Happy May! I hope this letter finds you well. There is so much happening in our classroom. Please take a moment to read the information below.
· Our biography study is well underway and is going beautifully. Students are reading and researching information on their person of study. We have been in the Computer Lab every day utilizing technology and putting our final products together. I am sure you have all been working hard at home putting together the costumes for the Wax Museum on May 31. As we begin to think about putting our boards together, I would like to request that each student bring in 5 glue sticks and 20 pieces of construction paper. The paper should be a color that matches their theme. For example, students who are doing presidents tend to have a red, white, and blue theme. Please talk to your child about what colors match their theme. Please have the glue stick and construction paper in school by Friday, May 4th. Thank you.
· As a reminder, Monday, April 30th is our Family Mindfulness Night. I hope you can join us as we co me together for a bit of calm. In class our mindfulness is going wonderfully. This past week we have been doing meditations centered on Sports. As the Spring sport season has commenced, many students are talking about it and seem to have enjoyed the mindfulness lessons centered around this topic. I will also be presenting a parent workshop on May 16th titled, “Mindfulness of Difficult Emotions”. I hope you can make it.
· Our trip to Safety Town was fun and educational, however, the inclement weather prevented us from going outside to the town. Please be advised that you can take your child to Safety Town in the summer. The officers said they begin booking in May/June. The requirements are that you have to be a Nassau County resident and the child must be in third grade.
· Our caterpillars have arrived. My little scientists are enjoying watching the caterpillars grow and change on a daily basis. Ask your child to sing the ‘insect’ song. A big thank you to our PTA who is bringing a butterfly workshop to our class on May 10. This will be a great complement to our unit of study. There will be a butterfly test at the end of the unit. Please remind your child to keep all worksheets/notes that come home. There is a Butterfly Jeopardy on my website as well.
· In Math, we are working on Topic 14. Since next week is the NYS Math Assessments, I will not test topic 14 next week. Please reinforce the concepts of capacity/measurement with your child at home by exposing them to real-life situations where this concept can be applied. In addition, I cannot stress enough, the importance of students using the EnVision website to reinforce skills and strategies. Students should be studying multiplication/division facts daily and completing the online practice test for additional topic 14 review.
· I look forward to seeing you (or your child’s VIP) at our Spring Exhibit. The class is exited to show you all that they have worked on this year.
As always, our strong partnership is the mainstay to your child’s success. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Family Mindfulness Night has been re-scheduled for April 30th (due to school being closed for snow). I hope to see you then!
WELCOME TO MRS. ANDERSON'S CLASS!!!!
I hope this letter finds you well. There are a lot of exciting happenings in our class. Please take a moment to read all about the activities taking place in our room.
In Math, we have been learning about multi-digit addition and subtraction with and without regrouping. Students have learned 3 strategies: Mental Math (break apart method), adding the traditional way (regrouping), and Adding with Compatible Numbers. When demonstrating understanding of mental math addition, it is important for students to show their work. The step by step process needs to be written down to demonstrate the student understands that concept. If the directions do not indicate a particular method to use, then it is up to the student which method they use to solve the problem. In addition, we have learned how to round numbers to the nearest 10 and 100. When a problem or word problem says to ‘estimate’ the answer, students need to round. We have discussed that rounding to the nearest 10 will give an answer that is closer to the exact answer. As you can see, there are many layers to this topic. Students will be getting a test on Rounding, Addition Strategies, and Problem Solving on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. We will be moving on to Topic 10 which will briefly revisit Multiplication.
