Mrs. Nelson's Classroom Webpage

Weekly update 1/14-1/17


I hope you were all able to get out and enjoy the snow this weekend! My boys and I went sledding and I was reminded of how old I am the next day....

This week in school we are going to continue working with different point of views in literacy. The kids are doing really well with decided if a book is written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd point of view. 

PBL: The kids are having fun learning about the different habitats found within the coral reefs. This week they will be creating different coral to be put up on our wall to create a mural of the reef. The students were asked to bring in some stuff to help create their coral this Monday! *You'll be able to see the mural on the 23rd!

In Focus: As a class, we will be recognizing different emotions in others. This will help greatly with learning empathy. 

Writing: Last week we worked on reading and pulling out information about tigers and how they are endangered. This week the students will use that information to write a paper talking about the dangers tigers face and how we can help them. 

Remember no school on Friday and Monday! 
Have a great week! 

Please join us on Wednesday, January 23 from 5:00-6:30 for our annual Showcase Evening.  See the attached flyer for details. The students have SO much to share with you!

Weekly update 1/7-1/11


I hope you all had a fabulous break! From what I heard from all your kiddos, you did! 

We hit the ground running this morning starting with our In Focus lesson. We are talking about self-control with the kids. This is great to come back and start talking about. Have your kids tell you about the marshmallow test. We will continue with this topic, along with making some new goals for the rest of the year. 

In writing this week, we will be reading two articles talking about the tiger population. The students will be responding to a prompt and use the information learned from the text to write a short response.  As always we are focusing on using transition words and good paragraph structure. 

We are going to wrap up main idea this week and move into point of view later this week. We will focus on 1st, 2nd and 3rd point of view using several different picture books. This is a fun unit, and the kids always do a good job recognizing which view the story is being told in. 

This unit will be focusing on life sciences. We are going to be starting to study the coral reef and the different animals that both support and make up their lives there. We also focus on the effect we have humans have on it. 

I hope you all have a great week!

1/18: No school- professional development day
1/21: MLK Day
1/23: School Showcase night


Weekly update 12/17-12/20


Somehow it is the week before Christmas and I am not sure how that happened... I swear I was just stressing over finding Halloween costumes for my boys!
We have a lot packed in this week to keep your kiddos learning and engaged!

Lean on Me:
Today we will wrap up the unit in class, with groups meeting together and finalizing their lists to go shopping tomorrow after school. 
I am so extremely pleased to announce that our class crushed our goal of $700. Through your child's hard work, our class was able to bring in $775! I am blown away at the willingness to give on this project. Thank you for all your support at home! Not only this but through the bake sale, the school was able to bring in $1,100. All of this combined with the other 3rd grades, the whole grade earned $3,270. This money will go a long way into making Christmas a little easier for 13 people. I am so happy to have been able to be a part of this amazing project!

Shopping Tomorrow:
If you volunteered to help drive/shop please plan on being here in the classroom around 3:40 ish. I will assign out the kiddos who will be driving with you and you will be responsible for getting back to the school. The plan is to shop and be back at the school around 5:15- 5:30. 

The kiddos will finish up their Holidays Around the World project this week. Most have finished their paper and have moved onto their Google Slide. They will be sharing it with their table groups towards the end of the week. 

We will be wrapping up Main Idea this week. The kids have done great with this and worked really hard at finding those key details that support the text. 

In Focus:
In class, we are going to be talking about impulse control along with patience and how it can affect our lives. 


Weekly upate12/10-12/14

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season as much as I am! The next two weeks we have a lot going on so please read the whole email so you can be informed!

We finished Esperanza Rising last week. The kids were thrilled with how the story ended. We will be working on some comparing and contrasting how the main character changed throughout the story. For our mini-lesson, we are still focusing on determining the main idea and finding key details to support it.

Late in the week, last week, students were introduced to their family member's Needs and Wants list. They started to use this list to search online for products their person's needs and wants and create a budget of what they can purchase with the funds we will have available.
 We will be shopping afterschool on the 18th. Permission slips were sent home in last Thursday's Folder. Please return it, if you have not, please do so ASAP.
 We also need a few more drivers if you are willing and able to help! All money is due this Thursday! We are a little more than halfway to our goal! Thank you!!!!
The bake sale will be THIS Tuesday. Please send any goods in on Monday. All goods need to be individually wrapped. Thank you again, for all your support on this!

Last week the kiddos were assigned a country from around the world to research how they celebrated the winter holiday. Students will be using the information they found and writing a report along with creating a Google Slide to share with the class. 

