Author Archives: mrsmarcus

December 2

December already! It was a great week back after Thanksgiving break! We had our Santa’s Workshop, vision testing, and our trip to Holmes to see a presentation on early Michigan mining (photos below). We also managed to set new reading goals, focusing on reading a number of books per week based on “just right” books. We are graphing books completed for 4 weeks to see if we can reach our goals. In reading, we also practiced the reading strategy of “synthesizing” information across two different texts. For spelling, we explored the Post-it app to create Post-its of our spelling words and to practice sorting them into their sound categories.

During writing, we generated ideas of people, places, and things that are beautiful, or right in this world. For example, “We should appreciate mail carriers for all they do”. We then fast drafted in our notebooks using stems to talk to our audience (You may be thinking . . . Did you realize . . . etc.).

Friction, mass, and gravity were concepts we explored this week by pulling blocks of wood on different surfaces. We then changed the variable of mass by adding a cup of stones to the wood to determine the difference in force needed.

We wrapped up Topic 4 in math this week. Monday we will review our assessments before beginning Topic 5: Multiplying and Dividing Numbers within 100. Mastering our multiplication facts to memorization (25 problems in 2 minutes) continues to be our goal. A few students are almost ready to move to division timed tests! Keep on studying!

Next week, we have a full, regular week of school. We will be busy stretching our minds! šŸ™‚

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November 22

Over this break, I have asked students to read and record on their reading log at least twice for these 6 evenings they have. I was so happy to hear many say they want to record every night! šŸ˜‰ We want to keep those reading skills sharp!

Here are a few pictures with our 1st grade buddies. Today we made Blessing Mix with them.

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November 21

The 3rd graders did a great job at the concert on Thursday evening! Kudos to them!

We have a short 2 day week ahead of us. We will continue working on strategies to help us become strongerĀ readers of nonfiction texts. This past week we focused on finding main ideas and supporting details within the text, as well as strategies to help us become experts on a topic and teach others about our topic. In class, we are reading “just right” nonfiction books, but the students know they may opt to read their fiction books for their reading logs at home. In writing, we will continue working on opinion/persuasive writing. Last week we wrote an 8 sentence paragraph on what we like about Thanksgiving. Please look for your child’s writing and reading of their work on Seesaw this coming week.

In math, we are wrapping up Topic 4–all about division and how it is related to multiplication. I anticipate finishing this topic the week after Thanksgiving break. I’m so proud of the progress each student is making on their facts! We are zooming along!

In science we have focused on force and motion. Hopefully you heard all about our marshmallow shooters and how we tested variables, such as, the amount of force we used, as well as the size of the marshmallow. This past week, we also tested the surface of an area to learn about friction. We tested the materials of cardboard, wax paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and felt.

On Friday, we took our spelling test on your child’s sort for the week. There will not be a word list for this coming short week.

On Tuesday this week, we will have Buddies with our first grade friends. A snack request was sent home Friday for our activity with our buddies. We are making a friendship snack. If it is possible, please send in the item on Monday. Ā Mrs. Burke and I appreciate everyĀ donation! Thank you.

Also, book orders for Scholastic Books are due on Tuesday the 22nd. You may order online with code: GVG22, or send in the order to me with checks written to Scholastic Books. Thank you!

A few dates:

November 23, 24, 25: No School for students

November 28: Santa’s Workshop for 3rd graders

November 29: Morning field trip to Holmes for Miner assembly

December 1 and 2: Half Days for students: 11:50 dismissal

December 23-Jan. 2: Winter Break; school resumes Jan. 3

November 11

This was a week of a lot of new learning for us. We wrapped up our unit in math and began Topic 4. We are starting to look at the relationship between multiplication and division and learning about “fact families”. Math tests will go home Monday.

In reading, we began our unit on nonfiction. Each student will be reading a just right nonfiction book in class to practice our reading strategies with nonfiction. For nightly home reading, students may continue to read their fiction books if they wish.

In writing, we had a writing celebration. With soft music playing, we rotated around the room to read our classmates’ stories and give them positive feedback. Then we compared our September writing to our finished piece and looked for “Bright Spots” and “Growth Opportunities” in our writing. We ended the week by learning to write 8 sentence paragraphs around a single topic. We are working on detail sentences, example sentences, and transition words. Ask your child about: bun, mustard ketchup, mustard ketchup, mustard ketchup, bun!

We began a unit on Force and Motion in science this week. We learned about variables, force, motion, and conducted investigations involving making a toy bus move across the floor.

Tips for home:

We are making progress with memorization of our multiplication facts! We have several apps to help master facts in a fun way. Your child should be very familiar with them. My hope is that your child is spending at least 5 minutes per school night working on those facts!!! Math will be so much easier if they are mastered!

Reading: As 3rd graders, we need to read every school night–our goal is at least 25 minutes. Students WILL grow in their reading skill by reading “Just Right” books on a regular basis. It puts them in a level in which they can practice the skills we are learning in class, without too much struggle. Reading needs to be logged each night, except for weekends. I collect logs on Fridays to review an make comments on.

Spelling words: Word sorts go home on Monday for students to study throughout the week. We take part in activities at school to practice the words too. Our tests are on Fridays.

Pasties: They were a mixed review on taste! One thing was unanimous–they all enjoyed making them!

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October 28th

The Jeffers Jive is on Monday. Our class will attend the Jive from 1:40-2:30. Following the Jive, we will have recess. The JPO is planning the fun and snacks for us that day.

A few things to know about Monday:

Students may BRING a costume to change into before the Jive begins. From our school office:

Please remember that costumes should abide by the schoolā€™s dress code.Ā  Students should stay away from gore, inappropriate dress and those things that could create a mess or scare other students.Ā  NO WEAPONS OF ANY SORT ARE ALLOWED AT SCHOOL AT ANY TIME.Ā  Additionally, face paint is not allowed along with masks that fully cover a student’s face.

The Jive is considered our party–there will not be an additional classroom party. If you wish to come and check out the fun at the Jive–feel free! šŸ™‚Ā 

We will have a few, fun Halloween activities in the morning as well with students switching between the 3, third grade classes.

What have we been learning?

This past week we worked hard on learning the Distributive Property to solve more difficult multiplication problems. It began a bit rocky, but I have seen a lot of growth this week! Next week, I hope to wrap up Topic/Unit 3. It is time to have those facts memorized. We are working on 5s, 10s, 9s, 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s. Students should be practicing facts every night! Our goal is memorization!

In writing, we wrapped up our personal narrative stories. Next, we will begin writing structured paragraphs, which will lead into opinionĀ writing.

This week we studied Michigan’s state symbols and the 5 Great Lakes. We added pages to our Michigan book.

In reading, we worked on writing more about our reading throughout the week–focusing on retells, predictions, questions, and character traits. We are working on the “because” part–including evidence from the story! Our next unit will be on reading nonfiction text.

If you have any questions about our week or the activities coming up, please let me know! Have a wonderful weekend!


October 14th

Hello Families!

We have had a busy week in 3rd grade! šŸ™‚ In reading we are working on the skills of using strategies when we come to unknown or tough words, making thoughtful predictions, asking questions as we read, and determining a character’s traits! Your child should be reading a Just Right book for 20 minutes per night and recording their reading on their logs. The weekend is a read, but no log, weekend.

In writing, we are revising our narrative stories. This means we are adding: inner thoughts, actions, details, and dialogue. We are also learning how to paragraph and checking our work for spelling and punctuation. We hope to be writing our final copies next week!

We are finishing Topic 2 in math! We have all passed our 0s and 1s on our multiplication tests (2 minutes for 25 problems). Next will be our 2s, 5s, and 9s. Our topic assessment will be next week. Topic 3 will be on applying properties of multiplication facts for 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, and 8s. I am asking you to help makeĀ sure your child is keeping up with their iPad homework each night–it involves practicing these facts. If internet is an issue, they may use the app: Splash Math to practice facts. Good old flashcards are a fine alternative too! Our goal is to have strategies to find the products, but also to memorize these facts.

In social studies, we are continuing to beginning to study the history of Michigan. šŸ™‚

If you have not joined your child’s Seesaw account, please do so soon. The students will begin giving parents a weekly update of their learning. If you need help with this, I will have information again at our conference. Thank you!


Oct. 20 and 21st:

Half Days due to conferences. Dismissal at 11:50.

I look forward to meeting with you at conferences next week (19th or 20th).

September 30

It was so nice to meet many of you at Open House last Sunday! I hope you were just as impressed with the building as we are!

In reading this week we are working on strategies to use to help our comprehension. We learned readers give themselves a comprehension check after reading. We set the goal to makeĀ a comprehension check after each chapter or the end of a picture book. Just by asking the questions, “Who” is this story about? “What” is happening in this part of the story? What am I “noticing”? We are also strengthening our prediction muscles. Adding “I think this because . . .” is helping us find evidence in the story. Finally, we worked on noticing when the author is wanting us to make a mental movie or when to gather information. These strategiesĀ are helping us to become more aware while reading. Today we spent time reading with our partner and being supportive with the comprehension check of “who” and “what”. Pictures of our reading in action are in the link below.

In math we wrapped up Unit/Topic 1. The tests will go home on Monday, and we will begin our next Topic on multiplication.

In writing we worked on generating ideas in our notebooks for our small moment story. We also explored the difference between writing with a “reporter’s” voice and writing with a “storyteller’s” voice. A storyteller’s voice is much more interesting and draws the reader in. We are working to tell the story to our partners, rehearsing before we begin drafting. Today, each student picked a story idea from their notebooks that they wish to develop further. We are also practicing using our Word Wall and Have A Go page to help our spelling along the way. Ask your child about the Have A Go.

We began some district assessments this week and will continue next week as well.

Our class is really coming together. We have a great group of kids!

Have a wonderful weekend! Don’t forget to click below:

Our Friday Video

September 23

We are getting into our routine here in 3rd grade! Thank you for your help at home in making sure your child is showing you their planner, charging the iPad, and completing homework (including the Reading Log). It is a lot to remember, and as we say in class, “It will get easier the more we do it”. šŸ™‚

We are beginning to finish our first math unit, and will test our understanding next week. After using several strategies to figure out multiplication problems, we started division strategies this week. We drew pictures, used counters, made bar diagrams, and repeated subtraction to solve division word problems.

In reading we began partnerships. Our partners have a similar reading range in common, and we interviewed each other this week and shared our thinking about our new read aloud: Stone Fox. We set fluency goals and are still working to pick “just right” books and build our stamina in reading.

In writing, we began learning strategies writers use to generate ideas for personal narratives. We started “fast drafting” ideas to begin filling our notebook with storiesĀ to develop later.

For social studies, we created our book cover for our study of Michigan. Today, if finished, students posted photos and captions on Seesaw–our online journal. I sent an email today inviting you to join–it is easy to do and will help you see what your child is learning from their point of view! šŸ™‚

I hope to meet you all at Open House on this Sunday the 25th. It runs from 2-4 PM. I’ll be there!


September 16

Happy Friday! We have our first FULL week of school down. šŸ™‚ We are beginning to follow a more typical schedule in 3rd grade. We have started our first math unit. This week we have been learning strategies to help us understand the multiplication of whole numbers. It is essentially the meaning behind multiplication and using various strategies to find the product.

In reading, we also started our first unit. We are generating goals to make reading the BEST it can be, determining what makes a book “just right”, and reading books like “gold” (using expression and enthusiasm). Today students may have brought home a book or two telling you that it is theirs to keep. They are right! Mrs. Peets allowed students to take from a book table today. Happy Reading!

Writer’s notebooks are due on Monday. I have asked students to decorate it so it is special to them. We have had some great examples already brought in. If you have any questions, please let me know. In writing this week, we worked on what makes up a sentence. In groups students categorized groups of words as “sentences” or “not sentences”. The we looked at what we call sentence fragments and run-on sentences. We ended the week with expanding basic sentences into detailed sentences.

In social studies, we touched on our study of Michigan. We looked at our textbooks we get to use in 3rd grade, and learned how Michigan is part of a country, continent, hemisphere, planet, and galaxy. We learned a song about the 7 continents and practiced “WOW” work in coloring the continents. (Within the lines, Outstanding detail and color, White spaces filled)

iPads: This week was about exploring our iPads and keeping safe while using the iPad. In STEM, Mrs. Kipling is talking about “eye and ear pollution” and what to do if you have this on your iPad. In class, we made a folder on our home screen of “Need Permission” apps. These are apps we would not generally use or that have access to the internet and settings. Today we focused on private information that we NEVER share in order to keep safe. Ask your child about this.

My plan is for iPads and chargers to go home Monday with any student who has their iPad agreement and insurance payment turned in. I will be sending a letter home Monday as well.


Tuesday the 20th–6PM Watch Dog meeting in the cafeteria; 6PM JPO meeting as well

Thursday the 22nd–Picture day for 3rd graders–bring those smiles!

Sunday the 25th is the Jeffers Open House–I look forward to seeing you all there!

October 31st–Jeffers Halloween Jive (more info. to follow)

Our First Week!

We had a wonderful first week in our new building! I have to say, the air conditioning made our hot days much more comfortable!

We have a great group of 3rd graders and spent the week getting to know each other. We did some team building activities with science. Using our senses, students worked in groups to investigateĀ what could be hidden within 8 different paper bags. We also used the basic steps of the scientific process with milk, food coloring, and dish soap in an activity called “Marbled Milk”.

In reading, we are building our stamina to read hyper focused for longer periods of time. We also discussed the best reading spots for reading homework. Your child may have been trying out several different spots at home last week! We also shared many read alouds having to do with the theme of friendship. Currently we are listening to the book, Jake Drake, Bully Buster, which is giving us some good discussions as well!

We began our first unit in math. The strategies of using bar diagrams, counters, drawings, and number lines helped us to multiply numbers and create both addition and multiplication equations.

I have really enjoyed this first week with your child! Next week we will introduce the iPad into our day and have our first visit to our new school library. Have a wonderful weekend! Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā A Video of Our First Week