We had a wonderful art appreciation lesson given by Mrs. Dalton this month. She talked about "surrealism" using artists Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali. This unique art involves painting what the artists remembered from their dreams or ordinary objects in an unusual context. The students enjoyed creating their own surrealism art using pictures from magazines. They are hanging in our hallway- come and check them out!
In Mrs. Danley's math class this month, we worked with multiplication. We reviewed tricks for learning facts, the importance of knowing how fact families work, and applied fact knowledge to extensions in the hundreds, thousands, and ten-thousands. We also learned different symbols that represent multiplication and division.
We finished Blood on the River this month in reading and then got into book groups based on books in which we were interested. In small groups, the students decided on how to break up the reading in order to complete the books in two weeks. We then practiced discussing books by noting interesting points on post-its, writing about those points, and then sharing them with our peers. By "writing long" about one of our post-its, we were able to have a deeper discussion about the text. The students used game boards where they placed their post-its, shared with peers, and then shared in a discussion about the text.
In Social Studies, we studied the mystery of the colony at Roanoke. By researching evidence, the students evaluated their information and came up with a theory most supported by research. Many believe that the colonists were assimilated into Native American tribes in that area in order to survive. Ask you child about any evidence he/she uncovered while researching.
We completed our responding to literature unit in writing by composing a second essay supporting a character trait for one of the insects in James and the Giant Peach. By explaining examples, quoting text, and defining chosen character traits, the students were able to compose well written responses to their reading.
We started out the month of February with the National Day of Play. The students brought in different non-electronic games to play as well as using materials and games we have in the building. It was a great opportunity to work together with peers and enjoy the benefits of social interaction. The teachers enjoyed themselves as much as the students!
In Mrs. Danley's reading class this month, we finished our class novel, Pedro's Journal, and began our next historical fiction novel, Blood on the River. By reading about a boy named Samuel who travels with Captain John Smith to the "New World," the class is learning about the difficulties of starting a new colony here in America. The class has been learning how to "stretch" conversation about interesting elements in our novel to deepen understanding. Not only have we enjoyed reading and discussing text, but we have also enjoyed recreating a"mini" palisade using a variety of materials.
Third grade math has focused on geometry. We have learned about lines, rays, and segments, as well as two and three-dimensional shapes. By noting characteristics of polygons, we have been able to apply the rules of symmetry.
In writing, we completed a response to literature by writing about how James was a leader in the book, James and the Giant Peach. By including and explaining examples from text, the class was able to strongly support James's leadership. Add in a good lead and closing, and the papers were very well done!
We have taken a break from continuing our study of various explorers in Social Studies to participate in our 15 Day Challenge this month. The challenge has consisted of the students determining something new they would like to learn/accomplish, setting goals, bringing in supplies and working towards the goals, and participating in both peer and self-reflection. We ended the challenge by sharing our learning with our peers and even welcomed Dr. Carter in to check out some of our amazing accomplishments. What an incredible experience!
What an eventful month this has been! After returning from a wonderful winter break, we got right to back to work learning!
In social studies, we have been busy learning about the early Native Americans, the regions in the United States in which they settled, and the early explorers of the Americas. The students enjoyed supporting their learning by reproducing various artifacts created by the Native Americans.
In reading class, we continued to work on our fiction unit with an emphasis on traditional literature. Through a variety of traditional literature styles, we learned about story elements and techniques including mood, tone, conflict, and plot- just to name a few.
We then connected things we were learning in social studies when we read two historical fiction texts about Columbus: Encounter and Pedro's Journal. These two texts not only taught us about Columbus's journey in 1492, but they also gave us interesting perspectives that we were able to compare and contrast. These viewpoints included those of a native boy, native man, and a ship boy on the boat with Columbus. We culminated this learning by creating a poem from different perspectives. Many of you got to enjoy these when visiting during open house.
In writing class, we have focused on writing in response to fiction, using James and the Giant Peach. By quoting text and including supportive examples, the students have been writing about different characters and their character traits. We also had fun creating comic strips to support our lesson on using character words as quotes.
In Mrs. Danley's math class, we completed Unit 5. This unit focused on a variety of numbers including those in the millions and those that include decimals down to the thousandths. This emphasis on place value helped the students to understand the concept of whole numbers and numbers less than one whole. We emphasized both reading and writing these numbers using both decimals and fractions.
In Mrs. Danley's math class, we have been applying our knowledge of multiplication and division facts to word problems. We have been learning the importance of equal groups and equal sharing and how those concepts relate to "remainders." We have also explored various "fact power" tricks like "double your double" and "finger trick for nines." Please encourage your child to memorize their multiplication facts. These will be important when learning fractions and various multiplication algorithms.
We have been working hard in writing by researching different countries and how they celebrate winter holidays. The students organized their facts into different groups in order to form paragraphs in an expository writing piece. We ended the unit with students teaching a craft or other activity from the countries studied.
