• Early May

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 5/2/2019 4:00:00 PM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     

      

    Reminders 

     
     

    • Thank you to all who helped with Spa Day for the teachers!  So much good food and goodies were given to us last Friday afternoon!  I certainly felt loved and appreciated, which makes my job all the more enjoyable!    
    • The Jog-A-Thon is tomorrow and school will be dismissed at 12:30.  T-shirts will be passed out in the morning. You are welcome to come and cheer us on!  We are scheduled to run from 10:30-11. Please be sure to send a water bottle with your child tomorrow. 
    • Open House is Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30.  Your child can take home their completed Art in Action portfolio that evening. 
    • The end of the year is coming!  If you have the tradition of having your child’s teacher sign a book/etc., would you please ask me sometime in the next couple of weeks to do so?  The last weeks of school are so full, and I’d love the opportunity to write something thoughtful and not feel rushed. Thank you!  

     
     
     

    Language Arts/Social Studies 

    I am completely floored with how well the students have handled their first two CAASPP assessments!  Last week, we took the summative assessment that challenged the students with their knowledge of spelling, grammar, and comprehension.  This week was my least favorite of the four, the Language Arts task assessment. It was long and tricky and strenuous, but the students made it through it!  They really tried hard and I loved looking over their shoulder seeing the ways they organize and compose a piece entirely on their own. There were a few variations, so while some students wrote an informative piece, others were asked to write a story or an opinion piece.  Each test did come with two lengthy sources that the students were to use as a reference. This would have been difficult for any adult to persevere through and I could not be prouder with how they handled this! 

      

    We continued our brainstorming exercises with fairy tales and yesterday the students chose which of their original ideas they wanted to fully develop into a story.  We filled in a graphic organizer and answered some simple questions about our story. Next week, the students will think through the kinds of details they will incorporate and will write a brief outline of the major events before starting their first drafts.  
     

     

    Math 

    We had our last (and shortest) math unit of the year and it was all about data and graphs.  Today the students took their quiz and knocked it out of the park! Next week, we will start the math portion of the CAASPP which will cover everything from beginning multiplication to data. 

     
     

     

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  • April

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 4/18/2019 4:00:00 PM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

     

    • CAASPP starts next week and we will be taking the test from 10:20-11:35 on Mondays and Tuesdays for the next few weeks. If I have emailed you about sending in headphones, please do so by Monday. 
    • Our field trip to History San Jose is Tuesday the 23rd.  Please makes sure your child wears appropriate shoes and clothing.  Part of our day will be outside, so sunscreen may be a good idea. 
    • Friday April 26th is Sports Jersey Day!  Encourage your child to wear their favorite jersey or sports themed clothing that day. 
    • The Jog-A-Thon is Friday, May 3rd and school will be dismissed at 12:30 that day.  Please sign and turn in the permission slip by Wednesday, May 1st. 

     

    Language Arts/Social Studies 

    We have finished our first round of book clubs and I think it’s safe to say it was a success!  The students did a fabulous job having thoughtful discussions with their group members and keeping one another on track with their reading.  We will be starting a second round of book clubs in two weeks after we have completed the Language Arts portion of the CAASPP assessment. 

     

    We’ve started by favorite writing unit of the year and it’s a great way to end our time in third grade!  The students will be adapting a classic fairytale of their choice by putting their own spin on it. We’ve read two fairy tale adaptations this week, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.  We charted ways the authors made the various changes to the story by whether the character, events, or motivation was altered.  After reading each story, the student brainstormed in their journals what kinds of choices they would make if they were to rewrite these stories.  Some of my favorites were Noodlelocks and the Three Sushi and The Three Little Bugs.  The creativity that springs up during this unit is why it’s such a favorite of mine.  We will continue brainstorming next week with other stories and start our first draft of our chosen story the first week of May. 

     

    Math 

    Today was our quiz for our geometry module and I am VERY impressed with how well the students did.  They attended to precision when calculating the perimeter, they used their notebook references and the class anchor charts when they couldn’t quite recall a geometry definition, and (I’m most excited by this) the majority of the students read all the directions carefully.  I think the students are a little saddened that this unit did not last that long, but the good news is we will be creating 3D models of our own tiny houses in a couple of weeks, so our journey with geometry is not over yet! 