In Focus:
As a class, we are working on identifying different emotions that we feel, along with the best and healthy way to respond to them. 

Important dates
12/11: Bake Sale
12/13: All Lean on Me money due
12/18: Afterschool shopping day
12/19: Holiday Party 1:15


Weekly update 12/3-12/7


This week in 3rd grade:

We are still reading Esperanza as a class. We are almost done and the kids are starting to see a big change with the main character. It has been so fun to watch them see the storyline unfold. We started to talk about finding the main idea. We will continue this concept next week and the following. Being able to find the main idea along with key details is very important and I want to really have a good foundation with it! 

The students are wrapping up their autobiographies today and tomorrow. Those that are done will begin a research project called, Holidays around the world. Students will be assigned to different countries around the world.  They will use approved sites to look up and discover how that country celebrates the holidays. Using the information they will write an informational paper and create a Google slide to share with the class. 

Lean on Me is going very well! We are at 350 dollars as a class, which is halfway to our goal! I've been impressed with their willingness to share their earnings for such a good cause. Thank you for all your support with this. Yesterday the kids met with their groups to talk about group norms and all signed a contract to be a good group member. Today the kids will get a short lesson on budgeting and from there I will introduce the families we have been assigned to help. We will be looking at their Needs and Wants list.  After that, they will start researching different prices between Target and Walmart to help fulfill those wishes/needs. 
We will be having a bake sale next Tuesday, 12/11, to help bring in some more money. More information will be coming home later this week, so please be looking for it!

In Focus:
This week as a class we are talking about our fears and how to effectively deal with them. I was impressed with how candid the kids were in expressing things that they feared. Sometimes topics like this can get silly, but the kids were very mature in their responses. 

Other info:
If you want to order a gift from the Scholastic book orders, I am willing to gift wrap it for your kiddo to take home, that way it stays a surprise. Just let me know! Orders need to be submitted here in the next week! Class website

12/5: Vision and Hearing screening (am)
12/18: Class shopping day (after school- more info to come soon)
12/19: Holiday Party 1:15-2:15
12/21-1/7 Christmas Break!

Timber Trail Website         TTEA Website   

TTE Facebook Page        TTE on Instagram


Weekly Update 11/26-11/30

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was so fun to hear about all about the breaks from their journals this morning. It sounds like everyone had a great time! I missed their faces and am ready to jump back into school mode! 

We will be starting our Auto Biographies this week. Thank you for taking the time to fill out those purple sheets before the break. They will help us hit the ground running! 

Along with writing our Auto-Biographies, we are going to start reading a few autobiographies and biographies. This will help strengthen our nonfiction text reading while we focus on different text features found within the text. We are a little more than halfway through Esperanza Rising and like I have said before, the kids are loving it and we have had some really good conversations about different events that have taken place in the book and some of Esperanza's character traits. I've been really impressed with different things the kids are able to pick up on from the books. 

This week we are focusing on how to recognize anger along with things that make us angry and good/safe ways to deal with that anger. 

Lean on Me
Before the break, we spend a good chunk talking about the project and what they can do to help. We've talked a lot about empathy and what that means and looks like. We are going to talk a bit about budgeting and what that looks like. Thank you for your support on this! We are well on our way with our class fundraiser. Please send in the money as the kids earn it so we can keep watching the numbers rise! 

I also wanted to let you know that book orders will be due earlier this month because of Christmas. If you want to order a gift for your kiddo through the site, I can wrap it and send it home, that way it stays a surprise. Just let me know! 



Weekly Update 11/12-11/16


I hope you are all staying warm this weekend! This week in school we will be hard at work as we prepare for our week off coming up. 

We are in the middle of doing our second author study, Chris Vans Allsburg. The kids are doing great at inferring some of the messages in his books. We are also about 1/2 way through Esperanza Rising. Like I said last week, the kids are really engaged in the book and it makes it so fun to read with them each day! Later we will be doing several writing prompts focused around different parts of the book. 

We finished up writing our Beat the Heat essay last week and will be moving on to our Auto Biographies. On Monday, I will be sending home a purple sheet that I would love for you to sit with your child and fill out. The sheet needs to be back to school by Wednesday. Please look for it!

In Focus:
We will be spending some reflecting on what we are grateful for along with recognizing what makes us feel different emotions. 

