Wrapping Up

We’ve made it to the end of this strange school year together. It’s had challenges, but also great moments of success and opportunities for growth. Students have found places to shine through problem solving and creative thinking. They have taken on responsibility and developed new independence as self-directed learners. I’m proud of their growth!

This week, we wrap things up. Students should make sure they have finished up missing assignments and projects. I’ll email with any missing assessments that need to be go into my gradebook.

We’ll celebrate the third graders with a combine Zoom party on Tuesday at 9AM. Ms. Stalkfleet and I will be emailing the link to the meeting and will post it on the Google Classroom stream as well. We look forward to playing some games and recognizing students with class awards.

Last week, I emailed a list of materials that need to be returned to school. If you need me to resend the list, please let me know. If you have not yet signed up for a time to return things, please sign up on the sign up genius here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0d4eaaad2da5fb6-return

Thank you for all of your work and support this year. More than any other in my teaching career, this one had to be a full-on team effort. I appreciate your work.

Have a great summer!

In the home stretch

This week is our final week of online remote instruction. We will have assignments and assessments each day. Daily 9am morning meeting and 2pm questions/answer sessions will continue as well. Next week, we will hold our third grade class party with a Zoom meeting, combining both classes (more information to come!).

In this week’s work, we will be wrapping up unit 7 in language arts. Students have been exploring forces that create changes on the Earth, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. This week, students will read two short texts about emergency preparation. They will read to identify the author’s purpose in writing and will locate details that help show that purpose. Our vocabulary work will involve reading compound words and determining their means by breaking them into their component parts. In grammar work, we will continue to learn about using prepositions and prepositional phrases. Students will work on completing writing projects and will have opportunities for independent, free choice writing. I will schedule small writers’ celebrations with students through the week, so they will have an opportunity to share a piece of their writing with a few classmates.

In math, we are finishing up our study of fractions. Students are developing an understanding of ways to compare fractions with the same numerator or denominator. In addition, they are learning to represent fractions as part of a whole shape and as points on a number line.

As this is our final week of class, we will he having unit assessments through the week. I’ve included the dates for each assessment below. You can help support your child by reminding them to take their time on assessments, and to make sure to double check that they have answered every question.

You should have received a sign-up genius email to make appointments to return school materials. If you did not see that email, please let me know and I’ll resend it to you. I will email a list of the materials that need to be returned, as well as any incomplete assignments, early this week.

Finally, thank you for the kind and thoughtful gifts and notes of appreciation for last week’s teacher appreciation week. I appreciate all of the support and care that you’ve given. It’s been an odd year, but I’m glad for the opportunity to teach your children, even if from a distance!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, May 11: Math Quiz 2
  • Tuesday, May 12: Josh’s birthday, bring a treat for morning meeting!
  • Wednesday, May 13: Share Your Favorite Book Day; Math Unit 6 Test; Vocabulary Unit 7 Test
  • Thursday, May 14: Reading Comprehension Unit 7 Test
  • Friday, May 15: Writing, Editing, and Revising Unit 7 Test; Spelling Test (list below)
  • May 18 – 21: Turn-in any Loose Ends
  • Tuesday, May 19:  Virtual Class Party 9AM
  • Wednesday, May 21 – Thursday, May 21:  Return of Devices/Materials, schedule on sign up genius

 

Spelling Multisyllabic Words
https://www.spellingcity.com/view-spelling-list.html?listId=70028772

  1. atmosphere
  2. blizzard
  3. construct
  4. continue
  5. destroy
  6. effort
  7. explode
  8. garden
  9. happened
  10. inspect
  11. jungle
  12. mountain
  13. outdoors
  14. sudden
  15. windy

Watch-Out Words

  • vane
  • vein
  • vain

The week ahead

We are beginning our final two weeks of online instruction. I am impressed by how the students have adapted and grown in response to the challenges we’ve seen. Nothing takes the place of meaningful face-to-face instruction and interaction, but the kids have demonstrated problem solving, creativity, and resilience over the past weeks.

