, I began by modeling how to write a paragraph about Michael Jordan's challenges using "voice". Voice refers to the ability to put your personality into your writing.

After that the students worked on their writing and spelling assignments while I met with students to listen to them read one-on-one and help with their writing. As always, Mrs. J. was available to provide one-on-one support, too.

Following lunch and indoor recess the class will go to PE and then have a guidance lesson with Mrs. Howard.

Remember that the sound projects are due on Friday!

## Tuesday, March 22, 2011

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning, in math, we practiced comparing fractions using <, >, or =. The students discovered that the larger the denominator, the smaller the actual fraction will be. While the students worked independently, Mrs. Arul and I met with small groups focusing on identifying fractions of a set and comparing fractions. There is a fraction comparison worksheet for homework.

In reading we used headings to predict the main idea of a section of text. The students enjoyed the article about King Tut which we used to practice this strategy. After that I reviewed my expectations for the use of the feedback I provide on the students' written work. I also modeled writing a paragraph about Michael Jordan's childhood.

Then, while I read with several students one-on -one, the students rewrote their "fame" paragraphs using the feedback I provided. Next, they wrote a rough draft about their famous person's childhood. Finally, if they had enough time, the students were to write their spelling words three times each, once in print and twice in cursive.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, we will have a class meeting. Then the students will finish their "Be a Good Citizen" posters and share them with the rest of the class.

Remember...sound projects (instrument, diagram and paragraph) are due FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!

## Monday, March 21, 2011

### Happy Spring!!

This morning, in math, we reviewed identifying fractions of a set, ex. 1/2 of 8 = 4. The students worked independently on a worksheet while Mrs. Arul and I met with small groups. One group worked on identifying fractions of a set. The other practiced identifying fractions and mixed numbers on a number line. There is a worksheet for homework.

We began reading by practicing visualization as a comprehension strategy, using Fantastic Feathers an article in this month's National Geographic. Then we practiced reading this week's spelling words. After that, I modeled writing a paragraph about Michael Jordan's fame , using my graphic organizer from last week.

I continued listening to students read one-on-one and answer comprehension questions while the students worked on sorting their spelling words according to the /i/ sound, writing a paragraph about their famous person's claim to fame and completing a visualization and compound word activity to go with the National Geographic article.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to art. When they return they will be making posters encouraging others to make good choices to be good citizens.

Remember the sound prjects are due this Friday!

## Friday, March 18, 2011

### TGIF

This morning in math we practiced identifying fractions of a set. An example is 1/3 of 12 is 4. This is a challenging concept. We will continue working on this on Monday.

In reading I modeled reading my second resource about Michael Jordan and adding new information, including exact dates, to my capture chart. There were many "teachable moments" including the new resource stating that Jordan was born in New York when the original text said he was born in North Carolina. This led to a discussion about the need for a third source.

The students spent the rest of the reading block completing the capture sheets for their famous person, finishing unfinished work and reading a new National Geographic.

I met with the hornets reading group to finish reading our novel, Caleb's Story. Then I began meeting with individual students to conduct informal reading assessments. I plan to continue this next week. I want to meet with each student to ensure that I have a firm grasp on their current reading abilities, including; decoding, fluency and oral comprehension.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to music. When they return, the entire 3-5 grade will enjoy the extra recess they earned by doing their best on the MSA.

## Thursday, March 17, 2011

### Thursday

This morning in math we reviewed equivalent fractions, mixed numbers and identifying fractions (and mixed numbers) on a number line. The students were given independent work and several small groups were called. By the end of the math block it appeared that student understanding, overall, had come a long way!! WOO HOO! No homework tonight and no quiz tomorrow. Beware...homework returns Monday!

Reading began with my continuing the modeling of reading a resource (in this case a text) and gathering important information, from the resource, and organizing it on our capture chart. Then the students worked independently gathering and organizing information about their famous person. If they finished early, they worked on a Word of the Week (shriek - to yell; scream; screech) paper.

Hornets: We read and discussed chapter 10...at the end of this chpater the son lays a big guilt trip on his father. We had a great discussion about this!

