School Dots

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas 3B Parents!

It has been a busy week and a half full of classroom chatter and excitement.  The kids are all definitely ready for Christmas! They were thrilled to enjoy a wonderful Christmas brunch on Wednesday! As always thank you so much to the parents who worked so hard to make it such a success!  

I was blown away by your generosity this week. I am SUCH a lucky teacher to be teamed with such supportive, dedicated, and wonderful parents. You have no idea how grateful I am for everything! This is a very special class!

Over break is a perfect time to replenish some school supplies! Some items that seem to be the most commonly used up or misplaced are glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, and highlighters.

Math: We have continued working through Topic 5. Students seem to be grasping the concept of multiplication. Over the Christmas break, the students should begin to practice their math facts. They should begin at zero and work their way up as they master each fact. 

Reading: This week, we read 3 different versions of the Gingerbread Man. We started with the original and discussed the setting and character traits of the Gingerbread Man. Next, we read the Gingerbread Man Loose in School! This was a cute book about a very determined gingerbread man. We discussed a number of character traits that described him and found proof in the book of these traits. Check out our class anchor chart:

Next, we read the Gingerbread Girl. We discussed how the Loose in School Gingerbread Man was a “tough cookie,” and the Gingerbread Girl was a “smart cookie.”
*I will be keeping in touch with Blessed Sacrament and especially third grade during my trip. I cannot wait to share updates with the class and to hear how everything is going with them! I know leaving mid-year is not ideal but it is something I know God is truly calling me to do and I feel blessed to have the wonderful opportunity to answer His call.  I cannot thank you enough for all of the support you, the children, and the BSS community have given me. I am a very lucky teacher!

I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful start to the new year!

Rachel Davies

Friday, December 15, 2017

Weekly Update: December 15, 2017

Happy Friday 3B Parents!

Christmas is coming right up! The students can hardly contain their excitement! Thank you to all who attended this week’s Christmas Concerts. The children were so excited to have all of you there to see them perform.

I will be cherishing my next few days left with this class before my trip! This truly is a special group!

Important Events:
School Mass-Tuesday, December 19th at 10am
Third Grade Christmas Brunch-Wednesday, December 20th 8:30-9:30am
*Students will be eating at 9am so they may want to have a small breakfast before school.
Christmas Break-Thursday, December 21st-Tuesday, January 2nd

Math: We have moved on to Topic 5 this week. This is when we typically ask students to begin studying their math facts nightly as they begin working toward the goal of memorizing all of the multiplication facts. We will start testing them next week on 0, 1, and 2. Once students pass a times table they will then move on to the next. Flash cards and iPad apps are the best way for them to study.

This website lists a number of free math fact apps. Xtramath is also a great website for learning their facts!

We have introduced our new classmate: Multiplication Murphy. He is very helpful when it comes to writing and reading multiplication word problems!

Reading: This week, we began a Christmas Gingerbread Man Unit. So far we have read 3 different versions of the Gingerbread Man. We started with the original and discussed the setting and character traits of the Gingerbread Man. We have compared the story elements for the original story with the others.  

During Reading Rotations students have been completing Gingerbread Man related activities in their literacy workbooks!

Science: This week we have been learning about different animal adaptations. They have learned that adaptations help organisms survive. They will have a Chapter 4, Lesson 5 quiz on Tuesday next week.

After this, there will be only one more lesson before the Chapter 4 Test. After the test, students will no longer be working through the science book. They will have gained the background knowledge necessary to make important deductions for upcoming science activities. Science will be taught through a series of activities, experiments, and story books. Let the fun begin!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Weekly Update: December 8, 2017

Happy Friday 3B Parents!

This has been such an exciting week at school preparing for our Christmas Pageant!  We have had a few practices and the students have done a fantastic job.  They are looking forward to performing in front of an audience on Tuesday!  

***Please remind your child to continue memorizing the lyrics to the Christmas songs that they will sing as part of the pageant***They need to especially practice “The First Noel” and “Drummer Boy.”

For the afternoon show on Tuesday students do not need to be in uniform. They can wear whatever they want as long as it is nice, please no jeans, sweat pants, or sweatshirts (unless teacher requested because of animal costume). We suggest keeping it light so they don't get too hot in their costumes.

We passed out their costumes on Thursday. We greatly appreciate you ironing them and returning them back  on Monday.

Upcoming Events:
Christmas Concert—Tuesday, December 12th at 1pm and 6:30 pm

Report cards were sent home today.  The label asks that you sign and return, but it is not necessary to return the report card itself, only the envelope with your signature.

