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Class Newsletter By Mrs. Bush's 2017-2018 Third Graders

May 1 - May 15th Class Updates

Important Dates to Remember: Monday, May 28, 2018- No School for Memorial Day!; Friday, June 1st- Diamond Jack Riverboat Field Trip; Monday, June 11th- Family Picnic/Field Day 11:40-3:30; Wednesday, June 13th- Celebration of Learning at 11:00 pm.; June 13th-15th Half Day Dismissal at 1:07 pm.

Reading Workshop: Readers wrapped up our series book clubs by creating an iMovie Book Trailer to advertise their books to their peers. Readers worked in their clubs to identify the character traits, different plots, different settings and writer's style across all the books in their series. Together they put together a creative iMovie trailer to showcase these characteristics of their book series in a way to excite other readers to read their book series. They had to think about the mood of their books as they chose the theme/style of their trailer with appropriate music to match. Be sure to go on Seesaw to check out their creative presentations! Upon completing their trailers we moved into our exciting end of the year project that will be tying reading, writing and social studies together in our exciting Shark Tank inventions project! First, we identified the difference between an innovation and an invention by studying different examples throughout history all the way to modern day. Then we researched famous inventors throughout history as well to learn about the process they went through to create an idea. Finally, students formed groups of either 2, 3 or 4 to collaborate on an invention or innovation of their choice together. Students worked hard on their plan this week and submitted their applications on Friday. Next week they will begin working on their projects that they will present to a panel of district leaders and community members in our very own "Shark Tank" on June 5th. Students must work on the building of their model outside of school. Can't wait to see their final projects!

Book Clubs planning the iMovie Book Trailers!

Click the buttons below to watch some great examples of the many fabulous book trailers that were made!

Writing Workshop: After two months of learning the writing crafts and moves that persuasive speech writers use, we wrapped up our unit by publishing our petitions in class on Friday. Writers have been learning how to write strong thesis/claims to voice their opinions followed up with convincing reasons to persuade their audience. We worked hard on strategies to elaboration through examples and research and then personalized our writing by speaking directly to our audience. Finally, learning how to write strong conclusions by leading a call to action these writers definitely know the art to persuasive writing! Our next step is to make our petitions viewable to the public so they can see the impact their voices have on the community! So proud of their hard work!

Writing partners hard at work on their feedback!

Writing partners know how to use their resources to help each other make revisions and edits for publication!

Social Studies Tours: We wrapped up our Midwest Tour this week with Mr. Ortiz after traveling through 12 states in the Heartland of the U.S. Students were eager to share that Mr. Ortiz was their favorite tour guide as he handed out fake money for participation on the tour. They will have a chance to spend the money they earned in a class store on needs and wants at the end of the year. Our main focus on the Midwest was to study the economy across this region and the impact it had on the rest of the U.S. We learned about important industries such as the farming industry in which we visiting wheat farms, dairy farms and corn farms. They were a bit shocked to study the meat packing industry in Kansas and the important job of the cattle ranchers. Finally, realizing that right here in our home town, thanks to Henry Ford's invention of the assembly line, not only did he transform the automobile industry, but all industries across the U.S. The Midwest produces many needs that we are able to sell across the U.S. thanks to big transportation hubs that use trains, plains, trucks and ships to transport the goods in fast and efficient ways. We are wrapping up the unit by designing 3-D malls which became popular in the Midwest due to the harsh weather that we face all year long in this region. Finally, a special thanks to Mrs. Light for joining us again to teach us more about economics with the Junior Achievement program!!!

Math Workshop: Unit 7 was a fast and fun unit on fractions that introduced students to the basic concepts of unit fractions and the meaning of the numerator and the denominator. We practiced multiple ways to show halves, thirds, fourths, eighths, and sixths using fraction bars, number lines, and circles. Mathematicians also pushed their thinking by identifying fractions greater than one whole such as 6/3 or 5/4. Our unit came to a conclusion by examining fractions that were equivalent, greater than and less than. They were expected to be able to describe how to look at the numerator and denominator to tell if fractions were bigger than or smaller than. If you haven't had a chance, check out seesaw to see their many posts that explain this concept. Our unit ended this week with our unit test and a fun day exploring fractions using Hershey Chocolate Bars as a way to write many different fraction sentences of equivalences and differences. Encourage your kids to keep their eyes open around them this summer as fractions are everywhere in our lives!

Click the button below to see a great example of how we used Hershey bars to show our knowledge of fractions!

March 11th - 23rd Class Updates

Important Dates to Remember: Thursday, March 29th - April 6th - No School for Spring Break - Have a wonderful break with your family!

Reading Workshop: After finishing our class read aloud, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, students completed a foldable to show their deep understanding of the text. They wrote about this beautiful story by focusing on four different fiction elements of setting, character change, theme and timeline. For each element, readers pushed their thinking by explaining how the setting of Edward's journey impacted his character change and then infered the theme of the story by explaining lessons the author was trying to teach through his journey. Their timeline was an opportunity for them to explain the main events that impacted Edward the most throughout the story. Most recently we began series book clubs in which members of the club are each reading a different book within the series. Then, once a week they meet to discuss the similarities and differences in their books as they focus on the authors craft. Our first round this week was a huge success!

Series Book CLubs

Boxcar Children Book Club
My Weird School Book Club
Jigsaw Jones Book Club
Geronimo Stilton Book Club
Secrets of Droon Book Club

Writing Workshop: We finished the first bend of our unit on persuasive essays as students have learned how to craft brave bold claims with strong supportive reasons to persuade their audience. They then built upon this structure by learning how to address the audience with solutions to their concerns and/or worries. It has been wonderful to hear how strong their voices have become as they are learning to write about topics they are passionate about! Writers chose which draft they want to take through publication. They formed writing groups in which they are working together to support each other's development by sharing common ideas. We have a community group, pet group, favorite people group and toys group!

Math Workshop: We are moving along in Unit 6 as students have studied all the properties of quadrilaterals as they have found similarities and differences between parallelograms, rectangles, squares, rhombuses and trapezoids. We then moved on to identifying the difference between area and perimeter by practicing tiling different shapes. Finally, students are learning how to find the area and perimeter of different polygons using the correct equations (formula). In order to find the area of larger shapes, they reviewed the distributive property from earlier in the year! Take a look at some of their amazing work on seesaw. Mathematicians are enjoying the new Geoboard app to practice their shapes and build creative designs.