I did not meet with the other two reading groups. Instead, I began conferencing with individual students, from these two groups, on their famous person research project.

Following lunch nad outdoor recess the students will visit the media ceneter. The day will end with a friendship lesson given by Mrs. Howard and her intern, Mr. Romer.

Remember the science project is due next Friday, March 25.

## Wednesday, March 16, 2011

### Hump Day

THis morning in math we tackled identifying factions and mixed numbers on a number line. While the students worked independently on a follow up woksheet, Mts. Arul and I met with small groups. The small groups worked on mixed numbers and equivalent fractions. As promised to the children...no homework! :-)

We began reading by visiting the computer lab. In the computer lab, the students were introduced to a serach enginve called SIRS Discovereer. They used this to gather resources for their famous person they are researching.

When we returned to the classroom, I showed them the capture sheet we will use to take notes from our resources. Then, I modeled reading a book and taking notes on the capture sheet. Finally, the students were given time (not much...but some!) to begin reading one of their resources and take notes on their capture sheet.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to PE. When they return to class we will review the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen and then the students will create posters to persuade others to be good citiznes.

A note about the scince project...the packet says it is due on March 24...I messed up, several times...and repeatedly said it was due March 25...therefore, March 25 is the official due date...not the 24th!! Sorry for any confusion or frsutration that this may have caused!!

## Tuesday, March 15, 2011

### Terrific Tuesday

Back to our normal routine...WOO HOO!

In math we named and identified mixed fractions. A mixed fraction is made up of a whole number and a fraction. For example, 2 1/2 is a mixed fraction. As promised, to the kids, there is no homework.

We began reading by choosing the famous person whom each student will research...very exciting!! Then we listed things we know about that person and questions we have. I modeled this first, using Michael Jordan. After that, each child shared who they are going to research, what they know and what questions they have about the person. Then we reviewed thick and thin questions, a lesson from last week, and discussed examples of each. We also used student examples to formulate thick questions that will guide our research. These include; How is the person famous? What was the person's childhood like? What struggles/challenges did the person face? What did the person accomplish?

Following lunch and outdoor recess we will have a class meeting. Then we will finish reading about and discussing the foundations and principles of our government.

Remember, the sound project is due next Friday!!!

## Monday, March 14, 2011

### Marvelous Monday

Why is today marvelous? Because we get to say bye-bye to the MSA! Yes, that's right...the students completed the MSA today!!! WOO HOO!!

I am so proud of the hard work and effective effort I saw from all of the children! AS promised, they will have minimal homework, again, this week. HOWEVER, please keep in mind that the science sound project is due next week!!

After we completed the MSA, we switched for reading classes. In my class, we continued previewing the biographies and sharing interesting facts we read.

After lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to art. Following art, the entire third grade will finish watching The Pagemaster, which we began watching Friday afternoon.

Again, the sceince projects are due next Friday, March 25!!

## Friday, March 11, 2011

### TGIF...Family Fun Night is TONIGHT!

This morning the students took the first three sections of the math portion of the MSA. It was a long morning but I am proud to say, our children worked hard, used their strategies and showed great determination. YEY!!!

After the MSA, we met in reading classes. My class shared interesting facts they learned while reading biographies, in class, yesterday. It was the perfect activity after a long morning of testing!

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to music. When they return we will begin watching The Pagemaster...a special reward for great effort during the MSA, so far!!

The PTA sponsored Family Fun Night is tonight. They are showing Toy Story 3. Barring any issues, I plan to come by...with my boys.

## Thursday, March 10, 2011

### Rainy Thursday

This morning in math we reviewed equivalent fractions and determining the possible outcomes of a given situation. There is no homework tonight.

We began reading by reviewing cause and effect. Then we read a biography about Susan B. Anthony. After reading the book, I modeled two examples of cause and effect from the text. Next, the students got into small groups and identified more examples of cause and effect on white boards. Finally, the groups shared their results with the whole class.

Before independent work time, we reviewed the difference between thick and think questions. I also introduced the books that will be available to the students for their famous people research projects.

