Read All About It 3-31-2014

Read All About It!
March 31st 2014
Hello Parents!
Happy spring! It sure doesn’t feel like spring, but we just keep telling ourselves it’s going to get warmer and the sun will appear. The good news is we have more daylight now and that’s always a sign of good things to come. More can be accomplished in a day (inside and out) and that’s a great feeling. Seeing our neighbors out on their tractors, plowing their fields is always a welcoming sight. Spring is in the air! We hope you’ve enjoyed Spring Break and found time to do what you enjoy the most. We look forward to a productive and engaging 3 months together as we enter into our last units of study.
Homework
Students will have a reading log, daily math, extra fraction pages from Investigations, a spelling homework page, reading and math test prep and a math vocabulary practice page.
 
Math (Finding Fair Shares…heading into Solids and Boxes)
We’ll enter our last investigation in Fair Shares by looking at rational numbers. Students will learn more about the meaning of fractions (halves, fourths, eights, thirds, sixths) and decimals fractions (0.50, 0.25, 0.125). Students will have the opportunity to draw conclusions about decimals and their fractional equivalents. We will read, write and interpret decimal numbers greater than 1, turning them from decimals to mixed fractions.
We’d still like to hear about students practicing their multiplication flashcards at home as we’ve noticed several students still need help with their fluency and accuracy. While we’ve already taught our multiplication units, we want students committing their basic facts to memory and feeling confident with facts 1-12. Students knowing their basic facts will enable them to think quicker as mathematicians and allow them to dig deeper into theory and practice. If your child needs copies of fact sheets, just let us know!
Writing
We are putting the finishing touches on our persuasive letters to the city. Students have worked hard to write bold thesis statements, followed by strong reasons why their ideas should be included in the project. Students have learned how to use multiple resources as they collected all the evidence they could to prove their opinions. We looked at ways to directly address audience by talking back to their worries or concerns specifically. Students used phrases like: “I know you might be thinking/worrying/feeling”, “Let me explain” and “You might wonder…” to keep the attention of the audience while further solidifying their claims. We learned about transition words and powerful word choice that pack a punch!
If you haven’t already, please mark your calendars for April 14th at 6:30! The kids have the opportunity to read their persuasive letters about the Arch Bridge/Gateway to West Linn project at the West Linn City Council meeting. Exciting! It will be about an hour commitment (perhaps a bit less). The perfect way for our students to have a voice in their community as well as an authentic audience for their writing. We realize families are busy so this is very optional. Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can let the City Council know.
Poetry
Happy National Poetry Month! Our students get to enjoy poetry all year long, but the month of April reminds us to dig a little deeper with our poetry knowledge. We’ll be reading and writing a range of different types of poems, including acrostic name poems, clerihews, concrete poems, limericks and haikus. At the end of this unit, students will have a new appreciation for and knowledge of the poetry they choose and recite each month.
Rhythms Program: April 18th from 10-11am and 1:00pm-2:00pm
Our class will be movin’ and groovin’ to the song “Waka Waka” By Shakira. This song was the FIFA World Cup’s anthem in 2010. Students are learning about the World Cup in their Spanish class as the World Cup kicks off this summer. To celebrate our love of soccer (or futbol), students should wear green or white tops (also the colors of the Portland Timbers team). Any Portland Timbers tops are allowed. Bottoms can be anything-shorts, pants, skirt, etc. Safe shoes are very important as the kids will be dancing on the slick gymnasium floor. The Rhythms will happen all on one day! If your last name begins with an A-L please come to the morning performance, M-Z please come to the afternoon performance. We want you to support your child so if your time won’t work, please feel free to come when you can.
 
State Testing
State Testing will start on Monday, April 21st. We’ll begin with reading and then test in math the following week (April 28th).  Please mark your calendars for these important dates. A hearty breakfast, a good night’s sleep and arriving to school at 7:50am are all crucial to helping your child feel successful on these tests. Please let us know as soon as possible if you anticipate any absences during these two weeks. There is a 2nd round possibility set for May 12th-22nd if your child isn’t able to perform at his/her best on the first round.
Willamette Food Drive Is Coming!
Please join us in helping to fight the hunger problem in Oregon! April 3rd-11th our school will be collecting nutritious canned food to be donated to The Oregon Food Bank. Our class goal this year is 125 cans! Our school goal is 3000! A percentage of the food we collect will be donated to our local food pantry right here in West Linn. As a way to encourage nutritional donations, each day there is an “Item of the Day”. If we donate the “item” needed for that day, our class name will be announced over the intercom to recognize our effort. Here is the schedule: April 3rd: Canned Meats (tuna, chicken, salmon, spam), April 4th: Peanut butter, April 7th: Canned fruit, April 8th: Chili, April 9th: Breakfast cereal (boxes of whole grain cereal, pancake/waffle mix), April 10th: 100% fruit juice, April 11th: Beans (canned or dried). Additional items needed: canned veggies, brown rice, pasta, soups/stews, unsaturated cooking oil and shelf stable milk.
*Please check the expiration date on all food items! Thank you!!*
 
