Quick Write Friday

I thinking about NOTEBOOKS – Reader Response Notebooks, Writers’ Notebooks, Science Notebooks, notebooks to capture thinking in…  If we keep them, over time can we see our learning?  If we take time to capture our thinking, will we learn more from it?  If we don’t write it down or draw it out, how will we know what we know?  What do you think about notebooks?

This week’s quick write suggestions combine science and imagination.  I wonder what you’ll choose and what you’ll write. Read through the prompts, think about them for a bit and when you’re ready, find ten quiet minutes to begin…  It’s okay if you finish one idea and  begin another.  Just try to keep writing for the whole ten minutes.  It’s also okay if you don’t finish when the time is up… you decide:  stop, or keep writing.   Post your Quick Write as a comment, or on your own blog. Have fun writing!

If trees could talk, what sorts of things would they have to say?  What might they say to people?  What might they say to each other?

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself able to communicate with animals?

Go outside and watch the clouds.  Thank write about the shapes and they things you saw.  What do you think is going on up there?

You and your friend time travel to a place in the distant future…what is your mission there?  Write a story describing what happens.  (Maybe you’ll meet Roz.)

Wednesday Math

Here are some problems to solve.  Have fun!

There were five bowls of popcorn.  Each bowl had 186 pieces of popcorn in it.

How many pieces of popcorn were there altogether?

There were six bowls of pretzels.  Each bowl had 135 pretzels in it.  How many pretzels were there altogether?

Was there more popcorn or more pretzels? ________ How much more?


Liam, Sutton and Sophia each wrote stories that were 316 words long.

Michael and Charlie each wrote stories that were 327 words long.

How many words did these five students write altogether?

How many more words would they have to write to reach 5,000 words in total?


Hayley, Ellia, Ella, Cooper and Eddie went to Water Country at 10:56. They each slid down the slides 34 times.

How many times did they go down the slides  altogether?

They got home at 2:28.

How long did they stay at Water Country that day?


Monday Reading

I am Sonia Sotomayor is the newest book in the Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer.  You won’t be disappointed as you read about this Supreme Court Justice’s life.  I think you’ll be inspired.  I was.  The truth that “with opportunity comes justice” is clearly demonstrated through this biography.  I hope we all learn to take advantage of every opportunity we have.  I appreciate the two questions Justice Sotomayor asks at the end of each day.  They seem to be good ones to keep track of.  I’m going to give it a try.  “What did I learn today?”  and “What act of giving did I do today?”  If she can’t answer the first question, she reads.  If she can’t answer the second, she sends a message of appreciation to someone she cares about.  Read I am Sonia Sotomayor to find out the rest of her story.

The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown is a new picture book biography about the author of The Important Book.  The order came on Sunday and I read it right away.  The book is 42 pages long; one page for every year of her life.  In it MacBarnett has tried to capture the important things about the author of over 100 books for children.  When I finished reading, I wanted to know more about this unusual author and I wondered what you would think.  Would you like this book, or not.  I hope you’ll find it and read it and tell me what you think.  I’m not sure what I think.  I’ll have to read it again and again…

A few years ago Elias gave me a book written by his second cousin, Esta Spalding, Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts.  I read it over that summer and completely enjoyed the ingenuity of children who are left to fend for themselves because they have the absolute worst parents in the world.  I got the second book right away, but it sat in the TBR pile for over a year.  Mrs. Wyman wrote about reading the Fitzgerald-Trout books aloud to her 5th graders, so I pulled Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts to the top.  I wish I’d done that sooner, but I’ll recommend it to you now.  There are five Fitzgerald-Trouts:  Kim, Kimo (both 11), Pippa, Toby and baby, Penny.  They’ve been left to live on the island in a small green car.  Really they’re better off that way because their parents are self-centered, greedy brutes involved in unsavory and shallow pursuits.  The children are far more responsible than the adults.  The children are searching for a home – someplace larger than a car – so they can live more comfortably.  They need space and security, but something strange is going on.  The brizzill bugs are worse then ever, the rumble and shake of periodic “knock-abouts” are becoming alarmingly frequent and dormant Mount Muldoon – is not anymore.  Combine those concerns with a carnival and a boat, Johnny Trout and his pig, carnivorous plants, floods, lava flows and appearance of the island goddess, Maha, and you’ve got a great mystery adventure that you won’t put down until you reach the end. The best thing is, there’s a third Fitzgerald-Trout adventure to read as soon as you’re ready.

Quick Write Friday

Read through the prompts, think about them for a bit and when you’re ready, find ten quiet minutes to begin…  It’s okay if you finish one idea and  begin another.  Just try to keep writing for the whole ten minutes.  It’s also okay if you don’t finish when the time is up… you decide:  stop, or keep writing.   Post your Quick Write as a comment, or on your own blog. Have fun writing!

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Set 3 goals for the summer – and write about how you will achieve them.

Do your parents feel glum or excited about the beginning of a new summer vacation?  How do you feel?  Tell why.

Describe a summer day using all five senses.

Happy Writing!  I miss you a ton.

Mrs. Eaves

Wednesday Math

Here are some problems to solve.  Enjoy!

Solve them as efficiently as you can.

There were four bowls of pretzels.  Each bowl had 213 pretzels in it.

How many pretzels were there altogether?

If Ellia, Ella and Michael each ate 42 of the pretzels, how many would be left in the bowl?


Six friends collected shells at the beach.

They each collect 134.

How many shells did they collect altogether?

They used 432 of the shells in craft projects. How many of the shells were left?


