Inside Broadway Sign Up Sheets have gone home!

Dear Lower Lab Families Grades 3-5 ONLY,

Please check the backpacks for the information sign up sheet for the Inside Broadway Program beginning February 1st – May 25th. This is a program only for grades 3-5 and will most probably have a lottery for selected students.

Hand in your interest sheet prior to January 2nd!  Lottery will be pulled on January 4 to give parents enough time to sign up for the LL after school programing should their child not get selected in the lottery.

Inside Broadway – NYC Musical Mystery Melodies for Students in Grades 3-5

November Update


Dear Third Grade Families:

We can hardly believe it is nearly time for Parent Conferences, Open School Day, and Thanksgiving. We are so grateful for the time that we share with your children each day, observing their wonderment, enthusiasm and joy as we learn together as partners, small groups, a class and a community.

November marks the launch of our word study program. We have blended the two classes into three groups. Students will receive a new spelling composition notebook along with a spelling menu taped to the inside cover. They will complete three menus options each week. They will complete two by choice (once we have reviewed them as a whole group). The third option will be on Thursday where the students will write their words 3x each as a review for the quiz on Friday.

 Some Celebratory Moments In October…

  • The children completed their narrative stories as a culmination of our unit Crafting True Stories. The revision skills that they learned focusing on craft, elaboration and editing, they will keep in their pocket to use throughout the coming months.
  • Our Reader’s Notebooks are in full swing! Students are choosing nightly from menu options pasted in the front of their notebooks. We have even added a special menu that is specific to the skills we are reinforcing during the Mystery Unit.
  • As our math Unit draws to a close, students have acquired skills in both multiplication and division. They have internalized routines of our math workshop model including “count arounds” and “number strings.” CML word problems continue to provide challenging work to further student’s mathematical thinking around various topics, using different strategies.
  • Social Studies– Places I Know. Students have nearly completed their social studies writing about a place they know. Look for these on the back wall of our classroom, along with a pin in the map to match your child’s writing piece.
  • Author and educator Suzanne LaFleur has been working weekly on creative writing. Students have experimented with a variety of inspirational techniques including pictures, prompts & read aloud. This week marks the beginning of the students selecting their final piece, which will be revised for our class anthology. We will share these anthologies during our December publishing party. Stay tuned for details.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead… November/December

Reading to Learn: Grasping Main Ideas and Text Structures-Unit 3

Reading to Learn is a foundational unit for nonfiction reading. This unit is intended to teach students to read long stretches of nonfiction with fluency, in such a way that they can determine importance and ascertain main ideas. This unit will help strengthen students’ skills as nonfiction readers and also build their nonfiction reading identities. The Art of Information Writing parallels this the non-fiction reading unit. In effort to continue to support students’ progress in fiction reading, students may read fiction at home.

Goals for this unit include: reading texts with clear text structures (headings, subheadings) so they can use those structures to help them to glean importance, determining not just what the text is teaching but to have their own thoughts about those ideas and information; and to be able to draw upon what they know about reading fiction and apply it to reading narrative nonfiction. During the last bend of this unit, students will also read biographies containing clear narratives.

We love how this unit reinforces some of the key learning around foundational skills from the first reading unit. Both reading units invite kids to build a reading life, to be active readers, to read with volume, and to choose high interest texts that can be read fluently with comprehension.

Writing: The Art of Information Writing-Unit 3

For our third writing unit, children will be writing information texts. We teach The Art of Information Writing alongside a reading unit where students will be reading information texts. Teaching these two units side-by-side will support transference.

Students will also have strong skills from our current unit Changing the World, including their ability to group related information together, hook readers in, and elaborate on their points. The Art of Information Writing unit is designed so that students are writing off of topics of personal expertise. Our experts may include topics such as Star Wars, miniature poodles, rubix cubes and taking care of younger siblings. Students will do on-the-run research on their topics as part of writing workshop, but they are not expected to spend weeks reading and researching their topic. That is, students should be writing about topics they are already experts on, not the topics they are currently reading about in Reading.

In this unit, children choose topics they know inside and out to write about so that they can put all their energy toward shoring up foundational information writing skills. This is always one of the students most favorite units!

Math Investigation: Muffle’s Truffles–Multiplication and Division with the Arrays

As our division unit draws to a close later this week, we will begin an exciting two-week investigation called Muffles Truffles. The focus of this unit is the development of the open array as a model for multiplication and division. This unit uses a series of investigations based on the context of Muffles’ Truffles shop. Muffles_Truffles_Candy_Shop.

Through carefully selected open-ended questions, students will investigate and create solutions using centimeter grid paper and their prior knowledge of multiplication and division.

