Our Week – March 13

Our weeks continue to fly by.  That’s a good thing; it means we are busy learning new things.  We’re further examining how multiplication and division are related.  We’ve learned how to write all of the upper – and lower-case cursive letters. We’re exploring weather and learning to read clouds.  We have been trying to use all that we know to create interesting and effective pieces of writing.  We’re putting our travel journals together and getting ready to create our souvenir collections so each student can share the Wonders of their country.

Studying Weather

This week in science we explored the mystery, “How can you predict when it’s going to storm?” We learned about differences between fair weather clouds and storm clouds, and the role of wind direction in determining whether a rain cloud will pass overhead. You can continue to support your child’s curiosity by looking at clouds together and asking, “What kind of clouds do you think those are?  I wonder if it will rain.”  Ask your child to tell you about their Storm Spotter’s Guide, a small book they made to help them remember how to use the clouds to predict the weather.

SEL – Sorting and Solving Problems in Positive Ways

In Open Circle this week, we began a multi-lesson unit on problem solving. In the coming weeks, we will be learning to use a six-step process for solving people problems. We began by talking about what a problem is. A problem is any situation that causes someone to be upset or confused. We made a list of problems that students in 3rdgrade might have, in the cafeteria, at recess or with friends.  We tried to focus on school-based problems so we can deal with them more productively.

To help us learn and remember the problem-solving steps, we use the colors of a traffic signal: Red = Stop. Yellow = Think. Green = Go.

RED reminds us to STOP.

  1. Calm down.
  2. Identify the problem.

YELLOW reminds us to THINK:

  1. Decide on a positive goal.
  2. Think of several solutions.
  3. Evaluate solutions.

GREEN tells us to GO:

  1. Make a plan and try it.

Once we’ve practiced using these problem solving steps the children will bring home a sign to post in your home as a reminder that they have an effective strategy for dealing with problems as they arise.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve just begun the 4thpart of Winterhouse.  Will Gracella come?  How are the Heimses involved in the issue?  Why did Elizabeth find “the book?” What is “the feeling” that Elizabeth gets?  Why does she do thing so impulsively?  Talk to your child to see what he or she thinks about the mystery.
  • Families that had to reschedule conference due to my father’s illness, please look for a conference sign-up in the front of your child’s folder this week.  I hope we will be able to fit them all in next week before repots cards go home on March 20.
  • A note about report cards:  They will be sent to you on March 20.  Please be expecting that your child will have earned a combination of 2’s and 3’s in the second term. The children are learning and need support and guidance at this time. Also, Ms. Coronato and I decided that we would not be assessing student’s knowledge and understanding of the science standards involved in the Weather Unit we have just begun.  It did not seem wise to assess their mastery based on a few activities.  You will see NA in science this term.

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