The Week Ahead 11/11 – 11/15

What is so amazing about plants? That is the guiding question for language arts unit 3: Life in the Soil. In this unit, students will be reading realistic fiction, haikus, recipes, science articles, and blogs to learn about plants and their characteristics. This week, we will read a short story, Two Old Potatoes and Me, about a girl and her father who plant and tend potatoes. We will work on reading strategies of identifying the sequence of events and making inferences about information that is not stated directly.

In math, we are completing unit 2’s investigation of measurement and data and will be starting unit 3, Travel Stories and Collections. Students will be working on addition and subtraction strategies by developing an understanding of place value of 3-digit numbers and investigation of the number 1,000. This week, we will be learning a new game, Capture 5, in which students make jumps on a 100 board to reach a target. We also will investigate story problems involving addition and subtraction and will discuss our strategies for solving them.

In social studies, we will begin our study of Tucson history. In this unit, students will learn about major events in the history of our community from 1700, when Father Kino started the Mission San Xavier del Bac, until statehood in 1912. We will be applying map skills to look at the region, identify major events to construct a timeline, and consider the factors that influence the development of a community. We have some great field trips and experiences connected to this unit, so keep an eye out!

Our canned food drive is continuing until November 18. We are working to bring in cans to help support the St. Michael’s Food Pantry and money to help the Community Food Bank.

We had a great time celebrating the end of the first trimester with our field day last Friday. Thanks to Coach Greene for putting together and amazing event full of games and play, and a bit of competition. Everyone went home tired and ready for the long weekend!

We have reached the end of trimester 1, and report cards will be coming home this week.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday 11/11: Veterans Day, No School
  • Wednesday 11/20: Noon Dismissal, Faculty Meetings
  • Friday 11/22: Tucson Presidio Field Trip
  • Wednesday 11/17 – Friday 11/29: Thanksgiving, No School
  • Friday 12/13: St. Nicholas Day
  • Friday 12/20: Las Posadas, Noon Dismissal
  • Monday 12/23 – Friday 1/3: Winter Break, Happy Holidays!
  • Friday 1/24: Tubac School House Field Trip

Word Work for 11/11-11/15

Spelling: Words with long e, i and o

  1. armload
  2. beaming
  3. carefree
  4. clover
  5. delight
  6. event
  7. feature
  8. fiber
  9. greenhouse
  10. local
  11. odor
  12. peanut
  13. potato
  14. tidal
  15. zebra

Watch-Out Words

  • heal
  • heel
  • he’ll


Grammar: Complex Sentences

  • A complex sentence has an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
  • A conjunction joins the dependent clause to the independent clause.
  • If the dependent clause come first, put a comma after it.



Science Vocabulary:

blossom, cycle, root, seed, soil, sprout, event, order, sequence


Academic Vocabulary:

characteristic, conditions, depend, growth, produce, inference

The Week Ahead: 11/4-11/8

This week, we will be continuing our math work gathering measurement data and will complete unit 2. The students will be working to measure accurately to the nearest half inch as they explore questions such as: How wide is our classroom? How far can a third grader jump? How far can you blow a pattern block? We will practice representing these data on line plots and will end the week with an assessment activity.

In language arts, we will learn about writing compound sentences by combining two independent clauses and will learn to distinguish dependent and independent clauses. Our writing work will focus on grouping related details when writing an expository text. We will be analyzing main ideas and details in our reading work and will read a human interest text, Megafish Man, about an ecologist searching for giant fish in the Mekong River. We will be taking our spelling and vocabulary tests on Thursday this week, since field day activities will take up our time on Friday.

Speaking of field day, the students are excited for some fun activities on Friday! We will send home t-shirts this week.  Dismissal will be at noon – please make sure that pick-up arrangements have been made.

November also marks the start of our school canned food drive. We will be setting our third-grade goal this week, but please start sending in cans! Students will earn class tickets for cans they bring in.


Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday 11/5: No after school hip-hop class
  • Friday 11/8: Field Day, Noon Dismissal
  • Monday 11/11: Veterans Day – No School
  • Wednesday 11/20: Noon Dismissal, Faculty Meetings
  • Friday 11/22: Tucson Presidio Field Trip
  • Friday 1/24: Tubac School House Field Trip

Word Work for 11/4-11/8

Spelling: Consonant Blends

  1. claws
  2. clumps
  3. consist
  4. drank
  5. entrap
  6. grunt
  7. hound
  8. pleasant
  9. refresh
  10. result
  11. sleek
  12. smear
  13. sneak
  14. stray
  15. trend

Watch-Out Words

  • be
  • bee
  • hair
  • hare


Grammar: Dependent/Independent Clauses; Compound Sentences

An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence.

dependent clause cannot stand alone. A signal word connects it to an independent clause. Some signal words include: although, before, after, because, if, even if, unless, until, since.

Two independent clauses can be joined together to make a compound sentence. Join clauses with a comma and the conjunctions and, but, or or.


Vocabulary Strategy: Pronunciation

If you are unsure of how to say a word, the dictionary can help you determine the pronunciation.

The pronunciation guide helps you know how many syllables there are and which syllable gets the stress.

Highlights of the Week

We’ve been really busy this week! Here are our highlights.

