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,
Todd

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