Read All About It!
September 30th, 2013
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- 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 you’ve 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).