June 1

May 2018 from Julie Marcus on Vimeo.

This past week we have been winding down in 3rd grade. In math we are “stepping up to 4th grade”, working on a few concepts they will see next year. We are diligently working to complete our animal books by the end of next week!

We had so much fun at the John Ball Zoo trip. Thank you to all the parents who were able to join us, and especially to Mrs. Ryan, Mr. Fogel, Mrs. TerMolen, and Mrs. Minnaar for chaperoning. The boys and girls did a great job presenting!

Earlier this week we also completed a math escape challenge involving swashbuckling pirates! Groups had to solve the problems in order to escape their capture from the pirates.

We also took part in another Break Out Box Challenge to extend our science unit. Students had to work together finding and solving clues about sea turtles to unlock the box. The goal was to try and open the box within a certain time to save the sea turtle eggs that had been stolen!

This week was filled with teamwork and communication!

I cannot believe we have just 1 week of school left!

Update: May 21

We are finished with our MSTEP and all curriculum assessments for the school year! Yahoo! However, students have the district assessment, called iReady, to complete this week. It is a computer adaptive test that assesses growth in both reading and math. They have been working hard and maintaining a positive attitude. I’m proud of them!

Last week, we completed a fun math activity in partnerships. Students were detectives solving math clues to discover what happened to Professor Gimpy’s “shrinkinator”. Ask your child about it! Below are a few photos. These remaining weeks we will be “stepping up” to some 4th grade math concepts, as well as completing fun activities with our 3rd grade math concepts.

In writing we are drafting and publishing our chapters to our informational books on the same research animal that we are working with in STEM and Art.

We are completing our final unit in social studies: Our State Government. Once we complete this unit, students will be bringing home the All About Michigan Book that we have been adding to throughout the year.

This Friday we will shop the 4th grade Market Day. Items range from 50 cents to $2. These are all items made by the 4th graders to learn about economics. Students are welcome to bring money to shop! Friday is also Celebration Day! The outdoor assembly begins at 11:30. It should last until approximately 12. Then, we will be having lunch and opening the bounce house at 12:15. Clean up will begin at 3. We would love to have you, or another family member, join us if possible. If your child does not have a guest to eat lunch with, I would love to volunteer. Just let me know!


Our trip to John Ball Zoo is on Friday, June 1st. All are welcome! Here, students will be spending a portion of their zoo time sharing their habitat creation, in their groups, with visitors stopping by their displays.

Math Fun:

May 4th

Our last swimming trip is this Tuesday, May 8th. We will again leave Jeffers at 8:50. (There are a few snapshots below. I hope to share more after Tuesday.) Also, our field trip to Connor Bayou is this Thursday. A sack lunch will be needed. I will send a reminder email on Wednesday.

This past week we worked on rounding, adding with the partial sums method, and the traditional algorithm of adding. We are on our last math topic this year! This gives us time to review concepts and take a sneak peek at some 4th grade math.

In our writing, we are writing an All About book on our animals we have been researching. Students have the option of either publishing their “book” in the app, Book Creator, or publishing a paper version.

We are also wrapping up our research unit in reading. Students have been comparing and contrasting animals, developing questions from their research, and developing theories to help answer their questions. There is great thinking going on!

In science, we focused on the parts of the flower and how pollination occurs.

Our MSTEP, State assessment, days are the mornings of May 15 and 16. The 17th will be used if more time is needed.

Check out these AMAZING kids!

Chaperones for May 10

Thank you for all the volunteers for our Connor Bayou trip! I did have to draw names because we are limited on the number of chaperones we may take.

The chaperones drawn are:

Angela Mazurek, Michelle Nelson, and Sami Bench

If your name was not drawn, please consider attending our field trip to John Ball Zoo on Friday, June 1st. There is no chaperone limit! 🙂

Reminder, we have another day of swimming coming up this Tuesday, May 1st.

Thank you!

April 20

What a crazy pattern of weather we have had! Hopefully we are on a continually warming trend!

This past week we have been investigating plants in science–exploring the function of the root, stem, leaves, and flowers. We will also explore photosynthesis and pollination in the coming week. Ask your child about the food-dye investigation we are conducting–photos on Seesaw.

In our reading, we are continuing to research our zoo animals. Students learned to recognize text structures such as sequential, compare/contrast, cause/effect, and problem solution. We are using these text structures in our writing too! We started an All About book on a topic of choice.

