May Happenings~ Third Grade

May 1, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

We are so proud of our third graders for all their diligence and perseverance during the recent ELA and Math State Exams.

 Some Celebratory Moments in April…

  • Social Studies: We launched our study of China and enjoyed a workshop with Symphony Space.
  • Writing: We have been working with our research clubs around a shared topic.
  • Reading: We have been learning how to take notes as researchers.
  • Our Math Unit: We spent the last few weeks deepening our understanding of concepts introduced earlier in the year, and even touched on a few new skills including weight and volume.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…May

Reading: Social Issues Book Clubs: We will soon transition from our research clubs to a unit where students can read books to teach them how to live their lives. Students will learn to interpret and determine themes–work that will be hugely important for them next year and beyond.

Writing: Poetry ~ Students will try their hand at poetry. This will begin with couplets similar to the type of poems Chinese write on banners to signify hope and happiness for the New Year. Following this, we will practice writing other forms of poetry including: Haiku, Acrostic, Limerick, Free verse, Narrative and more!

Math: Addition, Subtraction, and The Number System In the next math unit, students will develop ideas about counting and quantity, place value and the base-ten number system, and the meaning of operations with whole numbers. These ideas will be developed through activities that focus on understanding the operations of addition and subtraction, and through practicing fluency while adding and subtracting.

Social Studies: China Students have each chosen a subtopic of interest around China that they will research in class over the next month. We will continue to use a variety of resources including videos, online resources and picture books to support this valuable work. Students will also learn how to write a bibliography. As a culminating project, students will write an article supported by a pictorial display on a 22X 28 poster.

Class Trips: We have a few upcoming class trips. Stay tuned for more details and opportunities to be a chaperone over the next couple of days.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

April Update

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.
  • 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

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,

Kevin and Leslie

 

Many Thanks

We had a great time at the book fair this week! Thank you to the families of Cyrus, Perry, Cooper, and Ava for donating so many wonderful and exciting books to our library.

 

March Update

Dear Third Grade Families:

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful mid-winter break with family and friends. Students returned filled with enthusiasm ready to embark on their Brazilian independent projects, which will be completed during the next three weeks in school.

As you know, the New York State tests are coming up. The dates for the tests are:

ELA (English Language Arts) Test: Wednesday, April 11 – Thursday, April 12

Math Test: Tuesday, May 1 – Wednesday, May 2.

We wanted to let you know how we are preparing the third graders for their first foray into taking state tests.

 Test Preparation: We will gradually begin test preparation. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS ELA exam.

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

Center Activities: A variety of center activities with reinforce specific skills for reading and writing.

Read-Throughs:

In order to deeply understand the test passages, students will benefit from reading each passage two times. The first read is to get “the gist” and the second is to return and have a “closer read.” Students will be “road mapping”, where they pine and annotate the text. Students are also encouraged to divide the text into beginning, middle and end, so they can quickly access necessary information that a question requires.

  • One of the fun things we will engage in is a “reading marathon.” During this time we will channel students to read a variety of texts for long stretches of time. This helps them build stamina.
  • Students will work on strategies to successfully answer multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions using graphic organizers and checklists for support.

At home you can support your child by:

  • Reducing stress around the test.
  • Ensuring that they do homework assignments thoughtfully.
  • Helping them come up with a special “mantra” to say to themselves during the test if they feel overwhelmed, tired, etc.
  • Not overwhelming children with “extra” work.
  • Make sure they get good sleep and eat a healthy breakfast on testing days.

We understand this can be a stressful time for third graders (and parents) who have never experienced state tests before.  Please keep in mind that our biggest goal is to support the students in feeling prepared, relaxed, and confident, not anxious or overwhelmed. It’s a new learning experience for them, but it shouldn’t be an upsetting one!

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Students have enjoyed giving partner feedback. In addition, students are learning how to use the narrative learning progression to evaluate their own responses, set goals, and push themselves as readers.

Our Math Unit: Unit 5: Fair Shares and Fractions on Number Lines

This unit will highlight work around understanding, representing, and comparing fractions.

