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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week of March 26, 2012

Good Morning,

Countdown begins! Just a reminder, our STAAR exam for third grade will be on April 24, 2012 for math and April 25, 2012 for reading.
In preparation for our STAAR exam, I will be planning lessons to meet the individual needs of your children in both math and reading. Spelling homework will be limited so that your children are exposed to the “format of our test”. Children will complete mini reading passages, actively interacting with the text by recording, connections, asking questions, wow moments, inferring, and recording important information on the “sidelines”.

In math we will continue conducting experiments to study the concept of probability. Your child with apply the following vocabulary to varied exercises: less likely, more likely, certainly or impossible by conducting experiments.

In math small groups, I will be reviewing the concepts of subtracting with zeros. It is very important that your child subtract the problem in “order” beginning on the ones side (right side). I have noticed some students understand the steps but are not subtracting in proper order. Also please encourage your child to prove their subtraction calculations by adding the facts as a way to prove their answers. 

Multiplications facts are complete. Your children are now concentrating on division facts. Way to go!!!

I will be emailing you a copy of the United States map and list of states. In the next few weeks, we will take a short quiz on our thirty states. I am going to TRY to enclose the files here. Best bet is to check your email. 

Exciting News! We have 3 iPads and 4 Netbooks in our classroom! This week as a class we will come up with some expectations and a contract for using the devices. That way, our devices will be treated well and will last a long time! That contract should be coming home soon in their homework folders.

Thanks again for your continuous support. Ana

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week of March 19, 2012

Hope everyone had a relaxing Spring Break!  I know I am refreshed and ready to see your lovely children.  They were missed.

I would like to thank each of you for your help last week.  I was so proud of your child’s biography project.  It is evident your children felt the same sense of accomplishment.

This week in reading, we will continue our study of Caldecott Award Winning books.  Your child will write about a time they feared something and about a wonderful memory.  I will be modeling the process.

In small groups, I will continue to work on good reading strategies for our STARR Test.  We will continue working on inferring information from text by incorporating our equation----BK +TC = I (Background knowledge plus text clues equals inferring).  Ask your child. J

As they read this week for their daily twenty minutes, ask your child if they have a question in mind BEFORE they read.  As they read, they may find supporting facts to answer their question.  This is a valuable tool to help prove their answers. This strategy is helpful with both fiction and nonfiction text.  Our goal is to have active thinkers as they read.

In math, we will continue discussing 3-D shapes and the importance of probability.  This week your child will construct their own models using toothpicks and marshmallows. They will apply their understanding of the definition of vertex, face and edge of shape.  At home you may hunt your own shapes and discuss their attributes.

In the next few weeks, we will concentrate on identifying the thirty states for third grade.  A complete list will be sent in their white homework folder. We are getting a new white folder this week! J  This week we will have a pre-test to check our understanding.  Currently in our math station rotation, your child is actively playing games on our active board to test their state knowledge.  Below are some helpful sites to help your child learn the states:
 Sheppard Software  This website has several tutorials and games in order of increasing difficulty!
States Find  a little bit slower paced game that gives you plenty of time to think! 
Name that State!  Choose the name of the state that is pictured.
Statetris  Be's addicting!  Played similarly to the traditional game "Tetris," position the states in their correct location as they are falling.  (It has different levels of difficulty), Have Fun!
Again, thanks so much for your continuous support.