We've been really busy the past few weeks with MCAS and finishing up several of our units. Here are some highlights of what's been happening this month:
We are officially published speech writers! The students have been working hard to write petitions centered around strong, bold statements, various pieces of evidence, and their own personal experiences. Today, everyone recorded their speeches on Seesaw and we will all celebrate our writing by watching these videos later this week. Be on the lookout for a QR code that will enable you to watch their speech as well. They will be coming home later this week. Next up -> Fairy Tales!
We have started a new unit on addition, subtraction, and the number system, this time with numbers in the hundreds and thousands. We started off by learning how to measure liquid volume and mass, and using measurements to solve various word problems. A new game that practices addition and subtraction skills, Capture from 300-600 is now available to play at home!
After learning about many poetic devices (rhyme, repetition, alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, simile, and metaphor), everyone has written many of their own poems. We are working on publishing some of our own original poems and some old favorites into the miniature books we all created. The students are really looking forward to sharing their work with all of you!
Our American Revolution unit is in full swing! We kicked it off with an engaging visit to the Jason Russell House, and have since studied many other events leading up to the Revolution. Some of them include:
- The French and Indian War
-The Stamp Act, The Navigation Act, The Quartering Act, and The Sugar Act
- The Boston Massacre
-The Boston Tea Party
-The Intolerable Acts
-Paul Revere's Ride
We have been really digging into perspectives with this unit, mainly focusing on the Patriots, Loyalists, and British Soldiers. We even acted as detectives to help piece together the evidence from the night of the Boston Tea Party when our class was turned into a crime scene. On Wednesday, we will begin discussing The Battles of Lexington and Concord.
We have been fortunate enough to have some crayfish to study in class. Through frequent observations, handling, reading, and interacting with various curriculum materials, we have been able to learn about the crayfish structures, behaviors, and adaptations. Next week, we will begin comparing these crayfish to other organisms, before moving onto our Water & Climate unit. The class crayfish are currently up for adoption! If your family is interested in taking a crayfish to live with you, please let me know ASAP! Caring for them is simple and they are very energetic/fun to watch.
That's all for now, have a great week!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Here are some announcements for the upcoming weeks and some highlights of the learning that's been going on in our classroom:
Our field trip to the Jason Russell House is this Wednesday, May 2nd. Please make sure all permission slips are signed and returned to school by Tuesday!
In place of our typical reading log, students should now be picking a prompt from our list of fiction and nonfiction reading response prompts and writing a response. Students are still required to read at least 30 minutes per night as well as ask a parent or guardian for a signature to verify that they have read. Math homework this week will consist of a double-sided workbook page. Optional word study homework will be sent home as well.
REQUEST FOR EARBUDS/HEADPHONES
This week, our class will begin using a math enrichment app called DreamBox. I've been playing around on it myself and I know the kids will love it! In order for them to play successfully, they need to be able to listen to the audible directions given. Please send your child with a pair of earbuds or headphones to keep in their desk for DreamBox use for the remainder of the year.
Our speech writing unit is continuing with a focus on writing petitions. The students have been doing great work with generating big, bold thesis statements, creating relevant reasons, and finding great evidence to support their thesis statements. This week, we will work to organize our petitions and challenge ourselves to say a lot about our supporting reasons. Stay tuned for an invitation to our upcoming writer's celebration!
We will be finishing up our unit on fractions early this week, and begin some review in preparation for MCAS, which will take place on May 9th and 11th. Some concepts to review with your child include: attributes of quadrilaterals and triangles, multiplication facts and word problems, telling time, elapsed time word problems, addition and subtraction fluency, and analyzing data (line plots, bar graphs, and pictographs). I will attach links for additional MCAS practice on our Important Information page!
The class has really been enjoying learning about poetic devices using our classroom poetry anthology. We have been using several mentor poems in order to create our own poems! Ask your child about how they have used alliteration, assonance, rhyme, repetition, similes, or metaphors to enhance the lyrical quality of their writing.
We had a blast visiting the homes of Pilgrims and Wampanoags at Plimoth Plantation on Monday. The students were tasked with completing a scavenger hunt in which they had to interact with the Pilgrims and Wampanoags to find the answers. Everyone seemed to enjoy these interactions and had a great time exploring in the beautiful weather we had! Check out some photos from our day below! Advancing our studies in the history of the United States, we will be beginning to learn about the events leading up to the American Revolution, starting with our visit to the Jason Russell House right here in Arlington!
