Welcome to Ms. Michele's 3rd Grade Site!

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Home of the 3rd Grade Surf Shack!               Where we believe that “Good character is doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.” JC Watts
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Important Information!!


Don’t forget to email Jennifer Paetzold (jpaetzold@cfci.net)  if you can help with EOG Proctoring!  Details located at:  http://cfci.net/eog-proctors-needed/ 

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EOG Dates for our kids:

Reading: Wednesday May 31 

Math: Thursday June 1

The tests usually start as close to 8:30 am as possible, so please make sure your child has a good nights rest, has a good breakfast, and is here on time so they can have a little "brain snack" and have time to use the restroom!               It's going to be fun! 

 

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It's time to think about our END OF YEAR PARTY! WE are going to Scooters on Thursday, June 8th from 11-1! We need to leave here by 10:45 and we will leave Scooters at 1:00. Read the flyer that was sent home to learn more details! 


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Week of May 22-26: We've got lots going on in here for the last couple of weeks! We have finished all of our class end of year assessments, so that means I get to gather all of that data and start working on Report Cards! Woo, hoo, talk about fun times! Ha! 

We are also reviewing things that the kids may need for the big EOG's! We are talking about and working on good test taking skills and how to let go of stress and just do your best! The kids say they are feeling pretty good about the EOG's and they are ready to tackle them and be done! 

To help build the multiplication and division skills that we are still struggling with...the kids were partnered up to roll some dice, make a multiplication problem from the dice, then turn it into the fact family showing the division problem in two different ways. 

We have also been working on s new writing activity that is all about SWIMMING! The kids are creating a pool glyph then using that to write a paragraph that is focused on how they feel about swimming. They are enjoying creating their little pools! We are all ready for some summer swimming time!



Week of May 8-12:  I first want to thank you all so much for all of the wonderful Teacher Appreciation Gifts, cards, thoughts, love, flowers, and goodies! I got a picture of some of the love that was sent in, but there was so much more! Thank you for taking the time and spending money I know you didn't need to spend on me! I appreciate all of your appreciation!! Please know that your kindness and sweet notes from the kids meant the world! xoxo
     On to this week...we have all been working hard in here! I was reading with individual kids everyday to get the end of year Reading 3-D scores! It is already that time! Since I've been reading with everyone, there are no new pictures to share this week. My head has been in books while the kids showed me how much they have grown! In addition to working on Reading 3-D, we took one of our end of year math assessments. Some kids are still finishing up a few parts, but we are basically finished with that one. Next week, the kids will complete the second math assessment for me. After that, we are going to go over them together so the kids can ask questions about confusing parts and we can work together to solve some of the really tough questions. All of this will help the kids get better prepared for the big ol' EOG's!


Week of May 1-5: Okay, so I got a temporary phone, so here is a collage of the kids conducting some observations of seeds growing in different ways. They have been really enjoying checking on the growth every day!



Week of April 24-28:  So, I had some great pictures to put up, to show some cool things we have been doing, but then my phone decided that it was tired and it went to sleep, for good. Boo! I've ordered a new phone, but who knows when it will arrive! Hopefully, some of the pics will be saved and I can post them for you to see your little dumplings in action! 
    Without pictures...I can tell you that we worked hard on learning the vocabulary that goes with division, along with practicing division problems written in different ways. The kids also had some review work on rounding and we had a SERIOUS discussion about where we are with our multiplication facts!!!!! Many kids shared that they don't like to practice their facts at home, but I let them know that they didn't have a choice and it was their JOB to know their multiplication facts backward and forward before they left me. This is serious! 
    The kids also got to make more observations with our different seeds we watching in class, to see how they change over time. I had pictures of some of our seeds to share with you...sorry you can't see what I'm talking about! Hopefully, you will soon! We had a fantastic conversation about all of the kids "wonders" about the different seeds. It was an unexpected but awesome conversation about what they thought and wondered about the seeds. It brought us back to conversations about the water cycle and what we learned in second grade...so, we are going to start reading our Water Molecule stories again, to see if anything we learned last year will help us better understand what we are observing right now, with our seeds. I love it when we get to make such super connections because I tell them all the time that EVERYTHING is connected! I love our world! 
  
