News from Room 16 – February 10, 2016

Cold and flu season is hitting our room hard this year!  If your child is showing symptoms (fever, persistent cough, excessive sneezing), please keep them home so that we can try to keep it contained.

Students should be preparing a special gift for their Pixie Pal each night for the rest of the week.  Please support your child in doing their best work on their gift.  I will make materials available for students who need some – paper, cards, etc. On Friday afternoon our class will have a Valentine’s exchange.  Let me know if you need a back up copy of our student list for your valentines.

If you would like to order a book from Scholastic this month, please place your order by next Tuesday, February 16.

This week our class began working on creating “book trailers” with Ms. Cyndi.  This will not only provide an opportunity for students to experience some of the brand new books we got in our library this year, it will also prepare students to create a slideshow of the imaginative story they are working on.  We are hoping to share our finished slideshows with families sometime before spring break.

Stay healthy out there,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 3, 2016

I apologize for the miscommunication last week – report cards are coming home TODAY.  Please contact me if you would like to schedule a follow-up conference.  You can reach me by email ( with questions or concerns.

Next Friday, February 12th, our class will have some time to exchange Valentines.  I sent home a class list on Monday so students could get started on making their cards for their classmates.  In addition to exchanging Valentines, our class will participate in “Pixie Pals” – a secret gift exchange activity.  Please see your child’s homework folder for a flier on the procedure.  Your child will not find out who their Pixie Pal is until next Tuesday, so stay tuned for more information!

Take care out there,

-Ms. Elissa


News from Room 16 – January 27, 2016

And just like that, here we are halfway through the year.  Happy halfway!  Report cards will be coming home at the end of the week, so keep your eyes open for the envelope.

We finished up our unit on Geometry and our post-test scores averaged out to right around 80%, a giant improvement from our pre-test average of 33%.  Hooray!

Our next math unit is all about multiplication and division.  Students will develop an understanding of multiplication as repeated addition, equal groups, arrays, and skip counting.  We will also develop an understanding of division as repeated subtraction or dividing into equal groups.  Once students have a good conceptual understanding we will move towards building strategies for fluency to facts up to 100 (10×10).  Homework over the next weeks will focus on these concepts in various ways – you will see area problems, word problems, number sentences, and math games.

After the winter break, our class read a selection of books on Muslim culture and we examined some samples of Islamic tile art.  Students worked together in pairs to build their own rendition of a geometric tile design using our pattern blocks.  We took a gallery walk to appreciate everyone’s unique creations and observe radial symmetry.  Students finally designed their own personal tile and this week we are printing those tile patterns!  There are some pictures on Twitter (@epdingus) that you can check out.  They are all turning out beautifully and I can’t wait to see them all finished.

-Ms. Elissa


News from Room 16 – January 20, 2016

I hope you all had a restful weekend and are staying healthy out there!  We are continuing to wrap things up before the end of the grading period next week.  Students have been working hard on their Three Favorite Things essay and I am seeing a lot of growth in their ability to use a topic sentence with supporting details in their writing.  I am looking forward to reading through their work samples next week to see how these writers have changed since the beginning of the year.

We have just about completed our Geometry unit in math and we will be taking the post-test this week.  Our next unit will focus on multiplication and division.  This is one of my favorite units of the year – students usually have many ‘aha!’ moments while discovering the links between addition/subtraction and multiplication/division.  We will focus on building a strong conceptual understanding then move towards fluency with multiplication facts.

Our book groups have been put on hold for a moment while I finish up report card assessments, but I hope to get back in to our routines next week.  Students will continue working in small groups at their level to build comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and learn strategies to expand their vocabulary.

Take care out there,

Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – January 13, 2016

Welcome back to the newsletter everyone!  Happy New Year!  It has been good to get back in the groove with our Theory of Knowledge presentations.  I will be sending home your child’s speech rubric this week.  Please take the time to look over it and talk about successes and areas for improvement with them.

The end of the grading period is coming up in a little over a week so we are busy, busy finishing things up and doing some assessments in all the major academic subjects.

We are coming to the end of our geometry unit in math and we will take our post-assessment next week.  This week’s homework is a test review packet.  We covered a LOT of vocabulary in this unit and I want everyone to have a little brush-up before we take the test.  All of the content in the packet is review so your child should be able to complete it independently.

Scholastic book orders are coming home this week as well.  Please turn in your form or place your order online by next Tuesday the 19th.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – December 16, 2015

Goodness gracious!  2016 is just around the corner!  I’ll keep it short and simple this week since I know many of you are busy, busy over the holidays.

There is no math homework being sent home over the break.  Students should work on their Theory of Knowledge project (due January 8th).  I am sending home a rubric which should help your child better understand what a great third grade speech includes.  By the end of this week, your child should bring home any and all research that they have worked on in class and some students may have started writing/typing up a draft of their speech as well.

Our next writing project is called “My Three Favorite Things” and will give our class another opportunity to practice using paragraph format.  Students will need to bring in three items that are special to them on Monday, January 4th.  Read the letter in your child’s folder for more information.

I hope all of you have a warm and cozy winter break and a happy New Year.  See you in 2016.

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – December 9, 2015

Our class did an outstanding job as a whole on our post-assessment for our last math unit.   Our average score was almost 90%, way up from our class average of 64% on the pre-assessment.  Such exciting growth to see!  We will continue practicing our addition and subtraction strategies throughout the year to keep them fresh and functional.

Next up, our class is starting a new unit focusing on geometry.  Over the course of this unit, students will develop more precise ways to describe, classify, and make generalizations about 2- and 3- dimensional shapes.  They will link properties of shapes to new vocabulary words like: vertex, edge, face, angles, etc.  We will also do some exploring with geoboards, geoblocks, and other models to build an understanding of congruence, similarity, and symmetry.  One of the most exciting parts of math this week will be using tangram pieces to create familiar polygons.  Fun!

The second Theory of Knowledge project is due on Friday, January 8th.  This week, we are spending time in class beginning to research and take notes on our topic of choice.  We will continue some in-class work time next week and then your child will be bringing home the work they have compiled so far to finish the project at home.  There are some great topic choices this round and I can’t wait to see the results.

With all of the creeks running over their banks and the rain pouring down, I hope all of you are managing to stay dry despite it all.

-Ms. Elissa