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McFarland's Newsletters

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posted Jun 2, 2017, 1:36 PM by Diane McFarland   [ updated Jun 2, 2017, 1:37 PM ]

                                                                                                                                                Dear Dear Parents,

June – Although it’s already June, we still have a ways to go before our summer vacation starts. We will continue with our daily routine until the last week of school. The kids do better with some semblance of structure and there’s certainly more to learn. We’ll be doing some end of year assessments. I’m excited to see how the kids have grown. I will be sharing some of the results with you.


Science Fair – WOW! Your children are amazing!  They were so enthused and proud to share their projects. Everyone knew so much about their topic. They were pleased to be able to do things they don’t typically get to do, and they enjoyed learning about each other’s topics. Thanks for your help and guidance at home. They got a lot out of the project. It was definitely a hit!


Swimming – I can’t believe how much the kids have improved in only 4 short weeks of lessons. It’s really something. We encourage more swimming lessons so the kids get stronger and more confident in the water. Have fun this summer! Thanks for remembering to pack their suits and towels and for drying them out each week.


Mapping – We’re working on mapping skills - continents, oceans, a bit about countries. We’ve been working hard on learning where the states are and what the capitals are. I have given lots of tricks. We’re learning a USA song that has all the states in order. There’s a couple of youtube links that might be fun to watch at home:  and  They sing the songs we’ve been singing. There are also a few apps that are good for learning the states and capitals. One is stack the states which they like. They LOVE the game Scrambled States of America!!! I need to get another game for next year!

As we end the year, the kids will choose a country to research. They’ll fill their facts in on a poster that I have and share with their friends. They’ll research using books and the computer.  We’ll also do a bit with landforms.


Reading – The kids LOVE to read. They are always disappointed when reading time is over. It’s awesome! They have come far in terms of where they started in September. They’re better at using decoding strategies, reading to remember, and participating in discussions. Most are still working on being more complete in their written answers.  They also love read aloud. We’ve been reading the second story of the The Land of Stories books where fairy tales characters are involved solving a mystery in a large chapter book.


Writing – The students are so much better about writing in paragraphs, and most are including more details in their sentences with expanders. Some are still choosing not to include capitals and periods in their work. This is a first grade skill and 4th grade teachers will definitely not be happy if the kids don’t have the punctuation where they belong. This is a must!


We’ll be ending the year with a piece that includes facts about their researched country, a piece about any topic of their choice with lots of details and some poetry writing.


Missing Books – Several kids have borrowed classroom books that haven’t been returned yet.  Please look around at home for any books that belong to us.  The paperback classroom books have my name (Hughes or McFarland) or NES in the corner of the first page and a piece of colored tape on the spine.  Would you mind helping your child look for school books?


Summer Assignments – The students have made wonderful progress this year.  To prevent regression over the summer months, they need to continue to practice their skills. Some parents have asked me to make an assignment because there's more “clout” when coming from the teacher.


  • Read -  I’m assigning each student to read at least 3 chapter books this summer. In the past, our school has also organized a summer reading program for the kids to participate in. Barnes & Noble also has a summer reading program. Listening to and reading books are so important. Enjoy!


  • Math Facts - Students who have not yet memorized their addition facts and subtraction facts (0-20) and multiplication facts (0-10) need to. Students need to be solid in adding and subtraction without using fingers. Memorization is work, but it needs to be done.  Try flashcards, ladders (oral and written), internet websites, games… Fourth grade will be so much more fun if they know the facts. Kids have come back thanking me for making them learn them because the math was then so much easier.


  • Math – Opportunities to add and subtract multi-digit numbers involving regrouping (borrowing and carrying) would be great practice, as would multiplication problems. We don’t want them to forget all the goodies they’ve learned.  Involving your children in daily life math with word problems (time, measurement, word problems…) would be great too.


  • Spelling – I will be sending home copies of your child’s spelling inventory for third grade once they're finished. The same words were given in September, January, and June. You can see their progress and which sight words or spelling patterns they still need to work on. There will be a new list next year.


  • We’ll be doing lots of cleaning in our last week. Wipes are best because we’re not allowed to use any kind of spray in school. We could use a bunch of wipes for the class, if you feel so inclined.

                                                                                                                Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                       Diane McFarland

May News

posted May 3, 2017, 8:47 AM by Diane McFarland

Dear Parents,                                                                                                               May 3, 2017

It’s May already! Hard to believe…


Science Fair – Grade three is having a science fair Friday, June 2nd from 8:35-9:30 in the cafeteria.  We’ll be talking about some ideas and brainstorming topics. Each student needs to tell me their topic by Monday, May 15th. It’s pretty open ended ~ anything goes (pretty much, except for chemical reactions and live pets)! I can provide a poster board to the kids if they wish for their display. Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be sending the packet home on Friday. The science fair items will come in the day before on Thursday, June 1st.


Reading – Reading has become a favorite time of the day. The kids often don’t want to stop when it’s time for math. We’re working on reading with accuracy, and as always comprehension. They’re loving our read alouds and the reading groups continue to challenge the kids.


– The students are including more details in their writing and using paragraphs. We’re still working on revising; many don’t want to go back once they’re finished with their rough draft.  

This month they will write about a teacher, coach, leader or mom or dad. They’ll continue working on “digging for details and examples” to support their examples. For each piece of writing, the students plan using two column notes, write, then revise their ideas and edit for punctuation and spelling.

Science /Social Studies – What fun the Night Sky unit has been! Your children are like sponges, absorbing so many facts and information. The planetarium was a hit! The presenter was quite impressed with their knowledge.

We are studying simple machines now. The kids will have a chance to go to each third grade teacher to have a lesson on a specific type of simple machine. They’re all around us.

After that, we’ll be working on our mapping unit. We will learn about the continents, oceans, countries, and our state, as well as a bit about different cultures. We’ll learn about latitude and longitude and about Atlases. We will use various maps, identify specific places in NH, and work with the United States map. Most students will learn all 50 states and some will learn the capitals. They will each have a country to research.


Math – The Math Bee is next Friday. The kids seem more invested in memorizing their facts. It’s obvious that many are practicing because they’re improving so much! Fourth grade will be so much easier with their facts memorized. Addition, subtraction and multiplication facts should be automatic. They can worry about division next year, although many are already doing it!

I've noticed that many students could use more practice with telling time problems. We're reviewing it at school but it might be helpful to have them solve some daily life problems at home too. For example, if it takes 25 minutes to get ready and drive to softball for a 4:15 practice, what time should you get ready? Or what time is it now? What time will it be in an hour and a half?

This month, we’ll be learning about weight and capacity. We’ll be doing word problems that involve remainders with division and we’ll continue working on word problems.


Swimming – Starting next week, we’ll go to Dover for the next four Thursdays to have swimming lessons after lunch. This has been a great time for kids in the past. It’s amazing how many improvements are made in only 4 weeks!

Diane McFarland

Reading Challenge

posted Mar 8, 2017, 12:21 PM by Diane McFarland

Get the Scoop!  READ!      



                                                                                          March 6, 2017

Dear Parents,

This month, I’m presenting a challenge to the kids. As a class, can they read for a total of 20,000 minutes before the end of the school day on March 31st? Students may read by themselves, read to others or enjoy someone reading to them.


The students will keep track of their weekly reading minutes by completing a school reading graph and a home reading chart.  A running class total of the minutes will be recorded so the students can track their progress and see how close they are to reaching the goal. Please sign the home graph each week before it is returned on Mondays in their Circle Notebooks.


If the students are able to complete the reading challenge this month by March 31st, we will have an ice cream sundae party. In addition, there will be no homework for one week.


The challenge is on!  Happy Reading!

                                                                                          Mrs. McFarland




FYI – The breakdown of minutes for each student with 20 kids in the class would be 1000 minutes of reading for the month. If everyone read for 20 minutes in school, then they’d need to read for 25 minutes every night at home to achieve this goal.  To participate in the rewards, everyone needs to do his/her part at home and return the signed graphs each week for the minutes to count. Read-a-Thon

    Name _____________________                            Week ___________

              (Goal: 20,000 minutes)                               Some Book Titles:


Number of Minutes















Reading includes reading to self, reading to someone else, or listening to someone else read.

Total Number of Minutes Read: ___________                 GET  THE  SCOOP! Read-a-Thon

Name _____________________                                Week ___________

              (Goal: 20,000 minutes)                               Some Book Titles:


Number of Minutes















Reading includes reading to self, reading to someone else, or listening to someone else read.

Total Number of Minutes Read: ___________                 GET  THE  SCOOP!

