Parent - Teacher Conferences are in full swing at BES. This is always a wonderful opportunity to touch base with families on the progress of each and every child. I learn so much more about our students through meeting with all of you. Thank you all for your continued dedication and commitment to their success at school.
In literacy lately students have been working on a variety of topics. We have heavily practiced synonyms and antonyms, work with adjectives, comprehension strategies, and homophones. We have also started our author study on Kate DiCamillo. You can check out her site here - Kate DiCamillo's Website. Students have learned a little bit about Kate as an author. We have read The Magician's Elephant and we are currently reading The Tale of Despereaux. Students have shown a great interest in the writing style and suspenseful adventures Kate's characters take in her stories. We have focused on character traits and character analysis as we discuss these books. We will continue working through Kate's works throughout the year, which is very exciting!
A large part of our work this year will focus on fluency (accuracy, rate/pacing, reading with expression). Many of our students could benefit from reading aloud each night. Reading to self is wonderful, but reading aloud allows them to practice the components of strong reading. Through specific instruction of fluency strategies, I hope to increase their level of fluency greatly over the course of the year. In an effort to increase their interest in improving their fluency, we now have kindergarten book pals from Gallup, New Mexico! We will be buddying up with students from NM to read to over the course of the year. We had our first successful Skype session yesterday, where our classes were introduced. Students will have a chance to write back and forth, as well as read aloud to students via Skype. It is a very exciting time in third grade!
In math we have moved on from our addition/subtraction unit. We have completed our unit assessments and have learned that all of our kiddos can benefit from slowing down, double checking their work, and assessing the reasonableness of their answers (aka "does this make sense?") We are now moving into our unit on area and perimeter. You can help students remember that perimeter is the outside edge of a shape by pointing out the word "rim" in the middle of perimeter. We measure this in units. Area is the space inside of a shape. We measure this is square units. So far, students seem to be loving our hands on exploration! We use square inch tiles to design a variety of shapes to solve problems and have started to apply our knowledge to real world problems. We even used masking tape to create shapes with an area of 10 square feet after we discovered the tiles in our room were each 1 square foot. Look for pictures coming soon! You can always help reinforce fact fluency at home - it is greatly appreciated!
In Social Studies, we have taken our assessment on Continents and Oceans. We have now moved our focus onto North America. We are discussing the different countries that make up North America and major traits and languages of the area. We will then focus on the United States, including the various regions.
We have also continued our work with the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Ask your children about the habits they've learned to become self-motivated and effective students. 7 Habits Site
As always, if you ever have any questions or concerns, please email me! I sincerely hope you enjoy your long weekend and I look forward to our continued progress as a class this year!