Dear Parents,

Friday Journals

Friday journals will go home today. Please remember to jot a short response to your child. They look forward to reading them each week.

Reading Response

We will pick up with reading responses next week. Our new reading unit is based on biographies. Your child will need a biography to keep at home for “homework” reading. 


This week we began a unit of study called “Animals Through Time.” In our first Mystery we explored the idea that the rock under our feet sometimes contains fossils. Those fossils reveal how habitats have changed through time. For example, fossil shark teeth and fossil starfish found in the center of North America are evidence that what is grassland today must have been an ocean in the ancient past.

You can help support your child’s learning by striking up a conversation about an exotic habitat you might have visited on vacation. If feasible, consider visiting the nearest science museum and/or quarry to see any local fossils that have been found in our region.

Our second  mystery  this week was dinosaurs: how do we know what they looked like on the outside, when all we have of them are fossil bones? Why are we always depicting them as scaly lizards? Your child is learning how we can infer what the outside of an animal looks like, by using clues about their skeleton. We are also exploring how the structure of an animal’s teeth say something about what kind of food the animal preferred to eat (i.e. meat, plants, or both).

Dinosaurs are very exciting and so are likely to be a topic on your child’s mind these next few weeks. You can continue to stoke this interest by choosing to watch an educational program on dinosaurs together, such as Walking with Dinosaurs (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1762399/). If you have any toothed pets, such as a cat, dog, or even hamster, you can also invite your child to classify these living animals as herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore by observing their teeth.


Have a great weekend!

Pilar Tragesser


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Math Facts Practice at Home

January 3rd,  2017


Dear Parents,


In an effort to help ensure all of our third graders are mastering their facts, we are asking that you help monitor their fact practice from home. We are asking that you remind your son or daughter to practice his/her facts at home, for no more than 10 minutes each weekday evening. On their fact practice log, students should record which facts they practiced that evening, how many minutes they practiced, which problems gave them trouble, and then get your signature or initials. Your child will turn in their fact practice log each  Friday (or the end of the week.) I will place the weekly logs into student blue folders every Monday  to better keep track of the logs. Thank you in advance for your support from home! Fact mastery will not only build your child’s mathematical confidence, but will also better prepare them for what’s to come!


Here are links to 2 great websites for math practice. These are also on my blog. By the end of 3rd grade students should have mastery with  their mulitplication facts, products up to 100. The bulk of their practice should be multiplication facts with some addition and subtraction mixed in. They can of course work on division facts if they want a challenge! Other apps, websites or good ol’ flashcards are perfectly fine. The goal is practice!






Thank you!


Pilar Tragesser

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The Blanket Project

November 27th, 2017

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow, we will be introducing a winter community service project to our classes. Instead of a winter “party” in December, we will be giving back. (We can have some hot cocoa and treats while doing soJ )We will be helping other youths in the Portland area by “making” double thick fleece blankets for the Janus Youth Program-Yellow Brick Road Street Outreach. Janus Youth Programs will be giving these blankets to homeless 12 – 17 year olds in the Portland area over the holiday season. These kids are in great need of some warmth and cheer.

We are asking 3rd graders to earn the money to buy the fleece by doing extra chores. Each student is encouraged to earn $12, which will cover the cost of one blanket. Your students can work and earn money over the few weeks.   We encourage our students to work for you, another family member or a neighbor in need. You have the ultimate decision on the chore or chores!


Students will need to bring their earnings to school by Monday, December 11th.  The money will then be used to purchase fleece for the blankets we will be making. If you are unable to pay your child for chores performed, please let us know, and we will make other arrangements.


During the last couple days of school before winter break, we will be making the blankets (cutting and fringing the fleece.) We will then have a representative from Janus Youth Project come to school to collect the blankets have a short discussion with our classes.


This project needs parent volunteers.  We will need a few parents who are willing to go to JoAnn’s or another fabric warehouse and purchase the fleece. We have a contact at JoAnn’s who is very helpful.  Please let your teacher know if you are willing to do this.  We will also need a lot of parents to help create the blankets on the day we cut and fringe them. Many pairs of fabric or very sharp scissors are also needed. Stay tuned for exact days and times.

Thank you for participating in our community service project!


Pilar Tragesser


Other notes:

  • Speaking roles for our music concert were selected at random today. If your child came home with a script, please encourage them to practice, practice, practice!
  • Salmon t-shirts came home today as well. They can be laundered as normal clothes, please enjoy!
  • We will be visiting the book fair during our library special time tomorrow, so if you’d like to send money for your child tomorrow is a good day to do so. Check in/check out will also happen tomorrow.
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Hello families!

