It’s Wednesday – where have you been, what have you noticed?

goldfinch pair in the dogwood

I hope you have been enjoying SUMMER!  I haven’t been anywhere but North Hampton and Deerfield yet – but still I’ve seen some great things around our yard.

one of many The fireflies have been blinking outside the window above the long grass.  The chipmunks have been racing around the yard competing with the squirrels and birds to see just how many sunflower seeds they can get first and the barred owls have been calling from dusk to dawn.


partridge berry blossoms partridgeberryThe partridge berries are blooming and I realized there was a math problem there.  They always come in pairs and there are always four petals on each flower. While I was sitting in my green chair watching to birds and reading The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, I counted 16 pairs.  How many flowers would that be altogether?  How many flower petals would that be altogether?


Can you find a math problem in your yard?

Post it for us to solve when you leave your comment.

Thinking of you every day!


It’s Monday! What are you reading?

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (NERDS, #1)I just started reading N.E.R.D.S. ( National Espionage, Rescue and Defense Society).  Ellie clued me into this series that happens to be written by Michael Buckley who is also the author of The Sisters Grimm series.  Can misfits save the world?  I’m pretty sure they will.  Check in next week, and I’ll let you know.

Independence Hall (I.Q., #1)I just finished reading Independence Hall in the  I.Q. series by Roland Smith.  What a thrilling adventure!   Angela and Quest are thrust into the middle of a complex scheme to keep the world safe from terrorists while on a cross country tour with their famous musician parents.   It looks like there are three books in the series and I know that I’ll be reading all of them before the summer over.

I also finished reading  In Harm’s Way.  It’s the fourth in the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clement.  I reviewed it  here on Kid’s Books 101.  I like this series.  It has mystery and adventure and smart kids who keep doing the right things regardless of what some adults are telling them.  Life isn’t just about money and riches.

What are you reading?  Leave a comment. We’d like to know!

Ready for a Fun Math Project – make sure to leave a comment so we know how it went

Adjusting a Recipe Project

Working With Fractions

You don’t have to do any baking to practice the math.  Have fun!  Maybe you can find a recipe for lemonade.   If you learn how to double it you can have a lemonade stand one super hot day.

  1. Find a simple recipe in a cookbook.
  2. Write the original recipe.
  3. Rewrite the recipe for twice as many people.  Explain your strategy.
  4. Rewrite the recipe again for half as many people.  Explain your strategy for this one two.

You can use the cookie recipe below if you’d like.

If you decide to do the actual baking, make sure to get permission first.  If you’re using one of your adjusted recipes – have someone double check it.  The fractions can make it tricky work.




Easy Sugar Cookies – makes 12


  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 °.

In a small bowl stir together flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Bear in egg and vanilla.

Gradually (little by little) blend in the dry ingredients.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Let stand of cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Leave a comment to show the two ways you adjusted your recipe.  Which one was harder?  Why do you think that is so?

Things to Celebrate about our Country and our Parade

3rd grade recorder concert

facts and comments by all the students of 3E

DSC03840Arizona’s state capital is the largest capital in the U.S.A.  When you look at my float I hope you notice how hard I worked.  Presenting my float was awesome.




floridaDisney is an interesting place.  It is the most visited theme park in the world.  Ponce deLeon discovered Florida.  I hope you like my float.





The Arches in Arches National Park are over 1,000 years old.  On my float are the La Sal Mountains, arches, and a lizard and big horn sheep.  I felt very happy when I finished because I know I had accomplished something great.



ArkansasArkansas has the only diamond mind in North America and the two largest diamonds from North America came from Arkansas.  On my float I had all seven wonders and I added all of the state symbols like the state bird, flower, insect, flower, tree and animal.  I got to learn about all of the states and I love to learn new things.  I learned a fact or two about each one.



NebraskaWhen you hear the word Nebraska you might things farms, but only 7% of Nebraskans have farms now.  More that one fifth of the state is meadow and grassland.  When you see my float, you’ll notice I worked hard and didn’t rush.




