News from Room 16 – April 22, 2015

Exciting things are happening in our Portland history unit!  Our Multnomah Indian tribe is thriving on the banks of the Columbia and the Willamette.  Each student has created a character to live in our village and will experience history in a first person way throughout the rest of our unit.  There were some visitors who arrived today, ask your child about it!

In math, we are continuing to work on fractions.  Students are becoming more adept with identifying fractional amounts, and we will begin to work on comparing fractions on a number line and fractions of a set.  The homework this week asks students to puzzle about whether or not a picture of a square has been divided into fourths. We have been practicing what it is like to explain your thinking even when you don’t know the “right answer.”  Let your child share their thinking with you, but try not to correct them even if they are not on the right track yet.  

I have had a few inquiries about the math portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment – our class will be starting on on Monday, May 4 and continuing on Tuesday if needed.  

-Ms. Elissa

Surprise Photos

As I was uploading the photos for our hot air balloons, I found a stash of pictures from the very beginning of the school year on my camera that I had completely forgotten about!  It’s incredible how much they have grown and changed in just a few short months.

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What a bunch of cuties! :)

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – April 15, 2015

Our class is taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment on Thursday morning after our specials. Please get a good nights rest tonight and eat a big breakfast tomorrow morning. Students who have opted out will be given a menu of alternate activities to work on while the class is testing.

I am sending home a packet your child’s published essays from our character analysis unit. Each of the essays were graded on a rubric by the student and myself. The one on top is their independently completed essay that was turned in as a work sample. That one was scored by Ms. Kennedy and I and it was used to help guide the writing grade on this quarter’s report card.  In third grade, a 3 is meeting in each category.  Take a look at the packet with your child – they put in a lot of work into those essays!

Speaking of report cards, they will be coming home at the end of the week, so keep your eyes out for those on Friday.

The Scholastic book order will also be placed on Friday, so please turn in your form as soon as possible so there are no delays in delivery date!

Thank you!

– Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – April 8, 2015

The Theory of Knowledge presentations last week went swimmingly!  Everyone participated in this round and many students were clearly more comfortable speakers that previously in the year.  It was exciting to see their growth!  Please make sure that your child’s project gets taken home by the end of this week.

Our class will be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment on Thursday of next week.  Try to get a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast that day.  We were scheduled to start on the 15th, but it seemed best to wait until after the late start day.  Speaking of late start, next Wednesday is the day to dress up as your favorite book character!  I can’t wait to see who walks through the door.

We just began our study of Portland’s history, starting way back before settlers came to the area.  Over the next quarter, we will be building an ever-changing mural that represents our city through the years.  We received a mysterious package containing four different artifacts from a time capsule that was unearthed recently.  Our class has been charged with the task of researching and identifying each of the artifacts to determine when in Portland’s past they came from.  If you know about a certain part of Portland’s past or a specific place in Portland and you would like to share with the class, please shoot me an email  We would love to have you in to help us learn!

– Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – April 1, 2015

It was nice to look around our meeting circle on Monday morning and see so many refreshed faces (and a few that got some sun too)!  April is going to be a busy month for us, so starting off with some good energy reserves is just the ticket!

Our class is getting into starting up novel study groups this week and we will continue cycling through books until the end of the year.  Ask your child what book they are currently working on!

We just concluded our unit on multiplication and division, but students are still working to refine their strategies for solving these problems.  We are starting up a new math unit on fractions this week which will cover identifying and comparing fractions, working with larger money amounts (up to $5.00), and data analysis.

Our class will be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment this month, too.  We will take the Reading part first, on the 15th and 16th, and the Math part will follow in May.  We will look at the practice test in class this week, as a whole class and in partners.  Feel free to take a look on your own too: More information will come as we get closer.

Hope you’re having a delightful April Fools’ Day (and not getting pranked too many times…)

-Ms. Elissa

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!