Science Investigations: Students have been busy with hands on investigations of the four different types of metric measurement. After a quick review of measuring length in centimeters, students moved on to measuring the mass of objects using a scale and gram pieces. The highlight was measuring liquid volume in milliliters as they improved their accuracy using tools such as a graduated cylinder, beaker and syringe. We brought our measuring skills to good use as we investigated whether the number on the outside of everyday packages was the volume or the capacity. After measuring items like pop, juice, soup, soap, shampoo and hand sanitizer we confirmed that the label on the outside of packages is the volume. We will wrap up our investigations on metric measuring this week as students learn how to use a thermometer to measure temperature in degrees celsius.

Volume Vs. Capacity Experiment

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

February 26th - March 8th Class Updates

  • Important Dates to Remember: Monday, March 19th- Report Cards Available online; Wednesday, March 21st 4 pm- 7pm- Maia's Chef Competition- join us at Troy Athens to cheer on Maia as she prepares her Veggie Sushi; Thursday, March 22nd- 1/2 Day and Parent Teacher Conferences (Invitation Only); Friday, March 23rd- Field Trip to Cranbrook Science Center; Friday, March 29th - Friday, April 6th- NO SCHOOL for Spring Break!

Reading Workshop: After taking a break to study the Olympics, Book Clubs are back in full swing as we continue learning fiction reading strategies to improve our comprehension. Readers have been focusing on important events vs. interesting details in their stories as we climb story mountains to retell events and form character theories. Their favorite part has been finding "Tug of War" moments in their books to debate. Currently, we are having a great debate in our class read aloud, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, about who taught Edward the most about love?

Writing Workshop: We launched our new unit on persuasive writing as students were more than eager to share all their ideas about things they would like to change in their homes, school, community and even the world. I love how this unit teachers the kids that even at ages 8 and 9 years old, they have a powerful voice to promote change. Over the next several weeks, writers will work to develop strong opinion pieces as they learn the text structure and features of persuasive writing. Look out, we have a classroom full of world changers!

Readers share character traits and writing partners edit and revise their Informational Books together!

Math Workshop: We wrapped up our Unit 4 math unit on multi-digit adding and subtracting this past week with our unit test. For our next unit we will be jumping ahead to Unit 6 followed by Unit 7. The district math committee made this change a couple years back after realizing that skills in these two units are on the M-STEP which 3rd graders will take in April. In order to expose them to these skills before they test, we needed to rearrange our units to best prepare our students. The skills in unit 5 math are more of an extension of what students have already learned about word problems, which we have found is a better fit at the end of the year, after the M-STEP.

Social Studies Tours: Students we super excited to welcome Mr. Davis, a park ranger from the Everglades National Park, as our tour guide through the Southeast. They visited several different stops through the region to examine the different types of land that impacts life there, as well as studying how historical events such as the Civil War and Segregation changed the future. Be sure to view their Keynote presentation they made to showcase all their learning and activities they enjoyed while touring the southeast. Great extensions to your child's learning would be to have them check out books about this regions history and geography from the Troy library. I also encourage you to visit the Museum of African American History in downtown Detroit. It is an incredible museum with a rich history and collection of artifacts to support and extend our learning we have begun in the classroom!

Jamestown Survival Game on Southeast Tour

February 12th - February 23rd Class Updates

Super Fun Valentine's Day Party! Thanks Mrs. Cusmano and all the wonderful parents that helped to make another successful memory!

Marshmallow Stem Building Project!

Who can building the tallest candy heart tower?

How many candy hearts can you pick up with chopsticks? Ask our expert.... Noah!!!!

Community Service Project to spread love!

We delivered 50 bags of healthy snacks to a homeless shelter in Pontiac. They were able to pass them out to guests after they enjoyed a meal so they would still have a nutritious snack.

Dates to Remember:

  • Tuesday, February 27th is our Field Trip to Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. Students will be exploring historical artifacts throughout the museum as they create a multimedia presentation connected with our big ideas in Social Studies.
  • Wednesday, February 28th is a half day with dismissal at 1:07 pm.
  • Friday, March 9th - NO SCHOOL (Teacher workday).
  • Thursday, March 22nd - Half Day with dismissal at 1:07 Conferences by teacher invitation only (1:30 to 4:30pm and 5:30-8:30 pm) Please check your child's red iLearn folder for a conference note.

Reading Workshop: We took a break from our character study to learn about the history and evolution of the Olympics since its earliest beginnings in 776 B.C. It was wonderful to see how excited they were about learning a bit about Greek History and why the Olympics first started. We compared and contrasted the first Olympics to our current Olympic traditions. Some of the traditions had them in giggles. Readers also enjoyed tracking the path of the Olympic torch all through South Korea. We discussed the importance of the torch, fire and medals as a part of the Olympics. It was fun to learn about all the sports as well, watch highlight videos together and be inspired by the determination of some incredible athletes! It was fun to keep track of the top 10 countries earning the most medals at the Olympics. Overall, I enjoyed having kids experience how they could apply their informational reading strategies to a real world event such as the Olympics!

Writing Workshop: While I met with writers one on one to revise and edit their informational books, students LOVED the opportunity to engage in free write on their own, with partners or even in small groups. It was incredible to see the variety of genres they were self selecting such as graphic novels, comics, horror stories, fairy tales and poetry. Writers have been hard at work publishing their final copies of their informational books on Book Creator. The purpose of this unit of study was to learn from mentor texts all the text structures and features of nonfiction texts. Writers practiced writing comparison paragraphs, descriptive paragraphs, informational paragraphs and how to paragraphs. They also learned the art of how to balance facts with opinions throughout their books. Learning the value of adding illustrations, captions, charts and glossaries to enhance the overall enjoyment of their books for their audience was our final focus in this unit. Please make sure you enjoy looking through their amazing pieces on Seesaw!

