News from Room 16 – March 18, 2015

The performances on Thursday of last week were incredible!  These guys got to show off their knack for humor on stage and had everyone in the audience in stitches.  I received many compliments from other teachers in the building and it was great to see these guys walk around with big grins of pride all day.

A reminder about Coding Club: Unfortunately, today is our LAST meeting of Coding Club!  It gets uncomfortably warm in the tech lab on sunny afternoons – which there will be many of in the near future.  We hope that all who have participated continue their learning and growth independently.

Theory of Knowledge projects are due Tuesday, March 31st after the break.

I hope you all have a lovely Spring Break!  Don’t forget to do some good reading with your extra time off!

Please check the blog for photos and additional updates:

-Ms. Elissa

——-  Photos below! ———

We read a brand new book by Oliver Jeffers this week called Once Upon an Alphabet.  It is a funny set of short stories about each letter of the alphabet.  Several students have been inspired by the formatting and have started writing their own versions of the book.  Seth’s book started with “A: I ate my aunt.  I ate my aunt because my ant told me to.  Then my ant ate me.”  :)


In reading we have been talking a great deal about how to find the main idea of a piece of writing.  This can be a tricky thing to master for third graders.  Here is out anchor chart that reminds us how to find the main idea of what we are reading:


And some partner readers figuring out the main idea of our reading passages this week.  HInt: it was all about how important recycling is!




Here is Sam doing some partner reading during Daily 3 today.  We had an odd number of partners, so he chose to read to Mr. Carrot!  Mr. Carrot was glad to have the company.


Library was a sea of green today.  Happy St. Patrick’s day to all of you!


The sun was out today for our Brain Break!  It was glorious.

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Happy spring!

News from Room 16 – March 11, 2015

I can’t wait to see these guys perform their short plays on Thursday!  A lot of hard work has gone into their performances and many students have found great joy in the acting process.  There is a family showing at 6:30 pm and I hope to see you all there!

In math this week, we looked at strategies for multiplying by 8’s and 9’s, and completed filling in our multiplication tables.  These guys now have strategies for solving any multiplication problem with factors from 0-10!  We are aiming for fluency with these facts by the end of the year or the beginning of 4th grade.  This week’s homework goes over all the strategies we have covered in a book for your own reference at home.

As we head in to the last part of the year, I want to give a heads up about testing.  Third graders will take the Smarter Balance Assessment in the areas of math and reading in the spring.  We will take a look at some practice questions as a class when we get a little closer, but I wanted to give families a link to the practice tests so you can explore on your own and/or with your child.  This is a very different assessment than the former OAKS test and it is helpful to take a look beforehand.  Check it out at: 

I hope everyone is making some progress on the planning and research stages of their Theory of Knowledge project.  They will be due on Tuesday, March 31st.

Finally, Coding Club will be coming to an end after Spring Break.  The tech lab gets uncomfortably warm in the afternoons as the weather heats up (which it has been doing a little earlier than usual this year).  Ms. Kennedy and I are hoping that all of the participating students will continue to learn and grow as coders at school and at home after that point.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – March 4, 2015

Making paper mache hot air balloons on Monday with our grandparents and special friends was quite messy and fun.  A big thank you to everyone who was able to make it out to help create and clean up afterward!  Everyone either enjoyed or disliked having their hands covered in the corn starch goop that we used as the paper mache paste.  The next step will be painting which should also be messy and fun!  :)

In math we are beginning to work through strategies for solving multiplication facts fluently.  Students are already feeling confident with their x0, x1, x2, x5, and x10 facts as shown on their first timed test.  We are now turning our sights on x3, x4, and x6 as the next strategies to tackle.  Students should be using quick strategies like finding ways to use doubles or other known facts to find the products to these problems on their homework this week.

This week I am also sending home a short check in sheet about the Theory of Knowledge project.  Students should be thinking about possible topics and have whittled it down to one by the end of the week.  Please support your child in the time management of this project – we are trying to avoid the last minute rush to completion in this round.

Thank you for all that you do,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 25, 2015

Next Monday, March 2, is Grandparents and Special Friends Day at Lewis.  Our classroom will be working on a big, messy art project from 2-3 pm that day and any grandparents or special friends who would like to join us during that time are more than welcome!  We will be making papier-mâché hot air balloons, inspired by Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go!

This week I am also sending home our third and final Theory of Knowledge project assignment. The project is due on Tuesday, March 31st, after we come back from spring break.  If you are planning on traveling during the break, please help your child get their project completed in the weeks prior to the break so there are no last minute rush jobs.  Many students have been thinking about new possible topics since the last project, so I am excited to see what these guys will produce!

Hope you are all enjoying this pleasant weather lately, though it may come to an end soon – I saw free sing temperatures in the forecast for next week!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 18, 2015

image image image image image image image image image imageHappy Historical Character Day!  Lots of creative characters floating around in Lewis today.

We just finished up our character analysis essays last week.  Some students may have brought an extra copy home with them to share.  If not, they will bring home the scored version soon.  This week students will be doing a character analysis work sample where they will write a response to a read aloud of The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote, telling three traits of one of the main characters.  They will be scored on content, formatting, and conventions, using a kid-friendly rubric.

In math, we are learning lots of new games to build up comfort and fluency with multiplication facts.  We created a giant multiplication table last week – check the blog to see the finished product.  One of our new games is a version of the card game “war” using multiplication facts and comparing the product.  This week’s homework asks students to play this game with a partner at home and complete some additional practice problems.

As our work with Michael Wehrli continues, students should be practicing their lines at home.  Not only will this help to prepare for their performance, it will also help build reading fluency by rereading familiar material!

-Ms. Elissa

Multiplication Chart

Today in math we created a multiplication chart by thinking about the number of legs different animals have. It was fun to make and there were many oohs and aahs when we glued it all together. The students all took a moment to notice different patterns on the completed chart and then we practiced solving some multiplication problems.imageimageimageimage

Quote of the day: “Multiplication is more fun than I thought it would be!” – Genevieve as she helped to glue the chart together. :)

-Ms. Elissa