The strings of related problems are explicitly designed to guide learners toward computational fluency with whole number multiplication and to build automaticity with multiplication facts by focusing on relationships. The quick images use 2 x 5 and 1 x 5 arrays as units to build larger arrays. In the last days of the unit, more complex minilessons (double-digit multiplication problems) generate a wider range of student strategies that can be explored (and modeled) with the open array. We would encourage all students to work towards fluency with their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts through 12.

Our Next Math Unit: Graphs and Line Plots

Modeling With Data: Students collect, organize, represent, and describe categorical data. They use a bar graph and a pictograph using a scale with intervals larger than the one to model what their data shows. Example: What is your hair color?

Collecting, Representing, and Analyzing Measurement Data

Students represent and analyze ordered, numerical data using a line plot. They generate measurement data and represent that data using a line plot that includes fractions. Students will generate measurement data in inches, half inches, feet, and yards.

Social Studies: Global Studies—Places We Know: As our writing about Places We Know draws to a close, we will segue into our study on New Orleans: The people, places, and things that make NOLA unique. “Let the good times roll” – is New Orleans’ motto, which is carried out by the city’s joie de vivre. It is no wonder New Orleans is called the Birthplace of Jazz.

We look forward to seeing you all during parent conferences.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin



Additional Updates

Dear Third Grade Parents:

Please find a couple of updates below:

Creative Writing      

Thursday, 10/5/17 marks the beginning of our ten week creative writing course with Suzanne LaFleur. This program will be an enrichment-writing period in addition to our regular writing program.

At a young age, Suzanne LaFleur fell in love with stories and writes to help children do the same. Suzanne works with children in New York and Boston. We are really thrilled to have her work with our third graders!


We’d like the students to practice keyboarding twice a week for 15-20 minutes. Students should login with their Google account from school and complete the beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons by the end of the school year. They can take the 1 minute, 3 minute or 5 minute typing test. In addition, this will help the students when we are researching on the chromebooks in school. By 4th grade, students should be typing 40 words per minute. The link is

Our Best,

Leslie and Kevin

October Update

Dear Third Grade Families:

We are literally FALLING into great things in third grade!

This past month we have become leaders of our own learning. Below are just a few highlights!

Writing: WE ARE WRITERS and are crafting our own true stories! As our unit draws to a close, students are honing in on the art of revising. During this process, they are learning to develop the heart of their story, drawing on various mentor texts for inspiration. In addition, students are perfecting exciting leads, writing with a storyteller’s voice, adding dialogue and finally ending their story with one of the techniques we learned to wrap up a personal narrative story!

Reading: Our reading unit has been closely linked to the work children are doing in writing. They are truly taking on the roles of readers and writers in our classroom and at home. We have learned that Tackling Complex Texts Takes Grit! This understanding invites children into the process of self-improvement and rising to reading challenges. These challenges might come from students pushing themselves to read more, or from readers tackling difficulties with word work or character work.

Reader’s Notebooks: Our Reader’s Notebooks are now filled with daily entries. Student’s lives as readers are illuminated through each section including goals, independent reading, read aloud, and finally their reading log where they record completed books.   

Math: Our first unit on multiplication is drawing to a close. It has provided an opportunity to establish math routines in the classroom, and lay foundation for the multiplication work ahead. At the close of this unit we will spend approximately two week in an investigation to further student’s mathematical thinking around this topic. We have been focusing on the importance of naming the strategies, making conjectures and generalizations, and overall, simply digging deeper. Check out our number stories on our bulletin boards that show our student’s creative thinking.

Social Studies: Places We Know

Essential Questions: How are various parts of the United States similar to and different from each other? What is life like in the various parts of this country? How can talking to people about far-away places and studying maps, photos, videos, and books help us learn about life in those places?

We launched our global studies by first brainstorming and jotting notes about places we know well. We located these places on our class maps of the United States and the world. Students have immersed themselves into this unit in a burst of enthusiasm thinking about their special place. This will be a springboard subsequent units in which students be studying places, peoples and cultures more removed from their own. In the same way that this unit is intended to provide a foundation for children to the content that they’ll need for this year of Social Studies, it also provides students with a foundation for the skills of a social scientist or a researcher they’ll be building upon.

Looking forward to the month ahead…

Reading: Mystery: Foundational Skills in Disguise! Students will step into their detective’s shoes! Track clues! Look out for red herrings!) This unit ramps up and emphasizes the foundational skills that lie at the heart of engaged reading. Reading mysteries is the perfect vehicle to teach these foundational skills. Students are so excited to read mysteries, they’ll leap at the chance to do the work required to really “get” the mystery. And, of course, mysteries also naturally push kids to infer—to notice clues and to wonder more about them. The rest is a surprise and we can’t wait!

