• 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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  • Early November

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 11/8/2018 4:00:00 PM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

      

    Reminders 

    • Thank you to everyone who donated items and/or their time to make our Halloween party such a memorable time!  An extra thanks goes to Lisa for planning and organizing it! 
    • Mrs. Fichthorn is searching for more volunteers for the Book Fair.  Please email her at n.fichthorn@loma.k12.ca.us if you are interested in helping.  Please see below for more information about the Book Fair 
    • Tomorrow, Tue. 11/13, Wed. 11/14, Thur. 11/15 and Fri. 11/16 are conference days, so dismissal will be at 12:30.  I will be handing out report cards at the conference. 
    • No school on Monday 11/12 in honor of Veterans’ Day. 

     
     

    Language Arts 

    We have started a new unit in Reading all about reading nonfiction.  This week we learned how to look at text features like table of contents and glossary before starting a book to help our brains warm up.  When starting a new section or chapter, we read the subtopic titles, look closely at pictures/graphics, and read captions. The students were asked to check out a nonfiction book at the library because, starting next week, the students will be required to read a nonfiction text for at least 15 minutes during Readers’ Workshop.  They are welcome to also bring nonfiction books from home. 

    Our nonfiction theme has carried over into Writing with us starting our informative writing unit.  We’ve been doing a good amount of nonfiction writing with our small moment stories from our lives, but now our writing purpose has changed from telling a story to teaching the reader about a topic.  The students will be working on a writing piece for the next few weeks, even into January, focusing on a topic of their choice. This week we chose our topics and wrote out five main ideas that we will address in five paragraphs.  About many students chose a specific animal as their topic, while others went for a major event, person, game, and even an instrument. They’ve had great fun so far, some even checking books out of the library, so they can provide interesting, relevant details to support their main ideas.  I can’t wait to see how these turn out. 

     

    Math 

    We took our final quiz for the end of our second module and the students did a great job!  As I watched the students work this morning, I was so impressed with the number of kids using their notebooks and the available manipulatives to aid them in their process.  We’ve been working very hard on our regrouping skills in addition and decomposing skills in subtraction. Next week we will be jumping back into multiplication and division for Module 3. 

     

    Social Studies 

    I am both thrilled and saddened that our projects are completed and tested!  The students did an amazing job last week during our afternoon-long construction time.  A big thank you to Dru, Kristina, Therese, and Laura for coming to help use make our plan a reality!  It was a fun (and exhausting) time for all! On Tuesday of last week, the students gave polite and insightful compliments and suggestions to one another during our fishbowl activity.  We used the sentence frames I like____ and I wonder_____ to share our thoughts in an encouraging way.  Earlier this week the students had the chance to tweak their project based on their classmates’ feedback.  On Tuesday we discussed how we wanted to test the durability of our shelters using fair and scientific methods.  Yesterday was the big day and we had a ball testing our structures twice. The first test was a gentle rain, 10 sprays from a spray bottle directly overhead.  The second was a 3 second douse from a watering can. There were many successes and failures, but we all had a great attitude no matter what our outcome. Finally, we pondered what sort of changes would we make to our design if we were to do it again, an important step for any engineer/architect.  I’m pleased the students enjoyed the unit and project so much! 

      

    Book Fair Info from Mrs. Fichthorn 

    The Book Fair is Coming!  The Scholastic Book Fair is the sole fundraiser for both Loma and CTE libraries.  Please come by next week to purchase books for your child or your child’s teacher's classroom!  If you are unable to physically come to our fair, please consider supporting us online and your books will be delivered to the school, free of charge, after Thanksgiving. 

    Tuesday Nov. 13th:  12-4pm 

    Wednesday Nov. 14th:  7:45am-8:15am AND 12-4pm 

    Thursday Nov. 15th:  7:45am-8:15am AND 12-5pm 

    Also, the online book fair is open from now until November 17th!  Any purchases made online still helps our school libraries.  Online book purchases are delivered to the school free of charge after the Thanksgiving holiday.  The online fair can be found via: http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/  where you enter our zip code to find our school fair 

    OR click the exact link:  https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=lomaprieta&appesp=CPT/ib/20120101///txtl/FairFindertoHomepage 

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at:  n.fichthorn@loma.k12.ca.us 

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  • Late October

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 10/25/2018 3:00:00 PM
    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 
    Third Grade 
     
     
      
    Reminders (please read carefully)
    • We are going to be starting a fun building project on MONDAY the 29th.  Students need to bring natural materials found around their neighborhood (sticks, bark, etc.).  Today I will send home a paper copy of the instructions. I also attached a PDF to this email. 
    • Conference papers are going home today.  Please look over your time and turn in the paper ASAP.  I will be emailing parents to reschedule any necessary conference times next week. 
    • Tomorrow is Crazy Sock Day!  I will also be out, so there will be a sub. 
    • Wednesday the 31st is Halloween and students are invited to wear costumes.  No prop weapons or violent costumes will be allowed at school. Masks can be worn during the Halloween parade, but not during the rest of the school day.  Students will be dismissed at 12:30. 
    • No school on 11/1 and 11/2 for students due to staff only work days.
    • Fri. 11/9, Tue. 11/13, Wed. 11/14, Thur. 11/15 and Fri. 11/16 are conference days, so dismissal will be at 12:30. 
    • No school on Monday 11/12 in honor of Veterans’ Day. 
       
     
     
    Language Arts 
    The book reports turned out so well!  The student did a great job summarizing, listing the main characters, and describing the setting.  I love the creativity that the students used to decorate their houses. I hope they had as much fun working on these as I had looking at them. 
     