Week of April 17-21:  We jumped right back into work after having a relaxing Spring Break! Math Centers started right where we left off! 
We have been working hard on Independent Story Writing and have some young authors getting published now! Very exciting writing, editing, revising, typing, & publishing going on!!

We also started a group discussion about: What do we know about SOIL? The kids worked in groups and generated lists of what they knew about soil. We then took turns going around the room as we then created a class list of what we know, or think we know. As we go on with some soil investigations, we will refer back to our list to check on things we have proven and mark thing off that may not be totally accurate or true. It's going to be soil much fun! Haha! 


Week of March 27th-30th: It has been anther busy week, as always! 

     In Math, we have been working hard on Place Value Application. What that means is that we are working with larger numbers so that the kids can better understand how to read, write, and work with numbers that go to the thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands place. They are learning where to put the comas when working with larger numbers, how to take large numbers in expanded form and write in standard form, how to add several numbers together while keeping the ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, & hundred thousands columns straight--you know...fun number stuff like that! They are also reviewing rounding numerals to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousands place, but all with larger numbers as well. (That's pretty challenging for most of the kids!) They have also been practicing how to find the pattern to fill in missing numerals while also practicing and reviewing multiplication problems in different ways. It has been a busy and productive math week for sure!!!
     In Reading, we are continuing to work on finding key details and finding the proof! Finding those key details also help us with our math problem solving! The kids also have been exploring many different and exciting topics in their Scholastic News Magazines! They always help us have great class conversations about the topics they read about in their weekly magazine! While the kids have been fine-tuning their reading skills, they have also been working on their independent story writing skills! Everyone is working on something completely different when it comes to their own story writing. There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction pieces being written, revised & edited, typed, and "published" as we speak! Hopefully, over the next several weeks, we will have a lot of young authors reading their published stories to their peers! Good times coming! 
     


Just something we started today off with...kinda cute and sweet!


Week of March 13-17: Well, I feel like I was gone forever when I was home sick last week, and this week has flown by like a speedy tornado! Last week, the kids continued to work on math centers and independent practice. They were working on subtraction with regrouping to the thousands place, one and two digit multiplication problems, figuring out word problems, and more! Reading time went on without a hitch since the kids rotate to a different activity each day. They have been working on all different kinds of reading and language skills in their Scholastic News Magazines, working on MobyMax reading and language lessons, learning about Similes, working on their spelling skills through Osmo Words, completing their W.O.W. for the week, and they continue to move along on their Independent Story Writing. During our Writing/Inquiry time, we have focused on learning about elements found in Fairy Tales. We have been exploring deeper about they types of characters that make up good fairy tales, how important the setting is to the story line, how the plot focuses on a problem or conflict that needs to be solved, how they mostly have happy endings, and how they usually teach a lesson. We have gone deeper than that, but you get the idea! I have also been reading different fairy tales to the kids so that we could talk about how there are very different versions of the same story that has been around for many, many years. 
 Before we started with Fairy Tales, the kids told me what they knew about them. Please excuse the messy writing and spelling, but writing fast when they are spitting their ideas out can be challenging. It was a fun first discussion and went way beyond what we wrote on the board, but the kids were on it! 



Kindness grows kindness! 
This food drive goes right along with our celebration of February! We are looking for and celebrating Random Acts of Kindness! As students see or experience something nice, they can share what happened on a heart! Not only are the kids looking for acts of kindness to put on hearts, but they are also working on filling out Bucket Notes to each other. We have learned that when you fill someone else's bucket that you are also filling your own bucket! I'm trying to help inspire our young friends to spread kindness to each other by being bucket fillers and not bucket dippers! Since we have started this, the hearts continue to grow! The kids are catching all kinds of acts of kindness! So sweet and totally adorable! 

  


Week of February 13-17: The kids have been buzzing along working on their projects! Projects are officially due by Monday 2/27/17. That means that they need to have their art piece and their written report, ready to share with their classmates. We are going to have some museum times, and I'll let you know when those are, closer to the date. They should be sometime that same week! 