March News

posted Mar 8, 2017, 12:19 PM by Diane McFarland

Dear Parents,                                                                     March 5, 2017


Welcome to March! The year is passing by. Here’s a little update of what we’re up to in third grade.



Reading – This month we are doing a weekly reading challenge at home and at school. A note and an email letter will be sent home tomorrow.  Reading has become a favorite part of the day for many of us. As a class, we will try to read 20,000 minutes by the end of the day on March 31st for an ice cream smorgasbord! The kids will have recording sheets for home and school. The letter will provide more information.


We will also be doing our third and final book project this month. I have revised the directions, so they’re more easily understood and helpful,  I hope. When it comes time to write the summary, I am available to revise and edit what the kids have come up with  before the due date if they want my help.


We've been working on many skills as we discuss the stories: fact & opinion, supporting answers with details, writing main idea statements and summaries, using context clues to “read between the lines”...  The students work daily on fluency, expression, and comprehension.




Writing –  We will be doing some persuasive writing pieces where  the students will write about their opinion, and support it with facts and details. We have topics like “what is the best game?”, “should kids wear uniforms to school”, “the best pet”, “should dogs be allowed in restaurants”, and others. It should be interesting. I’ve very pleased that many kids are writing in paragraphs. We still need to edit for darn capitals and periods, though.



Math – This past month we’ve been working with measurement again, measuring to the nearest ¼ inch, being able to change measurements from yards to inches and feet and mm to cm and meters.



We will be studying geometry this month– 2D and 3D shapes, lines, congruency, symmetry, parallel, intersecting lines… This often doesn’t feel like “math” for many, but it is! We continue to work with multiplication and word problems. At this point, all multiplication facts have been introduced and the kids are working on memorizing them.





Science – We get to study the Night Sky next! There are so many things to learn. We’ll be talking and doing activities about stars, constellations, planets, the moon and their movement patterns. In April, we’ve hired a planetarium to come to our gym. The kids will get a great review and have an experience of being in a planetarium where they can see constellations and night sky fun.




Cursive – We have learned all the lower case and upper case cursive letters. We will continue to practice and improve. The kids may write in cursive at this point if they wish. : )





- Class supplies: We are almost out of cups, wipes, tissues and spoons if anyone would like to donate some.  Thanks!


-Because of all the snow days, we WILL have school Friday, March 17th to make up one of the days.


-Please check with your child to see if he/she needs a new supply of pencils.


-Report cards will be sent home Friday, the 24th. Please sign the envelope and return. You may keep the papers that are inside.



Thanks for all you do! Thanks for reading!



Diane McFarland



January News

posted Jan 6, 2017, 7:55 AM by Diane McFarland

Dear Parents,                                                                                                 January 4, 2017

Happy New Year!  

Happy New Year!  The kids seem happy to be back .  January is typically a great learning month if we can keep everyone healthy.  The children need to dress for the weather, wearing hats and mittens and zipping their coats. Boots and snowpants are required to go in the snow. Many people like to bring their snow things in a grocery shopping cloth bag. Here’s what’s up this month.


Social Studies/Immigration – We are having fun with this unit and learning a lot about the Ellis Island experience. Each child will represent one of six countries as an immigrant to the US during our third grade “Immigration Simulation” on Wed. January 25th. All children will experience the immigration process as they “go through” Ellis Island (school caf.) with their passports as immigrants. They will learn about the country they represent and earn money for their passage, storing it in the pouches that they sewed. Fun, fun! Parents will be able to help at the simulation. A paper will be sent home this week for it.


Thank you for completing the family history/ancestry information.  It’d be great to have them all by Friday. It will make our study of immigration more personal and meaningful. Some of us have more info than others about our ancestry. Anything you know is great to share. Leave what you don’t know blank. We'll be doing an activity with the information soon.

If you would like to share something of your own ancestry, cultural experience or artifacts from your native country, let me know. It’d be a great learning experience for the kids.


Our Lowell Mills field trip is Wednesday, January 18th. Students need to bring a disposable lunch and be dressed for some outside walking. Chaperones may ride the bus unless they prefer to meet us there by car. All chaperones who have signed up may come.



Reading –  We have been reading many fiction and nonfiction books about immigration in December. This week, we are changing reading group instructors and beginning a new chapter book.