We finished out Matter unit last week and are moving on to my favorite PBL unit of the whole year. This unit, Lean on Me, will be doing a fundraiser/shopping for families in need for the holidays. I will get more information to you about this in a separate email later. But wanted to let you know the basics now. This a great project with real effects and it was so fun to watch the kids get the spirit of giving last year. 

I look forward to meeting with each of you at conferences this week! 
Have a great night. 

11/13 Dine & Dash @ Parry's Pizza 4 pm
11/19-23 No school

11/29 book orders due Classwebsite_


Weekly Update 11/5-11/9

Hello, 3rd-grade families, 

Before I give you all the weekly update, I just want to give a huge thank you for being so quick to sign up and help with the pancakes on Friday and the Halloween party on Wednesday! You are all so generous and willing to help. The kids had a blast and learning is always more fun when it is hands on! 

This week in school:

Literacy: We wrapped up our Patricia Pollaco unit and are going to take some time looking Chris Van Allsburg. His books are very intriguing and great for inferring. We are also going to spend some time circling back to summaries to make sure we are staying strong with that skill. Last week we also started an anchor text, Esperanza Rising. This is a great book that at first many of the boys moaned and groaned at because of the girly appearance, but like always within the first 2 chapters, they are all begging to keep reading when the time is up. It sparks a lot of great conversations and because the book is a much higher reading level, our comprehension and vocabulary are growing as a class. 

Writing: We finished our nonfiction writing with Beat the Heat last week. While grading them over the weekend, I found a few things I want the kids to go back and improve on. We will do the first part of the week. Towards the end, we will start writing our Auto Biographies. I will be sending home a sheet early in the week to help gather information about each kiddo, like where their name came from. 

In Focus:
This week we will be doing a number of things. We will be talking about gratitude, talking about some goals we set earlier in the year and spending some time talking about how to express feelings in a safe way using the "I-message". 

11/6 : No school-- Please go VOTE
11/7: Mom's Night Out Painting TTEA
11/12-16 Parent Teacher Conferences 
11/19-23 Thanksgiving Break



Weekly Update 10/29-11/2

Hello Families, 

This week in the classroom we are going to continue our learning! 
Literacy: We started doing an author study on Patricia Pollacco last week. We've read several of her books and have discovered that she has the same theme in many of her books. The kids and I have really enjoyed reading stories about her childhood growing up. We will continue with her books this week.

In Focus-: Last week we focused on 6 different emotions. This week we are talking about how important it is to talk to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed. We are also working on identifying emotions in others to help become more empathetic.  

Writing: In writing this week we will continue with our article response, Beat the Heat. The kids are working hard to pulling evidence from the text to support their answer about different animals stay cool.

Science: In class, we are still working with our unit on Matter. We will be doing some more hands-on experiments to help them solidify their understanding of the different stages of matter and the properties that define them. On Friday, we will have our pancake celebration and watch the different phases transform! If you signed up to donate please send in the supplies by Thursday so we have everything ready to go! There a few more slots open if you want to still help out. 

Scholastic Book orders due: 10/30  *order through the classroom website                                                                      Class website
Halloween party: 10/31 1:15 -2:15 * Kids will have a chance to change into their                                    costumes after lunch. Please follow school guidelines with                                          costumes!
No school: 11/6- Teacher Development day
TTEA Mom's Night Out Painting: 11/7- 7 pm
Conferences: 11/12-11/16 Signups will come out at the END of the week

Have a great week!


Weekly Update 10/22-10/26

Wonderful 3rd-grade parents, 

I wanted to give you another update as we head into our next week of school. 

We will be wrapping up our compare and contrast unit by finishing our comparing 2nd and 3rd grade. This is a big standard for 3rd grade so we will revisit it again later in the year. 

We finished studying character traits and are moving on to one of my favorite units for 3rd grade. For the next few weeks, we are going to be focusing on specific authors and doing an author study. The first author is hands down my favorite children's book author, Patricia Polacco. The stories she writes are all focused on her childhood and some valuable lessons she learned during those times. We will talk about several different elements that can found throughout her books and how they all connect. 

We've wrapped up our Geography unit, there are a few kids who are still working on their final project for this, but will continue to have class time to complete it. 
We are going to be moving on to our next unit, Matter. This is an awesome unit and the kids love it because there are a TON of hands-on experiments to do and explore.  Towards the end of next week, you will be getting a Sign-up Genius for our final project, making pancakes. 

In Focus:
This week we are talking about our emotions and how to recognize the 6 main emotions we all feel. 