     
     

     

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  • Late March

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 3/28/2019 4:00:00 PM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

     

    • Tomorrow is Star Wars Day!  Students are invited to wear Star Wars clothing or costumes.  Please no toy weapons. 
    • Spring break is April 8th-12th.  Our first day back will be Monday, April 15th.
    • If you have not yet, read below about the CAASPP test we will begin taking at the end of April. 
    • We will not be assigning the pinball project this year.  Read below for more info.  

     
     

    Language Arts/Social Studies 

    Oh, how I love book clubs!  I don’t think I can adequately express how encouraging and fun it is to witness these young people engaging with one another over literature!  The students are doing a great job being responsible for completing their reading assignment each day, though our biggest trouble is understanding that when I say read through chapter 6, it means read to the end of chapter six, not the beginning.  Group members demonstrate wonderful social/emotional skills by listening to others’ input and responding in respectful ways.  Our discussions have rotated around a main character, how our understanding of them has changed while we get deeper into the book, the various secondary characters and their role in the story, and identifying the major problem(s) that the main character faces. 

      

    The “representatives” are doing a stellar job creating supportive arguments for their bills.  Last week the student identified a potential area of change that coincides with the opinions of their assigned grade level.  Student thought of three strong reasons to support their bill and evidence supporting each reason that pulls from data, research, or personal experiences.  Many grade levels are not happy with the current rules against Tag at recess, so quite a few bills propose a change to that rule. Many representatives for kindergarten and first grade are arguing for the right to bring toys to school.  I enjoy seeing the students really bringing their passion and their ideas to their persuasive writing. We started creating posters and slide presentations this week. My goal is for our congress to present and vote on the bills next week before spring break. 

     

     

    Math 

    Geometry!  It’s probably one of the most useful and practical branches of mathematics and it’s our main focus for the next few weeks.  We’ve learned a lot of new math vocabulary this week like quadrilaterals, right angles, and polygons.  To learn what parallel lines are I took the kids outside to the playground to explore and identify the various parallel lines in our world.  The monkey bars clearly had the most, but now I’m wondering if they will now notice the numerous parallel lines out in the parking lot.  Today we explored with one of my favorite geometry tools, tangrams.  The students should be bringing a set home tonight in order to complete their homework page.  

      

    We started homework and, in general, I am content with the amount of participation so far.  Each student seems to struggle with one of the many simple steps in order to be successful at homework.  Remembering to put it in the backpack, to do it, to return it to the backpack, and to turn it in the next morning takes practice, and I’m happy we can practice these skills in 3rd grade before the big jump to 4th grade next year. 

     

      

    CAASPP (repeated information) 

    3rd grade is the first year students will be taking the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress).  We have been practicing at school to make us better prepared for this tricky assessment. There is a CAASPP site for students to practice at home or for you to check out if you’re curious what standardized testing looks like these days.  Go to http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training/ select Student Interface, login as a guest, select grade 3, and choose one of the four Smart Balance Practice tests. 

      

    Each of those four practice tests is a perfect example of what we will be seeing next month.  We will be taking one of the tests per week, working an hour and a half at a time. Students will have the ability to save their progress and continue their work the next day.  We will start with the ELA test, then the ELA performance task, then the Math test, and end with the Math performance task. Our first testing week will be April 22nd.  

     

      

    Pinball Project 

    In years past, third graders have created pinball machines at home and brought them to Family Science Day to be displayed and played with.  Because there is no Family Science Day planned for this year, Mrs. Van Zante and I decided to not give the students this assignment. I have mixed feelings with our decision.  Some students really relish the engineering challenge and enjoy making their machines on their own or with their parents help, but for other students and families this project wasn’t as enjoyable.  Without an event to showcase 40+ projects, it just seemed like a better idea to pass on it this year. If your child does enjoy building and engineering, search online for pinball machine project for some ideas.  Please email me if your student decides to build one and we can schedule a time for them to bring it in to show the class. 

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  • Early March

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 3/14/2019 10:00:00 AM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter

    Third Grade

     

     

    Reminders

     

    • Math homework will start next Wednesday with our Module 7 unit.  Please read more below if you have questions.
    • The Loma & C.T. Music Concert will be on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm in the gym.  Since the third graders will be playing Eye of the Tiger on the recorder, they will be practicing in both Music and Recorder classes for the next month.  If your child takes their recorder home, please make sure they bring it on Thursdays.
    • Read below about the CAASPP test we will begin taking at the end of April.