**Field Trip to Oregon Food Bank: April 10th 8:30-11:45
Special Announcements:
  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library check out, Tuesday-P.E., Wednesday-Music Thursday-Music and Friday-P.E.
  • Harvest of the Month-Our class will be encouraging all Willamette students to taste different varieties of peas on April 29th. We are currently growing peas in our classroom that will be transferred to our garden box in April. Students will get to enjoy their peas in late May!
  • Willamette Market! You are invited to come shop at the second annual Willamette Market on Wednesday, April 9th from 9am to Noon. There will be over 100 handcrafted products for sale made by our very own 4th and 5th grade students.  Items for sale include: homemade artwork, jewelry, bookmarks, wallets, hair bands, dog treats, garden rocks, and much more!  All proceeds will support the 4th and 5th grade overnight field trips this spring.
  • Book Orders: Due April 11th
  • April 30thth-Early release for Teacher Professional Growth. Students will be released at 12:10pm. Time for lunch will be allotted so please send your child with a lunch if he/she isn’t buying one.
Sincerely,
Sarah Culp                    Pilar Tragesser
Culps@wlwv.k12.or.us   Tragessp@wlwv.k12.or.us

Read All About It February

Read All About It!

February 3, 2014

Dear Parents,

Well, here we are in February as January has flown the coop! A couple more months of grey and rain and we should get some nice weather! All Oregonians should have the luxury of traveling to a sunny place at least once during the January-March months. Perhaps we can claim one of the Hawaiian Islands as our own?! Our bodies need the vitamin D and warmth! Speaking of warmth…we all got a little overheated last week as we zoomed around the gym racking up laps during the FUN RUN! Our class had a spectacular performance! Students raced their teachers and each other, all in the spirit of raising money for things like: playground equipment, fieldtrips, literacy and PE equipment. The list of things our PTA pays for is truly endless. PTA helps to fill the gaps created from the decrease in state funding. The FUN RUN is our biggest fundraiser! Keep collecting those pledges as our goal is to raise $36 per child.  Donations can be made using the pledge envelopes sent home on January 13th (extras available in school office) or give online at http://willamettepta.com/fun-run-2/. All donations are due by February 7th. The more we raise- the more benefits for our children. Please email Lisa Owens as shoequeen37@comcast.net if you have questions about the FUN RUN.

Homework

This week, students will have Daily Word Problems, extra math addressing multiplication and division, a new reading log (see below), poetry, a reading comprehension page and an opportunity to reflect upon one of the guest readers we’ve had during Read to Us Week. We’ll have a variety of different readers grace us this week and we want students to do a little refection about their favorite reader.

This week, you’ll notice our reading log looks a little different. As 3rd grade readers, our main focus is strong reading comprehension. We’ve spent considerable time this winter learning and practicing different reading comprehension strategies that help us become active, fluent and thoughtful readers. Now, it’s time for our students to practice those strategies at home when they do their nightly reading. We introduced this log last week and had students practice one comprehension strategy (Make a Connection). This week, we’ll focus on the rest of the strategies (one a day) and the prompts that accompany each. By focusing on just one strategy each day, students will hopefully learn how to effective use all of them and then will be free to do so. On the very top of the reading log, you’ll find directions that explain the new expectations. Nothing “more” is expected. Children still have the choice of responding on our blog or directly on the reading log. We hope these prompts will encourage lively conversations about the book your child is reading! Thank you for helping build strong, confident readers! Homework is due on Friday, February 7th.

Math-Fractions (Finding Fair Shares)

This week, we’ll start a new math unit about fractions. Students will investigate the meaning of fractions and ways fractions can be represented. They’ll solve sharing problems (how can 2 people share 3 brownies equally?), build wholes from fractional parts (1/2 + ¼ + ¼ = 1), and find fraction and decimal equivalents (2/3= 4/6; ½ = 0.5). At home, we encourage you to take advantage of any natural opportunities to use fractions as they arise. You and your child can share and compare strategies for solving problems such as: cutting a whole pizza into fractional parts, sharing cookies with a group of friends, discussing how much gas will fill up a 12 gallon gas tank ¾ of the way full…. etc. You get the picture! Fractions are all around us! Making connections to students’ lives will help them understand fractions on a deeper level.

 

Writing (Heart Poems and Heart Mapping)

Soon we will embark on writing some free verse poetry to awaken students’ souls to the joys of writing poetry. To help students get the juices flowing, we’ll begin with some heart mapping. It’s like a “graphic organizer” in an art/poetry sense. We’ve worked with and recited poetry this year, but we’ve yet to create our own. Regie Routman says this about heart poems: “While poems can be about anything-family, friends, sports, small objects, non-fiction interest-I have found that when we write about what’s deep in our hearts and what really matters to us-what students have named “heart poems”-students engagement and the quality of writing is very high.” In honor of the month of February and thinking about people and places in our hearts, students will have the opportunity to dig deep within and write their own heart poem.

 

Valentine’s Day Celebration

We are celebrating on Wednesday 12th from 12:30-1:15 by passing out valentines, reading kind messages from classmates (valentines) and reading our heart poetry. Most of our celebration will be in the form of a work share. Students’ poetry will be in all different stages of development, but all students will be invited to share what they have completed thus far. Students will need a container to gather their valentines. Please see attached sheet for a class list and further information about the container. You’re welcome to join us for our small celebration.
Music Program February 27th 6:30-7:10

Please see the information below from Ms. Washington:

Our 3rd graders are hard at work getting ready for their concert in a few weeks. They are learning some traditional, fun songs as well as preparing a variety pieces that demonstrate their instrumental abilities.
Please plan on joining us on Thursday, February 27th for this annual event. The concert will run from 6:30-7:10 p.m. in the Willamette gym. Plan on having your performer at the school between 6:00 and 6:15 p.m. We ask that you keep your child with you in the gym until 6:16 when an announcement will invite children to go to their classrooms to meet their teachers for line up. Our teachers will be working a long day and we appreciate your staying with your child in the gym until the announcement. This gives our teachers time to get dinner and return to the school.
Concert dress for children will be white shirts (please be sure the girls wear a shirt with at least a capped sleeve-no tank tops-thanks!), black or dark colored pants, skirts, leggings, and safe, low heeled shoes or boots.