Other updates:
If you have not turned in your donations to the room mothers for class parties, please do so ASAP. These will be used for the class parties throughout the year. We've only had a few turned in so far!

10/25: TTEA Family Halloween Bingo Night @ 6:30 pm
10/30: Book Orders are DUE
10/31: Halloween Party 1:30-2:30
11/6: No school- Staff Professional Development Day
11/7: TTEA- Mom's Night Out Paint-A-Sign
11/9: Dine & Dash at Parry's Pizza: 4-9 pm
11/12-16: Parent Teacher Conferences (signup coming soon)


Weekly Update 10/15-10/19

I hope you all had a fabulous Fall Break. I can't wait to hear from all your kiddos and all the fun they had!  I was able to make the long drive to Utah and hang out with family and friends.

We are going to hit the ground running this week as we jump back into our routines and school work.

Social Studies:
We are a week into our unit working with Geography. The kids have been learning about the different regions that make up the US. We are focusing on each region individually and the kids are going to start researching their assigned region and prepare a brochure with the information they have learned. During this time we are also focusing on how to take good notes.

We've wrapped up our alligator and crocodile compare and contrast papers. I will be sharing those with you all at our Parent Teacher Conferences coming up in November. We are going to continue our compare and contrast unit and write about how second grade is different from 3rd grade this week. 

In class, we are continuing to work with character traits along with our regular guided reading groups. 

In Focus:
This week the focus is on friendship and to approach making a friendship. 

I hope you all have a great week back! 

Important dates:
Oct 18: Picture retake day
Oct 25: TTEA Halloween Bingo Potluck
Oct 31: Halloween party 1:30-2:30




I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and found time to get outside to enjoy this fall weather. If you haven't seen it yet, there is a nasty snowflake sign on the weather app for next week.... 

This week your kiddos are wrapping up their Putting the Pieces Together unit. We will be voting on one class project tomorrow. And then on Wednesday, the winning group will present to the people from the Parks Department with the other two third grade classes. 
We will be moving on to our first Social Studies topic later in the week. We will be focusing on the different regions found in the United States.

We are still working on writing our comparison and contrasting papers on crocodiles and alligators. These will be typed up on google docs later this week. You are welcome to check them out there. We are also focusing on when to use their, there and they're in a sentence. 

The class is moving on to Character Traits. We will be reading several books together and finding different character traits found with the main character as well as how they change in the story. This will lead right into our first anchor text we will read as a class later this month, Esperanza Rising. 

In Focus: 
This week the kids are talking about gratitude as well as goal setting. I have really loved the discussions we've had around the different topics. It is really making the kids dig deep with their thoughts and explanations. 

THANK YOU for all those who bought and donated books to my library. I got a lot of great titles to add to my collection!

Book orders are due on the 30th of this month - just use the link below to my website to order if you are interested. 

Don't forget Fall Break is NEXT week! 
Halloween party: 1:15-2:15 Oct 31st 



Weekly update 9/24-9/28

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I was able to make a drive to and from Utah to see my sister in law get married. I couldn't help but notice all the leaves in the mountains changing. If you have not had a chance to go see them, go! It is so beautiful!

Literacy: This will be out last week working on summaries. Your kids have been doing great with this. We will revisit this again later in the year since it is such an important skill. 

Writing: We will wrap up our Personal Narratives and be moving on to some Non-Fiction Writing. We are going to start working on comparing and contrasting within texts and how to show that in writing.

PBL: This week we are moving into our groups and sharing what research your kiddos have done with each other. They will also vote on their groups' piece of equipment and start to create a presentation around it. 

If you have not heard, the school was able to meet and exceed their goal for the Move-a-thon. Thank you so much for all your support. I am blown away at the generosity given to the school. THANK YOU!

Have a great week!

Scholastic book orders will be due on Friday (just follow the classroom website link above)
Dads and Donuts will be this Wednesday
Book Fair is THIS week
Parent Night is this Tuesday in the Gym from 6-7


Weekly Update: 9/17-9/21

Wonderful Third Grade Parents, 

This week in school we are going to be having our Move A Thon. It will be, Thursday Morning. Please make sure your kiddos come that day with appropriate shoes/clothes so the stay comfortable outside all morning! 

Timberwolves here is another chance to move mountains!!  
Participate in our fundraising efforts and help 
your teacher and classroom!
If we reach our school goal of $45,000, each class with 100% participation will win a gift card to 
Lakeshore Learning Store!
Your teacher will be able to use that gift card to enhance your classroom and your learning experience!
Start climbing that mountain and get your 
donations in today!