  • Book projects on Friday: making paper plate pals and writing book summaries
  • weekly language arts tests
  • Dia de los Muertos chapel
  • Halloween celebrations: class party and costume parade
  • passed in our October “Books I’ve Read” list
  • 105 class tickets and Noah won the Friday raffle
  • collected measurement data for math and made line plots
  • examined owl pellets in science
  • read a short story, “The House on Maple Street”
  • blob tag at recess
  • played Sprout and Medic in PE
  • All School Chapel
  • learned about contractions and combining sentences

The Week Ahead 10/28 – 11/1

Is your foot a foot long? How far can a third grader jump? How wide is the classroom? In math this week, we will continue our study of data by investigating these questions and more. Our first investigation of analyzing categorical data is concluding and we will begin to look at measurement data.  We will discuss equivalent measurements in yards, feet, and inches, and will work to measure accurately to the nearest half-inch. We will learn to represent our data using line plots and will work on making accurate mathematical observations about the data we collect.

In language arts, we will read a science article, When the Wolves Returned, that describes work to restore wolf populations in Yellowstone National Park. In analyzing the information in the article, we will identify cause and effect and the sequence of events. In our writing work, we will discuss what makes a good research source.

Our social studies work continues to focus on map skills. Students will look at maps of regions of the United States and learn about what makes each region unique.

On Halloween this Thursday, we will have a third grade party after specials in the afternoon, followed by the lower school Halloween parade. As a reminder, regarding costumes, here are the school guidelines: “Students may wear their costumes to school, and accessories (masks, wands etc) will be allowed only during the parade. Students are still required to wear comfortable shoes to participate in PE and/or outdoor play as usual. Face paint, gory costumes, and toy weapons will not be permitted.”

In November, St. Michael’s students will be participating in our annual Canned Food Drive. We will be collecting canned goods from November 4 – 25. We will be setting a class goal for the number of cans we will try to gather.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Thursday 10/31: Halloween Party (2:15) and Costume Parade (2:45)
  • Saturday 11/2: Kindergarten Car Wash to benefit Community Food Bank and St. Michael’s Food Pantry
  • Friday 11/8: Field Day, Noon Dismissal
  • Monday 11/11: Veterans Day – No School
  • Wednesday 11/20: Noon Dismissal, Faculty Meetings
  • Friday 11/22: Tucson Presidio Field Trip
  • Friday 1/24: Tubac School House Field Trip

Word Work 10/28 – 11/1

Unit 2, Week 3 Word Work

Spelling: Words with digraphs th and ng

  1. although
  2. belong
  3. during
  4. feathers
  5. fitting
  6. nothing
  7. rather
  8. springing
  9. strength
  10. stung
  11. surroundings
  12. therefore
  13. thorny
  14. throughout
  15. together

Watch-Out Words

  • neither
  • nor
  • either
  • or

Grammar: Contractions, Compound Subjects and Predicates

  • Contractions combine two words and use an apostrophe to mark where letters were removed.
  • Simple sentences that have the same subject or predicate can be combined into a compound sentence.


Science Vocabulary: drought, ecosystem, food chain, level, river

Academic Vocabulary: cause, competition, effect, nature, negative, positive, resources


Highlights of the Week for 10/21 – 10/25

  • collecting survey data from other classes about their favorite recess activities and making graphs to analyze it
  • Jacob won the Friday raffle and 82 class tickets
  • finished reading Map Trap by Andrew Clements
  • studied and wrote puns and riddles: (What do mummies listen to on the radio? Wrap music! What do you call a bison who exercises? A BUFFalo!)
  • Friday compliment cards
  • Halloween origami during Friday choice time
  • learned about literal and nonliteral language
  • learned ways that writers can use language to engage the reader
  • fire drill
  • 8th grade bake sale
  • spelling test and language arts assessments
  • sang in chapel and Mr. Gould taught the lower school how to sing Place in the Choir
  • learned a new class song: The Grand Old Duke of York
  • math quiz about graphs

The Week Ahead 10/21 – 10/25

This week in language arts, we will be studying types of sentences and breaking words into syllables. In reading, students will explore puns and wordplay in order to distinguish literal and non-literal meanings of words and phrases. Get ready for some groan-worthy humor! Our small group reading books will introduce different ecosystems around the words and the ways that they can be conserved.

Our math study of data will continue with work on constructing bar graphs and pictographs. Students will refine a survey question to gather data from other classes and will work to analyze the data that they collect. We will introduce a new 10-minute math activity called Today’s Number in which students generate addition and subtraction equations to make a target number.

Thank you for a great turnout for last Friday’s Grandparents’ day. We had a nice time showing our thinking and learning and enjoyed working together to analyze data for the question, “What do we love to do with our grandparents?” It was fun to also teach them the game Guess My Rule and play a few rounds.

Thank you, also, for everyone’s help with our bake sale before break. We raised a total of $385 to donate to the Community Food Bank. What a way to help make a difference!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Thursday 10/31: Halloween Party and Costume Parade
  • Friday 11/8: Field Day, Noon Dismissal
  • Monday 11/11: Veterans Day – No School
  • Wednesday 11/20: Noon Dismissal, Faculty Meetings
  • Friday 11/22: Tucson Presidio Field Trip
  • Friday 1/24: Tubac School House Field Trip

Word Work, Unit 2 Week 2, 10/21 – 10/25

Spelling: Words with digraphs ck and sh

  1. attack
  2. buck
  3. clash
  4. flesh
  5. livestock
  6. quickness
  7. shallow
  8. sharpen
  9. shed
  10. shout
  11. sickness
  12. speckled
  13. thrash
  14. tricky
  15. vanish

Watch-Out Words

  • blew
  • blue
  • fir
  • fur



There are four kinds of sentences. Each kind has its own purpose:

  • A statement tells something and ends with a period.
  • A question asks something and ends with a question mark.
  • An exclamation shows feeling and ends with an exclamation mark.
  • A command give direction and ends with a period.


Vocabulary Strategy:

Each syllable in a word contains one vowel sound (there may be more than one vowel).

The dictionary entry for a word shows the number of syllables.