This week in reading, students will continue investigating forces that change the earth. We will read several texts on this theme. National Geographic Explorer’s “Kaboom!” describes the 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland and investigates the geology of Iceland. In the anthology books, students will read a web page about tsunamis and will investigate how the main ideas and details are supported by  text features. Students will also begin reading small group books about earthquakes.

In our word work, students will learn about prepositions and prepositional phrases. They will investigate compound words and develop strategies for determining word meanings. Spelling words (at the end of this post) are multisyllabic words and students will practice breaking them apart by syllable.

Our writing work will be focused on developing main ideas and details. Students will write a reflection about third grade, choosing at least three topics and supporting those topics with details and examples. The writing work will be spread through the week, with students working on one paragraph each day and pulling together a complete draft at the end of the week.

Math work this week will continue to investigate fractions. We will work on naming fractional parts of a whole amount. They will learn a new game to play and will use patterns blocks to create designs and identify values. We will also practice naming equivalent fractions and comparing fractions that have the same numerator or denominator.

This week, I will be sending out a sign-up genius for returning school materials on May 19-21. I will be scheduling appointment in ten-minute blocks, with gaps in between, so there is enough time for social distancing procedures. Before that week, I’ll send home a list of materials that need to be returned.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Wednesday, May 6: St. Michael’s School Uniform Day
  • Tuesday, May 12: Josh’s birthday, bring a treat for morning meeting!
  • Wednesday, May 13: Share Your Favorite Book Day
  • Wednesday, May 13: Math Unit 6 Test, Vocabulary Unit 7 Test
  • Thursday, May 14: Reading Comprehension Unit 7 Test
  • Friday, May 15: Writing, Editing, and Revising Unit 7 Test
  • Friday, May 15: Last Day of Online Distance Learning Assignments/Tests
  • May 18 – 21: Turn-in any Loose Ends
  • Tuesday, May 19:  Virtual Class Party 9AM
  • Wednesday, May 21 – Thursday, May 21:  Return of Device/Materials, sign up genius to come

 

Spelling Multisyllabic Words
https://www.spellingcity.com/view-spelling-list.html?listId=70028772

  1. atmosphere
  2. blizzard
  3. construct
  4. continue
  5. destroy
  6. effort
  7. explode
  8. garden
  9. happened
  10. inspect
  11. jungle
  12. mountain
  13. outdoors
  14. sudden
  15. windy

Watch-Out Words

  • vane
  • vein
  • vain

The Week Ahead

In our language arts work this week, we will be working on reading comprehension strategies of synthesizing information and making generalizations. Students are reading small-group books about earthquakes and will be taking part in book clubs on Thursday. I’ll be posting a scheduled time for each group to meet later this week. In grammar work, we are continuing to look at the differences between adverbs and adjectives and making sure that we use each appropriately in our writing.

Our writing work last week resulted in some fun stories about the weather. I’ve read about thunderstorms, hail, dust devils, snow, fog, and more! Students are working on adding sensory details to their descriptions as well as incorporating realistic dialogue to make the writing more interesting. This week, our writing work will be to take the weather stories and create picture books. Students will draw illustrations and plan the layout of their stories. There are several ways that they might create their books. I recommend Google Slides for text and picture layout, but students can try other ways as well: it can be as low-tech as making a physical paper book and photographing it to creating an illustrated iMovie (for the adventurous), or more! As always, my emphasis is on the process and the learning, and I don’t want technology obstacles to become the focus. I’m excited to see what directions their creativity takes them!

In math, we will continue to investigate fractions. Students begin by looking at fractions as equal parts of a whole. Last week, we considered ways that we could share brownies with different numbers of people (resulting in frequent cravings for baked-goods). Students created fraction sets and identified the unit fractions (one-third, one-fourth, one-half, etc.) that they made. This week, the students will work with fractions that have a numerator larger than one and will look at different ways to make one whole. Students will also represent fractions on a number line and will work to measure length to the nearest quarter inch.