    Language Arts/Social Studies

    Next week we are starting something big in Reading, Book Clubs!  I’ve created groups of students with similar reading levels and have assignment them a book to read for the next few weeks.  They will partition the book out, deciding how much should be read each evening or during time in class, and will help keep one another accountable.  They will discuss the characters, the plot, the conflicts, and they will make inferences and predictions. It’s a lot of fun for the students to have more literary interactions with their peers rather than just with me.

     

    Until spring break, Writing and Social Studies are going hand in hand.  We have been learning about the three branches of the U.S. government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.  As a class, we will be acting like the Legislative branch and forming our own Congress. Each student is acting like a representative for a different grade at Loma and their job will be to write and present a bill that asks for a change to a school issue.  Using our writing lessons on persuasive writing, students will create a project to help with their presentation. Students will have a choice of creating a slide presentation, a poster, or writing a speech. Each project will have their bill proposal along with reasons and evidence to support their bill.

     

    In order for the “representatives” to accurately speak for their grade level, they will need to know the thoughts and opinions of their given grade level.  Tomorrow, the students will survey their grades to see how they feel about various Loma issues (not bringing toys to school, homework, sharing food, etc.). Using that data, the “representatives” will write and support a bill that reflect the wishes of their grade.  This project should be a lot of fun and it gives the students a chance to apply writing structure in a more creative way.

     

    Math

    We are quickly coming to the end of our fractions module.  Next Monday we will review and on Tuesday we will have a quiz.  We have been working on comparing fractions that have either the same numerator or denominator, equivalent fractions, and, as always, showing our thinking with clear diagrams, equations, and explanations.  

     

    Fractions are such a difficult idea for some minds to comprehend, especially when the fraction is greater than one.  It really is best for students to see fractions in the world around them. The next time you’re following a recipe, show it to your child.  Ask them what the recipe means by 1 ¾ cups of flour. What would that mixed fraction look like as a improper fraction? Sewing and carpentry can also be used to exemplify fractions.

     

    Homework

    4th grade is a big year with one of the most significant changes being the amount of homework.  To help ease our students’ transition, Mrs. Van Zante and I will be sending homework home starting on Wednesday of next week.  It will be brief, just a problem or two relating to the work we did in Math that day. Students need to put their name, complete it, and turn it in the following morning. If we are having a quiz or reviewing for a quiz that day, the students will not have homework that evening.  As always, students should be reading for at least 30 minutes a day at home.

     

    CAASPP

    3rd grade is the first year students will be taking the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress).  We have been practicing at school to make us better prepared for this tricky assessment. There is a CAASPP site for students to practice at home or for you to check out if you’re curious what standardized testing looks like these days.  Go to http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training/, select Student Interface, login as a guest, select grade 3, and choose one of the four Smart Balance Practice tests.

     

    Each of those four practice tests is a perfect example of what we will be seeing next month.  We will be taking one of the tests per week, working an hour and a half at a time. Students will have the ability to save their progress and continue their work the next day.  We will start with the ELA test, then the ELA performance task, then the Math test, and end with the Math performance task. Our first testing week will be April 22nd.

     

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  • Late February

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 2/28/2019

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     

      

    Reminders (please read info about the Star Party carefully) 

     

    • Report cards go home on Wednesday the 6th. 
    • Optional spring conferences will be held on March 12th, 13th, and 14th (Tues.-Thurs.).  Those three days will be minimum days with a 12:30 dismissal. I will email parents on Monday the 4th if I think we need to meet about their student.  After you receive your child’s report card on the 6th, please email me if you have concerns and would like to schedule a conference. 
    • Our overnight sleepover (THE STAR PARTY!!!!) will be the evening of Thursday, March 7th until Friday morning.  Third graders will not attend school on March the 8th. Please consider signing up to help with the early breakfast on Friday morning.  Read more about our plans for the Star Party below.  
    • The Loma & C.T. Music Concert will be on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm in the gym.  Since the third graders will be playing Eye of the Tiger on the recorder, they will be practicing in both Music and Recorder classes for the next month.  If your child takes their recorder home, please make sure they bring it on Thursdays. 

     

    Language Arts 

    With report cards coming your way next week, these last couple of weeks have rotated around assessments.  I’m very impressed with the growth and stamina the students have shown during the past few months. I loved reading their brief nonfiction writing samples!  I took them to Peet’s after school one day to have a cozy read and I must have looked so odd smiling and laughing by myself.  They really are charming students to teach. 