In Reading, we have begun instruction in the NY Ready Workbook. Students are learning how to conduct a ‘close read’ aka a ‘mindful read’ and how to grapple through more complex text. So far, we have covered Cause and Effect, Key Ideas and Details, and now Main Idea and Details. Students have been practicing how to write a written response to a question that requires text-dependent answers. During my whole group and small group instruction, we are working on how to answer extended response questions that include an inference and text-based facts to support the inference. My literacy instruction will be alternating between Journeys and NY Ready. The workbook may come home from time to time for homework to reinforce what was learned in class. One area that is posing a bit of a challenge to some students is building and maintaining reading stamina. Students are taught the strategies for a ‘close’ read which, is required in longer reading passages and includes setting purpose for reading, asking questions about the text as they read, underlining key words in the text, and monitoring their reading for understanding. To support this endeavor, as you are aware, one night of TAPP needs to be 40 minutes. I understand this may feel challenging to the students, but the more they practice, the easier it will become. Thank you for your support in this area. I encourage you to support our PTA Book Fair next month and purchase some longer, more complex chapter books for your child. Students are also working on opinion writing. They are doing a great job at adding ‘voice’ to their writing and including figurative language that makes their writing interesting to read. Recently, students wrote a sequence writing piece on the steps of mindful eating.
Speaking of mindfulness, our practice is going strong. Students have been learning about mindfulness of emotions and strategies for maintaining focus and attention throughout the school day. Ask your child to share with you “Take 5” and the 5,4,3,2,1 strategy. Both are tools for remaining in the present moment, without judgment. We will be having our 2nd Family Mediation Night on Tuesday, February 27 (please note the date change). Please be on the look-out for the flyer. I really hope everyone can attend. Our last family meditation night was fantastic. We will participate in a brief Loving-Kindness mediation. It’s a great way to re-connect with yourself and with your family members.
Our United States/ Government unit was very exciting. The students were engaged and interested in the content. Their excitement with the various activities we did was so nice to see. We will be now moving on the learn about Brazil. We will focus on the culture and geography of the country. Students will work on cooperative projects for this unit and that is what I will assess them on. There will not be a formal pencil and paper test for Brazil. Be sure to ask them all they are learning about this country over the next few weeks.
In Cursive writing, we have almost learned all of the letters. Soon, students will be required to write paragraphs in cursive writing. Please support this at home and ask them to show you what they know.
As we move closer to February, I invite students to share Valentine’s cards if they wish, as long as they have a card for everyone. We will not be having a party, but students will have time to pass out cards if they want.
As always, our close working relationship is the mainstay to your child’s success. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Woo Hoo!! Mindfulness Club Session 1 is in the newspaper! I'm so proud of all of the students who participated and parents who are supporting this endeavor! I can't wait for Session 2!!!
November 8, 2017
Happy November! It’s a beautiful time of the year. I hope you are taking some mindful moments to notice the gorgeous leaves and scenery that is right in our own backyard! Please take a moment to read about the exciting events taking place in our class!
· Math-In Math, we have been learning the connection between multiplication and division. Students have been learning ‘domain specific vocabulary’ such as ‘inverse operation’ ‘dividend’, ‘divisor’ and ‘quotient’. I am raising the bar by expecting my students to use these domain specific vocabulary words in both their verbal and written explanations. We are digging deep with our mathematical practices and I am already seeing students with a profound understanding of the concepts learned. We are nearing the end of Topic 4, so please use the online resources, as well as the IXL website, to continue to help your child memorize their facts. As a reminder, students should be underlining key words and phrases in all word problems. We have discussed that in third grade math becomes reading and it is therefore necessary for students to apply reading strategies to the lengthy word problems. They are doing a fantastic job and I am very proud of them.
· Reading- In Reading, we have been exploring how to infer character traits and discern the difference between characters. They have also learned cause and effect, comparing and contrasting of characters, and themes, and sequencing. At home, you can ask your child questions about what they are reading that pertain to the strategies we are learning. It’s a great way to see how engaged they are with their book. As a reminder, I encourage all students to vary the genre of books they read. Try to encourage your child to read non-fiction text on a subject they are interested in!
