It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersGrace has 83 stickers.  She decided to keep 19 stickers for herself (the Minions) and divide the rest equally between 8 friends.  How many stickers did Grace give to each friend?

Round each of the following numbers to the nearest 10.

65 _____           138 _____          201 _____

Round each of the following numbers to the nearest 100.

93 _____           1,488 _____           237 _____

In April 3E picked up 492 pieces of trash from the playground.  In May, they picked up 309 pieces of trash from the playground.  How many pieces of trash did 3E pick up in April and May?  How many more pieces of trash did 3E pick up in April than I’m May?

Allie has to multiply 5 x 80.  She says she can find 5 times 8 and then multiply that by 10.  Do you agree with Allie?  Explain why or why not.

Our Week – April 22

readingI asked the class what they thought you should know about our week. We’ve continued working with fractions, learning a bit about our country’s history, exploring different uses and needs for punctuation, researching our states and enjoying our time reading, writing and growing together.

Here’s what they said:

Ronan wrote, “I love math. I do math problems.”

Grace H wrote: “I like technology because we get to play games and do some KidPix. Myrtle the turtle is currently the class pet. He/she has a broken shell but it’s really fun to watch him/her crawl in its tank. “

turtle inspired artMyrtleAiden wrote: “Myrtle the Turtle is a new class pet.”

Elias wrote: “Myrtle the Turtle is okay. We got mealworms and Ivan brought in some food for him too.”

Heidi wrote: “We have a new class pet that joined us a week ago. His name is Myrtle the Turtle. He is a yellow spotted turtle. He eats worms and if they’re captive they eat raw meat.”

Caleb wrote: “Myrtle is an endangered spotted turtle. He eats vegetation and bugs. He is very funny, but he is also kind of slow.”

reading togetherDillan wrote: “We have been reading The Thing About Georgie and I think it’s really good. (It’s our new chapter read-aloud.)”

Allie wrote: “I’m typing a long story on my blog called Friends in a Fairy World and I am blogging about Harriet Tubman. She’s an important person from my state. (And you should read Thea Stilton and the Secret City. It’s very good.)”

Ivan listed: “State research, planting broccoli, blogging, turtle.”

Abi wrote: “This week 3E has been learning about broccoli. Broccoli takes a really long time to grow. The last seeds I planted survived. The first did not.”

caring for our broccoliKayla wrote:  “Our Plants – We have been planting seeds. We each took four seeds and put them in a clear plastic cup. That way we could watch them underground. The seeds got too big for their cups and so we had the option of bringing them home or leaving then here. At home we would transplant them. We also planted broccoli. They now look like little sprouts. I like planting seeds!

Adelle wrote: “On Wednesday Logan and I sand at music share. We sang Can’t and I thought we were great.”

Max wrote: “This week I did music share and I played the recorder and did beat-boxing at the same time.”

learning about our statesNolan wrote: “I did music share this week and I played a song on the piano that I had made up. It was fun, but I landed on the wrong last note.”

Grace A wrote: “I really like the music share we had this week. I really felt like everyone has something special and all beautiful in our own way.”

 Logan ended by writing: “Everybody is excited for vacation and a lot of people are saying what they’re doing on their blogs! Check them out.”

finishing Sassafras SpringsDSC08129a bit of writing



Have a wonderful week.  We’ll see you in May!


It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersGrace had 36 beads to make 4 bracelets.  She wanted to divide all the beads evenly among the 4 bracelets.  How many beads will she have for each bracelet?

Write a story problem for this equation:  24 ÷ 6 = 4

Fill in the missing number in each equation.

5 x ___ = 35                                    ___ = 9 x 3

18÷ ___ = 6                                    8= 32÷ ___

Abi was organizing supplies for the 5K.  She had 8 packs of water.  Each pack had 6 bottles of water in it.  She also had 53 bottles of juice.  How many bottles of water and juice does Abi have altogether?