Have a wonderful week!
What busy weeks we've been having lately! With MCAS and April break right around the corner, the students have been working hard to finish up all kinds of units and assignments. They should be very proud of all their hard work! Please be advised that Grade 3 MCAS will be held on Monday 4/9 and Wednesday 4/11. I have sent home a list of things to keep in mind on test days, so please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Here are some updates from the past two weeks:
We spent some extra time polishing up our speeches about noteworthy people, places, or things and problems. We will be finishing our speech unit tomorrow, and taking a break from persuasive writing to focus on notebook writing next week. Ask your child about how they collected evidence for their speech! We had some great surveys and interviews going on in our class!
This week, we began the fractions unit! In this unit, students will learn how to:
MCAS preparations are finally coming to an end! Mario and his friends really helped us to gather all of the strategies the students will need to beat the test-makers! In addition to Toad, Piranha Plant, and Pipe, students were introduced to Star last week. Star helps us to remember to keep up our stamina while taking the test (refocus, notice when to take a break, take a walk, go to the bathroom, get a drink, meditate). We even got a special visit from my older brother who led us through a meditation session. The students are very excited to apply their new meditation skills to their stamina toolbox!
We have also begun to discuss poetry and some poetic devices. Everyone got to try their poetic skills out while writing their own poems about one of their favorite activities. Each student will add their poem to their own personal poetry anthology by the end of this unit. Ask your child about how poets use rhythm, rhyme, and repetition to give their poems a musical quality!
In preparation for the upcoming American Revolution unit, we are studying what life was like in Colonial times. We have researched the original 13 colonies, colonists' homes, food, education, clothing, children, and even started to compare 18th-century Boston to present-day Boston. Ask your child about some of the similarities and differences between the two!
Check out some pictures from our last two weeks together!
Have a great day!
It's hard to believe we're in the last week of March! We've been doing so many great things at school and still have so much to look forward to! Please be advised that there is no school on Friday, 3/30. Here are some highlights about what we've been up to:
This week, the students will be finishing up their persuasive speeches. We have learned how to: use effective emotion-evoking language, address the audience, collect evidence, provide details, paragraph, and organize our writing. Next week, we will bring all of these skills together as we begin writing petitions and persuasive letters. At home, encourage your child to watch or read noteworthy speeches and discuss what makes those speeches so powerful. Our class has particularly enjoyed watching the Kid President speeches on YouTube :).
We have been working on our second unit of multiplication and division. Your child should now be able to write and solve multiplication and division equations based off of various word problems, solve multi-step multiplication and division problems, and show fluency with multiplication facts up to 9's. A great way to practice multiplication fact fluency at home is by playing some of our curriculum's multiplication games. I have linked all games we've played this year onto our Important Information page. We just learned a new game, Multiplication Compare, last week and I'm sure your child would love to show you how to play!
Can you believe that MCAS is right around the corner?! We have been learning a lot of strategies to help us "beat the test makers"! Super Mario and his friends Toad, Piranha Plant, and Pipe have helped us to Power Up (rev up your mind, use helpful hints, notice text features, and read all directions), Watch Out For Tricks (eliminate answers, go back in the text and use evidence, watch out for rushing, and notice when you're distracted), and to Make a Plan (go back in the text, reread everything, use the white space, and plan out your response). We will meet the final character and learn one last helpful strategy tomorrow.
We have also been starting to explore nonfiction texts a little more. We have been considering perspective, main idea, and key details. This week's reading homework will provide students with more of a chance to practice their main idea skills!
Tomorrow, we will finish up our unit on Perspective and the Pilgrims. The students worked in small groups to research what life was like in the 1620's and taught the class some lessons that showcased the information they gathered in their research. Check out some pictures in the slideshow below! This week, we will continue learning about American history as we move on to Colonial times!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
I hope you are enjoying yet another snow day! Yesterday, we FINALLY earned a special day after doing 20 perfect transitions. The kids voted and decided that this Friday, we will have pajama and stuffed animal day!
Please note that progress reports will be sent home Wednesday, March 21st. If you would like to view the rubrics used for grading, please visit the Important Information page and follow the given links.