South DakotaSouth Dakota is a cool state.  I showed all the wonders on my float.  Everything went really well – the parade was great.

vermontVermont got it’s nickname from the Green Mountains there.  I hope you notice the letters that spell Vermont on my float and how I made them.




Grand Canyon N.P.One of the facts I thought was most interesting what how popular donkeys are in the Grand Canyon.  I was amazed that there were so many different types of rocks there and even mountains in the canyon.  My biggest accomplishment was making it through the whole parade without dropping the back board.



TennesseeThe parade was fun because we got to drive our floats.  I had the picture of Tennessee on mine.  I got cake from Maryland.




texasAfter the parade I felt proud of myself.  I had accomplished something.  Texas is the second biggest state.  Only Alaska is bigger.  I wanted people to notice the prairie dogs the most on my float.




DelawareI like the concert.  I think we did a very good job.  I was nervous.  I imagined the audience in their underpants.  I wanted people to notice the Jello I used for the Delaware River.




GeorgiaIn Georgia they have a place where people live ilk the pioneers did.  You can give it a try.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Georgia so I put his picture on a balloon.  I like that I was able to answer all the questions about the float, state and the wonders I chose.



wisconsinWisconsin is a cheese producing state.  Some Wisconsin cheese is aged for five years.  It is a place without a lot of homesteaders.  There is a mineral museum because there are a lot of minerals.  I had the Arrow of Light, Faith and Hope on my float.  I figured out that I wouldn’t wear a hat under my float.



Yellowstone N.P.An interesting fact about Yellowstone National Park is that Delaware and Rhode Island can fit inside the park itself.  The thing that drew attention to my float was Smokey the Bear.  Many people liked my float at the parade.  I felt good about that.



north dakotaNorth Dakota’s capital is Bismark  I liked when everyone was singing and laughing.  I spent time on my float.




IdahoI loved the parade.  It was fun and I had a big float.  I had a tall mountain that I made out of paper mache.  I dressed up like a cowboy.  I loved my outfit.  It was fun and awesome.




MarylandI learned the Maryland crab cakes are the best.  I had the Smith Island Cake on my float and everyone got to eat the cake.




IndianaI never knew there were more than 6,0oo,0oo people in Indiana.  I worked hard on my float.  I was not as nervous as I thought I would be.




the Everglades N.P.The Everglades used to be hunted.  Not any more.  People noticed that I put effort into my float because the crowd ROARED like crazy when I entered with my float.  My greatest accomplishments were not making any squeaky noises at the recorder concert and making the crowd ROAR like I said before.



UtahThe seagull is the state bird of Utah because they saved the crops from the locusts.  I worked very hard on my float.  The parade was very fun and everyone did a great job.




the parade finale



Happy Summer 3E

Thank you for an amazing year!

It’s finally here – a little too fast for sure – but who says “no” to the opportunities vacation can bring – trying new things and having time to explore different ideas.  Do you have plans for the summer?  I am not going anywhere special, but I am going to try to go to one place every couple of weeks that is unusual  – like the Currier Art Gallery in Manchester or Blue Job fire tower in Stafford or the Thornton Burgess Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

On Tuesday night I went to the school board meeting and some 4th graders were there (well really 5th graders) telling about what they had done and learned by going to Star Island.  It made me really excited for you and what will come.  I know you will have a great time learning about New Hampshire next year.  Our state has some pretty amazing Wonders!

Our Week – June 14

the final weekThe last Friday of the school year is here.  It is so hard to believe and so welcome.  We are all ready for a break, but I don’t think we are feeling as if the year should be over.  There is still so much we could do.  We have changed and grown as a class both academically and socially.    It is a good place to be everyday.  We truly like being together.  All year our class has been working for success.  We have been working to understand how we can be both,  caring and self-aware, collaborative and independent, and cooperative and self-advocating.  As the children put together their portfolios it was amazing to note how many of the children know that teamwork is the way to get things done.

