Elsa England

Third Grade Team

The third grade informational slideshow has been moved to our Grade Level Policies page!

Special Holiday Party Update

Dear Parents, please consider donating supplies and/or volunteering your time to make our party a success! You can sign up for both at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0944a8a72da3ff2-3rdgrade .

Friday December 6

After today, there are only 9 school days until winter break, and then your child is officially halfway through third grade….time flies! Just a reminder that our grade level holiday party will be on Thursday December 19 from 1:30pm-2:30pm. Watch this website and emails from your child’s teacher for a Sign-Up Genius coming soon for supplies and volunteers we will need to make the party a success.

Curriculum Updates:

Math: In math we are wrapping up our unit on geometry and most classes will be testing over this material by mid-week. We have covered area, perimeter, 2D and 3D figures. Our final unit before winter break is over financial literacy, where students will learn about supply and demand, as well as credit, loans, and interest.

Science: We are in the middle of our unit on soil and natural resources, and want to thank all of the families who sent in soil samples this week for our students to observe. By the middle of this upcoming week, we are all going to take a break from learning about soil, to shift our focus to simple machines until winter break. This is always a fun way to close out the fall semester as students get to use Vex Kits to build many different machines. We will continue with the soil unit after winter break.

Language Arts: In writing, we are working on writing realistic fiction narratives and discussing how they are similar to and different from personal narratives. In reading, our focus is on poetry and students are enjoying being immersed in poems of all types, including free verse, humorous, narrative and lyrical.


Friday November 22

We hope everyone enjoys the next week off of school and has a wonderful Thanksgiving break. Please remember to have your child collect a soil sample in a plastic baggie and bring it to school when they return on Monday December 2.

Curriculum Updates:

Math: As we wrap up our lessons on area, we next move into three-dimensional figures. These include cylinders, spheres, prisms and pyramids to name just a few.

Science: Classes have wrapped up the unit on ecosystems and food chains this week, concluding with a Kahoot review and unit DCA. After Thanksgiving break, we will begin studying natural resources, including soil. Please remember to send in a soil sample on Monday December 2.

Reading and Writing: Some classes continued working on personal narratives this week, while others chose to do an expository writing piece about things we are thankful for.


Friday November 15

As a reminder, next week is our grade level field trip on Tuesday November 19. We will be leaving the school around 9:15am to head to the Performing Arts Center at McNeil High School to see a 10am play put on by the Westwood High School Performing Arts Academy. After the play, the buses will take us to Springwoods Park (weather permitting!) for a picnic lunch and recess time. We should return to the school around 1:30pm.

Please have your child wear an England t-shirt if they have one, and to dress appropriately for the weather, as we will be outside for lunch. Also remember to send a sack lunch, unless your child ordered a lunch from the cafeteria. Lunches should be completely disposable so students don't have to carry anything back with them on the bus.

And remember, no school at all during the week of Thanksgiving. We hope you all enjoy your extended time with your family, as we will be!

Curriculum Updates:

Math: Classes are wrapping up perimeter in math, and moving onto the study of area next week. Not only will they learn how to find the area of a simple rectangle, but they will also learn how to decompose a composite shape into 2 or more smaller shapes in order to determine the area. We typically spend 5-7 days on these area lessons, depending on the needs of our students.

Science: During this last week before Thanksgiving, we will be wrapping up the unit on ecosystems and food chains. Students will take the Unit 4 DCA in class, after a detailed class review on the fun online Kahoot platform.

Reading and Writing: Our 11 classes may be differing a bit in writing next week! Some classes will continue with their personal narrative writing, while others may be moving onto realistic fiction writing, and some might also diverge from narrative writing and revisit expository writing with a piece about things to be thankful for. Regardless of the topic, students are learning valuable writing skills within the writing process.


Friday November 8

It is hard to believe there are only two week of school until Thanksgiving break. Just a reminder that there is no school during the week of Thanksgiving from November 25-29.

