Transitions to Remote Learning

We are getting ready for some big changes this week, as St. Michael’s works to transition to interim online instruction. I’ll be working this week to determine the methods that we can best support our students in maintaining a consistent and rigorous level of instruction. Stay tuned for more information (and know that we are likely to make adjustments as we go – this is new territory for us all!).

While students are here Monday through Wednesday, we will work to maintain a sense of consistency and regularity about our days. We will work on reading, writing, math, and social studies as usual. Plenty of time will be spent learning how to use the iPads to access the digital components of our language arts and math programs, as well as reviewing how to upload work through Google Drive and Seesaw.

While many details are still to be determined, here are my hopes and goals as we move forward:

  • I’ll be using this blog as the primary mode of communicating assignments. If there are additional people (grandparents, tutors, etc.) who might be helping support your child in this period, please have them sign up to receive email notifications.
  • Students should expect daily work and specific time should be set aside to complete schoolwork. The expectations put forward by the administration is that students should have three to four hours of work a day. Knowing that home schedules will be complicated, this work can be done at the time that’s best for you.
  • I’ll aim to impress on students that message that while were are not AT school, we still will HAVE school. Please help remind them that this is not an extended vacation.
  • I intend to be available to answer questions, chat with students, review work, etc. through a variety of resources: skype, phone call, video chats, zoom, and more are all possibilities. Once we know more information, I’ll let you now the best ways we can communicate.
  • I hope to continue the sense of community and togetherness that we have worked to develop this year. I’ll be looking carefully for ways that students can collaborate online and share their thinking remotely. Also, I’ll be on the lookout for ways that we can incorporate creativity, humor, and fun into this type of work.

I believe that learning is a social and interactive process, not simply a taking-in of facts. It will be a challenge to maintain that element of learning through remote instruction. This is certainly a less than ideal situation, but I know that we can make the most out of it. In fact, I’m hopeful that this type of disruption might result in bursts of creativity all through our society (boredom and restlessness can be great creativity boosters!). When the dust settles and we resume some normalcy, perhaps we’ll have discovered new ways to work and learn together.

I’ll end this week’s post with the class mission statement that the kids created to begin the school year. Whether we’re physically in the same space or not, it still applies:

Room 3B is a community of learners. We are kind, considerate, respectful, and trustworthy. We use our different skills to work together and help each person succeed. We learn by trying things out, making mistakes, supporting each other, cooperating, and sharing our ideas in a safe space.”



This week students are comparing weather data that they observe and collect to meteorologists’ forecasts and historical data .  Students watched a short video on Monday about how meteorologists make their forecasts.  We will be reviewing local weather forecasts, and records set in previous years.

Next week we will explore the phenomena of evaporation and condensation, which account for the transformations of water between liquid to gas. Students will find out how these transformations are the key drivers of the water cycle, the mechanism that redistributes water over the whole planet.

Field Trip, Art Expo, and More: 3/9-3/13

This week, we finish unit 4 and begin unit 5 in math. Unit five brings us back to multiplication and division work. In our previous work, students should have mastered multiplication facts for 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10. In this unit, students will continue to work on those facts, adding practice with multiples of 3, 4, and 6. In our first investigation, students will examine repeating color patterns and create expressions to represent patterns.

In language arts, we will be reading a science article about quicksand and will identify how the author uses cause and effect to explain information. Our writing work will be to develop an opinion paragraph, with supporting reasons and a concluding sentence.

In social studies, we will visit the Tucson Museum of Art historical block to see houses from the time period we have been studying. Students will also begin working in groups to create timelines of Ten Important Events that Changed Tucson.

We are still in need of additional drivers for Tuesday’s field trip to the art museum. We currently do not have enough seats to accommodate all of the students. The trip will be from 9:30-12. Please sign up or let me know if you are able to drive.