Digital Portfolios and Student-Led Conferences

 After weeks of work all the children had the opportunity to share their year with you.  Putting the portfolios together is a complex process.  We have been collecting work all year long and noting accomplishments along the way.  The children have been taking pictures of their work and their endeavors for 177 days.  That means they have had hundreds of images to sort through and a collection of “best” work to review in order to choose the work and images they felt was important in their growth and learning.

As you reflect on the work your child shared through his or her portfolio this choosing and sorting process may be less evident.  It is time consuming work. For the most part the portfolios are polished collections.  The children shared them clearly and well.  Behind the scenes there was a lot of thinking, choosing and synthesizing. That part isn’t readily apparent as they share.  So you know, they were each asked to think of three audiences as they prepared them:  their parents, their 4th grade teacher and themselves as 8th graders. The children created and completed each section making sure their best work showed while some of their thinking about the work and their learning was explained.  With the basic framework completed, the children often added little details to remember what had been fun and challenging.   It is those details and attentions that can give insight into what has been important to them this year.  Sometimes they don’t quite have the words to explain their ideas, but the signs are there.  They thrive on projects.  They appreciate choice.  They like the feeling of challenge and even the pressure of deadlines.  They seem excited to see how they have changed and grown through the year.  They realize they have accomplished a lot and notice that there are many different facets to learning.

Thank you for meeting with them and sharing in this process it has been wonderful work.

Parade of the States3rd grade concert

Thank you so much for supporting this work.  There were so many steps to this entire project and we certainly couldn’t have done it without you!  Thank you for the time you took to support the float creation and adjusting your schedules to be able to attend the parade Wednesday night.

The children learned a great deal through each part of the project. Learning about different places – as we have all year – when you are 8 and 9 is a challenge.  As adults we know places are affected by their history and the landscape.  We know how to identify unique features and interests because we have enough background knowledge to recognize difference.

I was proud of the children for the work they did in the classroom to learn about their state and to think about what features would each place unique.  They began to understand about manufacturing, the importance of rivers and that states do need to make money.  They learned about topography and landmarks. They explored history and heritage.  Even at the beginning of the week they were discovering new facts from their classmates because their states were connected. There was rich conversation in the classroom as they compared, questioned and work to understand symbols and mottos and nicknames. It feels as though they are more aware of and connected to our country and it seems that their learning will continue.  With their interest piqued, their understanding will continue to grow and expand.

the parade finale

Thank you for Sharing Your Children

One thing I am very much looking forward to this summer is seeing Wicked with my girls.  It is something we have thought about for years and not made happen until now.  We love the music and For Good is a favorite.  Thinking about that, makes me think of our year and of your children and you. Thank you.  You may want to stop reading, and go to Youtube and search for Kristin Chenoweth “For Good”.  In case you can’t use Google or Youtube right now, these are some of the lyrics that led me to think about our year –

creativityI’ve heard it said

That people come into our lives for a reason

Bringing something we must learn

And we are led

To those who help us most to grow

If we let them

And we help them in return


Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true

But I know I’m who I am today

Because I knew you…

And later the song finishes with

DSC03856Who can say if I’ve been

Changed for the better?

I do believe I have been

Changed for the better

And because I knew you…

Because I knew you…

Because I knew you…

I have been changed for good…

Your children are amazing.  Thank you for a wonderful year.

grade 3 - 2013





The Sisters Grimm # 3 – The Problem Child

The Problem Child (The Sisters Grimm, #3)by Michael Buckley

review by Noah

It starts out when Sabrina went into a portal to find her kidnapped parents. But then next to her she sees a young girl in a red hood heading one of the most vicious dragons, the Jabberwocky.  Sabrina then tries to save her parents, but it doesn’t work.  She gets help from an uncle, she never knew she had, and Daphne.  Sabrina and Daphne learn that the one thing to kill the Jabberwocky is hidden in three places.  Can they find them before Jabberwocky and the girl rampage through their town, Ferryport Landing? Read it and find out.



Bug Juice on a Burger

PTDC0074 bLike Bug Juice on a Burgerook by Julie Sternberg

review by Ella B.

