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Third Grade

Parent Letter 4/25/17

posted Apr 25, 2017, 10:54 PM by Regina Edelmann

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dear Parents,

Students have been working hard on the Kumeyaay unit. Most of our recent work is now up on the wall for all to enjoy. Our IA Cave Drawings are looking so cool. Students created symbols to tell a story of an experience they had at school. I’m still working on building the wall display, but here are a couple photos of what it looked like today…


Home/School Envelopes

Today, the envelopes went home and included art from students’ specials art class. For some students, I included unfinished Scholastic News work in the envelopes and ask that students finish work at home.

Upcoming Field Trips

I’ve just received confirmation that we're able to go to the Palomar Planetarium Tuesday, May 23rd and the Kumeyaay-Ipai Interpretive Center in Poway Wednesday, May 31st. Please save the dates for these trips, they look amazing! I'll ask Dawn to send along a sign up for chaperones/drivers shortly. If you haven’t already volunteered to drive, I encourage you to do so on at least one of these trips. It’s a wonderful memory to share with your children, and who knows, maybe even learn something new.

(We will need to reschedule a couple of tests to be available for these field trips. I will send a revised testing calendar soon.)

Language Arts

Scholastic News this week is about Tornados. Students were very excited to hear that and already know a lot about them. Students will complete activities that go along with this week’s issue. These activities are well crafted in helping to build literacy and good writing skills.

Reminder: I will not be assigning any more VocabularySpellingCity.com lists and activities.  However, the website will be available through December if you would like to have your children use it for academic enrichment.

Students learned about pronouns and possessive pronouns from Schoolhouse Rock. We discussed examples, wrote notes and completed an activity. This week, students will review the skills: commas, capitalization, main idea (central idea), and paragraph indentation.

Tony and the students are continuing to read Island of the Blue Dolphins.


We are doubling up on math. We will have class time in the morning and in the afternoon in preparation for May testing. After I reviewed the results of last week’s fraction quiz, I saw a need to spend a little more time on them. This week students are doing more with identifying fractions and comparing fractions. Division will be introduced later this week. Having students work on the online program Reflex Math and SBAC online practice tests at home will continue to help strengthen their math confidence.


We have a special guest speaker Wednesday. Karl, Chloe I.’s dad, will be talking with the class about Electrical Engineering.



Parent Letter 4/17/17

posted Apr 18, 2017, 12:12 AM by Regina Edelmann

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dear Parents,

Whether you celebrated the Easter Holiday or just took in the clear skies, cool breeze and bright sun, I hope you had a wonderful weekend,

Keala has been a positive addition to our class. Students seem to like his funny disposition and that he plays games and ball with them during break. I pronounced his name wrong in the last letter. The correct way is Kā’-ŏ-lӑ.

The class has been developing their research skills, reading a lot, and analyzing facts about the Kumeyaay. Students are taking what they’ve learned about communities and applying that knowledge and experience to  new understanding of the Kumeyaay people. The children are loving it, well, most of it…. Even though I understand research and the ever-difficult paragraph writing are not always joyful tasks, they seem to be facing the hardship and persevering, which is exactly what I know we all wish for them!


Last week students worked with fractions (½, ¼, ⅓) in the real world and drew some of their own. This week students will take notes, construct a fraction flip book, and begin comparing fractions. If you are wanting to know what to do at home this week, I recommend continuing the multiplication practice. I have attached drills we’ve done in class that you can use. You can also ask your child to daily identify time on a clock, estimating time to and from places, and time to complete tasks.

Language Arts

Students have a new scholastic news issue, “Otters on the Job.”  We know how much they love animals, so I’m pretty sure they’ll love this article. Students will have more practice with Response to Literature as they complete a close reading activity that goes with this article. The Scholastic News website has so much more than just the magazine online, so if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to walk through it with your child and maybe even encourage reading the current event articles on the link about the “Sign In” tab, “News for your Classroom.”


I am not continuing the brief book summary writing project with the class. After 4 attempts and different strategies, it appears not a good fit right now. Instead, students will be building writing skills in other ways. I do hope students continue reading at least one chapter book a month for their enjoyment and experience.

L.A. Skill lesson this week is “pronouns.’ Students finished the lesson on common, proper, singular, and plural nouns last week and it took a little longer than planned.

VocabularySpellingCity.com List 10 is listed below. Students will complete assigned activities that go with both the vocabulary and spelling lists. This will be our last assigned VocabularySpellingCity activities. Students will have access to the website through December, when the class subscription ends. I have downloaded many word lists and encourage students to use the website at home to further their knowledge of words.

Social Studies/Science

As I stated already, last week and this week students are researching Kumeyaay facts and writing paragraphs. Tony just began reading Island of the Blue Dolphins with the class. I recommend having a copy at home (library, bookstore, Kindle) to reread and/or catch up reading if student is absent.

