Our Week – March 30

It is hard to believe we’ve completed the first week of the final part of 3rdGrade – time surely flies by!  We’ve finished up some projects and taken time to post a book review on our blogs. We’re learning about mysteries and the things that make this genre special.  We’re planning original fables and learning some revision strategies. And, of course, the Good Deed Club’s Animal Awesomeness event is just around the corner so we are creating games and decorations, gathering supplies and making sure everything is in place for a fun time.

Animal Awesomeness

After months of meeting during lunch on Thursdays, the plans of the Good Deed Club and coming together for the Animal Awesomeness event.  Nearly everyone in our class and some friends from the other third grade classrooms has been part of this planning and learning process.  At times it has been challenging to work together.  At other times it has been difficult to make choices, but your children have stuck with it.  They are determined to make the world a better place – they think animals are important and are concerned that so many are threatened or endangered because of the choices people make. They wanted to do something and they have!

The Animal Awesomeness event is Friday, April 5thfrom 5:30 to 6:30.  The kids, with the help of some 8thgraders {and any of you who can spare some time (I’m asking – they really want to do it on their own, but I’m nervous)} will be setting up the games and activities after school so everything is ready for the big event.

I am also planning some extra before- and after-school work times to complete the raffle journals, create donation containers and signs for each of the activities.  Please sign the permission slip so I know who will be able to attend the extra work sessions.  There is no expectation that children do this.  The extra time is so we feel certain that we’ll get everything done.

A huge shout out to THE GOOD DEED CLUB!  They have put forth a great deal of effort. Their ideas are inspiring.

Writing Projects and Revision Strategies

We’ve been reading many fables.  With those ideas in mind, we generated a list of “original” morals we think could be important reminders for us.  Using these moral ideas and what we know about fables, we’ve begun to plan our own. They have so many great ideas about being focused, patient, kind and honest.   I am looking forward to reading their fables.  At this same time we’ll be learning some revision strategies – we’ll apply these to the writing of our fables and some short personal narratives.

In addition to these writing projects, the children are learning the qualities of persuasive writing. We’ll begin this with a study of book reviews.  Our baseline review was done this week.  As we learn more about how persuasive writing is structured, we create more reviews. Our final persuasive piece will be one that convinces you to visit the Wonders of the state each child researches for The Parade of the States.

Fractions and Equivalence

Equivalence is challenging concept.  It is seems simple, but it’s not.  We’re exploring this concept with fractions and parts of a whole.  And we are also exploring the concept in equations.  Here’s an example:  What would make this number sentence true – 3 x 8 = _____ + 18? Almost all of the students feel that 24 should fill the blank and they just move on adding another equals sign and finishing that the answer to it all is 42.  You can see this process on some of the multi-step problems where the solution of the first equation becomes that next part of the second equation. We’ll be exploring equivalence as the idea of balance.  It means slowing down a bit to consider what “being equal”means.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve completed a third challenge for the Student Blogging Challenge.  We’ve had a few comments from other places.  We are hoping for more.  The next challenge is to do something to make the world a better place. I wonder if the class will choose to post about things they’ve already done, or if they’ll come up with a new idea and do things that are even more awesome.
  • The Good Deed Club presents Animal Awesomeness on Friday, April 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 in the school gymnasium.
  • Winterhouse, our mystery read-aloud, has started to get exciting.  We’ve met most of the main characters so now we can discover what the mysteries are we should be keeping track of and reading closely for clues.
  • Mark your calendars now! The Parade of the States will be Thursday, May 24.  It will begin with a recorder concert on the stage.  We’ll ask the children to arrive at 4:45 so the concert can begin promptly at 5:00 with the parade to follow.  The event is typically over no later than 6:15.  We know this is right in the middle of spring sports, but please make every effort to save this date and time.  It’s such an up-lifting celebration of learning and of our country.