Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December Updates

Hello Families!

December if fully and truly upon us, in true Maine fashion, as exemplified by the new Yarmouth ice skating rink that happens to occupy the location that was formerly my driveway. Snow, cold, warm, cold, winter in Maine is nothing if not fickle!

It's exciting times here at YES, too! Here are a few things you may be interested in:

Pajama Day! This Thursday will be a school-wide Pajama Day! Kiddos (and teachers, too) will be decked out in their cozy night duds this Thursday as a community-building school event.

Read-a-Math-a-Game-a-Thon! Thursday will also be our first Read-a-Math-a-Game-a-Thon (RMGT) of the year. Kiddos have been told they can bring in one blanket-ish item and one comfort-ish item. They know what this means. We'll be reading and playing math-themed games all day to unwind before the break. I look forward to introducing some new games to the class, I don't think anyone has played Machi Koro yet, and we'll be getting out Sushi Go! and Hey! That's My Fish!  along with some other perennial favorites.

Mystery Solved! We finally found out who our mystery person was! This devious trickster sent cryptic messaged via Prezi to our class with activities to hone our detective skills. We found three key clues: a misplaced bus note, a block of wood, and a fumbled afternoon announcement. Ask your detective where these clues led us!

Math Explorations: We had a great time on Friday doing Math Explorations with Mrs. Landry and Mrs. Shannon. We were exploring measurement and tools for measuring. It was super fun! Here's a video of us at work.

Math Games: Yesterday we  played "Name that Polygon Attribute" in class. Here's a video of us working on that game!

I hope you're staying warm and having fun and as excited about vacation (and our -thons) as we are!

Take care,

Friday, December 16, 2016

Henry Dance Party!

Hello Families!

This week we had a super-fun birthday celebration with Henry! We even finished up with a class rendition of the theme song to "Little Einsteins," a favorite of Henry's. It was, to put it mildly, quite epic.

Hope you're having as fun of a week as we are, heres the video:


Take care,

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fun Friday

Hello Families,

Wow, what a fun Friday we had at YES last week. I've been trying to get these videos up for a couple days now, but we're smack in the middle of cold season in the Abbott household.

First, we joined Mrs. Ney's class during Morning Meeting to practice juggling together! Mr. Arno and Mr. Curry helped out, too. Juggling is teaching us valuable lessons about grit and perseverance, and also helps our brains work across both hemispheres. Look at us go!

Second, we've started our Geography unit. We'll be examining countries all over the world, and looking at holidays and celebrations in different cultures. Friday afternoon we took a look at Japan, and the holiday of Kodomo-no-hi. We made a giant carp to celebrate strength!

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for our publishing party!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Hello Families!

We started our Mysteries Unit this week with a bang: a mysterious email to Mr. Abbott with a link to a Prezi containing cryptic clues about upcoming events. We're intrigued! Our first mission was to make Detective Hats, and then we got a set of mystery words to study, and there's a quiz on Friday!

Here we are practicing solving mysteries by reading some:



Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Days

Hello Families!

I hope you're out enjoying some of this lovely weather this weekend, even if it is a bit cold. As the weather gets colder, the kiddos will be bringing in more and more layers, which creates the opportunity to lose more and more layers. Please write your name or initials on everything, the tables of Lost and Found by the office get very large this time of year.

Things are moving along at a brisk clip in Room 103. We've pulled together the last threads of our fall units and are transitioning over into our winter units. Only a few weeks until the holidays are upon us, and then it's time to welcome in 2017! Hard to imagine we're staring at that already. Here are a few updates about what's going on in Mr. Abbott's class at Yarmouth Elementary School.

Book Order: Our most recent book order was due on Friday, but I've extended it until this WEDNESDAY because I forgot to give out the free book coupons! So feel free to place an order before Wednesday and Scholastic guarantees that the books will arrive before we go on vacation.

Recipes: We've been sharing recipes in class for our Super Secret Project, thank you to everyone who has sent one in already. It can be for anything: something you make once a year, something you make once a week, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack! All originals will be coming home, we'll take very good care of them.

Community Meeting: The Third Grade Community Meeting around the theme of optimism on Thursday was a rousing success! We pulled it together very quickly, and I have gotten great feedback from all over the school. Our class made small, bright posters with optimistic slogans on them and decorated them. We then blew them up into huge 4-paper by 4-paper puzzle posters using the web site Block Posters. We made enough for each classroom to get a puzzle. During the community meeting, we hid out on the side of the stage and then shouted our slogans as loudly as possible, while being projected huge on the walls of the cafeteria! It was, to quote a student, "EPIC!" Watch the video of us working on our posters in class, and then watch the video of the entire performance (you can't, unfortunately, see us, but you can definitely hear us between each presentation).