Writing: Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions, and Editorials

We will encourage students to think about a change they want to see being made locally. In the later part of the unit we will work to support students in addressing more global concerns. Student will learn how to direct his/her writing to a specific audience. It is likely that at the start of the unit, student’s speeches are apt to be fairly short. So before long, we will support students in saying more about each reason. Students can start anticipating their audience’s questions so as to address these as they write (“Maybe you are wondering why…well, let me tell you…”). This will help students elaborate on their reasons. We are eagerly waiting to hear our student’s opinions.

Social Studies: Global Studies—Places We Know: We will continue with Places We Know, that will provide a natural segue into our study on New Orleans: The people, places, and things that make NOLA unique. “Let the good times roll” – is New Orleans’ motto, which is carried out by the city’s joie de vivre. It is no wonder New Orleans is called the Birthplace of Jazz.

Math: We will begin our investigation called Muffles Truffles. Students will push their thinking and make further conjectures about multiplication, factors, and products, by developing numerous arrays to support their thinking. Our next unit in math is Graphs and Line Plots, Modeling With Data. Through this unit students will collect, organize, represent, and describe categorical data. They use a bar graph and a pictograph, using a scale with intervals larger than one) to model what their data show.

CML (Continental Math League) is on the horizon, and students are thrilled!

Lower Lab Values: Respect! We have introduced our book of the month: “The Giving Tree,” by Shel Silverstein. We are using this book as a springboard to discuss the topic of respect. At the close of the month, we will have an assembly where classes’ k-5 will join in celebrating our conversations and thinking around this most important core value.

We are filled with gratitude by your unending support, as we partner together to further your children’s love of learning.

Our Best,

Leslie And Kevin




Music Request – 3rd Grade students ONLY

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 2.29.41 PM.pngDon’t forget submit your money for the purchase of the student’s recorders!

Submit your $4.00 by this Friday. In an envelope to your teacher and mark child’s name and class and the words RECORDER on the sealed envelope.

We are still missing about 13 envelopes with payment!

If you are sending a check make it out to PS77.

Thanks for your continued support.


September Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

Welcome back!  We hope everyone had a restful summer. We are looking forward to working with you and your child during this important year as an upper classman.

We began the year discussing third grade expectations and are empowering the students to be leaders of their own learning. We have enjoyed some getting to know you activities and students are beginning to settle into the routines and rigor that come along with third grade.

Students will each receive a green Home/School Folder that will be used to transport homework and notes. They will also receive a planner. Homework is given on Monday and returned by Friday. Until it becomes a routine, please ask your child if they have any ‘mail’ on a daily basis.  If you have a note for anyone in the school community, please put it in the green folder and it will be delivered as marked.  (This folder tends to get ‘full’ very quickly; students should not be keeping academic papers in this folder full time.  We will teach them how to manage their work but please feel free to remind them to stay organized!

During class we discussed that our expectation of the students is that they come to school prepared with the following:

  • Water Bottle
  • Reading text (novel /informational)
  • Planner
  • Subject Folders
  • Home/School folder (Green)
  • Readers/Writers Notebook
  • Completed Homework by Friday

On the horizon in the month ahead!

Reading: Building a Reading Life

This unit devoted to helping our third graders develop lifelong habits of being strong readers, including choosing books wisely and getting a lot of reading done, keeping track of how reading is going and addressing problems along the way, learning to talk about books with others, and applying on-the-run comprehension strategies to hold onto and synthesize all the parts of the text. We are teaching students to live lives as readers in the classroom and at home.

The comprehension skills that are highlighted in the unit include the foundational skills of envisioning, predicting and retelling, as well as strategies for tackling difficulties in texts. Students will have reading partners that are matched to a similar reading level.

 Reader’s Notebook

Student’s will learn the structure of a Reader’s Notebook. This structure in used throughout Lower Lab in grades 3-5. This is a place where all responses to reading will live. It is also provides an opportunity to log completed books and set, revisit and refine goals as readers.

 Writing: Crafting True Stories

This unit builds on the “small moment stories” that students have written in K-2. Students will learn to write with integrity in a Writer’s Notebook; inspired that these notebooks are something that professional writers use in order to live lives as writers. Student’s entries will range from a half a page to a page. They will learn strategies to generate narrative writing. They will have an opportunity later in this unit to draw on a repertoire of strategies they acquired earlier on to raise the level of their narrative writing.

The reading and writing units this month are aiming to do similar work. We want to invite students to live like real readers and writers. To help with this work, students will have separate reading and writing partners to support their work, discovery and growth.

Social Studies:

The overall subject is ‘countries around the world.’ We will study countries that are different in terms of continents, cultures, climates and governments. Specifically we will have an opportunity to study Brazil and China. These global studies will allow students to develop valuable research and inquiry skills through studying multiple texts, interpreting maps, data, and images and finally to continue building on note-taking strategies.

