Welcome to the Third Grade Information Page

If you're interested in a particular project, activity or details about an upcoming field trip, then you've come to the right place! Scroll down past our calendar to get an idea of what we've been exploring and what's to come. Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

Third Grade

Weekly 3rd Grade Newsletter

posted May 29, 2017, 9:58 PM by Tony Spitzberg

Dear 3rd Grade Families,

I hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend! Here are the announcements for the upcoming two weeks:

5/31 (Wed) field Trip to the Kumeyaay Center  Please be sure to have your children at school by 8:30am. Per Kumeyaay Center documentation, “Student clothing should be appropriate for outdoor activities. For example, closed-toed shoes and a hat. Students will be provided with free bottled water, courtesy of Friends of the Kumeyaay.” We will each lunch onsite after the tour.

6/2 (Fri) Native American Fable Performance – Students will need to arrive at 5pm for the play and should be wearing neutral tan, khaki, brown, or grey outfits. Please have your child bring their clothes on Wednesday, 5/31 for dress rehearsal. The performance will last about an hour and includes both third grade classes. If you know your child is not able to make the performance, please let me know as soon as possible.

5/30-6/5 Presentations of Learning – Students worked hard this week putting the finishing touches on their presentations and practicing in front of their peers. The students will continue to present to peers recieve feedback to make improvements as their POLs take place. 

Please enter your child’s name into a time slot here if you have not already signed up and once again, please let me know if you cannot attend during any of these dates/times and I will be glad to reschedule your child’s POL, if possible.

6/9 (Friday) End-of-Year Celebration on the Beach – You’re Invited! – Our year end celebration will take place at La Jolla Shores. We will leave the school at 9:00am and return by 12:30pm. If you are able to drive students and/or contribute supplies, please click here and use the tabs at the bottom of the document to sign up!

3rd Grade Weekly Newsletter

posted May 15, 2017, 9:33 PM by Tony Spitzberg

Dear 3rd Grade Families,

I hope you had a relaxing weekend! Here are the announcements for this week:

Presentations of Learning (POLs) Sign Up

Students have begun work on their POLs and will continue to work on them this week. The vast majority of the class are ultimately interested in creating digital presentations, although I am introducing other presentation options as well. 

POLs place emphasis on student achievement, personal growth and authentic learning. Students showcase work and reflect on process, successes and challenges as well as experience presenting in front of others in a more formal manner. They sharpen their ability to convey ideas effectively to large and small groups of people; a skill which they can use to influence and inspire others as well as affect change.

I encourage parents to attend their child’s POL. In fact, if parents can arrive ten or twenty minutes earlier to support another child as well, this would add to the authenticity of the presentation experience for our students. Please enter your child’s name into a time slot here and let me know if you cannot attend during any of these dates/times and I will be glad to reschedule your child’s POL, if possible.

Field Trip Forms

I sent out two field trip forms on Thursday that I have attached to this message. The first form explains the total cost of both trips ($8) and the second is a permission slip required by the Kumeyaay – Ipai Interpretive Center.

Please send back the permission for as well as $8 in cash or a check for $8 made out to Innovations Academy this week. Please let me know if this is a financial hardship and you require the school’s assistance. The fieldtrip to the Palomar College Planetarium will take place on Tuesday, May 23rd and we will go to the Kumeyaay – Ipai Interpretive Center on Wednesday, May 31st. More details to follow.

State Testing

State testing will begin on Monday and continue for approximately an hour each day until Wednesday, May 24th.


On Thursday, students learned about the three types of informative writing, and they found examples of all three in actual texts. They will be choosing one of their subtopics that will best lend itself to description. They will then create a web using a template to plan out the descriptive chapters of their informational texts.


This week, students will continue to explore the various ways fractions are used and how simple computations can be made on the basis of simple analogies and intuitive reasoning. They will continue to represent fractions with fraction strips, fraction bars, rectangles, number lines, and other manipulatives as well as continue to incorporate fractional measurements in cooking!

Have a fantastic week and thank you!

3rd Grade Weekly Announcements

posted May 7, 2017, 8:10 PM by Tony Spitzberg

Dear 3rd Grade Families,

I hope you and your families enjoyed what I’m guessing will be the last little blast of chilly, rainy weather for a while. I’m excited to be spending these final weeks with your children as we begin to wrap up the year with a bang!


We are still in need of a few more gracious drivers for the following fieldtrips:

  • Palomar College Planetarium - Tuesday, May 23rd - 1140 West Mission Road San Marcos, CA 92069
  • Kumeyaay – Ipai Interpretive Center – Wednesday, May 31st - 13104 Ipai Waaypuk Trail (formerly called Silver Lake Drive), Poway, California 92064

If you can drive the students, please sign up here. 


The students are exploring informational writing. They started by making a list of “expert topics”, then after much discussion, they chose a topic they knew much about, cared about and one which would be interesting to others. They then made efforts to break their topics down into 3-5 subtopics that will ultimately become the “chapters” in their books. They then began work on a table of contents and tried to think of clever ways to write the headlines on their contents page in order to capture the imagination of the reader. The students will begin writing the introductions for their books this week.


The students continued to explore fractions this week. They then experienced real-life scenarios that helped them to identify wholes what would qualify as denominators and parts of wholes that would qualify as numerators. They took their developing understanding of fractions and applied it to creating pancakes and waffles! They created delicious pancakes and waffles and their understanding of fractions was reinforced as they divided up their fair to represent various fractions. Talk about hands-on (and into mouth)!


We continued reading Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins. The class truly enjoys reading together and they obviously appreciate the novel. I prompt them to participate in a variety of activities and discussions intended to promote critical literacy. We often pause to make predictions and discuss questions that students ask as well as those I pose, which prompt the students to make connections from the text to their own lives as well as to other stories—all habits of expert readers.

Social Studies

This week, we suspended our Kumeyaay exploration to watch a mini-documentary and discuss the significance of Cinco de Mayo. Ask your child what the celebration was about (hint: not Mexican Independence!)

Parent Letter 4/25/17

posted Apr 25, 2017, 10:54 PM by regina@innovationsacademy.org

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@innovationsacademy.org

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@innovationsacademy.org

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@innovationsacademy.org

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@innovationsacademy.org

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@innovationsacademy.org

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@innovationsacademy.org   [ 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



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