April 9, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful Spring break with family and friends. Students returned filled with enthusiasm, ready to embrace the upcoming exam with courage and perseverance.

 Some Celebratory Moments in March…

  • Social Studies: We celebrated student’s independent projects about Brazil. They did a great job thinking outside the box! (Literally!)
  • Writing: We have learned the structures of a short and extended response.
  • Reading: Third graders have learned how to read and annotate test passages, including a “gist read” and a second read. We have learned various multiple-choice strategies, and have built our reading stamina during “reading marathons.”
  • Center Activities: We enjoyed a variety of center activities that reinforced specific skills for reading and writing. We also played “Test Prep Jeopardy!”
  • Our Math Unit: Fractions: Students have enjoyed their investigations around understanding, representing, and comparing fractions. Some highlights included fading fractions on a number line using clothespins on a hanger, and finding equivalent fractions and “fair shares” using pretend cookies and brownies.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…April

 Following the ELA exam, students will enjoy a “book tasting” to wet their appetite for our upcoming club work in reading and writing.

Reading: Elephants, Penguins and Frogs~ Oh My! Students will work together in research clubs to study one animal and then a second animal.

Writing: Writing About Research This writing unit is a sequel to The Art of Informational Writing taught in late November through December. Students will take everything they learned during that unit and apply it to the new projects they will write about for the different animals they will study. Across this writing unit students will collaborate to write ‘club books’ about each animal they research, and then they write a club book that captures the ideas they grow in the final “bend” of the reading unit. Students will each be responsible for completing specific chapters in their club books.

In addition to supporting transference, this unit will also support students in deepening their informational writing skills in a few critical areas, namely: structure, elaboration, organization and craft. These goals are also mirrored in the reading unit where students will be taught to identify different text structures and use those structures to take notes, to elaborate on their ideas as they teach others, to synthesize information as they note take and teach, and to carefully consider the choices the author made.

Math~ Test Preparation: Students have embraced their preparation for the ELA State Exam that will take place on April 11th & April 12th. We recommend a good night’s sleep, a complete breakfast and that students be dressed in comfortable clothes.

We will continue the math work that we began prior to Spring Break. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS Math exam. Some of the skills may feel like review, while others will feel like we are deepening the work around prior units in area, perimeter, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Whole class and small group work will be designed to target a variety of skills. We will use the information gleamed from our math mock exam to help identify target areas to reinforce during this time.

Social Studies: Learning About Cultures Around the World Through Literature

(We will highlight China)

Essential Questions:

  • How does literature reflect the characteristics of a culture?
  • How can we think critically while reading literature and studying cultures around the world?

This social studies unit focuses on the reading of folktales as a means for students to further develop their reading skills, while also learning about cultures around the world. Third graders will be able to recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures, and be able to determine the central message, lesson or moral, and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. In addition students will distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

 Symphony Space will continue to enrich student’s learning about cultures around the world with several in class activities. In late May we will enjoy a second class trip to Symphony space. Stay tuned for more details.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin