Grade 3 / 4 October 2019: Owls, Pirates and Prime numbers

Happy November,

Third and fourth graders packed in a lot of activities this last month of October.

First off we had to say goodbye to our friend Nicolette who is on her way to Kansas City as I write this. But we also welcomed Peter F. to our class the next day, so he has helped fill the void! Mr. Gore had a small ceremony for Nicolette for her to receive her soccer certificate, photos attached.

We just finished up reading Owls in the Family, a favorite of mine by Farley Mowatt. The comprehension packets worked on throughout and the final quiz had the students recalling and explaining different parts of the story. For a final project, the students will be writing letters to one of the characters in the story.

The Pirate Maps and Captain Logs are also winding down. Once they determined where their treasure was to be buried, they labeled their maps and described how to get there using cardinal and intermediate directions. The Captain’s Logs are also quite interesting…I didn’t know that pirates stayed over in hotels and a few took planes to their destinations. All of that was easily changed in final drafts.

The board game called Prime Climb is a class favorite and a great way to practice prime and composite numbers. Multiplication is ongoing in Math class and next week we will be rounding numbers as well. I am working for solid numeracy, confidence, and competence with numbers and number relationships. I come at math concepts from a variety of angles because they need to understand the concepts from a variety of contexts. When they look at 48, they need to be seeing not just 8×6, but that is 2 away from 50, and thereby 52 less than 100 and one less 8 would be 40 and divided by 6 would be 8 and is the same as 4 tens and 8 ones and so on and so on. Number patterns and solid multiplication facts go a long way to help with that.

Portfolio work went home today and again I have asked the students to take some time, choose a few pieces that they particularly connected with for whatever reason and write a short reflection about that piece. If you have time to go over their work with them and have them explain and summarize some of the work they have done that is great.  It always helps to have an audience!

Please make sure everyone has warm hats, gloves, etc. – this week is supposed to be cold again.

Until then hope your weekend was happy, and a special salutation to any and all veterans in your families and communities.

Best, Katharine

p.s. link to slide show below

https://photos.app.goo.gl/RrdNEUA5oFVkE52v7

 

By |2019-11-14T07:26:44-05:00November 8th, 2019|

Grade 3 / 4 making Pirate Maps and Globes

Dear Parents,

I look forward to seeing those of you that are able to come in for Parent/Teacher conferences next week. With Halloween sandwiched in between it will be a busy time for all of us.

We are deep in the throes of making our pirate maps as you know because you’re helping with the paper for the directions to the treasure. Some students are totally engrossed in designing and labeling their maps, while others are more taken with writing up their Captain’s Log. I’m hoping the maps will be completed for you to see next week. You can’t imagine the map skills that are being put to use for this project.

We are about halfway through our reading book, Owls in the Family by Farley Mowatt. I have encouraged the students to write in the margins when they spot a simile or an example of onomatopoeia or a word/idea they are unsure of. In answering their comprehension packets, many still say, “…but it’s not in there.” I point out that those very words of the question may not be on the page, but the idea is there for them to infer from. Having them summarize some of the story, or share a favorite part with you is a great way to strengthen their comprehension skills.

In Math the fourth graders are tackling learning mean, mode and median while the 3rd graders are practicing multiplication in a variety of ways. Half the class enjoyed playing the board game, Prime Climb last week and the other half will partake this week.

The slide show attached includes some shots of the class finishing up their globes/continents. Thank you to Ms. Sicurella for making the globes with them in Art class. We finished up placing the continents and oceans in homeroom. I assure you not only will everyone know where the continents are but they will spell Antarctica correctly as well!

We did a close down of the garden with the first and second graders last week. We harvested the leeks and flash froze them to include in our Thanksgiving Soup this year.

I sent out an email to recap the plans for Halloween this week. Let me know if you have any questions about it,

Happy Weekend and Happy Halloween!!

Making Globes Photos

Katharine

By |2019-11-14T07:31:39-05:00October 25th, 2019|

Grade 3/4 Welcomes October with Peer Reading and Service Learning

Dear Families,

We have begun Peer Reading with the B-2’s pre-school class! It requires a lot of patience to read to a 2 year old who is really interested in so many things other than just the book and the class had to make some adjustments. It wasn’t just reading a story straight through and I was pleased to see them interact and try to get to know their new friends.