I’m looking into another Kumeyaay field trip. There’s a place in Poway that recently opened and would love the students to get another look at a natural setting of this Indian culture. Our class is still considering turning our classroom into a Kumeyaay village like the other 3rd grade class. If you think you can help with materials and building it, let me know. It would be a great opportunity to include lessons in engineering and art.


Testing will begin in a couple of weeks and next week students will begin practicing for the SBAC  Math and Language Arts online tests.


Snack/Break Time

Parents, please help us at school by reinforcing with your children not to ask for or share food with each other during snack and lunch. I have observed students afraid of saying, “No” when others ask for some of their food. I’ve heard some say that they fear their classmate won’t like them or will get others to not like them. I just don’t want our kids to endure that kind of stress. Also, I prefer no gum or candy at school. When a student has these items, they become a big magnet for attention and pressure. The gum tends to get on the rug, or worse on clothes and in hair. Thank you for your understanding.



Parent Letter 4/10/17

posted Apr 10, 2017, 11:52 PM by Regina Edelmann

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dear Parents,

It’s hard to believe we are entering mid-April already, and we still have much to learn and experience. One way our class is going to attempt this opportunity is through another “Project-Based-Learning” unit. A PBL unit typically focuses on a common topic, and that offers a rich way to cover many skills and concepts in a short period of time. Our common topic is taking shape to be something the students already seem connected to and passionate about - the Kumeyaay Indians. To understand the local tribes better, one must understand the history of our region better -- and that is how this PBL emerged.  Our Essential Question remains the same - “How does one’s character affect a community?”  And, we will aim our inquiry toward how this Native American community survived for thousands of years.

“They lived in harmony with nature, using the natural resources of the land to survive. They had their own culture, religion, economy, and system of government. Many of these activities are still part of their culture today.” -- https://sites.google.com/site/kumeyaayindians/kumeyaay-pages/acorns

New Teacher Assistant

After we said our farewells to Jade last week, we said “Hello” to our new TA Keala (Kee” al a). Jade has an opportunity to return to college and earn her teaching credential.  Christine and I were informed of her resignation Tuesday. Wednesday we had a class discussion of Jade’s departure and her new opportunities. Thursday, students wrote her “Thank You” letters and some also made her drawings and paper art. I will be including these special things in a gratitude basket I will deliver to her. That day Keala visited our class… he was very personable with the kids and they liked him right away. He is a dynamic person with so much to offer. He is a working theatre actor in San Diego and an advertising freelancer. He loves kids and likes to make learning fun and interactive. He officially begins working at IA Tuesday and is going to be a great asset to our class community, especially in our weekly performing arts classes with Natasha.


This week, I found the need to review “Telling Time.”  Students related telling time to fractions - ½ = 30 min = 2/4, ¼ =15 min. Students are taking related quizzes that will be sent home to see, sign, and return. Fractions will continue and students will be making real world connections. Students will compare fraction values, as well - greater than, less than, and equal to. Next week, our topic will be shapes, area, and perimeter.

Language Arts

Last Friday, Tony began reading with the class a new literature circle book that aligns with our Native American studies --  Island of the Blue Dolphins, an historical fiction book by Scott O’Dell. In 1961, it earned a Newbery Medal and is based on a 19th century true story about a young Native American girl who survived 18 years on an island off the coast of current day Santa Barbara.

This week we will rewrite our first brief book summaries while taking a new approach. We will also begin our March book summaries. We will focus on the skills of editing, revising, and creating strong topic sentences.

The grammar lesson will be about identifying nouns (singular, plural, common and proper) and pronouns.

Tuesday students will begin VocabularySpellingCity List 9 activities.  Student progress reports will be sent home in Tuesday’s Home/School envelopes.  The reports list all completed activities from List 1 - List 8.  List 1 was practice and does not count toward grade.  If you have any questions regarding the progress report.  Please write it on the report and return it.  

Social Studies

This week, students will continue studying the history of California Native Americans. They will view the video: Native Americans in Alta California  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jto9OhaFuPc

This film and our literature circle book support common historical evidence, for example the Russian traders influence on people of the land and those who wished to settle it. There will be critical thinking discussions about ethics and character regarding culture, trade and colonization.


Science will be embedded in our S.S. unit and in tandem with Mary’s Nature Studies class. The focus will be on the identification of indigenous plants and animals and their uses if any. Monday with Mary, students made acorn gruel known as “shawee.”

Student Absenses and Schoolwork

A number of parents requested work for their children to do while they will be absent. I appreciate the proactiveness of these requests. I thought this information will be helpful for all parents if I include my suggestions here in this letter. First, a reminder that much of our school days’ activities are interactive, some organic, and written work typically is related to class instruction and discussion.  This kind of learning is not always easy to translate into personalized emails and work students can interpret independently separate from classroom instruction. Missing these experiences can leave gaps in students’ understandings of topics and progress upon their return. While Monday Make-ups are for helping students get caught up on school work, most of the time students are unable to stay due to other commitments. Therefore, after students return to school after 2 or more days absent, I recommend parents email me and request a meeting so I personally can show and tell about missed activities and assignments (some include work written or glued in subject journals or added to class projects).  In the meantime, continue closely reviewing weekly “Parent Letters” and being proactive in supporting your children in keeping current with online assignments (e.g. VocabularySpellingCity.com, Typing.com, Reflex Math, Scholastic News, Google Classroom when there is a posted assignment), read monthly books, review math already learned, and you can even choose to work on CA Dept. of Ed. practice tests for May state tests.