      

    Our next Reading unit will be book clubs; students will be in groups with peers of a similar reading level.  They will choose a book to read and discuss together. Our writing unit is going to go together with Social Studies.  It focuses on opinion writing and the three branches of the US government; I will tell you more about that in our next newsletter, once our project is underway.  

     

    Math 

    Fractions is going relatively well so far.  As a whole, the class showed proficiency on our mid-module quiz on Tuesday.  Solving word problems involving fractions is a challenge for some of the students.  Most word problems don’t include a diagram/picture and the student is required to create the image themselves.  During the remainder of this module, we will continue to practice deciphering word problems and we will be learning other visual models to help deepen our understanding of these tricky numbers. 

     

    Star Party 

    Please bring:  

    • Sleeping materials (sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping pad) 

    • LABELLED flashlight for reading in bed  

    • Toothbrush and toothpaste 

    • A book to read 

     
     

    Please arrive between 6:30 and 7:00pm.  Place your child’s belongings along the hallway to their classroom before meeting us outside on the blacktop.  Students should come wearing pajamas along with shoes appropriate for outside (no slippers) and a jacket/sweatshirt.   The plan is to view the stars, come in for some milk and cookies, snuggle into our beds, and watch a astronomy movie in the forum until bed around 9:30. Currently the weather report shows rain, which will most likely alter our current plan.  If that is the case, we will have some indoor fun/activities. 

      

    The following morning, the fabulous breakfast helpers will arrive around 6:30 to set up breakfast in one of the pods.  We will wake the students at 7am so they will have time to pack-up and eat breakfast before pick-up starts at 7:45. All students must be picked up by 8am on Friday morning. 

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  • Early February

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 2/7/2019

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

    • Next week the students will be writing a short nonfiction writing assessment.  Help your child brainstorm a possible subject (sport, VIP, animal, etc.) that they could write a few paragraphs about.  This is a much shorter version of the big writing project we just finished. 

    • Please read below (Language Arts) for information on a website that students can use to practice the spelling words at home. 

    • Entries for the Jog-a-Thon t-shirt contest are due Friday, Feb. 15th.  Students must use black and only two other colors in their artwork.  Entries should be placed in the box in the office.

    • Valentine’s Day is next Thursday so encourage your student to wear their red, pink, and purple clothing!  Beth DeSouza is heading up our party and has all the supplies/ help needed already.  If your child decides to bring valentines, please make sure they bring enough for the whole class (22 students total).  I sent home and attached a PDF of all the students’ names. 

    • No school February 18th-22nd. 

    • Our overnight sleepover (THE STAR PARTY!!!!) will be the evening of Thursday, March 7th until Friday morning.  Third graders will not attend school on March the 8th. If you want to stay the night, you must have fingerprints on file with the district.  Here is a link to the form you will need to take with you to the Santa Clara County Office of Education (you will need an appointment): https://www.loma.k12.ca.us/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=4998&dataid=6628&FileName=Fingerprint%20Request%20Form%20.pdf

     
     
     

    Language Arts 

    We’ve come to the end of our nonfiction writing and reading units and I couldn’t be prouder of the work and growth that the students have shown.  I’m seeing more students willingly reading nonfiction text during free reading times and sharing newly discovered facts with one another. We assembled our writing projects into books this afternoon and we will have them available all next week for the class to read.  Students will bring them home on the 15th. 

      

    The end of the second trimester is around the corner, so it’s assessment time in Reading and Writing.  Next week, the students will be writing a much shorter nonfiction piece about a subject of their choice including an introduction, two body paragraphs (each with a main idea), a conclusion, and a glossary (of at least two words).  I’ll be giving the students a checklist to make sure they have all the parts and a spelling book for them to reference. I’m not looking for perfection, but I’m looking for areas that I need to address better in our final trimester.   