On Friday (tomorrow) we will be printing our salmon t-shirts. If you have not already, please send in a plain white t-shirt for your child. Please label the tag with sharpie. We will be printing shirts at 10:45 tomorrow. Bethany Sampson and Jennifer Page will be helping with this activity and I could use 1-2 more parents. Please let me know if you are available to help:)

We will also be celebrating and sharing our personal narratives on Friday. The kids worked so hard on these stories and I’m super proud of them. You are welcome to pop in for this, it will happen at 12:20 (after lunch/recess.) We’ll send these stories home to share on Friday, so you can certainly celebrate your writer at home over the break as well.

I will send out thankful letters on Friday afternoon. Please send in an addressed, stamped envelope by tomorrow so I can send your child’s thankful letter to their recipient.


Have a wonderful break!

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Hi Parents,
We had a great field trip today! Your child came home with their salmon field guide. I’d encourage you to go through it with them as a way to prompt conversation about their science learning today.
This week we are finishing up our personal narratives and could use some adults in the classroom to help edit.
Please let me know if you are able to help on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 11:00-11:40 . Thank you!
Multiplication Facts Quiz ( x1, x2, x5, x10)
On Friday, we will take a quiz on x1 x2, x5 and x10 facts. There will be 30 problems on the quiz and I am interested in how many they can answer correctly in 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, they will get the chance to finish the assessment after I’ve noted their score.
There are many ways your child can practice their math facts at home.
-Play one of the Pearson Easy Bridge assigned games (Factor Pairs, Count and Compare or Missing Factors)
-Practice using the pink flash cards that were sent home
Thankful Letters
Tomorrow is November! A favorite 3rd grade writing tradition is to write a thankful letter to a special relative or friend. Please help your child brainstorm who that person might be.
We’ll start letters in here in class in the next week or two.
Spooky Poems
In lieu of a reading response this week, a “spooky poem” assignment went home yesterday in homework notebooks. Please look over the assignment with your child and let me know if you have any questions.
Have a fun night and be safe!
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October 5th, 2017

Dear Parents,

We are rounding out a great week here in 3rd grade! Writing has been especially fun with the kids drafting their personal narratives. Today we worked on developing the mood of  our stories based on what we want our readers to feel when they read them. Really nice workshop today with lots of excitement and eager sharing.

Conferences and Homework

Next week is conference week. I look forward to meeting with you all! You should have received an email reminder of your conference time. With the very short week, I am still sending reading response homework and spelling words, with the due date being Monday, October 16th.

Salmon Field Trip 10/31/17

We will start our study of salmon on Monday, October 16th.

We’ve received confirmation that our salmon field trip will be on Tuesday. October 31st (Halloween.) Green permission forms will go home in folders tomorrow and will have additional details on location, time etc. There is no cost for this field trip and we will need chaperones. For this one, I’ll be looking for 5 parents who can ride the bus and supervise a small group for the day.  Please note on the green form if you would like to chaperone and send it back. I’ll send confirmation within a week.


Last week we learned about plant domestication, or how thousands of years ago we chose plants from the wild, such as tiny apples, and by carefully selecting seeds generation after generation, we’ve made them sweeter and bigger. We solved the mystery, “Why are some apples red, and some green?”

You can support this week’s learning by including your child on a trip to the grocery store’s produce section! Ask them to look for different varieties of one type of fruit. Consider asking them to find some new they’d like to try, such as a variety of apple or pear they’ve never tasted.

This week we learned about domestication (or “selection”) in plants, focusing on how the fruits and vegetables in our grocery stores and gardens have been changed from their wild counterparts to be bigger, tastier, and more varied. We solved the mystery, “How could you make the biggest fruit in the world?”

You can help reinforce this week’s learning by taking your child with you on your next trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Find a variety of fruit which might be exciting or unfamiliar to your child, and stoke their curiosity by asking: What kind of fruit do you think this is? What do you think it tastes like? (Then, of course, try that fruit!)

Looking forward to running tomorrow!

Pilar Tragesser

*Our Fun Run time is 10:50-11:10 and sponsorship envelopes are not due until November 4th.


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September 20th, 2017

Hi Parents,

We’ve had a great week!