    We are all finished with our final drafts of the stories and I am so proud of all the hard work the student put into their written pieces.  Yesterday we took a look at our original story and at our final draft and we reflected on all that changed from that first “seed” story to our final product.  We will be making covers for our stories and will share them with one another next week. 
     
    Math 
    We’ve been revisiting an old friend in math recently: regrouping.  You might know it as “carrying the one” in addition or “borrowing” in subtraction.  Really what it is is thinking about a numeral representing a certain number of hundreds, tens, and ones and needing to change out a ten for some more ones or group some tens together to make a new hundred.  We’ve been working with the tens blocks so we could physically act out the written work in a regrouping problem. We’ve also been learning about rounding and estimations, which the students seem to love. Right now we are learning how to estimate a sum or difference on paper, but the ultimate goal is for students to learn how to estimate in their head so they can check to see if their actual answer makes sense. 
      
    I think Fridays are our favorite day in Math thanks to Chef Muffle and his truffles.  The students did a wonderful job creating new box designs, so his customers have some size options when they visit his shop.  They also made posters displaying how the cost of one big box cost the same as a few smaller boxes. Example: a 5x6 box costs the same as a 3x3, a 2x3, and a 3x5 together.  Some students designed a 22x17 box and as a class we figured out different ways to find the cost of all those truffles. Next week, the students will get to redesign the boxes yet again, though this time the boxes must only hold numbers that are made of groups of fives and see how many ways they can construct these boxes. 
      
      
    Social Studies 
    We are just about finished with our Ohlone unit.  Next Monday we will be starting our engineering challenge to build an Ohlone hut using natural materials found around our community (and lots of hot glue).  After our first stage the students will participate in a “Fish Bowl” activity where they will share about their work in progress and get input from other students before finishing it the following week.  When they are all completed, we will test how well they keep a tissue paper Ohlone person dry. It’s going to be a lot of fun!  
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  • Early October

    Posted by Sarah Flynn on 10/11/2018 4:00:00 PM

    Mrs. Flynn’s Newsletter 

    Third Grade 

     
     

      

    Reminders 

    • We are going to be starting a fun building project next month and we would greatly appreciate some squares of cardboard, shoebox lids, or disposable aluminum pans to use as bases (not larger than 11x11).  
    • Book reports are due on Monday the 22nd.  Please make sure your child fills out and turns in the rubric along with the project. 
    • Wednesday the 31st is Halloween and students are invited to wear costumes.  No prop weapons or violent costumes will be allowed at school. Masks can be worn during the Halloween parade, but not during the rest of the school day.  Students will be dismissed at 12:30. 
    • The traditional 3rd grade Star Party will be Thursday, March 7th.  Students will spend the night and leave by 8:00am the following day, so please plan childcare for the 8th.  

     
     

    Language Arts 

    The students are having a lot of fun reading lots of scary and mystery stories for their book report project.  I have to say Goosebumps were never my favorite as a kid, but I love the eagerness of the students to jump into their book and talk with one another about the spooky thing that just happened. Mysteries were and still are my favorite; Nancy Drew and the Boxcar Children were constant companions of mine and I love seeing new fans developing in my classroom.   

    About half of us are done with our final draft of our small moment story!  Everyone is working extra hard to finish and I’ve loved sitting down with each student going through and showing them where to make new paragraphs, how to add quotations, and having them add clarifying details.  Those that are finished are back to writing new stories in their notebook until we start the process all over again. 

    Math 

    We’ve started our second module, focusing on time and measurement.  The students are doing a great job telling time, which is very helpful for me.  When some students ask me How long until____ I can just point to the clock and they think it through.  We’ve also started learning about the metric measuring systems and how it is much simpler to work with in mathematics than the English system.  Grams vs. kilograms and milliliters vs. liters have been our focus this week. We’ve gotten to brush off our addition and subtraction skills using metrics to solve for the unknown in number stories. 

      

    We are still continuing our exploratory math activities on Fridays and we started a new problem, a fun “real-life” application of multiplication with a project called Muffles Truffles.  It starts with a story of a man named Mr. Muffle who makes truffles with a variety of kinds and places them in various sized boxes.  Simply put, this is a long series of number stories about Muffle and his truffles and the students will be invited to solve the questions in any way they choose and to make a poster explaining their thinking each time.  While one student might choose to cut out paper truffles and solve the problem manually, another student might choose the pencil and paper route. It’s a fun and meaningful way for us to apply our new knowledge while interacting and learning from others.  

      

      

    Social Studies 

    We’ve had so much fun learning all about the Ohlone people!  Using Google Classroom as a tool, the students have been watching videos, reading articles, and typing up reflections of their learning.  Tule and soaproot were two of the most important plants to the Ohlone, providing shelter, hygiene, and more. We learned the long and detailed process of how the Ohlone prepared acorns so that they could utilize this plenteous, though poisonous, food source.  October is the season for collecting acorns, so if you happen to have a few oak trees on your property, send out your child for some acorns for us to take a closer look at in the class. 

      

    Today we made and learned a version of the Stick Game, a game that various tribes of Native Americans played.  Two players, 12 counters, and 6 sticks with markings on one side are needed to play. Player one drops the sticks and gets a certain number of counters depending on how many sticks wound up face up and face down.  Player two then drops the sticks and collects the proper number of counters. Eventually the players will be taking counters from one another and the winner is whoever gets all 12 counters. 

      

    In order to determine which combination of sticks should be worth the most/least points, the students and I did a little exploration of probability today.  We found that all face up/down happened the least frequently, so we made that worth the most points. The four/two combination happened the most often, so we determined that was the worth only 1 point.  Tomorrow the students will take home the paper with the points/rules along with their set of sticks, so be sure to ask them to teach you how to play. 

     
     

     

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