Volunteers: We had our first volunteers in this week reading Time for Kids with the class. It went smashingly! We'll be needing more volunteers soon to help us put together our White Books in advance of our Publishing Party. Which brings me to...

Publishing Party: We'll be having our first Publishing Party, for our Personal Narratives, on either December 15th or 16th in the morning. I'm still finalizing the date and time, and I will email that information out as soon as possible.

Reading: We start Mysteries this week! Get ready to hear lots of Detective-speak over the next few weeks as we delve into the world of sleuths, criminals, alibis, and red herrings!

Writing: We'll also be developing Opinion pieces as our next unit of study. Don't be surprised if your third grader starts using some pretty sophisticated techniques to persuade you that they really need you to make some changes for them.

That's it for now, look forward to seeing you soon,

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Hello Families,

Grade Three is facilitating a YES Community Meeting around Optimism on Thursday afternoon. Here is our class working on our Optimistic Affirmation Posters, which will be made into large, printed-out puzzles. Each class at YES will get a puzzle!



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving and have a wonderful long weekend. We took a few minutes to calculate how much Thanksgiving Dinner might cost.


Take Care,

Monday, November 21, 2016


Hello Families,

We've been talking a bit about gratitude this week, and we did this activity that can be used at home with cousins, aunts and uncles, and various other family to share thoughts on thankfulness this weekend. If you like.

Here we are making them!

Take Care,

Shuffle to 100 Tournament!

Hello Families,

On Friday we held and impromptu Shuffle to 100 tournament in class. It was super fun!



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November Update

Hello Families!

We're moving at a good clip right through November. We had a really exciting week last week, and Thanksgiving is closing in on us soon. Here are a few updates.

Pre-Thanksgiving: Last Thursday was our own little preparation day for Thanksgiving. During lunch, there was a bean tasting event in the cafeteria. The winning recipe, provided by Ms. Laura Coroi, was a Mediterranean bean recipe. Kiddos can taste it all this week as part of the bento lunch option. After lunch we hiked ourselves out to the garden and harvested kale, then to the courtyard to get some apples. We brought them back to class, washed them, and then made kale-apple juice with my juicer. It was a huge hit! Finally, later in the afternoon, we were invited to Ms. Frame's room for a Literary Book Tasting. Afterwards, the descriptor "EPIC!" was thrown out quite aptly. Thanks, Ms. Frame!

Conferences: Conferences went great! Thank you for making the time to come in and chat with me about your third grader. I have a big list of things to get started and look into, I'll be getting on those issues right away. Thank you for your patience!

Because of Winn-Dixie: We will be watching the movie version of Because of Winn-Dixie next week. Some of the questions we'll be asking: What are some of the major changes between the book and the movie? Why do you think they cut some things out of the book? Why do you think the director added the role of the bumbling sheriff into the movie? Does India Opal change the same way from the beginning of the story to the end of the story in book and movie? Does Opal grow as a character in believable ways like in the book? Try some of these questions out on your Media Master over Thanksgiving vacation!

Writing Prompt: We did our first in-class writing prompt for Personal Narratives this week. I've gone through a little over half of them so far, and I'm very impressed! Our young authors have been using the strategies we've been learning over the last months to pull together very interesting, succinct, and often funny Personal Narratives.

Volunteers: Our classroom volunteer coordinators, Tiffany Marianski and Cam Shannon, were at YES yesterday helping me plan volunteer activities for the coming months. If you filled out a volunteer preference sheet, expect to hear from them soon. If you would like to volunteer, please send them an email, I will be sending out their email addresses over email soon. (Sorry for the prolific use of the word "email" in that last sentence!)

That's about it for now. Hard to believe we're almost into December already!

Take care,

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mt. Apatite

Hello Families of Mr. Abbott's Class!

Wow, what an amazing day at Cookin' Carol's Farm at Mount Apatite. Carol rolled out the welcome mat for us, and we got to spend an amazing day checking out the Hatch Ledge and sorting through tailings from mines in New Hampshire and Maine. The kid had a blast, and I did, too!

Carol would love to see you come visit on your own sometime, you can find her on her website. Make sure to tell her how much fun we had!

Here's a quick video of our adventures. See you soon!


November Update

Hello Families of Mr. Abbott's Class!