Math Workshop: We have been moving through Unit 4: Multi-digit Addition and Subtraction strategies and will be wrapping up our unit within the next couple of weeks. The major focus of this unit of study has been to understand place value and to use correct terminology when ungrouping and regrouping. For example, we no longer have students say, I borrow 1 from the tens. Instead they learn to say I borrowed 1 ten and added it to the ones. This helps them understand the value of each number with more meaning and less memorization. Mathematicians are now to the point where they can look at a problem and say if they will need to ungroup before they even begin solving. Another major focus has been to draw proof drawings to show the value of their solutions as a way to double check for accuracy. Finally, we incorporated rounding strategies into our problem solving to determine reasonableness in our solutions. I have been more than impressed with how well the kids have been picking up these concepts and applying them!

Social Studies: We finished up our tour of the Northeast with our Keynote presentations that I used as a performance task to observe students understanding of key concepts throughout our tour. This was followed up by a more formal test of the Northeast in which students practiced answering multiple-choice questions, true and false questions, fill in the blank questions and essays. This past week we launched our Southeast tour by studying the geography of the southeast. Students really enjoyed using their iPads to go on mini-virtual reality field trips of various locations across the southeast. We visited the Everglades National Park, the Kennedy Space Station, New Orleans and Jamestown to see the diversity that the Southeast has to offer. Students are continuing to wear their geographer hats as they finish up their 3-D maps of the southeast identifying all the different land features across this region. This upcoming week we will begin our tour of the different locations across the region with our new tour guide Mr. Davis!

Thanks Mrs. Kwok for taking time to come and tell us a China's New story and to have fun with some of the traditions!

January 22nd - February 9th Class Updates

Valentine's Day Announcement

Our Valentine's Day party is this Wednesday at 2:45 pm. Please bring your decorated Valentine boxes or bags along with 27 valentine's to pass out to your classmates on Wednesday. If you would like to put names on your valentines you are welcome too, but not required. Please just remember to have one for each of your classmates, not just your close friends. Thanks to all the parents who have already signed up to help out with our party by donating items or your time! Looking forward to a fun party together!

Reading Workshop: Our class read aloud really allowed us to dig in deep to our character study by examining the character traits, relationships and changes between the main characters. Readers learned that their characters are complicated by studying how they react differently in various situations and around different people. For example, we realized that Opal was warm and accepting to adults, but judgemental and cold to kids at the beginning of the story. We studied her carefully though and watched how these traits changed as she learned lessons from Gloria Dump. Readers practiced making theories about their characters and were careful to make predictions based on evidence from the text. Our new book clubs are full underway as each group is flying through chapter books with rich discussions each week. We continue to work on being readers that are studying the text closely by stopping to "jot" our thinking during meaningful places.

Because of Winn Dixie Reading Celebration

Celebrating National Read Aloud Day with a live Author Skype

Writing Workshop: As I have been having individual conferences with all the students on their informational books, writers have been continuing to develop their writing skills through essays connected with our Social Studies Northeast Tour. Our first essay they wrote was connected to the big ideas we discussed after visiting the nine tourist locations across the Northeast. The second essay they wrote was an opinion essay in which they expressed their interests in living either in a big city, megalopolis, or a small town with supporting evidence. They have been focusing on constructing engaging leads with smooth transitions throughout their paragraphs and wrapping up with clear summarizing sentences. I have seen tremendous growth in their overall structure and idea development through this work!

Math Workshop: Mathematicians are coming along very nicely in our mutli-digit adding and subtracting unit by studying place value. We have reviewed place value drawings up to the thousands place as well as expanded notation when writing large numbers (2,000 + 800 + 70 + 9 = 2,879). To build off these skills we have been working on word problems with adding and subtracting large numbers using the strategies: Show All Totals, New Groups Above, and New Groups Below. After learning and practicing all three strategies I tell the kids to choose their favorite one to use to solve their problems. Finally, most recently we practiced drawing "proof drawings" as a way to double check and prove our numerical computations. Check out their work on Seesaw in which they have demonstrated their growth in these concept areas.

Mathematics in our everyday lives... How far can you jump?

Measuring our Long Jumps

Social Studies: Students enjoyed an exciting tour across the Northeast with our guide, Mrs. Mariner. A highlight on the tour was stopping at the Hershey Chocolate Factory to study assembly lines. We even made two assembly lines in our classroom in which we mass produced 26 bags of Hershey candies to enjoy. During our tour we also enjoyed a mystery skype with a class in Saco, Maine. The purpose of the mystery skype was to be the first class to find the secret location by using map skills to narrow down to the city and state. We were the first to identify the state of our opposing team, and they were the first to identify the city. After completing an exciting tour across the Northeast, we studied the lifestyle of big cities and small towns by comparing and contrasting five major lifestyle topics. We examined what life was like in both of these communities by looking at: Housing, Employment, Recreation, Environment and Transportation opportunities. Students then worked in small groups to make flip books with details about each of these categories and then made posters in which we turned into frequency tables to collect data. Our data collection displayed our class choices about where we would like to live. Take a look at our results. What conclusions can you draw about our class based on how our voting results ended up?

Cole and Rachael worked as independents to show the value of teamwork on an assembly line!

The results.... well, despite their very hard work, they each made one bag, while the assembly lines each made 8 or more.

Assembly Lines really do help Mass Production of products!

Hershey Assembly Lines Finest!

Look at all those bags of Hershey's Candies! Yum
Mystery Skype with Saco, Maine

January 16th-19th Class Updates!

Reading Workshop: This week in reading we took a short break from our character studies to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in celebration of our national day of recognition on Monday! Students created trifolds with symbolic artwork, a letter to Dr. King and reflection on one of his famous quotes to demonstrate their understanding of the fight for equal rights for African Americans. We then spent time researching and reading about owls to prepare for our owl pellet dissection on Friday. Students created Keynote presentations to document their learning prior to the owl pellet dissection, during their investigation and as a reflection after their investigation. We truly had a blast digging into our pellets as we became good investigators of the prey that our owls had swallowed. Be sure to ask your child to show you their bones and how they learned to identify them!

Owl Pellet Dissection

Math Workshop: This week in measurement we studied all different kinds of graphs! We began by reading and building pictographs, followed by bar graphs (both vertical and horizontal) and finally ending with line plots. Along the way we learned how to collect data using tally charts and frequency tables before building our graphs. After learning how to build our graphs with accurate labels we then practiced comparing the data with more than and less than comparison problems. Next week we will finish up unit 3 with a final lesson on graphs on Monday, a unit review on Tuesday and final test on Friday.

