Reading- Shared Reading-“Things We Fear” is the theme for informational reading. Scary topics haven’t seemed so frightening after reading all of the nonfiction selections this week. We are practicing the strategy of close reading, and we read several articles about scary topics such as "A Child in Hiding" (An Interview of a Jewish child's grandfather explaining hiding in France during World War II), "Spooky Spiders", and "Hey, a Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me". Close reading helps us understand the purpose of the text, what the author is saying, the text structure, and what the author is doing with the words. In other words, it helps us learn to expand our thinking while reading.
A new rotation of Literacy Centers, "Things We Fear", has started and will continue next week.
Listening-Venomous Snakes-Students read along to build fluency and created a poster warning people of the venomous snakes of Georgia.
Skill-The children could choose from an assortment of different language arts activities from guide words and plural nouns to homonyms.
Response-Partners are reading Halloween plays or Pumpkin Prize and Too Many Pumpkins. After reading these two books, a compare and contrast activity followed.
Guided Reading- Things We Fear was used to teach main idea and details. Other groups are reading Shark Attack and learning how to code questions we have as we read.
Word Study-Word Sort 9 was the study of three letter blends. Not only did the students practice with these blends, they learned how to find synonyms and antonyms from an online thesaurus site and practiced the Frayer Model of learning vocabulary of difficult words such as shrewd, , and strewn.
The topic of verbs and all of the types of verbs were explored. We learned about action, helping, and linking verbs, and how to identify them. We made a verb collage in teams, searching in magazines for examples of the types.
We worked on learning to recognize area as an attribute of plane figures, and to understand the concepts of area measurement. We found out that a square with a side length of 1 unit is called "a unit square," and has "one square unit" of area, and can be used to measure area. A plane figure which can be covered without gaps or overlaps by a certain number of unit squares is said to have an area of those square units. We related area to the operations of multiplication, and found the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths by tiling it, and show that the area is the same as would be found by multiplying the side lengths. Using geoboards was a fun way to practice finding the area of rectangles. All through the week an assortment of Halloween math activities were used in small groups to review some of the standards we've covered this year.
In the Science/STEM lab, we learned how important worms are in creating rich soil. The students enjoyed performing a couple of investigations with the worms, and then started our very own classroom compost container. We will watch to see how scraps decompose to make humus in soil, and how the worms help the process.
In our classroom, we studied how rocks break down into soil by weathering and erosion. A sugar cube investigation proved that water causes the most weathering and erosion. Connecting writing to science, we created a soil horizon with living things placed in the correct layer of soil. Then, we wrote as that creature to explain what type of soil is best and in which layer we inhabit.
Paul Revere Visits the Third Grade!
An assembly, just for our grade, was such a fantastic way to kick off our study of famous Americans, which is a part of our social studies standards. An actor portrayed Paul Revere, explaining his importance in the revolution. It was fun to see the students involved in the presentation.
Thanks to Our Volunteers of the Week!
Julie Lahti was our Clerical Helper and Melinda Bailey was the Mystery Reader.
I ran the AR reading goal summary for the second nine weeks, and was quite surprised that many students don't even have one AR point. Yikes, let's get busy! Please encourage your child to keep up with this important part of independent reading.
No school on Tuesday due to Election Day.
We will visit the Media Center on Friday next week.
Come to the Robot Rally-free admission.-Nov. 15th 11:00-3:30
Every year Atlanta Hobby Robot Club hosts Robot Rally; where robot enthusiasts show off and compete with their robots. Competitions include Cube Quest, Line Maze Solving, Open Competition and Polyathlon. The event is FREE and open to the public.
They have graciously allowed Shallowford Falls to sell our raffle tickets at this event-Thank you Atlanta Hobby Robot Club!!
Shared Reading-Who doesn’t enjoy reading about animals? Using Wild Animal Babies, we worked on the reading skills of predicting, using text format to help in our comprehension, finding the main idea and details, and recognizing the author’s purpose for writing.
Guided Reading-Using Tigers or Koalas, or Otters, we focused on the reading skill of determining important information. Students looked for the main idea and details to share with the other members of their reading group. We used the jigsaw strategy in which each person becomes an expert on one part of a book, and then shares their knowledge with the rest of the group.
Listening Center- Reading animal articles in World magazines, the Wise Guys then created a concept map to share what was learned.
Response Center- Chose an animal in the Nature’s Children book series, used the table of contents to find four topics of interest, researched the answers to four questions about their chosen animal, and made a flip flap book.
Skill Center-We worked at a prefix/suffix workshop using wheels with base words, and then adding correct prefixes and suffixes to them. A practice exercise followed this activity.
Word Study-In Word Sort 9, the students study three letter blends at the beginning of words. We just started this pattern, and will assess it on next Friday.
Writing-With such short days this week, we didn't get to finish our owl informational writing, but we're progressing.
During large group lessons we used the doubling strategy to learn to multiply by 6s and 8s, and learned how to solve for missing factors. Strategies for division were reviewed and the students studied patterns on a multiplication chart. The math tubs for Guided Math have been changed to give everyone practice in multiplication and division problem solving. We're working on the harder facts by playing games, answering questions about different kinds of graphs, solving algebra puzzles, and using the computer and Interwrite board to practice too.
What's the best soil for growing plants? That's what we're exploring by looking at the attributes of clay, loam, and sand. We're noting the colors, capacity to hold water, and the size of the particles as we compare the three types.
Ellie Griffis was the clerical mom again, and Alicia Poage was our Mystery Reader. Thank you for attending your child's conference. It was great to share your child's progress.