As we approach the conclusion of the school year, I will be sending out a sign-up genius to schedule appointments to return iPads and school books. I’ll post the sign-ups next week for time slots on Wednesday and Thursday, May 20-21.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Wednesday, April 29: Pajama Day
  • Thursday, April 30: Small Group book clubs (schedule TBA)
  • Friday, May 1: Language Arts Tests; Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Spelling, and Writing Revising and Editing (WRE).
  • Wednesday, May 6: St. Michael’s School Uniform Day
  • Wednesday, May 13: Share Your Favorite Book Day
  • Friday, May 15: Last Day of Online Distance Learning Assignments/Tests
  • May 18 – 21: Turn-in any Loose Ends
  • Tuesday, May 19:  Virtual Class Party 9AM
  • Wednesday, May 21 – Thursday, May 21:  Return of Device/Materials, sign up genius to come

 

Spelling Words with VCV, VCCV Patterns 
https://www.spellingcity.com/view-spelling-list.html?listId=69512207

  1. actual
  2. adventure
  3. apparent
  4. atop
  5. behold
  6. century
  7. colorful
  8. major
  9. pollute
  10. population
  11. rumble
  12. shadow
  13. tender
  14. terror
  15. unusual

Watch-Out Words

  • meet
  • meat
  • pore
  • pour

 

Scientific and Academic Vocabulary:

earthquake, plate, shore, tsunami, wave, power, rescue, sense, signal, warn

Upcoming dates

I realized that I forgot to include upcoming dates in my blog post this past weekend. Here are few things to be aware of!

  • April 22nd; Crazy Hat Day
  • April 29th; Pajama Day
  • May 1st, Friday; Language Arts Tests; Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Spelling, and Writing Revising and Editing (WRE).
  • May 6th; St. Michael’s School Uniform Day
  • May 13th; Share Your Favorite Book Day
  • May 15th; Last Day of Online Distance Learning Assignments/Tests
  • May 18th – 21st; Turn-in any Loose Ends
  • TBD;  Virtual Class Party during week of May 18th – 21st
  • TBD;  Return of Device/Materials during week of May 18th – 21st

The week ahead

We have come pretty far on this online journey over the past few weeks! All of us –  students, parents, and teachers – have learned a lot of new ways to communicate, trouble shoot, and problem solve! We’ve encountered challenges and worked together to overcome them. I’m really proud of the work the kids have been doing and am grateful for your support and assistance.

With one month more in the school year, I wanted to take a moment for some reminders and reassurances:

  • School work is expected to take about 3-4 hours a day. A consistent daily schedule helps students use their time productively. I recommend also planning a “stop work” time each day so that projects don’t drag into the evenings and cause stress.
  • I try to plan for fewer assignments at the end of the week than at the beginning. This allows students time to finish up any incomplete work. If your child is completing assignments quickly, they can practice skills online at freckle.com as well as reading and writing independently.
  • You have permission to “lighten the load” if your child is having trouble or is feeling overwhelmed. It’s always OK to set a task aside and come back to it later. Assignments on Classroom have due dates to help with organization, but there are not penalties for late work.
  • As Ms. Hart explained in her blog this weekend, the lower school is grading with leniency this trimester. This means that student grades will not be lower than they were in the second trimester (though grades can go up!). As far as our class assignments, daily work is considered practice and is ungraded. Only quizzes and tests are graded and entered into my grade book.

Here’s what we’ll be working on this week:

Math:

  • finishing unit 5: multiplication and division
  • Unit 5 test on Tuesday
  • beginning unit 6: Fair Shares and Fractions on Number Lines (NOTE: students will need several sheets of blank paper for math projects this week. If you need paper from school, please let me know and I will arrange it)

Language Arts:

  • spelling words with VCV and VCCV patterns (list at the end of this post)
  • grammar: adjectives and adverbs
  • reading comprehension strategies: identifying cause and effect, learning to synthesize
  • reading “Lightning Strikes” and “Selvakumar Knows Best” as we continue investigations of forces that change Earth
  • writing: personal narrative about an experience with weather

Spelling Words with VCV, VCCV Patterns 
https://www.spellingcity.com/view-spelling-list.html?listId=69512207

Spelling Test is scheduled for May 1, 2020

  1. actual
  2. adventure
  3. apparent
  4. atop
  5. behold
  6. century
  7. colorful
  8. major
  9. pollute
  10. population
  11. rumble
  12. shadow
  13. tender
  14. terror
  15. unusual

Watch-Out Words

  • meet
  • meat
  • pore
  • pour

Happy Easter!