Week of February 6-10: It's been another full week in the 3rd Grade Surf Shack! I can't say it has been relaxing, like being at the beach, but it has been productive! Everyone has completed their, "If I were stuck in a snow globe..." writing. Everyone is now, actually stuck in a snow globe, and hanging in the hallway! I can't tell you the number of compliments we have gotten from teachers and people from all around the building. Even Ms. Ritchie came in to rave over how much she loves them! We are totally the trend setters of the school right now! LOL! I tried to take some pictures so you could see some of the cuteness of the kiddos! You can't see the writing, but can see their adorable snow globes! 
     Not only did they complete that fun writing activity, but we also finished the last of the Reading 3-D assessments! It was a long few weeks for me, in the hallway, but so worth it! Everyone grew so much and I can't wait to share that news with you, when I get to work on report cards! 
     We had a loop level meeting recently, and all 2nd and 3rd grade report cards will be going home in the first week of March. We thought it was the end of February, but you will have to wait just an additional few days to find out how much your child has grown since the start of 3rd grade! 
     We also finished all of the math assessments, but now, have to go through them all to see where everyone is. Talking about math...PLEASE HAVE YOUR CHILD PRACTICE THEIR MULTIPLICATION FACTS AT HOME! A few of the kids are really growing with knowing their facts, and other kids are really struggling, and some are acting like they don't know what multiplication is, even though we starting working on it in second grade. They HAVE to know these facts for almost all of their future math, SO PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR CHILD BY HELPING THEM FIND THE TIME TO PRACTICE THEIR MULTIPLICATION FACTS! Sorry to sound like I'm nagging you, but this is THAT IMPORTANT! Okay, I'll stop now, but I'm not kidding about this! Thanks for your help, support, and dedication to your child's math career! 
     We are also moving along with learning more about our Solar System! I love hearing the kids talking about their Moon Journals they are working on at home! It is so much fun to hear the excitement in their voices! Some kids asked if they could start working on their project at home, and I said, "Yes, of course you can!" We are going to start working on some of the research in here as well, but we don't have all of the "right" books for what kids are researching. We are all excited about working on this project! Hopefully, next week, we will really start looking for answers on the Internet and by looking at the books we have in class. You can always take a trip to the library, if that will help your child have even more out-of-this-world information! 


Week of January 30-February 3: The kids are getting closer with finishing their "I'm Stuck in a Snow Globe" activity. As soon as they get put out in the hallway, I'll take some pictures for you to see! They are really cute and funny! 
     They also have been working on fractions and multiplication in Math. We have a lot to cover in math over the next 84 days! Can you believe that there are only 84 school days left? Our time together is going to start to speed by! Oh, my! Not talking about that yet! Tear! 
     Lots of reading comprehension is happening in many different ways! It's pretty great! They are reading so many different types of text and are trying to figure it all out! 
    We are starting our SOLAR SYSTEM PROJECTS! First, the kids made answered some questions about what they knew about the Moon. They then had to make some predictions about it. From there, they have been exploring lots of books, watched some movies, sang some songs, and have had lots of discussions about our Sun and Moon. We are moving out toward our Solar System as the kids have picked different topics that they want to learn more about. Most of the project will be done at school, but parts will be completed at home. We haven't decided a final due date yet because we need to see how far we get! Look below to learn more!
  

Week of January 17-20: The kids have been working hard, as always! We are still working on mid-year assessments, which will be happening for the next few weeks! They are working on multiplication skills, reviewing subtraction with regrouping, working on fractions, writing personal narratives, reading lots of books, and learning about why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was such an important part of our history! 


Week of January 9-13: Another busy week is behind us! 
     Reading 3-D started this week, so I will be reading individually with all the kids, over the next few weeks, to find everyone's Mid-Year Reading Level. We have also been working on our Mid-Year Writing Sample, and are starting to take the different Mid-Year Math Assessments. When all of the mid-year assessments are completed, report cards will be filled out! In just a few weeks, you will have your child's mid-year report card to know where he or she is! The kids have been working so hard, so I know you will see lots of growth since the first report card! So exciting!
     In addition to getting mid-year assessments going, we are also working on some fun writing! The kids are working on writing about what they would do if they were stuck in a snow globe! I can't wait to take pictures of their final products so you can see how cute they are! 
     We are also moving into our next new inquiry investigation! We are going to be learning about the Solar System!!! There will be a project that the kids will be starting soon, BUT NOT YET! Before they have to start thinking about questions and research, I want to share information with them through books, videos, fun lessons and such. When it is time for them to start working on a project, I will let you know! Until, sit back, relax, and work on MULTIPLICATION FACTS!!!! 
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The Simple Machine Projects were AMAZING! What a marvelous way to end before our break started! Here is a slideshow of the kids and their work! 