We also had a chance to present our dioramas to the 5th & 6th graders at a Middle School Meeting. I like to give the students as many opportunities as possible to present their own work; to stand up and demonstrate what they have created and to answer questions about it. It takes a lot of presence and courage, some have that naturally others need a little more practice.

I have also begun having the class use Reading Journals at home. They have a free reading book here at school and I would like them to read one at home as well. Reading with a parent or on their own is fine, again, practice is everything.  In Math we have moved on, for a bit, from Place Value and onto multiplication. We will be working with different ways of graphing and prime and composite numbers shortly.

Scholastic Book order forms went home this week. If you haven’t seen them yet, they are in the homework folders. You are under no obligation to order anything if you don’t want to. If you do choose to order, you can do it directly online yourself (all the info and order #info is in the letter) or send in a check for Scholastic to me and I will send it in. The deadline for the October order is Oct 22nd.

On Wednesday the morning was devoted to planning our Service Learning Project for the year ahead. We had a terrific discussion about the ills of the world and where our efforts might be best realized to their best effect. We have decided upon doing what we can to preserve the bird population as there are many simple actions we can do to help the birds. Hint: be prepared to start drinking shade-grown coffee and use some decals we will make that help to save birds from flying into windows.

Thanks to Maggie M. and Nicholas for our delicious apple cider donuts the other morning!

Some Important Upcoming Dates:

Monday, October 7 – Away Soccer game with IMS. PPU time at BCD is 6:00.

Wednesday, October 9th– No School Yom Kippur.

Thursday, October 1oth– Mountain Day- Hiking in Kennedy Park in the morning/weather permitting. Please have an eye out for the weather that day, fleeces might be needed and proper footwear. No sandals, please. (No bagels for snack that day).

Friday, October 11th – Grandparents Day. We are so looking forward to having grandparents and friends in our classroom that day. If grandparents are unable to come, we will match that student with another friend and their Grandparents. No one will be alone!

Monday, October 14 – No School. Indigenous Peoples Day.

Thursday, October 17th – Bagels for snack if ordered.

I’m really looking forward to Grandparents Day. They really bring out the best in the kids and it’s great for the students to share their classroom and all the work they are doing.

Great weekend to all,

Best, Katharine

p.s. the slide show below has a little bit of most things mentioned above plus some shots of a math card game that brought out the card sharks in us all.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ump1jBuExbKWg7Mr7

 

 

 

By |2019-10-04T15:25:58-05:00October 4th, 2019|

2019-20 Grade 3/4 – So much depends upon…

Dear Parents,

Thank you all who were able to come to Back to School Night. I hope you got a little taste of the variety of materials we use, my curricular hopes and dreams as well those of the students.  We gave this some thought and they divided their Hopes and Dreams for the year ahead into academic goals and personal goals.  I told them I am confident they will all be able to achieve their goals, at least to some degree and I am.  Some included, “…learn how to read a map and how to draw a dog”, …”to  keep going even through tough times” “…to participate more with my good ideas in subjects in school”, ” to get better at soccer and to read more books” and one we all struggle with, “…to not get rude when I am angry.”

The slideshow attached will give you some idea of the different activities from this past week. Working in the garden with the Pre-Schoolers, presenting our dioramas to our classmates as well as the 1/2 graders, reading through a new Poetry packet and choosing a poem to work with next week, practicing using longitude and latitude to find different locations on a map and finally – Kayaking!! They had a perfect day for it and had a blast!

Portfolios went home today along with a sheet with some questions for them to choose from to answer about their work. Perhaps you could take some time and review the work with them and help them decide which one (s) to write a short reflection about. I know this is a challenging assignment, we will work on it as the year progresses but I think it is so important for them to start taking some ownership, pride, and responsibility for all the work they produce here at school. Self-reflection is an important first step in becoming independent and life-long learners.

We will start peer reading with the B-2 preschoolers next week but otherwise will follow our normal schedule. We will join the Lower School for Mountain Day ( our annual hike in Kennedy Park) the following week on Thursday, October 3rd and I will send more info about that as we get closer.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend, sounds like a lot of you will visit the Apple Squeeze or just get to spend some time outside for these wonderful days of summer becoming fall.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rSjPgXBpoJkgMvMZ9

 

 

Best, Katharine

By |2019-09-20T16:30:27-05:00September 20th, 2019|

Grade 3/4 off to a great start!

