News from Room 16 – October 7, 2016

We have been busy, busy, busy so far in October!  We are continuing to create the setting of our storyline on farms and the plant life cycle.  Each student created a farmer to work on our farm – they turned out great!! Next we will examine some climate maps and read through some seed catalogues to decide on what we would like to grow on our farm.

We completed our Who Are My People partner interviews on Friday of last week.  They have been saved to students’ google drives and you can take a listen at home if you’d like.  After we had some great family stories on our minds, we chose one to turn in to a written narrative.  We will be working to flesh out these stories over the next few weeks, focusing on having a strong beginning, middle, and end, and adding in sensory details to help make a mental image.

After our Caine’s Arcade Tribute on Wednesday, students might be feeling extra creative.  If you would like to extend their excitement and passion for creating, consider going to the Global Cardboard Challenge event being held in Hillsboro at the Cornell Business Park.  More details can be found at:  Have fun!

Finally, several students have expressed an interest in participating in the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) this year.  I am sending home bookmarks with this years titles on the back so you can begin reading.  There will be an info meeting this Thursday for interested students and families after school in Room 23 if you’d like some additional information on this great opportunity.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa

Caine’s Cardboard Arcade Tribute this Wednesday, October 7th!

On Wednesday from 1:30-3:00 pm, the third grade classes will be working together to create a tribute to Caine’s Cardboard Arcade in the Lewis Cafeteria.  Inspired by the video below, students will be designing and building some games from tape and cardboard.  This will be the fourth year that we have done this and every year it is an astoundingly collaborative, imaginative time.

We are looking for students to bring in cardboard, tape, and anything else that may help to create a great arcade game.  If you can come in and help with cutting cardboard, we would love to have you too!  (Bring a box cutter if you have one)

Check out the video that started it all:

Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – September 30, 2015

As we head in to October, our class is working away and starting up some new units of study as well.

We are beginning a farm storyline in which the mayor of Portland has given us a “patch of land” (it’s really a bulletin board) to use as a farm to grow food.  Throughout this unit, we will learn about the plant lifecycle and deal with real world problems as they come up.  So far, we have named our farm – Fun Farm – and started building the structures and machines that we will need to run it.  Check out the photos on Twitter @epdingus for a more in-depth look.

We are also starting a new math unit on place value and we will be covering efficient strategies for multi-digit addition and subtraction.  This week I am sending home the results of last week’s addition fluency challenge.  Please look over it with your child and start using flash cards or an online tool to practice those facts if needed!  As part of this new unit, I am also sending home a packet of optional extension activities if you would like to add a challenge for your child.  Check them out!

This week I am also sending home information on the first Theory of Knowledge project.  These projects are based on the theory that students are more engaged and will retain more information if given the freedom to study something that they are highly interested in.  This is a research project that students conduct at home over the next month, with mini-deadlines and class check-ins along the way.  Students will be able to decide the topic of study and the format of presentation (poster, slideshow, demonstration, model, etc.)  The final project will be due on October 29th.  This week, students should brainstorm possible topics and narrow down their choices until they have one favorite.

Finally, our class will be conducting our partner interviews on Friday for our Who Are My People project, so please make sure it gets turned before then.

Stay healthy out there!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – September 23, 2015

We have lots of things happening this week!  Reading and projects and art, oh my! :)

We have started a project all about self-pride and learning one’s history called “Who Are My People?”  It is a fun, collaborative project that integrates many forms of communication and expression.  Students will be conducting interviews, writing poems, designing personal flags, and doing a lot of great self-reflection along the way.  We are reading a book called My Name is Maria Isabel to get us started on thinking about the concept of pride in one’s self and one’s family.  Ask your child about what’s going on in the story so far.

In addition to math homework and daily reading, students have an additional “Who Are My People?” assignment that they will need your help to complete.  Please read the letter in your child’s homework folder for more information about this assignment.  There is an option to complete this assignment on paper or on the computer.  If you are interested in doing it online, have your child log in to their Google account using the information on their password card (also being sent home today) and opening up their Google Docs.  Have fun telling stories with your family!

Speaking of homework, I have gotten a number of homework packets with no name on them. Please take an extra moment to check and make sure that your child’s name is on their work so they get credit for it.  Additionally, I am sending home a lot of previous homework and classwork that you should look over with your child this week.  We focused on clocks a lot this week, so practice more at home if needed.

Finally, I will be placing our Scholastic Book Order on Friday afternoon this week so turn in your order form or place your order online before then if you’d like some fresh new books!

Thanks for all you do,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – September 16, 2015

Thank you to all of you who came out for Open House last night!  I always love meeting families and seeing the kids show off their learning space.  If you weren’t able to make it, please stop by the room and sign up for your Parent-Teacher conference time.

On Thursday of last week, we had a great conversation about expectations.  The students shared what they thought I expect of them when they arrive to school – and they were SPOT ON!  Many of them revolved around the concept of respect, which is hugely important to having a functional classroom community.  The class also got a chance to share what they expect of me this year and it was very humbling to hear what they are looking for in a teacher.  I think my favorites were, “Be kind, answer questions, and don’t be Mrs. Gorf!”  (She’s the evil teacher from our chapter book read aloud, Sideways Stories from Wayside School.)

We started up some new routines this week.  We began our Math Workplaces, which are partner games that give students a chance to practice the concepts we cover in class on a smaller scale.  At this point in the year we are doing a bit of review of 2nd grade concepts, primarily addition and subtraction facts to 20.  Please use Moby Max (link is on the blog) or flash cards to practice facts with your child if they need to.  We aim to be fluent with those facts as soon as possible so that we can move on to building fluency with multiplication facts.

We also added in Read to Partner time into our Literacy Block.  This is a special time for students to work on improving their oral reading fluency and comprehension.  There are a few photos of some great partner readers on our Twitter feed: @epdingus.  Check it out!

Please turn in your Scholastic book orders by next week so I can place the order.

Stay dry out there!

-Ms. Elissa