Christmas Kindness: After reading the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? We talked about how every day we all have the choice to be “bucket fillers” or “bucket dippers.” Bucket fillers spend the day filling buckets by doing and saying nice things to people. For the next two weeks we will be doing Secret Santa Kindness. Students will choose a name of a peer and they are to watch them all week. At the end of each day the santas will be writing down something nice they saw that person do and slip it into their stocking.

Math: We have begun studying multiplication.  Students have learned how to draw an array to display a multiplication sentence. They have learned that multiplication is also known as repeated addition and have learned the Commutative Property of Multiplication. This is a short topic and they will be having their test on Tuesday.
 It would be a good idea to start thinking about making or purchasing flash cards (Dollar Tree is always a good bet!) as the students will soon be asked to start memorizing these facts. Beginning with 0 and working their way up is the best way to study.

They could also use with their username and login to also practice multiplication facts.

You Can Help: The following link shows a great example of an array and how students can derive a multiplication sentence by looking at the model:

The link also explains the Commutative Property of Multiplication which the students have learned as well. Basically it states that regardless of the order of the factors the product will be the same. 4x2 is equal to 2x4. 

-Students have learned that in a multiplication sentence, the first factor describes the amount of equal rows or groups in the array (or word problem) and the second factor describes the amount of items in each group or row.

-Students sometimes get confused on how to write a multiplication sentence as an addition problem. To help, in class we continuously remind students that 6x3 is stating that there are 6 groups of 3, therefore as an addition problem it would be written as: 3+3+3+3+3+3=18.

Check out our new bulletin board!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Weekly Update: December 1, 2017

Hi Everyone!

This has been such an exciting week at school with Santa’s Workshop! Christmas season is finally here!  We have had a few practices for the upcoming pageant and the students have done a fantastic job!

***Please remind your child to continue memorizing the lyrics to the Christmas songs that they will sing as part of the pageant***They need to especially practice “The First Noel” and “Drummer Boy.”

Upcoming Events:
Report Cards—Friday, December 8th
Early Dismissal-Friday, December 8th
Christmas Concert—Tuesday, December 12th at 1pm and 6:30 pm

Math: We have finished Topic 3 and have begin our topic on multiplication. Students are very enthusiastic with this new concept. Topic 4 is a short unit as it is just an introduction to multiplication. It discusses how multiplication is repeated addition and that it can be used instead of addition as long as there are equal groups. 

Writing: The 3B elves have been busy creating their elf application forms for Santa! Check out our bulletin board next week!

Science: We will begin working on Chapter 4 in their science books next week. The class did well on their assessments and should be proud of their work!

Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

The class had a wonderful trip to Plimoth Plantation today! Thanks so much to our amazing chaperones for all of their help! 

Upcoming Events:
Wednesday-Friday, November 22-24th--Thanksgiving Break 
Tuesday-November 28th—Santa’s Workshop
Wednesday, November 29th—Class Picture Day
Friday, December 8thReport Cards

**Please have your child study his/her pageant lines and the lyrics to the songs over break! We will be jumping into practice next week!

I hope you all enjoy a fun, relaxing, and safe holiday! I will be counting my blessings this week and thanking God for this special class and their wonderful families!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Weekly Update: November 17, 2017

Happy Friday 3B Parents!

The students and I have had a great week back after the long weekend! They are very much looking forward to our field trip next week along with Thanksgiving break!

Field Trip Information: Students will be traveling to Plimoth Plantation next Tuesday 11/21 for our field trip! Please make sure your child is at school on time that morning.  We will be leaving close to 8:30. Our field trip is usually a fun day.  Dress code is casual, weather appropriate clothing. We have gone in all types of weather over the years, snow, rain, windy and bitter cold, and a few years of mild temperatures.  Please help your child to dress according to weather predictions.  Layers are always best.  We spend the greatest portion of the day outside.  Please pack their lunch in a disposable bag with no glass bottles or containers at all.  You can pack a breakfast snack that we will eat before leaving on the bus but there will be just lunch on the trip.

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, November 21st---Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation
Wednesday-Friday, November 22-24th--Thanksgiving Break 
Tuesday-November 28th—Santa’s Workshop
Wednesday, November 29th—Class Picture Day

Math: We have a few lessons left in Topic 3. We will be having the Topic 3 assessment Wednesday November 29th.

