Week of September 26 – News from 3rdLand

Monday – We worked on finding great power words in the books we’re reading.  A power word is a word that’s new and surprising.  Instead of saying, “Joe was tired,” we might write, “Joe sagged with exhaustion.”  We made bots in the afternoon.  SO FUN!  We talked about making wellbots, domino robots that can encourage people to take actions for their own wellness, as well as for their community’s wellness.  Each 3rdLander donated one of their bots to give to a member of Childs staff, to show them we appreciate how much they do for our school.

Tuesday – We started our day with a story writing project.  We wrote stories about characters who find wellbots.  The wellbots give them encouraging advice about how to stay well.  We also had a fabulous discussion about the book, Four Feet Two Sandals and worked on bumper stickers to share important ideas from that book. We practiced writing down our responses to the book, The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates.

Wednesday –  In Math today, we worked with partners to take inventory at Harry’s Pet Store.  We talked about ways store items can be arranged in different arrays.  We used different strategies to count our inventory — counting by ones, counting by 5’s, repeated addition and multiplication.  We also worked on a pictograph about graphic novels that we think are essential items for our library.  At noon, we had one minute of silence for peace.  This wave of peace went around the world, in all different timezones.  Many Childs Jaguars participated in the minute of peace.  In the afternoon, we celebrated Violet’s birthday and we also celebrated PEACE DAY.  We learned about the history of the peace bell at the United Nations.  We made peace pinwheels. They were tricky, but most of them did spin.

Thursday:  First day of Autumn!  We rocked our Math work today.  We focused on two step problem solving and some multiplication modeling using images of sets of stamps.  We practiced a new poem at the Literacy Cafe and did some work with our word sorts.  After our wonderful Thursday recess, we read an old classic, Where the Wild Things Are. Then we learned about Banned Books Week.  The 3rdLanders were not pleased to see that some of their favorites have been challenged or banned, including Where the Wild Things Are.  Our Afternoon Meeting, the conversation kept going.  The 3rdLanders shared many different perspectives.  Hoorah!



News from Thirdland September 19

Two-Day Closure Of Spray Pad At Switchyard Park For Finishing Work July 20  & 21 | WBIW


Monday:  We organized our desks and cubbies first thing in the morning.  We also put our HOMEWORK FOLDERS in our backpacks.  Then we took the Chapter 1 math test.  We worked on “Vocab Ventures” during PAWS.  This week, we are learning about the words AVID and BELLIGERENT.  Our IU M401 students came for their first visit.  Ms. Balaskas and Ms. Pavlidis will join our class on Monday and Wednesday afternoons this semester.  Next semester, they will be doing full time student teaching.  They helped us with our final wellness center.  We’ve learned a lot about our individual wellness.  Now we’ll focus on community wellness.

Tuesday:  Our math tests needed some “fixes,” so we spent some time in the morning working on fixing our mistakes.  We talked about the importance of taking your time and doing careful work at all times in 3rdLand.  So important!  In the afternoon, we learned more about the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. We made sketch notes as we watched a video about the food bank.  We received a great email from the food bank.  They thanked us for collecting cereal and will pick up the cereal the first week of October.

Wednesday:  We took another assessment about character traits this morning. We also are learning about how to write literature circle post-its in preparation for starting our chapter books soon.  In the afternoon, we learned more about the benefits of public parks and how parks are funded.  We researched parks at the Bloomington Parks and Rec Site and found out that our town has 32 parks!  We are making posters to persuade people to head to the park!

Thursday:  We are working on subtraction and addition up to 1000, with regrouping.  This is tough stuff for many of us, but we’ll get there.  We are also working on solving 2 step word problems.  During Writing Workshop, we learned about the craft of writing:  strong leads, power words, snapshots and endings that leave us thinking.  We focused on leads today and looked through books with our partners to find leads that really “hook us in.”

Friday: Picture DAY!!!  Everyone looked great and we had our pictures taken before gym, which was fantastic.  We worked on our PERSUASIVE PARKS POSTERS in the morning.  We talked about the importance of having few to no CUPS errors on posters.  We also spent some time on Ms. Stewart’s Site, Literacy Cafe.  We worked on responses to the poem, “I Am the Dot.” In the afternoon, we worked with Dr. Frye to continue work on our LIBRARY ORGANIZATION project. We ended our busy week with some calm, quiet reading time.



News from Thirdland September 10

Indiana Bat - Bat Facts and Information

Last week was a short, but busy week.  At Friday’s afternoon meeting, the 3rdLanders helped me with the newsletter by recalling our week’s activities.  Here’s their list of last week’s highlights:

We’re working on a library project with Dr. Frye about ways we think libraries should be, or could be, organized.