 

Special Announcements:

  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library check out, Tuesday-P.E., Wednesday-Music Thursday-Music and Friday-P.E.

  • Book Orders: Due February 13th

  • Science Fair: February 26th 6-7pm

  • Parent Education Night-Focus on Reading! Please come on February 6thfrom 6:15-8pm! Pilar and Sarah are both speaking about reading. Childcare is provided! RSVP to us!!

    • Schedule for the next two weeks: Sarah-February 3-4 and 10-12, 14Pilar– February 5-7, 13-14 (Pilar and Sarah will both share staff development on the 14th)

  • February 5th-Early release for Teacher Professional Growth. Students will be released at 12:10pm. Time for lunch will be allotted so please send your child with a lunch if he/she isn’t buying one.

  • Read To Us Week-February 3th-7th Love this event!

  • February 14th and 17th-No school: Staff Development and Presidents Day

Sincerely,

Sarah Culp                    Pilar Tragesser

Culps@wlwv.k12.or.us   Tragessp@wlwv.k12.or.us

 

Read All About It December!

 

Read All About It!
December 2nd 2013
Dear Parents,
This will be our last newsletter of 2013! Report cards will go home on December 9th. These reports are a joint effort between the two of us and we write them together. Included in your child’s report card will be 3 recent assessments that are discussed within the narrative reflection. Please let us know if you have questions about your child’s report card. Lastly, we hope you all have a restful and peaceful winter break! We look forward to a productive and exciting 2014 with your wonderful childrenJ
 
Writing/Speaking
A couple weeks ago, we began reading legends or “Why Stories” and learning about the framework of a legend as we prepare to write our own. We welcomed Will Hornyak into our classroom and listened to him share legends. Will is a master storyteller who is able to weave content and curriculum into his storytelling craft. He was able to pinpoint specific strategies/skills storytellers use to convey their message. Students took note and plan to implement some of Will’s suggested strategies as they tell their own Why Story. This week, Will visits us again to give students feedback on the way in which they tell their Why Stories. Students also began crafting their paper mache masks. The masks students create will depict their main character in their legend. This is always a favorite 3rd grade project!
Homework
This week students will have math, extra math (pages 49 and 51), Why Opossum Has A Bare Tail (reading comprehension trickster tale) with story map, reading log, reading/math test prep, flashcards 8s and 9s with 2 accompanying skip counting sheets and spelling.
Winter Traditions Scrapbook
We wanted to give you a little preview of a special homework assignment that is coming up. The week of December 9th, you will see homework in a slightly different format. We’re assigning a “Winter Traditions Scrapbook”. Rejoice all you crafty kids (and moms and dads:))! Students will bring home a blank “scrapbook” they need to complete. The directions are inside of the scrapbook, but here are the requirements so you can peek at them a little early. They are: a nicely decorated cover, write a paragraph and draw a picture describing how your family spends the winter break, write about a special tradition or memory, create an illustration or piece of artwork that further tells a story of family traditions, read a winter/holiday book, make your favorite winter/holiday treat and write about it, add 3 photos with captions that have something to do with family traditions and fill out an author’s page. Students will have 2 weeks to complete this assignment and it will be due on Wednesday, December 18th. On December 18th and 19th children will have a chance to share their scrapbooks with their classmates and teachers. We’re excited to see finished scrapbooks in a few weeks!
 