Our Week – April 15

artist writers' workshopEach week passes so quickly. We are busy researching, reading, writing and making. We are creating art and models, solving problems and working together. We’re playing and discussing, sharing and reflecting. We have many goals, hopes and dreams – we’re doing our best to achieve all we can.

S.E.L. – Being Aware That We Have Choices

 fractions           Trudy Ludwig is an author of many children’s books that explore the social and friendship issues honestly. Each of them shares an unfortunately common social issue – bragging, put down, claims to be kidding, trash talk- and gives a platform to talk about issue without naming names or recapping personal hurts. Further the books offer ways of dealing with the troubling behavior. In each an adult – parent, teacher or counselor- is involved in some way. And in each the child who feels meanness or being made fun of is given some strategies for not taking the words personally. We can each chose how we react. We can hear, “Wow, you’re short!” and feel hurt or we can answer, “Yup, I am.” We can hear, “There were a lot of mistakes over there. (head nod, eye roll)” and feel they’re making fun of me or we can answer, “Yup, but at least I’m trying and learning. How about you?”

We’ve been trying to spot places where we can react differently to see if we can change how we feel. And we’ve also been trying to support the “trouble talkers” to find different ways to comment. We’ve been noticing when comments fall short of being funny and are actually mean. It’s a process, but we are growing. We are becoming more self-aware and make sure we are doing what is expected and kind. We are trying to cultivate kindness and empathy.

The Power of Punctuation

fractions            Surprisingly our discussions of how punctuation changes meaning have added to this discussion. Words can have many meanings depending on our tone of voice or the marks we make on paper. We’ve been reading Twenty-Odd Ducks and Eats Shoots and Leaves and also looking at our own writing. It’s interesting to notice when we haven’t written what we though we had. We’ve gotten better at proofreading passages to understand what they mean once punctuation and capitals are added. Happily, I am seeing more attention to this in daily writing.

Learning About Our Country

readingreading            This week we continued our exploration of the United States. This is in preparation for our big parade event in early June. Many of the children have completed reading one or two books about his or her state. They are excitedly exploring images on state symbol websites and are getting excited about what they are learning.   Last Friday we sent some of the Parade of States and float information home. Please review this with your child and return the bottom of the blue strip – 5 have returned so far. On Monday we’ll send home a blueprint float planning form. It is our intention that each little step in the process will allow the children to feel proud of their accomplishment. By the time they bring their blueprint form home we hope that most of the children will have a list of at least 5 Wonders from their state that they intend to represent on the float. They may need your help with process to imagine possibilities and to consider what may work.

sassafras springssassafras springssassafras springsI hope you took time to look at the pictures from years past to consider different options. I’ve put some pictures on the blog for you view as well. We hope that these projects are as much student made as possible. We hope it is a hands-on project for them. Just as Eben searched for Wonders in Sassafras Springs, your child is on the look out for between 5 and 7 Wonders too. We’ve asked them to identify a famous person, an important plant or crop, a manmade wonder, a natural wonder and at least one wonder of their choice. Once the wonders are identified, the children will make symbols of them for their float to be in the parade. The parade is an evening event combined with a recorder concert and written piece about their state and it’s wonder. They will have the choice of the format: book, poster, blog post or brochure. Over the next few weeks we are collaborating with Mrs. Haight so the children will create three of their symbols in school to come home in mid-May.

This integrated project allows us to explore and further develop many of the science, social studies, math, reading, writing and expressive arts standards for third grade. It is also a wonderful way to bring all the children in the grade together for a grand celebration of hard work, learning and accomplishment.