Social Studies Alive: Miss Mariner was back with flying fish to continue the students exciting tour through the Northeast region by train. New stops that were visiting this week included Plymouth and Boston, Massachusetts, the Erie Canal in New York and the kids personal favorite... Hershey, Pennsylvania! After touring these important landmarks, students are able to explain why the Northeast earned is nickname, The Birthplace of our Country as well as tell why the nation's first factories started in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

January 3rd - January 12th Class Updates!

Reading Workshop: After returning from break we launched our new unit on Character Studies in fiction books. Our class read aloud is Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, which is a captivating book about the journey of a young girl who moves into a small town in Florida and learns about the power of friendship, forgiveness and how to truly love. Readers have been learning that we can get to know our main characters the same way we get to know our friends, by studying their actions and how they talk. We are keeping track of our first impressions and how they change throughout the book in OneNote. We then used these observations to push our thinking and grow theories about our characters by asking "why" questions to then help us make evidence based predictions. Readers are also keeping track of their character observations in their reading response notebooks for their independent reading. We have also been practicing our writing about books, by making sure we are writing complete sentences with proper punctuation and spelling. At this point in the year we are putting more emphasis on the presentation of our work as I am modeling self-reflectiveness for the kids. **Be sure to have your child show you their At Home Reading Log to make sure they are keeping track of the books and frequency of their reading.

Writing Workshop: We are moving through the editing process as I am meeting with each child to review their informational books. Our focus last week was making sure that all our drafts have: A Table of Contents, Introduction, 2 Detailed Sections, Conclusion, Glossary and All About the Author page. We reviewed when to indent for paragraphs by looking for topic changes within our bigger categories. Finally, we practiced identifying important content specific words that belong in our glossaries. A main focus during the editing stage is to be able to look at your own writing and fix up incomplete sentences, run-in sentences, missing details, spelling, capitals, and punctuation.

Math Workshop: We continued working on our Measurement Unit in math upon return from break, however our focus shifted to studying Time as a form of measurment instead of the Metric and U.S. Customary system. After reviewing how to tell and write time before and after the hour we learned three different strategies to find Elapsed Time. Students learned the clock method (counting up and back), the number line (timeline), and the T-Chart. We will finish up our Unit 3 Measurement Unit next week and take our unit test the week of January 22nd. Click on the buttons below to review our three elapsed time strategies!

Awesome Mathematicians Hard at Work!!!!

Science Investigations: After break we began to review the big ideas of our Structures of Life science unit to prepare for our first Science Assessment. We not only reviewed the big ideas but we practiced how to take tests that include multiple choice, true and false, fill in the blank, and short answer. Students learned important test taking strategies they will use their entire life throughout school. One of their favorites was the "kick it out" strategy when doing multiple choice. We practiced carefully looking at all choices and then "kicking out" the ones that don't make any sense to help us narrow down the choices to two. Students completed this test on Friday and did an outstanding job! Please be sure to review this test next week when they bring it home.

Social Studies Alive: We had a blast jumping into our Northeast Tour by completing a Geography Challenge on Socrative to identify the biggest cities across the Northeast, different geographical features, and key tourist locations. The highlight was when our tour guide, Mrs. Mariner, came to visit to take us on a tour through the Northeast. Our first stops included West Quoddy Head, Maine to study the fishing industry and then Mt. Washington, New Hampshire to study the weather in the mountains. Be sure to ask your child about these exciting travels and what they are learning about the birthplace of our country!

Ask your child to show you their Keynote Tour of the Northeast!

Keynote Presentation Tool for Northeast Tour!
Happy Winter! Stay Warm and Enjoy the long weekend!

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

Dear Families... I hope that everyone had a wonderful break relaxing, traveling and celebrating with family and friends. It is always nice to be able to take a break and re-energize for a fresh start! As we jump into the second half of our year together in 3rd grade, I ask that you take some time to reflect with your children about some goals and resolutions they can focus on in the upcoming weeks. For example, how is your child doing with completing their homework in a timely manner and handing it in on time? or Setting aside time everyday to read and record it on their OneNote Reading Log? or Finding time to study their multiplication facts to build their fluency and accuracy? or Packing their own bags so they have everything prepared for school? or Showing you their homework app, iLearn folder and corrected papers on a daily/weekly basis? These are just the basics that are very important to instill in our kids at an early age so they learn to form good habits for their future years in school. Remember that some children do this naturally while others need more guidance. If you find yourself repeating these things over and over, consider making a visual chart in your house that your child can look at to remind them of their daily responsibilities. Some kids will do well with a list, while others would benefit from a picture chart. I can tell you from years of experience that the time you put into this now, will pay off immensely down the road.

Daily Friendly Reminders: Please make sure that your child is bringing an EXTRA PAIR OF SHOES to school as we don't wear our winter boots in the classroom. The boots cause our floors to become extremely dirty and wet and we spread out around the classroom in cozy spots all day. I don't want the students walking around in their sock either, for if we had an emergency and had to evacuate quickly, they wouldn't have time to put on their boots. Please also make sure they have their iPad everyday and that it is fully charged!!! We use them everyday and when they don't have them they miss very important activities and then have to make up all that work at home which can be very difficult to do. Please make sure to read the weekly newsletters on our spark page so you stay up to date on our exciting learning in our classroom. Help remind your child to read everyday and record in OneNote.

December was full of fun with parties, science alive, crayfish and beetles!!! Enjoy the pictures to see the fun in our classroom!

Week of November 27th - 30th

Scholastic Book Fair is Next Week! Our class will shop for books on Wednesday December 6th at 10:00 am.

Reading Workshop: This week as readers we wrapped up our strategies that we use to read narrative nonfiction books. As a class we were captivated by Milton Hershey as we learned to read his biography through "two lenses." The first lens was reading his biography as a story by studying who Milton Hershey was as a character and all that we learned from his behaviors, struggles, motivations and ultimate success. The second lens was reading his biography to learn new information about the history and time period he was growing up in. I now have a class of eager students who want to research The Great Depression!! Many kids already shared conversations they had with their grandparents after our discussion in reading about this topic. Nothing warms the heart of a teacher more than when her students continue their learning outside of school because they are so curious about a topic that sparked their interest! Check out some student reflections below in which readers were taking time to stop, think and reflect on their own about the biographies there were reading!

