Mrs. Gordon

First Week of School 2019-2020







Welcome to Pleasant Lake Elementary



Ms. Gordon – 3rd grade   248.956.2821                                      



Welcome to third grade! I am excited to teach your child this year, providing him/her with positive and successful learning experiences and skills that they will need to become life-long learners. This packet is a helpful reference in understanding our classroom and your child’s learning for the year. I look forward to working as a team with you and your child.



Communication among parents, students, and teachers is essential in order to encourage and enhance your child’s strengths, and to meet his/her individual needs.  Please, feel free to contact me with any of your questions, comments, concerns, or ideas.  Below is a list of other communication tools that we will be using this year:


Email: The best way to get in touch with me is through email.  I am able to access it throughout the day and am able to respond quickly.


Planners and Homework Folders: Planners and Homework Folders go home every day.  Your child will be writing assignments in the planners daily, but there will also be a sheet of paper with the homework listed on it inside of the homework folder each week. 


Newsletters:  Monthly Grade level


Family Access: You will be able to access your child’s grades and attendance on a computer by using a confidential password provided by the district.


Teacher Website: Information about our class, the third grade curriculum, your child’s weekly homework, and spelling lists for the week are on our website.  Please add this site to your favorites (bookmark it) so that you can access it easily.  Go to


Third grade is a key transitional year.  Students are expected to grow in personal responsibility and achievement.  


Homework Expectations:  Students are to write down any homework assignments they may have in their planners.  The planners and homework folders should go to and from school daily. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all the homework in an acceptable fashion.  Homework assignments can be found each week written in planners, listed on a sheet of paper in homework folders, and posted on our website.


Quality Work:  Students are always encouraged to do their best work.  This entails being neat in printing, cursive, drawing, thinking deeply to answer questions, and putting in extra effort to make work outstanding.  Pride comes from generating one’s best work.


Student Behavior:  High expectations yield high achievement.  Each child is challenged to do his/her personal best academically and behaviorally.  The rules and consequences in are class are listed below: Parents will be contacted about behavior weekly on Friday Folders, as well as phone calls and emails if needed.

Text Box: Consequences:  1st time a rule is broken – a reminder.  2nd time a rule is broken – Time out.  3rd time a rule is broken – a letter home. Text Box: Rules: 1. Listen and follow directions. 2. Raise your hand to speak. 3. Keep your hands and feet to yourself. 4. Respect your classmates and your teachers.








Each student is important and unique.  Every one has strengths and areas of improvement.  For a student to excel, lessons may need to be individualized in order to accommodate his/her needs or strengths.  To do this more effectively, grouping and one-on-one time allows me to meet the needs of all students. Providing me with information about your child’s learning needs is important. 


Birthdays:  Students may bring in a gift bag with treats or prizes that the students can take home at the end of the day. We have many food allergies in our third grade, so cupcakes, cookies, and other food items cannot be sent into our classroom. We will sing and make your child feel special on this day without eating birthday treats. 


SnackSnack time is each day.  Please, provide a healthy snack like pretzels, fruit, crackers, yogurt, veggies.  Each Friday your child can bring in a sweet treat for a snack (cookies, poptarts, etc).  We like to have extra fun on Friday.   


Field Trips:           Lansing/Capitol Field Trip-May       TBD Field Trip - February or March


Language Arts:  Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the main components of the language arts program.  Many times throughout the year, I will group the students according to their abilities.  This gives students the opportunity to feel successful through working at their instructional level.    Activities will vary. The students will be working on a writing process piece, various novel studies, computer projects, guided reading instruction, or focus skills for that card marking. 


Word Study:  The Words Their Way program addresses phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  Within this program, students learn general word patterns.  Throughout the week, the students will be doing a variety of activities to explore these specific word patterns.  Every week (on Friday) the students will be tested on these skills. Word study tests will be corrected and sent home in your child’s PLE Folder every Friday.


Math:  With the Everyday Mathematics program, students are presented with a number of different ways to reach solutions to problems.  This can be frustrating for a parent that may be used to doing math in a more traditional way. I encourage you to use the Everyday Math website, and the parent letters that are sent home at the beginning of each new unit as guides.  They describe different algorithms and approaches to problem solving.  Along with the Everyday Math program, all third graders are required to know multiplication and division facts by the end of the year.


Science: There will be three major units of study this year:  Structures of Life (Plants and animals), Water and Climate, and Matter and Motion.  Most of the lessons involve experiments.  If a child is absent, he or she is missing a valuable learning opportunity.  Unfortunately, these learning opportunities can’t easily be reproduced at home.  Students who participate in the activities have a great advantage to those who are absent.  Quizzes will be given at regular intervals, and tests will be given at the end of each unit.  All tests will have a study guide to help students prepare.


Social Studies:  Mrs. Gordon is your child’s social studies teacher.  She will visit our class 3 times a week to teach social studies.  The focus in third grade is Michigan.  It is a very exciting topic. The students will learn some incredible facts about our wonderful state. They will learn Michigan geography, history, government, economy, and public issues.  The students will be evaluated through tests, quizzes, and projects throughout the year with ample time to review and study the material.