Math
We continue learning about equal groups! Hopefully, your children have come home humming the tune to our famous “Musical Array” songs. If not, you’re welcome to borrow our CD and burn a copy to have at home! Those little tunes are catchy! The songs are truly helpful in getting students to remember their skip counting patterns 2-10. The next section of our study has students working with the array model of multiplication. Students will use arrays to model situations and equations. We’ll learn more about multiples, factors, prime and square numbers. We’ll also ask students to solve use known multiplication combinations to determine the product of more difficult combinations. 3rd grade is all about equal groups with a lot of “fair shares” (fractions) sprinkled in throughout the year. The more you can work with your child on learning basic facts, the more success he/she will have transferring that knowledge into high level thinking problems.
State Testing…
Has been postponed until late spring. The district has decided to test in April/May instead of December. Sorry for any miscommunication on that! You can still check out our blog for links to test prep websites if you want to keep the “testing practice” focus! We continue to prepare in our classroom as well! More specific information will come in the spring about testing dates.
Special note: Holiday Gift Drive at Willamette
As we begin thinking about the approaching holiday season, once again we want to invite everyone to participate in our annual Holiday Drive for Willamette Families. Over the many past years, our community has been wonderfully generous in providing much needed support for families during the holidays, and we are hoping that this year will again be a big year for donations as well.  Our goal is to support up to 25 families with much appreciated help this holiday season.
Like last year we are requesting that all donations come in the form of gift cards to area stores.  Our families greatly appreciate the opportunity to purchase the gifts and good items that their families need for the holidays.  We would like to encourage that the bulk of donations come from area grocery stores such as Albertsons, Walmart, Grocery Outlet, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Target, etc.  Gift cards from other stores that sell clothing and toys for holiday gifts are also much needed and appreciated.
If you would like to help us with this effort, please begin sending gift cards to school in envelopes marked: Holiday Drive Gift Cards and have your student return the cards to their classroom teachers or to Mark Silverman, School Counselor.  We would appreciate donations by Tuesday, December 17th, but will accept them any day up to Thursday, December 19.
Special Announcements
  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library, Tuesday-P.E., Wednesday-Music, Thursday-Mucis and Friday-P.E.
  • Our schedule for the next 2 weeks: Sarah: December 2rd -4th, 9th-10th , 16th-18th, 20th
  • Pilar: December 5th-6th, 11th-13th, 19th, 20th.
  • Classroom Winter Party- December 19th 1:15pm-2pm. It will be a small snack and work share. Please join us if you can!
  • We could use more Clorox/Lysol wipes to keep the flu at bay
  • Overdue Books: If your child has books at home that have been there for awhile, chances are they are overdue! Please return them. Thank you.
  • Winter Break: December 23st– January 5th. School resumes on January 6th, 2014.
Sincerely,
Sarah Culp                                  Pilar Tragesser
Culps@wlwv.k12.or.us    Tragessp@wlwv.k12.or.us
 

Read About it October 1st

Read All About It!
September 30th, 2013

Dear Parents,

Well, here we are! October has arrived already. The weather has definitely changed from the warm breeze of summer to a wetter, damper wind of fall. Oregon is amazing right? 80 degrees one day and 55 the next! It’s made for some interesting climate conversations in our classroom as we’ve been graphing the temperature and talking about different weather in different parts of the world. One of the science standards in 3rd grade is: Representing data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. Having students record patterns of weather/temperature throughout the year will enable them to make predictions about the type of weather that might happen in a specific season, during a certain time. The large concept we are helping students grasp: patterns of change can be used to make predictions and forecasts. We are hopeful we’ll have a few higher temperature data points to record in the next few weeks. Please sun, don’t leave us yet! Fingers crossed!

Homework

This is the first official homework packet! Thank you to all those students who have turned in their “Read About Me” and Alphabox assignments! This week, students have Daily Math word problems, extra math from our Investigations workbook (pages 6,7), a reading log, poetry and a little something about Oregon geography that will help prepare students for a coming quiz. Students are beginning to understand the homework requirements as we’ve seen great improvement on the weekly reading log. As a reminder, two sentences per night about what students are reading. If they prefer to type one longer paragraph at the end of the week, perfect. Students can choose to use the prompts at the top of the reading log or not. The prompts are given to scaffold students’ thinking as they read and respond. Homework is due Friday, October 4th.

Bi-weekly Poetry

Every two weeks, students are expected to choose a poem, write it out including title and author and illustrate it. They should memorize at least the first four lines of the poem and then recite it on Fridays. This assignment encourages students to develop time management skills, introduces them to poetic language and helps them work on their presentation skills. We find reciting poetry in front of the class often really helps students meet their speaking benchmark with ease and success. Throughout the year, students compile all of their poems into their own poetry book that they take home with them on the last day of school.

Oregon Geography

A couple weeks ago we started our study of Oregon Geography! During our study we’ll learn: geographic language to describe and compare places, Oregon’s six major geographic regions (landforms, vegetation and climate) and how maps/charts help us locate places. Students will identify physical characteristics of Oregon, locate information using illustrations, tables of contents, glossaries, indexes and headings. We’ll read a variety of different literature, fiction and non-fiction, and retell and summarize main ideas and facts. Students will work as community members in small groups and as individuals. Coming up soon, students will have the opportunity to create topographical salt clay maps that depict major mountain ranges, valleys and geographic regions. Students love this every year, especially our tactile learners! The maps are a great hands-on project to reinforce the concepts we’ve been reading about. We’ll send an email soon with instructions on how to make the “clay”. Stay tuned!

 Math (Trading Stickers, Combining Coins)

We’ve started our year learning about the meaning of operations with whole numbers, the development of computational fluency and generalizations about numbers and operations. By using the 100s chart, coins and base ten pieces students have been able to demonstrate their understanding of place value, equivalent amounts, finding different combinations of 100s and solving problems with 2-digit numbers. Students have learned different strategies for adding and subtracting as well as mathematical vocabulary that prompts them to either add or subtract (sum/difference). In addition, we continue to help students learn their basic facts in addition and subtraction. We’ve given students strategies to use (fast 9s, doubles, neighbors, base 10). Students should be graduating from finger counting at this point and employing known mathematical strategies for instant recall. Although Mad Minutes isn’t part of our math curriculum, it’s a great way for kids to practice their math facts. Your child can let us know if he/she would a set at his/her level to practice at home.

 

Spanish

Welcome Senora Kathia Ruiz! Students have enjoyed Spanish instruction the last couple weeks. It takes place on Thursdays for 30 minutes on the stage. Instruction is delivered completely in Spanish to immerse students in the language, model and encourage students to absorb new vocabulary and phrases. Students are enjoying their experience! We’ll soon be adding 2 more 20-25 minute blocks of Spanish with Rosetta Stone.

