May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Reading-Our week was filled with visiting the literacy centers related to "Modern Day Pilgrims". These were described in last week's blog entry. A wonderful collection of books were chosen for reading and response activities.
Pajama/Read All Day was filled with books. For each subject area, a book was selected. Thanks, Moms!
Word Study-We practiced the spellings of -tch and-ch in the Sort 12 list.
Writing-The goal for the week was to understand how using conjunctions help us build our sentence fluency as we create compound sentences. First of all, we used music to understand what conjunctions are. I'm sure you remember the Schoolhouse Rock songs. Well, your kids liked "Conjunction Junction, What's the Function?" as well as the Conjunction Rap. Using the acronym FANBOYS helped us remember the coordinating conjunctions, and the daily practice writing compound sentences was helpful too. Work on our research paper continued with lots of note taking and paragraph writing.
A quadrilateral quest to learn about the attributes of squares, rectangles, rhombi, trapezoids, and quadrilaterals was on the agenda this week. We used geoboards, studied a power point lesson, learned the Quadrilateral Dance, sang songs, and solved quadrilateral riddles.
Here we are doing the Quadrilateral Dance!
On Friday, we used the book Oma's Quilt to launch a STEM activity. We designed a quilt piece with quadrilaterals as designs.
Your child experimented with sand to learn about erosion. They saw how wind and water can erode our beaches, and tried to prevent this by building walls to protect the land.
We Appreciate Our Classroom Helpers!!!
Science Lab Volunteer-Todd King
Reading Parents-Ellie Griffis, Valerie Darling, and Cheryl Afshani
November 22, 2014 | Permalink
Shared Reading-We are continuing our reading of Lighthouses, Beacons of the Past, asking questions before reading, and then looking for the answers. We are coding the questions to see if they are answered in the book, answered by inferencing, or if we need another source to find the answer. Noting interesting information, the students write new facts they learned on the K-W-L sheet. We have also read Molly's Pilgrim which launched our new literacy center rotation. This book helped the children see the point of view of an immigrant child trying to adapt to a new culture and school. A response book recorded our comprehension and thinking.
Literacy Centers-"They're Coming to America" theme!
Listening-The Hand Me Down Horse-After listening, the students think and chart their connections to the book.
Skill-Finishing up our "Autumn in Georgia" poem and publishing it.
Response-A variety of fiction books with the theme of immigration is at this center. Students choose a book, and after reading, select a book project card to show their thoughts.
Guided Reading-Each group is practicing "close reading" and using color coding to locate answers to questions. Topics include Veteran's Day, Pocahontas, and Paul Revere.
Word Study-We're learning about metaphors and similes. On Veteran's Day we thought of a metaphor that captured our feelings about America. We used our Sort 11 words in sentences with similes. The word sort practiced was -dge, -ge, or r,n, l + ge endings.
Metaphors About America
Writing-Everyone has chosen an animal that lives in a region of Georgia for another informational writing. We are taking notes on special features of the animal, and will write terrific paragraphs on this task. I'm modeling the process with a research of the green anole. On Monday, the students used the Pebble Go biography site to find out about a famous person. This was done in the computer lab with the help of Mrs. Janice Kelley. Then, the students summarized the person's life in a biographical informational piece.
A "Twizzlers" fraction activity kicked off our study of fractions on a number line. We learned that you can show "fair shares" on a number line by partitioning it into parts of a whole. During center time and math group time we learned how to solve fractional parts word problems using number lines, pictures, and number bonds. Other activities included a fraction color tile guessing activity, fraction games, computer games, math art with fractional pieces, and "Fraction Avenue". An assessment on fractions was given on Thursday, and another problem solving practice was completed on Friday.
Mrs. Mills planned a wonderful science lesson to show the plants that live in our Piedmont region. Our outdoor classroom on the Wildlife Habitat was visited. The students dug in the soil to see its composition, and observed the gorgeous fall leaves everywhere. Then, they made leaf rubbings of samples from the trees.
Animal adaptations was the standard for the week. We watched videos and discussed how animals use physical and behavioral adaptations to live in the regions of Georgia.
Thank You, Parents!
Alicia Poage was the Clerical Mom and Chris Lahti was our Mystery Reader!
Thanks to all of you for sending in the cans of fruit for the Food Drive!
Your help in finding articles for the informational writing sure saved me a lot of time!
Selling the raffle tickets for the Foundation fundraiser is much appreciated too!
We're all looking forward to our Fall Book Fair next week, November 17th-21st!
November 14, 2014 | Permalink
Our class sold 44 tickets so far and we are so close to winning a Playground Party! We are only 6 tickets away! We could also win a Game Truck Party if we sell 100 tickets total by Monday! We have one more week, so please help us reach this fun goal for the kids while supporting our school STEM goals at the same time. Remember, all tickets (sold and unsold) and money collected need to be returned to school next Monday. Thank you!
November 10, 2014 | Permalink
The Wise Guys are enjoying fall!
Shared Reading-We focused on an important reading strategy, questioning. The unit started with a model of questioning, coding the different ways we found the answers as we read Lighthouse, A Remembrance. Then, we moved to the nonfiction text, Lighthouses, Beacons of the Past. We are practicing the K-W-L (what I know, want to know, and what I learned) strategy as we read this book.
Guided Reading and Centers-"Things We Fear" centers and reading continued this week and were described in the last newsletter.
Word Study-Sort 10 showed us the patterns of words ending in -ce, -se, or -ve. Verbs
were introduced and each day we learned about a type of verb. Several power points were shown on linking verbs and helping verbs because they are a bit more difficult. Hearing linking verb songs should help us remember which type is which.
Writing-We're learning the steps to writing an essay. Today we thought about three things for which we're thankful. Next week, we'll write the three paragraph essay. The other days were filled with the completion of assigned writing projects.
Fractions, Part of a Whole
Most of us did quite well on our area assessment this week. Then, we moved on to the study of fractions. On Wednesday our fraction standards began with a fair share brownine lesson. From paper brownies to delicious brownies, we tried to cut equal parts of a whole in our study of unit fractions.
A fantastic hands on lesson involved groups showing multiple ways to show the representation of unit fractions. Check out some photos of the museum tour of the different groups.
The Wise Owls had a great time and learned a lot on Thursday while roaming around our Wildlife Habitat. Each student selected his or her own tree, then tried to identify the type of tree by studying its leaves, bark and any seeds present. We will revisit our trees as the seasons change and study the differences that each season brings. this activity was the start of learning a new science standard, plants and animals of the regions of Georgia. Here are some pictures of this very fun activity!
In Mrs. Huie's class, the students learned about the two major mountain ranges and the five major rivers. Ask your child if they really "ate up" the lesson on Friday. Also, ask them about the mnemonic device they learned for remembering the five major rivers (Can Rats Make Orange Hats?/Colorado, Rio Grande, Mississippi, Ohio, and Hudson)
What a lot of volunteers this week!
Ellie Griffis was our Clerical Mom and Anneke Smith was our Reading Mom.
Thanks to all of you fantastic cooks who made the brownies-Cheryl Afshani, Kristi Breland, and Rachel Astorga and son!
Our Adopt a Tree couldn't have happened without Katye Whalen, Julie Lahti, and Alicia Poage!
November 07, 2014 | Permalink
What a fun week of learning for the Wise Guys!
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.
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!!
October 31, 2014 | Permalink
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.
October 24, 2014 | Permalink
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!
October 17, 2014 | Permalink