Bug Juice on a Burger is about  a girl named Eleanor.  And she gets a piece of mail from her grandmother saying your invited to go to Wallapuck Camp for the summer. At first she did not  want to leave her parents for camp, but then she saw her camp buddy, Julian and she felt a little bit better.  During the camp  she gets sort of mad because she doesn’t like  the camp swim class, the food or the way things go. Also, she doesn’t like how much she misses her parents . Eleanor writes to her parents while she is at the camp. Her parents miss her too but while she writes it she starts to fell a little better.  She becomes friend with  Julian.  Julian had been at the camp more than 3 years. Julian helps Eleanor  while they’re at camp. Eleanor’s mom also went to that camp when she was little.  When Eleanor comes home from the camp she wants to go back.  She also gets a big present  – a puppy .  And that’s something she  always always wanted .


Our Week – June 7

mapping our countryZing… another week gone.  It has been full and busy.  I have to compliment the class. Most of the children have been focused and independent in their work – reading, writing, math, research, science, social studies and friendship.  We have a great deal to organize and accomplish with portfolios and United States projects going on at once and most of the children have risen to the occasion.  They are focused and really working hard.

As you know it can be challenging to get projects of this magnitude done to meet the deadlines. Each person has a different way of approaching the work – even with the same guidelines –  and have a different idea of what it means to work hard and manage behavior.  Most of the children have been reflective and task oriented.  Those who are done with their state research and writing have continued independently reading and writing and researching on their own.  I have appreciated their independence and effort.  Several of the children have also been writing reviews of the  books they have recently completed reading to post on the blog.   If you have a moment, leave them a comment.  They would love to know you have noticed their work.  You can easily find these student book reviews by clicking on the student work and posts tag on the sidebar of the blog.

Habits for success are something we have worked to identify and pay attention to so they could be  grown all year. You can see them in practice throughout our room.   Talk to your child to get a sense of how well they feel they are doing following through with expectations, respecting the rights and needs of their friends (not talking to others when they are working) and doing quality work they are proud of.  I’m sure they will be harder on themselves than we would be.  Very few of the students have needed redirection.  The room has been a constant reading and creatingbuzz of work and effort.

Again… how are the floats going?

The children are talking about what they are doing and what they are gathering and building. Some of them are worried because they haven’t begun the work.  Please let us know if you need support or supplies.  Most of the children seem excited.  Please review the size criteria.  Some of the children feel they have massive platforms and are concerned they are too big.   If you have questions or need to clarify any confusions please do not hesitate to write a note or an email.  Please bring the floats to school Tuesday after school or Wednesday morning.  Thank you so much for your help with all of this.

Here is the schedule for the Grade 3 Parade of the States and National Parks on Wednesday, June 12 Please plan on being at the school 10 to 15 minutes prior to the start time as we will begin right at 5:00.  Here’s our plan for the Parade of the States:

  • • 5:00- 5:15 Recorder concert and state song in the gym.
  • • 5:15 The children will go to their floats in the hall and ready themselves for the parade.  We hope you will go to the cafeteria to read their work  and see their maps as we assemble.  We will let you know when to move to the bleachers in the gym.
  • • 5:25-6:15 The students will enter in the order the states ratified the Constitution
  • • 6:15  At the conclusion of the parade the class will sing America the Beautiful – we hope you will join us.  This will let you know the parade is over.
  • • 6:15 – 6:30 Time for families to look closely at the floats and for the children to share the choices they made to represent their states.
  • • 6:30 Thank you for coming – the children will take their floats, maps and Wonder books with them

Your children also have a reminder about their portfolio shares and student-led conferences in their communication folders.  They are looking forward to sharing with you nest week.


DSC07620readingHave a wonderful weekend!





Meanwhilebook by Jason Shiga

review by Garrett

This is not a ordinary comic.  It contains lots of fun adventures for a boy named Jimmy.  It is your choice about how the story goes.  Follow all the lines so you and Jimmy have a great time.  Try to guess what will happen, what his feelings are, or what he should have done.  In this book you create the story.  Find out what happened in the rest of the story.  How will you create it?  Do it in Meanwhile where great adventures begin.