Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Auction Item

Don't forget to check out our holiday auction items in the front lobby of our school. The students used their finger prints to decorate snowman on a planter. All proceeds from our auction item will support Promise to Kate foundation. The auction will end Friday, December 13th at noon. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

CORE Students on TV Tonight!

A few weeks ago, the CORE students were invited to participate in filming a TV segment to help invite Sportsman Dan Hicken back to being on air. Our segment will air TONIGHT on Fox 30 at 10:30 pm. Tune in or set your DVR to catch our kiddos on TV. We hope you're having a lovely break. See you Tuesday! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Reading Challenge!

Mrs.O'Leary and Ms.Earnest have challenged their third grade readers to read 150 minutes during the Thanksgiving Break. The students can choose how they want to break the minutes up over the days of the break, as long as they reach a total of 150. This challenge is optional, but each student who meets this challenge will earn THREE reading raffle tickets. Will you be a smart turkey this thanksgiving and meet this goal?? Good Luck!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Reflex Math

We are so excited to announce that Multiplication and Division is open and ready to use on Reflex Math. We have been working on multiplication and division in math workshop and this is a great way for your child to practice at home and reinforce what they have been learning at school! You can find a link on our blog under "Cool Math Sites". Your child has the log-in information in their planner.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Division Strategies

On Monday, students began looking at math story problems that involve division! Students quickly realized that division and multiplication story problems are related. In multiplication, you know the number of groups and how much is in each group, you are just trying to find the product.  In division problems, you know the total and you are either sharing or finding how many groups. 

In the opening lesson, students were asked to visualize the problems and model their thinking in whatever way made sense to them! The anchor charts below show a variety of different strategies for solving division problems.  The students are making incredible connections and their division work is progressing daily! Students will have a short, basic division quiz this Friday. 

Students answer the following question: 
Miss Russell has 18 pencils. She wants to share them with herself and two friends. How many pencils will each person get? 
Leave us your answer in a comment below. Don't forget to include your first name only! :) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Patterns in Multiplication

In math class, we have been working on becoming fluent with multiplication combinations. Last week, we took a closer look at related multiplication problems and patterns that happen as a result.  Check out our two anchor charts that show what we noticed when multiplying by multiples of 10. 

During our lesson, the students recognized some very important patterns. More incredibly, they were able to explain WHY the patterns happen. Often times the "why" is the hardest part to explain. 

Students: Using what you learned in this lesson, what is 67 x 10? Leave us a comment and don't forget to write your first name only! :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Math Skills Block Happenings

Recently in math skills block, students have been focusing on math standards that requires them to be able to compose, decompose, analyze and classify shapes using angles and sides.  Students have been enjoying working with Tangrams.  Tangrams are a Chinese geometric puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces that can be arranged to make various other shapes.  Students had to manipulate the pieces by sliding, flipping and turning them in order to get them to fit into a new arrangements.
This is an example of the Tangram puzzles with which the students have been working.
In our closing sessions, we have focused on the congruent and similar shapes, different angles (acute, obtuse, and right), parallel sides, and many other attributes! We will have a short quiz on these concepts on Friday.  Students can review these concepts by visiting the following sites:
Slides, Flips and Turns 
Congruent and Similar Practice
Angles Practice

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Safety First!

Today, our entire school participated in an evacuation drill.  The students and teachers moved swiftly, safely and quietly to our designated safe spot. While we hope we never need to use this plan in the future, we are confident that our students know exactly where to go in case of an actual emergency. We are very proud of them!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Multiplication and Arrays

This week in math, students have been working with arrays. They have learned that arrays are an arrangement of things in equal rows and columns.  Arrays are a fantastic model that easily allows students to visualize "groups of" things (multiplication). Students have learned how to identify the dimensions of arrays (rows, columns), how to skip count to find the total, and how to break down arrays into smaller, easier arrays. Check out our anchor chart from today's math lesson.

