Welcome to Springtime!
Many thanks to all of our families for participating in the student-led conferences. It was a great chance to see your child taking ownership of their learning to diiscuss their areas of strength and also those areas where they need to focus their attentions. They had all done some terrific reflection and chose pieces to share that illustrated the growth they are making. Now we are back to school feeling refreshed from break and ready to take on the next challenges and adventures headed our way this month.
Sadly we said good-bye to our friend Lilly who moved before break, but our hearts are buoyed with the arrival of our new friend, Gregory. We wish Lilly well in her new school and welcome Gregory and his family to Willamette!
SOCIAL STUDIES: We are finishing our study of the Oregon regions and will use this information about our state’s diverse landforms, climates, and natural resources to frame our study of Oregon’s indigenous people. The question, “How does WHERE you live affect HOW you live?” will serve as our guide in looking at the people who populated the coast and basin regions, specifically. You can expect to see more research, non-fiction reading and writing as well as analysis of the information they discover. We will also be taking a look at artifacts from the Oregon Historical Society evidencing the diverse lifestyles of these cultural groups.
WRITING: In conjunction with our social studies unit, students will be reading and writing their own Native American myth stories. In art they will create masks to accompany their myth and we will present our stories during a Tellebration later this spring. You don’t want to miss that!
READING: We will begin a class book study of Ramona Quimby Age 8 in preparation for our field trip to see the stage production in May. Beverly Cleary is a much loved local author who has written the Ramona series of books that often serve as hooks for many readers. We will be taking a look at elements of narrative writing and using the book to practice more of our reading strategies.
MATH: We continue with our multiplication and division unit of study now. A great way to support your child’s learning is to help them with multiplication facts. It makes their work with larger numbers so much more seamless when they know their basic facts with fluency. We will also begin working with fractions this month as well.
STATE TESTING: Our window of testing begins on April 20th and we will start with the Reading test. This year we begin using a new test that is a much different format from year’s past. The test is still done on-line, but the questions go beyond the usual “fill in the bubble” format. The students will be answering Selected Response questions (multiple choice), but even these are not as straight forward as in the past. Some questions have more than one answer. They will also answer Constructed Response questions (short answers) where they need to formulate their own answers and type them in the test form. Another type of question is Technology Enhanced. These questions allow students to use computer tools to answer questions. These might be creating a graph, drawing geometric shapes, or filling in a graphic organizer. And finally, there is a Performance Task. With this type of question students perform a skill or create a product, like a writing piece or solve an in depth math problem. Here is a link for you to look at the student practice test site to help give you an idea of what the test will look like for your child. You simply log in as a GUEST and then select Grade 3. I highly recommend you and your child spend some time on this site to become more familiar with the tools and the format. The test will take a considerable amount of time, but we will break up the test experience into smaller daily sessions, perhaps 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. Test results won’t be available from the state until the fall. Our testing window is happening in the afternoons, so a great way to support your child is to be sure they are having a good lunch. Maybe put an encouraging note in their lunchbags. Also, talking about the testing experience and helping them to put the test into perspective would be helpful as well. Encouraging students to do their best and show all that they know.
CANNED FOOD DRIVE: The school’s annual food drive is under way and our class has had 30 items turned in so far. Thanks for your contributions. We are working toward a class goal of 125 items and a school goal of 3,000 items.
The thermometer in the main hallway shows our school’s progress!
We hope you will consider donating food or personal items to help us reach our ultimate goal of helping out local and statewide hungry families.
The food banks are in need of canned fruit, 100% fruit juice, soups/chili with protein, breakfast cereals, peanut butter and canned meats. They are also in need of items to make meals like pasta, vegetables, beans, and cooking oil. We thank you for your generosity!
Any class who brings these Gold Star Items on these days will have their names read during morning announcements.
Tuesday: Canned Fruit and 100% Juice
Wednesday: Breakfast items (cereal, pancake/waffle mix, syrup, oatmeal etc…)
Thursday: Peanut Butter
Friday: Personal Items (bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, deodorant)
As part of this community service project, our class volunteered at our local food pantry
Hard at work!
as well as the Oregon Food Bank. Many thanks to our volunteers who accompanied us on our trips. The students felt great about volunteering and helping out so many families. We bagged over 9,000 pounds of onions and potatoes to be distributed to hungry families across Oregon. Kids are powerful!
Once we have collected all of the food next week, we will be delivering a portion to our local food pantry. We are in need of many wagons to load with donated items and carry to the West Linn Food Pantry. This is a wonderful tradition for our class and it’s quite a sight to see our own little wagon train moving through the Willamette neighborhood. We are in need of wagons and volunteers for this trip that will be happening the week of April 13. Specific dates and times will be coming soon! Please let me know if you have a wagon or small garden cart we could use for our food delivery.
RHYTHMS PROGRAM: It’s time for our annual Rhythms Program where students, and maybe even a few teachers, will show you their ability to move to the music. This fun Willamette tradition is happening on April 17. To accommodate the large numbers of family members there will be two shows, 10:00 and 1:00. The same show is performed at each time and lasts for approximately an hour. Our class has been working hard on their routine and are excited to perform for you. Their costumes consist of yellow, orange, pink or bright green top, black bottoms and crazy hair. Hope you can join us for the fun performance!
Monday, April 6: No school for students. Professional development day for teachers
Friday, April 17: Rhythms Program: A-M Familes 10:00, N-Z Families 1:00
Wednesday, April 29: Early Dismissal 12:10 Lunch is served at school. Buses run on regular routes.
Thank you so much for all of your help and support!