Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Daily Five in Action

The "Daily Five" is the name of the five authentic reading and writing tasks that your child can engage in during our reading period while teachers meet with small groups and individuals for reading instruction. The jobs each child can choose from are: Read to Self, Listening to Reading, Word Work, Work on Writing and Read to Someone. The children have been practicing the routines for these activities and the activities themselves since school began. All the members of our classroom are really doing a great job with them. Each child will bring home a Daily Five contract each week so you can see which activities he/she participated in. Check out some photos below (not pictured: Work on Writing)!

Listening to Reading

Word Work: Scrabble Spelling

Read to Someone

Read to Self

Work Work: Spelling Word Stamp

Word Word: Wiki Words



Friday, October 13, 2017

Using Shoes to Choose!?!



Yes, you read that right! Over the last month, in addition to the rules and routines we have practiced, the books we read, and activities we worked on, the children learned how SHOES could help remind them to choose books that are “just-right” for them.

One afternoon, much to the astonishment of the children, I dragged out a bag that was chock full of my shoes: gardening shoes, snow boots, flip flops, dress shoes, and sneakers. I explained that each of my shoes had a purpose. I wouldn’t wear gardening shoes out to dinner or flip flops in the snow, would I? I explained that just as we wear different types of shoes for different purposes, we read different books for different purposes (typically to find out something new or just for fun). I then pointed out that my shoes reflect my interests. I don’t have soccer shoes because I am not really interested in soccer and I don’t have ski boots because I am not a skier. I explained that I choose my shoes based on my interests and, just like our shoes; we should choose our books based on our interests.

Finally, I tried on some of the children’s shoes. After the boisterous laughter died down, I explained that even though Teagan’s flip flop and Mia’s sneaker matched my interest and purpose, I couldn’t/shouldn’t wear them because they were not a good fit for me! I would also not wear my Bob’s shoes, even if they matched my purpose and interest because they wouldn’t be a good fit for me either. I explained that again, books, like shoes, have to be a good fit for the reader. The reader has to understand what he/she is reading and know most of the words. If he/she doesn’t then, just like the shoes I tried on, the book is not a good fit and the reader needs to choose a different book that is a better fit.

This strategy for choosing books is called I PICK and we will revisit it frequently this year so that each child becomes skilled at picking books that match their purpose, interest and “size”. Below is a chart that shoes… I mean shows, what the I PICK acronym stands for. Talk about it together and encourage your child to use it at home, at the library and if you visit your local book store.




Sunday, August 27, 2017

Welcome to Third Grade!!

School, Bus - Free images on Pixabay                            Free photo Reading Oxygen Children Treatment Bless You Kids - Max ...
Dear Families,

   Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! This summer has flown by, as they all seem to do these days. This fall, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I will not be sending my wonderful daughter, Alexi, off to school. She graduated from Stonehill College in May and is beginning the next stage of her life in the working world. At the same time, as I begin my 24th year as a teacher, I am still as excited as ever to meet my new students and families and look forward to enjoying this upcoming year together in third grade. It is my hope that, in class, we will create a community of learners that feel comfortable with each other, are willing to take risks, will work hard and will be happy coming to school every day.
It is my belief that children need an environment characterized by safety, respect, nurturing, and caring. That environment should also provide predictable routines and consistent rules. These characteristics create a classroom "home" that facilitates learning and helps students feel safe and successful in class. I will get to know your child individually and focus my instruction to meet your child's academic needs with the understanding that each child is unique and learns in his/her own way.
I will provide you with more details about our curriculum, schedule and the day to day logistics of classroom life during “Meet the Teacher Night” (date TBA) as well as in my newsletters to you and on our classroom blog as the year progresses. A school supply list is posted below. Please send these items in with your child when school starts. All items (except folders) will be shared as a community, not used by individuals.
   I hope that you are as excited about this year as I am. I am looking forward to working with you to form a partnership that will support your child and help him/her grow intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally. I believe that your input and cooperation are key components in your child’s learning process. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I hope you enjoy the remaining days of summer.