Writing

The last few weeks we’ve been helping students generate writing and learning different strategies to do so. We’ve also being working on sentence structure: subject (noun), verb (action), object (person/thing) and writing complete sentences. We’ve used quick writes with different prompts to help students get their thoughts and ideas down on paper. Each day, students count the number of words they’ve written and share their thinking in partners. We’ve used the quick writes as a springboard to help student realize the stories in their lives are powerful. Students are experts on the stories in their lives and therefore can produce quality pieces of writing from within. We have stories floating all around us, happening every day. The key is helping students harness those experiences and write for an authentic audience. Onward!

Special Announcements

  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library, Tuesday-PE, Wednesday and Thursday-Music, Friday-PE.
  • Our schedule for the next 2 weeks: Sarah: September 30-2, 7-9. Pilar: October 3-4, 9.
  • Conferences: We are looking forward to meeting with each of you during fall conferences October 7th-9th. If youve yet to sign up for conferences, please do so at http://www2.wlwv.k12.or.us/wiki/index.php/Willamette.
    • This year we are scheduling fall goal setting conference through our online PASS system.
      You access the PASS system by clicking on the link at the top right hand part of our
      school website. You will need to enter your child’s student ID number and PIN number and then click on the link to online conferences. From there, you will select your child’s teacher and select an available time to meet. You can find your child’s student ID number and PIN in a letter sent home previously.  Please call the school office if you need assistance signing up for a conference (503-673-7250).
    • We look forward to talking with you about your child for 30 minutes. Fall conferences give us an opportunity to set goals for your child as well as show you a few assessment pieces. To set goals, we look at the Student Profile parents filled out, the goals your child has targeted and areas we see for growth.
  • No School: October 9th-11th (conferences) Early Release: October 30st @ 12:10pm (students should still bring a lunch).

Happy Fall!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read All About it 5-13-2013

Read All About It!
May 13th 2013
 
Dear Parents,
What a blessed week! When we think about the things in our lives for which we are grateful, our jobs and students are at the forefront. We love our extended Willamette Family. We thank you for the sweet notes, gift cards, school supplies, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, handmade items and all the meals/food prepared and served! We know all the work and time required to fit extra things in your week (like spoiling your child’s teachers) so thank you, thank you! Happiest May to all of you!!
Homework(All About Me Speeches)
It’s that time of year where we ask each student to prepare a 2-3 minute speech (Tell Us a True Story) and deliver it in front of the class. Students have been practicing the “delivery” piece of their speech all year long as they’ve had poetry every other week. Homework will be a little lighter the next 2 weeks because of speeches.  A speech planner is going home in the homework packet on Monday. We will help students get started Monday, making sure they understand the speech planner. We’ll briefly brainstorm possible topics in class and your child will continue at home. They will write key words and sketch a picture for each piece of their story.  This speech plan is due on WEDNESDAY so we can begin THURSDAY. The remaining homework is due on Friday, as usual.  Your child will be using their speech planner to write his/her speech on note cards on Thursday and Friday (in class.) If he/she does not have his/her speech planner in class, he/she will be unable to begin the speech. Please help in making sure the planner is completed at home and turned in on Wednesday so we can begin Thursday morning. Note cards will go home on Friday, May 17th. When students take their note cards home, its practice time!  Practice, Practice, Practice!  Students need to practice in front of their stuffed animals, family, the mirror, etc.  Students need to concentrate on referring to their note cards, then making eye-contact with their audience. The speech doesn’t have to be “memorized”, but students should be VERY familiar with the content of their speech. Students also need to work on a voice that is clear, smooth and loud enough for their audience to hear. Students will keep their note cards over the weekend (a little homework over the weekend) and continue to practice until their assigned day (see below).  We will score your child’s speech in ideas and content, delivery, language and organization. You will find a copy of the speaking scoring guide on our blog under the “Speaking Scoring Guide” tab. It will be helpful as you help your child with his/her outline and delivery. We’ll work on the organizational component in class and use the scoring guide to help students learn the pieces of a cohesive speech.  In addition to speeches, students have Daily Math, extra math pages 37, 56, 64 and 69, a reading log, D.O.L. and weekly poetry.
 
Tell Us a Story Speech Schedule
May 21st
May 22nd  
May23rd
Emily
Dale
Nada
Austin
Sammy
Erika
Carson
Olivia
Devin
Isabella
Braiden
Makenzie
Parker J.
Tori
Jordan
Brady
Henry
Payton
Sam
Grant
Elena
Parker S.
Blaise
Ethan
Vanessa
*Make-ups are scheduled for the morning of the 24th.
End of the Year Party
On Friday, June 14th from 8-8:30ish we’ll be celebrating the end of the year! Literally! We’d like to put together a breakfast for the kids with your help. Ideas for the breakfast include: fruit, yogurt and granola, cinnamon rolls, juice, hot chocolate, muffins, etc. We’ll put out an email next week so you can sign up to bring an item if you’d like. Parents are welcome to join us for the breakfast as your child will be sharing some of their favorite pieces of work from their computer.
 