Curriculum Updates:

Math: We are still in the middle of our unit on geometry. Most classes are moving on from 2 dimensional shapes into exploring and area and perimeter, followed by 3 dimensional shapes.

Science: We spent the week learning about food chains, and how they begin with energy from the sun that helps producers (plants) grow. This energy is then transferred to consumers when they eat the producers. Additionally, students are learning that more than one food chain overlaps into a larger food web within each ecosystem.

Reading and Writing: After several lessons on generating and narrowing down ideas, students are now in the middle of the writing process with personal narratives. As we draft and revise these narratives, students will be exposed to lessons on leads, conclusions, incorporating dialogue, and adding sensory details and emotions to their writing.


Friday November 1

No big announcements this week….other than that the school-wide donation drive is still going on! If you have not yet donated, please consider doing so. Every family that donates at least $25 earns a fun keychain in our school colors!

Curriculum Updates:

Math: We have begun our unit on geometry which includes 2 dimensional shapes, as well as 3 dimensional shapes. This week and next week, students are exploring different polygons, and particularly focusing on the different types of quadrilaterals such as rectangles, squares, parallelograms, and trapezoids.

Science: Classes have still been studying ecosystems this week and learning about how living and non-living things work together in specific habitats. Next week, most classes will transition into learning about food chains and food webs in different ecosystems.

Reading and Writing: In our writing unit on personal narratives, we began by comparing personal narratives and realistic fiction and discussing the elements of each. We will be working on writing personal narratives over the next couple of weeks and using several different mentor texts to help guide our writing. We wrapped up our character study in reading, and moved onto noticing important facts and details in non-fiction writing. We will continue learning about main ideas and details next week, as well as start reading some opinion pieces.

Social Studies: Over the next couple of weeks, we will be learning about the three branches of government.


Friday October 25

This week continues our Leopard Leap Donation Drive. This direct donation drive is the main PTA fundraiser this year and we need your help. PTA funds programs at England such as Math Superstars, Reflections, Spelling Bee, movie nights, and much more! It’s easy to donate, simply visit the PTA website and donate online. Thanks in advance for your support!

Curriculum Updates:

Math: Most classes are wrapping up their unit on fractions, and will be testing early next week. We are learning about equivalent fractions, and how to compare fractions with the same denominator, or fractions with the same numerator. Students are also learning how to solve word problems using fraction models.

Science: We are all in the middle of a unit on ecosystems and students are learning about interdependency among living and non-living things that live in particular ecosystems. This unit then continues into food chains.

Reading and Writing: This week, most classes are wrapping up their units on expository reading and writing and will move onto personal narratives next week.



Friday October 18

Important Announcements: We have another busy week coming up!

All week long - Red Ribbon Week. The goal is to reach millions of children with the vital message that drugs are destructive.

  • Monday will be Wear a Crazy Hat Day. “Hats off to healthy choices.”
  • Tuesday will be Wear Crazy Socks Day. “Sock it to drugs.”
  • Wednesday will be Crazy Hair Day. “I’m crazy about making healthy choices and being drug free.”
  • Thursday will be Wear Neon or Sparkles Day. “My future is too bright for drugs.”
  • Friday will be Wear Your Favorite Team Jersey/Shirt Day. “Team up against drugs.”

Tuesday October 22, Spirit Night at Chipotle Lakeline from 5pm-9pm

Friday October 25, Family Fitness Night from 6:30pm-7:30pm. The Book Fair will also be open during this time!


Curriculum Update: With this being such a short week, we only had two instructional days because of field day on Friday. Over those two days, most teachers were catching up on lessons we had missed and continuing with fractions in math, informational writing, and beginning a new unit on ecosystems in science. We will post a more thorough curriculum update next week!


Friday October 11

Important Announcements: There are lots of things going on this next week!

Monday October 14 and Tuesday October 15 - no school for students

Tuesday October 15, 4pm-6pm - Spirit Night at Urban Air

Wednesday October 16 and Thursday October 17 - Individual student fall photos, check with your child’s teacher about their particular day. Orders must be made online at orders.phototexasphotgraphy.com with online order code 1920-0331.

