Friday, September 30, 2016

Stepping Up

Greetings!

First off, Monday will be a day off for students. We teachers will use the day for professional development here on campus.

This week we spent three mornings MAP testing. The result will be discussed after the first report cards October 31 and during the parent/teacher conferences Nov. 4.

MAP Testing
During language arts we worked in small groups to breakdown paragraph structures using a program called Step Up To Writing. The program relies on a color coding scheme to help writers form coherent and cohesive paragraphs and essays.

Step Up
Step Up
In science, we used everyday objects to look at the weight of birds, as well as learning about how birds move.

Hummingbird
Emperor Penguin
For social studies we looked at slum life in the Philippines and used the stories of three "squatters" to apply the Step Up To Writing principles.

Risking it All: The Slum - Episode II
We began and ended our Friday with some dancing. You can expect to hear more about the Sid Shuffle soon. If you really want to provoke a big smile on your child's face, play the Sid Shuffle here and learn the moves too.

Finally, Friday, we celebrated the birthday of our newest young writer!


 Please keep using the Math Trainer here. All the kids could use the practice.

Enjoy your weekend and remember that the kids are not in school this Monday.

Kindly,
Don





Friday, September 23, 2016

The Squab Edition


Greetings!

You should have received your child’s progress report on Wednesday. If not, look in her or his school bag. I put it there. Overall, the group and individuals have performed very well.

Memorizing the multiplication table is one thing they all could improve upon. Here is a link to a fun way to exercise math skills. If you want your child to do homework, please encourage a couple rounds with the 'Math Trainer' - Multiplication. We played a couple rounds in class, so the kids are familiar with the Math is Fun site. I will suggest more websites next week. Let's start with just one.



In science, we made it rain and made a fresh egg float in (salt) water. The idea was to introduce the scientific method for inquiry. The rain and egg helped to explain a physical versus a chemical change (which was in both examples). These will be reoccurring concepts over the year. 

The Amazing Floating Egg
Cloud Spotting
Cloud Spotting

Rain!

We were fortunate to have a squab (i.e. baby dove) born just outside our classroom. Once the cloud journals are complete, we will return to our study of birds. We needed to take advantage of the magnificent clouds while they were here. Note that the squab was in a small egg just a couple days ago. 
Squab
Momma
     
Next week, we will be MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing, which is a general assessment of reading comprehension, language usage (i.e. grammar), and mathematics. We are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. This first test is only a benchmark from which we will work toward growth over the school year.

MAP, by the way, is not a high stakes test.  It is mostly a survey of our third graders in relation to other third graders (e.g. regional) who take the fall test. MAP data also helps us to identify and focus on specific student needs. Please see that your child is rested and ready for an otherwise normal school day. 

Happy Weekend!
Don

Friday, September 16, 2016

Short and Sweet

Greetings!

Our short week passed quickly, as expected. Some highlights included Thursday's assembly. The kids did a great job with a short song and sweet video. The video is linked here and posted on the AISB Facebook page. I can put the file on a USB key, too, if you'd like.

Cloud Choir
Full House
Another highlight from the week was using tablets to explore geography. The kids loved racing to find places like San Jose, Costa Rica and Bangkok, Thailand. The activity helped us apply our new understanding of compass points to locate, in this case, cities in specific regions (e.g. Southeast Asia and Central America). Indeed, a lot of fun learning can be tucked into a geo-scavenger hunt. Yay Google Earth!

Geographers
Navigators
Explorers
Just as gripping as tablets was dodgeball. The kids are crazy about dodgeball. I went to watch the third graders play the 2nd graders. Wow! They really get into the game.

Dodgeball Dash
Serious DB
Next Wednesday, progress reports will be sent out. I will discuss how your individual child as done with class work and behavior thus far.

For now, have a marvelous weekend.

Kindly,
Mr. Johnson.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Target 9-15

Greetings!

My camera betrayed me this week, so there are only a few apropos snaps of our class archers. The most important thing for you to know and target (yes, pun intended) is September 15 at 7:30 AM the 3rd grade will host the elementary school assembly. The duration will be 10 or 15 minutes.

We democratically elected two MCs, but everyone will sing a song. The highlight will be the world premiere of a short video regarding good behavior. If you cannot attend, no problem, I will share the video link afterward. It's a pretty cool video.

Enjoy the long weekend!





Saturday, September 3, 2016

Active Learning


Greetings!

This week found us being super active in and out of class. After-school activities started with a few courageous third graders up to playing Ultimate Frisbee with me. 

Ultimate Frisbee Crew
The Bird Olympics!! 
Bird Olympics - Falcon Race
Bird Olympics - Falcon Racers
Bird Olympics - Eagle Wing Flappers
Bird Olympics - Owl Stare Down
We got moving to break down stories... 
Story Breakdown Beginning, Middle and End
...and to discuss characters. 
Character Compare and Contrast
As usual, we exercised our writing stamina.
Journal Express
Journal Express
I caught the kids in action during PE. 
Focused Frenzy
Serious Play
We ended the week with Show and Tell that was really a show and share.  Interesting stuff.
Show and Share
Show and Share
Show and Share
Show and Share
Here are a few books we read together. 
Ask your child about them or anything else we did in Week Three!
Silly and Thought Provoking Stories

                     See you at the BBQ!