In our math, we are working to complete mastery of multiplication and division facts while we learn about time, milliliters/liters for capacity, and grams/kilograms for mass. I am aiming to have our test on this measurement unit on Wednesday, April 25th.

Field trip to Connor Bayou for the hands-on learning of the fur-trade business: A note was sent home Thursday requesting $2. Although we tried to preplan all the field trip expenses in the fall and collect $20 per student to cover the costs of all learning experiences, we underestimated. We had hoped to collect field trip money just once from you this year, and we apologize for the need to request additional money.

Thank you for your support!

Dates to Note:

Tuesday, April 24th–Swimming for gym at the Aquatic Center–we begin walking over at 8:55 (please bring towel and suit in a bag)

Tuesday, May 1st–Swimming (same time)

Tuesday, May 8th-Swimming (same time)

Thursday, May 10th–Field Trip to Connor Bayou

Week of May 14th–M-Step

Friday, June 1st–Field trip to John Ball Zoo–mark your calendar! More information to come!

June 7th and 8th–1/2 days



April 13th

A Video of our Week

We had a busy week our first week back from spring break (click the link above for a snapshot of our activities). We had two presentations on animals. One presentation was on endangered species and another from John Ball Zoo on animal habitats. Both support our science, reading, and writing units on living things.

We also had our SheepShank Sam presentation, learning about the early lumbering business. So fun!

In math we did have time to begin our measurement unit. Telling time on analog clocks and elapsed time were our focus. These are challenging  concepts for 3rd graders. Having an analog clock, rather than all digital, in your home/child’s bedroom can help your child practice these skills.

In reading, students began researching their second animal. This animal will be the focus of our STEM and art project that we present at John Ball Zoo in May. Our next unit in writing will also focus on learning strategies to create an informational book on their animal.

Thank you for another wonderful week with your child! What a great group!  😊

March 23

We have been busy this week with fractions, fairy tales, research clubs, and gravity investigations!

By spring break we will have finished our 2nd math unit on fractions. We will also be finishing our science unit on Force and Motion. Students are working in pairs or trios to complete an electronic book, called Book Creator, to show their learning in this unit. Once these are complete, we will post them on Seesaw.

In writing, students are working on their final copies of their fairy tales. We have recently worked on ways fairy tales end and making sure our scenes include a balance of action, dialogue, and some figurative language.

In reading, each student voted on an animal to research. Ask your child which group he or she is in. We practiced identifying subtopics across several books, choosing one subtopic to research, and synthesizing information across texts.

Below are some pictures of our research groups in action. For March is Reading Month, we read in a different place–the Collaboration Studio.

Also with iPads going home again, several boys and girls are forgetting to charge their iPads at night, making them difficult to use at school. A few have left them at home as well. I’m requesting your help in making sure they return each day charged–especially with the need to complete the science books on them. Thank you for your help with this!

Have a great first weekend of SPRING!


March 9

Our highlight this week was science, as we explored which material makes the best ice skates. We tested 5 different materials (foam, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, wax paper, and magazine pages) to determine which material created the least amount of friction. Below our a few photos of our investigation.

In writing, we used Seesaw to storytell our fractured fairy tale ideas. We also began to write our fairy tales, using a narration technique called the “backstory” to introduce our characters. In this unit, we are working more in depth on paragraphing, dialogue, figurative language, and showing the passing of time.

In reading, we compared and contrasted 2 characters (their traits, problems, and reactions to problems). We took part in our first debate in our book club groups, involving characters from our books. Students are learning to incorporate evidence to justify their opinions. We also explored theme and lessons to stories. Next week we will wrap up our study of characters and prepare for a nonfiction unit in reading workshop.

In math, we reviewed and took a test on our first fraction topic! We are ready to begin our 2nd, more in-depth, topic on fractions. We are continuing to memorize and master our multiplication facts, which will make our division mad minutes easier.

Have a great week!

March 1st

Thank you for attending conferences! I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with each of you.

We ended out half days celebrating the conclusion of our mentor text, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Thank you to everyone who was able to send in a dog picture. I can say that the students’ reactions were priceless. I loved it!

Today we made a “Mistake Tree”–ask your child about it. We also sampled Dump Punch, Littmus Lozenges, Pickles, Winn-Dixie treats, egg-salad sandwiches, and peanut-butter sandwiches. I was surprised by the number of boys and girls who liked egg salad! Wonderful!

Here are a few pictures:

T. did not care for “Dump Punch”!

This is our “Mistake Tree”. Bottles hang with a mistake we have made written on each one.