Visualize an array that is 6 x 7. What smaller arrays can you break a 6 x 7 array in to? Leave us a comment with your answer. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Multiplication Strategy Work

On Friday, students began thinking about "Things That Come in Groups." As a class, we developed a chart with things that came in groups of 2-12. For example, four wheels on a car, 6 legs on an insect, 7 days in a week, etc. This was the very first lesson in our multiplication and division unit.

During the work period, students answered several basic "Equal Groups" problems.  Students set off to work with no discussion about multiplication or how even how to solve.  Instead, students were encouraged to use what they "visualized" in their mind about the problem to help them solve. We were blown away by the variety of different strategies and incredible math thinking that the students demonstrated! Check out the chart below for some the strategies that we shared in closing.
While some of the strategies are more efficient than others, all of the students are off to an incredible start!

It is extremely important for students to build this conceptual understanding of multiplication before jumping to "memorizing" facts.  If you let them work through this process, their thinking will be much more flexible, accurate and efficient as a result.

Also, don't forget that when we see the "X" symbol we say "groups of" in class. For example, 5 x 3 would be said "five groups of three." You can help at home by encouraging this vocabulary so that students are able to visualize what the problem looks like in their mind. :)

Students: What strategy is YOUR next step? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wild About Skills' Block

Last week, we learned the difference between singular and plural nouns. We also learned some of the rules for spelling plural nouns. Using the chart, we challenge you to change the following singular nouns into plural nouns. Leave us a comment with your answer. :)

1. blueberry
2. child
3. lunch
4. monkey 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gizmos are Awesome!

On Thursday, students were introduced to an awesome tool called a Gizmo.  A Gizmo is an online simulation that powers inquiry and understanding of math and science. Students worked in pairs to explore the Measuring Volume Gizmo.  They learned how to read the volume of water in a graduated cylinder.  The even explored the volume of irregular shaped objects such as a rock.  They found that the difference between the water with and without the rock, told them the volume of the rock.  Students loved exploring the Gizmo. Today we continued our exploration with a guided student sheet.

As students are ready, we will slowly unveil more and more Gizmos.  Today, we have unveiled three more Gizmos for students to use at home: Cargo Captain (Focus: Multi-Digit Subtraction), Number Line Frog Hop (Focus: Addition and Subtraction), and Cannonball Clowns (Number Line Estimation). Feel free to explore Gizmos at home. Each student has the username and password in the back of their planner. What's your favorite Gizmo so far? There are many more to come!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Measuring Matter

This week in science, we have been measuring different properties of matter.  We used balances to find the mass of several objects. We also practiced using thermometers to practice finding the temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit.  Towards the end of the week, we will use graduated cylinders to find the volume of several different objects.
These young scientists are busy using gram cubes to find the mass of different objects. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Subtraction Strategies

In math class, we have been working on finding the distance between two numbers (subtraction). The following chart shows some of the strategies that students have been using in their work.  Every student is at a different point in their learning journey. When we come to our daily "closing meeting" during our math workshop, students are always looking for ways to make their work more efficient and sophisticated.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Skills Block

Our students loved reviewing nouns with this vintage grammar rock video:

So far in Skills Block we have learned how to spell third grade no excuse words, learned some amazing new vocabulary from the book, Montezuma's Revenge, and learned about common and proper nouns.

Each week in Skills Block we will either focus on spelling, vocabulary, or grammar. This week and next we will be studying the rules for how to make a noun plural. Check the newsletter for specific details on the rules we will be learning.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Planning our Stories!

Last week, our writers in room 205 chose a topic and planned their stories. The plan allows the writer to know exactly how their stories are going to go, before they just start writing. A plan should include all the main events of the story, but does not need to go into vivid detail or have complete sentences. The plan below was done by one of our amazing writers, Dalton! He is planning a story about how he crashed his cousin's four-wheeler. His story starts as he is getting the 4 wheeler out of the shed. This is the perfect place for his story to start, because it is right before the main event! (He didn't write about what he had for breakfast that morning, or how he brushed his teeth or got dressed. That would be a boring beginning!) The middle of Dalton's plan contains the action of his story, and he includes 5 main events that happened. He ends his plan with a feeling (relief) that he would be able to ride his 4 wheeler again because he wasn't hurt. This is an amazing plan and we can't wait for Dalton to write his story so we can read it!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Reading with STAMINA!

