Our Week – November 2

What an exciting week – Trick-or-Treating, Halloween and welcoming our new classroom pet.  Finally the Reptile Keeper has a real job to do everyday. On top of all that, our week has also been filled with reading, writing, researching, science and problem solving.  Your children are hardworking, flexible and interested in learning.  It seems as though 3E is a good place to be learning.

Goal Setting – Preparing for our Conferences

This week we continued our goal setting process.  As I’ve already shared, the students have described themselves as learners using the Multiple Intelligences model, they’ve described themselves as readers and writers, chosen “best” books and pieces of writing to highlight what they are capable of doing independently at this point in the school-year and set reading and writing goals.  These goals come from the traits of successful readers and writers we generated as a class.  Each of the children has chosen something they feel they would like to pay attention to and improve.  Our last goal-setting area is math.  We will have they completed by the middle of next week.  We’ll spend a few days organizing our portfolios and planning how we will share all our ideas with our families.  In the second week of November we will be organized and ready to share.

The students will lead their conference and share their learning profiles, work samples and goals with you.  The main goal of this reflection and writing SEL project is to help the children come to understand themselves as learners a bit better. It is designed to help each of them realize they are unique and totally capable of accomplishing whatever they are willing to work for.

The conferences will give you a clearer understanding of what your child is doing each day and give you a glimpse into how your child is feeling about third grade. Report cards will be sent home to you on Monday, December 3.  We’ll meet for Parent/Teacher conferences that week.  We’ll use the information from the conference and the report card narrative to set goals for we’ll do at home and at school to further to support our third grade learners.

Developing Descriptive Writing Skills

We’ve continued to learn more about adjectives and descriptive writing.  We’ve practiced writing descriptive sentences about weather. We’ve had the chance to create adjective poems.  We made one together about our gecko and the children wrote their own about the leaves they created in our symmetry project.

We’ve also practiced combining what we know about adjectives with words that stimulate our senses. Looking at a picture, we challenged ourselves to write descriptive sentences that follow “The Power of 3” rule. Ask your child about The Power of 3.  He or she may be able to explain a bit about how we use it to make our writing descriptive enough without, either going over the top, or leaving it bare bones.

Science Research and Writing

We’ve nearly completed our first informational writing project.  The children have each made a real effort to meet the deadline set for November 1st.  Most did. The children set their own criteria (with guidance) defining what they felt would be a successful (if not great) piece of informational writing.  They agreed

: to write what they understand, to write to teach others, to write in their own words, to write between 25 and 30 sentences (at least five sentences about five sub-topics) – more is always better, and to create their own illustrations to share their understanding of the topic.  They are excited to be sharing their weather library with others.

I am sure, as you read their writing, you will recognize where they are in their learning processes, and how they can grow as both researchers and writers. They should feel proud of what they’ve accomplished so far.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve continued to explore symmetry, congruence and angles.  We’re learning more about right angles.  We’ve learned angles larger than 90˚ are called obtuse and angles smaller than 90˚ are acute.
  • We’ve almost finished The Wild Robot.  We’re looking forward to finding out what happens now that spring has arrived and the robot will have lived on the island for a full year. We are realizing this is a book about the importance of friendship in order to survive and to be happy.
  • In Open Circle and in most of our S.E.L. morning meeting discussions we’ve been talking about including others and finding ways to be more aware of other’s feelings.  After reading The Invisible Boy, we’ve wondered if it is worse to be ignored and alone or laughed at.  Talk to you child about this story and see what he or she has to say.
  • Our Strawbery Banke field trip is coming on November 19.  We’re still looking for a few permission slips and trip fee of $5.00 for some children.
  • Just a reminder – there is no school for students on Tuesday, November 6 and there is a half day for students on Friday, November 9.