Friday, October 19, 2018

Week 8

The weeks seem to be moving quickly now!  Third graders were excited to find signs of the changing season outside at recess.  Our unit on recycling culminated this week with an on-demand informational writing piece.  It was thrilling to watch the class as they crafted their passionate opinion pieces, illustrating all they have learned!  In math we worked through solving multi-step double (and triple!) digit story problems with more confidence.  At the end of the week, students took an end of unit assessment.  Our focus in reading workshop this week was using the strategies of envisioning (making a movie in our minds of what is happening in the story) making predictions.  Students are getting more practice in writing a summary after they finish a book (making sure to include: characters, setting, problem and solution.)  Our week ended in the forest with a group of Dartmouth student teachers from "Growing Change."

Questions to spark conversation:
-What was the focus during our time in the forest this week?
-Where are you in the writing process (making revisions, working on a lead, typing up final draft?)
-What was special about Friday's reading workshop?
-What happened in lodges this week?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Week 7

The highlight of our week was the "summer day" we spent at Riverview Orchard.  Students explored in small groups and conducted an apple investigation.  This inquiry included describing the traits of an apple, drawing a diagram and graphing the number of seeds.  The time went by way too quickly!  Back at school we are finishing up our unit on recycling and getting ready to write our first informational piece using 2 different sources.  Our focus in reading this week has shifted to comprehension.  We are learning to stop as we read and ask ourselves, "Who are the characters in this part?  What just happened?  Does this fit with something that already happened, or is this new?"  In math this week we worked on figuring out multi-step story problems.

Questions to spark conversation:
-What happened on your field trip?  Did you make any new discoveries?
-Why do some pumpkins grow to be SO big?
-What do I need to show when solving a story problem?
-What happened during forest Friday?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Week 6

We persevered through a rainy week with enthusiasm!  The structure of our math block has become smooth and purposeful.  Students rotate from one activity to the next in small groups.  The focus this week was adding double digit numbers using a number line.  We learned a new game called, "Frog Jump."  The time during our reader's workshop seems to fly by as our readers are so focused on their books.  Partners and small groups are reading the same book, responding to questions in their reader's notebook and having discussions together about big ideas in the story.  In writing workshop this week our writers choose their favorite small moment story to write a "flash draft (they start with a good lead and write as much as they can without stopping.)  Before beginning flash drafts, students rehearsed what they wanted to say with a partner.  Finally, our class created recycling posters to enter into a contest that Casella is holding.  The winners will be chosen this spring to have their pictures featured in the 2020 Casella calendar.

Questions to spark conversations:
-Why are crab apples different than apples that come from the store?
-Where are we going on our next field trip?
-What is the small moment story that you worked on this week?
-What makes a good lead?

Friday, September 28, 2018

Week Five: Third Grade Otters

It's amazing to think that September is nearly gone! It's been a busy week. In writing our
small moment narrative stories continue to grow. This week we worked on crafting a beginning
that introduced our characters and set the scene for our stories. We are trying to tell our stories
bit by bit, stretching out a small moment into a longer story. In math students work to add and
subtract larger numbers on a number line and looked for patterns on the subtraction table. Students
learned a new game called, "Target 20." In reader's workshop reading logs were introduced as a
way to keep track of what we are reading and to set goals for ourselves. For our all school reward
we painted rocks to spread kindness throughout the school. Our class was full of clever, creative
ideas! Finally in science, we explored the question, "Why do plants make fruit?" There were some
surprises as we investigated this topic!

Questions to spark conversation:
-How can you spread kindness?
-What are some examples of scientific fruit?
-What books do you have in your book bin?
-What is the small moment piece that you worked on this week?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Week 4: Third Grade Otters

The days seem to be moving quickly now and the 3rd grade otters are working hard
to utilize each moment in the classroom.  During writer’s workshop we continue to
work on small moment pieces,beginning our story with a lead that grabs our reader’s
attention.  We are trying to write using a storytellers voice that shows not tells (describes
actions, uses dialogue and describes what we saw, smelled, tasted or felt.)  Reading
partners are becoming more confident in the routines of reader’s workshop. In order
to make reading the best it can be we each came up with a plan (find a comfy spot, have
book talks, read books that we love.)  During our math block we used number racks on
ipads to look for ways to add friendly numbers. We noticed patterns in the addition
charts. During mystery science we explored the question, “Why do bees pollinate.”

Questions to spark conversation
-What do reading partners do?
-How can I use a storytellers voice in my writing?
-Why do bees like crawling into flowers?
-How do you take someone else's perspective?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Week 3: Third Grade Otters

Third grade otters have continued to gain stamina across ALL areas during our first FULL week of school.  In math we explored who we are as mathematical thinkers.  We practiced working in small group rotations, collecting data and becoming familiar with a new platform called, "Zearn."  This week in reading workshop we learned how to, "book shop" and what partner reading looks like.  Writer's workshop continues to be the most focused part of our day.  This week students used the strategy of choosing a special place and thinking of small moment story that happened in their special place when they are stuck on what to write about.  We continue to revisit our essential question around recycling: "How can we, as community members improve our recycling habits and reduce waste at DBS?"  Students were thrilled with the opportunity to begin their online research to think more about this question.

Questions to spark conversation:
-What is stamina and what does it look like in reader's and writer's workshop?
-How can we collect data?
-Describe what you heard and saw in your sit spot?

Friday, September 7, 2018

Week 2

Our third grade otters are starting to settle into their new routine.  This week we began to gain stamina in reading and writing. Our class show an enormous amount of enthusiasm and focus during our Writer’s Workshop.  We used our five senses to write a narrative piece. The field trip to Casella was a GREAT success! Students were amazed by the production and asked fantastic questions: What are some things that should NOT be recycled?  What happens after the materials leave the facility? What was the most interesting thing ever recycled?! Our week concluded in the forest. Each student found a “sit spot” that they will enjoy over the next three seasons.  

Questions to spark conversation:
What is recycling?
What is See-Saw?
What are your hopes and dreams for 3rd grade?
What house are you in and what game did you play today with the whole school?