Writing Workshop: This week each students goal was to finish drafting TWO informational books about two topics they felt as if they were experts on. As informational writers they learned the importance of balancing facts with their opinions about their topics and worked to revise their sections where more work was needed. They also learned how to write main introductions to their books and mini-introductions for each section of their books. Homework over the weekend is for students to make sure they have TWO FULLY DRAFTED informational books with at least 3 sections each by Monday. *Draft means not perfect editing, but fully developed ideas.

Math Workshop: This week we reviewed the main concepts of unit 2 to prepare for our Unit 2 test we took on Thursday. Our big focus was solidifying our understanding of order of operations (PEMDAS) to solve two step equations and two step word problems. The highlight of our math week was our fun 3 Act Cookie Monster Task in which students were challenged to solve how many Oreo cookies a mysterious cookie monster ate in a math video to promote multiple solutions using adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. I was blown away by their creative solutions and great teamwork! Use the resources below to have them explain their solution!

Science Investigations: Scientists this week continued their study of the structures of plants by making their own mini-seed sprouters to examine the growth of four different seeds as they progress through germination. As a class we are watching sunflower seeds, pea seeds, corn seeds, and bush bean seeds germinate. Students are documenting changes on their ipads through pictures and words. Currently, most of our seeds are just beginning to show signs up root growth. This would be a great time to connect and extend your child's learning by having them grow their own seed at home to compare the life cycles with.

Week of November 13th - 21st

Holiday Gift Shop Tuesday and Wednesday, November 28th and 29th!!!! Don't miss it!!
Holiday Gift Shop for all Schroeder Students!

Reader's Workshop: We shifted our focus with our informational reading by learning how to examine the text to infer the author's point of view on the topic. By learning how to pay attention to an author's perspective readers learn how this can alter the presentation of topic in a positive or negative way. We then took a break from our reading groups to study the Pilgrims journey over to Plymouth, MA. After spending three days on a virtual field trip at http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/ students were experts as to why and how they came as well as how they built a thriving town in America. Be sure to check out their post on seesaw where each child documented their learning!

Writing Workshop: We spent the last week taking some time to research new information for our informational books. Writers learned that it is important to check for accuracy when they are writing about an informational topic. We practiced looking up reviews and quotes to add an additional perspective to our writing as well.

Math Workshop: Mathematicians worked very hard on "order of operations" (PEMDAS) to solve two-step word problems. We spent a great deal of time looking for key words in word problems to help us understand if we should add, subtract, multiply or divide. We will finish up Unit 2 after Thanksgiving Break and take our test on Thursday, November 30th.

Social Studies/Science: We had a great time putting on our "geographer" hats as we spent several days learning how to read several different types of maps across the United States. Students learned how to use a map key, compass rose and the latitude and longitude system to find specific locations. We practiced reading population, elevation, regional, and rainfall maps across the United States. Our culminating activity was writing our own clues to a secret location that we posted on Seesaw and had fun guessing each other's locations. I was more than impressed with how well students did with applying their map skills in a real world meaningful way! We then jumped into our next science unit, Structures of Life, by dissecting common fruits and vegetables and discovered that many common vegetables are actually fruits!!! Ask you child to tell you why!

Welcome Angela!!! We are so thrilled to have you join our class!

Angela Park

Week of November 6th- 10th

I will be placing the Scholastic Book order on Monday at the end of the day, so be sure to put your orders in online! I created a recommendation list on the Scholastic Book Club website if you need some ideas for great books. We are currently in our Informational Unit in reading workshop, so building up a library at home with non-fiction books would be wonderful for your child.

Below is a screenshot of the scholastic book club website at https://clubs.scholastic.com. Use our class code MHKCY to create an account and begin ordering your child books! At the top click on "My Lists," to scroll through several book recommendations for our class. Just be sure to click on the book to check the reading level to make sure it is a good fit for your child.

Reading Workshop: This week our focus in informational reading was to connect with our books by getting excited about our topics. When we are curious about the books we are reading and wonder about our topics we ignite a passion to want to read more! This week we practiced our reading stance and kept track of our thinking with sticky notes. We used WOW, ABC, ?, LOL, CT, and =. We then learned how to use those notes to engage in book talks with our partners to share what we learned with sentence starters to help us grow our conversations in meaningful way!

Sharing "Think Marks" and elaborating our ideas through book talks!

Writing Workshop: This was a power writing week as we were focused on writing long and elaborating on our sections for our informational books. We practiced several different strategies of writing to elaborate on our ideas. Writers experimented with writing cause and effect sentences, compare and contrast sentences and step by step sentences. We then studied mentor texts during reading workshop to learn different ways writers present their facts in informational books. After studying our Frog book, we learned that writers have sections with pictures and labels when their audience needs to visualize their words. We also saw how a compare and contrast section with a venn diagram helps to highlight similarities and differences between two objects/topics. Finally, we identified how we can use a cycle format to show how something is repeated over and over again. Writers then identified sections in their books they could write like this instead of always just writing narrative paragraphs!

Math Workshop: Our main focus in math has been on developing our fact fluency so that we are getting more efficient in solving x and / problems. We began the week solving multiplication grid problems that all the students blew me away on their ability to find patterns and crack the code. Students spent time in class each day studying their flash cards on their iPads to improve their fluency. The other main focus of our week was identifying the proper operation to use in word problems when the language can be misleading. For example, we identified problems this week with the phrase "more than" and had to subtract instead of add, and when the phrase "less than" came up with had to add. As we become more advanced mathematicians we are learning that you have to look at all the clues and wording in a problem to solve it and not just a couple phrases.

math strategy books give us opportunities to try out our ideas in multiple ways.

Science: The highlight of the start of our week was finishing and playing our science board games. The students did an incredible job designing 6 board games that each focused on one of the main ideas of our science unit. For each game teams had to generate a list of questions that would quiz their classmates on the key points of their topic. For example, the moon phase group wrote several questions about the different types of moon phases, the cause of the moon phases, why there are moon phases, etc. Later while the teams were playing I was moving around from group to group evaluating their knowledge of each topic as they discussed and answered the questions. What a powerful opportunity for students to be able to discuss and share their thinking and correct any lingering misconceptions.

