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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