Mrs. Danley's reading class finished their fiction novels and have begun learning about other types of fiction including: myths, folktales, and fairytales. They have been using their knowledge of the characteristics of traditional literature to make predictions and enhance discussion about text.
In science, we finished our Earth's Changing Surface unit by creating and erupting volcanoes. The student learned about plate tectonics and how those plates contribute to the formation of volcanoes and other land features. What a fun unit!
In Mrs. Danley's math, we have been reviewing how to organize data in a line plot, noting mean, mode, minimum, maximum, and range. We have also been learning about perimeter and area, watching videos with songs to help us remember the difference between the two. We ended the month starting our multiplication unit. We are exploring multiplication using arrays.
Narrative writing in Mrs. Danley's class culminated with a publishing party where the students walked around and read peers' papers, giving specific positive feeback on reflection forms. We then combined with Ms. Redmon's writing group to learn and write about the first Pilgrims. After creating their own "colonies," the class would perform various activites to learn how the pilgrims crossed the Atlantic and settled in New England, They then would reflect on their experiences writing a diary in the first person, including factual details that actually occured when the Pilgrims traveled.
Mrs. Danley's reading class has continued reading and writing about their novels. They have also been applying our earlier signpost lessons when reading chapter assignments. Noticing, noting, and questioning as they read.
In science, we have been learning about landforms. Students worked into groups and created a river using sand, twigs, rocks, and other materials. By changing the amount and speed of water, they were able to observe how rivers can change the shape of land and note various land features that occur.
In Mrs. Danley's math this month, we have been working on various algorithms for both addition and subtraction and applying those algorithms to number stories. By working with parts, totals, and comparing numbers, the class has been creating number models and comparing answers to estimates. We ended the month measuring using both the standard unit of measurement and metric units of measurement.
Reading in Mrs. Danley's class has focused on recognizing signposts that author's use the encourage readers to predict and question text. Signposts include: "contrasts and contradictions", "Again and Again", "Aha", "Words of the Wiser", "Tough Questions", and "Memory Moments". By noticing these signposts, comprehension is enhanced and conversation is encouraged. We have begun reading our novels, Third Grade Angels and Fourth Grade Rats and are learning how to answer in complete sentences and support answers with text evidence.
Writing has included emphasis on writing about "small moments" in our narratives using rich detail to help our audience experience our stories with multiple senses. The students are completing their narratives by incorporating good leads and closing and exploring how paragraphing can organize events.
In social studies, our caravan groups have been traveling across countries, gathering artifacts from various cities and learning about different map skills. The groups make decisions about where they go and perform tasks to earn coins to fund their travels. This unit has encouraged not only learning about map skills but promoting working cooperatively in a group. At the end of the month, we began our science unit, "Earth's Changing Surface" by exploring evidence of change that we see outside and discussing how and why those changes have occurred. We are also learning about the scientific method using Twinkies.
Thank you to all that volunteered time, materials, or both to our fabulous Halloween celebration! It was great to see how the ideas the class came up with were included throughout the party. The kids and adults enjoyed all the games and activities- the party was a great success!
It has been fun getting to know all the wonderful students we have the pleasure working with this year! We have been busy learning classroom routines and getting to know each other.
In Mrs. Danley's math class, we have been reviewing math skills from second grade and refreshing our skills with using number grids, frames and arrows, reading and writing clock times, and organizing data. We occasionally work in "clock partners" to complete some activities and are enjoying learning different math games during which we apply different skills.
In reading, we have worked hard on our launching unit. We have done some sampling of different genres, worked on reading independently to increase our stamina, and are learning how to record our ideas about text with written responses.
Mrs. Danley's writing class has been busy composing narrative pieces and learning how to complete revision assignments. We have also been sharing our pieces with each other and learning how to provide specific, positive feedback.
In Social Studies, we have been enjoying learning different math skills as we travel in our caravans across the world. The students have been completing tasks, collecting artifacts, and getting "fate cards" that affect their travels!
It was a wonderful first week. We spent time getting to know each other as well as the routines both in and out of the classroom.
We had a "snowball fight" indoors! We all wrote three things about ourselves that others may not know on a piece of white paper- without including our names. Then we crumpled them up and used them in a snowball fight. We all picked up someone else's "snowball" and tried to find the matching person.
We also worked in small groups with our "cup challenge." The students had to make a pyramid out of plastic cups. However, they could not pick them up with their hands. They had to use pieces of yarn attached with a rubber band. It took strong teamwork to complete the task.
In Mrs. Danley's reading class, the students are learning about our reading workshop model which includes class discussions, picking just right books, and applying reading strategies to help improve comprehension.
Mrs. Danley's writing class has started our Writers' Express lessons with reviews on expectations for writing and sharing our work.
In third grade math we are staring with Unit 1 which includes a review of second grade skills to start the year. What a respectful and hardworking class of 3rd graders!
We look forward to starting our first social studies unit with Caravans exploring the different countries around the world. The students will be put into mixed groups with Mrs. Darby's class as they travel across the continents and collect various artifacts.