Social Studies: We put back on our geographer hats to learn some important map reading skills as we navigated our way across the United States. Students studied four different types of maps and the importance of always looking at a map title, a map key and the compass rose to begin! We studied a population map, an elevation map, a regional map and rainfall map of the U.S. We also practiced using longitude and latitude to find specific locations on the map. Ask your child if they can tell you the most eastern state and the most northern state!

Week of October 30th - November 3rd

A big thank you to Mrs. Cusmano our room mom for organizing such a great Halloween party for our class! Many thanks to all the parents who also volunteered on the day of and sent in food for our party. The kids had a blast!

Reading Workshop: This week in readers workshop we split our time between informational reading during independent reading time and fiction reading during our book clubs. In our book clubs we are learning how to prepare for our meetings and how to have meaningful book discussions. During independent reading time, readers set new goals to improve their informational reading skills by using a checklist of strategies to guide their work. The highlight of our week was our reading celebration at lunch on Friday! Students who accomplished the goal of reading 20 minutes a night and recording it on their OneNote reading log ate lunch with me and shared their favorite book of the month! I look forward to these celebrations each month!

Writing Workshop: Our focus this week as writers was to practice organizing our subtopics in multiple ways to prepare to write our informational books. Writers met in groups to brainstorm a variety of different topics and to support each other with idea development as they prepared to write long and draft their chapters. For example: when writing a book about Pandas, they could make an "All About Pandas" book and have chapters such as; life cycle, where they live, foods they eat, dangers, fun facts. Or they could write a "Body Parts of Pandas" that have chapters about special features such as; paws, fur, eyes, bones, mouth. Ask your child what they are writing about! The more opportunities they have to talk about their writing, the easier it is for them to transfer their ideas to writing.

Math Workshop: With our Halloween celebration one day and a half day another day, we only had two new math lessons this week. This allowed us some simpler days to practice our multiplication facts and work in small groups to strengthen previously learned skills. Our new learning this week was practicing our 7's facts and exploring square numbers. On Monday morning, I attended a math workshop that reinforced how important it is to focus on the strategies with kids while learning their multiplication facts. While doing homework with your child ask them to show you the following strategies: the 5's shortcut, distributive property, equal shares, count by's, and fast arrays. **Reminder that they can use their flashcard app to practice their facts 5 minutes a day. This repetition will pay off in the long run!

Science Workshop: We wrapped up our Sun, Moon and Earth unit this week with our fun moon phase activity in which they created models of the 8 moon phases out of oreo cookies! This was the perfect way to show that the actual shape of the moon doesn't change (the black cookie), but the reflection of the the moon that we do see (the white filling) does change as the moon revolves around the earth once a month. Scientists worked hard to finish up their science books in book creator and then demonstrated their learning by working in groups to create science board games for the 6 big ideas of our science unit. They were responsible for coming up with questions and answers to test each others knowledge. On Monday, after they put a few finishing touches up on their games they will rotate around to play all 6 game boards!

Science Game Boards in Production!

WeekOf October 23rd -27th Updates

Thanks to all the wonderful parents that came to conferences this week so I could share the amazing growth of your children and to set new goals for them as they continue on their third grade learning journey. Thank you for believing in the power of partnership so together we can help your child reach their highest potential!

Reading Workshop: We launched our new reading unit on Informational books this week as we learned how to "Rev up our minds" before reading non-fiction texts. Readers learned the importance of previewing a book and all the text features to grow some ideas bout what they will be reading. We then dove in to identifying the main idea by looking for supporting details and pop out sentences. Readers learned how to take notes using boxes and bullets to organize their ideas. To end our week we had our first lesson on digital text reading and explored all the great articles at MEL (Michigan eLibrary) online! Ask your child to show you this amazing resource.

Writing Workshop: Along with launching our reading unit on informational text we also began our writing unit on informational text. Informational writing is when students write about a topic that they are already an expert on and could teach someone else about. During this unit of study writers will carry over many of the writing techniques we learned from our narrative writing unit to add to new understanding of how to write non-fiction texts. This past week we completed an "On Demand" writing sample in which writers had 45 minutes to complete an informational writing piece to demonstrate what they already know about this genre. We then spent time brainstorming topics to write about, and then worked in groups to come up with subtopics to begin to create our first non-fiction draft. I can't wait to see how their books grow as they write about soccer, baseball, basketball, dance, butterflies, pandas, moths, gaming, cooking, hair styles, cancer and more! We sure do have a lot of experts!

Math Workshop: As we continue to practice our multiplication facts in Unit 2, mathematicians were challenged with some new problems this week. Although the X and / number puzzle grids pushed their thinking, they really enjoyed looking for patterns and solutions. They also rose to the second challenge of the week when they persevered through solving two-step word problems with area. Finally, writing multiplication and division word problems didn't seem to throw them off one bit as they are becoming more comfortable following the 3 sentence pattern with key words to write their own word problems! **Please make sure that your child is studying their multiplication flash cards on their iPad for 5-10 minutes every night and that you are quizzing them. The faster they can memorize their facts, the easier and less time consuming they will find their math work.

Science: We had a busy week in our science learning as we acted out several different scenarios about the sun and earth's movement to create day and night, a year and the seasons. Scientists discovered that our earth rotates on its own axis 24 hours a day. As it rotates toward and then away from the sun this is what causes night and day. They were surprised to learn that the sun doesn't actually move, it is the Earth that moves and makes it look that way! We then discovered that as the Earth is rotating, it is also revolving around the sun on an orbit that takes 365 days. Through that revolution the Earth's tilted axis moves toward and away from the sun causing the seasons. Be sure to check out their learning and explanations of these amazing concepts on seesaw! Next week we will wrap up our science unit on the Sun, Moon and Earth by studying moon phases and sun shadows.

Enjoy our action packed pictures of our stack the cans team building challenge.

Stack the cans team building activity!

Practicing Determination!

Communication works!

Planning, problem solving and try try again!

listening, Sharing and maintaining control are all key elements to team building success!

Week of October 16th - 20th Updates

Week of October 9th-13th Updates

Special Announcement! Please join us before school on Friday, October 20th to celebrate your children's writing journey since the start of the year. Pop in anytime between 8:15 and 9:05 am to sit with your child as they walk you through their writer's notebook to show you all they have been working on. I can't wait for you to hear their latest published piece of writing!