Dear Families,

We’ve had a busy and wonderful start to the year!

We’ve finished our Hopes and Dreams, both personal and academic, for the year ahead, created some class rules to help us achieve those dreams, reviewed the ideas behind Growth Mindset, started our Poetry Folders, filled in our continents/oceans maps, visited all our special classes at least once, and…managed to have some fun while doing it.

Our routines are becoming more familiar each day and I look to you for some help and support with that. Please remind your child to check their planner each night to help remember what may be due for the next day. I told them on the first day that the planner will be (one of ) their best friend this year. I will sign it at the end of each day after a short conference making sure everyone understands whatever assignments are entered.

As I plan ahead for our many projects, I want you to know that while I do believe in the importance of student voice and choice and the power that that autonomy can give to some, others will need more structure and I am prepared to step in when I sense the need.  One of the strengths of a multi-age classroom is that students can learn at their own rate. One of my many goals for the year is to create a learning family that is dynamic, flexible, challenging and accommodates all levels of learning.

If possible, before you drop off please tell your child how they are getting home that day; i.e., parent pick-up, afterschool program (p.m.), etc. If plans change during the day, just email me and copy Melissa Kruse in the office ([email protected]) or vice versa, so we can get them safely to the right place.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Back-To-School night on September 18th and will be checking in by phone before then. Needless to say, if you have any concerns or questions, please email me directly.

Thank you for sending in inside shoes and a change of clothes, for some I know that is still on the list. I was so happy to hear that everyone was able to join the soccer team, it’s such a great opportunity at the end of these beautiful fall days ahead. It also helps strengthen the sense of family and belonging here at BCD. They all seemed pretty excited about it this morning.

I hope the photos (just click the September in 3/4 Grade link below)  below give you some sense of the work we’ve been doing already. They include some shots of our visit to the Distance Lab to work on the Four 4’s problem, filling in our continents maps, drafting our Hopes and Dreams, organizing our cubbies and a little Choice Time.

Have a great weekend,

Katharine

September in 3/4 Grade

By |2019-09-25T15:27:41-05:00September 6th, 2019|

Last chance for summer reading materials in French through Bayard-Milan!

Bonjour tout le monde,

Tomorrow, May 15th, I will have a table of sample materials from the French language publishing house, Bayard-Milan, on display for your consideration in the Learning Commons.

My hope is that parents and families of students of all ages at BCD will stop by during or after school to peruse the selections, and consider subscribing to a magazine for your child for some enriching summer reading in French!

From Pre-school through Gr.9, there is something for everyone!

The samples on display will be organized by level and age, and include a plethora of themes, styles, and layouts. Please check out the link below for more information on the different magazines offered, per age.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/parents/quel-magazine-pour-quel-age/

What is Bayard-Milan?  … “We are journalists, graphic designers, early childhood education professionals, employees or freelancers … for forty years we have chosen to put our readers at the center of our editorial thinking. Listening to them, understanding them, astonishing them, nourishing them with inspirational works and accompanying them at each stage of their lives.”

Here’s a short excerpt on the mission of Bayard-Milan:

“More than anything, today as for yesterday, we have a duty of promoting enchantment in the younger generation. And in this particular situation where our magazines are not the voice of parents or teachers, but of caring accomplices, we can highlight the positive force that exists in everyone and in the many situations one encounters in life. And when you have the chance to live through words, thanks to talented creators, characters who can embody all their life experiences, it’s as if we invent small lights that will mark the lives of children and which they are will remember for a long time.” 

Please carve out a few minutes tomorrow to check out the selection of Foreign Language materials in the Learning Commons, for all grade levels and interests!

Best,

Mme. Daire

P.s for all inquiries concerning subscriptions, please refer directly to the US agent for Bayard-Milan ;

Ms. Catherine LAMY

[email protected]

*Orders are not placed through BCD.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/#

 

Merci beaucoup!

By |2019-05-14T14:11:59-05:00May 14th, 2019|

Grade 3 Newsletter

Please remind your child to read at least 15 minutes each night.  Encourage your child to wonder about plot or characters and begin to notice descriptive words.  Thank you again for being such good reading role models for your children.