Some highlights will include:

  • Understanding the meaning of fractions as equal parts of a whole
  • Finding fractional parts of different sized wholes
  • Demonstrating that different shaped pieces are the same fraction of a whole
  • Extending the use of a number line, to find and represent fractions on a number line
  • Measuring length to the nearest fourth inch on a ruler and represent same on a line plot
  • Comparing equivalent fractions with the same numerators and denominators
  • Understanding and using notation for fractions

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Based on our research of Brazil, students will have the opportunity to create an independent research project of their own choosing. They will research and complete these projects in school and then share them with guests at a publishing party (to be scheduled prior to April vacation).

We look forward to our upcoming class trip to Symphony Space that will support our Brazilian Study.

Until Soon,

Kevin and Leslie

 

February Update

Dear Third Grade Families:

The third graders have been busy this year!

Reading Character Studies

In this unit, children move from a close study of character, to a study of the predictable journeys that all characters take, to a cross book comparison study of characters who have something important in common (similar traits, problems, lessons learned). This unit builds in sophistication from literal comprehension work to interpretive/analytic work and directly supports the work of our writing “Baby Literary Essay unit” taught in tandem. Although Baby Literary Essay is a writing unit, it requires students to read closely, studying character traits, change, and lessons learned.

 Writing: Literary Essay

Essential Question: How can I write an essay that states a strong opinion about a text and supports it clearly with evidence from the text?

Structuring Essays About Stories: Students become accustomed to making a big, bold opinion about a character, including evidence from the text, and elaborating on that evidence. They’ll also include a brief introduction and conclusion. Know that the key to mastering any new skill, whether 3-point basketball shots or writing an essay, is repetition. Therefore, this unit offers students ample opportunity to write a few quick essays. The goal is to give students the opportunity to have repeated practice with this new skill set, drafting quickly and often during the first few days of each of our three “bends,” then selecting their best draft to revise and edit.

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Responses now include synthesizing different parts of the texts, noticing themes, deep thinking about characters traits and motives and wonderings about why the author included that information. As we move into the character studies in early January, we hope to see that rich thinking reflected in students Reader’s Notebooks. Students may want to refer to the common themes sheet introduced in class.

Our Math Unit: Travel Stories and Collections

In math we are exploring the area and perimeter of rectangles as well as irregular shapes. We are also thinking about the difference between area and perimeter. When might it be best to use area or perimeter in a real life situation?

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

In Social Studies we have been learning about Brazil through the use of centers. After the break, the students will continue to research Brazil in depth, with the focus of their research topic. The students will continue to construct their projects. We hope to share these with you at our publishing party (TBA).

Until Soon,

Leslie and Kevin

Reminder -The Lower Lab School’s Science Fair will be held on Tuesday, June 12th! This is an evening event.

 

February 8, 2018

Dear Lower Lab Families,

The Lower Lab School’s Science Fair will be held on Tuesday, June 12 (in the evening for parents only, details will be sent home at a later date) and Wednesday, June 13, 2018 (for students only). All projects will be done at home under adult supervision. The individual science fair project is mandatory for students in Grades 3, 4, 5 and will be part of their science grade on the Progress Report.

All students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 must submit the following:

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.53.09 PM

 Note: the short description of the idea for the Science Fair Project, the proposal, and the reports must be given to classroom teachers for Grades 3 and 4. Students of Grade 5 will submit all parts of their Science Fair Project to Claudia.

All final reports will be reviewed and returned to students at the conclusion of the oral presentations (after the Science Fair).

Please encourage children to begin to work on their projects early enough to avoid any last minute panic and stress.

Thank you for your support.

Please find entire Science Fair 2018 Packet Here!

Sincerely,

Dr. Katarina H. Klaf

kklaf@schools.nyc.gov

January Update

Dear Third Grade Families:

Happy New Year! 2018 is off to a busy start and the students have been working hard!

Reading Character Studies

In this unit, children move from a close study of character, to a study of the predictable journeys that all characters take, to a cross book comparison study of characters who have something important in common (similar traits, problems, lessons learned). This unit builds in sophistication from literal comprehension work to interpretive/analytic work and directly supports the work of our writing “Baby Literary Essay unit” taught in tandem. Although Baby Literary Essay is a writing unit, it requires students to read closely, studying character traits, change, and lessons learned.

 Writing: Literary Essay

Essential Question: How can I write an essay that states a strong opinion about a text and supports it clearly with evidence from the text?

