Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dec. 12-16

Sorry I haven't updated lately. I think things just caught up with me.
If I don't see you this week, I hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Writing
The students have been finishing up their SFML's. I've made it a point to conference with every student on their rough drafts to give last minute comments before their final copy. For their final copy, I expect students to write in paragraphs. I'm looking for clear structure and attempting to put in the craft elements we have been studying in class. This week, we will critique a SFML. I'm hoping students will see where the story needs work and how we can work to make the story better.

Reading
Student started book clubs last week. It's nice to see them manage their own books clubs. Students are expected to determine how they are going to anchor their thinking, set a goal for the next time they meet, and have something to bring to the discussion. I've been impressed hearing the students have inferences and discussing what is reasonable for their next goal.
For their mini lessons, we have been learning about poetry. Students are expected to know what a narrative, lyrical, humorous, and free verse poems. We have also been noticing the figurative language poets use in their writing. I would ask your child what they know about similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, etc. Some students have even added this figurative language to their writing.

Social studies
We have been learning about the following people: Benjamin Banneker, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Pierre L'Enfant. Students are working on making a book about these people this week. Their project will be due on Friday.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14-18

Writing:
Students are starting to work on their SFML. They finished their story arc last week. This week students will share their story arc with a partner and me to make sure they have clear structure. From there, students will work on their rough draft. I plan on having students share their rough draft for us to give feedback.

Reading
For reading we have started the book, "The One and Only Ivan". We will be reading this book closely discussing character traits, pulling important information, inferring, etc. Students will take notes in their journal as we go along.
The students took their reading benchmark last week. I have shared the grades with them today. I will be pulling them into small groups to go over the questions they have missed.

Social Studies
We have started historical figures this week. Students need to know how these figures helped shaped the community. Students will get into small groups to rotate around the room reading different sources and filling out their graphic organizer. Students will choose one of the figures to do a class project on.

Last Friday I passed out a states letter. Students will be tested over first and second grade states when they get back from Thanksgiving. A word bank will be given to them.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November 7-11

I hope everyone had fun at auction. It was great to see everyone outside of school and everyone looked gorgeous!

Writing
This week we will do one last reproduction of an unfamiliar story. Students will put the story back in order and label the structure. My main goal is to see students label the structure correctly. We will be moving to the critiquing phase of CCP.  We will look at two versions of a SFML (story from my life). We will look at a base version which just has the structure. Then we will look at another version that will contain craft. We will have discussions on how the craft impacted the story.
Students will start thinking about their own story. I want them to think about what they want to wrtie about and story tell with a partner. The key is to make sure their story has an initiating event and climax.

Reading
We have a reading benchmark on Thursday. My goal is to teach the reading strategies that will help them on the test. We will talk about pulling the important details from the text, proving our answers, eliminating answer choices, etc.
Students are currently reading traditional literature in book clubs and on their own during reader's workshop. They are to finish their graphic organizer to turn in for a grade.

Social Studies
We will discuss digital responsibility to continue our digital learning. We focus on one digital lesson a month. Then we will move on to Benjamin Franklin.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 31- Nov. 4th

Happy Halloween Eve! Looking forward to seeing the kiddos tomorrow. I'm sure they'll have extra energy being Halloween in all. Here what's happening for the week.

Writing
We are continuing with structure and noticing craft. Craft is the voice in writing. We will look at specific craft elements such as dialogue, inner thinking, backstory, and show/not tell. Students will work with a story all week. We will first do a reproduction activity (reproduction= students get a story out of order and need to put it together while discussing the structure), then we will notice the craft, and discuss how the craft impacted the story.
This week, Wilchester will have Dr. John O'Flahaven come to our school for a residency with the second, third, and fourth grade teachers. Dr. O (what the kids call him) will do an exploration activity in our classroom. His focus with the class is to look at craft in a familiar story and see how it impacts the story. He will show the students different craft and discuss if the craft makes the story better or worse.

Reading
For reading we are reading traditional literature. Our focus is on fables, myths, legends, etc. We will look at the characteristics that make up these genres. The students will start new book clubs and work with a graphic organizer to help anchor their thinking. We will also start a new read aloud. We finished our first read aloud, "Oggie Cooder". The kids loved it. I love when they beg me to continue reading. I'm still deciding on our next read aloud. More than likely, it will fall into the fantasy genre.

