Author Archives: mrsmarcus

October 2

We enjoyed learning about the Great Lakes Region this past week, concluding the week with Michigan cookies! Yum!

We also finished our second topic in math. Overall, excellent scores on our final assessment! This next topic may be a bit trickier for some students. We will be using the distributive and associative properties of multiplication.

In reading, we are adding to our reading strategies and learning to jot our thinking in our Reader’s Notebook. Last week we focused on making predictions based on what we know and retelling the important pieces in the story. The amount of at home practice reading increases this week from 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Students should be practicing in their “Just Right” books and recording this on their blue Reading Log.

In writing, we worked on how to use dialogue in our writing and where to begin paragraphs as we draft our narrative stories.

For science, we continued to explore earth’s materials. We examined different minerals and saw how some rocks, such as granite, are a combination of these minerals. This week, we will examine the earth materials of gravel, sand, silt, clay, and soil.

Conferences: The conference link went out on Friday. Please make sure you sign up, as conferences are quickly approaching!

Pajama Day Wednesday for $1 (fundraising for leukemia)

Thursday–Neon Day

Friday–Laker Spirit Wear

Have a great week!

September 22–Weekly Update

This week we took our first math test, and I am proud of everyone! These tests went home on Thursday. We had great scores and are into the second math topic. This second topic focuses on strategies to multiply by facts 0 through 9. We are not memorizing these facts yet, but learning strategies to find the answers. Multiples, repeated addition, arrays, equal groups, 9s tricks, and number patterns are ways we are finding products.

In class, we are also working on the Xtra Math app to become more proficient on our addition and subtraction facts. These may be worked on at home as well.

In writing, we are working on storytelling our narrative story. You may have noticed your child’s retelling of their sketches on Seesaw. We also worked on 4 different types of leads to hook our readers into our story. These next two weeks, we will work on our drafts to these stories, using strategies to elaborate and include detail.

We started our science unit: Earth and Me. We began by observing rocks. Seesaw was used to take a photo of our rock and create a diagram with our noticings. We also generated questions we had about our rocks. This week, we will explore what rocks are made of. In social studies, we looked at the geographic region Michigan belongs to–The Great Lakes Region. We labeled and colored maps to be placed in our 3rd grade Michigan books.

In our reading, we are using the text Stone Fox to help grow our reading strategies. This past week we practiced giving ourselves a comprehension check by asking, “Who is this part about? What is happening right now? What am I noticing?” We are also trying to notice, when is an author asking us to visual a story, and when is an author asking us to gather information. We are learning that using these strategies helps our reading muscles grow stronger!

We have also been working on completing our district reading and math assessments. This information will help me determine which skills to further support with your child. I hope to be able to share more information at conference time, the second week of October. Look for a conference sign up to be emailed in the coming week.

I hope you have enjoyed this warm week we have had. I truly appreciate that Jeffers is now air conditioned!  Have a great week, and as always, please let me know of any questions or concerns.

I’m looking forward to this week with your child!

September 15

We had a great week! I am enjoying getting to know our class, and we are now into our school routine. 🙂

In our math, we are finishing Topic 1. Today, we reviewed concepts to help us prepare for the test. Monday we will practice again, using the online test. Then, students will take the final test using the paper version for this first time through.

In our writing, we are using strategies to generate ideas for true stories. We then started drafting these narrative pieces, working to add detail and write step-by-step. Wow, we wrote and wrote today! Some photos below show us hard at work. Students also posted a sneak peek of their writing on Seesaw.

In our reading, we are increasing our reading stamina, working on using our Reading Log, reading “Just Right” books, sharing books we enjoy, and getting to know our reading partners. Today we interviewed our partners about books they love, where they read, and what their goals are for reading.

We started our study of Michigan. After looking at where Michigan is located relative to other continents, regions, and hemispheres, we created a writing piece called, “I’m a Michigan Kid!” These were also posted on Seesaw.

We also began a Word Sort/Spelling lesson. Right now, the words may seem a bit basic for your child, but we are just working to learn the routines and rotations in our week. Later, students will be grouped in lists according to their individual needs.

Student Council: A paper went home earlier this week if your child expressed interest in running for Student Council. The first step is to pick up a petition paper next Wednesday and collect 20 student signatures.

Picture Day! We have school pictures taken on Wednesday, September 20th at 9:45.

Have a great weekend! (Photos below!)

September 8

Wow! We had a busy 4 day week. Overall, we spent a lot of time getting into our school routines. In math, we completed our first 3 lessons. We now have several strategies to help us solve multiplication problems. The memorization part will come later this year.

In writing, students wrote several writing samples that we will use to help us see where we can grow our writing skills throughout the year. We also started generating ideas for narrative writing, our first unit, by making a “heart map”. Ask your child about it.

We started our Reading Workshop routines of picking our “just right” or “good fit” books, taking Accelerated Reader test, and our 3rd grade challenge of “Read Around Michigan”. Your child should be able to tell you all about it!

Finally, we took time to learn about having a “Growth Mindset”. We completed several activities to help us realize when we are making a fixed mindset statement and how we can turn it into a growth mindset statement. A blue information page went home with your child to help explain what we are learning.

If you haven’t connected to your child’s Seesaw account yet, please consider doing so. Your child has already made posts on different Seesaw tasks they have been given.

Below are some photos of our week~math games, dance breaks, and Reading Workshop

June 2

Thank you to all our parents who were able to join us at John Ball Zoo! We had a fantastic day, and I’m so proud of the way the 3rd graders presented their flex habitat projects!

Photos are at the end of this post.

We have finished all of our district assessments, as well as MSTEP. Our class had great perseverance! I will be sending copies of your child’s district assessments, including their Just Right reading levels, so you can see how your child has progressed over their 3rd grade year.

In class, we have been finishing our last mini units in math. We have focused on addition and subtraction with regrouping, mental math and rounding, multiplication by multiples of 10, and two-step word problems involving all operations. There is a short section in the math book that gives a sneak peak at 4th grade math. I will send it home before the last day of school as a tool to use in the summer.

We are working on our final unit of science: Earth and Me. As you can see from Seesaw, we ware exploring Earth materials: rocks, minerals, and soil. We will be learning how rocks are formed and what they are made of.

In writing, we are completing our All About books on our animals we researched. These next few days, you might see your child come home with writing homework. We are working hard to get them finished by the end of the school year!


April 28th

Mark your calendars! A field trip is coming up: With the help of JPO, we are able to take our 3rd graders to the John Ball Zoo on Wednesday, May 31st. This will tie in with our animal research, writing, and work in progress in both STEM and Art classes. A letter will be going home soon requesting $3 per student to cover remaining costs. I will be able to take 5 parent chaperones, without cost as well. If more parents wish to go, those parents will be able to meet us there and pay regular admission to the zoo. Let’s hope for great weather! 🙂

This past week we have been working on our animal research during Reading Workshop. We are comparing and contrasting two animals, looking for patterns, and growing big ideas about animals as a whole. Lot’s of great thinking has been going on, along with students reaching their reading goals!

In writing, we are continuing to use specific strategies that researchers use to draft our All About books. Soon, we will begin drafting a 2nd All About book on our current animal being researched.

In Science, we have been focused on the adaptations that animals have for survival. We have learned about the different behavioral and physical adaptations animals may have, and how these adaptations are important.

Our math unit has focused on finding area and perimeter of figures. It is easy to mix the two up and forget our “math magical word” of SQUARE in our area answers. When we work backwards and are given the perimeter and have to find the side lengths, or the area and have to find the possible side lengths, that has been tricky too. With further practice and review on Monday, I am hoping we will be prepared for an assessment on Tuesday.

We had an all-school assembly on Friday bringing our Autism Month activities to a close. Next Wednesday morning we have another assembly with Zeke the Wonder Dog from MSU. If students have MSU gear, they are welcome to wear it. Also, don’t forget, next Wednesday is our Cool School competition. Get out there and get some ice cream at Front Porch! 🙂 I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Dates:

MSTEP: May 9 (ELA) May 16 & 17 (Math)

Swimming: May 11–12:50-2:00

Jeffers Celebration Day: May 26

Memorial Day: May 29

Zoo field trip: May 31

1/2 Days: June 8th and 9th (9th is the last day of school)

April is Here!

We had a busy week that was filled with hands-on learning. We had a visitor from the John Ball Zoo who brought along a Mexican Porcupine, King Snake, and scorpion. We learned about the habitats required for these animals and how the zoo only takes in animals that have been injured, or that they have acquired from another zoo. For our science unit, we will be working with Mrs. Kipling and Mrs. Andrews in STEM and ART to create a zoo habitat for an animal that we are studying within our research groups in Reading Workshop. We will also be writing an All About information book on our specific animals.

Sheepshank Sam day was a huge hit! We learned a great deal about lumbering in Michigan during the 1800s. To see more photos of our zoo presentation and lumberjack day, have your child show you their Seesaw newsfeed.

In reading we are working on learning strategies to research animals in our research clubs. In writing, we are learning strategies to organize and elaborate an All About book. This first draft is an “all about” on any topic students feel like an expert on. The second “all about” will be on the animal being researched in our reading workshop groups.

We are about to end our mini-topic on Two-Dimensional Shapes. Our next mini-topic will be solving problems involving perimeter.

Reminder, we will have our first of 2 swimming lessons tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18th. We walk over to the Aquatic Center right after lunch recess. Please help your child remember to pack a suit and towel. Again, if there are any dads that can meet us there to help with the boys locker room, please let Mrs. Bulthuis know you are available.  Thank you!

March 24th Update

Please look for your child’s update on the week in Seesaw today. We had an assembly with author and puppeteer, Kevin Kammeraad. It was interactive and fun!

A quick overview of our week: In reading we have wrapped up our character unit and are in nonfiction-research book clubs with the focus on animals. We have started by noticing what a researcher does and are beginning those steps. Many students are also reaching their reading goals they are making each week! It’s great to see!

In writing, we will begin All About books on a topic that each child already knows a lot about. We will go through the process of planning, organizing, revising, editing, and including tools that make our writing more detailed and interesting.

In math, we are about to wrap up our unit on measurement. We have worked on telling time to the nearest minute, elapsed time, and metric measurement of volume and mass. The math test will be before Spring Break begins. When we return, we will begin a unit on geometric figures.

In science we are learning about plants. I hope that your child did their homework–sharing with you the different plant parts and functions of them! 🙂 We also learned about photosynthesis and pollination. After Spring Break, we will begin investigating animal habitats and adaptations.

Next week is a 4 day week! Have a wonderful weekend!