Parent Letter 4/4/17

posted Apr 4, 2017, 10:47 PM by Regina Edelmann

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dear Parents,

Hope you had a wonderful Spring Break whether it was spent locally or away on an adventure. The kids seemed very excited to see each other again after a long week apart.  The field trip today to Tecolote Canyon was information packed and fun!  Students enjoyed sharing with the naturalists what they have been learning in their Nature Studies class with Mary and were very enthusiastic about discovering more about native plants and the Kumeyaay tribe. I'm sure you've heard about some of their adventures already. Click on the Google File below to view pictures from our trip.

Home/School Communication Envelopes

Due to our Tuesday field trip, I will be sending these envelopes home Wednesday. This week you will find students' character traits drawings.  It may be one of those projects you keep in a scrapbook or memory box to take out when students are older and reflect how they experienced themselves in 3rd grade. You will also find a Tecolote Park postcard for students to keep as a trip souvenir. Please remember to sign the front of the envelope and return it to school the next day.

Language Arts

Students will receive a new edition of Scholastic News titled, "Attack of Ads." It covers a brief history of advertising.  We will continue practicing close reading and comprehension skills.

We will revisit our first Brief Book Summaries for our February books and reflect on our writing progress.  Then we will take that information and begin writing our March Brief Book Summaries. It’s time for students to select their April books if they haven't already and begin reading them.  There will be time at school to read and please make time at home to read too, if possible.  I ask that students store their reading books in their backpacks so they have them to read at school and home.

VocabularySpellingCity List 8 is due Tuesday, April 11th. Please see students’ progress online.


This week we will review “Telling Time.”  Some students are still having challenges with determining minutes per hour.  You can help support your children by playing telling time games at home and/or just asking them to read analogue and digital clocks daily and estimate time passed and time it takes. If your child shows some mastery with the clock, you can make up more complex stories about time and have them solve them. We’ve done a little of that and students really enjoyed the challenge.

Social Studies

We will begin our research on Native American people of Southern California. Thursdays and Fridays from 2:20-3:15 in our classroom, we will have performing arts class with IA’s PA teacher Natasha.  She will begin with warm-up and improve activities this week and next week will begin practice on Native American fables. Our performance date is scheduled for Friday, June 2nd, so save that date on your calendars now!

Physical Fitness

We will be joining the other 3rd grade for Zumba class, beginning this Friday and continuing each week on Friday 12:30-1:15.

Testing Schedule

Next week we will be preparing for the state tests in math and language arts.  Preparations are intended to help students get familiar with taking these kinds of tests online. Here is a resource link if you are interested in learning more about California state testing:


Each class may have a different testing schedule. Currently, our schedule is:


10th-MAPS - Reading

11th-MAPS - English Language Arts (Writing Skills)

12th-MAPS - Math

16th-CAASPP - English Language Arts

17th-CAASPP - English Language Arts

18th-CAASPP - English Language Arts - Performance Task

19th-CAASPP - English Language Arts - Performance Task

23rd-CAASPP - Math

24th-CAASPP - Math

25th-CAASPP - Math - Performance Task

May 30th - 31st and June 1st - 2nd - Test Make ups



Parent Letter 3/13/17

posted Mar 13, 2017, 6:11 PM by Regina Edelmann

Monday, 13, 2017

Dear Parent,

This letter will be brief and focus on Tuesday field trip...

Tomorrow is our Field Trip to downtown San Diego. We will be getting to know better how our local government works and who the people are that work in it.  This trip is our ‘real world’ experience into “character” and “community,” and how do they affect one another.  Students will be incorporating what they learn and experience on their trip in one of the projects for our “Exhibition Night.”

Tomorrow’s (3/14/17) Field Trip to Downtown San Diego


Students need to bring:


Water Bottle

Snack and Lunch (there will be no sharing of food, so please pack enough food for your child)

Students should wear:

Warm weather clothes

Tennis shoes

Light sweater or jacket (buildings are air conditioned)

Can bring sunglasses and/or hat with a visor that can fit in backpacks


  • Depart school by 8:50

  • Arrive at City Hall (202 W C St) 9:30am

  • Meet with Councilmember Kersey 9:35am (still awaiting confirmation of his availability)

  • Attend City Council meeting 10am-10:30am

  • Q&A with the Mayor’s Office 10:30am-10:50am

  • Walk to the courthouse 10:50am-11:00am (I’ll walk with your group to the courthouse)

  • Tour courthouse 11am-noon

  • lunch and drive to petco park noon-12:52

  • trolley ride - group 1: 12:52

  • trolley ride - group 2: 1:22

  • depart from down town at 1:45



Parent Letter 3/6/17

posted Mar 6, 2017, 11:55 PM by Regina Edelmann

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dear Parents,

We have a very busy next couple of weeks as we get closer to Exhibition Night, Thursday, March 23.