Welcome to November, it's definitely getting colder. As the weather continues to dip lower and lower, please remember to label any and all layers that you send in with your kiddo. Our recess policy for layers is that kiddos can wear whatever they are comfortable in, so please remind them about good choices in this area.

Science: We're (sadly) closing up our Geology unit piece by piece. We started our crystals project today, and have two more investigations into weathering and erosion, and then we're pretty much done. Our trip to Mt. Apatite was fantastic, and we go climbing at YHS tomorrow. Geology is such a great way to start our year!

Math: We just finished up our Unit 2 assessment, and started Unit 3 today. We'll be talking about functions and patterns, and getting into more multiplication facts as well. We also did our first round of fact fluency assessments, I will be sharing the results with you at conferences.

Conferences: This Friday! If you haven't signed up yet, please do at your earliest convenience. Thank you so much for taking the time to come in and talk about your goals and aspirations for your third grader this year.

Writing: We're just about to start putting our personal narratives onto our Google drives. We've talked about leads, hearts, ends, figurative language, and a host of other pieces. I am having fun seeing these stories take shape.

Reading: We are assessing our Characters Unit this week. We'll be saying good-bye to India Opal, Winn-Dixie, Rob, and Sistine. We will be saying hello to Ivan, Bob, Stella, and Ruby as we start The One and Only Ivan, one of my favorite books!

Book Order: Our November book order is out, I will be placing it this Friday. Sorry about the rapid-fire book orders and book fair, the fall is always busy combined with my late entry. We'll be a little more regularly every month from here on out. Thank you for supporting our classroom by ordering through our Scholastic page, as your child about all the new books I've been able to put into our library this year!

That's about it for now. I look forward to seeing you this Friday.

Take care,

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Coming Soon!

Hello Families of Mr. Abbott's Class!

October is almost over already! So hard to believe. A quick update of some upcoming events in our class is below. We continue our study of geology and have moved from rocks to the rock cycle and volcanoes. We've started a new unit in math, and are excited about some of the new games as we work on multi-step addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division stories. In reading we continue to learn about characters, and have learned that sometimes, despite what we know about predicting a character's actions based on their past behaviors, they can still surprise us. We took a break from personal narrative writing to write some metaphorical spider web poems in writing, and this week we start our Words Their Way word study!

Phew, that was more of a mouthful than I had planned. Here's that upcoming information!

Volunteering: I hope to start getting volunteers into our classroom in early to mid November. To that end, I would like to introduce you to Tiffany Marianski (Finn's mom) and Cam Shannon (Emma's mom), who will be our classroom parent volunteer coordinators! I will be sending them a list of all the people who have let me know you would like to volunteer in the class, and they will be in touch with you about what/when/how that will happen. Thanks so much Cam and Tiffany!

Field Trips: We will be going to Cookin' Carol's Farm on the slopes of Mt. Apatite this Friday to see what an amateur rock hound's mining activity looks like. The kiddos have already seen many of the samples I've brought back from there in previous years, and I think excitement is pretty high around this trip. The forecast isn't great right now, but it's Maine, and I'm sure it will change before I finish writing this update. If you are volunteering for this trip don't forget you'll need to send $5 in beforehand and either drive or carpool and meet us there.

We will also be walking to YHS to spend a few hours climbing on their indoor rock wall! We're still finalizing dates for this, but it will happen sometime in November before Thanksgiving. This is a great trip that ties together some of the themes we've been learning about in our geology unit with a serious dose of teamwork and community building. It's a highlight of third grade.

Conferences: You may have heard of your friends going to conferences already. I thought it would be good to spend a couple of extra weeks getting to know the class before meeting with you to discuss your children! To that end, I am tentatively planning on holding conferences on November 11th, Veteran's Day. I will be sending out an email with directions on how to sign up at a later date. If you have plans and will be out of town or unavailable, please let me know at that time and we will make alternate arrangements.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to catch up with us and upcoming events! I hope to get a couple of new videos up this week of some garden picking/drone flying and one of our tasty geology investigations.

Take care,

Sunday, October 9, 2016

What a Week!

Hello Families,

What a great week to rejoin our classroom. We had so much fun, and I feel like I'm getting to know the kiddos better already. We ended the week just as strong as we began! I've put together a couple of short videos to give you a glimpse inside our room.

The first video is a short clip putting together a few quick snippets of Reader's Workshop. We do Reader's Workshop every day, this part is the independent practice part that comes at the end of the workshop.

The second video is a little more unique: Emma's Dance Birthday Party! Always a great way to end a week. I had a couple of kiddos ask me about summertime birthdays: everyone will get a birthday party! We usually need a little decompression in June, so we do all of our July/August birthdays (and early September) during June.