      

    Last week we started using a new website called Spelling City.  There I upload the spelling words for the week and the site provides many fun games and activities that the students can choose to play.  The site is https://www.spellingcity.com/ and the students use their Google login information. This week we are on week 20 and next week will be week 21.  The only thing is that the vocabulary games can be quite confusing. For example, the word 
    use the student is expected to match it to the definition to utilize 

     

    Math 

    We’ve crossed into another mathematical realm, one that still brings anxiety in the hearts of some adults: fractions.  Yes, we have started fractions in third grade, and I thought long and hard on how best to introduce this confusing and abstract concept.  I came up with playdough. Last Friday, I gave the students a ball of homemade playdough and we explored molding shapes and cutting the shapes into different numbers of equal pieces.  We found halves, quarters, and eighths to be much easier than thirds, fifths, sixths, or sevenths. We also preferred working with rectangles and circles rather than triangles. Using a toothpick, we wrote the numerical form on each piece of our fractured shape.  We had fun and it made Monday’s introduction lesson much easier to tackle. Some students asked for the recipe I used so here it is: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/play-dough-recipe/

      

    The thought process behind introducing fractions in third grade is that students will have more time between learning what fractions are and using fractions in math.  This year we will only be learning how to represent a picture with a numerical fraction and comparing fractions with either the same numerator or denominator. We won’t be adding or multiplying anything (that comes in 4th grade).   

      

    I taught the students this song this week to help them remember the parts of a fraction:  

    (set to the Oompa Loompa song from Willy Wonka) 

     

    Denominators are much fun 

    They tell me how many parts in one 

    Numerators go up on top 

    They tell me how many parts I’ve got 

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  • Late January

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 1/24/2019

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

    • The Dream Bedroom project is due next Monday, January 28th. 

    • Talent show sign ups must be submitted by 3:00 tomorrow afternoon.  Please see below for a note from Mrs. Riccomini about this year’s talent show. 

    • Our overnight sleepover (THE STAR PARTY!!!!) will be the evening of Thursday, March 7th until Friday morning.  Third graders will not attend school on March the 8th. If you want to stay the night, you must have fingerprints on file with the district.  Here is a link to the form you will need to take with you to the Santa Clara County Office of Education (you will need an appointment).  

     
     
     

    Language Arts 

    We have discovered the joys of biographies these past couple of weeks.  They have the interesting facts of a nonfiction, but read with the ease of a fictional story.  What more could a room full of bibliophiles ask for?! At the beginning of each reading period, I’ve read a chapter or two aloud from Walt Disney’s biography.  The students love learning about his life, of how he used to get in trouble as a kid for drawing on the house with tar, how he brought a mouse to school, how he really didn’t succeed until his brother, Roy, partnered with him.  The version we are reading is a part of the Who was___? series (or as I call them, the big head series).  Their texts are perfect for the third/fourth grade level and are very well written. 

     

    About a third of us are finished with our nonfiction writing project and they have turned out so well!  After typing up the original five chapters the students then added a table of contents, introduction, conclusion, and a glossary.  I hope by the February break, all of us will be finished with our nonfiction books! 

      

    We practiced a Language Arts CAASPP test this week with a partner and I am so impressed with how well the students have learned the process.  The practice test focused on editing (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.), so it was fun to see the students apply all the grammar and writing convention skills we’ve been working on.  They are really mastering the tricky login/logout procedure, which will make our test sessions in April and May much smoother. 

     

     

    Math 

    I am blown away with how well the students did last week on their mid-module 4 assessment!  They really are connecting what they know about multiplication and are applying it to geometric shapes.  Today I threw a curve ball at them. We’ve only been working on finding the area of rectangles, but today we took a look at shapes that weren’t rectangles.  Granted they were shapes that were composed of two rectangles or shapes that started as rectangles to only have a tiny rectangle bite taken out of it. We had fun using the truths we know about rectangles (opposite sides are equal) to figure out just what the area of these odd shapes would be. 

      

      

    Talent Show 

    This year's talent show, Loma-Palooza 2019, is on Friday, February 15th. All applications must be submitted on-line and are due no later than 3pm on Friday, Jan 25th. All the information you need, including the on-line applications, can be found here: 

    https://www.loma.k12.ca.us/Page/742

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  • Early January

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 1/10/2019

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

    • A math homework project went home today.  Please look for the blue instructions page along with a sheet of graph paper.  It is due Monday, January 28th. 
    • I will be submitting a Scholastic order next week on Friday the 18th. 
    • No school Monday, January 21st in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
    • Please see below for a note from Mrs. Riccomini about this year’s talent show. 

     
     

    Language Arts 

    Reading has been a great way for us to warm up our minds after our two-week break (though I must say, this class has jumped back into school quickly and eagerly).  We’ve continued our focus on nonfiction, but we’ve also enjoyed discussions about all the interesting books we received as gifts over the holidays. We’ve always enjoyed our time reading in the classroom, but the rainy days made it especially enjoyable this week.   

