Week of December 4th

As of now, I do not have anyone able to organize a holiday party on the 20th for our class. We may end up having a low-key afternoon with holiday crafts and snacks. If someone is able to plan a party, please let me know by this Wednesday. Otherwise, I will be sending out a Sign-Up Genius for a few snacks. Thank you!

We wrapped up a tough topic/unit in math last week focusing on finding area of both regular and irregular shapes. We also revisited the distributive property in this topic. Our tests are becoming more time consuming for students to take as the concepts become more advanced and multi-step. Previously, students took a 2nd test after our test on the iPad, if they scored below 80%. Now, after reviewing the iPad test together, students may redo the problems missed by completing those same numbers/same concepts on the 2nd test. This helps shorten our time on testing by only having students work on the kinds of problems they missed, instead of the entire test again. If you have any questions, please let me know. Tests will go home Monday.

In writing, we continued to brainstorm topics for our opinion speeches and write “fast drafts” in our writer’s notebook. We are learning how to write our opinion statement boldly and how to talk to our audience directly.

In our reading, we learned to revise our main idea as we learn more within a section, taught others as we became experts, and set goals for improving our nonfiction skills. We had a great time cutting out NF text features on “surgery day” as well!

In our social studies, we are learning about the first Europeans (French) to arrive in Michigan and the reasons that they came. Ask your child about what was learned!

Friday, we took part in The Hour of Code. It is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. It was amazing how quickly the 3rd graders picked up on how to complete the coding activities. They may continue to explore coding on any device by visiting hourofcode.com

Here are a few photos of our coding expertise: 🙂









Surgery–Finding Text Features!!

Hello Families,

Today we had a blast pretending to be surgeons during a portion of our Reading Workshop. With the sound of a heart beating over the speakers, each student pretended to operate on several magazines. They were in search of text features that they could transfer to their “patient”. We used  a lot of glue on our patients!

Here are some photos of our surgical teams. Can you recognize your child?


November 21

Here are a few pictures of our short week! Yesterday we worked in groups on. Thanksgiving activity using Breakout Boxes. It is much like The Escape Rooms you may be familiar with. Through teamwork, collaboration, and problem solving, the groups had to work with their team to uncover clues to 5 different combination locks. All four teams were successful in breaking out “the turkey” from their box. They all enjoyed the challenge!

We also made Blessing Mix with our 2nd grade buddies. Thank you for the treat donations!

I wish you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!


November 17






The link above gives you a snapshot of our week. Thank you to Mr. Fogel for helping us with our pasties!

Wow! We had a busy week! Between rehearsal for our concert, making pasties, a visit from Deputy Smoes, and sharing our mystery knowledge with our 2nd grade buddies, we squeezed in a math review & test, reading post-assessment, and wrote a persuasive speech! The students were able to convince Mrs. Peets for an extra recess using a thesis statement, 3 reasons, and persuasive examples for each reason. She was very impressed!

Next week we look forward to a Thanksgiving activity with our buddies and getting prepared for our holiday break.

Remember, Monday and Tuesday are half days!


November 10


Happy chilly November! The link above gives you a snapshot of our week told in photos. The video is of our science focus. We are coming to an end in our Earth and Me unit. We discussed what runoff and erosion are and how our farmlands may be impacted. The photos show students collecting runoff water from our mock farm. After 4 trials, they compared the amount of runoff and erosion that occurred and brainstormed how we might slow the process down to save our topsoil.  Other photos show an oil spill simulation activity. Each student became a drop of oil from an oil tanker spill. By rolling a die, they traveled from station to station finding out what was happening to them on their journey. We also read the book, Oil Spill, which provoked a strong discussion from the students on how these spill impact our environment.

In math, we are using our multiplication and division strategies to solve multiplication tables with missing factors/products and word problems. Friday we began writing our own multiplication stories, which we found to be a challenge. We will have a topic test before Thanksgiving break.

In reading, we are preparing to teach Mrs. Burke’s second graders all the strategies we learned in our mystery unit. This past week, we learned these strategies can be applied to reading any fiction book–not just mystery. Our hope is to show our expertise to the 2nd graders and help them become excited about mystery. We certainly had many students come to love this genre!

In our writing, we are learning the difference between opinions and facts to help us write a class opinion speech. This is tricky for 3rd graders because they often believe that if they feel a statement is true for them, then it is a fact. 🙂 Many examples are helping with this confusion. The opinion speech we are working on is: We believe 3rd graders deserve an extra recess. Eventually, each student will select his/her own topic and create an individual opinion speech.

Coming Up:

TEAM with Deputy Smoes on Tuesday (discussion on safety for all of 3rd grade)

School Store Wednesday

Morning rehearsal (Wednesday) for the Veteran’s Day performance-we will be out of the building until approximately 10:30

Thursday morning: making of pasties to experience the meal of the miners of the 1800s (letter will be sent home on Monday)

Thursday evening performance at the high school

Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 20 and 21) 1/2 days

Wednesday, November 22-24 No School

November 27–report cards sent home in homework folders

November 28–field trip to Holmes for a presentation on the early copper mining days

November 3rd

We are mystery detectives! Here are a few snapshots of our mystery readers with their badges and detective notebooks. We are growing in our mystery skills, which will help us read other fiction books as well. This week we found ways to look more carefully for clues we may have missed and to recognize red herrings. Ask your child about this!