Monday Make-ups

We had “Monday Make-ups” during class time today. Most students were able to catch up on work missed due to absences and/or because more time was needed. It was fun for the kids to work in small groups and help each other and others to have some relaxed quiet time to work.

Language Arts


Last week we read a story in our Scholastic News magazine about a group of kids who helped change the laws of segregation in Oklahoma City about 60 years ago. We watched a mini documentary about the event and discussed and wrote about it.  It was very interesting to look at history from the eyes of a kid about their age and see how kids can make a difference.  I highly recommend logging into Scholastic News (www.scholastic.com/sn3 -- password: iaroom506) with your kids.  It really is great reporting and can inspire interesting conversations around the dinner table or while driving in the car.

Students began their ‘brief book summaries last week.  It was a bumpy start because about half the class had not finished reading their February book.  We began the lesson with some students verbally sharing about their books.  It generated a lot of enthusiasm. This was followed by students writing in their writing journals tree maps that described the “beginning, middle, and end” details about their stories. I talked about and gave examples of how to write the topic sentence and ending sentence.  When it came to log into the Google Classroom assignment, many kids became confused and frustrated with the format of the book summary.  Some wanted more freedom in how they wrote their summaries.  We brought that discussion up in our Class Meeting that day and came up with a new plan for our summaries.  So, now students can choose between the summary format on the 5x6 card I gave or be creative and make their own summary format. This element of choice motivated many students to get right to their summaries and others to hurry up and finish reading their books. Yay!  Tuesday, we will work to finish drafts and revise our work.  I will send summary printouts home with grades next week for you to see, sign, and return in the Home/School envelopes.


After the book summaries, students will be writing rainbow themed poems.  This is part of our Project Based Learning unit that began with the reading of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Each morning we’ve been listening to the song medley “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Wonderful World” as we gather for our morning meeting. The lyrics are what inspired this poetry assignment.

YouTube Lyrics/Music - Somewhere Over the Rainbow & Wonderful World

L.A. Skills - Students will review “adjectives.” We’ll discuss how “what kind” and “how many” add more vivid detail and expressiveness to our writing and communications.

VocabularySpellingCity List 7


Friday, students completed a Multiplication Test that covered all times tables 0-12.  They were given 15 minutes to complete as many equations as they could.  With the last month focused on multiplication fluency, all students saw personal growth in their ability to recall these basic math facts more quickly than they did before. I would like students to keep improving these skills and/or keep them sharp by using Reflex Math at home and/or other online math support. Also, I’m attaching a file of math drills that you can print out and use for practice at home. Proficiency scores are circled at the top of each test…..4 - achieve with excellence, 3 - proficiency  80% 115 out of 144, 2 - approaching proficiency, 1 - below proficiency. These tests will be in this Tuesday’s Home/School envelope.  Please review tests with your children, sign the top of the test, and return them in the envelopes to me.  They will be filed in the student portfolios.

Note:  During the test, students with IEPs had the use of their multiplication charts.



Students studied “The Water Cycle” last week.  Tim and his robot friend Moby on www.brainpop.com website told us all about it.  Students wrote down vocabulary words in their science notebooks and illustrated “The Adventures of a Water Droplet” comic strip to demonstrate their learning.  These comics will soon be displayed on a classroom wall.  Next week we will have a series of “Rainbow Labs” aimed at scientific properties of water, light, and color.

Social Studies

Students will be taking map skill notes and assembling our Geography-Map Skills books. After that, students will begin drafting their lands of Oz, study what a municipality is, and learn about the job of a mayor.  This is directly related to the Emerald City, the wizard of Oz, and the lands the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion governed over.

Tuesday, March 14th we will go on a field trip to San Diego’s City Hall.  We’ll sit in on a city council meeting, tour the building, review a map of downtown identifying municipal buildings.  We will also take a 30 minute trolley ride around town and meet up with our friends in the other 3rd grade class for lunch on the steps in Horton Plaza. Room parent Dawn will be in touch soon to secure drivers and parent chaperones for this trip.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tuesday, March 14 - Field trip to San Diego City Hall

  • Thursday, March 23 - Exhibition Night

  • March 27-31 - Spring Break

  • Monday, April 3 - No school: Staff Development

  • Tuesday, April 4 - Field trip to Tecolote Canyon



Parent Letter 2/27/17

posted Feb 27, 2017, 3:57 PM by Regina Edelmann   [ updated Mar 6, 2017, 11:39 PM ]

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dear Parents,

Wow, it’s almost March… how fast time is flying by... with so much learning and creating going on in Room 506!  February has been filled with new learning pathways in Language Arts and strengthening our number sense in math. Many students are demonstrating a stronger sense of perseverance when the learning gets tough and enthusiasm when they see their own growth. We continue to have many moments to celebrate the positivity in our class community.