A bat made its way into Childs one morning this week.  It flew around the atrium.  It was eventually caught and released, but we had many questions about this bat’s visit to our school.

We read about Althea Gibson, a famous tennis star.  We discussed her character traits:  brave, strong, determined.

We received our first Time for Kids magazine.  We worked with partners to identify which articles we thought were most important and which were most interesting.

We worked at our wellness centers to learn more about sleep, physical exercise and nutrition. We’re using google docs to write reflections after we finish each center.

Our Cereal Drive is going great.  We have 48 boxes of cereal so far!

Our read aloud is a fantastic chapter book called Prairie Lotus.  We’re all enjoying it.

Our poem of the week is about bees, so we did some bee research and made sketch notes as we read an article and watched a video on the Literacy Cafe website.  This is Mrs. Stewart’s awesome website.  You can find it on our blogroll.  Lots of literacy resources there.

We took a math test on Friday but we need to finish it up next week.

All is well in Room 204!


News from Room 204 – September 1, 2022


Monday, August 29:  In Math we talked about how equations model real stories.  15 + 19 = M might be a story about Sam, who had 15 apples and then picked 19 more.  15 + M = 34 might tell the story of Ellen who had 15 cookies, but needed 34 for her class.  How many more should she make?  M + 19 = 34 might be the story of Zack, who had some shells.  Then his sister gave him 19 more, which brought his total number of shells to 34.  How many shells did he start off with?  We talked more about Point of View in Reading Workshop.  We also talked about the big ideas in We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy.  We made bumper stickers for that book.  We made flyers about the cereal drive. Today was a great day.  At Afternoon Meeting, many 3rdLanders said they wanted us to have more time for writing on Tuesday.  Music to my ears.

Tuesday, August 30:  We worked on adding with regrouping, using different addition strategies — base ten models, jumping, splitting as well as the standard stacking algorithm.  We started working on our Poem Partner stories.  We’re finding connections in poems, and then using flow maps to plan out a story about these connections.  In the afternoon, we had new word sorts.  We also started a new chapter book called Prairie Lotus.  We read a great picture book called Four Feet Two Sandals.  Then we talked about character traits for the main character. We accomplished a lot today.

Wednesday August 31:  Today we walked out to the garden to check out all the flowers and veggies.  Then we wrote in our notebooks in the shelter.  In Math, we are working on subtraction problems with regrouping.  During Reading Workshop, we practiced writing book blurbs. We also discussed the point of view of the narrator of the picture book, Two Feet Four Sandals.

Thursday, September 1:  We worked in inquiry centers this morning.  Our 3 centers focus on the importance of sleep, nutrition and physical exercise.  We worked with partners to read and answer questions about these topics, and to create tableaux, yoga poses, and nutritious dinner plates.  I was super impressed with how cooperative and focused the 3rdLanders were during center time. We ended our centers by writing reflections using Google Docs.  In the afternoon, we worked on our word sorts.  Then we had recess.  We ended the day with partner discussions about Four Feet Two Sandals and a lovely Read 2 Self time.  The week has flown by. MyPlate and You (Health and Your Body): Olson, Gillia M.: 9781429671293: Amazon.com: Books


Week of August 29

Monday:  In the morning we worked on our reflection paragraphs for our Healthy Kids lesson. We are working on using evidence to support a main idea. In the afternoon, we visited the STEM to THEM bus today.  Ms. Smith talked to us about coins.  We learned how they’re minted and we learned about the symbols on various coins.  When we went out to the bus, we designed our own coins and watched coins being printed on the laser printer.  SO AWESOME!  Great start to our week.

Tuesday: We took a wellness survey and made bar graphs with our data.  100% of our class agreed that we eat nutritious food every day.  We learned that only 84% of people in Monroe County have food security.  There are organizations in our town that help people get enough food for their families. We are planning a cereal drive for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. We sent a letter to Mr. Marshall and he replied, “What a great idea!”  We’ll work with the other third grade classes on this project.  This food drive fits in perfectly with the central idea of our WELL, WELL, WELL unit, Our actions impact individual and community wellness. We used context clues to figure out the meaning of the word, “dwindled.”  We also worked on sorting words with the long a sound.

Thursday:  We learned about Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs.  In order to really THRIVE, people need to have their needs met, including basic needs, safety needs, belonging needs, and esteem needs.  We made comic strips about a character who had THE PERFECT DAY, getting their needs met as the day progressed.  These came out great.  We are working on a measurement scavenger hunt, finding objects in our classroom that are different lengths.  We’re measuring in centimeters. We cleaned out our desks and made a list of things we wanted to share with our families at Open House.