Reading Workshop: This week was an exciting week as we wrapped up our first unit of study and celebrated how we have gone from good readers to great readers! Our final reading strategy of the unit was to learn to pay attention to the parts in the story where the author is guiding us to ask ourselves questions! For example, maybe we are upset with a characters actions and we ask ourselves, "Why would grandpa do that to Little Willy when he needs him the most?" (class read aloud- Stone Fox) It is these moments in our books that we can't just pass by, but take a moment to think and look back in our book for answers to help us infer and gain a deeper understanding of the text. Readers learned that this is hard and important work and takes grit! On Friday, we enjoyed watching the movie, Stone Fox together and then had detailed discussion of all the differences and similarities between the two. We charted our observations on OneNote!

Watching Stone Fox the Movie
Stone Fox Book and Movie Comparison

Writing Workshop: Writer's this week learned the importance of spending time revising the endings of our stories several times to find the just right fit. Just as we want to create a lead that pulls our audience into our stories so they want to read more, we want to leave our audience with a satisfied feeling after reading our ending. After studying our mentor authors and how they do this we tried adding descriptive settings, character emotions bit by bit and engaging dialogue. We then moved onto our final stage before publication and learned to be editors of our own work. Writer's edited their stories for proper spelling, punctuation at the end of their sentences, proper use of commas, proper punctuation for dialogue and finally sentence fluency (being sure to include a variety of short and long sentences). Next week writers will publish their favorite piece for our writing celebration on Friday before school.

Writers Edit together and share their ending revisions!

Math Workshop: In math we were also busy wrapping up our first unit of study on multiplication and division. We spent most of the week becoming experts at solving word problems and learning how to identify the specific strategies (commutative, inverse, associative) and solutions (multiplication array, division array, equal shares multiplication, equal shares division) to solve our problems. I am more than impressed at the progress these amazing mathematicians have made!!!! Your child brought home a review over the weekend to help them study for our math test on Tuesday, October 17th. ***Please also remind them to work on their X flash cards on their iPads each night.

Science: The kids were overjoyed to start science this week after working so hard on Social Studies over the past month and jumped right in to learning about the Sun, Moon and Earth. We began by investigating light sources and had compelling discussion on what is a light source and how do we know. At times light reflection can make it appear as if something is a light source but is simply reflecting light from another object. The best example of this in our world is the moon! The sun is of course our greatest light source for survival and because of their locations in our solar system make it appear as if the moon is also a light source, where in reality it isn't. We then began to discuss the differences in sizes between the sun, moon and earth and students learned that 109 earth's can fit across the surface of the sun. This was the first step in beginning to realize how LARGE our sun is.

Sun and Earth Size Comparisons

SUN AND EARTH SIZE COMPARISONS

SUN AND EARTH SIZE COMPARISONS

week of October 2nd-6th Updates

Reading Workshop: Readers worked this week on developing their reading "Grit." After taking a survey that describes characteristics of the GREAT, not just good readers, we set new goals for ourselves to reach everyday in reading. Our main focus this week was learning word decoding strategies for unfamiliar multi-syllable words. We then focused on using context clues to help us infer meaning and to interpret figurative language in our texts. In Stone Fox we identified phrases such as, "smiling from ear to ear" and "walked away feeling ten feet tall." To end our week we learned how to use the app, OneNote on our iPads. We had an exploration day today just learning how to use the different features. Students will now record their daily reading minutes on their OneNote reading log each night as part of their daily homework.

Click on the Reading Grit Survey below to see an example.

Click to enlarge photos below to see examples of OneNote At Home Reading Log.

Writing Workshop: Writers learned how to put paragraphs into their writing by identifying a change in dialogue, passing of time or scene change. After that writer's choose a new seed idea to draft. This time around in the drafting process we knew so much more about what good writing looks like. Writers wrote a small moment from beginning to end in one writing session where they implemented all the strategies we have learned so far. This includes: rehearsing, storytelling, strong leads that hook, internal thoughts, dialogue, action with specific word choice, telling the story bit by bit, identify the heart of the story, elaborate by making a movie in your audiences mind. Wow!!! Wait till you see their published drafts!

Math Workshop: This week our focus we learned our 3's and 4's multiplication facts and strategies to help memorize and solve them. Your child should be able to explain to you the "doubles strategy" for solving 4's and be a pro at skip counting by 3's. After that we spent time reviewing, practicing and applying our multiplication and division strategies to solve word problems. Be sure to check out your child's puzzled penguin post on Seesaw this week if you haven't already. Puzzled Penguin problems allow students the opportunity to practice the 8 mathematical practices of strong mathematicians. The focus of these problems is to have students think about problems in multiple ways so they can identify errors, explain the why and how for their solution and then accurately solve equations by supporting their thinking with pictures. Can you believe your third grader can do all that? I can! They are amazing!

Social Studies: This was probably the highlight of our week as students worked hard in their research groups to become an expert on one ethnic group that settled in the United States. After researching why and how they came, their greatest contributions and along with some fun and interesting facts, they put together video presentations using the app Shadow Puppet. They absolutely blew me away with what they produced for their first video of the year! However, most importantly they learned many collaboration skills and how to use time wisely in class and contribute equally in a group project. I'm very proud of the progress they made on this important skill.

Social Studies Research Groups Collaborating
After their research was done and their videos made, they voted on their favorite presentation to represent their group to share with the class.
Final presentations to the class ensured that all students learned about the tremendous impact these 5 ethnic groups had on shaping the United States settlement.
Jogathon 2017 #BestRunnersAtShroeder
Jogathon Super Stars!

Week of September 25-29 Updates

Writing Workshop kept us all very busy this week as writers pushed themselves to complete four small moment drafts in their notebooks. They then identified their favorite draft that they will work on revising to take to publication. The first step in our revision process was to identify the HEART of their story. We studied published author, Karen Hesse, to learn from her writing techniques how to tell a story bit by bit with strong descriptive actions and exact dialogue. We used these strategies to develop the heart of our stories to captivate our audience. This is hard work and I was so proud of how all the students worked so intensely with their writing partners to lift the level of their writing through this important work. Be sure to ask your child about the heart of their story and what they have been working on to revise it!