Harvest of the Month-Zucchini
Our Harvest of the Month project is underway! Look for all the posters around the school! Don’t forget about our assembly on May 15th at 7:45 and the tasting in the café’ on May 17th. Come on down and give our zucchini a try! The goal of Harvest of the Month is to get children excited, educated and motivated to try different fruits and vegetables. Our 3rd graders have made posters, created survey questions and will also help hand out zucchini at the tasting on the 17th. Speaking of…we need one parent volunteer on May 17th from 10-1 to help with slicing, preparing and shuttling the zucchini out to the café. Please let us know if you’d be interested in helping!
Desktop Ponds
The next phase of our Structures of Life unit allows us to begin learning about ecosystems, specifically, desktop ponds. In the next few days, students will set up and observe living, desktop models of a pond. Over a period of a few weeks, each group studies and adds one type of organism at a time to a small tank, transforming the containers into aquatic habitats. As the model ponds develop and change over time, students discover firsthand some of the complex interactions within a typical pond ecosystem. Unlike clean, filtered aquariums, these aquatic habitats more closely model what happens in the natural world. Plants, worms, snails, fish, and other organisms compete for limited space, food, and resources. We are looking forward to our study!
 Papermaking with Barb
A few weeks ago, we were visited by the “Tree Lady”, Barb Anderson who gave a great “Talk About Trees” presentation. We learned about conifers, broad leafs and softwoods and how to identify these trees. Now she’s back! On May 16th, Barb will help students learn the history of paper, the many uses of paper, the importance of recycling and finally make their own paper.
 
Special Announcements
  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library check out, Tuesday-Music, Wednesday-PE, Thursday-PE and Friday-Music.
  • Schedule for the next two weeks: Sarah-May 16-17, 22-24 Pilar– May 13-15 and 20-21,
  • Early Release for Teacher Professional Growth: May 22nd 12:10. Time for lunch will be allotted so please send your child with a lunch if he/she isn’t buying one.
  • Rhythms Program: May 24th 10-11 if your last name begins with A-M, 1-2 if your last name begins with N-Z.
  • No school on Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day or June 7th as it’s a report card day.

Enjoy the sunshine!!

Sarah and Pilar

Read All About it 3-4-2013

Read All About It!
March 4, 2013
Dear Parents,
There is something about hearing children sing that brings a certain peaceful and calm feeling over your soul. Listening to our students sing, play musical instruments and dance was the highlight of our week. Our students worked hard during practice and it showed! Our students can also pat themselves on the back for a job well done in the Science Fair. This year was one of the best Science Fairs we’ve seen in awhile. Students’ natural curiosity and thirst for scientific explanations manifested themselves in spectacular projects. As we walked through the Science Fair, students found each project had a plethora to offer and teach. Most students begged for more time at the fair and even went back during their recess to learn more from each project! The measure of a program’s true success right there!
Homework
This week, students will have Daily Word Problems, extra math from our Investigations workbook (pages 3-5,31-32, 39-40) a reading log, spelling review, poetry and a sheet asking students to reflect upon themselves as learners and community members. Conferences are on the horizon and we’d like students to give some thought to how they see themselves in class as a student and friend. Students can use the sheet to check a subtopic in each category and then write a paragraph about each subtopic on the back of the sheet. Your child will share this sheet (along with other documents) at conferences the week of March 11th. Homework is due on Friday, March 8th.
 
Conferences
We are looking forward to meeting with each of you during spring conferences March 12th-14th. Conference sign-ups are available online now! If you’ve yet to sign up, there’s a link on our school webpage. If you have trouble, we can help! Shoot us an email!
During our 30 minutes together, 2 things will occur. The first 20 minutes with be dedicated to sharing your child’s test scores in both math and reading. We will also have a conversation about your child’s year overall and answer any questions you might have. The second piece of the conference will be the student led portion. Your child will be sharing the learning he/she has been doing in our classroom. During the student led portion, your child will be sharing a compilation of his/her work. Each child will have a folder containing an outline and the things he/she would like to share. Your child will predominantly lead the second half of the conference, but a teacher will be present to support the conversation as well. One of us will be there to answer any questions that arise or clarify a process/concept shared. The other teacher will begin another conference with a new family. There will be a ten minute time frame where you share the room with another family. We share this conference process with you so you’re privy to the flow of our conferences and know what to expect ahead of time. If you have any questions about the description of conferences above, please let us know. We’d love to clarify!
If you would like your child to be part of the beginning of the conference with us, we welcome it! If you would prefer your child not to participate in the first portion (teacher led), that is fine too. He/she can easily sit outside with a book.
Math (Solids and Boxes 3D and Measurement)
Students love this unit year every year because it’s very hands on with continual models to reinforce learning. Students work with geometric solids (such as cubes, cylinders, and pyramids) and describe the features of these 3-dimensional shapes. Students also make boxes out of paper and fill the boxes with cubes; this activity gives them the chance to develop their ideas about finding the volume of a box. During our discussions, we compare the attributes of the different geometric solids and work with vocabulary: faces, edges and vertices. Students have several opportunities to build and design boxes to scaffold their learning of volume. As you work with your child on his/her homework, encourage him/her to explain the math thinking supporting the solution.
Field Trips!
Thank you so very much to those parents who have volunteered to chaperone one of our field trips in March. I know we have 2 close together.
  • Oregon Food Bank (March 21st from 9-12:30) Free: You will see two permission slips for the Oregon Food Bank included in this homework packet. One is from the Oregon Food Bank (Youth Volunteer Consent and Release Form) and one is our standard permission slip. Both have to be signed and returned by Friday. A large part of being a Culp/Tragesser kid is learning to give of yourself without expecting anything in return. At the food bank, students will have the opportunity to package food for needy families who need immediate assistance. Our students will also be one of the classes leading the food drive at Willamette in April.
  • OMSI (March 20th from 9:15-1:00) $8.00/student: To support and reinforce the learning we will be doing around weather, we’ve planned a trip to OMSI. Students will have the opportunity to see a stage performance about tornadoes, thunder and lightning. Students will experience weather-OMSI style-during this show. Students will also follow a team of scientists on a quest to understand the origins of tornados at the OMNIMAX Theater! Please sign and turn the OMSI permission slip with $8.00 by Friday.
 
