Sunday, September 22, 2019


Here are some updates from the past couple of weeks!

We've noticed a need for spoons and forks in the classroom at snack time. Most days our snack time is short, and sending students all the way to the cafeteria for silverware means not much time to eat. Rather than ask for plastic utensils, I wonder if any families have any odds and ends metal silverware at home you'd be willing to send in? We don't need them to match, and any little bit helps. Please email me before you send them in, as I don't want to collect more than a class set.

Your students will have 3 pieces to their weekly homework, which comes home on Monday.

  • Spelling: A spelling list goes home, along with 3 activities. Spelling tests are every Friday, and spelling packets are due on Friday. 
    • Day 1: Sort the words on the front by the spelling feature that is focused on for the week. 
    • Day 2: Write 10 great sentences using at least 10 spelling words. Underline the spelling words
    • Day 3: Have an adult read the spelling words in random order, the student writes them in a blank grid, spelling them correctly, and also sorting them into the correct feature category
  • Reading Log: At least 20 minutes each night.
  • Math: Usually a front/back worksheet, due on Friday.

Reader's Workshop
In Reader's Workshop the class is still working to extend independent silent reading time each day. Right now they are up to 25 minutes, with the hope of extending to 30 minutes or more. That amount of time is hard for some students to sustain, so we're working on comprehension strategies to stay engaged with a book. I am also conferencing with students to do a Reader's Interview, as well as a running record.

Writer's Workshop
In Writer's Workshop students have been brainstorming lists. These lists are doing double duty; they are providing students with writing tasks that are short, engaging, and attainable at the beginning of the year. Second, these lists will spark the students' thinking when it comes time to generate story ideas for narrative writing.

3rd graders are continuing to work on multiplication. Last week they explored multiples of 2, 5, and 10, and how they are related. Their discussions pulled in other math concepts like odd/even and properties of multiplication. This past week, we began each lesson with Number Talks. A Number Talk is an activity where students solve a problem mentally and share strategies out loud. During the share, my job is to notate their strategies and link them to the students' mental model. Our first Number Talks focused on the distribute property of multiplication.

Last week we used the class' Hopes & Dreams as a springboard for creating the class rules. The students brainstormed, sorted, and consolidated to com up with their classroom rules for the year: Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Responsible for self and materials, and Be in a Mindset For Learning. Some of the kids have begun to call them "The 4 Bs of Mr. D's".

Class Book
Most parents have sent in pictures for the Class Book. Students got a chance to begin making their collage last week. They will have one more day to work this week, and we should have the pages laminated and the book created by next week.

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