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Sunday, December 4, 2011

We will have a small science benchmark Dec. 6.
This week we will have a special visitor bring us a treat.
We will introduce the concept of division by separating groups of items into equal small groups.

Please continue practicing multiplication facts. :)

Have a great week. Ana

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week of November 28, 2011

It's hard to believe December is upon us!  As you can see I have added a calendar for homework. Just click to enlarge the image.  My personal goal for January is to create an interactive calendar.  If you have any pointers , please feel free to send feedback.

I am very pleased to report that our math benchmark results were fabulous!!!!  Just ask your child.  :)

In the next few weeks, we will continue learning our multiplication factors.  This week we will cover the factors of 5, 10, 3, 6 and 8.  Please practice facts at home.  

We will begin daily math fact quizzes on multiplication soon.   

We are still reading non fiction text.  In the coming weeks, your child will be asked to choose a topic, create a list of questions to research and create a report for their topic.

Have a wonderful week.  


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week of November 14, 2011

Dear Parents,
Thank you so much for purchasing books from our class bucket list.  They will be a great addition to our classroom library.  Again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

This week we will become illustrators and authors by publishing our own “Turkey story”.  Looking forward to seeing all our creative turkeys!

On Friday November 18, author Michael Anthony Steele will visit MDE.  If you would like to purchase one of his books for him to sign, you are free to do so.  He will not have books available during his visit.   

This Tuesday, your child will take a district benchmark test in math.  It will be a timed test.

This week we will formally introduce multiplication. Your child will first learn that multiplication is repeated addition of equal groups.  We will define multiplication as the following:
3 groups of 2 = 6
2 +2+2 = 6
3 X 2= 6

We will continue to learn about landforms. 

This week we will also begin to review the 2nd grade states.  In December,  your child will be expected to identify the state and correctly spell the state.  The second grade states are : Arizona (AZ), Colorado (CO), Kansas (KS), Utah (UT), Nevada (NV), Oregon (OR), Washington (WA), Idaho (ID), Wyoming (WY), and Montana (MT). 

This week for homework we will once again have our “normal “spelling” lists.  

Monday- Write the words two times each.
Tuesday-Write a creative story using 10 of the words.  Please encourage correct punctuation. J
Wednesday – Pick 10 words and write a word the rhymes with the word.
Thursday- Study for the spelling test.

Have a great week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Parents,

This week we will  have our third grade performance of "How to be a Pirate."  The students will be rehearsing on Monday and Wednesday afternoon during school hours.  The "pirates" will practice Tuesday morning and during their recess.  On Thursday, we will perform for the school at 8:30 and 1:30 and for the community at 6:15 p.m.  I look forward to seeing you there!

We have recently started reading several Thanksgiving stories featuring turkeys who disguise themselves to escape being an entree at Thanksgiving dinner!  We know that in order to write well, we need to read lots of good examples of text before we can begin.  Therefore, once we finish reading many good examples, we will write our own creative story starring a disguised turkey.  

We will create our turkey's disguise at home and write our story during school hoursOur turkeys are trying to disguise themselves so the farmer cannot find them for Thanksgiving dinner.

Please disguise your turkey at home.  It might be a football player, a scientist, or something not even human.  You may use any materials you wish to create the disguise.  Think creatively!

It is due Monday, November 14, 2011.

Thanks for your help with this project.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week of October 24, 2011

Week of Oct. 24, 2011

It was a pleasure meeting with each of you.  Please do not hesitate to email me any questions.  We are true partners in your child’s road to success.

This week in spelling, I am going to try something new.  In preparation for the spelling bee, I am going to have your child select their own fifteen words from the master list. Next week I would like your feedback.

If we have not had our conference, please call or email me your preference.  I am available most mornings at 7:30 am or during my conference time at 10:35 am.

In Social Studies, we will begin learning about map skills and landforms. 

In reading, we will begin reading non-fiction text.  I will be encouraging your child to stop, think and record important information (Determining importance) as they read.  
It is important for your child to consume nonfiction text.

It’s hard to believe we are in our second nine week period.  Thanks for all your support. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week of Oct. 17, 2011

This week we will have our conferences.  I will try my best to adhere to the schedule.  Thanks in advance for you flexibility and patience.

This week in math, we will continue subtracting two and three digit numbers that involve zeros ( 403-235). 

