The Grade 3 Curriculum Night will be Tuesday, September 23 starting at 6:00 in Mrs. Oliver’s Music Room
First Homework Assignment Due – Tuesday, September 9
We’ve had another productive and happy week. We’ve spent time thinking about how we would like to be together to help each other do excellent work and have fun. We’ve further explored what it means to be a scientist, defined and created pieces of narrative writing and explored the concept of multiplication as both repeated addition and arrays. Great thinking has been going on in 3 E.
Social-Emotional Learning (S.E.L.) – Drafting Our Class Constitution
For the past two weeks we have worked to develop our class constitution. The class has been asked to consider what each of them can do for themselves AND what each of them can do so that others are able to do excellent work. We have been reading, writing, discussing and drawing to decide what rules we would like to have guiding our year. We have begun to explore how we are able to bring those words into action throughout the school day.
The five main competency areas of S.E.L. are: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. Each of these areas weaves together as we develop a safe and healthy learning community that supports us as individuals, as a class and as members of a larger school community. For example, we try to be quiet so we have time to think and understand, so our classmates can do the same and so, as we move through the public spaces of our school, students we may not even know are able to work and think without disruption.
The focus of much this learning has been (and will continue to be) on our choices and how we bring our words to life so that learning happens – not just a bit of learning, but exciting learning that has us feeling proud and accomplished. We’ll keep you informed about our progress with developing our classroom guidelines that we can enact and live by all year.
Multiplying in Math
This year we have begun our study of mathematics with multiplication. We are extending their 2nd grade work with skip counting and grouping. Over the last two weeks we have explored the notion of multiplication as repeated addition. We know we can use multiplication when we are working with groups that are all the same size. We have been building groups and sets as well, to show how multiplication can be represented by an array (for us that would be using multiplication to find area).
This week you’ll see some of your child’s work in the back pocket of his or her home communication folder. You’ll be able to see how we are working to connect set theory with both addition and multiplication equations representing the amounts. In addition, the children have been learning how to select a problem that stretches his or her understanding. Each day there are four problems with varying levels of complexity for the children to select from. This is a skill that develops over time as your child learns more about how to help him or herself learn.
As you look at the work with your child this weekend, you may want to ask how they made their choices. My guess is that the answer will be, “I don’t know”, but your questioning will help your child realize the importance of becoming more self-aware and self-directed as a learner. You may also want to ask your child about his or her thinking with their math. Much of it is done in their heads with only an answer on the paper. They are learning to how to show their mental skip counting through an equation or how to draw out the sets to show the manipulatives used to guide the thinking process.
One fun and simple activity to help children develop a strong conceptual understanding of multiplication is Circles and Stars. They have each played it a few times and should have a booklet showing their work. If you have a die, paper and some time, perhaps your could teach you how to play.
Of course there are many more things to share, but I’ll stop there as I hope you’ll have time to read this note and use it to open doors of communication between your child’s classroom and home. The better we are able to work together to help your child feel that his or her learning matters, the more learning will flourish. Thank you for your time and support in our endeavor.
Bits and Pieces –
- We celebrated the completion of our first chapter read-aloud, Donovan’s Word Jar, by creating a favorite word collection of our own. We also explored the words we could make with letter Cheez-its. Celebrations with little snacks are fun.
- We have begun our second chapter read aloud. It is called Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlin. It explores writing in a classroom when an author, Ms. Mirabel, helps them think about ideas and they way that words share feelings, ideas and stories.
- Thank you to the Stempien, Duffy and Lee families for sending Clorox wipes, tissues and “just-in-case” snacks in for our class. We are well supplied for now and appreciate your generosity.
- I want to make sure to introduce the other teachers who are part of our classroom. Mrs. Caron works with our class each and all day. Mrs. Berry supports each of the Grade 3 classrooms. She is with us part of every day as well.