     

    We’ve picked up where we left off on our big informative writing piece.  As many of us are finished typing up our chapters, we are now adding supportive pieces to our projects.  This week we learned about the importance of an introduction and how it can hook our readers’ interest in our book.  Today we talked about how conclusions wrap up a book nicely and restate the really important main ideas of our book, so that the reader will be sure to remember. 

      

    One subject manner I don’t talk about often is Grammar though it is an important area in third grade.  Many of the questions on the CAASPP at the end of the year, will focus on the parts of speech, punctuation, capitalization, and formatting.  So far this year we’ve learned contractions, homophones, verbs, nouns, pronouns, conjunctions, articles, and commas. Here and there as a little break, I’ll show the students the old Grammar Rock videos and we use the songs to help remember the different parts of speech.  Next week we will learn about adjectives. 

     

     

    Math 

    Module 4 focuses on area and how it relates to multiplication.  The students have a firm grasp of the concept already and are doing well on our daily practice page.  The math project I sent home today asks the students to design their dream bedroom complete with measurements and area of their room and the furniture/items.  They can be as creative as they’d like. I showed them my dream bedroom with lots of shelves for books, a couple couches, an air hockey table, a huge closet, and an added balcony.  I used different colors to represent the different types of furniture in my room and made a color key. Students then need to calculate how much it will cost to carpet the room, if each square foot costs $2.  If your student needs additional graph paper, I can give them more.  

      

    We’ve started our multiplication sprints this week and the students are doing very well.  I’m please to say that everyone has masters the x1s. The x2s showed me which students have already started practicing their fluency at home because only a handful know those facts quick enough to meet their personal goal.  For practicing at home, some of you may wonder how fast should my student be providing the answer. For the kids who need to get 20 per minute, they need to know them within 6 seconds. For the kids have a goal of 10 per minute, they need to know them in about 12 seconds.  Ask your child what their goal is to figure just how quick they need to be. 

      

     

    Talent Show 

    This year's talent show, Loma-Palooza 2019, is on Friday, February 15th. The window for applications opens next Friday, Jan 18th. All applications must be submitted on-line and are due no later than 3pm on Friday, Jan 25th. All the information you need, including the on-line applications, can be found here: 

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  • December

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 12/13/2018

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      
    Reminders 

    • Today is Winter Wonderland Day!  Wear your warm and cozy or holiday clothing! 
    • Next Friday is a minimum day (dismissal at 12:30) and Pajama Day! 
    • No school Monday, Dec. 24th - Friday, Jan. 4th.  Students return on Monday, Jan. 7th. 
     

     

    Language Arts 

    We’ve been learning how other people can help expose us to new texts and help connect us to what we are reading.  For example, I am reading a historical fiction about Pearl Harbor and I am always thinking about one of my students who loved WWII and I try to remember interesting facts to tell him.  Thinking about what other people might find interesting helps us comprehend and retain information. I also constantly talking about what I’m reading with my friends and family, and some of my favorite books I’ve only discovered because someone else told me about it.  Be sure to talk to your child about what you are reading, whether fiction or nonfiction, books or articles. It’s all a profound example of the importance and power of reading. 

     

    Everyone is finished with their first draft of their informative writing project!  About half of the students are now rewriting their work on fresh paper using legible handwriting, so a peer can read and offer feedback.  The other half have completed this step and are now typing up their work. I hope everyone will have started typing up their work on the computer by next week, so that when we come back from break we can finish up these wonderful writing pieces. 

     

    Math 

    We’ve almost finished our third module in Math!  Next week we will be reviewing and taking our end of module quiz.  It’s all been about multiplication these last few months with both challenging and fun concepts.  We’ve learned the fun facts of x1 and x10, and the handy ways of checking our x9 by adding the products’ digits or using our fingers.  Our next unit revolves around area, so multiplication will continue to play an important role in our Math life. Over the break, help your students start to memorize some of their multiplication facts if they haven’t already started.  Again a great order to go in is x0s, x1s, x2s, x10s, x5s, x9s, x4s, x8s, x3s, x6s, and x7s.  

      

    Starting after the break, we will be doing minute multiplication sprints Mondays-Thursdays.  Next week, I will be determining a goal for each student based on their processing and handwriting speed.  When a student meets there goal, they will jump up to the next level of multiplication. We will be going in the following order: x1s, x2s, x10s, x5s, x9s, x4s, x8s, x3s, x6s, x7s, x11s, and x12s (11s and 12s are not required for third grade, but are still good to practice).  Each student will be given a punch-card as a private way for them to keep track of their accomplishments. 

