It’s Monday – here are some books to enjoy

13586747I thought I’d share some new nonfiction  this week.  With all the cat lovers in our classroom this year, I started paying extra close attention to cat books.  It’s All About ME-ow by Hudson Talbott caught my eye.   The reason I think you’ll have fun with this book is because a marmalade tom is sharing tips with three new kittens who are joining the family.  The tom explains how people need them and why.  There is a page comparing humans to cats – labeling all the important parts.  You can take a “catwalk” through time to learn how cats have been caring for people throughout history.  Readers will even be let in on how “the system” works, so when your cat is acting crazy you’ll understand, “No, I just forget they were the center of my world” and you’ll be able to adjust.  Click hear to see a book trailer.  Cat lovers – animal lovers – this is a fun and funny book to read.  I bet one of you could use it as a model to write your own version about bunnies, hamsters or horses.  If you give it a try let us know.

17398961Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore is beautiful.  The collage illustrations are striking.  The book shows and tells the story of how people moving onto the island of Puerto Rico slowly ate away the parrots’ habitat.  The parrot flock transformed from hundreds of thousands to only about two hundred to finally twenty-four.  That’s when, in 1968, the people decided to work together to save the parrots.  It took years of study, trial and error, success and setback, but there is now, once again, a small flock of parrots flying over Puerto Rico.  What I think you’ll love about this book is being reminded how important life in the rainforest is to all of us all over the world even though it is far away.  It also shares how biologist and ornithologist work and learn to understand and save nature as countries modernize and change their landscape.  At the end you can see photographs of the only parrot native to the United States and of some of the work done by the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program.  What a great way to enjoy nature and to work with animals.  Would you like to work there?

18778015Here’s another book that would fit with our habitat study.  This one is for the grassland group, Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root.  It begins, “Once prairie stretched for thousands of miles an ocean of flowers and grasses, a sea of sky, home for bison and elk, prairie chickens, borrowing owls, five-lined skinks, Plains garter snakes and Ottoe skipper butterflies.  Almost all gone now to farm and town and city even before we knew all the things a prairie could do.”  This book also suggests that we pay attention to the habitat around us and care for it and work to understand it.  We will never be able to recreate the prairie we have lost – but we could plant a pocket and see what comes because of it.  And what would happen if the “pockets” grew together?  There’s no telling who will come.  There’s lots of prairie information in the end pages.  The fact I found most striking what the 40% of the United States was once covered by prairie.  Now there is less than 1% of the prairie left and that makes it the most endangered ecosystem in the world.  Reading Plant a Pocket of Prairie made me wonder what we should be thinking about in North Hampton – cottontail rabbits, the saltmarsh, the Winnicut River.

What are you reading?  Have you found any great informational books that you think we should read?  Let us know.

Friday Fun!

Incredible InformationYour magazine is in the mail and on its way to your home.  Enjoy reading and learning from everyone.  You worked hard to draft and revise, create interesting leads and craft informational narratives and descriptions.  Thanks for all your effort.  Leave each other comments if you have the chance.  Remember, if you ask questions at the end of your comment, you might be able to get a little conversation going.  What a great way to celebrate our first Friday fun with your great work.

Happy Reading!

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersArjay was the catcher for 3 innings in the baseball game.  In the first two innings the pitcher struck the first three batters out.  In the third inning the pitcher struck the first batter out.  The next two batters hit pop flies for outs, with counts of 2 balls and 2 strikes.  Use multiplication and addition to figure out how many balls Arjay caught in those three innings as catcher.

Parker had all his Pokemon cards in a binder.  Each page in the binder had 3 rows of 4 cards.  Parker had 5 full pages and one page that was 2/3’s full.  How many cards did Parker have in his binder?

Katie was swimming laps in the pool.  She swam 6 laps (along with lots of jumping and diving and having fun) every hour for 4 hours.  How many laps did Katie swim?  If Katie swam that same number of laps each day for a week, how many laps did Katie swim in a week?

It’s Monday – here are some books to enjoy!

Fly AwayYes!  Finally time in the backyard, in the green chairs, beside the bird feeders, watching my garden grow and reading.  I had the chance to read Patricia MacLachlan’s new book, Fly Away.  It’s a story of family, siblings – young and old, songs, cows and caring.  It is quiet and gentle (I think all of her books are that way).  It is a story that shares how families are special,  whether stubborn or kind, secretive or silent.  Everyone in Lucy’s family has a passion – a gift that they share.  Some are shared with the world, while others are shared with just one person.  Poetry, songs, cows and floods are part of this wonderful story that is meant to be read and savored.

18263464Annnika Riz, Math Whiz is the second title in Claudia Mills Franklin School Friends trilogy.  Just as Kelsey loved to read, Annika loves math.  She sees the beauty of the patterns and the usefulness of numbers.  She loves fractions and decimals.  She knows that numbers or precise and dependable.  Annika hopes to win the city sudoku contest and she hopes to contribute to the school carnival.  Some things work out and some things don’t.  You’ll have to read it to see how it goes.  Annika makes me think of Hajna.  I wonder if she feels the same way about math.  Maybe she’ll leave us a comment when she’s had a shane to read it.