Thursday October 17, 6pm - 3rd and 4th grade music performance at the Performing Arts Center next to McNeil High School, students need to arrive by 5:45pm. We must also clear the auditorium by 6:50pm so that 5th grade can get settled for their 7:30pm performance. Thanks in advance for your cooperation with this!

Friday October 18, 10am-12pm - Field Day! A reminder from Coach Shore: ALL PARENTS ON CAMPUS FOR FIELD DAY MUST HAVE COMPLETED A RRISD BACKGROUND CHECK THIS YEAR and MUST BE ON CAMPUS TO VOLUNTEER ONLY. Casual visitors will not be allowed on campus that day. Also, our event is ONLY for Elsa England Elementary students. Outside students, children and strollers are not permitted during Field Day.

Friday October 18 - last day of the first quarter grading period

**Next week for cooking eslot we will be making smoothies. We will be using fruits and juices, yogurt and milk. Please let your child’s teacher know if they cannot participate. This message is only for those students taking the cooking E-SLOT….you can ask your child if you do not know which class they are taking.**

Now, let’s take a look at what we have been up to in our classrooms this week!

Math - We are continuing our unit on fractions this week by focusing on representing fractions as numbers on a number line. Students participated in lots of hands on exploration using cuisenaire rods to partition number lines. We also learned how a fraction like ¾ is really a sum of unit fractions. For example: ¼ + ¼ + ¼ = ¾

Science - Unfortunately, we are not having a lot of success with our ladybugs and tadpoles this year but students have been busy learning about these life cycles and others. Our beans sprouted quickly and that was fun to observe. Now we are patiently waiting for our tomato seeds to sprout! Most classes will be wrapping up the unit on life cycles early next week, and moving onto environments.

Reading - In reading, some skills that we focused on this week include using context clues to determine the meaning of an unknown word, understanding theme and how it differs from plot, and sequencing skills.

Writing - Students are continuing to work on their expository and informational writing. They are learning how to organize and structure their paragraphs to ensure they have a solid main idea and appropriate supporting details. We will continue these pieces next week.



Friday October 4

Important Announcements: Next week is our annual Coins for Coats drive where we collect money to donate to the Round Rock Serving Center so they can purchase coats for kids in need. Please consider donating the following coins each day of the week:

MONDAY = bring pennies

TUESDAY = bring nickels

WEDNESDAY = bring dimes

THURSDAY = bring quarters

FRIDAY = bring dollar bills (or $5, $10, checks made to "RRASC: Keep Round Rock Warm" etc)

When you send in a donation, it is important to put it in a plastic baggie and write the total amount of the donation on the outside of the bag. This is critical as the teachers do not have time to count out 20 bags of coins each day, and we must submit daily totals for a school-wide contest, so thanks in advance for your help!

Also, Field Day is early this year! Third grade field day is from 10am-12pm on Friday October 18. If you are an approved volunteer, please consider signing up for a shift to help out!

And now, on to our learning update for the week!

Math - We have begun a unit on fractions this week and students have learned about unit fractions such as one-half, one-third, and one-fourth. We worked on understanding area models (such as ¼ of a rectangle shaded), as well as set models (such as ¼ of 8 is 2). Fractions will continue for the next three weeks.

Science - We began our life cycles unit where students will learn about simple life cycles of plants and animals, such as a ladybug and a tomato plant. We have live tadpoles and ladybug larva that we are hoping to see through the entire life cycle over the next several weeks. We have also planted beans, and will be planting tomato seeds in order to watch the plant life cycle unfold.

Reading - In reading, some skills that we focused on this week include identifying author’s purpose (inform, persuade or entertain), summarizing both non-fiction and fiction, and asking questions throughout our reading, particularly when we are reading non-fiction.

