Friday, April 27, 2018

Ice Cream Moment


We did good!! 

After months, weeks, and days of study and careful thinking, each third grader showed her or his best on the very challenging Measures of Academic Progress or MAP test. 

So once we all finished (i.e. ~47 questions x 3 tests) and did such a terrific job, we chilled out over deliciously creamy vanilla bean ice cream and a couple vintage cartoons.

Of course, our school year is not over yet. There's more learning ahead and surely more ice cream moments. 

For now, let's all be proud of the effort and progress our third graders have made.

Enjoy your ice cream,

Friday, April 20, 2018




We have a great opportunity to exercise our reading skills using IXL's Language Arts programs. 

IXL Access Cards

Normally we only have access to IXL Math. Now, for a short trial period, we can access the very cool IXL reading skills feature. 

So, perfect timing, eh? Next up, and sadly our last MAP test for the year, will be reading. 

So far third graders have been super fantastic MAP test takers. 

So let's pull a hat trick with strong reading scores, too. Okay? We can do it! 

You and IXL can help. 

The Language Arts sections to practice will be Third Grade P, U, V, X and Y.  

Those sections focus on skills we'll likely encounter on the MAP test. 

Have fun! The kids love IXL.

And contact me if you have any access issues. 

In other news...

We did a lot of off-screen reading this week, too. 

And a lot of figuring. 

And a lot of good healthy snacking!

Enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Good Luck!


Before this week's photos, I'd like to remind you that we will conduct MAP testing over the next two weeks. MAP measures academic progress. 

I am sure each student will do her or his best, if you do two things to help.

High Octane

Nature rules!

First, see that your child gets a good night's sleep. I saw a few worrisome yawns this week. 

Second, have your child eat a healthy, low sugar, breakfast

Oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, and natural yogurt is a simple dish that provides sustained energy and nutrients throughout the morning.  

Sweet foods (i.e. simple carbohydrates) can raise energy levels quickly but drop them just as fast. Think about how you feel 30 minutes or so after a big lunch with rice, pasta, potatoes or bread. Sleepy, right? But you probably perk yourself up with caffeine. The kids don't have that option (thankfully). 

So, two things: Sleep, and a healthy breakfast. Thanks!

Deeper thinking 

How many straight lines make a circle? 

Pondering our straight horizon and round Earth

Wild Insights

Reading, Thinking, Writing Prompts

Simple Machines

We've started a science unit on simple machines. Yay!

Lever and fulcrum 

Force distribution
Centrifugal force 

Virtual Rollercoaster ride

Lots more simple machine work to come. Yay!

Unpacking Superstition

Since 'Friday the 13th' is often seen as a bad luck day, we decided to do a literacy lesson that examines the history of superstition in general. 

The Philosophical One

Ask your child about Stevie Wonder's advice or anything else from the week. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Smidgen



We have been using a new assessment tool called Skills Navigator (SN). 


SN assesses reading, writing, and math skills at a micro-level; meaning, the program can show a range of individual capabilities, from mastery to needs more work. 


SN is a welcomed tool that you’ll hear more about in the near future.


Our Spring Break books were a hit! 

And the kids returned fresh and ready to keep learning. No long break derailments! 

Maybe a smidgen of thought-provoking and sparing work helped? 

As a result, I have proposed a Homework 10-Day Challenge. 


Participation is purely elective. A lot of kids signed on. Super! The content will cover various third grade skills in math and language arts. Same deal as Spring Break: just a few questions a day. 


We shared the epic tale of Don Quixote! And then we summed it up in 20 words or less. 

Concise summation is an important exercise for third graders. Please be asking about stories you know your third grader read. 

Also, ask why she or he thinks the “author” wrote the story. What was the point?


Here's a brainy gift a student brought in and shared. Very cool! So much return for such a small price, right? 


Spring Break afforded some time to spruce up the room. 

We love the sofa!


We had an impromptu visit from a nurse working with the Muso project here in Mali. 

Muso has made a significant impact on improved healthcare in Bamako. 

Here's an article about the project. Click here to read.


The kids turned me on to this fun website for educational games. 

I so approve!  Notice that it's leveled for third grade skills. Nice, eh? Click here to have a go.

That's all for now folks!  

Enjoy your weekend!