Enjoy the great long weekend!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Welcome, Fall

Hello Families,

Wow! It's so exciting to be back! The last two days have been so much fun, and I'm having a blast getting to know our class. Ms. Seymour got us off to a fantastic start, now our goal is to keep that momentum going as we blast into the heart of our Fall studies. In that spirit, we have a short video showing our class harvesting carrots from the school garden. Can you guess how many pounds the class harvested? (I was off by 50%!)

Here are a few updates about where we're at and what's going on in class. I've only been in the room for two days, and I already feel infected with a love of learning and such great support, what a great year to be in third grade!

Math: We're just finishing up with Unit 1 in Math. Our assessment will be soon, there will be no homework that night. You will be getting a Home Link with information about the upcoming unit as well as the answers to all of the Home Links, put it somewhere safe. Our in-class assessments are a time for me to really get a fix on who knows what. To that end, I make myself available to students for help and support during the entire assessment, and we'll work together to get at what they really are able to do. I'm glad I'm back in time for this first in-class assessment!

Reading: We just started our Characters Unit yesterday! That means we started reading Because of Winn-Dixie and we'll start The Tiger Rising during snack time tomorrow. Both are by Kate DiCamillo, and both are fantastic. Here are the covers:

Be prepared to hear about all the adventures of Sistine, India Opal, and Rob over the next few weeks.

We also finished Stone Fox today. In the end, Little Willy and Searchlight have to pay a very high cost to save Grandfather's farm. It's quite the tear-jerker, and as I do every year I needed to poke myself with a push-pin to keep from crying right through the sad part. Ask your reader about this story. We will be writing our own Chapter 11s as a response to this book using the KidBlog platform, the kiddos are super-excited to get started on it!

Writing: Personal Narratives! Now that we've established good writing habits, it's time to put them to use. We'll be gathering seed ideas and talking about what it takes to make a good personal narrative. This will eventually be our first published piece, and we'll be putting some serious time and effort into it.

Cursive: We got to start on our cursive handwriting books today! We're starting with "pieces" of letters for now, by next week we'll be getting into entire letters starting, just like in print, with the Magic "C."

Science: Time for investigations! We've been doing some great background information about geology. Tomorrow we'll be finishing our "Inside the Earth" diagrams, and then later in the week we'll be reporting on the characteristics of the rocks we brought in. Time to break out he magnifying glasses! At the end of this week or early next week we'll be exploring the rock cycle by creating magma and igneous and metamorphic and sedimentary rocks right in the classroom! (Well, in our imaginations we will. And in reality, we'll be melting crayons and squishing Starburst...)

That's a quick  rundown of where we're at right now. More to come soon!

Enjoy, take care,

Friday, September 23, 2016

Week Three: Open House

Hello Families!

Thank you so much to all the families who were able to join us Monday night for Open House. I know evenings are a busy time, and how hard it can be to get to school for a bit. It was great to see you! So thank you again for making it out, and my apologies again for talking at you so long and uninterrupted in the heat and humidity. I promise not to do that to your third grader!

A couple of quick highlights/reminders: 

Discovery Math is coming home today in your child's Friday Folder. This isn't required homework, but kiddos who do Discovery Math also do better in math class and on math assessments. DiscoveryMath comes home every Friday and they're due back the next Friday.

Scholastic Book Orders went home this week. I've received a couple of online orders already, please keep in mind that we will only place orders online this year. I will send all the orders placed on Scholastic on Monday, so have your order in by then!

Tree nut, sunflower, and sesame are not welcome in our classroom! Due to allergies, snacks that contain or were made in facilities that process these ingredients cannot be eaten in our classroom. If they are part of lunch, for the lunchroom, that is acceptable, just make sure to remind your snacker what is and isn't allowed in the classroom for snack time. If they're not sure they can always ask me or Ms. Seymour.

One more week with Ms. Seymour before Mr. Abbott is back. Please make sure to let her know how appreciative you are of her time and effort and caring and dedication! I know I've felt cool, calm, and collected knowing that she would be in class and in charge every day this year. We're all so lucky to have her before her exciting adventure in Thailand begins later this fall.