      

      

    Computers 

    Last week, classes across the country participatein the Hour of Code, an event that helps expose students to the basics of computer coding.  On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, my students had a great time playing a few of the many games created to help motivate students to become interested in coding.  Some of the favorites were Dance Party, Minecraft Hour of Code, and Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code. 

      

    We will practicing something very important on the computers next week: the CAASPP.  As some of you may know, third grade is the first year students will participate in the state-wide testing.  When we were kids it was a multiple choice test with a scantron, but now it is all online. Last week we practiced just logging into a test, and this week we planned to take a practice test as a class, but the assessment system needed an unexpected update so we will need to wait until next week.  We will talk about each question and the answers together. This test can be overwhelming for such young students, but by scaffolding their exposure to it, I hope to make it as easy as possible for them.  My goal is to practice with it a couple times a month, so that the students are familiar with the format by the time we start taking the test in April. 

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  • Late November

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 11/29/2018 4:00:00 PM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

    • Thank you to everyone for meeting with me during conference week!  I enjoyed getting some face-to-face time with you all! 
    • Thank you for all the book donations from the Book Fair! 
    • Tomorrow Class Representative “speeches” are due.  Please see the Social Studies section for more information if your child wants to be a class representative. 
    • Tomorrow is College Day!  If you have any college gear pass it on to your child to wear for the day.  If not, have your child show some Loma pride by wearing a Loma shirt or blue and yellow! 
    • Next Monday we will be having our class Spelling Bee to determine the top two spellers in class.  They will then compete in the school Spelling Bee on Dec. 20th. I gave the students the third grade list earlier this week if they wanted to practice.  Participation is optional. 
    • Our field trip is next Friday, December 7th.  The Wednesday News says it’s the 6th, but it’s incorrect.  If it is pouring rain, we may have to reschedule for another day, and I will email everyone on Thursday if that is the case. 
    • Please help your child remember to bring their recorder on Thursdays.   

     
     

    Language Arts 

    We have a new game we play during reading time.  It doesn’t have a name, but if it did it would be something like Try to stump Mrs. Flynn or New facts for Mrs. Flynn.  Neither are very catchy, which I guess is why the game is unnamed right now.  Anyways, students read through their nonfiction texts, all the while searching for facts that I’ve never learned.  At the end of reading, students can share one fact and if I haven’t heard it before I write it on a little poster in the class.  This week I learned Amelia Earhart made a roller coaster in her backyard when she was 7, a group of penguins is called a crutch, and the first cat show was in July of 1871.  They have a lot of fun with it and I enjoy learning more random facts to help when I go to a pub trivia night. 

    We’ve been working hard on our nonfiction writing unit, completing subtopic after subtopic.  A couple students are already finished with all five subtopics and have started rewriting their pieces, preparing them for a classmate or me to read them and give feedback.  My goal is by the end of next week all students will be done with their first draft in their journals. 

     

    Math 

    We’ve started up multiplication and division again in our 3rd Math Module of the year.  This module focuses on introducing letters in order to represent the unknown in an equation rather than just a blank space that the students are used to.  It’s a confusing concept for most students to understand; even when this idea was introduced to seventh and eighth graders under the old education standards, students struggled.  The idea behind introducing it now is that students will be more comfortable seeing letters in equations, so when they get to middle school math it is one less thing they need to acclimate to.  This week we also learned the importance of parentheses in an equation and to complete the math in the ( ) first.  

      

      

    Social Studies 

    On Election Day, the third graders listened to over 30 speeches given by the fifth graders and voted for student council president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.  This sparked a huge interest in school politics and students asked me how they can become one of our two class representatives. The way I organize our election process is each candidate writes a “speech”, which is just a short, written paragraph explaining why they would be a good representative.  I put all the speeches on a ballot without the candidates’ names. The students then read through all the speeches and vote for two of them. The two candidates with the highest votes will be our representatives at the student council meetings. 

      

    We will be voting on Monday, so I need all the speeches by tomorrow.  I’ve already received seven, but if you know that your child wants to be a representative please double check that they’ve given me their speech.  On Monday afternoon, I will email the candidates’ parents to let them know the result. With so many eager participants, there are sure to be some disappointments and I’d like students to have the freedom to process their emotions outside the classroom. 

     
     

     

      

      

      

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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