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)

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