I hope that you’ve had a chance to enjoy your Easter break. We will resume our online instruction on Tuesday with our 9AM morning meeting on Zoom. I look forward to hearing about something interesting and creative that the kids have been up to!

This week, we will continue our language arts study of forces that change the Earth. Students are reading about volcanoes and are comparing different types of text. Our grammar work focuses on using adverbs to describe verbs and adjectives and to compare actions. In vocabulary work, we are gathering a list of words derived from Greek and Latin roots.

We have two ongoing projects in language arts this week. Students are working on creating photo essays of their life at home. They should be finished and passed in by Wednesday, as we will be sharing them with one another on Thursday morning. Students are also expected to complete their women’s biography book projects by Friday.

In math, we will be practicing strategies for solving multi-step problems involving multiplication and addition. Students will also look at division strategies and develop an understanding of problems that have multiple solutions.

Upcoming Dates and Reminders

  • Monday, April 13: Easter Break, no classes
  • Tuesday, April 14: Genevieve and Twyla’s birthday – bring a treat for morning meeting!
  • Wednesday, April 15 Math Quiz 2, Photo Essays due
  • Friday, April 17: Women’s Biography Project due
  • Friday, April 17: Language Arts Assessments for Unit 7, Week 2

Spelling Words with oo and Silent Consonants

  1. brook
  2. columns
  3. comb
  4. footsteps
  5. heirs
  6. hooked
  7. knapsack
  8. kneel
  9. knowledge
  10. raspberry
  11. reign
  12. salmon
  13. scrapbook
  14. ugh
  15. wrinkled

Watch-Out Words

  • knew
  • new
  • gnu

The week ahead

The first two weeks on remote instruction brought many “aha!” moments and adjustments. Students have become much more proficient at accessing Google Classroom for their assignments, passing in their work electronically, and contacting me through Zoom when they have questions. I appreciate the feedback you’ve given on what has gone well and where students are having difficulty. I take all of that into consideration as I develop plans for the coming weeks.

Sample Daily ChecklistWhen we began to plan for online instruction, I posted a suggested daily schedule. To further support students in organizing their time and making sure that their work is done and passed in, I have also made a checklist that could be used each day. Feel free to print and use it as is, or make a new version for yourself that fits your family’s schedule.

This week and next, our language arts work continues an investigation of forces that change the earth. Students will read National Geographic Explorer: Wicked Weather and learn about tornados and people who study them. They will also read a photo essay about volcanoes. Students will work to create a photo essay of their own, telling something about their life at home these days. I’ll be making my own sample photo essay as well. Our word work will look at spelling words with oo and silent consonants (see list below), continued study of adverbs, and understanding the meanings of words with some common Greek and Latin roots. Language arts assessments will be on Friday, April 17.

In math, we will be continuing our study of multiplication and division. Students will investigate what it means to multiply a single digit number by a multiple of ten and will work on strategies for solving multi-step problems. In addition, students should continue to practice their fluency with multiplication facts through 10×10.

Upcoming Dates and Reminders

  • Wednesday, April 8: Giada’s birthday
  • Thursday, April 9 – Monday, April 13: Easter Break, no classes
  • Tuesday, April 14: Genevieve and Twyla’s birthday
  • Wednesday, April 15 Math Quiz 2
  • Friday, April 17: Women’s Biography Project due
  • Friday, April 17: Language Arts Assessments for Unit 7, Week 2

Spelling Words with oo and Silent Consonants

  1. brook
  2. columns
  3. comb
  4. footsteps
  5. heirs
  6. hooked
  7. knapsack
  8. kneel
  9. knowledge
  10. raspberry
  11. reign
  12. salmon
  13. scrapbook
  14. ugh
  15. wrinkled

Watch-Out Words

  • knew
  • new
  • gnu

Online Learning, Week 2

Last week was quite a transition as we shifted to online learning. Zoom meetings were great fun and helped us maintain a connection to one another. Students (and parents) learned about how to access Google Classroom, gmail, Seesaw, and more. It was a steep learning curve for us all, but I saw steady improvement each day!