I will be assigning our second book project sometime next week. The kids wil need to choose a “just right” book  to read that I will approve, write a 4-6 sentence summary for it, and choose between a diorama, a storyboard, a mobile or a game. It won’t be due until Thursday, February 9th. Nothing needs to be done yet.


Math - We’re finishing up a unit on graphing and then we’ll begin a unit on fractions. We’re also still working on our math facts –addition and subtraction and we’ve moved on to x3 and x4 facts this month. Keep practicing!!! We’ll be getting back at the quizzing and moving forward in our facts this month, so practice at home is so important.


Writing/Language – The students' writing is really coming along. We will work on including thoughtshots (thoughts and feelings) in writing. We will be writing about a favorite item or memory which will use both snapshots (what we can see) and thoughtshots. The students are using a thesaurus to find vivid words for adjectives and expanding sentences by thinking about “where, when, why, and how”.

Rereading work to edit and revise, showing best effort is ongoing. Any possible misspellings are circled as they write to be looked up later. Writing ideas on the paper comes first. We revise our work by adding or deleting with a colored pencil.  It’s fun to see all the improvements and changes they’ve made by looking at all the color on the page. Editing or proofreading for capitals, periods, and spelling are always expected before completion.


Other language and spelling skills that we continue to review and practice include –similes, using a & an, commas, plurals, adverbs, spelling rules, dictionary skills, hyphens, syllables… 



Spelling Hint - A spelling pattern for this month is c, k, and ck words.  There is a rule that works well. Although they all make the same sound, the ck only comes after a short vowel and at the end of a word or syllable (stuck, package). The c is a “fat” letter and comes before the “fat” vowels of a, o, and u (cashew, because, cucumber). If it comes before a “skinny” vowel (i,e,y), it makes the soft c sound like an s (mice, bicycle, cinnamon). The k is “skinny” and comes before the “skinny” vowels of ei, and y. (kind, ketchup). There are always rule breakers but this little trick is very helpful.


It also applies with the j and g letters. The g makes the hard g sound when it's followed by fat vowels a, o, u (goat, gas). The g makes the soft /j/ sound when it's followed by the skinny vowels, e, i, y (giant, judge, gym).


I just realized that November and December’s homework assignments haven’t been displayed on my website. I’m not sure what I was doing wrong, but we’re all set for this week! I hope to get it right from now on.



Diane McFarland

December 2

posted Dec 2, 2016, 11:17 AM by Diane McFarland

Dear Parents,                                                                                                   December 1, 2016


Report Cards – Report cards are going home with the kids on Friday. Please sign and return the envelope. You may keep the report card. Each standard has specific criteria that are to be accomplished by June. These report cards are similar to those that you saw in second grade.


Progress – At the beginning of the year, we asked each student to read for one minute from a third grade passage. We were looking for fluency and accuracy. There were many mistakes made that weren’t corrected. At the end of this term, I’m so happy to say that the kids are 97-100% accurate and their fluency has improved a lot! Success!


Field Trip – Please pass in the field trip permission slip and the money to us as soon as possible. We’re supposed to get the money to Lowell Mills this week. Thanks.


Book Project – As the kids finish their books and complete the rough draft of their poster, I’m giving them the real poster to complete. We will be having some class time to do this, but some of it may need to be completed at home. By next week, everyone should have their posters.


Math – We have been doing lots of word problems of all operations. They’ll have a test on them next week. For multiplication, we’ve learned the facts x0, x1, x2, x5, x10, and x9. We’ve begun studying  x4 facts. We will be reviewing number sense, place value and graphing this month. Time spent on memorizing the math facts would be great, both multiplication and addition/subtraction. We’re really doing a push this month.


Science/Social Studies – The children seem to really know the workings of the water cycle. We have started our Social Studies Immigration unit!  During this unit, we will learn about the experiences American immigrants faced. We will broaden our study to different countries and explore reasons, cultural differences, and the joys and tribulations of what immigrants dealt with. We’ll have an Immigration Simulation in January – more to come on that later.  : )


In Reading, each student is reading copies of immigration books –some factual and some historical fiction in small groups.


Family Ancestry –  Part of our study of immigration is talking about the kids’ own ancestries and learning about their own relatives. The students are bringing home a questionnaire next Friday. Where many people see family over the holidays, it might be a nice opportunity to include others in gathering information if you need to. It will be collected the Friday of the first week in January and we’ll do some activities with it. I realize that some people know more about their ancestry than others. Whatever you come up with is fine. Thanks for your help. You can send it in whenever you wish, but by Jan. 6th. Thanks for your help.