 During the next month we will begin our study of New Orleans. Students will have an opportunity to work in partners and small groups.


We are beginning the year with a brief review of addition and subtraction. We hope that students have secured automaticity of their addition and subtraction facts through 20.

In our first unit, students will gain an understanding of multiplication by using equal groups. Through mini lessons, partner work, and group investigations, students will understand the meaning of multiplication model arrays, and the inverse relationship between multiplication and division. Manipulatives will be used to support this important work.

Our Multiplication unit will culminate with an exciting investigation called Muffles Truffles. Your child will never look at a box of chocolate the same way!

We look forward to working together as a team to foster a love of learning!
Here’s to joyous beginnings!

Kevin and Leslie





Get Your Recorders!

Third Grade Families,

A flyer with the following info is being backpacked tomorrow! We need your help!

This year we need families to contribute towards the purchase of individual recorders for Music Class. Please send in $4.00 to the Main Office

 This support will pay for the appropriate recorder that Ms. Kim has requested as well as shipping of the item to our school.

Please send cash in a clearly marked envelope with your child’s name/class on it OR send in a check made out to PS77 in a clearly marked envelope.  Attention Recorders!

Thank You in advance! For those families who have already sent in their contribution we appreciate your support!


Preview Night May 25th TONIGHT! 5:00-7:00 See schedule below

flyer for preview night copy

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Take a brief view of next year’s curriculum 
across the content/specialty areas.

• Teachers will present work/expectations/goals across the year for next years class/grade.

• Music, Art, Science, PE and Technology will provide a curriculum overview for their specific subject with presentations for Grades 1-2 and 3-5.

• 5th Grade Families will participate in a Workshop with Josh and Gina – Transition to Middle School

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Lunch and snack reminders for tomorrow’s trip!

As we gear up for tomorrow’s field trip to Symphony Space, some brief reminders:

  • Unless you have already made arrangements with Kevin or Laura, please send your student to school with a packed lunch. This does NOT need to be in a brown bag, normal lunch boxes and water bottles are fine. Including any necessary utensils would be a major plus!
  • Please also send your child to school with a small snack. Students won’t be having lunch until nearly 1pm, so they will eat their snacks before getting on the bus to tide themselves over.

Thank you so much! We promise to come back bursting with stories about Latin American performing arts.

May’s Marvelous Update!

Hello, third grade families!

The weather is finally starting to feel like spring as we gear up for our final units of study in third grade. It’s hard to believe that fourth grade is just around the corner!

In Reading Workshop, we are wrapping up our final cycles of nonfiction research clubs. Students have studied and learned note-taking strategies for several groups of animals, and they have developed questions and conjectured possible answers, such as “Why do penguins take care of their young, but frogs lay their eggs and leave? Could it be that penguins need to protect their young and teach them, but tadpoles survive because of their instinctive behaviors?” Looking ahead, we are excited to finish off our year as readers who participate in social issues book clubs, reading and analyzing fiction to discover how our characters respond to challenges like friendship trouble, loss, or bullying.

In Writing Workshop, we are exploring the art of poetry! We’ve immersed ourselves in reading poems to study the moves that poets make and the subjects – great and small – that poets explore. We’re studying how to use line breaks to change how readers experience our writing, and we’ll soon be revising the poems we’ve already written to incorporate author’s craft techniques like repetition, metaphor, and personification. We look forward to sharing our work with you!

In Math Workshop, we are tackling new challenges as we study numerical data collection and statistical analysis. We’ve made single and double bar graphs and line plots, and now we’re learning how statisticians describe the shape of data and explore ways to know what a “typical” piece of data might be for a given group. The third graders have been eager to learn and explore statistical vocabulary words like outlier and median, and we’ll be learning even more as the unit goes on!

In Social Studies, we are eagerly immersing ourselves in the study of China. We’ve been lucky enough to have two visits from Symphony Space to teach us about Chinese opera and the art of ribbon dancing, and we’ve also had the new opportunity to work with the China Institute, who brought us fascinating multimedia presentations about the Forbidden City and the symbolism of Chinese imagery. Through the rest of the month, we will continue to study and research, reading texts about ancient and modern China and exploring topics of inquiry through technology. We’ve even got a few more special events in store thanks to our scheduled trip to Symphony Space next week and a special guest instructor who will join us at the end of the month!

As the weather gets warmer, we’ve noticed that students are starting to slide into a summery mentality and bending more rules. We would greatly appreciate it if you could brush up with your child about behavioral expectations, whether it comes to bringing toys and candy to school, turning in homework, or following directions given by any adult in the school (not just the classroom teacher). We can’t help but realize (maybe you have, too) that the children are only a few months from fourth grade, and we want to send them there well-prepared for the challenges they will face, both academic and behavioral.

Thank you as ever for your support!

All best,

Kevin and Laura