Sunday, April 30, 2017

May 1-12

Can't believe it's already May! Where has the time gone?

STAAR will be on May 8th and 9th. Students will do the math test first on Monday and then the reading test on Tuesday. We will begin testing promptly at 8:30. Please make sure your child arrives to school on time. It's important for the students to get plenty of rest the night before and eat a good breakfast. They are going to do great!!!

The kids have done well learning the parts of an essay. Students will make up essays looking for the different parts. This will be done more in small group or with partners. I will move on to reproductions. (Students will get an essay out of order and will have to put the structure back together) I will have the students write an informal essay for a grade.
Third grade will be hosting a publishing party. The students will choose their best SFML they wrote this year. We will display their writing in the rotunda. The date will be May 22 at 1:45. A formal invitation will soon be sent out.

We are reviewing our last genre, non-fiction, this week to prepare for the test. We will review strategies and question stems.
I have started my DRA testing. I will be testing for the next month to see their end of year reading level. Right now, students need to leave third grade on a level 38. So far, the students have done great.

Social Studies
We are still reviewing the vocabulary that goes along with economy. We will discuss how to run a business and things that effect our economy.
We will have "Market Day" coming up soon. This is where students will come up with their own business idea, advertise their business, and sell their good/or service. Some of the kids have been asking a lot of questions. I promise to go everything after the STAAR test.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 17-28

We have been consuming essays. We have read essays debating about whether we should give up our Halloween candy, if trampolines are dangerous, and if all kids should receive trophies when playing sports. The kids definitely have strong opinions to share and are learning how to support their claim. This week my focus is for students to understand how essays our structured. Students will learn the four parts of an essay: introduction/lead, claim/central idea, support points, and conclusion. We will continue to consume essays focusing on the authors opinion and their support points.

We are starting to review the genres that will be tested on the STAAR test. This week we are reviewing the characteristics of fiction. We will work on a fiction passage together. I will send home homework this week for students to practice their strategies.
Next week we will review poetry. We will read poems together and discuss what the author is saying.
Students are continuing to meet in their book clubs. They should finish their biography book club by next week. 

Social studies
We are learning the key vocabulary that comes along with Economics. We will discuss reasons why to save our money and how to budget our money. Next week we will discuss consumers and producers.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3-14

 Don't forget we have half days this Thursday and Friday.

We are officially starting our essay unit. Students have been working hard on finalizing their stories. I have a couple finishing up. For the next couple of weeks, students will read tons of essays. We will discuss what the author's opinion is, how they supported the opinion, and look how they structure their essay. We will start an anchor chart of what we are noticing.

This week our focus will be on authors purpose with non fiction. We will still use the text features to help us. We will still incorporate main idea and cause and effect. Students will work a non fiction passage this week for a grade. I expect the students to show me their strategies.
For book clubs, students will be reading biographies.

Social studies
We are continuing with learning about entrepreneurs. We will learn about people such as Mary Kay Ash, Sam Walton, Wallace Amos, etc. We will move on to spending and saving next week.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 20-24

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great spring break.

The students have been working really hard on their story from my life. They first wrote a base story (first draft). I graded their first draft for structure only. They are now working on revising the first draft. They've been conferencing with several peers and myself about their story. I'm so proud to see the students using each other for help. They are giving each other some great advice and giving specific details. Instead of hearing..." You need more details"... I'm hearing " You can can put some inner thinking right here in the rising action. For example...( they then give a specific inner thinking example)." I can't wait to see the difference in their final version. I will have the kids edit their papers before typing the final version on the computer.

For the fourth nine weeks, we are moving on to essays. We will read several essays together and notice how they are structured. We won't write an essay until the end of the nine weeks.

We are continuing with non fiction. Our focus is noticing how the text features help us, pulling out the main ideas, and summarizing the text. Students are also working on writing responses to their book of choice during reader's workshop.
We have wrapped up the book, "How to Steal a Dog". So sad because I love this book. Students will start on a project to wrap this book up. I introduced it today to my homeroom class. I think the kids were really interested.

Social Studies
We are moving on to Economics for social studies. We will start this week with discussing people who have impacted our economy and improved our communication through the decades.

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 21-24

I hope everyone had a great three day weekend.

We are continuing with critiquing and revising stories. Students will work with a new story this week. We will first mark up the text and discuss what's happening in the story. Then, we will discuss what the writer did well and what needs work. We will be working with this story for two weeks. Students will then get into groups to rework the story. They will decided what areas need work and work together to add craft elements to the story.

We have our released practice STAAR next week on Monday and Tuesday. We will discuss main idea and supporting details with a non fiction text. Students will work on a non fiction passage to review the reading strategies. Students are also wrapping up book clubs. We will move into short text in small groups next week. After the released test, I will analyze the data and work on specific reading objectives in small groups.

Social studies
Students will have their second states test on Wednesday.
On Thursday, I will introduce their map project. I will go over the rubric with them and have them get started. The students always have fun with this project.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 13-17

Happy early Valentine's Day!

This week students will work on reworking a story from my life. Students will first critique the story deciding on what needs work. They will then get into groups to revise the story adding different craft elements. This will be a two week process. I'm hoping to hang the students new stories outside in the hall way.
In the meantime during writer's workshop, students will continue to write base stories (the base version of a story). Students will then choose one story to rework.

We are focusing on text features and their importance. We will continue to add text features to our class anchor chart. Students will then notice and label text features on their own in an informational text. Students will work on a non fiction passage on Thursday. We have our released STAAR practice coming up on February 27 and 28.

Social studies
Students will be working on their map skills. They will answer various map questions in partners or in groups. The maps will cover the five maps we are adding to the states list.

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16-27

We are almost done with our class criteria chart of "What makes a Great SFML" We will go back to reading some stories we have already critiqued and discuss ways we could make it better.  We'll focus on my story, "In the Deep".  Students will do a reproduction with this story. (Reproduction: They will put the original story in order) They will add different craft elements to the story to see if it adds to the story or if it makes it worse. We will spend the next two weeks critiquing and revising stories in their study stack.

We are moving into non fiction. We will first focus on text features. Students will name and notice text features in non fiction and discuss the importance. We will then move into determining important facts and interesting facts.
I am still in the middle of DRA testing. Be on the look out for the reading conference rubric in their Tuesday folders.

Social Studies
We are finishing up map skills this week. Our focus this week is map scale. Students will make their map of the classroom. We will then move into land forms.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jan. 3-13

Happy New Year!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic and restful break. As much as love being home, I was ready to get back to work. I'm very much a routine person and I missed the kids. :)

Here's what's happening for the next two weeks. 

We are wrapping up poetry for the next two weeks. Students have learned about figurative language such as similes, metaphors, alliteration, personification, hyperbole, etc. We have read different types of poems while marking up the text. Students will have a poetry quiz next week on Thursday. This will be an open notes quiz. Students will be able to use their poetry packet which they have written various notes on.

My goal is to finish our class read aloud, "The One and Only Ivan". We are finally getting into the meat of the story. We've noticed the author has put in a lot of backstory in her writing. We are still trying to figure out what Ivan's plan is. I hope the kids are enjoying the book as much as I am.
DRA testing starts next week. I'm starting a little early. At this point in time, students need to be on a level 34. I'll be sending home a rubric based on their reading conference. Please look for this in their Tuesday folder in the next couple of weeks.

Last month our focus was on craft elements. This week we will create a criteria chart for SFML. We will spend our time on critiquing. We will look at different student pieces and work together as a class or in small groups in how to improve the story using craft.
During writer's workshop, students will have a choice to either write a collection of poems or a fiction piece for their next writing grade. They will have two weeks to work on this. I will hand the rubric ahead of time so they know my expectations.

Social Studies:
This nine weeks our focus is on geography. We will spend our focus on learning map skills for now. Students will review the parts of a map and learn about latitude and longitude. Students will practice using their map skills. 
We will have another states test but this won't be until February. I will send out another study guide in the beginning of February.

Look ahead: We have a field trip coming up on January 25th to Moody Gardens. Field trip forms will be coming home soon. This is a trip where parents are invited. You must be cleared volunteer in order to join. Please check with the front office to make sure you are cleared.

Save the date: Mrs. Belcher and I will hold two writing camps this summer. One will be a Fractured Fairy Tale camp (June 12-16) and the other will be a Poetry camp (July 10-14). I will send more info on Friday.