Writing - Students are continuing to write informational pieces. Through mini-lessons on revising they are learning how to keep their writing organized so that it makes sense to the reader, vary the length of their sentences, and to use transitional words and phrases to help the flow of their writing.


Friday September 27

It’s hard to believe we are at the end of September and moving into October next week. Be sure to check out the calendar at the bottom of this page for lots of events coming up in October. Read on to find out what we have been up to in class!

Reading - We began the week with more comparisons of biographies and autobiographies. Next we focused on two big skills this week: main idea / supporting details and cause / effect relationships. After lessons on these important skills, students had the opportunity to practice them within their own independent reading.

Writing - For the next several weeks in writing, students will be working through the entire writing process with an informational piece. This week they had to select a topic they know a lot about, or something they are an expert at. We will be talking about different ways they can organize their writing, such as using a main idea and supporting details format, which ties in well with our reading lessons. Students will also learn a sequential writing structure which might work better for their piece. Spelling and phonics lessons continue on, but each class has different needs and moves at a different pace, so we will no longer be posting details on these weekly lessons here.

Math - This week, each class wrapped up unit 1 over multiplication and division, with a district wide assessment. Our next unit is over fractions, and students will be engaged with lots of hands-on activities as they work with fractions strips, fraction circles, cuisenaire rods, and set models.

Science - This week, all classes wrapped up the adaptation unit with a district assessment. Next, we will move onto life cycles of various plants and animals.

Social Studies - Our current social studies unit ties in with adaptations in science as we are learning about how humans adapt to their particular physical environment, including climate, landforms, natural resources, and natural hazards. This unit will take us into early October!


Friday September 20

Thanks to all who came out Wednesday night to support our school at Baskin Robbins! It was a record turnout, and I am sure we earned a lot of money for the school.

Reading - This week students learned about responding in writing to what they are reading. Writing a reader’s response is a great way for students to extend their thinking and a chance for teachers to make sure they are comprehending the big ideas of their books. We aso began to delve into the differences between biographies and autobiographies.

Writing - Students wrote informational pieces about our school playground. Students have also been busy thinking about how they can improve as writers and setting goals for this year. Our phonics / spelling focus this week was on short vowel sounds.

Math - We continued with division this week, particularly the 5s and 10s facts. Students are learning how to represent division with drawings, strip diagrams, and equations. We spend a lot of time on problem solving as well so that they learn how to apply their knowledge of facts to word problems. By the end of next week, students will take their first math assessment over multiplication and division.

Science - We are in the middle of our unit on plant and animal structures and functions. Students are enjoying learning about how different living things adapt to live in their particular environment. Students examined and compared two plants up close, including a cactus and a vinca (a flowering plant), to compare and contrast their structures.

Social Studies - Our current social studies unit ties in with adaptations in science as we are learning about how humans adapt to their particular physical environment, including climate, landforms, natural resources, and natural hazards. This unit will take us into early October!


Friday September 13

Announcements:

  • Our first field trip will be in mid-November (details coming mid-October), and all students will need to wear a school shirt so that they are easily identifiable. If you have not already joined the PTA and purchased a shirt this year, please support the school by doing so online at http://england.my-pta.org/.
  • PTA Spirit Night as Baskin Robbins on Wednesday September 18, 4pm-8pm. Please support our school by taking the family out for a cool treat after school! Ms. Brazell and Ms. Irish will be scooping from 4 to 4:30, Ms. Tatum from 6 to 6:30 and Ms. Lipe from 6:30-7. We hope to see you there!

Learning:

Math - Most classes are moving onto division and how it is connected to multiplication. Common terminology we use to explain division is the total, number of groups, and how many in each group. This unit over multiplication and division will wrap up by Friday September 27 so there is still plenty of work to do!

Language Arts - We have learned about sharing our writing with others, as well as revising our writing to make it even better. We continue to integrate grammar conventions through our weekly mentor sentences. Additionally, many classes completed the district writing assessment by writing a personal narrative, but some classes will complete this next week. This was the last week of BAS testing in reading, so students continued with lots of independent reading time where they practiced skills such as inferencing, visualizing, and checking their own comprehension.