Special Announcements:
  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library check out, Tuesday-Music, Wednesday-PE, Thursday-PE and Friday-Music.
    • Schedule for the next two weeks: Pilar-March 4-5 and 11-13, 17-18 Sarah– March 6-8, 14, 19-22 (Pilar and Sarah will both share conferences 12-14th)
    • March 6th-Early release for Teacher Professional Growth. Students will be released at 12:10pm. Time for lunch will be allotted so please send your child with a lunch if he/she isn’t buying one.
    • March 14th-15th-No School due to conferences
    • March 25th-29th-No School Spring Break
    • Book Orders: Due March 13th
Sincerely,
Sarah Culp                    Pilar Tragesser
Culps@wlwv.k12.or.us   Tragessp@wlwv.k12.or.us
 

Read All About It February 4th

Read All About It!
February 4, 2013

Dear Parents,

Well, here we are in February as January has flown the coop! A couple more months of grey and rain and we should get some nice weather! All Oregonians should have the luxury of traveling to a sunny place at least once during the January-March months. Perhaps we can claim one of the Hawaiian Islands as our own?! Our bodies need the vitamin D and warmth! Speaking of warmth…we all got a little overheated last week as we zoomed around the gym racking up laps during the FUN RUN! Our class had a spectacular performance! Students raced their teachers and each other, all in the spirit of raising money for things like: iPads, playground equipment, fieldtrips, curriculum supplies/materials (we just wrote a grant that was approved by the PTA for science materials), artists in residence, PE equipment, etc. The list of things our PTA pays for is truly endless. PTA helps to fill the gaps created from the decrease in state funding. The FUN RUN is our biggest fundraiser! Keep collecting those pledges as our goal is to raise $35 per child.  Donations can be made using the pledge envelopes that were sent home on Jan. 9th
(extras available in school office) or on line at http://willamettepta.com/funrun-donations-by-classroom/.  All donations are due by February 8th. The more we raise- the more benefits for our children. Please email Lisa Owens as shoequeen37@comcast.net if you have questions about the FUN RUN.

Homework
This week, students will have Daily Word Problems, extra math from our Investigations workbook (pages 9-10, 13), a sheet on factors and using parentheses in math, a new reading log (see below), spelling, a reading comprehension page about pioneers and an opportunity to reflect upon one of the guest readers we’ve had during Read to Us Week. We’ll have a variety of different readers grace us this week and we want students to do a little refection about their favorite reader. One of our readers will be a NAACP Civil Rights Activist, Marilyn Williams. She was part of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago in the 60’s. How cool is that?!

This week, you’ll notice our reading log looks a little different. As 3rd grade readers, our main focus is strong reading comprehension. We’ve spent considerable time this winter learning and practicing different reading comprehension strategies that help us become active, fluent and thoughtful readers. Now, it’s time for our students to practice those strategies at home when they do their nightly reading. On the very top of the reading log, you’ll find directions that explain the new expectations. Nothing “more” is expected. We’re asking children pick a comprehension strategy (from a list on the back of the reading log) and respond to two prompts related to that strategy. Children still have the choice of responding on our blog or directly on the reading log. We hope these prompts will encourage lively conversations about the book your child is reading! Thank you for helping build strong, confident readers!

Homework is due on Friday, February 8th.

Math (Fair Shares)
We continue our quest of learning more about fractions. This week, students will focus on rational numbers and understanding the meaning of fractions (halves, fourths, eighths, thirds and sixths) as equal parts of a whole. We also look at decimals and their fractional equivalencies. Students will further develop their understanding of fractions as they look at them as decimals. We’ll discuss the different forms and when it might be helpful to turn a fraction into a decimal. At home, cook with your child, play with money and talk about fractions as they relate to everyday life. Making connections to students’ lives will help them understand fractions on a deeper level.
 
Writing (Creature Stories/Heart Poems)
We are finishing up our creature stories this week (hopefully). We are in the final phases of revising and editing so final copies are just around the corner. Soon we will embark on writing some free verse poetry to awaken students’ souls to the joys of writing poetry. We’ve worked with and recited poetry this year, but we’ve yet to create our own. Regie Routman says this about heart poems: “While poems can be about anything-family, friends, sports, small objects, non-fiction interest-I have found that when we write about what’s deep in our hearts and what really matters to us-what students have named “heart poems”-students engagement and the quality of writing is very high.” In honor of the month of February and thinking about people and places in our hearts, students will have the opportunity to dig deep within and write their own heart poem.
 