Writing – The students are learning specific methods of how to make their writing more descriptive or interesting (including wheres, whens, whys, and hows). They are working towards using details and similes to make their words create a picture in our minds. We’ve talked about thoughtshots and snapshots. A thoughtshot is something that goes on inside your head or something that you feel. A snapshot is something that you can see. They are encouraged to revise and make some of these changes to their rough draft. It’s a way of expanding sentences to include more pertinent details.



Holidays – Next week I will send a note home about our holiday activities.

Gifts – We will not be exchanging gifts but classroom gifts are welcome. Some ideas include: Othello,  legos, thin dry erase markers, anything else the kids think would be good to have here. We’re always in need of cups, wipes and pencils. We’re almost out right now.

Thanks for reading.                                                                            

Diane McFarland


Welcome to Third Grade!

posted Jun 22, 2016, 5:45 AM by Diane McFarland

Dear Third Grade Students and Parents,                       June 22, 2016


I will be your third grade teacher and I welcome you to your new class! I’m excited to teach you so many new things!  We will do many fun activities and I think you’ll enjoy a lot of the topics that we’ll study. I’m excited for you to meet new friends. Feel free to check out my website for more third grade information.


I hope you have a nice summer and enjoy some different experiences. I plan to spend some time with family in Bar Harbor and in Exeter. I’m looking forward to having more time to read, visit with friends, and enjoy some nice hikes and bike rides. I’m taking up golfing too! We’ll see how that goes. I’ll look forward to hearing what you’ve been up to when I see you in August.


Some regression tends to happen over the summer so enjoy reading many books. If you don’t know all your addition and subtraction facts yet, you need to study them. Flashcards are still a great tool. Work on them bit by bit and you’ll find third grade math much easier.


On the first day of school, please bring:

l  an item to share that tells something about you  ~ 

a favorite  book, picture, souvenir or special item… 

l  lunch or lunch money for the week

l  healthy snack                                                

l  water bottle with your name on it

·       several sharp pencils

·       a small set of colored pencils

·       small pencil box – This one (5½x8½) works great for desks.

·       personal headphone in a labeled ziplock bag to use in computer lab. It will be returned at the end of the year.


Many students also like to have their own scissors (labeled),small quiet pencil sharpener, eraser, and glue stick, but I will have some available.                    

I look forward to seeing you Monday, August 29th.  I'll meet you in the cafeteria for the start of a great year! Enjoy your summer vacation.                                                                                                                                                                                     Sincerely, Mrs. McFarland

September 1

posted Jun 3, 2016, 12:07 PM by Diane McFarland   [ updated Sep 1, 2016, 2:02 PM ]

 Dear Parents,                                                                      September 1, 2016


~ News from Mrs. McFarland ~


Our year has started!  Our 20 students are getting to know each other and learning classroom routines and expectations. We’ve played many get-to-know you games, a following direction challenge game, used Cuisenaire rods, started our read aloud story,  Humphrey, and most exciting…put things in our desks!

I will share more specifics about what 3rd grade will be like for you and your child at our Parent Information Night Thursday, Sept. 15th (6:00 or 6:30 session).  Meanwhile, this may help. I plan to send future monthly letters through email.


** I’m still getting your email addresses. Our next newsletter will be sent through email.**



1.     Lunch

·       Students bring the money to the cafeteria.

·       The prices are $2.50 for hot lunch (lunch & milk) and $0.50 for separately purchased milk for cold lunch or for snack milk. A paid lunch includes milk in the price. Checks can be made out to the Newmarket School Lunch.

·       You may pay for more than one week or for a month at a time if you wish. 

·       You will have an account with the cafeteria. The cost of the lunch or milk(s) that your child selects will be withdrawn from the account.

·       Please be sure your child knows what he/she should be purchasing so they don’t get more than what you’ve accounted for in your payments.

·       The lunch menu is on our Newmarket website.



2.    Snack

·       We have 4 students who are allergic to nuts. So, I’m asking that the snacks you pack for your child to eat in the classroom be nut free. The cafeteria is better organized to handle nut items so children are welcome to eat those items at lunch.

·       We want only healthy snacks snacks. An idea list is attached.

·       Many children are going to the cafeteria for a snack. I want to make sure this is okay with you and they’re not depleting the money you had earmarked for their lunches.