That's all for now. If you have any questions or thoughts please let one or both of us know, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Take care,

Saturday, September 17, 2016

First Weeks and Open House

Hello Families,

Mr. Abbott (Todd) here. Wow! What an exciting start to the year. I've been keeping in touch with Ms. Seymour (Kristyn), and it sounds like things are off to a rocking start. To be honest, I expected nothing less of this great group of kiddos. I've had two different teachers email me at home and tell me what an amazing class I have this year. Usually, I like to take all the credit for that. This year, at least for now, that will be hard to do! ;)

I hope you've been keeping track of what's going on in class here on our blog by checking out the Final Five each day. It's over there -----> on the right of the page, and gives a quick look at what happened during the day.

This Monday, September 19th, is Open House night at YES. Our time for grade three is from 6:00PM to 7:00PM. Kristyn and I will be there to give you a quick rundown of what's happening now, but more importantly a more in-depth look at how this year will shape up. Field trips, homework, units of study, volunteering, and so forth will all be discussed at Open House. We really hope to see you there!

Thanks for all your support and well wishes,
Todd and Kristyn

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Welcome Third Graders!

Hello families,

Todd and I are very excited to meet you and get the school year off to an exciting start! Along with getting the classroom ready, Todd has been welcoming two new members into his family and I have been enjoying some time at the beach!  Drop-in day will give you an opportunity to explore the classroom and get to know others. Enjoy the scavenger hunt!

Below is some information about the schedule this year.

Specials Schedule:

Monday: P.E. (bring sneakers)
Tuesday: Music
Wednesday: Guidance
Thursday: Library
Friday: Art

See you soon!
Miss Seymour

Friday, August 26, 2016

Congratulations Fourth Graders!

Hello there families,

As we move through August and you get ready for 4th grade, I want to remind you that even though you have moved past 3rd grade, you will continue to get blog and twitter updates if you're still subscribed to them. I'm about to start sending out new blog posts to this year's 3rd graders and new Final Five twitter updates as well. If you want to keep receiving them to keep track of the exciting things we're doing in 3rd grade, please do. If you'd rather clean up your media feeds then be sure to unsubscribe from the blog and unfollow the twitter.

I'll post a quick note on twitter as well to remind you!

Have a great year in 4th grade!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Have fun storming the castle!

Friends and Families,

Well, we did it! We completed a journey started was back in September of 2015, when a group of brand-new third graders entered room 103 at Yarmouth Elementary School. This June, all twenty-four of us are moving on to fourth grade. Well done! We've had quite a few adventures along the way. Some of them are your standard third grade endeavors like multiplication, biographies, persuasive essays, and geology. Others were more quixotic and unique, such as launching rockets, Genius Hour, rock climbing at YHS, and lego robotics. Throughout it all, we were never afraid to try new things, fail spectacularly, and learn from each other.

Thank you to all the families who supported us this year: moms, dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents and friends. Thank you to all the people who found time to volunteer and join us in class or support us outside of it. Thank you for all your words of support and your kind gifts to me throughout the year, hearing from you can turn a good day into a great one.

Good luck next year! Fourth grade holds many new and exciting experiences. After a brief hiatus to welcome the twins in September and October, I will be right back in room 103, please come by and share some of your new discoveries with me.

I've created a shared folder, called Abbott Videos 2015-2016 that pulls together most (all?) of our classroom videos from this year. There are a couple of extras in there (Bike Train, Bike Swap, Board Games) as well. Feel free to take a trip down memory lane!

And of course, the year wouldn't be complete without one last romp through here.

Stay in touch,

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Planetary Art Spectacular!

Hello Families,

I hope you're as impressed with the results of our Planetary Art Project as I am. Here's a video showing all of our artists with their fantastic work. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Field Day Fantastic!

Hello Families,

Wow, what a fantastic day for Field Day 2016. But first: Learning Celebration! Thank you all so much for all of your support and positive thoughts over the year, our final Learning Celebration went off smashingly. The Wax Museum was a huge success, and I hope you are as proud of our famous folks as I am.

Field day was fantastic. If your third grader is anything like me, then he or she left feeling slightly sunburned, with a few scrapes and bruises, completely exhausted, and completely happy. There are two videos I put together (with the help of Eleanor for filming Star Wars Dodgeball), I recommend you watch Field Day Part 1 first and then go on to Field Day Part 2.

Thanks and enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Home Stretch

Hello Families!

Wow, we're really getting down to the finish line now. Here's a rundown of what we're up to and what's happening in the next couple of weeks.

Bike Train: Bike Train was a massive success! We couldn't have ordered a better day. There were over 107 bikers who arrived with us at YES. What a day. Click on the Bike Train Video to see what it looked like.

Northern Stars Planetarium: The planetarium came to us on Tuesday the 31st, and it was great! We got to see our place in the stars as well as some of the current explorations to and around Mars and beyond. It got a little stuffy in there, but it was way too interesting to care.