I will be out tomorrow afternoon. I am part of a district curriculum writing cohort and will be working on aligning science curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards. Some of this work will happen during the school day, so I will have a substitute in the classroom on occasion this fall. Luckily,  I have Ann Hagler (substitute extraordinaire and Sam’s grandma) on speed dial:)


We got our Chromebook assignments on Monday and practiced navigating around our Google drive. Today we typed up a short poem in Docs. We will be using Chromebooks daily here in 3rd grade.


Hopefully, kids are into the swing of things with homework. The second reading response went home on Monday and is due back on tomorrow. Math homework will start coming home a few days a week, due back the next day. Page 18 is in blue folders today.

*A Scholastic News went home in folders today. This is “just for fun” and not assigned homework.


Please be sure to look for the “parent letters” that go home. These letter explain what we are learning in math and share how you can support your child at home.


*Can you explain the meaning of row, column, factor and product?

*How can  4 x 6 help me solve 8 x 6?



*What is a “Storyteller’s voice versus a News Reporter’s voice?

*What am I learning to do when I run out of “steam” as a writer?


If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom, please visit the link below.




This week we solved the mystery, ‘Why do plants grow fruit?’  We saw how fruit is a tasty container for seeds, and how all fruits are simply one part of a flower (the ovary).

You can help support this week’s learning by involving your child when cutting vegetables or fruits.

*Ask your child, “What should I look for, to know if what I’m cutting was once part of the flower?”  (Answer: Look for seeds!)

Here is a student link to this week’s lesson, if you child would like to share more about their learning with you.


Scholastic Book Orders

I’ll submit orders tomorrow. Final call to order online!


Have a great day!


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September 11th, 2017

Hi Parents,
Our first reading response went home today in the reading tab of homework notebooks. Please read it over with your child, and have them come back to me in the morning with any questions. Reading responses are always due on Fridays and the homework notebook can stay at home until then. We do need homework notebooks to write in our Friday Journals, so please make sure those notebooks do come back at the end of the week. Nightly reading of a “just right” book should be about 25-30 minutes.
A pink Technology Use Guidelines form went home today. This needs to be signed in order for your child to have access to the nifty chrome books that just rolled into my classroom. Additionally, the yellow Google Apps agreement that went home in the packet you received at Open House will also need to be signed and returned for students to have access to their Google accounts. A lot of paperwork- I know!
If you were unable to make it to Curriculum Night, I sent home a packet of information. We will also have time to talk at conferences next month.
I’ll try to send book orders home every other month or so and the first pamphlet will go home tomorrow. Our class activation code is JT2N8 and I’ll submit the book orders by the end of next week.


In science today, we learned about flowers: what they do for the plant, how they work, and more. We are working to solve the mystery, “Why do plants grow flowers?” (It’s to attract pollinators!)
You can help reinforce this week’s learning by asking your child to find a flower in the house, yard, or neighborhood. Ask your child, “What has to happen, in order for this plant to grow seeds?”
Please check out the blog for access to our specials schedule (library is tomorrow) and other helpful links.
Have a great afternoon!
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June 14th 2017

Hi Families,

Busy, busy week!

Field Trip Friday-Willamette Jet boat Excursion


We will leave school at 8:30 and plan to be back by noon. Bring a BIG snack as we’ll have lunch a little later than normal.

Jet along Portland’s waterfront to Swan Island and Portland’s premier ship repair facility. Get so close to giant cargo ships you can almost touch them! Learn about some of the most unique bridges in the world, Lewis & Clark, dry docks, barge building, and maritime history too!

Questions about what to expect, wear etc. can be answered on their FAQ page here.

Book Talks

Here is the schedule that went home today.

Monday Tuesday
Cade                   Sophia

Aki                      Rebecca

Taylor                Evan

Garrett              Timothy



















Last Day

We’ll have a class breakfast together on Tuesday and enjoy signing yearbooks and saying goodbye! *This last day celebration is just for students:)

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June 11th, 2017

Dear Parents,

A quick note:)

Tomorrow morning, 5th graders  from Ms. Allaverdian’s class will lead us on a “Wetland Walk” down by Willamette Park. The walking permission slip you filled out in the fall covers these kinds of nearby walks. Please make sure your child dresses appropriately.

We will have extra PE on Monday (tomorrow) and Wednesday. No PE on Tuesday due to Field Day. So, PE shoes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday:)

We have the AM slot for field day and will be down at the park from 8-11. Bring a sack lunch or school lunch will be available down at the park.

The Jet Boat field trip is on Friday. More details to come:)

Pilar Tragesser




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