Science - Students took their first assessment over unit 1, matter. Tests will not come home but you can look for those grades in Home Access Center! Our next unit is over plant and animal structures, functions, and adaptations. Students are already enjoying learning about the structures that different plants and animals have that help them survive in their environments.

Social Studies - Students are learning about the process and importance of voting.


Friday September 6

With only 4 days of school, this week seemed to fly by and it's hard to believe we are already in September. Please remember to check out the calendar at the bottom of this page for a list of upcoming important dates.

Here is an update of our week!

Math - We are continuing the multiplication unit and are working on 2s, 4s and 8s facts. Students are learning how to use doubling as a strategy to help with these facts. For example:

  • 3X2 is the same as doubling 3.
  • 3X4 can be calculated by thinking double 3 is 6 and double 6 is 12.
  • 3X8 can be calculated by thinking double 3 is 6, double 6 is 12, and double 12 is 24.

We are also still working with patterns in tables, and using our knowledge of multiplication to solve word problems.

Language Arts - Teachers are still BAS testing, and that will continue into next week as well. So like last week, students have been building their independent reading stamina and practicing skills such as monitoring their comprehension, asking questions, and visualizing while reading. We’ve discussed the differences between narrative / fiction texts and information / non-fiction texts and have tried our hands at writing narratives, informational pieces, and opinion pieces. None of these pieces have gone through the entire process to publishing, but we are beginning to learn about revising and editing our writing.

Science - We are nearing the end of our unit on matter and students particularly enjoyed an investigation on buoyancy this week where they designed, built and tested foil boats to see how much of a load they could carry. We wrapped up the week with root beer floats for E-SLOT. Root beer floats are a fun way to see (and taste) the three states of matter! Students will have their district assessment over matter next week, but please know there is nothing you need to do to prepare your child at home. They have been working hard in class learning about matter through a variety of hands on activities and class discussions.

Social Studies - We are continuing our unit on citizenship, and as always, social studies lessons are integrated into our reading and writing plans.


Friday August 30

It was great to see so many parents at Parent Information Night on Tuesday. If you were not able to attend, you can see the slideshow we shared just above this post. That evening, parents were also able to sign up for fall conferences. If you have not already signed up for an October parent-teacher conference, please contact your child’s teacher to do so. Additionally, be sure to register for Home Access Center if you have not already. This is our online tool for posting grades, and is how your child’s teacher communicates with you about grades. And one final reminder, Monday is Labor Day so there is no school for students or teachers. We hope you enjoy the three day weekend!

We were deep into learning this week, as you can see from below!

Math - Our first math unit is on multiplication, so we began by discussing how multiplication is really just repeated addition, and focusing on equal groups. We were focused on 10s and 5s facts, so be sure to practice those at home with your child. We also applied this knowledge of multiplication to notice how rules and patterns work within a table.

Language Arts - We are all in the middle of BAS Testing each students so we can learn where their reading strengths are, as well as skills we may need to focus on. While each teacher is doing this individual testing, students have lots of independent reading time where they work on building stamina, and practicing new skills that we teach through a daily mini-lesson. Some of these mini-lessons include stop and jots, partner talk, making inferences, and understanding story elements.

Science - We began out unit on matter and each class has really enjoyed a hands on investigation in which they explored magnetism, buoyancy, temperature, texture, and finding mass. These are all different properties that can be used to describe matter, and it was a fun way to begin our study of the three states of matter.

Social Studies - We are learning about the qualities of good citizens and the roles that people play in their school, work, and home communities. Social studies lessons are integrated into our reading and writing plans.


Friday August 23, 2019

We’ve had a busy first full week of third grade! Students and teachers are still getting to know each other through fun activities like First Day Emoji Writing and the Me Museum. We’ve done lots of team building challenges in our individual classes, as well as with other classes. Some of these include Saving Fred, making the longest paper chain, and the balloon challenge. Ask your child what his/her class did this week!