Upcoming Dates

  • Tuesday, March 10: field trip to the Tucson Museum of Art
  • Wednesday, March 18: Noon Dismissal
  • Friday, April 3: Fine Arts Night
  • Friday, April 17th: field trip to Sweetwater Wetlands

Word Work 3/9-3/13

Spelling: Words with r-controlled vowels: ar, er, ir, or, ur

  1. alarm
  2. article
  3. beginner
  4. birth
  5. burning
  6. bursts
  7. churn
  8. harden
  9. observe
  10. scorch
  11. sorting
  12. squirt
  13. stir
  14. stormy
  15. whirl

Watch-Out Words

  • peak
  • peek
  • sea
  • see

Grammar: Demonstrative Adjectives and Articles

Some adjectives tell “which one or ones”

  • Use this or these to tell that an object is near. (I like reading this book. These stories are funny.)
  • Use that or those to tell if an object is far. (That book wasn’t as interesting to me. Those kids liked it, though.)

Use a or an to talk about something in general. Use an if the following word begins with a vowel. Use the to talk about something specific.


Vocabulary: Science and Academic Vocabulary words

ground, mixture, sand, water, wetland, area, combine, composition, firm, surface


Highlights of the Week

Love of reading week was fun! Here are our highlights:

  • Decorating our door and seeing all the other cool designs.
  • Getting compliments on our door (“nice aliens” “cool spatter paint” “nice chicken”)
  • Math work on quadrilaterals, area, and perimeter
  • Made math posters to share our learning.
  • Book fair.
  • Reading and writing work – writing scripts
  • We had a guest reader, Dr. Bob, come share some fun stories
  • 54 class tickets
  • Friday raffle
  • Visiting Author Jennifer Stewart
  • From raising money for math-a-thon, we saw a Fortnite dance-off, got free dress on Friday, and get Eeegees.
  • started working on our Art Expo project

Our finished door design for Love of Reading Week

Dr. Bob Wortman came to read some fun books on Wednesday

Visiting author Jennifer Stewart told the students about her writing process.

Volunteers Needed!

We are short on drivers for our upcoming field trips (Museum of Art visit is next Tuesday!). Please sign up on the sheet outside of the class to help get us there!

Also, Robin Riley is coordinating our third grade Art Expo project and could use some additional adult help. She asked me to share this signup genius link. Check it out and see if you are able to help out!

Arts Expo signup:


Love of Reading Week

This week is our Love of Reading Week! The kids are excited to be decorating our door on the theme of Read Around the World. In addition, this week will be the book fair in the Parish Center and a visit from author Jennifer Stewart.

In our language arts work, we will be continuing work on writing short scripts, emphasizing natural-sounding dialogue that shows something about the characters. We will also be learning about the irregular comparison forms of the words good and bad and to investigate word meanings by considering antonyms.

In math, we will be finishing Unit 4: Perimeter, Area, and Polygons this week. We will identify properties of quadrilaterals, including creating descriptions of squares, rectangles, and rhombuses. We will spend some time reviewing area and perimeter of different shapes and will take our unit assessment on Friday.

In social studies, we will begin working in groups to identify ten important events that changed Tucson between 1700 and 1912. Each group will create an illustrated timeline and video telling the history of of our city.

We have two field trips coming up on March 10 and April 17. Drivers are still needed! Please sign up on the sheets outside our classroom. Thank you!

Upcoming Dates

  • March 2-6: Love of Reading Week
    • Book Fair Tuesday-Thursday 7:30-5, Friday 7:30-3:30
    • Author Visit Thursday
  • Wednesday, March 4: Report Cards sent home
  • Tuesday, March 10: field trip to the Tucson Museum of Art
  • Wednesday, March 18: Noon Dismissal
  • Friday, April 3: Fine Arts Night
  • Friday, April 17th: field trip to Sweetwater Wetlands

Word Work 3/2-3/6

Spelling: Words with Long u: ui, ue

  1. blue
  2. clues
  3. cue
  4. due
  5. flue
  6. fruits
  7. glue
  8. juice
  9. pursuit
  10. revenue
  11. sue
  12. suits
  13. true
  14. value
  15. virtue

Watch-Out Words

  • guessed
  • guest
  • hole
  • whole


Grammar: Irregular Comparison Adjectives and Articles

The words good and bad tell about one thing. They have irregular forms when used to compare:

  • To compare two things, use better or worse.
  • To compare three or more things, use best or worst.