Click here for more information on our fundraising goals
and instructions on how to set up your students personal Move-a-Thon website.

In class this week, we are going to be doing several other things!

Reading: In class, we are working on how to write a great summary. The kids and I are reading a lot of great picture books to help solidify this concept and they are doing a great job with it. 

Pack Pride: We are continuing to talk about the different areas of intelligence. The kids are having to dig deep and discover different strengths about themselves and others. 

Writing: The kids are still working hard on their personal narratives. I am conferencing with them one on one, fine-tuning their work. I have loved getting to know them better as a writer and hear some of their stories from their lives. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Mary Nelson

Weekly Update 9/10-9/14

Wonderful 3rd-grade families,

This week in our classroom we are working on:

We finished up questioning last week and started to work on how to make a great summary. This is a concept we work on all year long and are constantly looking to improve. We read a lot of great books that have a lot of "try/fails" in them. Make sure you ask your kiddos about what that is. ;)
As of yesterday, we started to research playground equipment individually. The goal is for each student to find several pieces that they feel would fit the needs of a child with Autism. They need to justify how and why that piece would be a great addition to the playground.
 We are still working on our Personal Narratives. The students have been working hard on writing a story that shows a problem and how it was resolved. We've spent a lot of time looking at other authors writing to see how they can really paint a great picture for the reader. Along with that, we are working on what makes a great paragraph and all the different organizational pieces that go into it. 
Pack Pride: 
This week your kids are talking about Howard Gardners 8 areas of intelligence. We talked about what strength means yesterday and how you can be strong in different areas other than physical. The kids did great at realizing that different areas can be a strength. Throughout the next 8 lessons, we are going to focus on one area a day. The goal is to get the students to see different strengths in themselves and in others. 


Tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 12) Timber Trail will be practicing an intruder lockdown drill.  All staff will be going through training with district security personnel at 7:30 am.  The drill will take place at approximately 1:15-1:45.  During this time students and staff will be in secure locations while district security personnel and school administration walk the building and make contact with all staff and students.  No visitors will be admitted or phones answered during this time.  

To help with the timing and schedule of our drill, we will begin lunches and lunch recess 5 minutes earlier on Wednesday.  

Please know that our class has gone over expectations for the drill and what to do if they are not with me when the drill or intruder alarm goes off.  While this is a serious topic and can be unsettling for students, it is important that we practice.  We thank you for also taking time to talk to your student about the drill.

Thank you for your help and support.

Move Athon: September 20th
No school: September 21st 
Book orders: Due September 30

Have a great week! 


Weekly Update: 9/4-9/7

Third Grade Parents, 


I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend. I wanted to take a minute to let you know what your kiddo is working on this week in the classroom. 



We are wrapping up questioning this week in our whole group lessons. The kids have been great with digging deep to ask some great questions as they read to help get them to stay engaged and help them better understand the text they are reading. In small groups, we have started our guided reading in groups. Each group is working on several different comprehension skills to help them become a stronger reader. 



 As a class, we are focusing on how to write a great paragraph. Along with different parts of speech and the best ways to use them in a sentence. We have spent the last week or so talking about personal narratives and the kinds of things to include to help paint a picture for the reader. The kids brainstormed and mapped out their stories yesterday and today. Tomorrow they will start to write about the small moment in their life. 



As a class, we are still researching what Autism is and what needs an Autistic child may have. We have also moved our conversation towards how they can be included both in the classroom and playground. We will start researching later this week different playground equipment to help be inclusive. 


Pack Pride

We have spent the last few weeks identifying what different stressors in their lives. We took it a step farther this week and chatted about different ways to help relieve stress while focusing on deep breathing. In class we've talked about the impact stress can have on our lives especially in our learning. 


Other information: 

Does your child love to read and talk about the stories they have read?  If so then 'Battle of the Books' may be the enrichment program for them!


There will be an informational 'Battle of the Books' meeting this Friday, September 7 from 3:30-4:15 in the TTE library.  We invite all interested 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to learn more about this engaging program which is sponsored by Douglas County Libraries.  Here is link to their website.  The list of books for this year is attached.


Additional information:

*The first meeting for the TTE teams will be Friday, Sept. 14 from 3:30-4:30.

*Meetings will be in the TTE library on Fridays through January.

*The 'Battle at the Libraries will begin the week of January 28.

*There is no fee to participate.


For more information please contact Chelsey Nielson at