Simple Machine Project Slideshow.mp4



Week of January 3-6, 2017: 
     We have had an awesome first week back! We have done so much in these last 4 days and the kids have been working hard and showing how great they can be!
     For starters, we have worked on created real goals for the rest of this school year. Not only have they had to come up with achievable goals, but they had to think about steps they could take to achieve those goals! We have lots of kids that want to know all their multiplication and division facts (by heart) before the end of the year. There are also lots of kids that want to improve on their reading and writing skills! It was great having them really think about areas they could improve in, and think about what it would take to make those goals come alive! It's a new year and we are ready to tackle the rest of 3rd grade head on!
     In addition to working on our goals, we have also started working on being kinder to everyone around us. We are taking being bucket fillers to the next level! Everyone in here has a "bucket" on the wall. People can write each other Bucket Notes, to thank them for help, or to let them know that they were being helpful in one way or another. The end goal is for all of us to be better people by caring about each other, helping each other out, and by having more random acts of kindness!! We are off to a fantastic start!
     For math, we have been working more on our Multiplication Rap! We actually have finished the packet, all the way to the 12's! We are now going to keep reviewing, practicing, playing games, and trying to get those facts memorized in their heads! Keep practicing those facts at home! This is a must! The kids have to memorize those facts so that math will be easier for them, instead of harder! Any help at home is GREATLY APPRECIATED!
     The kids have also been busy writing about all of the events from their break. They are going to be using that writing, to create one to two wonderful paragraphs, about their favorite parts of the break. They already know that their final writing piece will be used for their Mid-Year Writing score. They didn't cringe at all when I shared that with them! Our babies are growing up! Tear! 

Week of Dec. 12-16: The week started out great with our 8th grade math helpers coming in to support the kids as they played their first multiplication game! 
Week of Dec. 5-9:  Thank you for the supplies that have been sent in! Paper towels are still needed! We are down to our last 2 rolls. Thanks for your help, as always!! 
     The paper bags came in totally handy! We started making reindeer with the paper bags. They are going to be totally festive and adorable! Thursday afternoon was spent drawing the outline for the reindeer, which was one shoe and two hands. Friday afternoon was spent coloring and decorating the reindeer. It's starting to feel a lot like the holidays around here! I'll put up a picture of the finished reindeer next week!
  