Illness, Absence and Monday Make-ups

Many students and even Teachers were sick in the month of February.  While instruction and activities progressed, some students are feeling the pressure to catch up.  Monday Make-ups are great ways for students to do that and get one-on-one attention. I have noticed that a number of students think it is bad to be asked to stay for this.  I would like your help to encourage students to think of this as a good thing and a great way to get extra help. Students do not need to be asked to attend and all are welcome. I do want to emphasize that a big part of instruction is interactive and often not possible to reproduce for absent students, and some lessons are stretched out over days, like Speedometry.  Attendance is really important to keep the flow of these kinds of instruction.  I sincerely know illness can’t be helped, however, I really do appreciate when you schedule your children’s appointments Monday after early dismissal or after school on other days.

Language Arts


We read our first Scholastic News magazine last week.  The feature article was about how scientists are researching human survival on Mars.  We saw a short video about the article (Scholastic has videos to go with each feature article) .  Then students learned about the Scholastic online magazine and how to find their way around it.  We read the article as a whole class and students were guided on how to write written responses to questions about this article.  These questions are designed to help students closely read information and pull out evidence from the article to support their answers. Next, students read the other short stories and completed a “Quiz Whiz,” which asks questions about each article.  Students worked with others or independently.  Finally, we went over the answers together.  With each magazine, students have the opportunity to improve their attention while reading, better comprehend what they are reading, and verbally share that information with supportive detail.  No “Fake News” here…. Only the facts!

Please add the following password to your child’s “Username and Password” sheet that was sent home last week.

Scholastic News: www.scholastic.com/sn3

Student Password: iaroom506

Students will begin their ‘brief book summary’ Wednesday.  Their chosen chapter book is to be finished by that date.  Also, help your child choose a new book for the month of March.  Students can pick a book from our class library, if needed.  Next week, I will make a list of what students are reading for March.


This week, students will begin summary writing by building a Tree Thinking Map as they retell highlights from the beginning, middle and end of the story from their February reading book.

Then students will use Google Classroom and write a Google Draft of the summary putting their treemap ideas into complete sentences and adding topic and ending sentences.  This document template will be set up to print, cut and fit the 5”x6” index card.  Then students will illustrate the other side of the card and add their book titles, authors’names, and students’ names. Reminder: Students’ Google Classroom can be accessed through their school Google accounts.

L.A. Skills - We practiced verbs (action words) - regular ones and the “to be” kind (irregular).  Students loved trying to wrap their heads around why words like “is” and “am” are also verbs.  We got on a roll with them and it was students’ examples that helped other students make sense of it … so fun.



Jade and I are sending home recent subtraction and multiplication drills in the Tuesday Home/School Envelope. Please look them over, sign them, and return them in the envelope Wednesday. You are welcome to have your children correct problems or complete one’s missed, but it is not required.  These tests were a measure to see how students are growing in their number sense fluency.  We will finish our multiplication and subtraction drills this week and move into division and word problems.

Last week as a class, we worked on the California Department of Education’s Third Grade State Test Release Questions.  These 95 questions are a selection of math problems covering the math concepts a typical public school 3rd grade class covers. While it was a good experience to solve the first 15 problems as a class, especially word problems, I have found that this test is not a good use of our class time.  Therefore, I’m sending the students’ test packets home in the Home/School Envelope, and you are welcome to use them at home with your children or discard them.  It’s up to you. We will continue working in math rotations growing student learning in small groups. Periodically, in those smaller groups, students will do some test practice online to build their confidence and knowledge of that process. We will be using the link below for our practice. https://login4.cloud1.tds.airast.org/student/V171/Pages/LoginShell.aspx?c=SBAC_PT


We had a blast finishing up our Speedometry - STEM program.  The grand finale was incorporating loops!  These pictures will tell the story best…

We start the Water Cycle this week and students will be creating their own comic of the story of a water droplet (main character).

Social Studies

We’ve continued learning map skills.  Last week we explored landforms around the world with a card game. We compared the tallest mountains in the world.  This week we will take notes on the elements of a map.  All of that will give us the background we need to map out our individual “Lands of Oz.”

Upcoming Events:

  • TODAY! Feb 27 Milton's Secret

  • Feb 28, March 1 (lunchtime) talent show tryouts. Acts must be less than 2 minutes and students audition with 30 seconds of their act. Practices are after school in March

  • Tuesday, March 14 - Field trip to San Diego City Hall

  • Thursday, March 23 - Exhibition Night

  • March 27-31 - Spring Break

  • Monday, April 3 - No school: Staff Development

  • Tuesday, April 4 - Field trip to Tecolote Canyon



Parent Letter 2/20/17

posted Feb 20, 2017, 9:35 PM by Regina Edelmann   [ updated Feb 20, 2017, 10:36 PM ]

February 20, 2017

Dear Parents,

What a wonderful Valentine’s party we had last week.  There was a pure sense of community Tuesday afternoon as students shared their meal and valentine treats with each other. Thanks to all who donated food and drinks for us and to the many parents who took time out of their day to help set up, serve, and clean up.