This week, we will begin Unit 7 in language arts. “Blast! Crash! Splash!” explores the guiding question of what forces can change the Earth. Students will be reading about volcanos, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural forces that change the Earth’s surface. This week, our spelling work (at the end of this post) focuses on words with the hard and soft c and g sounds. Our grammar topic this week is adverbs. In writing, students will investigate how using imagery and sensory detail helps the reader to envision and imagine the story. Students will be working on writing with imagery.

In. math, we will continue to investigate the relationship between multiplication and division. We will look at how facts can relate to one another, such as what happens when one factor is doubled. Students will develop strategies for using their understanding of multiplication to solve division problems.

As we continue to refine our practice of online learning, here are a few reminders and adjustments:

  • Students should be using Google Classroom as the hub for all assignments.
    • This week, I’ve begun naming assignments with the day/date on which it should be done. I hope that helps with finding and finishing work.
    • When an assignment is complete, students should attach a photo of their work (or complete attached Google files such as a Doc or Form), and mark the assignment as complete. This will help me to locate student work more efficiently. If they aren’t able to attach the photo, have them post a comment for me and they may email it.
    • Assignments that are incomplete or missing attached work will be returned.
  • Seesaw works best for public presentations, such as book projects. I’d prefer that students NOT post their daily work on Seesaw as it become visible to the whole class and is more difficult for me to assess.
  • Students are encouraged to contact me through email or Zoom between 9AM and 3PM. They can see on their contacts list if I am available (there is an icon by my name. If it’s a red camera, I’m in a meeting). After 3, they can email me at agould@stmichael.net.

I enjoyed seeing pictures of students’ work spaces! If you have photos of the kids doing schoolwork (or other home projects), send them to me or Mr. Hawes (ahawes@stmichael.net) and he’ll post them on the Facebook Page. I’ve moved into a work studio space at my house and have even brought in a few items from the classroom to make it feel right. Here are a couple pics or where I’m doing my work – I’ve relocated their artifact photos to my home. It’s nice to see their faces!

If you have questions or feedback, feel free to let me know. I look forward to seeing the kids at tomorrow morning’s Zoom!

 

Spelling: Words with Hard and Soft c, g

  1. against
  2. arctic
  3. average
  4. canyon
  5. cyclone
  6. dangerous
  7. distance
  8. exciting
  9. fierce
  10. gigantic
  11. gully
  12. iceberg
  13. regular
  14. secure
  15. surface

Watch-Out Words

  • soar
  • sore
  • weather
  • whether

Friday Assessments

Tomorrow, the class will be taking language arts assessments. They will access their tests through www.myngconnect.com. I asked them to try logging in today and I hope that they were all successful. I made a brief video to show how to get to their tests:

[Important: On the Writing, Editing, and Revising Unit Assessment, students DO NOT need to answer question 12. The literary response writing task they have done this week will take its place.]

In addition to the online assessments, student will need to have someone at home give them a spelling test for this week’s words. I’ll put the list at the end of this post. Have them take a picture of the test and attach it to their Google Classroom Assignment.

Students may have questions during their assessments. It’s OK to help them navigate the technology or rephrase a question for clarity, but please do not give hints or answers.

The assignments for Friday are as follows (will be posted on Classroom Friday morning):

Language Arts Unit 5 Assessments: Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Vocabulary

Spelling Test

Writing: Final draft of literary response, in cursive

Math: choose 3-4 facts to draw on grid paper and show how to break apart into easier facts

Work on finishing up incomplete items from the week.

Thanks!

 

Spelling: words with r-controlled vowels: /ar/ air, ear; /ir/ ear,eer

  1. affairs
  2. bearing
  3. beard
  4. clear
  5. deer
  6. disappear
  7. dreary
  8. gear
  9. pairs
  10. peered
  11. rear
  12. smear
  13. upstairs
  14. wears
  15. yearly

Watch-Out Words

  • ate “I ate my breakfast in a hurry today.”
  • eight “Eight is the number between seven and nine.”
  • faze “The extra work didn’t faze me at all.”
  • phase “He’s going through a grumpy phase right now!”