MATH STUFF:
 So, this was the math problem that I took a short video and sent it out on  Class Dojo. Some of the kids wanted to be able to show you the problem, so I told them I would get it on the website. 
     Not only am I working on stretching their brains with challenging word problems, but am also making their brains work hard on learning their multiplication facts! We need to memorize those facts, but can do it in the most fun ways possible. Your child needs to be practicing at home!!! That can be on the computer, an app from your ipad, writing problems down, singing them, using flash cards, jumping rope while saying the facts...however you can think of helping your child start to memorize these facts. They HAVE to have them memorized for math now and especially for 4th Grade!!!
     The elves are back! The elves are back! We had to elf ourselves again this year to get Lulu to come back. Guess what?! It worked! 
 The kids were so excited that Lulu was waiting for them on Thursday morning. She brought some flamingo tropical-ness with her! We all love Lulu!   @  @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Week of Nov. 28-Dec. 2: Everything below is pretty much the same for this week, except I have one additional request...
     If anyone gets the big paper bags from the grocery store, that you wouldn't mind parting with, we could use them in the classroom. We are going to work on a holiday craft that is made from the big brown paper bags, so if you have any that you don't need, please send them our way! Thanks a bunch! 
     Oh, and we got 2 packs of baby wipes in--thanks so much for donating to our cause of keeping tables clean!
     The kids know to keep working on practicing their multiplication facts at home! We started using MULTIPLICATION RAP, which takes the kids through the facts, while putting it to music. We have worked on our 0's, 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's, and 5's so far. The kids are getting down with it! Please help reinforce their multiplication skills by practicing facts at home!!!! 
    Don't forget to send in the permission form for BOWLING, along with the $5, by Tuesday December 13. We are learning how different parts of our bodies work like different simple machines, so by the time we go bowling, the kids should be able to understand and explain what simple machine, or machines, is being used to bowl. It is going to be a fun time using our bodies to better understand how forces of motion and simple machines work together. Science is so cool!!!!!!
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We need your help with some supplies for the classroom! We are running very low on BABY WIPES AND PAPER TOWELS. Thanks so much!
  • Please remember to send in a fork and/or spoon in your child's lunchbox. We are trying to cut down on plastic waste while helping your wallet!  Thanks for helping us save the environment by reducing the use of one plastic spoon and fork at a time! 
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We met our Box Top Goal, so we get to have stuffed animals and wear our winter pajamas on Friday, December 16th! Woo, hoo! 
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HOMEWORK!
The kids should be...
  • Reading at least 20 minutes a night!
  • Practicing MULTIPLICATION FACTS!!!! Pick up multiplication flash cards at the Dollar Store! They can practice facts for 5 minutes a day to start memorizing their facts! There are also fun computer games that kids can play to help memorize facts! This is a MUST!!!
  • Working on MobyMax Math at least 2 times a week! 

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November 21 & 22:  We had lots going on with the Turkey Trot, finishing some things up, and writing thank you cards to our guest speakers! I think that we won't be ready to send the Thank You cards to our guest speakers until after Thanksgiving, but they are working on them!
You can see some of the kids thinking and planning out their Thank You's to our special guest speakers who taught us more about our amazing human bodies!
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November 14-18:  We have had a couple of amazing guest speakers this week in the 3rd Grade! First, we had Dr. Patrick McCauley come in. He is a Physical Therapist and a dad in our class! Since we have been learning about the Human Body, he shared so much new information on top of what the kids had already learned. The kids were taking notes and asking tons of questions! We spent time reviewing what he shared with us and then watched a Brainpopjr. video about the muscles, which reinforced more of what he shared with us! 
Next, Dr. Demetrius, a chiropractor and Brain Stem Specialist, came and shared even more information with the kids! He reviewed lots of things that they learned with Dr. McCauley, then he went deeper into brain cells and nerve fibers.

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November 1-4: We've done so much since November 1st! First, we had some special teachers, from an 8th grade math class, come in to reteach the kids the importance of understanding KEY WORDS in math problems. They first found out what the kids knew. Then they shared information about different key words. Then, they had the kids play a game of 4 Corners, using the key words. There was a different math sign in each corner (+, -, x, ÷). The kids each were given an index card with different key words and then they would go to the correct corner. They reviewed at the end and the kids clearly learned some new key words, in addition to what they already knew! 
The kids even filled out an evaluation sheet at the end to let their "teachers" know how they did and if they enjoyed the activity or not. It was pretty awesome! 
     Other than continuing to work on our amazing MATH SKILLS, the kids are diving deeper into the world of Language Arts. We started exploring how to understand the 5 parts of a PLOT. We are learning how that can help not only with understand text better, but it can also help them become stronger writers and authors. We started using a Story Plot Mountain to help figure out what parts of story fit into each part of the PLOT. We have worked as a whole class, in groups, and with partners to better explore the PLOT!
And last but not least...we are continuing to work on putting our bones together on our bodies. It is quite chaotic during building our bones/body time, but we are slowing making progress. The best part is the conversations we have about how the kids are feeling their different bones and how they fit together. There were some good connections about how the arm bones and leg bones are very similar. It is pretty cool to see their interest in how their bones work together. We have some fantastic guest speakers coming in over the next few weeks, to share even more information with the kids about their amazing bodies. I will definitely share that with you as it happens! 