Grandparents Day: Grandparents Day was a blast! The grandparents and grandfriends got to visit our Very Famous People Wax Museum, and what a show they got. Watch the Very Famous People Wax Museum and Choral Performance video to see a little of what it looked like. You will get to see these same famous people on Thursday from 2-3 in the afternoon.

MAP Testing: MAP testing is over for the school year! Well done, kiddos, putting forth your best work and hardest effort this year.

Kat Gillies Art Project: Kat Gillies joined us for a fantastic celestial spheres art project on Friday. We got a little dirty. It's a part of the process. The final products are amazing! You'll get to see them when you join us on Thursday for our Learning Celebration, but in the meantime you can see some of the process in this Planetary Art: Go! video.

Realistic Fiction: We've been working on a realistic fiction writing piece. We're not sure if it's going to be done in time for our white books. But it's really fun.

Science Rocks: We did an AWESOME job filling up our Science Rocks Raffle Basket. Here are a couple of pictures of what it looked like all filled up before the PTO came to dress it up for the raffle:


Rockets: Our rockets are assembled and ready to launch! We plan on sending them up tomorrow, but may wait until Wednesday, depending on the weather. Update with pictures soon!

White Books: Thanks to the firm of Gawtry and Gawtry (also known as Wyatt and Mrs. Gawtry), our White Books look fantastic. We can't wait to show them off this Thursday!

Field Day: Field Day is on Friday. Wear red! Our team color is red, so save that nice red shirt for lots of outdoor fun on Friday.

Pizza Party: Our last day of school, June 17th, will be a Pizza Party! If you haven't returned your yellow slip yet, please send that in ASAP.

All for now, take care,

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Mrs. DiRusso has been teaching us about mindfulness. This week we did yoga poses on our way from seeds to trees. Watch us grow!

Kevin Hawkes!

We were lucky enough to have author and illustrator Kevin Hawkes come to visit third grade at YES. He shared with us all sorts of ideas and process that is involved with doing what he does. It was incredibly engaging!  

Here's a video of some of the fun we got up to:

Take care,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day

Hello Mothers!

I hope you enjoyed your well-earned Mother's Day! Here's a video of us working on our Mother's Day gifts. We hope you liked them!


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Google Expeditions

We were lucky enough to have Google send a class set of Google Cardboards to YES on Wednesday. We got to explore 360 degree vistas from Russia into the Stratosphere via a weather ballon, then into space and onto the moon itself, before descending all the way below the surface to reefs and swimming with sharks. It was, to put it mildly, fantastic. Here's what it looks like I'm the classroom, ask your explorer what it looks like INSIDE the Cardboard!

Happy Vacation!


Mrs. Agell Challenge

This is from Mrs. Agell this week. Have a great vacation!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Google Expeditions


I'm working on a quick video of our class using Google Cardboards, but in the meantime, here's some links about what we did. Our class went up through the stratosphere, out to the moon, and then underwater! All in 30 minutes. Wow!

From Mrs. Wolinksy (who organized and got us this opportunity):

On Wednesday students at YES had the experience of using Virtual Reality (VR) viewers to visit places around the world and in space using Google Expeditions. Here are links to more information about the day:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April Vacation?

Hello Families!

Wow, what a month! April vacation is nearly upon us, and we have a few exciting things happening between then and now, so here goes.

Soundmaker Parade is tomorrow, Wednesday, at 2:30. Meet us out by the school garden to hear and see some amazing soundmakers! I will be helping other classes with Google Expeditions, but can't wait to hear all the noise from inside! Make sure your child's soundmaker is at school. If you plan on taking your child home with you after the parade, make sure that you sign him or her out from the main office.

Speaking of Google Expeditions, we have an amazing opportunity Wednesday. Google will be sending an entire set of Google Cardboards for us to explore with! Each class gets 30 minutes to explore a panoramic view using these exciting new devices. We used Plickers to vote, and chose Into the Stratosphere with a backup/extra time choice of On the Moon! Can't wait to see how this goes.

Which brings us to our Read-a-Math-a-Game-a-Thon on Thursday! Kiddos can wear pajamas and bring in an pillow and a comfort item (stuffed animal, etc.) for a fun day of reading, math games, and board games. We're done with MEAs and we've made lots of progress on our informational writing pieces. It's time to do some fun learning!

No school on Friday, see you after break!

Take Care,

Friday, April 8, 2016

Math Challenge


This week Mr. Gross was out (and we were doing MEA testing), so he sent us a video challenge. I couldn't solve it on my own, but as a class we came to the solution! Way to go, Mathemagicians!

