Welcome to 3rd Grade!

Here you can find information about what's going on in the 3rd grade in room 203. I'll be posting at least once a week below to share our learning experiences. The links on the left help you keep up-to-date on homework and school and class events, and also provide you with information to help you connect home and school learning.

I'm looking forward to a really fun and productive year with both the students and parents of Swift.

-Ms. Pollins

Recent News

Exciting Things in Spring!

posted Apr 25, 2012, 1:12 PM by evelyn pollins

We have so many exciting things coming up before the end of the school year!

Keep an eye on this page for students' blog posts about their lives here at Swift. Students finished typing their blog posts and I will be posting them soon.

We are finishing our language unit with a research project. You can find resources to help you with that here.

We've also just started our mystery writing unit. The students make great detectives! I can't wait to uncover the clues Room 203 pieces together.

It's going to be a fun-packed Spring!

Long Time, No See!

posted Jan 9, 2012, 2:04 PM by Ms. Pollins

Hi 203 families! Happy New Year! Sorry, it's been an awfully long time since we kept in touch through the blog. One of my new New Year's Resolutions: Update the class blog more often! Starting now. And to help me with this resolution, the students of room 203 are going to be blog authors too. Our big writing project for this winter is going to be blog posts. Students are going to learn about non-fiction writing and all the organization skills that come with it, as well as paragraphing and keeping the internet audience in mind when they write. The best place to start writing is with reading, so I've added a link on the sidebar to a lot of great blogs that kids and families can read to get good ideas for how to start a blog post, how to organize it, and learn what a blog "voice" sounds like.

I'm looking forward to a year 2012!

Welcome to November

posted Nov 6, 2011, 12:19 PM by Ms. Pollins

November is going to be kind of a crazy month at Swift. For the next 3 weeks, students are only in school 3 days out of each week! We are going to try our best to make sure all of the learning we do feels cohesive and clear during these very chopped-up instructional weeks. It will be extra important to talk to your child about what they are learning about in school.

This week, science inquiry groups will begin to design their own experiments about water and ice. We are focusing on creating fair experiments that will teach us or other scientists valuable and useful information. You can design experiments at home too. Some students are interested in how cold ice can get or how long ice takes to melt.  Talk with your child about what kinds of variables you would need to control and what kind of variables you can change in an experiment. If you want to know how fast ice melts, can you experiment with different sizes of ice cubes? Or would you have to make sure ice cubes are the same size? Could you put ice cubes in different parts of the room? Or would you have to make sure that ice cubes are in places that are the same temperature? It all depends on what you are trying to learn! The key is to make sure you are only changing the thing you want to learn about (size or temperature in our examples) and make sure everything stays the same. 

Some students are interested in learning about how water freezes into ice. This would be a particularly good question to explore at home, as we do not have a freezer in the classroom that we can use for repeated observations. Talk about the variables and design your own experiment at home! Students, if you learn anything, write down your observations and how you conducted your experiment so you can present it to the other scientists in class!

I'm looking forward to seeing all the families at report card pick-up next week!

Going Strong!

posted Oct 25, 2011, 7:48 PM by Ms. Pollins

We haven't updated in a few weeks, but the students of Room 203 are still going strong! We have begun Unit 3 in math, where we are focusing on measurement and geometry. We are writing readers' response letters about our "Just Right" books and have begun guided reading groups and novel study groups.

We had our first field trip to the Chicago Children's Museum, which was a huge success! Special thanks to the p
arents who came along for the trip who made it possible for all the learning and fun to happen while keeping all of us safe. The students of 203 are so lucky to have you.

On our field trip we focused on problem-solving and evaluating our work. We built flying machines and measured the time it took for them to glide to the ground, and then revised our flying machines to try to keep them in the air longer. Students will be applying this self-evaluation to all aspects of their learning this year.

Stay tuned for updates about our science and social studies curriculum, which we are currently working on building together based on students' interests and guiding questions!

