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Room 109 and M. L. King Elementary School News Mr. Huyck and Ms.

Longs Third Grade Friday, March 28, 2014

Volume XX, Issue #9, Day 121 Website: Dear Parents, Welcome to another edition of our classroom newsletter. Since our last update weve completed Unit 7 in Everyday Mathematics and enjoyed the start of Unit 8 about fractions. Students continue making excellent progress in their multiplication (or division) facts ability. In social studies we completed our unit about geography (more specifically, the geography of Michigan). In science, we have begun our unit about Light. In writing we are wrapping our unit about poetry, continued our word study connections, progressed on our study of cursive, and enjoyed choosing topics of our own choice.

Important Reminders & Information: Field Trip on Monday, 3/31: Please remember that we are going on a field trip this Monday, March 31. We are going to Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor to see the Wynton Marsalis with JCLO jazz performance. We will leave school around 10:15 and return between 12:30 and 1:00. The actual performance will be from 11:00-12:00. We are looking forward to a great time! We will be leaving earlier, and arriving back later, than our regularly scheduled lunchtime so we will need to eat cold lunches together in our classroom upon our return. Please send a cold lunch with your child on the day of the trip. A special thank you goes out to our King School PTO for providing for such a wonderful enrichment by covering our admission fees. Spring Break: Please remember that Spring Break begins next Saturday, April 5, and continues through Sunday, April 13. School resumes Monday, April 14th. Hope for good weather! No School 4/18: Please recall that there will be no school on Friday, April 18. Silent Auction: Please remember to support and attend M. L. King Schools largest fundraising event, our annual Silent Auction. It will be Friday evening, April 25. Please consider donating to our classroom basket. Our basket theme is Sports (more info was recently sent out). You can send the donations to our classroom. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Naznin Mahmood or Nicki Wright Ms. Longs Lead Teaching: Ms. Long has completed her first two weeks of lead teaching, in which she has effectively taught all items. This has been a tremendous experience for us all and we expect an effective and productive final week. Please also remember that Thursday, April 24 will be Ms. Longs final day with us.

Items and Information Connected to our Subject Areas: Social Studies: We have concluded our study of geography for this year. To finish this area of study, we began to think more about how humans interact with and change the environment. This will provide a good starting point for when we pick Social Studies back up and learn more about the early people of Michigan. We will return to Social Studies after our study of light during science time. Ask your child what her or his favorite part of geography was. Science (Light): We been working on our short science unit called Light. This past week we attempted to find all of the sources of light in the room as well as places that let light from other sources in. When the students came into school on Friday, they found that all of the windows had been covered in order to provide a better environment for us to explore how light works. Throughout the unit, we will be experimenting with properties of light, how light travels, how light enables us to see, sources of light and how objects or items can emit light, how we could eliminate sources of light in our classroom to make it as dark as possible, and learning about transparent, translucent, and opaque materials. Writing (Balanced Literacy): During writing workshop we have continued to make progress in our study of poetry. We spent time writing our Makes me think of and acrostic poems, and have now moved on to focusing on haiku. Once we are done with our haiku poems, we will type some of our poems at home so that they can be taken through all of the steps of the Writing Process. At the end, every student will have a couple of each kind of poem included in our class book and personal books, which will be published and shared with others. After we finish poetry, we will be starting our focus on Feature Articles. Our study of Feature Articles gives students the chance to write informational nonfiction. These articles are short and factbased. Begin pointing out Feature Articles that you see in newspapers, magazines, or on the Internet. At the end of our study, we will take one or two of our feature articles through all the steps/stages of the Writing Process, eventually publishing & sharing for others to read and learn from. We make room in our schedule every day for about 10 minutes of ISW (Independent Silent Writing). Since our genre study has been focusing on poetry, lately the students have had to pick a style of writing that involves paragraphs in order to further different skills as a good writer. Beyond that, what the students choose is up to them. We are constantly working to grow and do our personal best every day. We continue to make progress on improving our handwriting and cursive skills. Weve learned and practiced these letters: a, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, p, t, u, and y. We recently resumed our formal Word Study (Spelling), focusing on the oa combination with a long o sound and miscellaneous short vowel sounds (ey, eigh, igh, etc.). We will take another break from formal Word Study before Spring Break, and learn about various skills such as the difference between to/too/to, when to change y to ies, and other items. Reading (Balanced Literacy): We have begun reading new books during our reading group time, this time with a focus on realistic fiction. Our reading group studies and activities pair with our class reading of the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, which is another realistic fiction book. We