Grading Policy: The students are scored as Secure, Developing, or Beginning in the different skill areas on the report card.  You may see percentages and grades on certain assignments within the classroom.  This is to help the students understand percentages and to know more specifically how they are doing. 


Secure = 90 -100%           Developing = 70 – 89%         Beginning = 69% and below


Lunch/Recess          12:50 – 1:30











Dear Parents,

A couple of students in our third grade class this year have a severe food allergy to tree nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios) sesame and fish. I am sending this letter to the parents to help you understand this situation and to help foster a safe and worry-free year for these students and their parents.

The allergies of these students can be life-threatening. I need your help in maintaining a nut-free, fish-free and sesame free environment in our classroom and ask that any classroom snacks or treats that you send in be free of any of these types of foods. The allergy can be triggered not only by directly eating or coming into contact with the above but also by exposure to foods that contain any peanut/nut traces, oils, flours, or food that is processed in a plant with peanuts, nuts, or sesame seeds. For this reason, most pre-made cookies, prepared cookie dough, and cookie mixes are off limits. Also, many bakeries use nut products, flavorings, or oils in their facilities or products. If you are sending in any type of classroom treats, please notify the teacher in advance so that arrangements can be made to ensure the allergic students has a safe snack or treat.

I want you and your child to understand that the student's allergy can be triggered even by ingesting or exposure to very small amounts of the above allergens. I will talk with the students in the classroom to discuss ways they can help keep the classroom safe, such as always washing hands after lunch or snacks, not bringing snacks with these allergens, etc.

The school realizes that helping us to maintain a nut-free classroom takes a certain amount of effort and diligence on your part, and we thank you in advance for your cooperation in helping us maintain a safe, healthy environment for all of our students. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the school.

Here is a link that provides more information about food allergies.  This line has an excellent video for children to watch so that they understand the severity of food allergies and what they can do to prevent it.

This is a list of recommended snacks that are free peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds. The list below is not exhaustive and there may be more options. Please note that it is important to read the label as manufacturers are required to list the eight major potential allergens in bold type in or after the ingredients list.

Fresh Snacks
Fresh fruit
Raisins – plain only (not covered in anything else, like yogurt or chocolate)

Prepared Snacks
Bagels – Thomas brand only (original, cinnamon/brown sugar, blueberry, & whole wheat
flavors only)
Ritz Crackers (Nabisco) -- Original, Whole Wheat, Honey Butter, Hint of Salt, or
Roasted Vegetable flavors only (no Ritz Bits please – Ainsley is allergic to all types of them)
Ritz Muchables Pretzel Thins (Nabisco) – buttery flavor only
Wheat Thins (Nabisco) – original flavor only
Triscuits (Nabisco) – original flavor or reduced fat original flavor only
Triscuits Thin Crisps (Nabisco) – original flavor only
Teddy Grahams (Nabisco) – honey, cinnamon, chocolate chip, and chocolate flavors only
Honey Maid Graham Crackers (Nabisco) – original, honey, or cinnamon flavors only
Saltines (Nabisco) – plain or multigrain flavors only
Premium Soup & Oyster Crackers (Nabisco) – original flavor only
Keebler Original Club Crackers – original or multigrain flavors only
Keebler Town House Crackers – original flavor only
Keebler Grahams Bug Bites
Keebler Scooby Doo Graham Cracker Sticks – cinnamon or honey flavors only
Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies (Nabisco)
Barnum’s Animals Crackers (Nabisco)
Ginger Snaps (Nabisco)
Rold Gold Pretzels (including thins, sticks, tiny twists) – plain flavor only
Rold Gold Braided Twists – honey wheat flavor only
Quaker Quakes Rice Snacks -- apple cinnamon flavor only
Good Health Natural Foods Veggie Sticks / Veggie Chips
Pirate’s Booty – veggie flavor only (not the kind coated in cheese)
Snapea Crisps (by Calbee Snack Salad) – plain flavor only
Sun Chips – original flavor only
Cheerios – plain and multigrain flavors only
Frosted Mini Wheats (Kelloggs) – original flavor only
Oreo Cookies – original kind only
Stacy’s Pita Chips – plain or cinnamon sugar flavored only
Video for children

 Realistic Fiction Character Examples 

Class Example Using Because Of Winn Dixie

Rubric For Realistic Fiction Book Project


Spelling Sort 2
(Check out Spelling City on our Sort Page
to practice your words!)


 Math Unit  Unit 1

Social Studies:  Michigan Geography

PLE Folders: Make sure to check your child's PLE folder and assignment notebook each night!


We will start our day in a POSITIVE way!
We will GREET one another with a smile! 
We will support our classroom family
Mrs. Gordon is currently a 3rd grade teacher for Pleasant Lake Elementary. She has also taught fourth grade for one year and fifth grade for 16 years. She began her teaching career in Bay City Michigan where she taught fifth grade for a year before moving to the Walled Lake district. In her free time, Mrs. Gordon enjoys working out, shopping, and spending time with her three children.   Mrs. Gordon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Alma College and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University. Mrs. Gordon enjoys new challenges with technology based learning and has taken classes over the past few years on ways to improve technology in the classroom.

Amanda Gordon,
Sep 12, 2018, 10:13 AM