Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thought Filled


Our brief visit at Back-to-School Night (BTSN) was enjoyable, and I completely understood anyone choosing not to attend. Bamako traffic, right? There will be other occasions to talk, such as next Saturday's (9/9) Back-to-School BBQ.  For now, here are the BTSN handouts, a class syllabus and a compelling infographic about the exponential value of reading at home.

RAZ-Kids and IXL


Personally, I prefer reading actual books. A lot of kids, however, do not have many books at home. No problem. RAZ-Kids can provide a huge number of books that suit a reader's comprehension level. I recommend using RAZ-Kids at home to supplement or supply reading materials for your child. 

Simply go to, locate your child's name, and enter Grade 3. I'll change the passwords next week. 

The login details for IXL, which we use to supplement in-class math, should have been emailed to one parent email address. You are certainly welcomed to explore IXL's Grade 3 math. In future blog posts, I'll suggest specific tasks that could be done. For now, just have fun. 


We discussed bird adaptations and learned T-charts in the process. 

In our morning read aloud and discussion time, we explored three stories that dealt with our personal and public sense of identity, prejudice, kindness, and honesty.  Ask your child to tell you something about the stories we shared. 



The Emperor's New Clothes
The Ugly Duckling

Dr. Seuss' Sneetches

Next week, in addition to our usual explorations, we will start weekly spelling exercises and begin building cardboard (for after the rainy season) birdhouses up in the Maker Space.

Enjoy the long weekend! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Up, Up and Away


Birds of a Feather

The only news this week was early signs of excellent learning momentum! 

We started our math curriculum called Jump Math and we liked it! 

When you come in next week for Back-to-School Night, I will explain the course in detail. For now, I can say Jump Math offers an easy leap to complexity. I can already see confidence rising in each student as a result. 

Math Fingers

Math Buddies

Dominoes for Finding Value Differences
Dominoes for Finding Value Differences
Laughing at Math!?
Dominoes for Finding Value Differences

From the "Read" carpet we enjoyed two books, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Both stories were rich with opportunities to write and think more deeply about choices. The stories and discussions reflected my favorite toast: "May you get what you want, and may you want what you get." A salutation for deeper thinking, even in third grade. 

Philosophical Pages 
'A Day in Chewandswallow' with falling meatballs and...

We had an unexpected chance to work outside after a power outage. Cool. 

Math Space

And we had a much anticipated chance to go bird watching. Unfortunately, the telescopes are Kleperian so images were upside down, but the idea was the same and the kids dug the view nonetheless. 

Figuring it out

Bird Spotters

If you cannot attend Tuesday's Back-to-School Night, I will send you the class syllabus. At Back-to-School Night, I will basically be speaking to that syllabus anyway so... you'll know either way.  

Generous Offering of a Tasty Local Snack
All Present and Accounted For!

Bring on next week! 

Have fun!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Week One Fun


We're gonna have a great year!

The kids are all like old buddies. 

Of course, they're kids, so they get distracted in kid things, but overall the discipline and interest in learning was super this week.

Minus a couple late arrivals, we had busy week of playful bonding. Monday, we'll officially start the curriculum. For now, here's some of what happened in Week 1. Any questions? Ask your child.





Until next week, have a safe and fun weekend!

Sunday, August 13, 2017



I'm your child's third grade homeroom teacher.


This weekly blog will highlight our school activities. I hope you take a few minutes every Friday or Saturday to view the posts. The blog is for your pleasure and information.

Each post includes fun photos and suggestions to support our collaboration. For example, I may suggest how you could naturally extend a specific academic concept or skill outside of school. In other words, together we will devise organic home learning opportunities rather than doing "homework." You'll see.

Aside from preparing your child for future fourth grade expectations, this year's third grade we will continually exercise three objectives: Think, Test, and Try (in no particular order).

THINK from various perspectives. 
TEST ideas methodically. 
TRY your best at all times. 

At our Welcome Back-to-School Night...
Tuesday, August 29...
I will have a complete syllabus for you.

In the meantime, maybe look in the blog archive at last year's super third grade experience. I am excited for this opportunity to think, test and try with your child and all my students.

Mr. Johnson