Here's the problem we tried:

Good luck! (And no peeking at the answer without trying first!)

-Mr. Abbott and Class

Monday, April 4, 2016


Wow! What an amazing day. We had so much fun at YHS on the climbing wall. A HUUUUUGE thank you to Mr. Simms who makes this possible every year. And a HUUUUUUGE thank you to his volunteers who keep us safely climbing and having fun. Here's a quick video, each climber will also be making a PicCollage to bring home and post here. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pitch Investigations, Updates

Hello families!

We've been mighty busy here at YES over the last week or so, and here are a few updates about what's going on.

We're about halfway through the MEAs. Kiddos have been doing a great job putting forth best work and best effort every day. Tomorrow we do another round of math, and only two more days next week until we're done. Keep getting lots of sleep and having a solid breakfast!

We've been investigating sound: what is it, what makes it, how can we change it, how can we communicate with it? Yesterday we did an investigation of how the length of a vibrating object affects its pitch. With the help of our HMS videographer, Lilia, we put together this video:


Thanks, Lilia, and great job scientists!

Book Order
Our April Book Order will be placed on Friday, April 1st. Your child should have brought home the fliers as well as a "Spend $10, get a free $5 book" coupon. You can enter the code on the coupon at checkout to get your free book!

Beach Day
Friday is also Beach Day at YES.  Everyone is encouraged to wear beach clothes and bring in a towel to sit on during lunch (the tables won't be put out). This is a super fun day every year, I look forward to seeing you there! If you (an adult) are planning on having a school lunch, please call ahead and let the cafeteria know.

We've been looking into volume and measurements this unit. It's pretty exciting!

We continue on our Non-Fiction reading unit. Today we completed part 1 of our unit assessment, we'll be continuing on Friday afternoon.

Our Non-Fiction books are coming along great! You should have seen a few pages so far to make edits on together with your author. Keep sending them back in, and we'll keep making the changes as they come along. We hope to get our books finished up before April vacation, so we can have a publishing party when we return at the end of April or early May.

Genius Hour
We're making great progress towards our Genius Hour investigations. Tomorrow we start looking at some ways to share the information we've learned with our classmates, and show off some of our newly acquired genius skills!

Rock Climbing
Everyone brought home a permission slip for rock climbing at YHS on Monday. We usually try to tie this experience in with the end of our Geology unit, but since Don Simms, the high school phys. ed. teacher was out this fall, we had to wait until now. Wear comfortable clothes!

We've learned all kinds of ways to practice mindfulness with Mrs. DiRusso this year. So many, in fact, that when she asked us today what one of the first mindful techniques we learned was, there were oodles of hands with loads of great ideas before we got to the one she was looking for! Very relaxing in the afternoons.

That's it for now. Please let me know if you have any concerns!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Indoor Recess

Today was indoor recess. Tomorrow likely will be indoor recess. So we decided to make the best of it:

Rain, rain, go away!


Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Pi Day at YES!

Today in third grade we had a special challenge from Mr. Gross: could we calculate the value of Pi using a plate, some string, and a ruler? We got some great results. Here we are hard at work, along with Mrs. Colfer and Mrs. Ney's class. 


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Final Lego WeDo

Wow, what a busy week. More on that later. For now, here's a video of our final Lego WeDo session. The kiddos are doing pretty good with the activity by now, and if you can, please notice the amazing teamwork and accountable talk going on. You can't actually hear it, but you can definitely see it happening. 

Not shown here are the ten minutes when the Superintendent of Schools, Andrew Doloff, and three building principals: Betsy Lane, Ellen Honan, and Eric Klein, as well as the Director of Instructional Support, Jodi McGuire. Did our budding engineers bat an eyelash? Not at all! They were cool, calm, collected, and focused on the task at hand. What an inspiring group. 

I hope you enjoy. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Order

Hello Families!

I told the class today that I would remind you all that our Book Order will be placed this Friday, March 4th. If you plan on ordering in March please try to have your order completed by lunch on Friday. If you miss Friday, no worries, we'll be ordering again in April!

Thank you, as always, for your continued support!

(You can place your order from here!)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Genius Hour

Hello Families!

Wow, this was really an exciting week! Not only did we start Lego WeDo and share our Country Presentations, but we also started our Informational Writing and Reading Unit. This is one of my favorite "gear shifts" of the year, as we move our focus from narrative work all year so far, and start getting our teeth into some serious non-fiction. We've started gathering ideas for writing, and even had our preview Kahoot of non-fiction literary terms.