Weekly Home/School Communication Envelopes

Each Tuesday beginning tomorrow, students will be bringing home a white envelope.  This is our “Home/School Communications Envelope.” The envelope is for any papers that need to go home or to be reviewed by you, signed and return.  Please sign the envelope on the front letting me know you received it and have your child return the envelope in their backpacks Wednesday morning.  Tomorrow in the envelope, you will find a copy of your student’s Google Doc they typed last week that has their learning websites addresses, usernames and passwords. That is for you to keep at home. Please sign and have your child return the envelope Wednesday morning.

Wellness Talk Thursday, 2/23 at 5:30 in the MPR

The attached flier was posted on the Innovations Academy Facebook page. One of our parents have been shopping with Melaleuca for a few Months now and loves it! This should be an awesome fundraiser for the school since the majority of the parents are into health and wellness.

Parent Resource:  http://www.parenttoolkit.com/

This is a website referred by Principal Christine that has good resources for parents.  I recommend looking into the 3rd grade academic link and you will notice that we are aligning with many of these guidelines.

Math Rotations

We are continuing with multiplication fluency activities and subtraction strategies. This week we will be moving into word problems related to addition, subtraction and multiplication. Many students are still struggling with quick recall of these basic math facts. So, please keep up home support in these areas. It will really pay off for the students later in their math education. Friday, I’ve scheduled a review test.  This test is intended to expose students to the kinds of questions that will be on the state test in May. This test will also help guide instruction for the next couple of months. I am planning more review tests between now and May. While the tests are not for grading purposes, they will help students improve interpreting these types of problems and choosing strategies to solve them.

Language Arts


We are rereading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz focusing on the  literary element “setting.”  Students will be pulling out details from chapters that describe each land in Oz and making illustrations for our class map of Oz.

During school, students are having independent reading time.  This time is intended for students to read the chapter book chosen for their February brief book summary.  Please help students to remember to put their chosen book in their backpacks, so they have it for reading at school and home. If students have finished their chosen books, they are to bring another book to read or choose one from our class library. We will begin our book summary writing project March 1st.


Last week students identified “subjects” and “predicates” in sentences.  This week students will practice identifying simple and compound sentences, as well as how to correctly use coordinating conjunctions - “and, or, but.” We will play word games, produce interactive pages in our writing journals, and watch learning videos such as, “Schoolhouse Rock.”

VocabularySpellingCity List 5:

I’m happy to report more students finished the activities for List 4 - Vocabulary 14/18 and Spelling 12/18!  Tuesdays, students are writing the list of words in their writing journals and are encouraged to write the vocabulary definitions too, which they learn in the first activity assigned.  All students were instructed that they can use the journals as they do the activities.  Therefore, all students can achieve perfect scores on all activities.  If students work on these activities at home, you can download the list from the link below.  The wisdom behind this approach is… the more students look at the words and practice them, the better they know them and not just for a test, but long term.

Science - Speedometry Unit 2

We have extended our unit into this week. Last week, students conducted collision trials and used some of the math concepts they have been learning. This week, they will be engineering safety structures for their cars and observing collisions in more complex road structures. These kids are going to be experts on how momentum affects energy transfer from one object to another.

Social Studies

Our field trip to Tecolote Canyon is scheduled for April 4th from 9:30 - 12:00.  This is the day we return from Spring Break. More details on that will come.

We are still working on our March trip to city hall and downtown.



Parent Letter 2/6/17

posted Feb 6, 2017, 2:49 AM by Regina Edelmann

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dear Parents,

Tony and I are looking forward to seeing you at your children’s Portfolio Review this week.  This past month our mindfulness practice, class meetings and new class agreements were just some of the ways we have been strengthening our relationships with one another and deepening our awareness of ourselves. We will continue bringing forward meaningful ways that engage students in their interpersonal and intrapersonal development. This work, along with social studies and our recent literature circle book The Wizard of Oz, are part of our current Project Based Learning focus:  How can our character positively impact our community?

Portfolio Review/Conference Week

Reminder that there is early dismissal each day this week at 12:30 pm. Students will be participating in the portfolio review/conferences.  They will share their recent work and talk about outcomes they want to aim for Spring Semester. If you haven’t already, please sign up as soon as you can. Please click here to sign up for a time slot.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is soon approaching.  We will be doing some fun holiday activities leading up to it.  There will be an opportunity for students to pass out Valentine cards on Tuesday, Feb. 14th.  For those children who will be bringing cards, please bring one for each student.  There are currently 18 students in our class.

Science - Speedometry

Unit 2 Collision has been moved to this week.  We will continue to practice the STEM inquiry approach to learning:  The 5 Es - ,


Language Arts

Our exploration of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz continues this week with a look into the character traits of The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman, and The Lion.  Unlike the movie version, this book goes into greater detail of how these characters came to want from the wizard a brain,  a heart and courage.  This activity is designed to support students to look deeper into the story and reflect on these characters’ traits and how they can be applied to themselves.

