Sunday, January 12, 2020


Hi Families,

We're back into out daily routine after a long holiday vacation! Read below to see what we're up to. You can find more frequent snapshots of our days on the class Instagram account.

School Communications
Our school is trying to limit the amount of paper that gets sent home. Please contact me to let me know whether you prefer Smilie newsletters and communications electronically or hard copy. 

Reader's Workshop
We're continuing on with our informational unit, transitioning from reading expository non-fiction to narrative non-fiction. Expository non-fiction is written to inform or explain about a certain topic. As a reader, we don't have to read start to finish. We may target a certain chapter because we're looking to learn something specific. Narrative non-fiction reads like a story. It has a beginning, middle, and end. The main character usually has a problem or issue facing them that gets resolved. Students have worked to use a narrative reading lens when interacting with narrative non-fiction, as well as collect facts about the time period or setting of the book. 

Writer's Workshop
Students spent December writing non-fiction pieces about a subject of the choice. Writing to teach uses different skills than writing to entertain. Much of our work has been spent on structure and organization of writing non-fiction. Students also worked to add text features like pictures, drawings, diagrams, timelines, etc., which are engaging and informative to readers.   As each student nears the end of their piece, they conference with a classmate to get suggestions for any final edits or revisions. Most students are putting the final touches on their work, while some are still working to complete their writing.

3rd graders began a new unit that focuses on geometry and measurement. We started the unit learning about perimeter. They have found the perimeter of regular and irregular polygons by measuring the sides with rulers, and found the perimeter of round shapes by using tape or string. Next, we will return to area, and explore how area and perimeter are connected. 

We are just getting started on a theme unit where students will work in partner groups to pick a country to learn about. This unit will tie into Reading, Writing, and Theme as students learn about their country's location, geography, and the people who live there. To kick this unit off, we've started learning about different maps and how to use them.

The unit will culminate with each student writing a research report about their country, and presenting a project that shows their learning.

After vacation I administered the Developmental Spelling Assessment so I could adjust our spelling groups to better fit student needs. Along with the change in groups, I'm also trying to change our spelling routine, and shift the bulk of the work from work at home to work in class. While spelling will continue to be part of weekly homework, it will take a few weeks of getting our in class routine down to know how it will fit into homework.

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