Here is a look at what we have been learning this week by subject area.

Math - We are learning about positive math norms, such as “Mistakes are valuable” and “Math is about creativity and making sense” in order to encourage a positive learning climate where students understand that it is ok to make mistakes….in fact, it is through those struggles that some of our best learning happens!

Language Arts - Students have had lots of writing opportunities these first 7 days of school. We have done emoji writing where they wrote about how they felt on the first day of school, Me Museum writing where they wrote about why they chose items for their bag, and started brainstorming other writing ideas we can refer back to this year. Everyone loved decorating their writing notebooks and as teachers, we enjoyed seeing what they chose to put on their notebooks. We have spent lots of time working to establish routines for reading workshop, and also got a chance to visit the school library for our first checkout.

Science - For the first few days of school, our usual science time was taken up with community building activities, but towards the end of the week, we began discussing science safety and tools that scientists use. Next week, we jump into our first unit on matter!

Social Studies - We are focusing on building a growth mindset, and this will lead into our study of good citizenship over the next few weeks.

Important News:

Tuesday August 27, 6:30pm-7:30pm: Parent Information Night. Meet in the cafeteria for a grade level presentation, then we will head to our individual classrooms for teacher presentations. Due to space limitations, please make childcare arrangements for your kids at home!

Many of our wonderful volunteers have started helping out on campus this week. If you are scheduled to help out with copies, folders, class parties, field trips, or any other volunteering (or plan to do so later in the year), please make sure you have completed the RRISD Volunteer Application for this year. It must be completed every school year and the process can take up to 72 hours.


August 16, 2019

Happy Friday, parents! We had a great two days in third grade. We have been getting to know each other, building classroom community, and learning routines and procedures. I bet your kids have been worn out when they come home each day!

Next week, we will still enjoy a lot of getting to know you activities, but we will settle into a more structured routine. Over the weekend, your students should be collecting items for their "Me Museum" bag, as well as photos and other decorations for their writing notebooks. Beginning next Friday, this website will be updated weekly with a general overview of the curriculum for the following week.

Please mark your calendars for Tuesday August 27th from 6:30 to 7:30pm for our Parent Information Night. This is a night for parents to meet with the entire third grade team so we can go over policies and curriculum for the year. After our group meeting, you will be invited to your child's classroom for a smaller presentation from your child' teacher. If you have questions in the meantime, please take time to read through the Grade Level Policies page on this website for important information.

We are looking forward to a great year in third grade!

The Third Grade Team


August 10, 2019

Welcome back to school! The third grade team is excited to meet our new students for the 2019-2020 school year. You will be receiving an email from your child's teacher no later than 8am on Tuesday morning.

All students and their families are invited to visit their classroom and drop off school supplies on Tuesday August 13 from 8:30am-11:30am or 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Because our school population is so large, we have set up two times, so please choose the one time that best works with your schedule. If you ordered school supplies, they will already be delivered to the classroom, but you can still stop by to meet your teacher and unpack your supplies. At the school supply drop-off, you will also be able to join the PTA and order school spirit wear. We are not ordering third grade shirts this year, so we strongly encourage every third grader to purchase a PTA shirt to wear on our field trip and for other special events such as Field Day and Economics Fair. Please join PTA for a membership fee of $8 and purchase your new England T-shirt at a discounted price of $12 as part of the Membership/t-shirt combination package of $20. Order online now and then pick up your t-shirt at open house: http://england.my-pta.org/content.asp?PageID=29

This website will be your spot for all important information from the team. We will post weekly updates about what we are learning in class, and include any announcements of upcoming events or important dates. Please bookmark it and check it regularly.

Once you know your child's teacher, we need each family to complete our online parent/student information form. This is important information that your child's teacher needs to have before the first day of school. Please take time to fill this form out accurately. We thank you in advance, and can't wait to meet you!

The Third Grade Team