The start of our Response to Literature - Brief Book Summaries program will begin this week instead of last. This is a modified version of a purposeful reading/writing program I’ve used successfully in the past.  It is intended to nurture the love of reading, grow reading and writing skills, and meet the requests I’ve received from some parents who wanted to support their children’s learning at home. Simply, at the beginning of each month students are requested to choose a chapter book (3rd Grade Level or higher) to read, and at the end of the month in class, each student will be guided in writing a summary paragraph about their book and share it with the class. The summary will be published on a 5” x 6” index card provided by the teacher. Students will illustrate the front of the card and write or type (printed out and glued) the summary on the back of the card.  They will practice their presentation skills by reading their summaries outloud to the class. The presentations are designed to be casual and fun, with the hopes of building their confidence in presenting their work in front of people. At the end of each month’s presentations, these cards will be collected and displayed in the classroom.  The outcome is that students become experienced readers, summary writers and public speakers, while being exposed to other books their classmates have been reading.  These books can be books from home, the local library, or the classroom library. There will be sometime for reading at school and some reading may need to be done at home in order to complete the book and write the summary by the end of the month.  Students are encouraged to keep their books in their backpacks so they are available at school and at home. In last week’s letter, I suggested students read 20 minutes a day.  This has been known to build the habit of reading for children, however, it was a general suggestion. Sometimes kids read for an hour one day and none for the next, the idea is to complete a chapter book each month.  I know that was a lengthy explanation, but I hope I addressed all the questions I received.

Many students are enjoying VocabularySpellingCity, the online program for the purpose of building fluency in reading and writing.  We began Vocabulary and Spelling List 2 last Tues.  The lists are introduced with a discussion about the words, followed by writing them in their writing journals.  Then each list has 7 online activities for students to complete.  The last being a test.  The intention is for students to complete all activities before for the next Tuesday, when a new set of Lists and activities will be posted.

In case you didn’t remember this from last week: These lists are from a state approved 3rd grade language arts textbook and some of the words from these lists have been known to appear on the state language arts test in May. Students will have time in class to work on assignments and can also work on them at home.  The object is to complete all activities by the following Tuesday. Activities include tests, one for the vocabulary words and one for the spelling words.  These test scores will be used in assessing students’ language arts skills. The login for each student is:


Username:  506student first name  -- Williams and Chloe’s will include last initial

Password:  3rdGrade

At school, students have begun daily typing practice on the free typing site:  www.typing.com

They earn stars as they master the lessons.  Students work at their own pace and I am able to track their progress.  While it was hard for some at first, the momentum is kicking in.  Students are beginning to see progress as they are able to move their fingers faster with greater accuracy.  Students may access the website at home, too. Their usernames and passwords are the same as SpellingCity.com.


Last week, students were learning to round/estimate numbers in the hundreds. They continued learning strategies and making arrays using tile squares to aid in mastering times tables for 6, 7, 8, and 9.  Conceptual math practice and number sense practice were included through the online programs ST Math and Reflex Math. If you are looking for ways to help at home, quizzing your children on their times tables will help with their quick recall and finding ways to for them to estimate would be really cool, too... for example: grocery shopping, tracking mileage and determining amount of time.

Social Studies

Students applied their knowledge of directional signs in making a map of the school.  They soon found out it was a little harder than they first thought. It was evident by Friday that through the map activities, students were beginning to master sensing the direction of things in relation to other things. This week we will be referencing the US map, more specifically Kansas, as we prepare for our map of Oz.

Please note—all 3rd grade weekly announcement emails can be found here (under “Class Info” page within our school’s website).

Hope you have a wonderful week.



Parent Letter 1/29/17

posted Jan 30, 2017, 2:04 AM by Regina Edelmann

Good Evening 3rd Grade Families!

Let me officially introduce myself…. I’m Regina Edelmann.  I recently moved to San Diego from South Pasadena. My husband received a promotion and transfer in his company and that’s what brought me to this area.  I spent eight years of my childhood in San Diego, so it feels like a homecoming. I have a background in the visual and performing arts and had an active private wellness practice (massage therapy and counseling)  for over 20 years. In 2005 I earned a M.Ed. from Pepperdine University and began my elementary teaching career.  I have taught multiple grade levels over the past 12 years in the South Pasadena school district.  I am all in to help your children thrive in the second half of their 3rd grade year.  The best way to reach me is by email:  regina@innovationsacademy.org.

Our class schedule has undergone some fine tuning in the last few weeks.  In spite of all the changes the students have experienced, they seem to be adjusting well to the new structure and learning opportunities. Me, Tony and Jade continue to make building a positive, safe and thriving class community our top priority.

Specials for Jan. 30 - Mar. 3

Each Monday during school hours, students will be split in 2 groups switching between Chess and Art.