Social studies
We are wrapping our Government unit with a quiz. Students will be able to use their notes in their social studies journal. We will be moving to influential people in history. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"101 Books to Read Before you Grow Up"

Hi All!
I came across this great website, Imagination Soup, while looking up good books for my kiddos. While I was browsing this website, she had a post about this book called, "101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up" by Bianca Schulze. What's great about this book is that it gives you a whole range of books to read divided by age level.  The author gives you a synopsis about each book as well as some suggestions as to what to read next. Here  (clink on the here link) is the post that gives you more details on this book given by the blog, Imagination Soup. I think it would be a great Christmas present you and your child could enjoy together. Let me know what you think. Amazon has it for $10.21.



Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 17-21

Remember Thursday and Friday are half days due to parents conferences. School will dismiss at 12:00.


Writing
I've been impressed with the kids story mapping skills. We've story mapped together as a class as well in small groups. This week students will story map unfamiliar stories. Students will have to read the story with a writer's hat on to notice how the story is structured. We will do this in small groups first before they begin to story map unfamiliar stories on their own. Students will need to start thinking about a SFML they would like to write about. Students can write a new story or use one from last year.

Reading
We are continuing with how to write a summary. Students are having a hard time with this. They want to do a retelling instead of summarizing the important events. I will continue to model this and have the kids try it on their own in small groups.
For small groups, I'll be meeting with kids to review reader's responses.

I'll be sending home a "Third grade Reading List" in the kids Tuesday folder this week. I put together a list of different series and their reading levels. My biggest advice to parents to read to and with your child. I know students will choose books somewhat above their reading levels. I encourage you to talk with your child about what he/she is reading. Ask them open ended questions that requires your child to think. They need to support their thinking with text clues. 

Social studies
This week we will try to wrap up our government unit. (Might need an extra day or two due to our half days on Thursday and Friday). We will review the three branches of government and explain how a bill becomes a law. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10-14

I hope everyone had a great three day weekend. The weather was great!

I look forward to meeting with you all at parent conferences this week and next.

Writing
We are continuing with story mapping, although this week, we will story map unfamiliar stories. Students will need to find the initiating event and climax with evidence to support their thinking. My goal is for the students to have a clear understanding in how stories are structured so it can carry over to their own writing. Students will be writing a story from my life soon and they need to have clear structure in their story before we can move on to craft.

Reading
This week we are summarizing stories. We will discuss what makes a good summary and practice writing summaries together as a class before they practice writing them own their own.
We have started book clubs last week. Students have been meeting in their groups to discuss the chapters using their notes. Students then decided on a goal for their next meeting. It's great to see the kids so excited to read and meet with one another.

Social Studies
We have moved on to government. We discussed the constitution last week and now we are discussing the three branches of government. We will discuss in each branch in detail. Students will then have a government sort that will be for a grade. Students can use their social studies notes.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 26-30

Don't forget the spelling bee tomorrow! Progress reports will come out this week. Please note reading and writing grades are based on limited grades. Students will have plenty of grades the rest of the nine weeks.

Writing
We will be story mapping familiar books this week using the story arc. Students will use language such as backstory, initiating event, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. We work in whole and small groups discussing where the initialing event start, how do we know this is the climax, and what the motivation was in the story. Students will get a chance to free write during writer's workshop.

Spelling
Students will get new spelling words this week. Students will also have the spelling bee tomorrow for students who wish to participate.

Reading
We are discussing character traits and how characters change throughout the story. Students will help me determine what events in the story changed the character. We will read books such as Thunder Cake, Each Kindness, and Recess Queen.
I am just about done with DRA's. (just one or two more to go) I'll start book clubs with the students this week. My goal is for students to have a goal while reading,  track their own thinking, and have meaningful discussions around the text. Students need to have text clues to support their thinking.

Social Studies
Students will finish learning about Helen Keller, Clara Barton, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman. Students will create their flip book on these women and how they showed good citizenship.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 19-23

Writing
We are finishing their choice piece this week. We've discussed how to plan our story (using the story arc) story tell, and conference with a peer. This week our lessons are focusing on paragraph writing. We've discussed paragraph writing for non fiction and will focus on how to write fiction stories in paragraphs.

Reading
We are continuing to track our thinking. We will use our thinking to compose a reader's response letter. Students will need to include a short summary of the book, their thoughts with text clues, and what they thought about the writing. We will write a reader's response together before they write one independently with my DRA's. I'll share their data with you during our parent conference.
I almost done 

Spelling: We will have our second spelling test this Thursday.
Please note, spelling bee words will be sent in the Tuesday folder today. This is optional. If your child would like to participate, we will have the pretest next week. The top ten spellers from the grade will move on to the Wichester Spelling bee.

Social Studies
We will study people from the past who have exemplified good citizenship such as Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, and Clara Barton. Students will watch Brainpops, read books, and find information from the Social Studies Weekly.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 12-16

I hope to see you all at curriculum night on Wednesday! Third grade will be in the cafeteria starting at 6:30.