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Week of October 24-28: So much is happening! We are still working our brains for math! I keep throwing new stuff at them and they are doing their best to figure it out! We are working on more Mental Math practice, which means they have to think and calculate problems in their heads. We did some fun activities on Hundreds Boards the other day. We will be adding more activities in while we continue to move forward with new and already learned skills! (They don't look too excited in this picture because we were already finished and I made them wait to clean up to snap a pic! Taking pictures and trying to teach at the same time is harder than you think!)
 
We have also been doing some more practice with counting money. They LOVE counting money! Watch out, parents! 
     For Writing and Inquiry...The kids are still working hard on writing their first real paragraph with a topic sentence, 3 to 4 sentences that support the topic sentence, and has a good closing sentence. The first paragraphs are always kind of daunting, but I know that the more we write paragraphs, the easier it will become! When the kids finish writing their Final Copy paragraph about their sea turtle, they get to type it! They are improving their reading, writing and typing skills at the same time! Awesome-sauce!!
     In addition to working on sharing facts about their sea turtles, the kids are learning more about the human body. They are starting to work on putting bones on their bodies. In addition to learning about their bones, we are watching videos and dancing to songs about their bones! 
Week of October 17-21: We have been trying to figure out different ways to count money, in math. Besides counting money, we are really working on a variety of different word problems to try to figure out what the problem is asking, how to solve it, and how to open our minds to think of more than one possibility. Stretching their brains is a hard job, but someone's got to do it! 
 
During Writing & Inquiry time, we started working on writing a paragraph that has a good topic sentence and supporting facts about sea turtles. It is slow going so far, but they are on their way to being better paragraph writers! 
In addition to learning more about sea turtles, we just started getting ready for our investigation into the Human Body!!!! The first step was getting outlines of each and every body. It looked like a bunch of crime scene photos in here, during that time! See for yourself! I wish I could have taken more pictures, but it was hard to take pictures and help at the same time! Not enough hands to go around sometimes! 



Week of October 11-14th:  Hurricane Matthew came and went, thank goodness! I know that many people are still feeling the effects of Matthew, and I hope you all managed as well as you could! The kids wrote in their journals about what it was like being here for the hurricane or shared where they went to get away from it. Lots of kids chose to read their journals to the class. It was interesting to hear all the different views of what happened during that time. I am just super happy to know that everyone made it through safely!!
    We got back on track as soon as we got back! The kids have been learning about finding The Main Idea in their reading. In addition to finding it in their reading, they are also learning how to use it in their writing. We are starting to work on how to write a paragraph. The learned what a thesis is, and we have talked about the importance of adding supporting details. I'm excited to see how their writing progresses as they learn how to write in paragraph form. We are going to use our sea turtle information from last year to work on paragraph writing. It's going to be turtle-ifc!! 
    In math, the kids are still practicing subtraction with regrouping to the hundreds (and soon, thousands) place. It really takes a lot of practice and repetition of the steps to get the process down pat! 
     Silent Reading: The kids were so excited because I ordered some new books from Scholastic and the Partnership also gave us some new books! The kids are going crazy over the books we got from the Partnership! We love our Partnership for taking care of us!!! They are enjoying their silent reading time! You can't see everyone here, but there are kids under their tables, relaxing on the floor, sitting at their seats...they are all over while reading! I love this time of day!  :)


Week of October 3-7th
We had our school-wide Constitutional Convention last Thursday! Each class had a representative meet with other reps from around the school. They all worked together to create a school-wide set of rules from each class set of rules. It is always great to get together with the entire school to build community and work together to make our school the best place to be!
                                                                                   Here are our 3rd Grade Class Representatives sharing their part of the new school-wide rules. Connor Mills, from our class, did a fabulous job sharing his lines in front of the entire school! Way to go!
The final school-wide rules! 
When the kids asked what "have grit" means, it was easy to explain by using one of our 2nd grade WOW words! I explained that it was the same   as, persevere. They were all like, "Oh!" So cute! Have grit, don't give up, keep trying even when it's hard! Some of the students even made the connection to our class motto: It's okay to not know, but it's not okay to not try! These kids are AMAZING at making connections! Love it!