are learning to make predictions of what will happen next and trying to understand how the characters in our books feel. These skills are different from those of reading informational nonfiction, which was our last focus during reading groups. Please continue to remind your child to read from various genres on their own time. Other than reading groups and our class read aloud time, we keep busy with other Reading Workshop activities including recording and summarizing reading using the Reading Lists (Readers Notebooks), responding to reading via our Reading Response Letters, I.S.R. (Independent Silent Reading), Book Talks, and other ways to build our skills as readers.

Lifelong Guidelines/18 Lifeskills and NO Bullying: The 5 Lifelong Guidelines and 18 Lifeskills continue to be taught every day. These skills are essential for a successful classroom and school, and help create positive results throughout our entire lives. We have been focusing on a different Lifeskill or Lifelong Guideline per week since the beginning of January. We have had the chance to look closely at the effect that our actions have on others so that we can better create the kind of atmosphere that everyone wants and needs. Over the past few weeks, we covered in detail the Lifeskills of Sense of Humor, Flexibility, and Common Sense. We took time to think about what each skill means, why it is important, and how it connects to our lives in and out of school. We acted out and discussed different scenarios to help strengthen our understanding. We have also continued to use our Lifeskills/Lifelong Guidelines box, where we recognize students who have been caught using a Lifeskill or Lifelong Guideline on their own. We read these recognitions during our class meetings to celebrate the caring individuals that use what we have been learning about in order to help make our class a safe and positive place. PBIS & Marble Jar: At M. L. King, Jr. Elementary School we try to keep our statements and interactions to our students forward thinking, positive, and clear. We also expect the same from our students. We want to encourage, expect, recognize, and reward positive choices and actions. As the students make positive, forward-thinking choices, marbles are added to our Marble Jar. We continue making good progress on filling our Marble Jar for the fourth time. Good choices equal good rewards! Math (Everyday Math & Math Facts): We have finished Unit 7 in Everyday Mathematics. Unit 7 focused on enhancing our multiplication and division skills. We learned about square numbers: what they mean and why they are called square numbers. We also began learning about the concept of parentheses in math. Students were also introduced to multiplication/division puzzles during this time, which helped us increase our comfort with factors and products. We also continued to hone in our skills of fact extensions (2x3=6, 20x3=60, 200x3=600) and estimation. Recently, we began our study of Unit 8, which focuses on fractions. Learning about fractions can be somewhat tricky, so please continue to help your child at home. We will be learning about naming fractions of a whole or set, being able to shade fractions of a whole, knowing equivalent fractions (writing another, equal, name for a specific fraction), name-collection boxes about fractions, greater than/less than, number stories involving fractions, etc. We will be also stretching our thinking of a whole as not necessarily one whole object that is being divided into fractional parts, but that it can also be a whole group of objects (a set) that is

being divided (such as a pizza being divided into fourths or a bag of 20 marbles being divided into fourths). As a reminder, we also use spare moments to study and practice math facts. Please continue regular fact practice at home. Remember that students make more progress when more effort goes into practicing at home as well as during school. As time allows, it would also be a great idea to review old facts as well, such as the previously learned addition and subtractions facts. We want to make sure that students keep all of their old facts fresh as well. During our last unit (Unit 7), we asked that students practiced their square number facts on top of their normal math facts. We no longer ask that the students practice their square numbers at home, but we do not want students to forget square numbers or their importance.

Enjoy Spring Break!

Phil Huyck and Veronica Long

Mr. Phil Huyck, lead teacher (994-1940 / Ms. Veronica Long (UM intern/student teacher)