You Can Help: Reviewing each lesson in Topic 3 will be very helpful to students. Following are some key points to touch on:

1. Reminding students how to use Expanded Algorithm to add:
452 + 237=
458= 400 + 50 + 2
237= 200 + 30 + 7
400+ 200= 600
50+ 30= 80
2+7= 9
600 + 80 + 9= 689

2. Using place value blocks to add 3-digit numbers (as seen in this video: )

3. Correctly lining up numbers when adding 3 or more numbers.

4. Drawing diagrams to solve both addition and subtraction problems (Lesson 3-5).

5. Subtracting with Expanded Algorithm:

6. Using place value blocks to subtract 3-digit numbers (as seen here

7. Subtracting 3-digit numbers by stacking and using regular regrouping strategies.

Reading: This week in reading, students learned about making connections with text. The learned about the three types of connections: Text-to-Text, Text-to-World, and Text-to-Self. After reading the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, students wrote down different connections they made while listening to the story.

We also learned about how some connections can be “shallow,” meaning that they connect with the character on the surface. An example of a shallow connection text-to-self connection would be if a student relates to a character because they have the same color hair. We are trying to teach students to attempt to make “deep connections.” Deep connections help the reader better understand the text and allow them to make predictions. In the book, Lucy was being teased by a bully. Her papa tries to teach her to do always do the right thing. An example of a deep text-to-world connection on student made was, “In many religion lessons, Jesus taught other people to treat others the way you want to be treated. Papa Gino taught that lesson to Lucy.” With this deep connection, the student could predict how Lucy would respond when the bully got stuck on top of the monkey bars at recess.

Writing: This week students worked on adding dialogue to their personal narrative stories. Students will be working on correctly punctuating their dialogue before publishing. 

Science: Students have finished Lesson 3 in Chapter 3. They will have their science quiz next Monday. We learned that plants and animals depend on one another to survive. Without plants, animals wouldn’t have oxygen and without animals, plants wouldn’t have the carbon dioxide they need to make food. From there we will begin reviewing for the chapter test.

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Weekly Update: November 9, 2017

Happy Friday 3B Parents!

It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with many of you last week at conferences. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with everyone else tonight!

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, November 21st---Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation
Wednesday-Friday, November 22nd-24th--Thanksgiving Break 

Take a look at some pictures from our Pumpkin Project Fair! The kids did a fantastic job!

Math: We will be continuing with Topic 3 next week. This week they learned how to use expanded form to add 3 digit numbers as well place value blocks using regrouping strategies. They also rounded and add added three digit numbers to check if their answers were reasonable.

You Can Help:
Math:  Students have practiced breaking apart numbers to add using “Expanded Algorithm" (Breaking Apart).
We have also introduced how to use place value blocks and drawings to add 2 and 3-digit numbers. Please see the math tutorial videos below for an idea of how I am teaching these concepts in class.

Phonics: We are continuing our work through Unit 2. Students are learning that when vowel suffixes (ing, ed, etc.) are added to a specific type of word, they need to double to consonant. Students learned that they have to be on the lookout for 1-1-1 words. These words have 1 syllable, 1 vowel, and 1 consonant after the vowel. An example of a 1-1-1 word is run. If they are adding a vowel suffix to run, students are learning that they need to double the consonant and then add the suffix (running).

Reading:  We have finished up our work with character traits with 2 final books. We first read Louder Lili and used evidence from the story to help us describe Lili. We then read the book Crow Boy and focused on Chibi’s emotions and how different events in the story changed the way he felt at the beginning when compared with the end.


Religion:  We have been working through Chapter Five. Class discussions have focused on the lives of the Apostles and the development of the Church. Students have also been learning about martyrs and saints who remained true followers of Jesus despite the risk of losing their lives. We will have a test on this next week which will complete our first unit as Chapters 6 & 7 are mini chapters that we read in class without assessing.

Students are expected to write complete sentences on the short answer portion of the test. We have discussed what a complete sentence looks like and will continue to do so. They have also been asked to describe their drawings by including a descriptive sentence. We understand that students are still grasping this concept as it is new to them and we will continue to review these expectations.

Writing: Students worked very hard on their newest bulletin board project. They were given the assignment to write a convincing paragraph on why people should eat hot dogs instead of turkey for Thanksgiving this year! Please stop by our bulletin board to read these convincing arguments!

We have also continued our work with personal narratives. Students have drafted their stories and we are now focusing on different aspects of narratives. This week our focus was on writing leads. Leads are composed of the beginning sentences of a story and have the important job of hooking readers. Students learned to write 4 different types of leads. They learned that they could start a story with a sound, a question, an action, or with dialogue. After writing a list of potential leads for their stories, students met with partners and chose their best lead.

Thank you to all Veterans from 3B! I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful long weekend!