Thanks for a Great Second Week!

posted Sep 18, 2011, 5:00 PM by Ms. Pollins

We are really getting into the work of 3rd grade now! This past week we started word study, writer's workshop, learned about the properties of water in science, and explored our classroom library and started checking out "just right" books. The Hermit Crab Name Jar is filling up and students will choose two names for our crabs next week so we can stop just calling them "the hermit crabs"!

Four students passed their addition and subtraction facts test and are moving on to multiplication next week. A few other students are right on their heels and I know they'll be on to multiplication and day now!

This Thursday is Open House! I, sadly, will not be able to attend because I have a class. I will be sending home all of the important information before Open House this week and families are still welcome to attend and visit one of the other 3rd grade teachers: Mrs. Brock in room 204 or Mrs. Holman in room 208. Both of them will be explaining the curriculum and activities that are common to 3rd grade such as math facts, homework expectations, Everyday Math, and our weekly newsletter. If I haven't met you yet and you'd like to ask me some questions in person, feel free to schedule a meeting with me before or after school. You can email me at empollins@cps.edu, send a note to school, or call 773-534-2695 to set up an appointment.

Thank you families for all of your support the last two weeks! I especially appreciate the time you took to fill out the questionnaires and volunteer surveys. I will be contacting every 203 family very soon to touch base about your child's progress and give you an opportunity to ask me any questions you might still have. I look forward to speaking with all of you a little more.

One Week Down!

posted Sep 9, 2011, 2:35 PM by Ms. Pollins

What a great first week! Meeting all the new 3rd graders was wonderful. They are all so full of amazing ideas. This week we met the hermit crabs and learned a little bit about the crabs and how to care for them. We read Yangsook Choi's The Name Jar  talked about the different reasons people choose names. We learned about the origin and meaning of our own names and we're going to use our research to help us choose names for the hermit crabs next week.

We also started our math facts tests. In 3rd grade we work towards an ice cream party at the end of the year, and every math facts test gets you pass gets you more treats at the ice cream party! Right now our class is working on passing our 100-fact addition and subtraction test. Once they can answer 50 in 5 minutes they earn the napkin for the party, and 75 facts will earn them their spoon. When they get 100 facts correct in 5 minutes they receive their banana for their banana split and then they're on to multiplication, when they can start earning their ice cream scoops and special toppings. So far, we have 16 students have have answered 50 facts in 5 minutes to earn their napkin, and 8 of those students have gone on to answer 75 in 5 minutes! I know that by the end of next week 203 will have some students who have answered all 100.

Let's fill this bulletin board with ice cream scoops!

I hope the next week is as great as the first. See you Monday, 3rd graders! 

Almost Ready!

posted Sep 3, 2011, 5:08 PM by evelyn pollins   [ updated Sep 3, 2011, 5:14 PM by Ms. Pollins ]

I spent the last week getting the classroom ready for the 26 third graders who will show up Tuesday. I think it's looking pretty good!

The bulletin boards are primed and ready for all our amazing student work, and the bins of books are just begging to be checked out of the library. Can't wait for this to be filled with Swift Students on Tuesday!

203's Newest Residents

posted Aug 31, 2011, 4:03 PM by Ms. Pollins

203's students won't be the only ones arriving in 3rd grade for the first time on Tuesday. We have two new friends who are going to be moving into the room with us:

Hermit Crabs!

Our crab friends don't have names yet. The students will help choose those the first week of school. They're looking forward to teaching 3rd graders about science, observation, and animal care. Well, I'm guessing they're excited. They can't talk.

I can't wait for everyone to meet each other!

Welcome Back!

posted Aug 30, 2011, 2:50 PM by evelyn pollins

Hi 3rd graders and families! I am so excited to meet all of you in a week. I have been working hard this summer to find new and exciting things for our class to do this year, and I think this is going to be the best school year yet. Check back often to find out what's going on in the classroom, get ideas for ways to continue learning at home, and learn about important news. I can't wait to share this year with you.

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