It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year!
As much as I love summer, there is something so incredibly wonderful about the holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time to slow down, think about what we are thankful for and how lucky we are to be surrounded by loving family, friends and coworkers. Last week there was so much gratitude in room 9.
The week of Thanksgiving, we had many fun activities!
Did your child come home in surgery gear on Wednesday? That is because our classroom was transformed into an Operating Room! The current Reader's Workshop unit that we just began is Close Reading of Informational Text. What better way to revisit text features than Text Feature Surgery?!?!
A special thank you to Mr. Stepka for donating enough supplies for both third grade classes to participate. Also, thank you to Ella Koconis's mother, LeeAnne, for assisting with surgery! We may have lost a few patients without you!
Students entered the classroom after recess, and were surprised with the transformation...they had no idea this was happening! They scrubbed in with sanitizer, suited up into their medical gear and reviewed their patients' medical charts. In order to save each patient, they needed to figure out which text feature they needed to be prescribed, find at least two examples in a magazine and paste it on their charts.
During surgery, emergencies came up, like they do in any O.R. The heart rate monitor signaled that a patient needed help...now! In order to save their patient from the medical emergency, they needed to solve a timed math word problem. I think the pressure of this was their favorite part--not knowing when an emergency would arise. It was SUCH a fun lesson and I hope it is one they always think of when they reminisce about third grade.
It was a beautiful day to save lives.
Have you ever wondered what math looks like in our classroom? We are SO fortunate to have flexible working areas for students.
There are many large whiteboard areas available for students to work together to problem solve.
Sometimes, we make faces like this when we are hard at work. I think this was his, wait a minute...."I've got it!" Thinking face!
We are so in the zone with our manipulatives that we don't even notice the camera...
But when we eventually look up, we want to show our parents how we really look during math. :)
Giving students flexible working areas has helped each child know that every learner needs different things. Some need visuals to solve problems, some would prefer to stay at their seats, some join a teacher's table for additional clarification and guidance, while others go off with their math partners and tackle challenging work together.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Can you believe we have already had our first snowfall of the 2018-2019 school year?! I am so not ready for this weather yet.
Have you heard the new protocol? Grades 3-5 are so lucky to have planners to keep themselves organized! We know as adults, the notes we take are only important if we refer back to them. Per Mrs. Dorsey, Grades 3-5 will be expected to have parent signatures nightly on planners to get the students into the habit of being accountable for recording their homework and opening their planners at home to remember what their homework was. Though it may be easy to leave the planner in the backpack, as they progress into middle school and high school, the homework and responsibilities outside of the classroom increase. By instilling good organization skills at an early age, we hope they will feel calm and confident with keeping track of assignments as they age. This is also a great place to write a quick note with parents/teacher. Students are asked to star next to their parent's initials in the morning if they have signed it, and circle it if they need to remember to have their parent sign it.
**No orange take home folders this week. With this and next week being shorter weeks, I will be combining them and sending them home on Wednesday.
The last two weeks, the kids have been working their tails off. As we near the end of the first trimester, students are applying what they have learned the past three months, independently. It is so amazing to think of all of the progress they have made across the curriculum!
In Writer's Workshop, we have finished personal narratives and have moved on to text-based narratives. This is the first time they have been exposed to this type of narrative writing. For text based narratives, students may be asked to read an already developed narrative and extend the ending, tell it from another character's point of view, etc. This type of narrative really focuses in on the student's ability to read a narrative, determine the setting, characters, plot and person that they narrative is written in, take what they have read and either continue it or tell it from another stance. We have been stressing that you cannot change the overall tone of the writing and you cannot drastically change the plot, i.e. an alien cannot come down from outer space in a story about a family at the beach.
In Math, we are beginning to understand what multiplication and division mean. In division, we are focusing on different strategies, such as creating equal groups, repeated subtraction and inverse operations.
We have finished our Accumulating Text unit in Reader's Workshop and have moved on to Close Reading of Informational Text. During this unit, we will be switching focus from fiction to nonfiction and digging deeper into nonfiction text structure.Throughout the unit, students will be introduced to strategies that help them attend to texts closely, organize information, and identify common ideas across a text. They will develop a strong sense of what it feels like to become an expert on a topic after reading. Students will be able to organize information logically when teaching others what they have learned. By the end of this unit, students will fluidly utilize strategies taught as a habit of mind to be able to read in ways that will help them remember
important details and understand the author’s big ideas.
In Social Studies, we are learning about the 3 Branches of Government and the role of each branch, the importance of the Checks and Balances system, what government looks like at the national, state and local level and why we even have a government. Students will understand the U.S Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The past week has also opened the testing window for Fountas and Pinnell reading assessments, STAR Reading, and STAR Math. Information will be coming home on report cards about your child's reading level, and will be discussed further at conferences. After Thanksgiving, an electronic sign up sheet will be sent out for conferences. We will do our best to stick to the times that were requested. At times, slots may need to be adjusted to accommodate special educators, as they attend many conferences throughout the night.
Have a fantastic weekend!