Friday, September 28, 2012

October Here We Come!

Parents, Students, and Families of Mr. Abbott's 3rd Graders!

Well you've done it!  You've made it through September of your third grade year!  October is on the way, and the leaves have already started falling from the trees.  Good work so far, there's lots more to come!

A quick update on some of the things we've been working on or you may have noticed this week:

1) Math Assessment.  We had our first in-class math assessment this week, and it should be home with you now.  There is a letter attached to the front of it, please take a minute to read that before you look over the assessment.  A special notice: the last question was extremely difficult.  We talked about it as a class afterwards and found some not-so-extremely difficult ways to solve it!  Give it a try with your student this weekend.

You also may notice that there is a smiley face and the phrase "Show Work" next to some parts.  This fits with our school's "If you think it, write it!" mantra.  Write your thinking down!

2) Reading Logs.  I collected our first reading logs today!  I was very excited to see all the fun books that our class is reading.  Some families had notes about differing times of reading depending on what was going on at home (parties, traveling, extra nights, etc.).  This is totally fine!  Our goal is to try and get a good amount of reading in as much as possible, and to make reading time a fun time each night.  Readers got stickers and started a new section in our Language Arts Binder!

3) Discovery Math.  Discovery Math came back today, and new ones were submitted.  Each student who submitted Discovery Math last week got to put a sticker on his or her Discovery Math chart this morning!  All the new submissions were sent down to get answer sheets attached for next week's return.  Good job discovering math!

4) Spelling.  We practiced our second week's spelling words today.  Look for getting those back early next week.  So far spelling has been fun and a great learning process for all of us.

5) Mastering Math Facts.  We've started working on Mastering Math Facts addition.  We're going to move pretty quickly on addition, a little slower in subtraction, and then see where we go from there.  When you get them home during the week, give them a try and see if you can beat your time from class.  There's a link to a timer on our Final Five page!

That's it for now.  I hope you're looking forward to fall and the upcoming sounds as much as I am!  If you have any questions for me please don't hesitate to email ( or call (846-3391) and I'll see you soon.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Week Three Roundup

Parents and Students of Mr. Abbott's Class!

Congratulations on finishing our third week of school!  Some exciting new things happened this week, so I thought I would update you on them.  This will give us all some things to think about as we rest up this weekend for the rigor of next week.

We started our spelling this week.  We're still adapting to the timing/scheduling aspect, so the homework didn't go home on Wednesday, but many of you still got it back in one night's time.  If you didn't, don't stress, just bring it in on Monday or as soon as you can.  We'll work on getting it out to you on time (Wednesday) next week.

We sent home reading logs today, and discussed how to fill them out.  Although there is no space on there for the weekend, you are definitely still allowed to read over the weekend!  Then on Mondays start keeping track of your approximate reading habits throughout the week.  I encourage you to read 15-20 minutes a night, but this is not a requirement.  Some nights are busy and might only be 5 minutes, other nights you get lost in a book and it could be hours!  I know the feeling!

We had open school night which was very successful and fun.  I got to meet a few of you who I hadn't met yet, which was nice.  Then I had to talk really quick and not talk to you but at you because of the kind of night it is.  Don't worry, we'll have plenty of time to talk specifically about your scholar at conferences.  :)

Our EcoSphere and shrimps are going strong!  It sounds like some of you have been hearing about them.

If you haven't had a chance yet, go and check out our "Final Five" page, it has the last three final fives and there are some old posts that will be going up soon!

I look forward to seeing my scholars bright and early Monday morning!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Post-Open School Night Update!

If you couldn't make it in to tonight's open school event, please don't fret: I will send home a folder with all the pertinent information with your child tomorrow.  However, as those who came tonight could tell you, that's a big task!  With a 30-minute time limit it was a sprint to deliver as much information, in the most boring format (lecture) available, as possible.  For those who were there, please rest assured that I wouldn't dream of subjecting your children to such a dreary presentation.  We have lots more fun when you're not there!  :)

In all seriousness, I do appreciate the time you all put in with your children.  Whether or not you were able to make it tonight, never underestimate the influence you have on your children's future success.  Working as a team, we can help our students reach above and beyond what they can do alone.

I would also like to add a couple of things that we didn't have time to address tonight:

1) Time for Kids money.  I have received $5 from almost everyone for our subscription to Time for Kids.  If you haven't had a chance to do that yet, please try and get that in by Friday.  This will be a great resource for many areas of the classroom, especially during our Daily 5!

2) Volunteering.  I would love to have parents who have the time to volunteer come in and help us, but at this point I want to get us settled in to a rhythm while I figure out exactly what our needs are.  Keep your eyes out for an interest/sign-up poll sometime in late October or early November.

That's it for now, keep checking back here, there will be new information and new areas opening up all the time!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Families of Mr. Abbott's Third Grade,

Wow, two weeks in already and the year is off to a great start.  A few of the things we've been up to so far, and then I'll get to some of what you can look forward to this week!

We have started working our math program with Everyday Math (you should be seeing Home Links just about every night) and Discovery Math just started up on Friday (this is optional, but HIGHLY recommended if you can find some time to look at it before next Friday!).  We've been talking quite a bit about classroom expectations and community building, with books like Swimmy, The Dot, and Have You Filled a Bucket Today.  Students have created "Guess Who" posters and put their own dots around our room.  We've done two science investigations as we explore the world of sound and begin to write scientifically about our experiences.  We began to unwrap the idea of "good fit" books (like good fit shoes), and will be using the IPICK strategy to find books appropriate for all situations (more on this later).

Some things to look forward to this week include starting our Poetry Notebooks, where we will be gathering a new poem each week and using it for introspection, fluency reading, and partner reading.  We will be launching The Daily Five, to help our students build reading independence and deepen our appreciation for reading.  This week we will focus on "read to self," and will work on increasing our reading stamina.  We will also be introducing Reading Logs, and will need your help to fill them out as we read at home each night.

See what I mean?  A great start!  I'm really excited and I think all my friends in class are, too.

Oh, and did I mention we are bringing in our class shrimp this week?  Go here to see more about them:

Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday night, and please bear with us as our class page gets up to speed.