In reading this week we finished our class read aloud, The Tiger Rising, we talked about how to savor endings and we talked about how the books we choose to read and love are books that help shape us as a person. Students created bookmarks with book titles and a quote or phrase from the book that was meaningful to them. Your child will be adding to this throughout the year. Ask your child about their bookmark. Last week we discussed how we can grow complex ideas to help interpret our books by connecting the smaller ideas we have. Often two thoughts that may seem unrelated can really be connected when we look for patterns. We then discussed how we can find the theme of a book. One easy way is to wait for the end of a story and look for a lesson the main character learned. Students also discussed trying the strategy of thinking about common life issues found in many books such as dealing with a loss, sibling or family issues, and friendships or fitting in. We then make a theory as to which one of these issues fits our book, and think about the message the author is trying to give about that issue through the characters, the setting, the beginning, the middle and the end of the book. This strategy can happen even from early in the story. We are growing and developing as readers, and every level of book that we are reading lends itself to finding the theme at some level.
During Writing Workshop time students have been writing the final copies of their fiction stories. We will be having a “Gallery Walk” in class soon to read and comment on each other’s stories. Ask your child what they wrote about and what they think of their finished piece.
In Math we have started Topic 4: Multipling double digit numbers. We started with reviewing the strategy for multiplying by tens and hundreds. Students then learned how to use compatible numbers to make estimates. Next, students learned how to use area models and arrays to break the problem into basic facts that are easier to multiply. We will be continuing on with the partial products method and the shortcut next week. I am still noticing that many errors are being made due to students not knowing their basic multiplication facts. It is imperative that your child have instant (correct) recall of all of their basic facts. This is a 3rd grade concept that was to be mastered in 3rd grade. We don’t have time in the day to practice math facts here at school, so please have your child practice at home. Moby Math Fact Fluency or the Timed Test app are great apps for practice. Flash Cards or practicing in the car on the way to and from school are also great!
We have started our second Science unit: Organisms in Their Environments. We began by discussing habitats and what animals need in their habitat to survive (air, water, food, shelter). We have also added to our classroom zoo! We know have a tank with 16 African Dwarf Frogs, 10 Guppies and 8 Mystery Snails! Students observed the frogs yesterday and we looked at physical and behavioral adaptations. Students also compared two frogs side by side, noticing differences in size and shape. We discussed how bigger, longer back legs can give one frog and advantage over a smaller frog, the big frog can swim faster and escape predators or catch prey easier.
We will begin our Swimming rotation for Physical Education next week. Our class will be swimming on Thursday and Friday next week. Your child will need to bring a swimsuit and towel to school both days. A letter from Mr. Robinson should be coming home soon.
Tuesday, October 31 – Halloween parade (9:00 AM) and party (9:30 AM)
Thursday and Friday, November 2 and 3 – Swimming with Mr. Robinson
Monday and Tuesday, November 20-21 — Half Days (Records Days)
Wednesday – Friday, November 22-24 – Thanksgiving Break – no school