Structuring Essays About Stories: Students become accustomed to making a big, bold opinion about a character, including evidence from the text, and elaborating on that evidence. They’ll also include a brief introduction and conclusion. Know that the key to mastering any new skill, whether 3-point basketball shots or writing an essay, is repetition. Therefore, this unit offers students ample opportunity to write a few quick essays. The goal is to give students the opportunity to have repeated practice with this new skill set, drafting quickly and often during the first few days of each of our three “bends,” then selecting their best draft to revise and edit.

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Responses now include synthesizing different parts of the texts, noticing themes, deep thinking about characters traits and motives and wonderings about why the author included that information. As we move into the character studies in early January, we hope to see that rich thinking reflected in students Reader’s Notebooks. Students may want to refer to the common themes sheet introduced in class.

Our Math Unit: Travel Stories and Collections

This unit develops students’ ideas about counting and quantity, place value and the structure of the base-10 number system, the meaning of operations with whole numbers, the development of computational fluency, and generalizations about numbers and operations. This strand focuses on understanding and extending knowledge of place value and the number system to 1,000, and adding and subtracting accurately and efficiently. Students will benefit from math fact fluency and effortless automaticity with their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts through 12. This level of mastery will serve students well moving forward.  

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Essential Questions: What factors influence how people in Brazil live their lives? How do geography, culture, and economic needs shape the way people live in Brazil? How is this similar to and different from life in the U.S.?

In this unit, students will continue working in their research clubs to pursue the essential question:’ What shapes how people in a place far from me live?’ This time the place that students are studying is a more remote one than the United States, making everything about the unit more challenging. As children pursue the question, “What factors influence how people in Brazil live their lives?” they will utilize World Book On line, and numerous other texts and be able to answer “How do geography, culture, and economic needs shape the way people live in Brazil? How is this similar to and different from life in the US?”

Students will discover that when studying another place, a researcher often asks, ‘What is turning out to be especially interesting to me as I learn about this place?’ and then that researcher is off and running, pursuing this topic of interest.’ As students identify these interests, they will deepen their research in inquiry groups, with each group focused on a subtopic such as the rainforest.

An interdisciplinary culminating project will show off their research. Our work with the teaching artists from Symphony Space will further enrich this process.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

 

 

Inside Broadway Lottery Completed

Dear Lower Lab Families,

Please find the students pulled from the lottery for the After School CASA Grant- Inside Broadway Program beginning on February 1st 2018.

This is the 4th year we have had the need to create a lottery for this program. Kudos to Inside Broadway for their excellence and popularity. It is unprecedented that we had 70 applications for 35 spots. 

  • 20 – 5th Graders
  • 24 – 4th Graders
  • 26 – 3rd Graders 
    It is amazing that we had such a large response however extremely emotional for us to proceed with a lottery option.  This lottery was equitable for all grades (3-5)  There were no priorities in terms of seniority, repeat participants, or siblings. 
    Please note that we have also decided to select 6 alternate students should there be a need to replace any of the participants due to illness or lack of 100 percent participation.

 

We thanks everyone for their consideration and look forward to this years program. If you were not selected please consider the PTA Afterschool as another option for the Spring semester of classes.
Inside Broadway will begin on February 1st. Should your situation change and you are no longer interested in participating please let Gina know ASAP so that we might select someone from the wait list.  Email her at ggoodman@lowerlab.org 

Inside Broadway Sign Up Sheets Deadline for interest has been moved up!

If you filled out a form for the CASA Grant and the Inside Broadway Opportunity grades 3-5 we will be doing our lottery on January 2nd. 

Please make sure you have submitted you INSIDE BROADWAY INTEREST SHEET ASAP

The new date for this submission is Monday December 18th.

 

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

Zumba Kids at PS 77

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Dear families,

We have some exciting news! For the third straight year, our students will have the opportunity to participate in free Zumba classes at recess. The classes will be run by certified Zumba instructors from Training Concepts LLC. Classes will be held on Monday’s and Friday’s in the auditorium from 10:05 AM to 10:25 AM and 11:00 AM to 11:25 AM.

Zumba Kids will run on the following dates:

January 8, 12, 26, 29

February 2, 5

If your child is interested in signing up for Zumba, please fill out the school permission slip and Zumba release forms below. Both forms should be turned in to your classroom teacher.

Zumba Kids Waiver

ZUMBA KIDS school permission slip 2017

If you have further questions, please email Mr. Goodman at mgoodman@lowerlab.org