Math facts keep improving.  Thanks for all your help. 

Your child is in the final stage of publishing their personal narrative and social studies projects.

In the weeks ahead, we will concentrate on reading nonfiction text and determining importance.  I will be encouraging your child to “interact” with the text by recording connections, predictions, learned information on sticky notes or recording their thinking on the side of the passage.  This is an important skill for our STAAR test. 

Please encourage your child to read and record their reading in their reader’s response log/ notebook.  We must build their stamina as readers.  Thanks for all you do. 

We will soon get a new white folder for the beginning of our new grading period.  Excited about the new folders.  J

I have emailed all of you your scheduled times.   If you have not yet scheduled a time, please email me your preference. 

Your third graders are working hard practicing for the play.  The play will be on November 10, 2011. 

Looking forward to our conversations. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Week of Oct. 10, 2011

This week we will continue reading mysteries in our book clubs. 

Fall parent meetings will be held next week.  I will email you your times this week.  If you need to reschedule, please let me know this week. 

We will complete our American symbols project. Projects will soon be posted. J

In writing, your child is in the process of revising and/or publishing their personal narrative.

This week we are going to concentrate on solving subtraction problems (regrouping and no regrouping) that involve finding the missing parts.  We are learning to subtract two and three digit problems various ways:
·         Using Objects: Base Ten Blocks
·         Using Pictures
·         Recording the problem with Expanded Notation
                            30  +  4
                       -    10  +  5
·         Recording the problem in Standard Form
·         Tens    Ones
         3       4
  -  1       5

Book Orders: Thanks for your patience.  The orders have not yet arrived.  As soon as MDE receives the order, I will process the orders.

This week in science we will study the impact of energy and force on objects.   If you have any balls (tennis, softballs, ping pong, etc) for our experiments, I would be most appreciative.
Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week of Sept. 26, 2011

This week we are beginning a Mysteries Unit.  Please encourage your child to begin reading from this genre.  We will consume many mysteries in the weeks to come.  This week we will review the attributes of mysteries, the components and begin solving our own mysteries.  At the conclusion of this unit your child will complete a book review on a mystery and share with the class.

I need your help.  As we begin this unit, I would like to take pictures of our class as “detectives” and “suspects”.  If you have a magnifying glass or hat please let me know.  I have the rest. J

I will begin to post student work samples, pictures and experiments created by your children.  I will send a permission slip this week for your approval.  If you object, I will respect your wishes and not post your child’s work.  Thanks in advance. 

This week we will be adding two and three digit numbers, regrouping and not regrouping.  We will take a facts test this week.  Thanks for reviewing their addition and subtraction facts.

In Social Studies this week, we will discuss what it means to be patriotic.  We will discuss American symbols.  Your child will be asked to research and write about one.  (Examples include:  Bald Eagle, Liberty Bell, Washington Monument, White House, Statue of Liberty etc....)

In science, we are working on a project.  Will post soon.  Yes, I’m keeping you in the dark. J

Next week we will begin our mystery readers.  You are free to choose your selection. I will also send a list of possible book suggestions in an email.  I will email each of you the schedule.

I will be out of town this Friday and next Monday to attend a family wedding.  Mrs. Axelrod will be my substitute.  I will not post until next Tuesday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week of Sept. 19, 2011

Just a few reminders for this week:

Back to school night will be the 20th of September.

We will sign up for volunteers to read to our class. 

If you are interested in being a room volunteer in our class, please let me know.

Our field trip to the Wortham Center will be on September 21, 2011.  No chaperones please.

We ask that your child please wear a red MDE shirt the day of our field trip. 

If you have not done so, please return the teal signed permission slip.

The third grade Parent coffee has been scheduled for the 23rd.

LAST CALL for book orders.  I will place the order this Thursday afternoon.

It is important for us to be working together to advance “our” children academically.  Thanks for all your support.

Please continue reviewing the math facts.  We will continue to round numbers and solve algebraic math problems this week in math.

Small group instruction will begin this week.  Our reading assessments have finally finished!!!!

Have a great week! 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Tomorrow we will have a small benchmark math test.  Please encourage your child to go to bed early and eat breakfast.
I need your feedback please.  We have begun our spelling lists.  It’s not an exact science.  How is it going?  Are the words too difficult? Too easy?  Please let me know, so that I may plan accordingly.