Walk to School Day
It’s really cool to walk to school!
Please join your friends and neighbors in our Walk to School Day
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
Please follow safety rules and be careful. Plan to arrive at school on time – normal 7:50 start time applies! There will be fresh fruit for all walkers/bikers upon their arrival at school Wednesday morning.
Yes, even with shortened days due to testing, the Wise Guys had tons of learning going on.
Reading- Shared Reading-Fossil Hunters started off this week's reading activities.
Literacy Centers-"Let's Learn About Fossils"-A fabulous assortment of resources were used during the reading segment. Each day we used either the laptops or the computers in the lab as we read. A scavenger hunt through Paleontology, a book on TrueFlix, had the students using the text features and reading to find important information. Then, Dinosaur Bones and Dinosaur Dig were listened to on BookFlix. Both sites have videos and other articles that enhance the books.
Word Study-Homophones can be very tricky for third graders, so this week's word sort was a great way to learn the correct spellings. We will test this Sort 8 list on Tues. of next week.
Writing-We have our sources printed on different types of owls and have started the note taking process for our informational writing.
Your child became a surgeon, Dr. Distributive, this week. They learned to perform surgery on difficult multiplication problems by "breaking apart" arrays. This was all a part of our lesson to understand the distributive property of multiplication. We started with manipulatives to model the breaking apart arrays, and then each child created an art project showing the surgery of another multiplication fact. We then moved on to learn about the associative property and how to multiply three factors.
Yes, we're playing in the dirt! We started our soil study.
We loved discovering what was in soil! Some groups had surprises like old cocoons and ants, along with roots, rocks, sand, clay, moisture, and minerals. We then observed different types of soils to chart their properties.
Ellie Griffis was kind to take care of our clerical work and Amanda Secrest was our Mystery Reader! Thanks to all of you for the support you gave your child during testing. They all worked so diligently and stuck with it daily!
See you at your scheduled conference next week. Students will be dismissed at 12:20 each day.
Shared Reading-Fossil Hunters was a splendid book to read and to use, teaching us how we can build our vocabulary to improve our nonfiction reading. A bonus point was that it enriches our science study of fossils too. We learned about famous paleontologists and their important discoveries as we focused on recognizing important concept words. This book will be continued next week as well.
Word Study-Word Sort 7 is called "Ambiguous Vowel Sounds", otherwise known as al, aw, al, and ou sounds.The students enjoyed playing "Beat the Clock" to see how fast they could categorize the groups and Ambiguous Vowel Spin to concentrate on which spelling matched the sound. Subject/verb agreement practice was continued too.
Writing- Now that we've read and are so familiar with many fables, the students are choosing a moral, characters, and deciding on a plot to create their own story. We only had time for the organizers this week, but I'm looking forward to some creative writing next week.
With this being the last week of the grading period, it was time to review all of the many standards on which we focused. A posttest was given on Thursday, and boy, I surely saw growth in math this nine weeks. Our favorite Halloween candy was graphed, more practice with regrouping in addition and subtraction was given, a review power point game helped us, and we assessed two-step word problems.
Latitude and Longitude and other map skills were studied.
The Wise Guys Paleontologists had fun with the fossil dig activity. After learning how a site is graphed, they all used tools to find and record fossils and bones.
These new fossil samples were very interesting too.
Thanks again for the fantastic support with the Fox Trot Fundraiser. I can't wait to use the Ipad with the students.
ITBS testing is Monday-Thursday of next week. Students need to be rested, have a nutritious breakfast, and be on time, please. We will wear these colors to get in the spirit of testing.
Theme days for IOWA testing dates – EVERYONE can participate:
Monday: RED-Y for reading! (wear red)
Tuesday: Wear white and show us how to write! (wear white)
Wednesday: Let’s go mathletes! Wear the shirt of your favorite athlete! (sports shirt)
Look at our spectacular excavators for mining minerals.
Shared Reading-We analyzed Aesop fables and realized that these short selections have a lot of depth to them. The students described the characters, mostly animals, and learned to explain how their actions contributed to the sequence of events. We continued referring back to the fables to notice what the characters do, say, and think, as well as note their actions. This helped us determine their character traits.
Listening-Instead of listening to a tape of a book, we are reading fables to one another to improve our fluency. Skill Center-Students read one of several fables. An important third grade skill is answering questions about a selection, and this center gives more practice with that. Or, the children could read two similar fables and compare and contrast them.
Response Center-Puppets are being created for a fable puppet show.
Guided Reading-Each reading group is preparing for a puppet show. The students are reading and practicing their part.
Word Study- Word Sort 6 words, dipthongs oi, oy, ou, and ow, were studied. We looked at the multiple meanings of some of the words which will help us in reading. Quotation marks rules were evaluated, and we had lessons on the correct agreement of subjects and verbs. A game, Agreement Gears, was played to reinforce this skill.
Writing-All week we continued to work on creating an opinion writing about our favorite food.
An assessment on finding the area using arrays was taken. Then, we had more practice of two-step problem solving. We played a board game to practice and learned another way to show representation with a problem bar or number bond. Guided Math groups practiced multiplication facts in many ways, from using the interwrite board to games galore. During small group, we had lessons on graphing and more two-step problem solving. On Friday, another constructed reponse was worked. These have been evaluated in the area of representation. (drawing a picture)
The students learned how fossils form by making a model fossil. We found out that paleontologists study fossils to see what life was like in Earth's past.
Please read this newletter on fossils so that you will know exactly what we've been studying.