November is the month that launches the cold weather and the holiday season! We have many happenings and days off but will still continue working on our fast-paced and fun curriculum!
In Math, we are beginning to look at multiplication through arrays. Unit 3 is a very short unit that studies the beginnings of multiplication and patterns in facts. This will help us through our next unit, where we are taking a break from Math Workshop to work on a context-based unit called The Big Dinner. In this unit, students will work in small groups to solve a series of complex math problems to plan out the cost to make a large dinner (cost of the turkey, the potatoes, the apples for the apple pie, the carrots, etc.). They will also be working on some problems that solve how long to cook the turkey for. This is a fun and real-life application unit where students are free to use any strategy they feel comfortable with but also challenges them to try new, concise and more organized ways of solving problems. They look at each other's work and ask questions, they also explain their work to their classmates through presentations, dialogue, pictures, and numbers. It is a very rigorous and involved unit and the students always have a great time with it!
In Writer's Workshop, students have begun writing persuasive speeches. This is the second of three genres that we will visit this year in third grade (narrative, persuasive/opinion, informational/research). Students are choosing topics to help change their community, neighborhood or the world. They are using their background knowledge as well as persuasive language to reach their listeners. Also included in this unit are the speaking and listening standards from the report card. Not only do students have to write their persuasive speeches but they also have to perform them for the class. The class needs to assume the role of the audience taking on whatever perspective the listeners would be (i.e., if the student is writing to the school board to have a longer lunch, the audience needs to assume the role of the school board).
In Reader's Workshop we are currently in our Character Study Book Clubs. We are studying Opal Buloni together in our current read aloud; Because of Winn Dixie and the students are doing a wonderful job with it! They have also have been studying their own characters, first through reading multiple realistic fiction books of their choosing at their Just Right level. Now we are in the second part of the unit where students are in assigned Book Clubs. They are reading a shared text with one or more other students to discuss the changes within their characters throughout their books (looking specifically at character traits). They have been working hard to read, understand and discuss the characters in their books. They are so eloquent when talking in discussions! We have real book club action going on in Room 209 and it is amazing to see! Through this unit, students will be noticing growing personalities, character changes, and patterns in how the characters react to situations when faced with a problem or struggle. This in-depth character study has always been one of my favorite units!
Finally, in Science and Social Studies, students have been using our Thursday schedule in so many beneficial ways! In science, we have been working on reading about chemical reactions and we have been using 'Science Talks' as a way to cooperatively discuss experiments (i.e., how they went and what that makes us think). We have also been carefully observing properties of chemicals and how they react when mixed with other chemicals. A healthy amount of reading, writing, discussion and experimentation have been the key to a developed science block. In Social Studies with Mrs. Griffith, students are working on learning about the Native Americans and the first colonists to settle in New England. They have been using rich literature and research combined with learning experiences about what life was like during those times. We also had our fall Big Backyard walk which is scientific in nature through observation and exploration. However, it tied in nicely with our Social Studies curriculum as the students were discovering different plants that were used by colonial workers.
Overall, this has been a busy month with no slowing down in sight! Students are working hard and learning so much. They are thriving in our exciting curriculum. I enjoyed meeting with you all and showing you some of your child's work during conferences. It was a pleasure to show you all of the things they work so hard on each day. Please see below for some important upcoming dates. Let me know should you have any questions and enjoy the busy month!
Wednesday, November 4th - Conferences - 1/2 Day
Wednesday, November 11th - Veteran's Day - No School
Wednesday, November 25th - Thanksgiving Break - 1/2 Day
Thursday, November 26th - Thanksgiving - No School
Friday, November 27th - Thanksgiving Break - No School