The third graders have received this week, in social studies class, information regarding their next project- The Biography Report.  As they read about this person’s life, I would like them to answer the following questions:

1. Whom are you reading about?
2. Where did this person spend his/her childhood?
3. What did this person do before he/she became famous?
4. What are this person’s greatest accomplishments?
5. When did this person die? (or what is he/she currently doing?)
6. Share an interesting story about your topic.

I would like the children to answer the questions on a separate piece of paper and, pretending to be the famous person, create a presentation of at least a minute.  Students will dress up and use props to make their presentation come alive.

As noted on the handout, all projects are due April 18th.  The presentations will take place on May 3rd at 2:00 p.m. in the third grade homeroom.  Parents are invited to join us on this day for this spectacular event.

Beginning January 28th, all students need to arrive at school no later than 8:10 am.  The children will be taking the ERBs, a standardized test given to third graders at this time of year.  Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.

By |2019-01-22T10:56:57-05:00January 22nd, 2019|

Grade 3 News

This week in math, we will explore subtraction with regrouping.  The children are beginning to work more accurately and confidently to solve problems given in class.  I appreciate your help in studying those pesky math facts.  Flash cards are a great idea to do at home or in the car.  I strongly recommend that practice with these basic tables be done daily.  Your child will be amazed at his/her progress.

The Berkshire Research Projects should be nearly completed at this point.  Dioramas are due November 16th.  This is a good first foray into the area of gathering information and then organizing it to share with classmates.  Thank you for helping your child find a suitable topic, books, and in some instances, for taking your child to visit a Berkshire site.

In language arts we are continuing to work on composition strategies, as well as the grammar-writing connection.  The students will write about what they are thankful for in writing lab this week.  These paragraphs will be sent home next week so that they may be shared at your Thanksgiving celebration.

I enjoyed discussing your wonderful third graders with you at parent conferences.  Please feel free to drop by the homeroom any time you are at school to look at all the fine work your child is completing in class.

 

 

By |2018-11-13T10:06:36-05:00November 13th, 2018|

Grade 3 News

In math this week we will begin our unit on multi-digit addition.  Please review the basic math facts at home.  This will increase your child’s confidence and speed, as we continue to work with larger numbers.  While in reading class, we are working to read for detail and to improve our written answers to comprehension questions.  I am looking for capital letters, end marks, and correct spelling.  The children are working very hard and I am pleased with the results.

Our latest character word in writing lab will be “cooperation.”  The children will discuss the meaning of this important word, and their final thoughts on the topic will be displayed in the third grade classroom.  I can see by their actions in class that the students have a good grasp of what this word means, and I am impressed with how they are applying it to their everyday school life.

The various towns that make up Berkshire County are our current topic in Social Studies.  This week the students were given information regarding their first research project of the year- “The Berkshire Research Project.” Students are asked to select and research a person or place associated with Berkshire County.  An instruction sheet complete with questions and checkpoint dates was provided to each student.  If your child has any questions regarding the project, please ask him/her to bring them in to school, as I will save time at the end of each day to discuss how the projects are progressing.

By |2018-10-18T13:34:13-05:00October 18th, 2018|

Grade 3 News

Welcome to Third Grade! Once a month you will be receiving a newsletter, like this one, to tell you what your child is doing in class and how you and others at home can help.

During the first few weeks of school, the students studied graphing in math. The children learned how to identify and read pictographs, line graphs, and bar graphs. This week  in class we started our next unit, which looks at place value and time.

The social studies program has opened with a unit on Berkshire County. For the next two months the students will be learning about the Berkshires’ history and folklore.  As a culminating project to this study, the students will choose a landmark in the area to research and present the information they have learned about the site to their classmates.

In language arts, the children wrote about which color they thought was faster-yellow or red. These pieces are displayed in the classroom.  Please feel free to stop by any time to look at all the great work the third graders have completed.

The Third Grade Peer Reading Program is off to a great start!  Last Wednesday the children traveled over to the 2- year-old program where they spent some time reading books to these younger students.  This activity will take place every Wednesday until the end of the year.

Important reminder: Please send a note to class with your child, if there is a change in his/her normal after-school pick-up or bus routine.

I am looking forward to working with each of you to provide your child with a happy and successful third grade year!

 

By |2018-09-20T13:32:49-05:00September 20th, 2018|