Friday:  We learned a new math game called Target 20 during Math time. During Writing Workshop, we studied a sentence to review CUPS rules.  Our model sentence was Mr. Marshall’s favorite book is Wonder.  We went to the library in the afternoon.  Dr. Frye asked us about library organization.  We jotted down our thoughts about what is necessary in order to have a well organized library. We’ll follow up on this conversation next week. Ms. Casey came at the end of the day and talked to us about bullying.  She read a story about different ways we can help ourselves and others if we experience bullying. We talked about our ideas about Maurice Sendak’s creative and complicated picture book, We Are All in Dumps with Jack and Guy.  A super week in 3rdLand!

Week of August 22

Monday:  We focused on two addition strategies today — jumping and splitting.  We also learned a game called Make the Sum.  Once again, the students beat the teacher.  Oh well.  We’ll get ’em next time!  We went to the library all together in the afternoon.  Our stamina for Read 2 Self time remains strong.  Another solid 20 minutes of total focus on our books.  Well done, Thirdland!

Tuesday:  We took sketch notes while Dr. H. read a book called Healthy Kids.  We learned about tableau, which are frozen scenes with real actors.  In small groups we created Healthy Kids tableaux and shared them with our class.  We are working on writing a reflection paragraph about different ways to be healthy and well.  In the afternoon, we took the NWEA Reading test.  We ended our day with 2 math games:  Make the Sum and Loops and Groups.

Wednesday:  We started our day with the NWEA Math test.  Señora Coolidge taught us about different commands in Espanol. We learned about comparing points of view in Reading Workshop.  We identified the narrator of Crow Boy.  The narrator is a student at Chibi’s school.  We think the narrator feels that people should get to know one another and that everyone should be included.  Then we talked about our own point of view.  Do we agree with the narrator’s point of view?  Or disagree?

Thursday:  We worked on Character Traits today.  We decided that Chibi is a brave boy.  Evidence from the book:  He walked alone a far distance to his school every day.  He never missed school even though kids were mean to him there.  He performed his talent (cawing like a crow) at the talent show in front of the school. We are also making bar graphs based on survey data we collected from classmates.   We finished our read aloud book about Mary Breckenridge, Mary on Horseback.


Mary Breckinridge | Biography, Frontier Nursing Service, & Facts | Britannica


August 15 News from Room 204

Welcome to our classroom blog.  (FYI: If you scroll through the entries, you’ll see some of the work I’ve done with previous Thirdlanders).

We’ve had a splendid start to our school year. At our Friday afternoon meeting, I asked students what news I should share in our newsletter. Their list was long and included:

In Spanish, we are learning how to talk to people by saying hello and good morning. 

Our reading stamina went from 3 minutes on our first day to 20 minutes on Friday.  We practiced a little more each day.  During Read To Self time, we are reading silently for the entire time.  

We finished our first read aloud, a book called JoJo Makoons.  It was good, but it had a weird ending. We learned about character traits after reading Crow Boy by Taro Yashima.

We went to the library and checked out one book.  This week we’ll go again and check out more books. We can check out 4 books at a time in 3rd grade.

We had an extra recess on Wednesday for Henry’s birthday,  

We worked on collecting information about our classmates and made bar graphs to show our information. We learned a multiplication game called Loops and Groups.  We learned four steps for solving story problems. 

After learning about Issa, the famous haiku poet, we took a haiku hike outside and collected images in our writer’s notebooks. Back in class, we learned how to write haiku.  We used our notebook images and wrote haiku.  We painted with water colors to illustrate our haiku. We also wrote short “About Me” books to introduce ourselves to our class.

We learned about making sketch notes.  When we add pictures when we’re taking notes, we can remember more.

We wrote essential agreements for our class:  We agree to try hard in school, to listen to each other,  to include everyone, to take turns and to get in touch with our inner banana slug!  

We learned about Claes Oldenburg and tried to make soft hamburgers with newsprint.  Not easy! This activity was a starter for our Well, Well, Well unit about how we promote individual and community wellness. 

We made new friends. 

WOW!  SUPER START to the 2022-2023 school year.



Week of May 3

Monday:  Great literature circles today.  The Thirdlanders pointed out so many important ideas in the Shredderman chapters they read.  We also worked on discussing the big ideas in The Bobbin Girl with our partners. We voted on our next Time for Kids article to discuss this week.  We also made 1 x 2 posters, where we showed with base ten strips models for multiplying one digit by two digit numbers.