While I met with small groups the students read and responded to questions about Dr. Seuss. They also completed a cause and effect worksheet. After finishing any other unfinished work, the students were expected to preview the biographies available for their research, in order to prepare to choose a person.

Hornets: We read and discussed chapter 9.

Snow Tigers: We previewed and began reading a biography about Diego Rivera, a Mexican artist.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students will visit the media center. We will end the day by continuing our reading about the foundations and principles of our government.

## Wednesday, March 9, 2011

### Hump Day

Well, it is back to our normal routine for a couple of days!!

In math we continued working on probability. The students worked with partners and then independently to identify the possible outcomes of an event and to make tree diagrams to identify the possible outcomes. Most students do not have homework but those who did not complete their classwork must do so tonight at home.

We began a new genre in reading...biographies! Today we read and discussed the theme of a biography about Gail Devers. Then I shared with the class that we will be doing some research about other famous people. But before doing so, we will have to identify questions we want answered by our research. Today we learned the difference between thick and thin questions. Thin questions are questions that result in a one (or 2) word answer. For example, do you like ice cream, is a think question. A thick question is one which demands a more involved answer, such as, why do you like ice cream?

While I touched base with reading groups, the students worked independently on a biography reading comprehension work sheet about Walt Disney./ They also completed a WOW worksheet for hasty. When they were done with those tasks, they worked on any unfinished work and read quietly.

Hornets: We read and discussed chapter 8.

Snow Tigers: We read the last chapter of Different Dragons.

Hyenas: Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to meet with this group. :-(

Following lunch and recess the class will go to PE. After that, we will continue reading about the principles and foundations of our government, using a packet I handed out yesterday that is to be kept in the social studies section of their binder...just i case you want to read it! :-)

## Tuesday, March 8, 2011

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning we completed the reading portion of the MSA! WOO HOO! Once again, I saw GREAT effort. This was a taxing morning of testing. I am especially proud of the persistence I witnessed.

After the MSA, we had math class. My class finished watching the probability video from yesterday and then we completed a worksheet, together, as a class.

Following lunch and recess we will have a class meeting. After that, the class will identify and discuss our responsibilities as citizens of our classroom.

## Monday, March 7, 2011

### MSA Monday...and a science project!!

Well, the MSA's are officially underway! We took part 1 of reading today and will complete the reading MSA, with part 2, tomorrow. THe math MSA for grade 3 will take place on Friday and next Monday.

While I am not at liberty to say much about the MSA, I can tell you that I am EXTREMELY proud of the effort I saw across my homeroom students today, while taking the test. They should be applauded!!!

Some things you should expect...the students WILL be tired. It is a draining experience!! Also, you won't be seeing a ton of homework this week...it will be minimal!

After the MSA testing, we did switch for math. My math class watched a United Streaming video about probability.

Following lunch and outdoor reces the students will go to art. After art, I will be assigning an at-home science project. The students will be constructing their own instrument. PLEASE look for the packet this evening and sign the front page. I will be looking for parent signatures but won't be collecting the paper itself...so no need to worry about not having all necessary information.

PLEASE feel free to email me if you have any conerns or questions!

## Friday, March 4, 2011

### Friday...early dismissal

This morning, in math, we reviewed equivalent fractions. While the students worked independently, Mrs. Mutiga and I pulled small groups to name and identify equivalent fractions and to practice 4 digit addition and subtraction problems.

We had a shortened reading block due to a guidance lesson and the early dismissal. Therefore, the students worked independently to complete any and all unfinished assignments. It was a catch up day!

Prior to lunch, Mrs. Howard and her intern, Mr. Romer, met with all third grade students to do a test taking lesson. After that we will go to lunch and the students will be dismissed. (Teachers will remain at work!)

PLEASE remember that MSA begins MONDAY morning!!!

How can you help???

Tell your child to do their best but not to let themselves stress or get frustrated. THEIR best is all we ask. Remind them to take their time...read carefully, go back to the text...double check their work...use details and support from the text...etc

Also, make sure they eat a GOOD breakfast and that they get enough sleep.

