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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dear Parents,

Celebrate!  The STAAR exam is now behind us.  A big thanks to all of you for you continuous support at home.  I am confident your children shined on our exams.

We will begin a study of Tall Tales this week.

This Friday we will have our annual Field Day.  Please come and cheer on our class.  More details to follow this week.   Our scheduled time is 10:35am to 11:25am. 

Our final animal project is due this Thursday, May 3, 2012.  Your child will present their research to our class. 
We will continue our study of the seven continents. Your children have asked about bringing some artifacts from their many travels.  They are free to do so.

It’s hard to believe that this school year will come to close in a short month.  I need your help.  Our supplies are becoming scarce.  If you could please purchase glue sticks for the next few weeks, I would greatly appreciate.  I will purchase some for this week.  Thanks in advance for your help. 

In the next coming weeks, we will celebrate and learn about India and participate in Junior Achievement lessons.

I am most thankful to all of you for making this year such a success.  I truly appreciate your warm welcome and support. Ana

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dear Parents,

I had to raffle off our crawfish earlier than expected for fear that our last critter would not survive over the weekend. Thank you for your quick email replies.
This week we will review test taking strategies for the STAAR.  Please encourage your child to take their times reading.  Yes, the test is timed, but I want your child to carefully take the test, record their thinking, prove answers and not rush through the exam.  

Please review the following strategies at home:
Source: Strategies that Work pages 244-245

While taking the reading test:
*   Look for and carefully read all directions.
*   Read the title of the page
*   Skim and scan (Notice the genre , the topic, the length)
*   Scan the subheadings to get an idea of where information can be found
*   Identify the genre
*   Review the questions
1.    Read the questions first.  Keep the questions in your mind as you read.
2.    Remind them to fill in the answer right away rather than finish the entire passage.
*   Think about prior knowledge ( Thinking about what you know will help connect new information)
*   Pay close attention to the first paragraph to get the big picture.
*   Re-read the end passage carefully.  It often contains a big idea or conclusion
*   Re-Read to check understanding if something does not make sense
*   Eliminate answers you know to be incorrect
*   Cross out the unreasonable answers-fewer to choose from

This week we will continue our animal research projects. I am extending the due date until after our exams.  More information to come after STAAR.  Thanks for your patience. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter to all!
It is with great sadness and admiration that I forward a message from Mrs. Watson:

From: Watson, Anick
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2012 7:22 AM
To: Woodson, Elizabeth (Beth); Harkey, Linda; Harrington, Alix
Subject: mom

Dear Beth, Alix, Linda,

Mom passed away this morning at 10:40.  She was a very religious person and I think that she would have liked the idea of leaving this earth on Good Friday.  It is hard for those who are left behind, but she is at peace now and not suffering.

My brother from Australia and South Africa will not get here until Monday.  This will be the first time since 1965 that all nine of us will be in the same country.

I am eternally grateful to Duncan and Patti for allowing me to leave my job for a short while to be with my mom and family.  Thank you to all of you for taking on the extra work in my absence.  I am grateful to the staff and parents for all their support.

I will keep you posted.  Please pass on the information to the staff and parents.

Thanks again for all your help.

Please keep Mrs. Watson in your thoughts as her family gathers to celebrate the life of Mrs. Simone .  Thank you.

In math and reading, I will continue reviewing test taking strategies for our STAAR test. 

This week we will continue working on our ecosystem project.  Your children have been busy working in groups researching the plant and animal life of various ecosystems: ocean, grasslands, ponds and lakes, salt marches and forests.  This week they will finalize and present their findings to our class. We will also discuss the importance of food chains .

We will also begin researching an animal of choice. Your child will select an animal, discuss its particular ecosystem, eating habits and some interesting facts.  They will have the choice to present the information using:
§  Google docs ( Presentation)
§  PowerPoint
§  Poster board to present information.

I’m going to once again email the links to learn our states.  They will take a test this Thursday.  Thanks.

This week we will begin our study of the 7 continents.  They will create a book of interesting facts over the next few weeks starting with Africa.  Stay tuned.

Over this past year, your child has completed many projects. I have not returned some of their fabulous work.  Don’t worry--I have been busy collecting all their projects so at the end of the year, they will have a portfolio full of memories of their third grade experience.  This will be part of my end of the year gift to them.   
As always thanks so much for your continuous support.  Ana