Bits and Pieces –

  • Our broccoli has been transplanted once and is developing a new set of leaves. Our other plants have nearly reached the end of their abilities to survive in the cups. We are sadly losing them – plants are fragile things.
  • We’ve nearly finished our 3-D map and model of Sassafras Springs. We are having fun with this project.
  • Myrtle joins artist writers' workshopMyrtle the Turtle has visited our classroom. Caleb found a spotted turtle that had been wounded on a trip out to his barn. His family rescued him and he’s come to visit. He’ll be spending some time with us in our classroom. It will be great fun to learn more about him, how to keep him healthy and to help him heal.
  • Now that we’ve completed learning all the letters in the cursive alphabet (There is one sheet in student work this week that has an example of each of the letters as we’ve learned them. It might be helpful to save as a reminder.) we are going to make a classroom model. We’ve been exploring different alphabet books to generate ideas and to notice alphabets books can be quite complex and interesting too.
  • In connection with our conversations about kindness and growing in self-awareness, we’ve begun reading The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff. Ask your child what Georgie’s “thing” is and what he or she thinks about the story so far. The author has a clear, strong voice. It is as if she is speaking directly to us and asking us to think about our impact on others.

We’re still thinking about planting, so if you have any suggestions, ideas or expertise let us know. Thank you to the Gilmores for tissues and to the Spaldings for a connection to follow-up on to learn more about plating options.

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

multiplication tableUse the multiplication table to help you answer the following questions.

a.) Why does 6 times 7 have the same product as 7 times 6?

b.) Is the product of 7 times 8 odd or even?  Why?

c.) What do you notice about the products of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10?  Write at least one observation.

d.) Grace says that 9 x 4 is the same as (6 x 4) + (3 x 4).  Do you agree with Grace?  Why or why not?  Explain your answer as fully as you can.


Our Week – April 8

growingbuilding Sassafras SpringsOur week has been full of growing – our second planting of broccoli all sprouted!, reading about Humphrey and collecting signs of spring, focusing on the S.E.L. skills of self-monitoring and self-control through goal setting and group work and building Sassafras Springs, along with reading, writing, and math.

Fractions and Fair Shares

            We are continuing to grow our understanding of fractions. This week we spent some time identifying fractions and seeing them as a way to divide a group of things into smaller groups AND also a way of cutting one thing into smaller pieces. We worked to solve problems of how to share a number of brownies with a number of people. For example: how would you share 2 brownies with 4 people or how would you share 5 brownies with 4 people?

reading            Next we’ll be applying what we are learning to recipes. We will work to double a recipe to see how that changes how the fractions were recorded. We will also work to cut the same recipe in half. Hopefully this is a fun way to explore fractions and think about the information the different parts of the fractions give us. If you are following a recipe while you cook at home this would be a great opportunity to explore fractions together.

U.S. Geography

            We have begun our study of the United States.  We are excited about this project because it combines so many different areas of learning and it is fun!  We do, as always, need your help at home.  We will be sending home the guidelines for how you and your child can create a “float” for the Parade of the States leaving you plenty of time for the creation.  Hopefully, by this point, you’ve all have learned the state your child is researching.  Our class is pretty eager to be learning as much as they can about each region.  The children will be learning researchabout their states and identifying that state’s “wonders.”  These wonders will be represented on a float in the Parade of the States. That will be on Thursday, June 2 – along with a recorder concert. Children will be asked to arrive at 4:45 with the event being done by 6:30 at the latest.  It is our plan that the children will have researched and identified their wonders by April 22.  Mrs. Haight has been collaborating with us all year and has planned several of her units of study to coincide with this project.  In school the children will be creating 5×7 picture of a plant important to the state, a model of a man-made structure and a representation of a person important in their state.  These will represent three of the wonders.  The children will combine this work with your help at home to build the float for the parade.

artist writers' workshop            We will send home clear guidelines when the time comes.  A couple of the children talked about beginning the building process now.  Please don’t do that yet.  We have learned from past parades that we should slow the process down. We believe we have built in enough time so that learning AND building will go together for a great event.

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersAiden and Caleb bought a large pizza to share.  Caleb ate 5/8 of the pizza. What fraction of the pizza was left for Aiden?

Grace spent 4/9 of her money and saved the rest.  What fraction of her money did Grace save?

Logan baked a cake.  She ate 1/12 of the cake and gave 7/12 of the cake to her friends.  What fraction of the cake was left?