·       We have the early 11:05 lunch. A snack at the end of the day for those with an after school activity might be a good idea.



3.     Specials  (12:55)   Mon – Art                 Tues- Music                  Wed – Library       

                            Thurs – Computer     Fri – Phys. Ed.                         



4.     Homework

·       The latest research is showing that homework doesn’t do much to increase children’s knowledge, so we are rethinking our homework policy. Reading, studying math facts and studying spelling words will be the focus of homework, with the occasional specific paper from us. I will let you know more about it on our parent night. For now, the students may read 20 minutes a night.


·       The students will bring home a “Circle Notebook” on Fridays with the week’s papers in it. The papers may stay at home. You need to sign or write back and send the Circle Notebook back to school on Mondays. I will go slow at the beginning, modeling letter writing and having them gradually take on more responsibility in their letter writing.


·       There will be spelling words to study for next week. They are attached.



5.     Outside recess – Students who are here at 8:00 on Wednesdays get to go out for recess before school.



6.     Cooking – I would like to cook with the kids this year. If you could send in $4.00 for some of our cooking supplies, that’d be great! Thanks.



7.     Communication – Feel free to send notes or email me with communication.


I hope this clarifies a few things.  I look forward to meeting you Thursday, Sept 15th at our parent information night.


                                                                                                    Sincerely,          Diane McFarland

September 30th

posted May 10, 2016, 1:09 PM by Diane McFarland   [ updated Oct 6, 2016, 2:05 PM ]

Dear Parents,                                                                                                         September 30, 2016




Thanks - First, thanks for so many little things: getting your child to school on time, writing back to your child in the Friday Circle Notebook, sending in healthy nutfree snacks, guiding homework, supplying wipes, pencils, cups, and tissues (we can always use more), helping your kids with math facts and spelling words, and encouraging toys to stay in backpacks or at home.



A Few Things – The week’s homework is now placed on my website for your reference. A few things are changed each week. One thing I noticed is that the spellingcity website has too many d’s in the address. My mistake! I’ve fixed it. You should be able to copy and paste, and use it now.


I will be assigning the class xtramath and prodigy activities in the next week. Both programs allow me to customize the activities based on the levels of the kids. The kids have also chosen a new password for their google accounts. I will be stapling them into their homework folders.



Homework – There is a homework club in third grade for students who have trouble doing homework at home. Since we’ve changed homework this year, I’m not sure that anyone needs to partake in the club. If you would like to have your child be part of this one hour time for 3 days a week, please let me know by next Fri, 10-7. Each class is allowed to submit two names.


In the second week of October, the kids will be doing a scavenger hunt for weather words. They’ll each have 4 words to come up with a picture and an object (they can make it) to demonstrate what the word is. More information will come home in the October 11th homework paper.


September – We are adjusting to third grade. We have a new assistant to our class, Mrs. Becksted who is with us for most of the day. We’re lucky to have her! The class is getting better about using the bathroom. They are attending to lessons for the most part and learning, but they could still work on listening when I’m speaking and working more quietly. We’re getting there. They’ve enjoyed cooking the past two weeks, and have enjoyed eating the yummy snacks!




Social Studies/Science - We are learning about Newmarket.  The students have learned a lot about their community and its history.  They are researching a place in Newmarket. Thank you for your help with their interviews. They are due back on Tuesday.


We will be writing a short report about their Newmarket place of research. Organizing information, sequencing, and expressing ideas clearly will be the focus. We will work on writing a paragraph for each question of their Newmarket research project before publishing their work into a class reference book.


We’ll switch to science and study matter and the water cycle soon. The kids will have fun with some experiments.  We will begin our water unit with a team scavenger hunt of vocabulary words. That will come home in the next couple of weeks.                                                       



Math – We have done lots of math activities! The students know or are learning the complements of 10 (7+ __ = 10), and are good at adding and subtracting increments of 10. We’ve worked on +9 facts. (If  10+4=14, then 9+4 is just one less.) We’re reviewing doubles and then we’ll do doubles + 1. (If 7+7=14, then 7+8=15. At home quizzes or “ladder” practice in their HW folder is great. We’ve also done x5 math facts and x2 facts.


We have done activities with addition with regrouping (carrying) and problems that require subtraction with regrouping (trading or borrowing). We’ve done a lot with understanding place value, manipulating numbers, writing expanded notation, rounding, and reading/writing big numbers.