Writing Anchor Chart and Personal Writing Goals

Reading Workshop kept our minds busy and active this week as we practiced envisioning, collecting evidence, writing evidence based predictions and retelling the big moments in our books. Be sure to find time to read with your child on a weekly basis at least two times a week together. During those times you can practice the reading strategies we are learning at school so you can see how your child is applying them and growing as a reader. They especially like the "previously on" lesson in which we practiced reviewing what we had read the day before, similar to what TV series do before each new episode. Finally, don't forget to ask your child about our class read loud we just finished, Stone Fox. Your kids might tell you that it was a bit of a tear jerker in the end.

In Social Studies this week we embarked on our first group project as students worked in groups of 5 to research the 5 Ethnic groups that settled in the United States over the past several hundred years. Each student group is responsible for researching when, why and how their group of people came. As well as what major contributions they have shared to influence our lives. After completing their research they began to put together a presentation using the app, Shadow Puppet, to teach the rest of the class about their group. Next week students will put the finishing touches on their presentations and then present to the class. In the end, all students will have a strong understanding of how Native American, European American, Latinos, African American and Asian Americans have helped shaped the United States into the melting pot it is today.

Peopling Projects "Settlement in the United States:
"The Relatives Came" to grab a good book, some delicious snacks and an opportunity to share their love of reading on a beautiful Friday afternoon. Thanks to all the families that were able to join us and make a special memory with their child!

Seongmin and Mom

Nicholas and Mom

Melanie and Dad

Lucy and Mom

Christopher and Mom

Una and Mom

Brynn, Mom, Dad and Grandma too!

Nastya and Mom

Maia and Dad

Noah and Mom

Justin and Mom

Hudson and Dad

Chidrupee, Anvita and Dad

Evan and Friends

Rachel, Juliana and Mom

Luke and Mom

Meshaal and Dad

Nishitha and Dad

Chiranth and Mom

Ahan and the whole Family!

Gaspard and Mom

Abhinav, Sister and Mom

week of September 18-22, 2017 Updates

Writing Workshop was full of excitement this week. We began by examining the writing we've been doing over the past week to set personal goals for ourselves as writers. We then stepped out of our writer's notebooks for a couple days to practice rehearsing our story telling using flip books we made. When then chose our favorite draft and worked hard to create different leads practicing three different strategies to hook our audience. Writers posted these on seesaw, so be on the look out for your child's wonderful writing work!

Story Telling by Rehearsing

Partner work to help each other set writing goals.

Writers rehearse their story over and over and over until it finally has that.... sparkle!

Looking at our Writer's Checklists to set personal goals.

Using booklets to stretch out our stories with strong details through actions, emotions and dialogue.

Working on giving each other helpful and honest feedback for goals.

Looking at our audience for reactions to know if our stories are interesting!

Once you set your goal, we talked about how to focus working on achieving them.

Strong writers captivate their audience with their word choice to evoke feelings.

To set personal goals that are meaningful we must be willing to look at our writing and say, what writing moves could I work on to make my writing even stronger?

storytelling is an art that is crafted from practice again and again and again.

Strong partners with honest and kind feedback will help us grow the most!

Math Workshop was busy this week as the students worked hard on solving word problems with unknown factors. They learned how to use letters as unknown variables to identify what they were solving for in multiplication and division problems. To showcase their learning we tackled their first Puzzled Penguin problem as a class and created a rubric together to guide their problem solving. Check out their posts on seesaw to see one they then did independently. I love how PP problems challenge students to use all 8 mathematical practices. (Click on the pictures below to enlarge.)

Math Workshop

In Social Studies we launched our Regional Tour off by learning about the 4 social scientists and how each one takes on a different perspective when they study artifacts to learn about a community. Economists study how and why people spend their money. Historians study people and how they live their lives. Geographers study natural features of the earth and manmade features of the earth. Finally, political scientists study why and how laws are created. Students were then required to make a pic collage of artifacts from school and home that represent the four different social scientists perspectives and post on seesaw for feedback from their peers.

Pic Collage Examples of Social Scientist artifacts on Seesaw.
Welcome to a brand new school year! Our class will be using this amazing tool to share a journey of our learning with you all year long. We will update our page on a weekly basis so you can have a window into our classroom about the great things we are doing each day! Make sure you come back often to see all the great things we are doing!

Week of September 11-15th Updates

  • We had a busy week learning the routines of our core subject areas practicing transitions and expectations to help us be at our personal best each day! In Reading Workshop students had opportunities to book shop for just right books to read in cozy book nooks each day. We worked on building our reading stamina and made it to 22 minutes one day of silent and focused reading! Readers have already set personal goals and are keeping track of their books and pages read in a reading log. In Writing Workshop, writer's brainstormed ideas by thinking of important people in their life and special places. They then practiced story telling small moments across their hands in engaging ways to create a movie in the minds of their audience. They then worked on writing fast and furious to get their ideas down on paper! We launched Unit 1 in math which introduced multiplication strategies by practicing skip counting, grouping, pictures, equal shares drawings and arrays. Students should be practicing their multiplication facts each week as they strive for memorization. Make sure you check out their seesaw post about their word problem! Finally in Social Studies, we explored important places across the United States using Google Earth that we will be visiting on our regional tours this years. On Monday, students will demonstrate memorization of their address and phone number on a quick quiz. Enjoy a beautiful weekend with your families! Perfect fall weather to visit the cider mill.

Don't forget to check your child's MyHomework App with them each day for detailed updates of their learning and homework. Remind them to sync in the upper right hand corner if they don't see anything. They must be connected to wifi for this to work. We also posted to our seesaw learning journal twice this week, so if you connected to your child's account, you should have received a couple notifications to check out their work. They love to see comments and feedback about their hard work.

Students enjoyed playing Homeworkopoly for the first time on Friday to win prizes for being on time with their homework all week!

Readers find a cozy spot to read during reading Workshop!

Using the "Chalk Talk" routine, all students have an opportunity to share their thinking, while connecting and building off of each other's ideas in silent collaboration. This routine helped us think about the kind of classroom we want to learn in.

We kept a Growth Mindset and persevere through our challenges as we worked as a team saying, "We can and We will!" Because Fred's life depended on it!

Decorating Our Writer's Notebooks

Using 8 Mathematical Practices through Puzzles

Success!
Problem Solvers
Leaders
Team Players

We spent our first week together doing get to know you activities as well as team building activities to build a safe and fun culture of learning!

Credits:

Produced by the amazing students themselves in Mrs. Bush’s class! Directed by Mrs. Bush

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