Our Week – March 16

Most of the photographs included in this post were taken by this week’s class photographer:  Liam.

I hope you survived the blizzard with relative ease. It was certainly quite a storm. It took a bit from our current flow of learning.   Unfortunately though, we are well versed in the idea of taking two days, squishing them together and deciding which projects and assignments are most important to complete. We’ve chosen book clubs, a bit of fable writing and illustration, working with subtraction, scientific observation with growing, selecting states for the Parade of State research project and Wonder.  Not bad for a 2 and 2/3rd day school week.

Report Cards Will Be Sent To You March 24

I believe you all received a letter from the office Wednesday providing information that will help you navigate this term’s report card. If you did not, please let me/us know so we can help you with that.

Ms. Coronato, Mrs. Latourneau and I have been preparing the supporting document describing expectations and work habits required to meet grade level standards. We have been struck by challenge stated the school’s definition of proficiency: “If your child earned a “3” in a particular strand that means s/he can consistently and independently perform the skills and strategies listed below.”

As you know from your weekly 3E News bulletins, many in our class struggle to manage their behavior. This struggle is likely to show on this term’s report card. Students may not meet expectations, not because they can’t, but because they don’t. For example, if you chat during writing time, rather than writing – you cannot meet expectations. You simply have not produced a large enough body of evidence. If you choose skip reading assigned chapters – you are not meeting expectations. You do not have consistent evidence of comprehension and fluency. If you solve one math problem when the expectation is six- you are not meeting expectations.

I can hear the voices in our classroom, “but I can do it” or, “I would have done it if…” They are absolutely right! They can meet expectations if they choose habits leading toward success. Please let your child know we are certain s/he can each do everything and anything they decide to do. They can do many great things – consistently and independently, should they choose.

Planting and Growing

Planting and growing is one of the projects we are doing that is time sensitive. We have three experiments going at this time and are planning a fourth when we are sure of four consecutive days of school.

In our first experiment we planted four seeds and generated hypothesis about which would begin to sprout first and which would push through the soil first. The seeds are planted in clear cups so we can see what is happening below the soil. Some children thought the largest seed would grow first. Some children thought the wettest seed would grow first. Others thought the smallest. It is interesting to see the differences between cups. There are too many variables with these experiments to be certain, but we are having fun trying to see what happens to seeds underground.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve been reading Wonder and talking daily about what it might be like to be August and also what it would be like to have him in our classroom and school. We’d like to think that we’d be kind, but some of us do wonder. We’ve also been talking about confidence and bravery, and the influence of the group around us. There is lots of consider.
  • We began the selection process for our states. We’ve been reading short books about many of the state in different areas of the country. We’ve been looking at Western states, Mid-Western states, Southern states and North-Atlantic states. It’s been fun to learn a little about what’s special in each place in our country.
  • Remember, please save the date, Thursday, May 25 from 4:45 to no later than 6:30 for the 3rd grade Parade of the States.
  • Game Club is starting it’s second round next week on Tuesdays. If your child is able to participate, please sign the enclosed permission slip. We will be meeting for six weeks on Tuesdays from March 21 through April 16.
  • We now know all the cursive letters. We are practicing them by writing words like the days of the week and months and seasons of the year.
  • We had a fun pizza costume party.  Now we’re going to begin working toward our next behavior goal.  Perhaps it will be guided by Mr. Browne’s first precept from Wonder: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”