Saturday, September 14, 2019

More Boredom Please


Imagination, the kids' lacked a definition for the concept, so we worked on it. 

To tease out our understanding, we read several imaginative stories. 

Malik Had a House (found on RAZ-Kids) helped us understand one particular value of imagination. In the story, a family loses their home during an economic downturn. Our third graders were saddened by this story of Malik, his brother Sean, and the boys' hardworking mom. They were saddened thanks to an ability to imagine the feelings in the story and so empathize with the situation.  

The benefits of a healthy imagination are now at peril do to the steady stream of distractions today's kids face. I suggest you read this article from the World Economic Forum and learn a simple way to nurture an imaginative third grade mind. 

Click here for the article

And through writing, reading, and discussions, we'll continue to use our imaginations in class. 


Plastic has been added to the four everyday substances (i.e. water, salt, sugar, cotton) we explore in science and social studies. We've learned a lot so far but this game may be the most memorable for the moment. 

Click here to play

We're currently making drinking straws out of papyrus stems. This coming week we'll bake millet spoons. One objective is to learn hands-on natural alternatives to single-use plastics. 

To be continued...

Find out more from your third grader.


Farewell, friend! We'll miss you. 


All third graders performed a RAZ-Kids reading assessments Friday. We'll do additional reading assessments this coming week, but flight checks will happen monthly and keep us on course for fourth grade readiness.  



We're working on place value and expanded forms in math so if you'd like to do IXL this weekend or in the coming days, choose 3rd grade math section B - 1 through 9. 

That's all for now. 

See you soon,

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Banana



Thursday's assembly went well. Our message was based on Pasi Sahlberg's book Let the Children Play, which suggests overly supervised children do not develop the social skills or emotional fortitude needed for real life now or later. 

Post-assembly goofiness and sadly minus our other pal from Sweden
Here is a video of the presentation slides and... 

...the short film we used to introduce our topic...


...and a link to a larger view of the film::


We traveled to some upper grades to see what the kids' academic futures will look like. It's always a humbling and exciting excursion. 


We got online with RAZ-Kids to demonstrate how easy it is to do a "Flight Check." This is a recorded reading assessment that together individual students and I can review. When students hear themselves read, they better understand the feedback I offer. Like a picture, audio is worth a thousand words. 

Everyone has a flight check waiting in RAZ-Kids. If it is convenient to log-in at home this weekend, please do so. Thanks. 


Once a week the kids spend time with our librarian and use the opportunity to checkout books. But if there are books overdue (i.e. not returned on time) checkouts are not allowed. 

Please be sure school library books are returned to school. 


Here's everyone's favorite day, Free-play Tuesdays! and a look in the Maker Space.


Plogging is an idea from Sweden that mashes jogging with picking up litter. It's also a fun way to break up the learning day and be helpful at the same time. 


Ask your child about these stories and help deepen her or his understanding by doing so. Let's make these book reviews a weekly habit, in addition to books you talk about at home. 

That's all for now. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Warming Up


If you were unable to attend Back-to-School Night, here are links to our syllabus and updated class schedule. The kids have hardcopies in their backpacks, along with access codes to IXL and RAZ-Kids. I will explain more about IXL and RAZ-Kids next week. For now, if you’d like to explore those practice platforms, please do.


Here's a peek at the kids in PE and music. 

Warming up!

Working out


Daily 5 is based on literacy learning and motivation research. 

Schedule rotations

Mini lesson

This classroom management approach advances reading independence through individual choice and mutual trust (for them to work as agreed and me to confer with individuals or strategy groups). 

Read to Self

Word Work

Work on Writing
Read to Someone

You will learn more about Daily 5 as we proceed, though you could ask child about it now. We’ll start Daily 3 math in early September.  


Definitely ask your third grader about these books and deepen the understanding by doing so. Inquire about characters, settings, problems, solutions, favorite bits or connections to your child’s own story. Enjoy!


Our learning support counselor began a series of visits to help the kids relax their minds and focus their attention thoughtfully.  

The session was delightful!


We watched a news clip I came across that reminded us how therapeutic nature intends to be by simply pairing with its presence. Being mindful of the tonic certainly helps the affect. You can watch the story (9 mins) below. 

                             Click the link ---


Next week, we’ll start Friday afternoon Show & Tell. 

Chess strategies book

Showing and telling each week will not be required, of course. But if your child wants to bring something interesting in, on occasion, something with a story, we’ll be eager to watch and listen.


This coming Thursday morning we will have a brief assembly for 7:30 to 8:00. The kids have a short presentation, roughly one speaking line each. I can record the event to share with you online if you cannot attend. 

That is all for now. 

Enjoy your weekend,

Friday, August 23, 2019



Our first week got us reacquainted. 

Oh my, two birthdays in two days!!

We played literacy games… 


read some cool stories… 

reviewed math… 

did some writing...

and lots of thinking.



I gained a useful understanding of each child’s abilities and the kids began to learn our classroom expectations. 

I’m excited for the year. 

The kids were well-behaved, clever, fun and promising!

Each Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, I will send you a link to this weekly blog. The point is mostly to share the week’s highlights. However, there will be times when I’ll share information about learning strategies, so please take time to skim over or read the blog each week.

For now, welcome to third grade!