Eddie, Olive and Cooper each collect 246 Popsicle sticks for a project.

How many Popsicle sticks did they collect altogether?

Hayley, Ryan, Charlie and Liam each collect 213 pipe cleaners to add to the project.

How many pipe cleaners did they collect altogether?

Were there more Popsicle sticks or pipe cleaners? ___________

How many more were there?

Monday Reading

One of my goals for the last few summers has been to read a book a day.  A reading teacher from Texas began this challenge to help teachers read more and find ways to bring more books into classrooms.  I think this has worked for us.  I have piles of books EVERYWHERE around and on my desk at home.  My goal this summer was to buy nothing new until there was nothing unread… we’ll see how long that will last.

I started with Ruby on the Outside. It will make you think.  Ruby is 11.  Summer vacation is just beginning and she is realizing she has no true friends.  Ruby’s mom is in prison, but she doesn’t want anyone to know that.  It is a secret she has kept for six years.  Then Margalit moves in and they hit it off right away – but what if events in their past are connected?  What if secrets must be told?

Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raliegh Baskin will make you think about choices and consequences, life and love, family and friends.  I think it’s a quietly, important book.

And just for fun – pictures from the first day of school and the last!  Happy Summer 3E!

Our Week – June 14

Thank you for a wonderful year.  As you could see from their portfolios, your children did many different things this year. They grew in so many ways.  They deserve to be proud of their effort and their accomplishments.

We combined parts of everyone’s “The Important Thing about 3rdGrade” into this final piece of writing. On Thursday the class created posters to illustrate them.

The important thing about third grade is that it is fun to be together.

You’ll discover every new friend has something a little like you and something else that is not quite like you at all.

You’ll read and write.  You’ll create stories, books and research displays.

You’ll have museums, celebrations and parades. You’ll learn about multiplication, division and fractions.

You’ll accomplish hard things and feel proud. But the important thing about third grade is that it is fun to be together!


I hope you’ll try some summer blogging.  A  note about it went home Thursday.  On Monday there will be book reviews, on Wednesday there will be math problems and puzzles and on Friday there will be quick write suggestions.  I hope you’ll check often – that way we can stay connected even when we’re not together every day.

I hope you all have amazing, relaxing and joyful vacation.  Good Luck Gabriel!  We’ll be thinking of you!

Happy Vacation!

Our Week – June 7

This week we’ve learned more about graphs and graphing, we tried to convince others to visit our state by describing the wonders we found there and we’ve had time to read, write, solve problems and reflect on our accomplishments.  Thank you for selecting times for your children to share their portfolios with you.   It has been interesting for them to realize all they have been doing this year.

U.S. Geography and Information Writing

As the children wrote about their State Wonders, many of them remarked on how they feel they have grown as researchers and writers. This piece had a little different twist. They were trying to make a claim and persuade others to agree with them.  Some of the children were able to be strongly persuasive, while others began, but seemed to forget that voice.  Regardless, the children have learned how to read information and select important facts to share.  They have become better able to organize their facts in a unique way and to share their understanding and ideas.

Most of the children have been able to complete blog posts about the State Parade project and another sharing the Wonders of their state.  Some of the children won’t find time to complete these posts this week, but will by Monday or Tuesday.  Please keep checking their blogs.  They hope you’ll find a moment or two to read and respond to them with a comment.

Taking Stock

In 1949 Margaret Wise Brown wrote The Important Book.  It follows a simple pattern in noticing how everyday things – rain, grass, apple, shoes, etc., – add greatly to our lives.  Each poem begins and ends with a most important thing. For example, “The important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it.  It’s like a little shovel, you hold it in your hand, you can put it in you mouth, It isn’t flat, it’s hollow and it spoon things up.  But the most important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it.”

The children are using this format to write about what they’ve accomplished this year and what feels important about their 3rdgrade learning. It is interesting to think about all that we’ve done this year.  Looking at our classroom timeline has reminded us of the many opportunities we have had to learn and to share with other this year.

SEL – Social Problem Solving Through Communication

We’ve continued talking about social problem solving in Open Circle and Morning Meeting.  This week we’ve focused on what we can each do to make the situation better. We’ve talked about actions we can take to deescalate a situation.  Again, we realized this is easier said than done.  We’re trying to help each of the children feel as if they have many different options for themselves once they’ve calmed down and made a choice. We can use “I statements” and say something, but that doesn’t always change another’s actions.  We can stay calm and walk away – as long as we are being polite.  We’re really trying to consider what needs to be made a big deal of, and what can be ignored. There’s still a long way to go.  Developmentally, this is the age when children begin to see through different eyes and like seeing themselves as part of the solution.

This week we participated in another challenge with Mr. Guidi.  Last week we worked in teams to solve puzzles – the added twist was that talking was not allowed.  We learned that, while the teams worked better when everyone participated, they could succeed is someone was distracted.  This week, that was different.  Everyone had to be focused and willing to communicate to be successful. Every member of the team had to work together to accomplish the goal.  The photographs show some of their efforts – on Crazy Hair Day.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We had fun learning about different types of graphs while planning our perfect sundaes.Each of the children had to create a 12-scoop sundae, name the fraction of each type of ice cream and graph the information four different ways.
  • We’re nearly finished with The Green Ember. We are eager to discover what will happen to Heather, Picket, Uncle Wilfred and Smalls. Will they find their family?  Will the Mended Wood become a reality or is Helmer right?  Are they all going to lose to Morbin and Red-eye Garlekson?
  • We’ve completed the Loop Group and are now on to the last group of cursive letters – Hills and Valleys.