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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.