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



Dear Third Grade Parents,

Happy Spring!

Throughout this school year, 3rd grade students have been learning choir singing, tonality/meter identification, rhythmic/note recognition, and world music history and appreciation. In the month of March, we focused upon learning two-part choir singing for the upcoming Spring Concert.  Part of the 3rd grade music curriculum is playing the recorder.  All 3rd grade students will resume learning to play the recorder after the Spring Concert this Friday.

Update to Publishing Party schedule!

Hello, third grade families!

We wanted to give you a heads up that we’ve streamlined the schedule next week by moving our Brazil publishing party to Friday, April 28, from 8:30 to 9:00. This way, you can come see our hard work and then head down to the Spring Sing for third grade at 9:15. If your third grader has a sibling in K or 1, feel free to wait and come up to our classroom after the Spring Sings are finished. We will still have all of our exhibits set up for you to enjoy!

Please note, this will be a snack-free party due to timing. We’ll have snacks at the next one in June!

All best,

Kevin and Laura

A well deserved break after much hard work!

Dear third grade families,

Spring break feels like a pit stop along an exciting and adventurous third grade road trip! We are thrilled to have completed the ELA state test with confidence and hard work, and now we are launching into nonfiction research clubs and informational writing based on research in Reading and Writing Workshops, respectively. The students are excited to be diving into new areas of expertise as they jot notes and collect technical vocabulary instead of writing short and extended responses. See you next year, ELA exam!

Third Grade’s February Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

Happy February! We are moving right along in third grade as we finish some exciting units of study and look ahead to some upcoming challenges. In reading, we are concluding our character study book clubs by discussing the lessons our characters have learned across the series and how our characters have changed. In writing, we are excited to be publishing our literary essays, and we are tackling comparing two texts in a single literary essay. In math, we continue to practice our multiplication fast facts, but we are also launching a new division unit that explores the many strategies for division and reasons for using them. In social studies, we’ve concluded our study of New Orleans and are now excitedly studying Brazil by rotating through centers and making observations and inferences. We’ve been busy!

3rd Grade November Update

Dear Third Grade Families,

It was great seeing so many of you at parent teacher conferences and/or at our open school day.
In reading, we are wrapping up our mystery unit with a celebration of all that we have learned. On Wednesday, the students will be inviting visitors from the second and fourth grade classes into their rooms to teach them about the skills that make strong mystery readers, such as looking for clues, evaluating suspects, making predictions, and even finding red herrings.  When we come back from Thanksgiving break, we will be moving on to reading informational texts.
In writing, we are also wrapping up our informational writing unit. When writing our pieces, we keep in mind balancing facts and ideas. We also made sure that our pieces have text features such as pictures with captions, graphs, diagrams, timelines, charts, and vocabulary boxes. After we finish this writing, the next unit will be on opinion writing!