I will be having more challenge math activities for those needing it. That will come this month.



Reading – Every student is benefiting from small group reading instruction. We have been reviewing story elements (characters, setting, wish, problem, solution, and lesson) and identifying them in our books. We’ve talked about “connections” we make from books, picturing the events in our minds, sequencing, and explaining the main idea.


The students are learning/reviewing strategies for reading unfamiliar words.  When sounding it out doesn’t work, they “chunk parts” – covering and then blending word parts together. They also try to skip the word – read on- and go back, using sentence meaning to think about what makes sense in the reading.  The goal is for  them to make their own corrections and read accurately.  It’s so tempting to give the word but by giving them “think time”, they can try their strategies on their own first and increase their reading abilities.


If what is read doesn’t make sense and your child doesn’t go back to self-correct, try repeating the sentence exactly as they read it and ask if it makes sense. This helps them attend more to the meaning of the story and guides them towards monitoring their reading. The more they read, the better they’ll get.



Writing / Language – We have been working on answering questions in complete sentences using words from the question as the beginning of the answers. We are learning to use the Spell It book to edit misspelled words. We will be working with vivid adjectives and the thesaurus to come up with synonyms soon.


The students have written pieces about themselves and what they like, a narrative and a poem. We are currently focusing on using correct punctuation, writing complete sentences, and using more interesting words (vivid words). Using capitals and periods is a must.  Focusing on “where”, “when” and “why” using pictures has helped with details. Using “how” and similies will be addressed this month.



Spelling – The weekly word list comes home on Mondays with information about vocabulary words for the week's story and the language skills we're discussing and learning about. The spelling test is on Fridays. Students correct their own with me, so they know and can tell you how they did.


Practicing - Many people enjoy the website to practice words. It's on the Newmarket website in the third grade section. In their homework folder is a list of activities for the kids to try as they work on their spelling words. We’ve practiced many of them in school. Being able to apply the skill of the week is the goal.


Spelling words, understanding the options of long vowel sounds and sequencing the sounds heard is a general weakness overall for this group. We’ll be doing lots of activities around the combinations of sounds and how they’re sequenced. Any work at home is appreciated.



Handwriting – We’ve reviewed the printing letters, so now we’re ready to start cursive!!


Other Tidbits – 



Cooking – Thanks for your $4.00 cooking money contribution. We’ve started!


Conferences – I will be sending home a paper with times that you might be able to make. Please circle all times that you could attend and return it to me. I’ll figure out a schedule.


Pencils The students need to bring in some sharp pencils every month. We use them for everything and it’s amazing how easily they are lost or used up by the pencil sharpeners!!!  Several sharp pencils are needed to start each day.


Third grade students may go outside before school or go to art. They may also go to computer lab on Fridays until it’s filled up.


That’s it for now! Thanks for all you do!



Diane McFarland 


posted Mar 31, 2016, 12:39 PM by Diane McFarland   [ updated Oct 6, 2016, 2:07 PM ]

Parent Teacher Conferences

Dear Parents,                                                                                        

It is the time of year to schedule our parent-teacher conferences. Each conference is set for 20 minutes so we can discuss what’s going well and what your child could work on improving.

Please circle ALL times or groups of times that you could meet. This is a huge help to me in scheduling. I‘d rather do it this way than using “sign up genius” where early birds get their first choice and those that aren’t able to check their mail often don’t get what they were hoping for.

Feel free to note any preferences, or first, second and third choices. If you could get this back to me by Friday, Oct 14th, I will let you know of your conference day the next Monday. I’m looking forward to meeting with you all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sincerely,

                                                                                          Diane McFarland

Student _________________________________

Tues. Oct 25                  Wed. Oct 26                   Thurs. Oct 27                 Fri. Oct 28

3:10                                            3:10                                 3:10                                  8:10

3:30                                            3:30                                  3:30                                  8:30

3:50                                            3:50                                  3:50                                  8:50

4:10                                            4:10                                  4:10                                  9:10  

4:30                                            4:30                                  4:30                                  9:30  

                                                                                          4:50                                  9:50  

                                                                                          5:10                                  10:10

                                                                                          5:30                                  10:30

                                                                                          5:50                                  10:50

                                                                                          6:10                                  11:10

                                                                                          6:30                                  11:30



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