· Writing- We have been working on our ‘small moment’ Personal Narrative stories. Students have learned to use descriptive words by digging deep with shades of meaning and then really thinking about which word would convey the most accurate meaning. We discussed the wonderful Fall colors and focused on words to describe the beautiful scenery. For example, the leaves were ‘dancing’, ‘sauntering’, ‘skipping’, and my favorite one, that a student pointed out, ‘parachuting’. Looking at the leaves with a mindful eye really helped to advance the quality of their writing. We also learned how to write a ‘catchy’ lead and how to conclude our story in an interesting and accurate manner.
· Social Studies- We have been having a blast learning about the continents and oceans. (A separate letter is coming home today about what and how to study for next Monday’s test).
· Parent/Teacher Conferences- You will receive a reminder for your upcoming conference with me. Please note, we are on a very tight schedule this day with conferences scheduled back-to-back at 15 minutes each. Please arrive on time, as I would like all conferences to start and end in a timely manner. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and understanding in this matter.
· Mindfulness- Our mindfulness lessons have been going extremely well. This month we are focusing on Gratitude. Be on the look-out for an at-home Gratitude assignment. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the parents who have been coming to my Mindfulness presentations and to those who came to the first ever Lee Road Family Mediation Night. We had over 50 people meditating with us and it was truly a special event that I was so proud to be able to organize. Again, thank you for your support and I hope you join me in December for my parent workshop on Mindful Eating!
As always, our close working relationship is the mainstay to your child’s success. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
October 16, 2017
Happy October! I hope everyone is enjoy the cooler, Fall weather! Please take a moment to read all of the exciting events/activities taking place in our class.
In Math, we are moving along with learning all about multiplication. We have explored strategies for solving the 0x, 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7x, 9x and 10x tables. Strategies include drawing an array, creating a picture, exploring patterns, repeated addition, skip counting, the Commutative Property and the Distributive Property. Please note that when a question asks the child to use a specific strategy, they must use that strategy. However, if the question doesn’t specify a strategy, the children are free to use the strategy that works for them. The class enjoyed using white boards and markers to practice the Distributive Property of Multiplication. I encourage you to also use white boards and markers to review/study for math. Also, when a question says, ‘explain’ students need to include a written explanation as to HOW they solved the problem. They are getting more comfortable with this. Please encourage your child to underline key words/phrases in the math workbook and on tests. This will help me to determine if they understand what is being asked of them. At this time, please take 5 minutes each night to study the multiplication facts with your child. Using flashcards or any of the math sites on my website will be a great reinforce of these facts. I encourage everyone to use the envision website to review the day’s lessons as well as the online assessment that I assign every month.
In Reading we have been exploring higher level thinking skills such as inferring and drawing conclusions. Students are learning how to use text evidence to deepen their understanding of text. Our whole class discussions are beginning to go beyond the literal level of comprehension and more towards an inferential level of thinking. I am modeling this process and am happy that many students are starting to apply it to their independent work. Please support this at home by asking your child probing questions about what they are reading. Questions like, ‘what character traits does the main character have?’ or ‘how did the character change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story?’ These are great ways to ascertain if your child is really understanding what they are reading as well as a way for you to model question strategies that will help them expand their thinking. We have also been expanding and exploring our vocabulary with Shades of Meaning. Ask your child to tell you about some of the words we are learning about. For example, when determining character traits we came up with ‘determined’ then ‘persistent’, and finally “persevered’. The lessons that I am completing in my small groups are complementing these ideas and the class is really taking off with this line of thinking!
In Writing we are still diligently working on our personal narratives. Students are learning to write like an author and we are incorporating vivid, descriptive language into our work. I am also enjoying writing with the class and sharing my ideas with them. They love to hear my ‘stories’ and it’s a great way for me to model for them. The writing process is a long one, but we will celebrate our final pieces in a few weeks!