Classroom Behavior Stuff...“Good character is doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.” JC Watts
Just in case you have been hearing some things from your kiddo, let me give you some info about what we are working on as a class. (By the way, the kids are helping me write this since we are working on it together!) We are striving to do our best to learn how to be better people and to follow the quote from above. The kids have had to ponder about what isn't working, what we should do to fix it, and how we should make sure that everyone is doing their part. We are tying to be more like our RIPTIDE binder: Responsible, Independent, Problem-Solvers who tackles Inquiry Deeply Everyday

We also started talking about what it means to...
 Live Aloha and to have The Aloha Spirit! 

Aloha means much more than hello/goodbye. The Aloha spirit is what we strive for in life, and is a good guideline for treating people around you with love and compassion. It is something that I am trying to share each and every day with all of our kids! 

The best part of Aloha is that the more you express your love and compassion for yourself and those around you, the more it comes back to you! That is why it has become such a part of everyday language in Hawaii. That is why people say it when greeting or saying goodbye  so that the Aloha Spirit continues throughout the day. So, that is why I want to encourage our kids to make Aloha part of our vocabulary, knowing the true meaning, so that we can say it with significance and sincerity.

With that, I will say “Aloha” to you and your Ohana! (Family) 

While we have been continuing working on how to improve our classroom behavior, we have also starting working with some new skills! We are getting into understanding the connections between addition, skip counting, and multiplication! We were doing some group work together, and a little mini-lesson popped out from what we were discussing. We took some long addition problems and turned them into multiplication problems. From there, we were able to talk about FACT FAMILIES between multiplication and division. Some of the kids yelled out their connections to the FACT FAMILIES between addition and subtraction! It is so fabulous when the kids pay attention to the connections and patterns that are all around them! So far, we have tackled skip counting (and multiplying) by two's and four's. They are moving right along! 


Another new skill we worked on was learning about and understanding CAUSE AND EFFECT! Cause and Effect not only helps us with reading skills, but also with life skills! Since we watched a Brainpopjr video, learned new vocabulary, and worked on some activities together, the kids are really getting into cause and effect! We are using real-life examples from class, the weather, their reading...to make cause and effect statements. 
 
The kids are having to get deep with their math problem solving skills! We are tackling math word problems head on! The kids are getting different word problems each week that they not only have to solve but also have to explain it! See the Explain It book peeking out in the bottom left hand corner of the above pic? The kids all tackle different problems with different strategies. After having exploring time to try to solve the problem, the kids then share their different strategies for how they went about solving the problem. After that, we talk about what worked, what didn't, and what we could improve on next time. They are going to be ninja mathematician masters at explaining their answers! We love some math time! 


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Week of Sept. 26-29th:
Talking about our Social Curriculum...we finally finalized our class rules! The kids started working on our class rules way back when and made a HUGE list filled with TONS of "don't" rules. From there, they had to down-size the huge list to a smaller list--but there were still too many rules and they were still written in a negative tone, such as Don't do this, don't do that...
Well, we spent yesterday, working in groups, to pick their top 4 to 5 rules. Then, today, we took the final set of rules from each group, and wrote them all out. After that, we tallied next to each rule, how many groups said that should be one of the rules. From there, we deleted ones that didn't fit and combined rules that went together. It was totally the kids making the decisions and making the recommendations of what to change, put together, and delete. After all of that, we finally have a smaller set of class rules. Here they are:

  1)            Treat people the way you want to be treated by being kind to                     everyone AND everything!

  2)          Always try your best!

                 3)           Be honest and always tell the truth!

                 4)           Always show respect!

                 5)           Be independent!


Week of Sept. 19-23: There has been a lot going on in here! 
 Look at all these adorable faces! Their Self Portraits are priceless! 
Here's a little shot of their typed Auto-Bio Poems! The kids wrote first the sloppy copy, then had to make corrections and write a final copy, before getting to type their "published" copy. We've got some good typers in here who LOVE playing with and changing the fonts! Good times with putting their Self Portraits in words! 