Sincerely,

Ms. Sawyer

Supply List for 2017-2018

Original (1000 × 667)

Supply List for 2017-2018

Your child should please have:

*One sturdy two-pocket folder to transport notes, notices and homework between your home and school each day.

For the classroom (These supplies will be shared by all students since we have tables and NOT individual desks. Students do not need individual pencil boxes or personal supplies.):

*One package of glue sticks

*One package of crayons

*One package of colored pencils

***Children should also please bring one healthy snack each day for our “working snack” period.***

If you are interested in donating any item, one of the following would be helpful and very much appreciated:

*box of tissues

*individually pre-packaged healthy snacks (in case someone forgets)

*AA batteries

*wipes

Thank you so much, in advance, for your help with these items!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Newsletter


An AMAZING Wax Museum!!
    Wow! What a class! Over the course of the last 6-8 weeks, each student in our classroom put an amazing amount of time and effort into the Wax Museum. From the research to the speeches to the creative props and buttons, each individual project truly shined!
    We had 100% attendance and participation in both our daytime and evening performances!! Oh yeah!! Each child’s effort was evident and their performances were truly amazing. Guests complimented their poise, their confidence and their memorization of their speeches. Congratulations to all on a job well done!
                                                        The faces of success!
                                                  Practicing speeches together

MCAS 2.0
     As March speeds to a close, we continue to work on a variety of math skills and concepts, reading comprehension skills as well as writing skills. The dates of the third grade E.L.A. MCAS testing have been scheduled for next week (Please see “Important Dates” below) and the children are ready. There will be three English Language Arts testing sessions and two Math sessions. Each session is scheduled in the morning. The tests are untimed but typically take approximately 60 minutes, although students can use as much time as they need. We will follow our usual daily classroom schedule as closely as we can around these sessions. I have, and will continue to, emphasize that the children should work hard and try their best but not worry so much that they don’t feel well. They have worked hard all year and this is another opportunity to “show what they know”.

PLEASE KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR A NOTE REGARDING MCAS SNACKS WHICH WILL BE COMING HOME SOON. Thank you!

In Math
In Math, we have been working on area and perimeter. Remembering the difference between the two can be a challenge, but the students are making great gains and applying what they know to the construction of their own tiny houses. This project based learning activity is a great way to keep the children engaged while giving them great practice at calculating both area and perimeter.
Please continue to encourage your child to practice his/her multiplication facts at home each night for 5-10 minutes. It is one of our homework expectations.

C.A.S.T
C.A.S.T. is Cross-Age Science Teaching. It is a program designed and implemented by Falmouth VIPS (Volunteers in Public Schools). During CAST, eighth graders, who have participated in special training, come to third grade classrooms to teach the third graders about electricity. Each eighth grade student works with a small group of third grade students to provide lessons about electrical safety, using small motors, creating circuits and other engaging hands-on tasks. Our class has had two sessions and will have their third session next week. Ask your child about it today!!

Important Dates:
E.L.A. MCAS ~ April 4, 5 & 6th
Art Show ~ April 12th
April Vacation ~ April 14-23rd
School Council (5:00 PM) ~ May 3rd
PTO Meeting (6:00 PM) ~ May 3rd
Math MCAS ~ May 8 & 9th
Choir & Sunshine Singers Concert ~ May 17th (6:30 PM)
No School (Memorial Day) ~ May 29th

Thank you, as always, for your cooperation and support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Team 202
APRIL NEWSLETTER
April 13, 2016

Grade Three WAX MUSEUM was a HUGE SUCCESS!!

IMG_3634.JPGIMG_3715.JPG

             

The students of Team 202 really threw themselves into the work and preparation for our annual wax museum. Each student researched his/her chosen historical figure using both book and internet sources. Each child then used those facts to create a unique speech to be used during our afternoon and evening performances. Their effort was evident and their performances were truly amazing. Congratulations to all on a job well done!

