Science

This week:  September 18 – 24

Students went to the schoolyard to investigate the roots and shoots of various plants. They use tools to dig up plants and compare the structures above ground to those below ground. They also compare root structures of different plants and they drew their roots and labeled the tap root and the fibrous roots of plants.

On Friday we will start our unit on the structure of the human body.  Students start by observing the human body jumping rope. They count the number of bones in the skeleton, first without visual aids, then using photographs and posters to help make a more accurate count. Students assemble a model of a human skeleton from memory. They compare and discuss their models. They compare a picture of an accurate model to their own work.

Graded tests will come home this week.

Noon Dismissal Wednesday

Engineering with LEGOS

A favorite weekly activity happens each Friday afternoon.  Both third grade classes participate in STEM challenges.  Mrs. Schultz facilitates a Math Puzzler challenge and I direct an Engineering challenge using LEGOS.  When time allows, a Technology coding challenge is also available.  Students have a great time using creative thinking and collaboration to solve problems.  3A Math Puzzler results are posted on the classroom bulletin board and LEGOS challenge may be viewed on See Saw.  A link to See Saw is on the home page of the classroom blog under ‘Links’.

 

Rhyme Scheme

This week, Language Arts explores a narrator’s point of view. Students will read a biography article about  Joseph Lekuton, who was born in Kenya. Vocabulary practice reminds students of strategies to determine an unknown word’s meaning, and writing compares formal and informal language.  The end of the week wraps up Unit 1’s theme; Happy to help.  The unit assessments, scheduled at the end of the week, cover comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills from weeks 1-4.

Math Chapter 2 begins this week and explores multi-step problem solving with addition and subtraction.  Several strategies are practiced, ie., addition properties and subtraction rules, estimation, and subtracting across zeros.

Wednesday afternoon, students are dismissed at noon.  Faculty and staff remain on campus for meetings and professional develpment.

Reminders

  • September 20th; Noon dismissal
  • September 26th; Class picture
  • September 27th; Individual pictures

 

Math Assessment

This  week, we are assessing our progress in Math with a chapter 1 test and vocabulary quiz on Thursday, September 14th.  I recommend that students review the chapter’s six lessons and vocabulary words. place-value My Math online provides resources to help  confirm a student’s readiness for assessment.  Many online lessons have a tutorial, self-check quiz, game, song, and extra worksheets for learning and deliberate practice.  After the completed assessment is reviewed with the children, we’ll start chapter two, which builds on our understanding of place value as we add and subtract whole numbers, estimate sums and differences, and solve multi-step word problems.

Reminders
  • September 15th; St. Mike’s Meet Yourself
  • September 20th; Noon dismissal
  • September 26th; Classroom pictures
  • September 27th; Individual pictures

Science

3rd graders have been studying the properties of seeds and exploring with hands-on labs.  There will be a test on Friday, September 15 with a study guide going home on Monday, September 11.

Students are encouraged to take their science journals home as well as their textbooks to study.

Labor Day!

Volunteers are valuable

Thank you for attending Curriculum Night. I enjoyed visiting with you and hope I answered your questions.  If you weren’t able to attend, I have handouts from each of your child’s teachers available.  I also want to extend my thanks in advance to 3A Room Parents, Kacy Schoff and Michelle Gastrock.  Third grade A and B room parent volunteers will help schedule third grade field trips, organize holiday celebrations and class auction projects, as well as plan the third grade year-end party.  Watch for their emails and posts on the classroom bulletin boards.  Many hands make light work and additional volunteer opportunities are available.  Finally, I am looking for a volunteer to sort finished work into Finished Work folders.  This task may be taken home on Monday or Tuesday each week and returned Wednesday morning for distribution in the weekly Eagle Express.  Let me know if you are interested.

This week Wednesday, Finished Work folders will come home in the Eagle Express.  It contains the previous week’s  assessments.  The Finished Work folders will have graded work that has been recorded in my grade-book.  Occasionally, I will write a note on a paper and will request review, correction, or completion. Typically, those notes have already been attended to by the student. My initials and/or a strike through mark are on the paper confirming that it is finished work.  If my initials aren’t there, students know that I expect requested corrections or completions returned with in a week.

Book-orders earn free books for the classroom

Also in this week’s Eagle Express are Scholastic book club order forms. if you are planning to place a book-order from Scholastic make sure it’s turned in or ordered online before the due date.  Susie Huerta-Rojas manages the Scholastic book-orders for my class as well as several other classes and  her contact information is susiehuerta@aol.com.