As exciting as all of that is, I'm actually going to tell you know about a brand new adventure we're embarking on for the first time this year: Genius Hour!

For the eight weeks between February vacation and April vacation we will be taking one hour a week to become a Genius at something. There are thousands of classrooms across the U.S. doing similar projects, and even a 4th grade classroom at YES and some classes at HMS as well. We're starting by identifying a big idea, a big wonder, a big question that each of our geniuses wants to explore. Think of it as a passion project, with a little bit of structure thrown in. Once we've all had time to explore our big question, we'll share it with the class (and possibly a larger audience?) to show what we've learned.

We started off this week with a few videos showcasing what some possibilities are, and then a fun activity to show why we're spending some serious time working at this. Each kiddo got 10 seconds to complete a drawing. They did their best work, and their drawings were... well... nice. Then we repeated the endeavor but everyone got 10 minutes instead of seconds, and their drawings were unique, colorful, expressive, and... well... great. So we're going to take the long road, and see where it brings us, and I'm so excited for this new challenge!

I'll post second versus minute comparisons this week, after we get some pics taken!

Here's to March,

Country Projects

Hello Families,

As I'm sure you know (since many of you were there), this week we shared our completed Geography Projects! I was astounded at the diversity and quality of these projects, and so proud of our budding geographers. Here is each of our presenters, with his or her project:

Wow! They're so great, and they all look (rightfully) proud. It was also an amazing turnout, and here are a few of you (I tried to get as many of you as possible!) learning something new about the amazing world around us:

Thank you so much for all of your support!

Take care,

Lego WeDo

Hello Families,

As you may have heard this week, we started our first sessions of Lego WeDo in the STEM Lab with Mrs. Wolinsky this week. On Monday, we had an introduction and our first hour, and then on Friday we had another hour working in tandem with Mrs. Fier's 4th graders. We've been doing Lego WeDo at YES for a few years now, and I am amazed every year at home well the kids work together.

Lego WeDo encourages budding engineers to think critically, while using hands-on dexterity and programming skills to achieve a desired result. Once that has happened, they are encouraged to experiment more and see what sorts of things they can make happen. Collaboration is key, since nobody is working alone. Accountable talk rules the day, and teamwork reigns supreme. Here is a slideshow of some of our first session of building!


I hope you enjoy, we sure did!


Friday, February 26, 2016

Trying this out...

I think I have made a Google Photo Album that I can share with you. I'm going to try. I have high hopes. We'll see what happens. This is some work days from February, and a day of math investigations. I hope. 😳

Here goes. Follow this link to see some pics of our class!

Good luck, 

New Code, New Trucks

Hello families!

I have a few exciting events and pics to share with you, and when I went to do that with Picasa this week, I was told that Google is shutting that service down. So after I wandered in circles for a while, I found Google Photo, which is what I am currently experimenting with. I plan on having a couple of slideshows for you by the end of the weekend of Lego Wedo, Math Investigations, and our Country Projects and party. Plan to. I'm just getting into it, and hoping I can figure it out.

In the meantime, I will share with you a very, very popular playlist in our classroom this week, at least by my personal estimate. Recommended to us by none other than Hazel G. (Abbott), I know that it's gotten bodies moving and minds racing. I give you: Twenty Trucks.

You're welcome, please enjoy, and please have a great weekend,

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Junior Achievement!

Soooooo... Just found these pictures of our "Graduation" from Junior Achievement and wanted to thank Lynne Gawtry for being such a great volunteer! You might even be able to pic her out in that poster Wyatt and Charley are holding up. She has some serious JA bona fides!

Still not sure what happened in that second picture...


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Common Sense Media

Hello Families!

With conferences just about over, I wanted to share a resource that has come up a few times. Many of you have avid readers who are eager to read more challenging material. This is great, but it can sometimes be hard to keep up with them and pre-read everything to make sure it is appropriate.

I strongly recommend checking out new titles that you're unfamiliar with on Common Sense Media. They do a great job of looking into all sorts of media aimed at kiddos, and giving a concise, clear review of what sorts of things you should expect to find. They evaluate media for things like positive role models, violent content, and language, while also giving a quick recommended age reference.

I hope this helps some of you navigate the exciting world of books with your kids!

Take care,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Photographic Evidence!

Our new photographer, Matt, has been hard at work. Here we are hard at work on geography projects ranging from Google slideshows to state plates to country maps and country flags! Well done, Matt and crew, and we'll try and make sure there are more pictures to come.

-Mr. Abbott