PARCC Planning
As April speeds to a close, we continue to work on a variety of math skills and concepts,  reading comprehension skills as well as writing skills. The dates of the third grade PARCC testing have been scheduled (Please see “Important Dates” below) and the children are ready. There will be three English Language Arts testing sessions and four Math sessions. Each session typically last about 90 minutes and is scheduled in the morning. We will follow our usual daily classroom schedule around these sessions.  I have, and will continue to, emphasize that the children should work hard and try their best but not worry so much that they don’t feel well. They have worked hard all year and this is another opportunity to “show what they know”.  
C.A.S.T
C.A.S.T. is Cross-Age Science Teaching.  It is a program designed and implemented by Falmouth VIPS (Volunteers in Public Schools). During CAST, eighth graders, who have participated in special training, come to third grade classrooms to teach the third graders about electricity. Each eighth grade student works with a small group of third grade students to provide lessons about electrical safety, using small motors, creating circuits and other engaging hands-on tasks. Our class had two sessions last week and will have our third session on Thursday. Ask your child about it today!!


Important Dates:
  • April 18-22 ~ Vacation week
  • April 29 ~ Walk to School Day (details to follow)
  • May 3, 4 and 5 ~ E.L.A. PARCC testing
  • May 10, 11, 12, and 13 ~ Math PARCC testing

Thank you, as always, for your cooperation and support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Team 202
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER
February 11, 2016

Team 202 won the “Soup-er Stars of the Day” award THREE times!!

IMG_3329.JPG                 IMG_3360.JPG

A big, big thank you!

I have honestly never had a class so “into” the Soup-er Bowl. They loved the competition and most of all helping others! No class at Mullen-Hall has ever won the Soup-er Star award three times during a single Soup-er Bowl! The third grade won the coveted “Soup-er Bowl” trophy which is now on display in our grade level pod. I appreciate your help and support in providing so many donations for the Falmouth Service Center. Mullen-Hall is proud to say that we donated over 2,000 cans of soup PLUS all the additional non-perishable items that were donated! Talk about “Do Well, Do Good!!” Thank you!


It’s ORQ Time!!
‘Tis the season for ORQs! An ORQ, or Open Response Question, is a type of question that asks students to demonstrate comprehension of a reading passage by finding specific evidence from the text to answer the question in paragraph form. In class, I have been modeling this process for the students and providing guided practice as the children begin to build stamina and independence in answering these types of questions. We have been working on restating the main idea of the question into a topic sentence for our answer paragraph, finding specific evidence within the story to answer the question being asked and then turning all of that information into a coherent paragraph that includes proper capitalization and punctuation. Whew! We are spending time on each of these steps individually as well as the process as a whole. Talking with you child about what he/she reads and asking them to go back in the story to find specific information is a great way to help practice at home.

In Math
In Math, we have moved from multiplication to its related operation, division. In third grade, children progress from dividing smaller numbers into equal sets to using the long division algorithm (Divide, multiply, subtract, bring down, repeat!) to divide much larger numbers, including numbers that may have leave a remainder. There are a lot of steps to recall in long divisionas well as managing the facts themselves. Please encourage your child to practice his/her facts at home each night. It is one of our homework expectations. We will next be moving on to solving multi-step word problems using multiplication and division with the help of bar models.

Coming Soon…
In Social Studies, we have spent time this year learning about the Pilgrims, Wampanoags, & Puritans as well as the events leading up to the American Revolution. After vacation, as we continue to learn about the events of the American Revolution, we will begin working toward the third grade “Wax Museum” event. Please watch your child’s folder for notices with specific information.
Important Dates:
  • February 15-19 ~ vacation week
  • February 24 ~ Grade 3 Concert (2:30 & 6:30)
  • March 2 ~ PTO Meeting 6:00
  • March 8 ~ Early Release Day
  • March 18 ~ Grades close
  • March 25 ~ No School (Good Friday)
  • April 1 ~ Report Cards Home
Thank you, as always, for your cooperation and support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.