9:00 - 10:00 Specials 1  Art/Chess

10:00-10:15 Snack/Break

10:15-11:15 Specials 2  Chess/Art

Portfolio Review/Conference Week Reminder

Our school’s portfolio review/conference week will be Tuesday, 2/7 through Friday, 2/10. Reminder that there is early dismissal each day that week at 12:15pm. Students will be participating in the portfolio review/conferences.  They will share their recent work and talk about outcomes they want to aim for Spring Semester. If you haven’t already, please sign up as soon as you can.

Please click here to sign up for a time slot.

We look forward to seeing you at your child's portfolio review/conference!

Report Cards

As Tony informed you last week, he and I feel that we have not collected enough information through observations and student work to authentically give semester grades for your children.  We will include on the report cards brief narratives and give Social Emotional and Work Skills Evaluations, as well as students’ Social Emotional and Work Skills Evaluations of themselves. You will have a chance to see your children’s recent work up close during conferences, and at that time we can discuss Spring Semester outcomes for students to aim for.

Our class report cards will be available for pick-up Wednesday, Feb. 1st.

Science - Speedometry

Last week students finished Speedometry Unit 1 Speed.  They completed booklets and gave group presentations to the class about potential and kinetic energy.  This week we will begin Unit 2 Collision, which focuses on the physics principles of force and momentum.


Tony finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with the class.  They loved all the character voices he portrayed, as well as taking turns reading aloud. We will be revisiting “Oz,” emphasizing elements of a story: setting, plot, character, etc.  Our main focus is on the characters and what discoveries they experience along their journey.  These activities will tie into our essential question about character and how does our character contribute to our community.

To expose students to more informational text and close reading practice, students will be reading Scholastic News in class .  I’ve used these magazines for years.  They are filled with interesting and well written articles, perfect in engaging students to read more and modeling good writing. Soon students will have access to the online magazine which has resources that can also be explored at home.

On February 1st I will introduce our Response to Literature - Brief Book Summaries.  At the beginning of each month students will choose their own chapter book (3rd Grade Level or higher) to read. A paragraph summary of the book on a 5” x 6” index card will be due at the end of each month.  I will provide an index card and a template for students to follow.  Please help your child choose their book by Feb. 1st.

I’m asking that students read 20 minutes or more a day outside of school. Many students have found that just before bedtime works really well.


Students have completed two specific writing assignments and you will have a chance to see these during conferences.  The field trip paragraph was primarily aimed at paragraph structure and the “I Am Poem” was to inspire self-reflection and patterns in poetry. There will be noticeable growth in your children’s work, however, there may also be errors. While there were some editing and revising, it was not to the length of correcting every error an adult might see.  My overall intentions for writing assignments at this level are for the writer to understand and practice different writing styles/purposes and to draw out from the writer their insights and creativity. Building writing skills such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important, however, focusing on them too much in active writing assignments at this young age can inhibit flow and depth in content. Students can quickly lose interest in their writing if frequently instructed to slow down and focus on the look of their writing rather than the content of it (Research and experience based approach).  As children grow, writing rules and skills will be continually reviewed and improved. As students improve and master writing skills such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation during mini-lessons and practice, they will find greater ease, independence, and desire to edit and revise their writing assignments. In the meantime, I say let them pour themselves into the creative process of writing and communicating their thoughts and ideas and gradually build on the look of it as they grow.

Last week we began VocabularySpellingCity, an online program for students to build fluency in reading and writing.  Each week, Tuesday to Tuesday, students will receive a new list of vocabulary words and spelling words along with activities to help them master these words. These lists are from a state approved 3rd grade language arts textbook and some of the words from these lists may appear on the state language arts test in May. Students will have time in class to work on assignments and can also work on them at home.  The object is to complete all activities by the following Tuesday. Activities include tests, one for the vocabulary words and one for the spelling words.  These test scores will be used in assessing students’ language arts skills.  Students will also be assigned other language arts lessons such as idioms and commas, The login for each student is:


Username:  506student first name  -- Williams and Chloe’s will include last initial

Password:  3rdGrade

Checking children’s progress online by having them log in and show you what they have completed will help support their accountability and give you an opportunity to be directly involved in their learning.  Vocabulary and Spelling List 1 assignments are due Tuesday, January 31st.


During math rotations, students are learning place values into the thousands, number order patterns, making arrays using tile squares while mastering their times tables, completing online activities on ST Math and on Reflex Math.  Students brainstormed about how to create a game that challenges them to memorize their math facts.  The outcome is a template game that will allow them to create their own theme and characters to help them meet the challenge. That template will be passed out next week.

Social Studies

Students made colorful compass roses to help learn about directionality and practice map reading.  They are drawing maps of the classroom and will draw with a partner maps of our school.  These activities are building up to reading a US map, understanding map features, and making a map of the land of Oz.

Please note—all 3rd grade weekly announcement emails can be found here (under “Class Info” page within our school’s website).

Hope you have a wonderful week.



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