18594559Teacher’s Pets by Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole is the second in the Ready, Set Dogs! series.  Would you ever want to be a dog, or another kind of animal even for a minute?  I’m not sure I would, but is fun to read about Kate and Lucie.  They are best friends and neighbors who LOVE dogs, but live where they aren’t allowed.  With magic dog bone necklaces, high fives and “woofa- woofs” the girls and change into dogs.  They understand animal behavior first hand.  Most of the time it fun being a dog, but not always.  Especially when you can’t control your doggy instincts and cats are involved.

What are you reading?  Leave a comment to let us know what you think we should be reading.  I’ve started by summer pile. Have you?

While reading online I discovered a couple of great Summer Reading lists that parents might like to explore.  They have great reasons for keeping summer reading going and fun ideas to explore to have fun with books and reading.  Check them out here and here.

What books are you taking to the beach?  To the mountains?  To your backyard?

Happy Reading – everywhere!

It’s Wednesday – here are some math problems to solve

numbersHappy Summer!  In case you’re not into your summer swing and are longing for the familiar routine of school, here are some math problems to keep your multiplying and division mind sharp and reading for 4th grade.

Gabby and Lily sold cookies.  They made $1.60.  They wanted to split the money evenly.  How can they do that?

There are 8 friends sitting around a campfire.  How many legs are there?  How many legs and arms are there?  How many legs and arms are there in a circle of 24 friends?

Connor has $.75 in two pockets.  He has 8 nickels in 1 pocket.  What coins could he have in his other pocket?

When you post your answer make sure to put the equations that you used to find the answers.  (even if you thought of the answer in you mind)

Our Week – June 13

rainforestThank you for finding time to come into the classroom to view your child’s portfolio and take a tour of our classroom.  I would like to compliment the children on the efforts they took to create their portfolios.  Each child selected the photographs to share, added captions, wrote reflections explaining what they had accomplished and added work samples to document their growth.  Creating a portfolio means making many choices.  Describing learning is also a challenging task and the final step of presenting, and answering questions adds another level to the project.   Each one of them worked through this process and deserves to feel proud of their third grade accomplishments and of how they were able to share them.

Completing the Habitat Displays

grasslandsdeserttundraforestEach of the Habitat teams added the final touches to their habitat displays on Wednesday.  Through their displays and the information they gained from reading, the groups have been able to teach the others about their habitat and how it is important in our world.  All of the children understand how food webs develop.  All begin with sun and water.  Plants make food from that and in turn become the food for herbivores and carnivores.  Some habitats have extensive food webs while others are smaller.  It is interesting to note that there are habitats of abundance and habitats of scarcity yet all are interesting with unique features that make them exciting to explore.

Putting the Finishing Touches on Our Magazine

All of the writing was finally completed for our class magazine this week and the children began illustrating their sections.  We hope to have this finished so we can make copies for the class.  It will be fun to read each others work and learn about the interests that each other have.

Clarifying Misunderstandings

Throughout the year I’ve been told of conversations regarding the claim “this class does not get to have the same fieldtrips as the classes of other years.”  We have not gone on the same field trips this year, but the implication that field trips do not happen because of student behavior is not, in fact, the case.

Third grade has never been a grade of many field trips. Additionally, we were asked to stop teaching space last year because it was not a tested subject.  We created a new unit of study allowing us to develop student learning, meet the expectations laid out for us by the government and encourage engagement through projects.  We created the  “My Scientist” project and invited Peter Gustafson to do a special presentation about what scientist do and how they work in different fields.

Later in the year we combined social studies expectations with our continuing science explorations and we went to the S.E.E. Science Museum in Manchester.  Because of the programs and displays there, we were able to learn more about chemistry and history.  Additionally, the children had time to explore areas of interest on their own.  Many of them created a movie about their favorite parts and posted them on their individual blogs.

We did not go to the planetarium, nor attempt a star gazing night because they no longer fit with 3rd grade curriculum.  We did not go to New Castle Common for tide pooling.  We chose to deal with habitats in a different way this year.  We are sorry these changes have caused such a rumble through the community.  They were made because of curricular changes, nothing more.

Bits and Pieces

  • 3E Celebration on Monday – We are planning a celebration for Monday.  I have not pulled together the details of that day.  Rest assured we will have fun.
  • We have worked to complete all the cursive capital letters.
  • We are working to put the final touches on our blog posts.  We hope you will keep using and following our blog over the summer. The children can write on their blogs anytime they have your permission.  On Monday you will find book reviews and suggestions to encourage summer reading.  On Wednesday there will be math problems to solve to keep up math thinking.  And on Friday there will sometimes be activity suggestions.  It will be a fun way to stay in touch and in practice.

Our Week – June 6

grasslandWe are working, working, working – and I hope having fun to.  We are hoping to have all our projects wrapped up in a week’s time.  The children are making a great effort to complete their reading for book clubs and habitat groups, their writing so that learning reflections will be included in each part of their portfolios and lastly, their science, so their habitat display will be complete when they share their portfolios next week.