Most of all...reassure them that this is important but that we all love them and care about them...so if they use their strategies and try their best, there is NO way they can disappoint us!!

## Thursday, March 3, 2011

### Thursday...MSA right around the corner!

This morning in math we continued our study and practice of identifying equivalent fractions. After a short review, the students worked independently on worksheet while I met with a small group using models of fractions to aid their identification of equivalent fractions. Mrs. Mutiga pulled a group to work on subtraction with regrouping. There is a worksheet for homework. We will NOT have a quiz tomorrow.

We began reading by doing a writing activity called building blocks. The students were given a short, vague sentence and they worked with partners to add details using building blocks (when, size, place, name). We shared these sentences and discussed the differences and why it is SO important to use clear specific details in our writing. After that we reviewed an informational piece that was a schedule for a camp.

While I met with reading groups the students answered multiple choice questions and a BCR that went with the camp schedule. They also completed a building block sentence. Additionally, they did buddy checks, with a partner, to test their knowledge of this week's spelling words. We will have a spelling test tomorrow.

Hornets: We discussed the impact of grandfather's secret...that he can't read and then we began reading chapter 8. There is no reading homework for this group tonight!

Snow Tigers: We discussed the reasons that Ben's family will be shocked when they arrive. Then we began reading chapter 16. We will finish chapter 16 in class tomorrow. There is no homework for this group tonight.

Hyenas: We reviewed the multiple choice questions. There is no homework for this group either.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will visit the media center. When they return, we will have our final practice session for the math MSA.

Don't forget that tomorrow is an early dismissal day!

## Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today is Read Across America Day...what is that, you might ask? Well, it is a celebration of what would have been Dr. Seuss' 107th birthday!! So, to help DES celebrate, Mrs. Howard booked readers from the Damascus Senior Center for each classroom. Each guest reader spent about 30 minutes reading a Dr. Seuss book to the class. We were treated to a reading of If I Ran the Circus by Mrs. Cox.

With that in mind, math class was delayed. So, we reviewed last night's homework and I reintroduced the concept of multiplying the numerator and denominator by the same number to find equivalent fractions. There is a worksheet for homework and I reviewed the first problem in class.

In reading we "read" a poster by identifying the purpose of the poster and the text features used. We also discussed the intended audience and the gimmicks used to get the message across. After that we reviewed the meaning of each Word of the Week that we have studied. Then we learned a new one, abode (a home).

While I met with reading groups, Mrs. J. worked with individual students to help them with decoding. The students worked independently on finishing their popcorn party pieces, completing a WOW worksheet for abode, creating a word search with their spelling words and finishing any other unfinished work.

Hornets: We discussed John's leaving and not returning for almost 20 years...we discussed how that would affect Jacob and whether or not there could ever be a good enough reason for leaving. Then we began reading chapter 7. For homework the students need to read chapter 7 and identify grandfather's secret. I know this sounds similar to yesterday's post...I made a mistake and forgot about chapter 6! OOPS!

Snow Tigers: We discussed Ben and Hana and how the title explains why they have changed roles since first meeting. Then we began reading chapter 15. For homework they need to read chapter 15 and identify why Ben's family will be shocked.

Hyenas: We shared our titles for the article and explained how we chose them. TOnight, for homework, they need to reread the article and answer the multiple choice questions.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to PE. We will then work on thank you notes for Mrs. Cox, our guest reader, and practice and perform our MSA song for Mrs. Moxley's class.

## Tuesday, March 1, 2011

### Sunny Tuesday!!

This is going to be a quick entry. I have a sick child at home and came in to teach math and reading. I will be leaving around noon.

In math we continued out journey with fractions. We again used the cuisenaire rods to identify equivalent fractions. Once again, this proved to be quite frustrating...so, we switched to the good 'ole pencil and paper strategy which proved to be way more successful! We did one side of a two-sided worksheet in class...the other side is for homework!

In reading we began with some decoding activities. Then we used two different information sources to gain information. While I meet with reading groups the students will do another decoding activity, similar to what we did during whole group, they will complete a nutrition chart using the information sources from whole group and they will complete the final draft of their popcorn party persuasive piece.