In Math, we have started working on word problems. We are focusing on not stressing out and trying to solve the problem. Some kids like to just shut down, and that can't happen! We had a confusing problem that they tried to solve yesterday, and we had tons of different answers, but we celebrated how everyone tried to solve it in different ways. That may sound crazy, but the first step to being a successful problem solver is to actually TRY to solve the problem! We keep referring to our class motto: IT'S OKAY TO NOT KNOW, BUT IT'S NOT OKAY TO NOT TRY! 

In Reading & Writing, we have have been working on several different skills. The kids are reading different articles, passages, poems...all kinds of stuff, to be exposed to as many different genres as possible! The kids also all have their own independent silent reading books, which we use at different times throughout the days. The kids are using their book to learn about important quotes from different characters. They are learning how to think deeper about the main character/s. They are finding words they don't know what they mean, and then are using the dictionaries to look up the definitions. They are having to describe important things about different characters, which is harder than it sounds. They are starting to explore how to summarize information they read. (That is a tough skill to get the hang of, but we are going to get there!) They are using Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast information...the list of new skills goes on, but I think you get the idea! They are reading, thinking, writing, reading some more, then writing more...they cycle goes on and on! One thing that some of them are really excited about is writing about what it would be like if they could add themselves to any book of their choice. They are having to think and write about what characters they would want to be friends with and why. What would happen? How would it change the story?... and so forth. All of these munchkins are having to stretch their brains in different ways than they have before, and I think it is glorious! 

So, in the beginning of the year, Inquiry seems to get the shaft from all of the beginning of year assessments, but inquiry skills are still being engaged by learning/talking/sharing/reflecting about everything we talk about. We were supposed to be right back into our sea turtles, but we haven't had the time to work on our research, but we have had times we have reflected about what we learned while making new connections. We have lots of great new opportunities coming up soon, but I wanted to remind you that inquiry is deeply embedded into everything we do. We will get to go into deeper inquiries about different topics soon, but in the mean time, I have been deeply impressed with the connections this group of kiddos makes. We talk about different connections throughout each and every day. 

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There has been so much going on since school started! The biggest news is that the kids rocked out the NC 3rd Grade BOG Reading test on Wednesday 9/7! We didn't make it a big deal or announcement that it was happening so that the kids wouldn't feel any unnecessary stress about taking a big reading assessment. They did awesome! Everyone survived! We are all happy it is over until the end of the year, when it will be time for the EOG's! I was so proud of our 3rd graders today! Talk about working hard, not stressing out, and taking care of business! Our kids are amazing!!
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We started 3rd Grade by working on what our class rules should be. While working on the class rules, we have also been working, talking, and reflecting about what it looks like and sounds like to bully someone. In addition to having bullying conversations, we are also talking about what kind of environment everyone needs to be able to feel safe and as successful as possible. To help reinforce the importance of listening to each other and creating a productive work space, we read a book called My Mouth is a Volcano. It has helped us to have some great conversations about the importance of not blurting out, waiting your turn to talk, and listening to others. 

 
   
 
Student generated observations from after reading the book: The kids really enjoyed the book and made lots of personal connections! You can even hear the kids use the word, "volcano" when someone is erupting or interrupting. It's cute and it makes sense to all involved. 

Thank you to everyone that sent stuff in to help flood victims from Lumberton. We collected so much stuff that was delivered to families in need! There was so much stuff in the front hall that it is hard to see in the pictures below. I just wanted to give you a feel for how much came in to help support families in need! Thanks so much!!
 
Whoops, I didn't notice that the rest of Partnership was cut off before I sent this to myself! They are our Partners, who help us in so many ways! Not many people were there for the Partnership Meeting or the Book Fair on Thursday night. The meeting was short and to the point! A big part was getting us ready to help the Holiday Festival get underway. I know I will have more to share with you about our part for the Holiday Festival soon! Our Partnership Board volunteers work so hard, on top of their real jobs, to help make our school amazing. Please help support the Partnership, or tell some of the Partnership Board members, "Thank You!" if you see any of them around. We would be lost without are Partnership!!!!

Hanging out together and having fun!
  

I didn't get the best pictures, but was trying to get some as I was walking around and helping out! We had LOTS of families there helping walk the circle to get to 3,500 Laps! It was a fun time for us all! Thank you for all of the donations of food for the Canned Food Drive! Our families are amazing!