Habitat Teams

We completed our class display for the rainforest.  The scene is done and labeled (in cursive).  The facts are listed as to why rainforests are important in our world.  The food web was created and labeled and, lastly, a picture of the creators was taken to post as part of the display.

The children are using that model for creating their own small group displays.  After reading, One Day in the ….books by Jean Craighead George, they are using the information to share the unique features of their habitat.  The tundra group has realized that with few plants and no trees most of their food chains are short.  They also feel as though they have the most animals that adapt for survival through camouflage.  The desert seems full of animals that burrow. The forest group feels they have the most animal diversity and the grassland has interesting plants.

desertIt is interesting to see how the groups are working together and finding ways for all to participate and create.

Efficiency with Math

This week we took our last round of timed test.  Some of the children did great, while others were overwhelmed by the timing.  They all did their best and it is clear they have been making an effort.  We hope they’ll find some time to keep up with their practice so all is not lost for 4th grade.  Playing any games were score is kept – Rummy 500, cribbage, 21 – are great for practice.  Dice games are great too.

Also this week we went back to some of the problems we solved in September and October to see if we had learned new and more efficient strategies.  We have and it was interesting to see who would give them a try in the problem solving situations and who really wanted to use old tried and true multi-step strategies.  I think you’ll be surprised as you look at their work this week.  They’ve done a lot.

Learning Reflections

forestAt the end of the day on Thursday the class gathered to brainstorm a list of all the things we have accomplished together.  We were focusing mainly on the second half of the year.  They had a good feeling as they stopped to realize they had done much and deserved to feel proud of their efforts.  They talked about how they had worked to live up to our constitution.  They recognized that it was hard to follow it always all the time.  It is hard to put others first.  They felt good about completing 13 chapter read-alouds together and were proud of their book club work.  They were also pleased to know they have been doing so many different types of writing.  They have all written blog posts, informational pieces, book reviews and written up their Wonders research.  In addition to that some have been creating plays, poems and stories.

As I listened to all the things they remembered and chose to list, I could tell they are each feeling a sense of personal growth and accomplishment, as well as pride in what our class has been able to do together.

Bits and Pieces

  • cursiveCursive capital letters – we are about halfway through learning our cursive capital letters.  The children seem to be having fun learning them – especially the part where we trace them on each other’s backs.
  • Blogging – several of the children have talked about blogs and blogging over the summer.  I hope the children, with your permission, will continue to write posts over the summer. I will continue to post book reviews on Monday, math problems on Wednesday and project suggestions on Friday throughout the summer.  The beauty of our blog is that I monitor all posts and comments before they are shared publically and I have subscribed to a version that means we have no ads on our site.  It will be interesting to see if any of the children find time to post and comment once summer begins.
  • Typing Pal – is a keyboarding program that each child is set up to use through the eboard.  It is under the “links for all” tab.  All the children have done some of the exercises in school and know how to use the program.  It is great practice and will really help them as more and more of their writing will be done on computers.  Once they’ve practiced they can apply their new skills by creating a post on their blogs.

 If you haven’t already, please sign up for a time when your child can share his or her portfolio with you.

Scheduling Time for Our Final Portfolio Share

collaboratingDSC00215Our year has flown.  Presently the class is finishing up their final book clubs, working on their habitat displays, preparing their informational writing piece for the class magazine, completing learning reflections and putting their digital portfolios together.  On top of that we are finally learning all the capital cursive letters and working to complete our final round of timed math fact tests.


writingreflectingWe are looking forward to sharing out habitat displays with you when you come into the classroom for your child’s portfolio share.  I have waited to send this note hoping trying to determine how much time the children would need to complete all this work.  It seems that the children will be done with as much as they possibly can by the end of next week.


creatingadmiringThe portfolio shares will happen in the classroom.  Three can happen at a time.  Each will likely take between 20 and 30 minutes though some could be longer. (you know your child) Could you please review the schedule sent home in your child’s folder.  Please mark your first and second choices for attending your child’s portfolio review and send it in as soon as possible.  Please remember that your child will need to be with you to share his or her work.  As always, if none of these times work for you, please let me know and we will make another arrangement.

All the best,

Mrs. Eaves and the hardworking students of 3E

The photographs show some of our work this week in Artists’-Writers Workshop

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersParker is reading a 260 page book.  He read 35 pages on Monday and 40 pages on Tuesday.  How many pages does he have left to read?  Use addition and then subtraction to find your answer.

Arjay passed out twelve papers to each person at the 3-person tables in our class.  He passed out ten papers to each person at the 4-person table.  Use multiplication to find out how many papers he passed out.

Cameron’s dad took her and some friends out for ice-cream on her birthday.  If each ice-cream cost $3.00 and Cameron’s dad paid $18.00 for the ice-cream, how many people were celebrating Cameron’s birthday?  Use what you know about multiplication and fact families to find out how many friends were with Cameron.

Jake had twenty bottles of water.  If he drank four each day, how many days would they last?  Use what you know about multiplication and fact families to find out how many days Jake was set for drinking water.