Just a friendly reminder, please return the music CD the following day.
Please continue practicing addition and subtraction facts at home. 
This week we will be introducing the second grade states to your child.  Please help them review the location and spelling of the state.  I appreciate all your support.

Ms. Vazao

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend. This week we will officially begin spelling from Words Their Way. Your child will be given words to sort, words to write a story, and study for weekly tests on Friday. This week your child will be administered the DRA, a diagnostic reading assessment to help plan my instruction. In math we will be incorporating the Model Drawing Approach to solving word problems. I have included the problem solving model adopted by our district below. (Please scroll down)

Please help your child learn their addition and subtraction facts. In third grade your child will be expected to successfully complete 20 addition and subtraction facts in a minute. We will continue to practice this skill in the coming weeks.

In Science, we will begin to discuss the properties of matter.

In Social Studies, we will discuss the importance of our government. Our student council representative will be announced this week on our MDE TV.

In the next few weeks, we will begin inviting you to come read to our class on Fridays. If you are interested , please let me know. Looking forward to our partnership in helping your child succeed. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good afternoon,

This week's spelling list is an abridged one to teach your child spelling homework procedures.

Monday- sort the words into categories
Tuesday- Select 5 words to write a sentence
Wednesday-  Write a rhyming word for each word
Thursday-Please call out the words to your child.  They will spell them and sort them into spelling patterns. 
Friday-Spelling test.

This week in reading we are concentrating on reading realistic fiction.  They are working on making connections ( text to text, text to self and text to world) .  In Science we are reviewing the scientific method.  In social studies, we are reviewing the importance of being a good citizen and how they contribute to society.  Next week, we will begin to review the states studied in first grade.  Please refer to the list of states in the homework folder.   In math, we are introducing rounding numbers
 and reviewing how to write numbers in the standard and expanded forms.  Thanks for all you support.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Welcome to Third Grade.  We had a great first day!  This week we are working on establishing routines and procedures in our classroom .  In math and reading, we are establishing procedures for creating our workshop approaches.  Your children will reflect on their reading and math activities.   In science, we are learning how to be safe scientists. Thanks for welcoming me to MDE.  Follow me in order to get the latest classroom information.  My goal is the update the blog once a week. Thanks for all you do to support your child's learning experience.  We truly are a great partnership,   Ana

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome to third grade.  I am looking forward to seeing each of you again .  School resumes August 22, 2011. If you have any questions I may be reached on my blog or my email at

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tool # 11

. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.

I plan to incorporate Animoto.  This tool will be very useful in the classroom for students to demonstrate their learning.  At the conclusion of a unit students or the classroom teacher can prepare a video to present new knowledge.  This was an easy process but a bit time consuming.  I suggest gathering all the data before creating the videos.  I hope to use this in the classroom to to check for understanding.

I also enjoyed learning about Google docs.

Documents are all stored in one single location.  Your peers all have access to your files.  Changes can be made and shared instantly on the Google docs homepage.  Team members can view those changes and comment.   One can solicit feedback from peers.  Data can also be saved and used to group students and plan instructional needs.  This is great for team planning.  Peers can share their expertise with each other

2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?

I am more comfortable accessing resources on the Internet.  I plan to begin incorporating i-touches and ipads into my classroom environment at workstations.  I will also use google docs more effectively to share and store data.   I would like to incorporate videos using You tube and Discovery kids, especially in the areas of science and social studies.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Learning to use the tools will be an adventure with my students.  It will take perseverance .  I enjoyed learning about wallwisher to help motivate my students share and reflect about their learning.  Next year, I hope our district will have follow-up sessions to answer our questions. 

Tool # 10

Students should be taught good digital citizenship skills.
  • Students should not share passwords with anyone but the classroom teacher to help avoid identity theft and cyberbullying.
  • Students should be taught not to open e-mails from unknown senders and to use settings on IM programs to block messages from people they do not know.
  • Teach students to use good netiquette and not be rude or mean online.
Teachers should
  • Teachers should install blocking, filtering, and monitoring software in order to block pop-ups, restrict access to sites with adult content, and see which sites your children visit
The following are useful resources to use in the classroom:

Teaching students about good citizenship, I would use the following links:

Teaching Parents is also important.  The following link is useful:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tool # 9

Integrating Technology into our curriculum is and excellent way to motivate students to learn.  Students already all use technology in their daily lives :Internet, games. We must prepare students to complete globally to secure jobs.  We all learned about the importance of actively interacting with our learning-Technology just makes it easier. 

