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

December Update

Dear Third Grade Families: 

Some Celebratory Moments In November…

  • Mystery Unit: Foundational Skills in Disguise~ Students culminated this exciting unit by developing mystery posters which depicted the numerous skills that they learned which are transferrable to any other fiction book. Reading partners were able to articulate these skills in a myriad of ways.

 

  • Writing: Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions and Editorials. As a culmination of our unit, children completed their opinion writing speeches, editorials and letters. The persuasive writing skills students acquired included: Creating a “hook”, stating a claim, supported by three clear reasons, explanations, adding transitions to make their writing flow, elaborating with mini stories, facts and finally finishing with a strong conclusion that is a call to action. These structures will support them as they venture into the art of non- fiction information writing and later as they study the genre of literary essay.

 

  • Reader’s Notebooks are a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Responses now include synthesizing different parts o the texts, noticing themes, deep thinking about characters traits and motives and wonderings about why the author included that information. At this time, we are aiming to have responses be more than three lines.

 

  • Math: Students successfully worked with partners to explore strategies in multiplication and division in an open-ended investigation called Muffles Truffles. They were introduced to the concept of an open array and discussed different properties including the commutative, distributive and associative properties. Math Congress has provided opportunities to highlight and deepen skills, strategies and student work.

 

  • Creative Writing: Author and educator Suzanne LaFleur has been working weekly on creative writing. Students have selected their story idea and are going through a variety of revisions. Suzanne has provided feedback, and students are thrilled that their writing will be included in a class anthology. We will share these anthologies during our December publishing party.

 Looking Forward To The Month Ahead… December

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

Non-fiction readers get ready to read by “revving up their minds.” Even before their start reading a text, they preview it, identify the parts, and think about how the book might go.

This 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 an effort to continue supporting 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 students gleam 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. 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 informational texts. We teach The Art of Information Writing alongside a reading unit where students will be reading informational texts. Teaching these two units side-by-side will support transference.

Students will also have strong skills from our last 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 from topics of personal expertise. Our experts may include topics such as Star Wars, swimming, basketball, labradoodles, 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. These are some of the text features student will include in their writing.

Reader’s Notebooks: This month our reading focus will shift to non-fiction. Students will still read fiction books, however non-fiction reading and recording in the different structures we will learn in class, will become important.

  • Students will focus on rebuilding their reading life! During this unit, readers will aim for at least thirty minutes of reading each night. Of course, they’ll need to read some nonfiction, but they can also keep their fiction reading going. The choice is up to each student how much time they will spend on each. Articles also “count” as non-fiction reading!

Our 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.

Save the date!

Our December Publishing party is on the horizon!

Grade 3 Publishing Party: Wednesday, December 20th @ 8:40 AM

Details and a Sign Up Genius link will be sent directly by our class parents.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

 

 

Huge Thanks!

Dear 3-208 families,

This has been a full and wonderful week! I really appreciated your taking the time to come in for conferences and catch up on all the progress your students have been making as we practically zoom through the first semester of third grade together. In addition, it was lovely reading all of the wonderful birthday cards that the students made!

We had a great time at the book fair today! Thank you to the families of Lucy, Cyrus, Evelyn, and Morgan for donating so many wonderful and exciting books to our library. We were in need of some fresh reading choices.

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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!

Technology

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 typing.com.

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