This week in Reading Workshop, we have been really focused on building reading stamina.  Reading stamina is a child's ability to focus and read independently for longer periods of time without being distracted or without distracting others. Third grade readers should be able to read chapter books for at least 30 minutes at a time. They should read one book at a time, not starting a new one until the previous one is finished. Readers should be so into their books that they don't think about anything else, but what they are reading!  By Friday, we had so many excellent readers practicing amazing stamina. Some students were doing such a great job that they were picked to read in special comfy spots around the room!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Young Scientists At Work

For the past few days, our young scientists have been working through the Scientific Method.  They have learned that the Scientific Method often includes the following steps: 1) Asking a Testable Question, 2) Forming a hypothesis, 3) Test with an experiment, 4) Record and analyze data, 5) Draw conclusions and Report results.

Today, our young scientists used the Scientific Method to answer the following testable question "How many drops of water fit on the face of a penny?" Students enjoyed experimenting and comparing results. Not all students got the same answer.  Students came up with the following list for WHY results may have differed: 1) The size of the drops might have been different, 2) A student may have miscounted, 3) The table might have been unbalanced, 4) A student might have pushed too hard on the eye dropper.

C.O.R.E. scientists, what was your favorite part of today's lab? Leave us a comment.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Class Store!

On Friday, the C.O.R.E. students participated in our very first Class Store! The Class Store is part of our behavior incentive program. The store also provides real world experience with the topic of economics, which is a part of our third grade social studies standards.

Students earn $2 a day for doing their job, coming to school on time.  Students can also earn money throughout the day by doing things such as making good choices, participating in class lessons, turning things in on time, and much more!  Just like in the real world, students may also lose money as a result of making poor choices. While paying class fines aren't fun, they are an important experience as well.

At the end of each school day, students log the money that they earned in their bank account log book.  In order to be an active participant in the store, students promise to: 1) Log money daily, 2) Be honest, and 3) Fill out an application to work .

Our store opens on Fridays for about 20-25 minutes.  There are always three workers including a banker.  These workers get paid $10 for working during the store time. During store, some students may choose to save their money for "big ticket" items that are for sale.  Other students buy small trinkets, Thursday lunch bunch, Teacher Assistant, Special Desk and more.  Some students prefer to rent items for $5.  The favorite rentals are Legos, Checkers, Apples to Apples Junior, bowling, and Water Color Paints.

During store time, students talk about saving, spending, counting change, making choices, depositing, withdrawing, account balances and so much other sophisticated vocabulary.  Overhearing these conversations by our precious kiddos, warms our hearts!

Hey C.O.R.E. kids, what's your favorite part of our class store? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

We had some very special visitors at Chets Creek this week as we began our walk on the wild side. During the Sensory Safari, students had the opportunity to get up close and personal with life-like animals from around the world.The students were so engaged as they listened and learned about the different animals. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Are You Ready to Walk on the Wild Side With Us?

Welcome to our classroom blog! We are so excited to have you in our class this year. We have so many fun experiences planned for you to make your 3rd grade year the best yet!

Here are a few reminders:
  • School starts Monday, 19th at 9:00 AM. You are welcome to come as early as 8:30 each day to get your day started.  
  • If you haven't already, please get your school supplies.  
  • Join PTA. The cost is only $6.00 per family.  The list of programs that the CCE PTA supports at our school is endless!
  • On the first day, make sure you have a plan for lunch (buying or bringing).  
  • Also, make sure that you know how you are getting home. Are you walking, biking, riding the bus, riding in the car, extended day? 
  • Do you have a rainy day plan for dismissal?
Keep checking this blog all year round to keep up with all of the amazing adventures we will be having together.  What are you most excited about this year? Leave us a comment to let us know!
Your very excited adventure guides,
Miss Russell, Mrs. Colclough, Mrs. O'Leary, and Miss Earnest