Below are some sites I plan to use in my own classroom:

This website differentiates instruction for you and the students:

A useful website to motivate students to play as they learn:

Study Ladder.  This site is very user friendly.

All the subjects are well organized and offer specific activities for each subject matter.  This one is for math:

Teachers must have a way to measure student accountability.  A  rubric is a great start at work stations.  Both the teacher and students can help create the rubric.  This allow all participants to have a sense of ownership. Teachers can create google docs with links and sations for the week.  Students can reflect and write about what they learned at the station for the day.

Below is a useful website to plan stations for the ipad/itouches.  The site offers wonderful apps to use in the classroom.

Tool # 8

I learned that The iPod touch and iPad are wifi enabled portable media players using the multi-touch graphical user interface. Both require synchronization through iTunes with a Mac or Windows computer via a USB port. Teacher must sync the classroom devices to her/his teacher laptop.  Hoepfully this process will be simple .

Helpful suggestions in the classrooms:

Students and parents must have read, signed and returned the SBISD AUP policy found in the SBISD Student Handbook. The campus is then responsible for entering the information into Skyward so that classroom teachers are aware of students who are cleared to use the devices.
Assigning classroom technicians who are responsible for removing the devices from the storage/charging cabinets each morning and placing them in the designated area in the classroom for learning. Then each afternoon they are responsible for returning, connecting to power and locking the cabinet each afternoon. They could alert you to any technical or physical issues that need to be addressed by you.

  • Publish a set of rules relating to netbook use 
  • Students must put their screens down when doing non-computer tasks to focus their attention
  • Insist that netbooks must run on batteries during teaching hours, to prevent tangled power cords
  • Provide a plan for students to allow them to prepare for the next lesson
  • When setting an activity with a complex set of steps, post instructions on the pilot's online platform and/or print them for the classroom wall to reduce time spent on repeating instructions
  • Have a ‘no other work in class’ policy so students aren’t catching up on work from other lessons in your class
  • Circulate around the class to monitor students’ screens

Tool # 7

Digital Projects

Content objective :  The students will learn the attributes of landforms. 

When you plan to implement ?  Implementation would occur during the unit on landforms.

What tool(s) you plan to use ?  I plan to use Spyke and google docs to share information .

The students will colloborate with Mrs.  Merritts's on landforms.  Classes will create a powerpoint about landforms attibutes.  Pictures will support the different landforms.  Classes will be able to share information on google docs revising information as needed.  Students and teachers can record student thinging and discussions.  At the end of the assignement students will share final product on Skype.

Post # 6

This tool would be useful to promote classroom discussions.  Students can freely share their thoughts with peers.  Feedback would be immediate .

Tool # 5

This tool would be very useful in the classroom for students to demonstrate their learning.  At the conclusion of a unit students or the classroom teacher can prepare a video to present new knowledge.  This was an easy process but a bit time consuming.  I suggest gather all the data before creating the videos.  I hope to use this in the classroom to to check for understanding.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tools # 4

Sharing documents is useful for several reasons.  It saves time .  No longer do you have to email your peers documents for feedback.  Documents are all stored in one single location. Availability is easy as a touch of a button.  Your peers all have access to your files.  Changes can be made and shared instantly on the Google docs homepage.  Team members can view those changes and comment.   One can solicit feedback from peers.  Data can also be saved and used to group students and plan instructional needs.  This is great for team planning.  Peers can share their expertise with each other.  I look forward to learning more about google documents to improve my instruction and organization of information

Tool # 3

One must be very careful when copying and using videos.  I learned as long as teachers and students use the information for instruction, one may post without fear of the copyright law.  However, teachers and students CANNOT copy entire works and/or scan entire collections of images or publish copyrighted materials to the general public.

Tool # 2

Participating and commenting on the online blogs was simple.  As a frequent Facebook user, I quite often comment on friends profiles.  I learned one should include questions in headings.  It is an effective way of getting a response from readers as you set a question in their mind from the first moments of your post. 
In the future, I would like to incorporate videos using on You tube and Discovery kids, especially in the areas of science and social studies.

Tool #1

Setting up the blog was easy.  I just followed the steps and listened to the Y tube presentation.