Writing
This week students should have picked an idea to write from using their idea list or another idea of their choosing. We are taking each day to work on a piece of their story. Monday will work on planning out their story, either with a story arc or web. We will move on to writing the rough draft of the story and then conference with a friend to revise/edit the story. I hope to have the story done by Friday although if the kids need more time, I'll extend the deadline to next week.

Reading
We have focused heavily on reading strategies and what good readers do while reading. We will continue this but use our thinking to write a readers response. This will be a review from last year but we will discuss how we can make our responses more in depth from second grade. My DRA assessments will continue this week.

Social studies
We will wrap up citizenship on Monday. Students will then write a paragraph about "good citizenship". Students can use their notes from the past two weeks. We will move into digital safety for the rest of the week. We will discuss how to be safe online while on the computers.

Genius Hour
Hopefully by now, students have chosen a topic/question for their project. Students will start researching their topic on Friday. If students are still having a hard time picking a topic, I plan on pulling a small group together to help them out. My plan for this Friday is for students to start their research.

Spelling
Words will be past out on Monday. Their next spelling test will be on Thursday of next week.

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 6-9

I hope everyone had a great three day weekend!
 

Writing
We are still working on story telling and ideas. Students will have opportunities to share stories with each other. Students will also brainstorm memories that are sad, happy, exciting, scared, etc. By the end of the week, students will pick one idea from their idea list to write about. This will be their first writing grade.

Reading
This week we are continuing from last week. We will continue to track our thinking and discuss what readers do before, during, and after we read. Students will practice this strategy during their independent reading time. I will continue with DRA testing this week.

Spelling: Our first spelling test will be this Thursday. 

Social studies
We will be wrapping up good citizens this week. Students will be working in groups. They will be reading different parts of our Social Studies weekly and teaching  the class about their parts while the others are taking notes. This will be a grade. I will be looking for group work, determining the main points from their section, and their note taking skills. This assignment will wrap up next week.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 29- Sept. 2


I have to say the first week of school was a great one. The kids did great learning the routines and procedures. 


Writing
This week our focus is generating ideas. I'll read various books about writing and generate a class list of ideas. Students will have a chance to story tell with a partner and in small groups. I'm hoping by telling stories, students will make connections to stories of their own. Students will free write during writer's workshop. 

Reading
"Reading is Thinking" is what we always say. We will discuss reading strategies and how to anchor our thinking using post it notes or our reading journal. I will model how I anchor my thinking and have students practice during reader's workshop. I'm hoping to start my DRA assessments by the end of the week. 

For our read aloud, I am reading the book, Oggie Cooder by Sara Weeks. I have told the kids, if they choose, to have their own copy to follow along and make notes in the margins. Please know this is optional and not a requirement. Here is the link to order from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Oggie-Cooder-Sarah-Weeks-ebook/dp/0545078385/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472432014&sr=1-1&keywords=oggie+cooder

Social studies
We are still focusing on citizenship. We will discuss what good citizens do and how they can contribute to the community.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 22-26

This week is all about establishing routines, discussing classroom expectations, and getting to know one another. Students have been working on their "All About Me" posters. Please have your child bring a picture (real photo or printed) for their posters. I will be featuring a student a week on our classroom window.

Reading:
This week is all about establishing reader's workshop. We will review different components such as just right books, reader's diet, classroom library expectations, and what it means to track our thinking. Students will engage in silent reading time. We will work on building our stamina as a class.
I will read with each student informally for the week. I will test students next week on their DRA.

Writing:
We are establishing writer's workshop. We are setting up our binders, discussing what a writer is and does, etc. Students will start a bank of writing ideas to put in their binder. My goal is for students to add to their idea list as the year goes by. By the end of the week, students will write a piece of their choice.

Social studies:
Students will review what good citizens do and why it's important to display good citizenship.

Homework:
Students have nightly reading. They need to read a minimum of twenty minutes each night. Students will have homework over the weekend. They will need to decorate a cover for their writing binder. I will send home the directions with the students tomorrow. 

I've enjoyed getting to know your kiddos so far. :)  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Welcome

I welcome you all to third grade. It's going to be great year! I look forward to meeting everyone at "Meet the Teacher". Please refer to my blog through out the year for curriculum updates, news, resources, etc. I have posted the third grade schedule on the schedule page.  Please know we have lunch at 12:40 this year. With our lunch being so late, please have your child bring a snack. They need to bring a healthy, dry snack that will fuel their brain. 

I look forward to a fabulous year. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me. 
Erica.finley@springbranchisd.com