Wednesday:  Beautiful morning, so we brought our notebooks outside for some writing time.  A great start to this Writer’s Wednesday.  Back in class, we read Shredderman independently and worked on our four square responses.  Ms. Bayle-Hall came with some fabulous instruments.  We learned about why it benefits us to shop locally.  We also had a TERRIFIC presentation from Mabel’s dad about how the economy, ethics and the law all work together.  The 3rdLanders made some good trades, and their trading increased the value of their paper bag items.  We ended the day by comparing the distributive property with the associative property.  We were busy on this Wednesday!

Thursday:  Today started off with a DVD about starting a business.  We discussed business plans and the 3rdLanders formed groups to make business plans for possible future local businesses.  After working on their plan, they shared google slides and made presentation pitches.  At the end of the day, they presented their plans.  They were terrific!  It’s fun to see how well they work together. One Thirdlander said at the end of the day, “That was fun, but it was also kind of frustrating!”  They really stretched themselves today!  Hoorah for the 3rdLanders.  What a great way to wrap up our Costly Choices unit!

Week of April 26

Monday:  We painted free trade bananas this morning. Tomorrow we’ll work on typing up our reflection pieces about how buying free trade products can make a difference.  We read an article about elephants in TFK.  In the afternoon, we read a great book called The Water Princess, about a girl in Burkina Faso who has to walk for miles each day to collect water.  We also worked on some 2 step math problems that involve larger numbers.

Tuesday: We are getting ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day by reading poems together and choosing some favorites.  We had Shredderman literature circles. Lots of great ideas shared in these conversations.  Ms. Bayles-Hall came with some great instruments today.  She’s meeting with us twice this week because we missed Music last week due to ILEARN testing  We also had Art with Ms. Schuler. We went outside to draw what we saw.  At the end of the day we had a productive “FINISH UP” session.  We were busy!

Wednesday:  We worked on a problem string today where we multiplied 16 x 10, then 16 x 4, then 16 x 14.  We talked about pulling apart numbers.  We looked over our Shredderman four square and talked about the difference between a surface level question and a deep thinking question.  We also did some word work and read poems with our partners. We had some writing time at the end of the day.

Thursday:   We had 2 poetry projects today.  In the morning, we wrote ode poems to our pencils.  In the afternoon, we wrote free verse poems about water after a visit down to the creek to talk about the sights, sounds, feelings, and questions we had while watching the water flowing by.  We also performed our poems for the class and had a poetry swap at the end of the day.  Happy Poem in your Pocket Day!

Friday: We finished up our water sketch notes this morning.  We also worked on finishing up our Shredderman assignment.  We read more about cicadas in Time for Kids.  We also read a great historical fiction book called The Bobbin Girl.  It’s about the millworkers in Lowell, Massachusetts in the 1830’s.  In the afternoon we made models of multiplication equations with 2 digit by 1 digit factors.  We worked a bit in our school garden.  This has been a fantastic week.

Week of April 12

Monday:  Our day began with Math.  We practiced multiplying by 12 and completed 2 pages in our math books.  We had a morning recess to celebrate Abigail’s birthday. Señora Coolidge worked with us to identify different plants parts in Espanol. For Reading time, we visited the ILEARN portal and practiced one of the released items test.  We also practiced 3 new vocabulary words:  grimace, hindrance and impartial.  We finished up our Shredderman assignments. We got to use our new equipment at recess.  It was fun to watch the 3rdLanders playing basketball, soccer and four square.

Tuesday:  We started the day with some ILEARN practice, reviewing the writing prompt on the Released Repository site.  Ms. Schuler came for Art and we worked more on our mandalas.  We made bumper stickers for Carpet Boy’s Gift.  In the afternoon, we used play dough to make our possessions, including both wants and needs, for our tiny houses. We are writing a reflection about tiny houses and their impact on the environment.

Wednesday:  We worked more on our reflections about tiny houses this morning.  We also practiced another test on the ILEARN portal. Ms. Bayle-Hall taught us more about some Tibetan musicians.   In the afternoon, we worked on multiplying with 2 digit numbers.  We also had some independent reading time.  We got a lot done!

Thursday:  We started out with some research on cicadas.  Our poem of the week also features cicadas.  We’re getting ready for Brood X!  We finished working on the ILEARN repository items.  We also had a literature circle discussion about the first 3 chapters of Shredderman. We read about Fair Trade chocolate and found out what the FAIR TRADE label means.  We learned a new game at GYM.