Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring Splash!


It's the most wonderful time of the year! 

Our beautiful pool has opened!!

Pencil Problems

Here is a sample of pencils I've seen in class. I wish we provided pencils, and we do when we can, but pencils are like lunch or snacks -- it's a family thing.  

Since most third graders are developing writers, which includes the mechanics of using a pencil, they need the best tools for the job.

This week we looked at the history of pencils and how they have been made since the 16th century. Fascinating stuff! 

Now we need you to purchase a quality set for your child's last quarter. 

Some kids actually liked the tiny chewed up ones without realizing those were not ideal for building nimble writing skills. I think they all understand now.

Fun Facts

We're spending more time (Time!) with non-fiction. 

Time for Kids is an excellent resource to help anyone understand factual and interesting information about a wide span of topics. It's smart reading and even set to grade levels.

You can access Time for Kids online free here

Let your child explore Time for Kids and be sure to ask her or him to "sum it up" each time. 

That is, summarize any article in 20 words or less with details to support the main idea. 

A Sparkling Farewell

We spent the day knowing that we'd be saying farewell to a joyful presence in our class and school. 

 And so it goes in international schools. Good energy is shared and warm memories remain. 

Spring Break 

Last thing, the kids have a Spring Break packet with four questions to answer each day over five days. Honestly, they wanted to do it. Like pencils, the kids want to stay sharp. Only one page (4 questions) per day please, if you can. 

Enjoy your Spring Break!

Saturday, March 17, 2018


What's wrong with this picture? Read on...


First, please remember that swimming will resume this coming week. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be third grade swim days. There will be one dry PE day to be announced soon. 

Likeness Fun

Here are our much talked about portraits. Pretty exact, eh? 

The kids blended hues to create skin tones and some attached symbols from their family culture. 

In all, it was an insightful mix of collaboration for Mother Tongue Week. 

A reading/living highlight from 
The Rechargeables!

What a perfect book for "Mr. Johnson's" constant rantings, right?  Eat, Move, Sleep!

Ask your child to retell the story for you, please. 

The ability to concisely retell a story is a skill third graders (among others) need to develop. 

Wordy Math

We're doing more multi-step word problems these days. Ask your child to solve this one and to write out the number sentence.

Clark and his brother Kent played floor hockey in their living room. Each goal was worth 2 points. Clark scored 6 points. Kent scored 8 points. How many goals did they score altogether? 

Shhh! Answer: (6 + 8) ÷ 2 = 7

One-problem homework, wow, that should be doable. And I'll be asking who solved the problem, as I always do with blogged questions to you.

Sustained Reading Improves Attentiveness 

Click here for video

This three minute segment from the PBS Newshour claims reading books could strengthen a child's or an adult's ability to pay attention in general. I totally agree with the suggestion.  Three minutes! 

That's all for this week.

Eat, Move, Sleep, Solve and Read Well,

Friday, March 9, 2018

Seeking Artifacts


In preparation for the coming week's Mother Tongue fun, I need the kids to do some homework. 

First, each student needs to draw one or two symbols of her or his native culture(s). Interestingly, the exercise of identifying cultural artifacts was not as easy as I assumed it would be. 


Therefore, I'm hopi
ng you can help your child identify suitable objects that are associated with your culture (see rough sample below).  Basically, you're helping to design a cartoony t-shirt. 

The kids know what to do. You would just need to see that it is done. 

Rough Sample (yes, four fingers, I know.)

The drawing must be on a blank side of a sheet of paper and about the size of an adult hand. Second, each student needs to know how to spell a customary greeting in her or his mother tongue (note sample). One or two words please, if possible.

The image(s) and words will be attached to their cartoon portraits. 
Then we'll play Who's Who? with the rest of the school and learn global greetings in the fun. 

And it should be good fun, especially if everyone is ready to go Monday morning. 

Thanks for the help.

That's all I have this week. 

Enjoy your weekend. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Ms. Attistic


Artistic Calm

The kids created beautiful art with Ms. Attie. Save a place on your wall for this gorgeous work. 

Mother Tongue 

The morning of March 12, we will celebrate mother tongue sounds, stories and smiles. This will be a whole school community event, so we really want you to join in. While you should have received an office email about the event, I'll say now that coming in to share your mother tongue, for example, in traditional greetings, a children's story, a poem, proverb, joke, song, or simply being present, would joyfully show the importance of maintaining familial and linguistic global traditions. It will be fun too. Please join in this relaxed, morning event (yes, there will be robust coffee and warm pastries) and email me if you have any questions. 

Comic Craze

We got hold of some vintage comic books and the boys went wild. Comics definitely count as reading so whatever works, right? 

Well, one thing I was interested to learn was how our third grade girls don't like comics. They rightly observed the stories as too violent. As a grown-up boy, now, I guess I hadn't really thought of it before.  

Thanks for raising my awareness girls. Choose wisely boys. 

Oh, the comics did inspire a clever invention by Magneto Boy. Cool! 

Fraction Fun

We've started studying fractions. 

Fractions are fun! 

And fractions can be easily exercised at home. 

For example, ask your child what another example of 1/2 could be (possible answers include 2/4, 4/8, 6/12, 7/14) or 1/3 (with 2/6, 3/9, 4/12, 5/15 possible). Or flip it and ask your fraction maker to reduce 14/28, 12/36, etc. Fun, eh? 

But, the preferred way to exercise fractions would be with pizza or cake and count the decreased fraction of slices gobbled down. 

Writers' Walk 

We're finishing up realistic fiction essays that have proved to be clever and entertaining. Stay tuned.

Brief but Spectacular

Last thing: This morning, I saw this "brief but spectacular" news story and thought you'd appreciate the brainy idea for lifelong learning. Oh, and yes, we have a music program at school, but the idea here is more extensive. 

Enjoy your weekend,