I suggest students begin studying multiplication facts daily. Mad Minutes begins this week. The Mad Minutes drill is not a graded activity.  The goal is to develop mastery of multiplication and division facts.  Each student progresses at their own pace.  The first level is multiplying by zero and one. Students will have four minutes to complete 100 basic multiplication facts. imageWhen they can successfully answer a minimum of ninety-five problems accurately, students move to the next level, multiplying by two, then by three, etc. Our goal is for everyone to reach division facts by Christmas break.  Mastery before we begin long division and fractions helps students focus on the new concepts and not become bogged down in strategizing basic facts. I expect children to make progress each time we have Mad Minutes, which is two or three times a week. For example, if a student answers twenty-three problems, then, the next time that student should answer more than twenty-three problems.

Language Arts continues to explore the theme Happy to Help.  This week students will read poems that show kindness.  In Math this week, students will finish lessons 3 and 4, then take a Check My Progress assessment mid week.  Social Studies introduces Geography Spin magazine.  It is published by Scholastic, Inc. and supports our map skills lessons.

Reminders
  • September 4th; No School, Labor Day
  • September 15th; St. Mike’s Meet Yourself
  • September 20th; Noon dismissal
  • September 26th; Classroom pictures
  • September 27th; Individual pictures

When It Comes to Learning

Movement trumps sitting

Talking trumps listening

Images trump words

Writing trumps reading

Shorter trumps longer

Different trumps same

With only a few intake conferences left to complete this week, I thank you for your valuable insights about your children. If you haven’t yet signed up for an intake conference there are several appointment times available.   Please, let me know if the available times are not convenient and we can find a time that works.

Thursday evening is Curriculum Night and it’s my chance to share curriculum details with parents. Additionally, I will explain many facets of third grade and answer your questions.  The enrichment teachers will also provide handouts with information about their classes.  Meet me in the classroom at 6:00pm.  Following our time in the classroom, parents will relocate to the Student Center, aka the gym, for additional important information.

Language Arts theme for the next four weeks is Happy to Help.  The Big Question How do people help each other?  is explored through lessons, stories and activities.  Math lessons study place value and social studies focuses on map skills.

Always have a refillable water bottle in class and a hat for time spent outside!  Our goal is 100% voluntary participation wearing hats and having refillable water bottles at school!  We can do it!

Reminders
  • August 21st – September 1st; In-take Conferences
  • August 31st, Curriculum Night
  • September 1st, Noon Dismissal
  • September 4th; No School, Labor Day
  • September 15th; St. Mike’s Meet Yourself

Our Third Grade Journey Begins

          Our first day, Friday, August 19th, went well.  We are organized, know many of our procedures and routines.   The first full week continues to focus on  learning routines and procedures as well as determining where to begin teaching and student learning. Language Arts and Math diagnostics during the first week help me make decisions regarding lesson plans. These items assist me as much as parent-teacher intake conferences in preparing the curriculum and knowing how our third grade academic journey begins.
          A Sarah, Plain and Tall mini Language Arts unit is also a part of this week’s schedule. The unit culminates Friday with a compare and contrast composition discussing the similarities and differences between the book and the movie, “Sarah, Plain and Tall.”
          If you haven’t yet signed up for intake conferences you will find available appointments on the classroom bulletin board.  Your valuable insights  about your children aid my teaching in a proactive manner.   I’m thankful for your support and look forward to an awesome first trimester!
          I strongly recommend students have a refillable water bottle every day!  Additionally, sunscreen and hats are important sun safety measures for our time outdoors during recess and physical education classes.
Reminders
  • August 21st – September 1st; In-take Conferences
  • August 31st, Curriculum Night
  • September 1st, Noon Dismissal
  • September 4th; No School, Labor Day
  • September 15th; St. Mike’s Meet Yourself

Welcome to Third Grade

 

Hello!  Welcome to St. Michael’s third grade!  I am your third grade teacher, Ms. Pamela Stalkfleet.  I am looking forward to a rewarding year.  I will do my best to guide and nurture third graders’ growth academically, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

           I was raised in northern Illinois and received a B.A. in psychology and an elementary teaching credential from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I have over twenty-five years elementary teaching experience in private Christian schools.  Tucson, Arizona has been my home for thirty  years.  I am the mother of four children.

           I look forward to meeting you on the first day of school, August 18th.  We will have time to get to know each other, put away supplies, and build a bulletin board.  Backpack storage space is limited. Please, NO ROLLING BACKPACKS.  

As a reminder, bring your completed reading log and your recently read copy of Sarah, Plain and Tall on August 18th.  Depending on your choice of summer math work, I will either receive a report of your Mobymax progress from Mobymax or a completed math packet from you.  Intake conferences are scheduled the second and third week of school.