Valentine’s Day Celebration
We are celebrating on Thursday, the 14th from 1:15-2. For homework next week, students will be writing positive comments about each of their classmates in lieu of exchanging valentines. These positive comments will serve as students’ valentines to each other. Think of it as a personal valentine with a little more meaning! We also find this activity to honor all beliefs and cultures in our classroom. Students are welcome to attach a piece of candy to the positive comment if they would like as it will serve as the “treat” for the celebration. Students will also be sharing poetry they are working on during our celebration. Students’ poetry will be in all different stages of development, but the students who want to share will have the opportunity. Please join us if you’d like!
 
Special Announcements:
  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library check out, Tuesday-Music, Wednesday-PE, Thursday-PE and Friday-Music.
    • Schedule for the next two weeks: Pilar-February 4-5 and 11-13Sarah– February 6-8, 14-15 (Pilar and Sarah will both share staff development on the 15th)
  • Auction News!-Students really enjoyed working with Becca from Wells Glass Studio last week! Students’ plates will be on display during the auction on April 27th. We hope to see you there.
  • February 6th-Early release for Teacher Professional Growth. Students will be released at 12:10pm. Time for lunch will be allotted so please send your child with a lunch if he/she isn’t buying one.
  • Read To Us Week-February 4th-8th   
  • February 18th-No School Presidents Day
Sincerely,

Sarah Culp                    Pilar Tragesser

Culps@wlwv.k12.or.us   Tragessp@wlwv.k12.or.us

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read All About It October 15th, 2012

Read All About It!

October 15th, 2012

 Dear Parents,

We enjoyed meeting with each of you and talking about goals for your child for the rest of the year. Students were very in tune with what they needed to work on and set honest, achievable goals. It felt great to gather as a team (families and teachers) and share our visions. We look forward to conferences and the opportunity it presents to learn more about our families! We are always available to you so please continue communicating with us! We’ll do the same! We look forward to commenting on the progress students have made toward their goals on their report cards in December.

Homework

Students have math, extra math from Investigations, multiplication flashcards a reading log, poetry and a reading comprehension sheet on voting. The flashcards are meant to stay at home for practice with speed (fluency) and recall. With just a few minutes of practice every night (or most nights), students can really improve. The other little piece of homework from last week is due this Friday as well! Students were to be memorizing their complete address and phone number (home or cell…whatever is the primary number for the family) over the last couple weeks. If students haven’t started, they can use this week to catch up. Students will be reciting the information to Mrs. Culp on Friday. Having contact information memorized is a great safety precaution!

Most students are doing a good job turning in their homework at the end of the week completed. We appreciate and recognize the effort students and parents make to ensure homework gets turned in on time and is complete. It sends an important message to your child and we thank you for reinforcing what we do in the classroom. Homework is due Friday, October 19th.

Math (Equal Groups: Multiplication and Division)

Last week, we started a new unit that looks at multiplication as combining a number of equal groups and division as splitting a quantity into equal groups. We will use multiples on a 100 chart, describe patterns students see in different multiples and compare multiples to each other. We will also use skip counting books and the famous “Multiplication Array Songs” that past students still say they use! The songs are fun and catchy and a great way to learn multiplication facts. The goal of this unit is for students to become fluent with multiplication combinations (practice those flashcards!) and consider the relationship between multiplication and division.

Voting Unit

We are excited about our voting unit and the opportunity it will give students to learn about our government and the voting process. Students will learn about women’s suffrage (currently reading aloud Susan B. Anthony Champion of Women’s Rights), that voting gives us power, the impact of our vote and American democracy (what it is and how it relates to students). Our hope is students learn they can become informed and engaged voters. We want our students to realize voting is a way to have a voice and an impact on the things happening in our lives and in our country.

Writing

The last few weeks we’ve been helping students generate writing and learning different strategies to do so. Students have learned (and will continue to learn) how writers find topics and make them into stories. We have stories floating all around us, happening every day. Students have been learning how to harness those experiences and turn them into stories. Next, we’ll be looking at how to “zoom in” on a story, narrowing a focus and turning the story into small moments. We want our students to write from within their stories, painting pictures in their reader’s mind.

Poetry

We will recite our poems on Friday at 9:45 if you would like to join us! It will last about 30 minutes.

 Special Announcements

  • Specials Schedule: Monday- Library check out, Tuesday-Music, Wednesday-PE, Thursday-PE and Friday-Music.
  • Our schedule for the next 2 weeks: Pilar: October 15th-17th, 22nd -23rd. Sarah October 18th-19th, 24th-26th.
  • Play BFG-We are going to see the play the BFG on October 23rd. If you are a chaperone, please arrive at school by 8:30am, as we’ll be leaving by 8:45ish. Thank you!
  • Harvest Celebration-We’d love for you to join us from 10:30-11:10 for a festive yet simple gathering. Thank you to all parents who have volunteered to bring a snack/supply/craft material.
    • Nada-juice
    • Payton-cups
    • Carson-treat
    • Parker J.-pumpkins
    • Isabella-googly eyes/pipe cleaners
  • Vision screening: 9:00-9:10 Friday, October 19th
  • Pizza Bingo: Pizza Bingo is on next Friday night (26th) from 5:30-7:30. Come and play a little bingo and eat some great pizza!
  • Auction-We have an idea we’ve been working on. If you’d like to help us work out the details with the company, we’d appreciate it. We could use a contact person!
  • Picture Retakes-November 8th
  • Early Release: October 31st @ 12:10 (students should still bring a lunch).

Sincerely,

 

Sarah Culp                       Pilar Tragesser

Culps@wlwv.k12.or.us    Tragessp@wlwv.k12.or.us