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Alice Langrall
Claire Nelson
Katelyn Robertson
Kelly Sinclair

Susan Morris
Sunho Bae

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Third Grade News

October 8, 2018

Happy October!

We are wrapping up our first reading unit in which students have been practicing active engagement during our Reading Workshop time. Students look forward to reading self-selected books each day and are working to improve their reading stamina! Next week’s reading lessons will include writing about reading with and without prompts. Students will learn to use the IVFT strategy when they do not have prompts. This is a summarizing strategy in which students Identify the book (The book, (title) by (author) Verb (tells about) Finish Thought (who and what happened). This strategy then encourages students to make a connection to the book by explaining a favorite part, character, or something they did not like.

Students will also learn the steps to writing when they are responding to prompts about reading. Before writing their response they will use a stoplight visual to help.

Red=Stop! Read the question.

Yellow=Slow down! Look back in the text and think about your answer.

Green=Go write!

These important steps make sure that students are reading the question and thinking about the answer. They will then continue the writing protocol using RACER

R-restate the question or prompt in your own words

A-answer what the question is asking

C-cite evidence from the text.

E-explain the answer

R-reread your response .

Students can practice this at home on their reading log. If you would like more information about reading strategies, check out the Literacy Newsletters folder on the third grade webpage.

In writing, students are still enjoying creating personal narratives- stories about themselves. Students chose an important event to write about, planned using a graphic organizer, and are currently drafting and publishing their narratives, making sure to include transition words, dialogue, appropriate conventions, and plenty of details.


In math, we are currently reviewing adding and subtracting 3 digit numbers with regrouping as well as applying those skills to word problems. For this math unit, we have divided the third graders into math groups. Each third grade teacher is teaching a group. Grouping students for this unit helps us differentiate to best meet our students’ math needs. This is a fast unit, covering a lot of material. Subtracting numbers that have zeros in them is often tricky for third graders. Your child may need extra support at home in that area. Another big focus will be memorizing basic addition and subtraction facts (one digit plus or minus one digit numbers). If your child struggles with basic adding and subtracting, he/she may need additional support with homework. While in the car, call out math facts such as 8 + 5, 7 – 4, etc. We also encourage you to have your child use flashcards to aid memorization. In third grade, we begin to discourage using fingers to solve these basic computations. Two great websites that offer fact practice are and Students will also be given Reflex Math accounts. When your child has mastered his or her basic addition/subtraction facts, we encourage you to give him or her some missing addend problems. That is one area of algebra that we will learn about this year. An example would be 7 + = 14. You can also substitute the “blank” with a letter variable such as 8 + x = 17 (Then ask, what is x?).

Over the next month, students will be learning about Government, Heat Energy, and Matter. In social studies, the focus will be our local government. We will focus on how citizens contribute to their community as well as rules and laws that citizens must follow in order to keep their community safe. We encourage you to talk with your child about issues that affect our community as well as the importance of voting.

In science we will focus on Energy and Matter. We will explore numerous forms of energy and how

energy transfers. Students will build and program a Lego WeDo robot to demonstrate forms

of energy and the transfer of energy. We will also focus on sources that produce heat and how heat

moves, while investigating conduction, convection, and radiation. We will compare the properties of

matter (solids, liquids, and gases), measure matter, and observe the changes which occur as a result of

changing temperatures.

We are looking forward to our field trip to the Chapel Hill Town Hall on Thursday, October 25. Students will learn about our local government and attend a mock city council meeting. Please make sure that your child has turned in his or her permission slip and payment. Thank you!

Picture Day is Wednesday, October 17th. Please return the Strawbridge Studios order form if you are interested in purchasing a photo package for your third grader.

Ways You Can Help

Box Tops for Education
Box Tops for Education is a FREE, fundraising program that raised a lot of money for Rashkis last year. Rashkis' students collect pink Box Tops logos, each worth $0.10. (While the value sounds small, they do add up quickly). The Box Tops logos are found on many products in grocery and office supply stores. Look for Box Tops on Cheerios, Green Giant frozen foods, Avery Office products, Kleenex tissue, Glad trash bags, Betty Crocker meals and sides, Pillsbury refrigerated items, Yoplait yogurts, Ziploc storage items, and more. The classroom competition has begun! The PTA will reward the class with the most Box Tops. Please contact friends and family to help collect Box Tops for Education. To earn extra money for Rashkis, shop online at There are classroom prizes throughout the year!


Now there's a great way parents and teachers can work together to keep classrooms stocked all year long. In addition to the 5% back in rewards all members earn, parents can now earn extra rewards for the teacher of their choice with the Reward A Classroom program. Here's what teachers get when parents shop:

  • 2% back in rewards on everything, excluding postage, phone/gift cards and savings passes
  • 5% back in rewards on every Copy & Print purchase

Teachers can earn up to $50 from as many as 40 parents each year. That's as much as $2,000 back in rewards every year. Visit Staples-Reward a Classroom for more information.

Relink your Harris Teeter VIC card. The number for Rashkis is 5357.  This is an easy and great way to help raise money for Rashkis. Any time you purchase a Harris Teeter brand product, a percentage of that purchase is given to Rashkis.

Volunteer Spot
We have some exciting news about volunteering at Rashkis!  Our School Improvement Team has created a plan for utilizing all of our parent volunteers more efficiently.  Each week, an email is sent out with a link to a website called Volunteer Spot, which lists all volunteer opportunities currently at Rashkis.  The most exciting part of this is that parents can volunteer throughout the school, not just in their own child's classroom. At Rashkis, we have a philosophy when talking about our students: They are all our children.  It is our hope that parents also adopt this philosophy and become more comfortable helping out in classrooms throughout the school with teachers and students they may not know well. The website lists opportunities to work in the classroom with children as well as chances to send in items a classroom or grade level may be seeking.  We have such a wonderful community of parents at Rashkis already and we are confident this new way of organizing our volunteers will continue to build on the positive climate which already exists.  If you are interested in checking out the current volunteer opportunities, visit this website: