October 16, 2015


    Dear Parents,


    Happy October!  Thank you for helping your children with their homework logs.  I am tracking their progress and seeing that this is becoming a part of your everyday routine.  I am very impressed with all of the math activities and the books that your children are choosing.  Also, I have shared with your children that it is okay to fill out their reading log in the afternoon, at night or in the morning before school.  Everyone has a different schedule so please do whatever works best for your family.


    Unit 2 in math is well underway.  The packet that I sent home provides you with some information about the unit as well as activities that your child can continue to practice at home.  The unit consists of adding and subtracting numbers within 1000, noticing and explaining patterns in arithmetic, rounding to the nearest 10 and 100.  We practice these skills through various techniques such as open number lines, in/out boxes, number strings, etc., as well as activities, games, and technology links that are used throughout stations in Math Workshop.  The students have impressed me with their ability to handle independent choice and work on "I can statements" that help them strive to be stronger mathematicians.


    In Writing, students are finishing up their very first published piece of third grade, which is their Personal Narrative.  They have each chosen a small moment and told it bit-by-bit, while implementing new strategies that I have taught, in their writing each day.  Their stories are phenomenal and I cannot wait to share them with you at conferences! They worked so hard on partner editing and revising and working on stretching out the "heart" of their stories.  Next, we will be moving into writing persuasive speeches as our next genre of study.  It is always fun to see what they are most passionate about!


    In Readers' Workshop, the students have just finished up our first unit on building strong reading habits in the classroom.  We focused on book selection, filling out reading logs, tracking your thinking while you read, writing thoughtful responses to elaborate on sticky notes, as well as retelling and talking with partners about books.  They have been so busy and have built such a strong foundation for reading this year.  We are now moving into a Character Study unit, which will follow characters through novels.  They will study character traits, how characters change over time, and what lessons we can learn from realistic fiction novels.  They will be working on these skills at the whole-class level, in small guided reading groups with me, they will work in partnerships and will also work on these skills independently. 


    In Social Studies with Mrs. Griffith, the students are learning about the Wampanoag tribe and the first colonists to reach Massachusetts.  Our Fall Big Backyard walk will be centered on many of the plants colonists used for medicines, foods, building, and cloth making and dying.  Finally, in Science, we are working on our "Mystery Powders" in Chemistry.  They think they know the powders they are working with, using some strong connection and prediction skills!  I have to say some of their predictions are spot on...and some will surprise them! I cannot wait to reveal what they are working with after a few more chemical reactions.


    This has been a busy month and the kids continue to impress me day in and day out.


    Please let me know if you have any questions.  I look forward to meeting with you during conferences to discuss your child’s transition into third grade!


    Most sincerely,


    Dani Turner