Here are some highlights for this week:
We are well underway with our opinion writing unit! Students have been working to generate lists of problems and noteworthy people, places, or things in our school or community. Every student has selected a thesis to write a speech about. Each day we learn new strategies to improve our speeches, with the goal being to convince our audiences to agree with our main point. Some of these strategies include: considering and talking directly to your audience; asking your audience relevant questions; gathering evidence through interviews, surveys, or research; and organizing information into categories. We will continue to write these speeches over the next few weeks.
The third graders have been really enjoying our Pilgrim unit! Last week, we studied the Mayflower Compact and learned about what life was like about the Mayflower from various perspectives. We were even treated to a rap by some of the kids which summarized the key points of the compact. This week, we will be wrapping up this unit by studying about the daily lives of Pilgrim girls, Pilgrim boys, and Wampanoag boys.
In math, we have returned to a multiplication and division unit. By now, students should be fluent with their 2's, 5's, and 10's facts. We have been learning different strategies to help when solving for the product of larger equations. For example, 8x7=56 could be broken into two smaller, simpler equations: (4x7)+(4x7)=56. This week's math homework will be copied version of pages 231 and 237, which include extra practice with perimeter. For extra multiplication fact practice, please visit the Important Information page to follow the links to some math games!
This week, we will begin to prepare for MCAS! We discussed the similarities of MCAS and Super Mario Bros., some things that I'm sure your child would love to tell you about! Each day I will introduce a new character and relate it to a different "power up" to use while taking the MCAS. Stay tuned for some pictures of our Mario themed classroom transformation! If you would like to practice some MCAS-style questions at home, please follow this link: http://mcas.pearsonsupport.com/student/practice-tests-ela/
That's all for now,
My apologies for not updating our website more frequently. We have just been so busy in third grade!
Before break, everyone finished presenting their book talks. Students got to choose a realistic fiction book to read from our class library, and worked to put together a presentation that highlighted the great parts of their book. I've included some snapshots in the slideshow at the end of this post!
We've had a very eventful past few weeks. Before February break, we celebrated our published informational writing, did many fun Valentine's activities, and hosted a Wampanoag educator in our class. We learned so many great things about the Wampanoag culture, and found it very interesting to hear about their way of life from a true Wampanoag perspective.
Since break, we've started our new opinion writing unit off with a bang by writing persuasive speeches! As a class, we decided to write speeches to convince Mr. Dingman that Dallin needs a student-friendly newspaper! I'm sure your child would love to fill you in on some of the strong reasons we came up with to support this opinion. Mr. Dingman came to our class yesterday to listen to our speeches, and he was so impressed! The Dallin Newspaper idea is officially a go!
If you have time, flip through this slideshow to see some of this awesome stuff in action!
That's all for now,
Hello 3M Families!
It was so nice having a long weekend, but really great to be able to get back into the swing of things with the kids. We had a busy few days this week, and are looking forward to some exciting things happening in the next few weeks!
We decided to set our first personal narratives aside and begin applying all of our skills to a new piece of writing. It's amazing to see these writers' skills improving in such a short amount of time. We are able to create seed ideas for stories, write fast and furious, and use different tools to revise our writing to make it the best it can be. We are learning from some other great writers such as Karen Hesse, Cynthia Rylant, and even a ballerina, Misty Copeland. I can't wait to see how our final drafts come out!
In Reading, we have been working hard while using clues from the text in order to make predictions. We have also been learning about how providing evidence helps to make our ideas stronger. We discussed our progress on our reading logs, and we all agreed that we could try a little harder on them. Now that they have the skills to provide evidence, I'm challenging them to do it as much as they can, especially when they're filling out their reading logs!
In Math, we have been rehearsing our multiplication facts. At some point next week, I will be giving an assessment on facts containing a factor of 1,2,5, or 10, so students know to be rehearsing these facts extra! I've added a new math game to help with this to the "Important Information" page; here is the link: Count & Compare. We have even begun to think about division and how it is related to multiplication. Stay tuned for our class-created book filled with story problems using both operations!
Finally, we are finishing up our first Social Studies unit on Massachusetts with a special focus on Arlington landmarks. Some of you may even be lucky enough to receive a postcard telling you all about these landmarks! Next week, we will begin our first Science unit of the year, kicking off our studies on Cycles of Life.
That's it for now! Have a great weekend,
Hello 3M Families and Friends!