The words the, a, and an are articles.

  • Use a or an to talk about something in general. Use an if the following word begins with a vowel.
  • Use the to talk about something specific.


Vocabulary: Antonyms

Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. For example freeze is an antonym for melt.


Highlights of the week

Here are our highlights from the first week back from rodeo break.

  • We picked a design for the “Love of Reading” door decorating contest. The winning design was by Genevieve, Giada, and Baron.
  • We brought in eggs and packed bags for Casa Maria.
  • Friday raffle and class tickets.
  • Finished reading about Tucson history and will be starting timelines soon.
  • Getting excited for book fair and Love of Reading next week.
  • We wrote scripts based on stories we’ve read and presented in class on Friday.
  • Started learning about matter in language arts.
  • Investigating properties of triangles in math.
  • Spelling and writing tests on Friday.
  • In Science, we investigated weather.
  • Read “The Greedy Triangle”
  • Started making shirts for Fine Arts Night
  • Making books in Technology class
  • Studied dialogue in the book “Terrific”
  • Read a play called “Melt the Snow”

An impromptu read-aloud session before school on Friday

Welcome back!

Welcome back from Rodeo Break! I hope everyone had time to relax and refresh themselves. I’m looking forward to hearing about trips, games, family time, and more!

This week, we will be starting unit 5 in our language arts work. The theme of this unit is Mysteries of Mattter and students will be exploring what makes matter change through reading plays, science texts, and interviews. We will work on writing short plays as well as writing reviews of what we’ve read.

In math, we will continue to investigate area and perimeter with an exploration of the question how big is my foot? Students will learn how to describe the dimensions, perimeter, and approximate area of their foot using different measuring tools. Later in the week, we will be studying attributes of triangles and quadrilaterals.

In social studies, we will review what we learned about Tucson’s history and will begin a group project. Students will work in small groups to determine ten important events in Tucson’s history and construct an illustrated timeline and video telling the history of our community.

It’s third grade’s turn to provide eggs for the church’s Casa Maria program. Every month, St. Michael’s prepares 500 lunches for people in need. Each month, a different grade is asked to help provide eggs for egg salad sandwiches. February 28th is third grade’s turn to provide eggs.  Each student may bring one dozen hard boiled, peeled eggs.  The eggs may be brought to school on Thursday or Friday.  In addition to donating eggs, all are welcome to join St. Michael’s parishioners in the sandwich making and brown bag packing Friday evening.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Fine arts night is coming on April 3. Ms. Allen has asked us to share the following request:

This year our Fine Arts Night performance is called Big Beautiful Planet.It is a small musical about our beautiful planet and how important it is that we take care of our home.

I am creating a photo montage of all your fabulous children for the performance. I am requesting that you send me one photo of your child (or children) enjoying or helping our beautiful planet earth.Perhaps you have a photo from a camping or hiking trip.Maybe you have a snapshot of your child taking out recycling or gardening.These are just a few ideas. 

Our performance is April 3rd and I want to create the montage on March 20th.Please send the photos to my email no later than March 20th.I can not add any more photos after that date so, if you want your child (children) in the montage, I MUST have your photo by March 20th. 

Thank you and see you at Fine Arts Night!

Ms Allen


Upcoming Dates

  • Tuesday, February 25: Mardi Gras pancake lunch provided
  • Friday, February 28th: Eggs for Casa Maria (third grade’s turn to bring in hard-boiled eggs)
  • March 2-6: Love of Reading Week
  • Wednesday, March 4: Report Cards sent home
  • Tuesday, March 10: field trip to the Tucson Museum of Art
  • Friday, April 3: Fine Arts Night
  • Friday, April 17th: field trip to Sweetwater Wetlands