In math, we finished Topic 4. Tests will go home on Monday, We learned a lot, and are moving onto another unit involving multiplication and division. 

In science, we began looking at our earth and how farmland is renewable if we take care of it. Very little of our earth contains the topsoil farmland needs to sustain life. Ask your child about the “earth apple”.

In our writing, we are working on writing opinion paragraphs. We created a writing piece and illustration to add to our “3rd grade book of writing” that will go home at the end of 3rd grade!

We had a wonderful Monster Mash on Tuesday! Thank you for the donations to the Jeffers Jive! Our class came in 2nd place overall! The prize is $100 that we can use for our class. We will brainstorm and vote on what we would like to add to our classroom with our winnings! Thank you for your support!

Have a wonderful weekend!

October 20

This week we ate rocks in science! Sprinkles, marshmallows, Trix, and Rice Krispies represented minerals. When heat was added, (and we went forward in time 1,000s of years) they formed together and formed the “rock”.  We also learned about natural resources and resources that are “renewable” and “nonrenewable” through the fantasy story Westlandia.

In math we wrapped up Topic 3. Lot’s of great learning! Topic 4 is relating multiplication and division. We are using fact families and multiples of numbers to help us solve.

Next week we begin our opinion writing unit. We will start with writing organized paragraphs, then move into a five-paragraph essay!! Wow!

As you saw in our earlier post, we are becoming detectives in our reading as we read mysteries. We are having so much fun looking for suspects, finding clues, and strengthening our prediction strategies. We are also working on writing more about our reading during our reading workshop time.

Thank you to all who were able to donate to our Donors Choose classroom library project! This project was fully funded, and we are now waiting to add these high-interest books to our class library for all to enjoy! I am so excited!!

Have a wonderful, fall weekend!


A Mystery . . .

Today we began our next unit in reading . . . MYSTERY!!

To kick off the unit, we had a mystery in our class to solve. It was the case of the missing sparkly-silver pen. We learned that following a series of clues can help us to solve a mystery in real life, and in our books! Using our clues, we found that Mrs. Gomez had borrowed our special pen!


October 13th

Thank you to all families for meeting with me this week on your child’s progress. I enjoy sharing all the great learning that has been going on and setting goals for continued success.

Next week we will be back to a full week that includes the start of new reading, writing and math units. Over the next week, please be on the lookout for your child’s sharing of their narrative writing piece on Seesaw. We worked to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our scenes by adding inner thoughts, describing actions, similes, and using dialogue with quotation marks. We also generated beginnings to “hook” readers in and endings to leave readers thinking. At this point, I am looking for students to use the writing strategies they are learning and to recognize words and punctuation that may not be correct. The final piece should show improvements in the addition of writing strategies, but you may still see many spelling and punctuation errors that they miss. That is expected and okay right now.

In social studies, we continued to learn about Michigan by focusing on the Great Lakes. We are compiling our completed work in a Michigan book that will be sent home at the end of the school year.

Our art teacher, Mrs. Andrews, created a Donors Choose page for our class. We are on the lookout for specific book series that we LOVE. On October 18 and 19, any donations you make to our request are matched dollar for dollar by Donors Choose! Any donation on these two days are appreciated!!! Here is the link if you are interested: Thank you!



Have a wonderful weekend!



Homecoming Friday

As you saw in homework this week, we learned the Distributive Property in math! We are using it to break down multiplication problems into smaller parts. This property takes much practice, but we are getting the hang of it! This is a method that will be built on in later grades, so a solid understanding now is important.

In writing, we learned about similes and how to incorporate them into our writing to make our writing sound more interesting. Most students are now working on writing their final copies of their narrative stories.

In our reading, we finished the book, Stone Fox. We learned that not all stories have a happy ending. The skills we worked on this week were strategies to tackle tough words, noticing figurative language and what it means, (He was on my tail!), and asking questions of the text. We are working on stopping and journaling about our thoughts as we read.

In science we are looking at the earth’s materials. We have made observations of soil, gravel, sand, silt, and clay. Our observations include the properties of each earth material. We are then working to write an organized paragraph about each material.

Remember, if your child is running for a Student Council position, the iMovie video/ad is due on Monday, October 9th.

Information went home today for the TCM Counseling groups (Butterflies, Bats, or Bears?, Changing Families, Friendship Group).

Information on the Jeffers Jive Monster Mash also went home. Our Jive/Halloween Party is October 31st from 2:35 to 3:25 in the cafeteria. The top 3 classes in pledges receive money to be used by the students/teacher for the classroom!

I look forward to meeting with you at our conference next week! (1/2 days Thursday and Friday)