We have just finished up the month of September, and have officially gotten most of our routines down! We are able to transition quickly, we know how and when to do our jobs, AND we constantly receive compliments on our hallway behavior! Woohoo!
This past week in Writing, our class worked really hard to perfect their Curriculum Night letters. Hopefully you enjoyed reading them as much as the kids did on Friday morning! I'm hoping most of you got a chance to read some of your child's writing inside of their Writer's Notebooks. We started to pick "seed ideas" to grow on and transform into final drafts. We've been challenging ourselves to add "juicy details", dialogue, and descriptive language. I've been so impressed by the writing going on in our class, and can't wait for you all to celebrate their final pieces when they are finished!
In Math, we learned about a new way to represent multiplication equations: arrays! Arrays serve as a visual to students to help them think in terms of rows or groups while practicing their fact fluency. We have been cutting and labeling our own individual kits of arrays, which I will be sending home on Monday to finish up. Like I mentioned at Curriculum Night, I have attached a link to the game Factor Pairs. This game provides practice with viewing arrays, and identifying the products of several factor pairs! I will post more games to the "Important Information" page as I teach them!
In Reading, we have continued to practice our reading stamina. I will admit that I have been pretty strict with it. We read as a whole class, and the second I see any eyes wandering up from their books, I stop the timer. So far, our maximum reading stamina time has been 15 minutes, but the goal for third grade is 30 minutes. Please encourage your child to practice their reading stamina at home by finding a comfortable spot, picking a "just-right" book, and having a calm body.
Finally, in Social Studies, we have been practicing our map skills, and learning about different cities, towns, and landmarks in Massachusetts. We even took a "Train Tour" through Massachusetts, where we watched informational videos about the New England Aquarium, Salem, Lowell, and The Basketball Hall of Fame. Ask your child about their favorite stop on the train tour so far!
That's all for now! Have a great week everyone!
Hello Third Grade Families!
Getting to know your children these past few weeks has been truly amazing. We've been working hard to build a strong and positive classroom community, and I'm looking forward to it becoming even stronger as the year goes on!
We have done so much together already! We have read aloud many books such as Oh, The Places You'll Go, Miss Rumphius, First Day Jitters, and Come On, Rain. We even voted on our first chapter book to be read aloud, resulting in us starting The Name of This Book is Secret. This book is full of cliffhangers and leaves our class begging for more! Our class has been challenged to make it to 30 minutes of reading stamina (reading with our eyes glued to the pages with no distractions). So far, we've only made it to 10 minutes, but I have a feeling that this might be our week to make it to 30! To expand our reading interests, we participated in our first ever book tasting on Friday! Hopefully you heard all about it over the weekend. I have attached some pictures at the end of this post!
We personalized our very own writer's notebooks, and began writing some of our first narratives in them! This week, we will begin picking some seed ideas, and transition toward the editing stage of the writing process. I am so impressed with the detailed writing I've been reading, and can't wait for families to get a sneak peak of the writing at our Curriculum Night on Thursday!
Much to our young mathematicians' delight, we have been working on multiplication, and representing equations with pictures and groupings. This week, we will begin our investigation with arrays and area. Keep an eye out for our first math homework that will be going home tomorrow, and will be due back the following Monday (10/2).
Finally, we have been able to put our map skills on display as we are finally finishing up our own neighborhood maps! This week in social studies, we will begin embarking on a train journey that will lead us to discover many landmarks and cities around Massachusetts!
I look forward to seeing most of you at Curriculum Night on Thursday, where I will fill you in on some more third grade happenings!
Have a great week and see you soon!
Hello Third Grade Families!
I want your child to start off this school year with some books that they are excited to read, and for that, I need your help!
When children choose their own books to read for pleasure, they enjoy reading more and spend more time doing it. The more your child reads, the better they will do in school and in life.
Scholastic Book Club is a resource made for you and your child to shop for books your child will love to read. Each month, the flyers are filled with trusted, excellent quality, age-appropriate books chosen by Scholastic for prices as low as one dollar!
The best part? You will be helping our class when you order: Scholastic matches each order you place with FREE BOOKS for our classroom to share!
Thank you for helping your child become a successful reader, and please email me with any questions or concerns!
Enjoy these last days of summer!
Go online to: scholastic.com/newparent
Look up my name: Marissa McLellan
Or enter our Class Code: RB9F4
Follow the instructions to place your order online by: 9/30/17