In Science we are just about finished with Topic 1. Students will be getting a test on this topic, probably by the end of this week. To study, they should review all of the vocabulary words and concepts from the Science Workbook. I will send home their usernames and passwords for the Science Fusion website. The online components to this program are wonderful and I encourage everyone to use this resource.
Mindfulness- Students have been learning mindfulness every day. We spend time focusing on our breath and are beginning to learn the difference between a sensation and an emotion. This awareness helps students to self-regulate and demonstrate better control of their emotions. I will be sending home a Mindfulness Newsletter soon. I hope you can join me for our Mindfulness Meditation Parent Workshop on Wednesday, October 18 and at our Parent University on October 25. At the Parent U, I will be presenting on how Mindfulness can help strengthen executive function skills. Basically, this means how mindfulness can help students focus, pay attention, and regulate their emotions better. I hope you can join me (and bring a friend too)! J
It’s been a busy start to the new year. As you can see there is so much learning going on. I am enjoying getting to know my students better. I also cherish the partnership that I am cultivating with all of you. As our partnership is the mainstay to your child’s success, please feel free to contact me at school with any questions or concerns.
PS- Thank you to everyone who has sent in tissues and baby wipes. With the cooler weather coming, we can certainly use more. We are very thankful for any donations of tissues and wipes!
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! This year will mark my 22nd year teaching at Lee Road! I am anticipating a wonderful year of academic growth and development for each student in my class. Please take a moment to read the following information, as it will help both your child and you get off to a great start!
This year we will be using the Reading Series, Journeys. It is based upon the NY State Common Core Learning Standards and will encompass all areas of literacy for third grade. Lots of information will be coming home regarding this program and I will be happy to address any specific questions you may have about it. I am also a Certified Reading Teacher and teaching third graders to read and comprhend complex text is my passion.
In Math, we will be using the EnVision 2.0 math program. This is an updated edition of the enVision program we have already been using. The scope and sequence has changed. We will be kicking off the year learning multiplication and divison concepts. It is imperative that your child have the basic addition and subtraction facts memorized. Please ensure this is the case by practicing a little each night. EnVision 2.0 is comprhensive and digs deep into mathematical concepts, revisits concepts, and has a challenging problem solving component that is extremely important in third grade.
I encourage every parent to become familiar with the Common Core Learning Standards for third grade in both Literacy and Math. You can go to www.engageny.org for information. It's important to note that the Common Core calls for an increase in non-fiction reading. This means, students will be engaged in a lot of nonfiction reading in school, and should also be reading non-fiction at home. The writing in third grade is also going to be based on factual information. Students will need to write responses to questions based upon 'text based facts' or 'evidence from the text'. Of course this will all be taught to my students with clear, precise, deliberate instruction, however, it is important for all parents to be familar with these, more rigorous expectations placed upon our children.
Students will be using a new Science program this year. Science Fusion is a great program that integrates science and technology with a strong hands-on component that is engaging and fun! Students will also be engaging in STEAM projects throughout the year.
This year students will be using a S.T.A.R. (Students Taking Academic Responsibilty) binder. This binder will hold all prevelant information for your child. It will include their Agenda book where homework is copied, test review sheets, tests for you and your child to review, newsletters from me, and many other important documents that pertain to our class. Students are expected to bring the STAR binder back and forth from home to school each day. Please be sure to look through this binder daily.
The relationship between home and school is of paramount importance to me. As a mother of a sixth and seventh grader, I know how important close communication is between parent and teacher. Please do not hesitate to contact me at school (434-7475) to discuss any concern or question you have. It will always be my pleasure to speak with you regarding your child. I will also be using the REMIND APP this year. If you would like to sign up for these text/email reminders, please click on "Remind App" on the left-hand side of this screen, click on the link, and follow the instructions to sign up! I truly look forward to a wonderful year of growth and development for each of my third graders!!!
Please have your child bring all of their school supplies on the first day of school. It is important that their supplies are labeled as well. Please send your child to school with a healthy snack as well every day.