Kayla and Seamus shared 18 cookies.  Kayla ate 1/6 of the cookies.  Seamus ate 1/3 of the cookies.  How many cookies were left?

There are usually 30 students in Mr. Hooper’s 3rd grade gym class.  1/5 of the students were absent.  How many students were in class?

Our Week – April 1

morning work Here we are at the end of another week. We’ve done a bit of everything, but we are always wishing for more time.

Creating A Map of Sassafras Springs

Most of the buildings and people have been made for Sassafras Springs. On Monday we’ll begin placing the building and people on the landscape so we can see what space there is for things like tables, watermelon patches, clotheslines and tress. It has been fun to see how the children think about houses and buildings.

Fractions as Fair Shares

readingWe’ve continued exploring fractions. Last week our focus was on how fractions are used to label parts of collections. For example, if three markers from a box of ten were used, we’d say 3 of 10 markers were used and that’s 3/10. We sorted and ate Skittles to find out the fraction of each color and we looked for common attributes in/on classmates and identified fractions that way. Six of seventeen have boots on so that is 6/17 of the class. This week we focused more having one thing cut up into even pieces. We’ve explore half and quarters or fourths.

There is something about fractions that makes kids wonder – as the numbers get bigger, the pieces get smaller. It makes sense, but it is a challenge to hold that thought and not second guess the logic.

Observing Growth – Looking for Signs of Spring

observationsOur seeds have sprouted.  It is interesting to observe the differences of how the seeds have sprouted in the clear cups. There are different germination times and different root structures. We have observed how plants  reach for the sun.  They have grown long and spindly – and some have broken off.  We’ve struggled to get our broccoli for the greenhouse to sprout. We have a couple, but not enough for everyone to plant. We’ll be giving that another try next week and will be looking to plant them out in the greenhouse at the end of the month.

Our “Spring” collection has become a list of things we remember seeing. I hope in the next few weeks we’ll actually add the photographs and the drawings so we are aware of actual changes. Our unit of study started by thinking about trees – our plan is to “adopt” a tree and keep track of how it changes through the month of April. We’d also like to plant some trees. When the children asked if that was possible, I wondered, “why not?” And that got me wondering, could we plant them in the paved area outside our windows. In the book Mr. Lincoln’s Way, that school has an atrium and the kids watch birds and plants would be gardenthere. Our class would like to try creating something like that too. We’ve asked Mr. Gamache if that would be okay. He said yes. We asked Mr. Boardman if that would be okay and he said yes too. So we have until the April 22 school board meeting to research and make our plan – if they approve our plan then we can begin the work. I have to say, that I am a little out of my league with this project (perhaps a LOT), so if any families have ideas about planting, design, equipment… we’d be very grateful for your advice and expertise. What will it take to turn this 30′ x36′ paved area into a place of growth and beauty?

Bits and Pieces –

  • artist writers workshopWe have been meeting with book clubs – two of the groups have completed their reading. Three of the groups are continuing. It has been challenging for all of the children to meet their reading deadlines and to take time to note what was important in that part of their reading.   Little by little, however, the children have noticed they have a responsibility to the group and for their own learning.
  • We have been taking time to notice learning accomplishments and the make plans for things we’d like to accomplish in the remaining third of the year. The children have looked at the goals and work they shared at the beginning of the year and have set new goals. They’ve also made plans for how they will meet these goals. You may want to ask your child about his or her plans throughout the spring so they keep them in mind and have the opportunity to feel pride in their accomplishments.
  • We have learned the entire cursive alphabet. I am noticing some careful handwriting and real pride in this accomplishment. It will be fun to see what alphabet we create. We’ve considered “signs of spring” and “chapter read-aloud memories.” I wonder what we’ll do.
  • We have a challenge with Mr. Caron next week.

Wish List

  • We would be very grateful for a few boxes of tissues. We are using them quickly.
  • If you have time to volunteer during the week, we could use some help with our tree observations in the up-coming weeks. If you have a time of day and day of the week that works best for you, let me know and then I’ll make a schedule. Thank you.

artist writers workshop