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.

Week of April 5


Monday:  We started off the day with the second round of our Apple Market Simulation.  Then we read about SUPPLY and DEMAND in a Social Studies book.  We applied the ideas from our market by making comic strips where a PRICE SETTING HERO comes in to save the day.  These turned out to be quite fun.  We learned about the word PRECARIOUS.  We also worked on the Unit 6 Math test.

Tuesday:  Today was PICTURE DAY, which for some reason, made everyone extremely excited.  I guess it’s nice to see our friends looking a little dressier than usual.  We had a fun time writing “thought shots” about receiving a surprise gift of a rock.  We began our new literature circle book, SHREDDERMAN!  We also read more about Iqbal Masih and the carpet making kids of Pakistan.  We learned about the GOOD WEAVE label and how choices we make as consumers can make a difference in the world. We ended the day with some two step math problems. We were busy today!

Wednesday:  More work on our SUPPLY and DEMAND activities today.  We discussed various pricing scenarios and then wrote a reflection piece on why SUPPLY and DEMAND are important concepts.  We worked on solving some 2 step problems in Math.  We also learned more about Child Labor and the International Rights of the Child document drafted by the U.N. in 1959.  Ms. Bayles-Hall taught us about some Tibetan music and we watched a video of some Lotus artists from Tibet.

Thursday:  We worked on punctuating dialogue this morning and then worked on our independent writing projects.  As part of our Costly Choices unit, we had a TAG scavenger hunt and found out that our shirts have come to us from many different countries.  We’ll map the countries tomorrow. For Reading Workshop, we talked more about the themes and messages in the fables we read.  We also practiced our Vocab Ventures word, PRECARIOUS.  We ended the day with some problem solving in our math books.  We packed a lot in, including a slightly drizzly extra recess!

Friday:  Today was all about the TINY HOUSES!  We looked at families featured in the Material World photo book.  All the photos in the book show families with ALL their possessions outside in front of their homes.  We used world maps to locate the countries where the families lived.  Then we worked with partners to read an infographic about STUFFOCATION.  We recorded important facts about how much stuff the average American family owns.  Then we read about the Tiny House movement.  At last we began making our tiny houses out of shoeboxes and cardboard.  Our house making workshop was a sight to behold.  A fun day!

Week of March 29

The Carpet Boy's Gift: Shea, Pegi Deitz, Morin, Leane: 9780884482499: Amazon.com: Books

Monday:  We took a common assessment this morning, where we read 2 fables and then compared the themes, plots and settings of each.  We met in small groups to discuss the biography of Rachel Carson.  Then we wrote in our notebooks about our connections to her story. In Espanol, we learned more about countries where people speak Spanish.  In the afternoon, we used base 10 blocks to find the area of various rectangles.  We had an extra recess for Zach’s birthday.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

Tuesday:  We practiced punctuating dialogue this morning.  Then we worked on our social stories.  The stories are coming along.  At Reading Workshop, we made bumper stickers for Spring After Spring.  During Math class, we worked to make different arrays with area of 24 square units.  We also watched a DVD today about how the economy works.  We were introduced to terms like:  goods, services, producers, consumers, and capital resources.

Wednesday: We started our day with a game that highlights the difference between AREA and PERIMETER.  Ms. Bayles-Hall shared a Lotus Blossoms lesson with us.  We read a powerful book called The Carpet Boy’s Gift.  We also read an article in Time for Kids about the Covid Relief Bill.  We did more work with punctuating dialogue during Writer’s Workshop.

Thursday:  It took some time to organize our portfolios this morning, but we got the job done!  We had a pacer test at Gym time. During Math time, we worked on some “fractions on a geoboard” problems.  We also worked independently on some area and perimeter problems in our Bridges math book. Dr. H. told the class that she “absolutely did NOT sign up for an afternoon recess on the middle playground.”  April fools!  We ended our day out on the playground.  Fun times.

Friday:  Today we worked on making equivalent fractions with our geoboards.  We worked on a simulation in the afternoon that demonstrated the concepts of SUPPLY and DEMAND for our Costly Choices unit.  Lots of fun, but it got pretty loud at our apple market.  The sellers were advertising their apples with GUSTO.  We ended our day working on our social stories.  Really pleased at how these are coming along.  KUDOS to the 3rdLander Writers!

Week of March 22

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement: Roth Sisson, Stephanie, Roth Sisson, Stephanie: 9781626728196: Amazon.com: Books


Tuesday:  We learned more about similes and metaphors today and found figurative language in our morning poem, The Discombobulator.  We worked on perimeter in math class and measured the perimeter of 5 different polygons.  We made some fantastic bird nests with Ms. Schuler.  In Reading Workshop, we read Spring After Spring:  How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement.  We also read an article in Time for Kids about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.  We made tree maps about the main idea and supporting details.  At the end of the day, we worked on SNAPSHOTS, snippets of writing that SHOW and don’t TELL.  This was a super productive Tuesday.

Wednesday:  We began our day outside with our writer’s notebooks.  We spent 10 minutes looking and listening and writing “snapshots” that describe our creek.  We headed in for music, where Ms. Bayles-Hall shared many classical pieces that focus on spring.  We drew pictures to go along with the music.  In Math, we read a story called The 329th Friend.  Then we designed different dining room tables to accommodate different #s of guests.  We worked with partners to discuss the Rachel Carson picture book and ended our day with some Read 2 Self time.

Thursday:  Mr. B. was our guest teacher this morning.  Dr. H. was getting her 2nd vaccine shot.  Hoorah!  In the afternoon, we researched Rachel Carson.  We also worked on some perimeter problems with partners.  We continued our study of SNAPSHOTS and tried to create our own in our paragraphs about Spring break.

Friday:  We worked a LOT on our first Costly Choices Activity.  Costly Choices is our new IB unit.  The central idea for the unit is, “Our economic choices impact our society and our environment.”  We’ll learn about the economy, some ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and why wetlands are so important.  Today we kicked off the unit by learning about Christo and Jeanne Claude, 2 artists that created environmental art.  We studied their Surrounded Islands and learned about the impact this installation had on the Miami economy and environment. We looked at their other art pieces on their web page.   Then we went outside and collected rocks. We wrapped our rocks and made our own installation in our atrium.  We called it, “Surrounded Rocks.” We wrote a reflection to wrap up our work, using Google Docs.  We ended the day with some Read 2 Self time.  We have had a great week!

Week of March 8

Monday:  The Catfish Palace is a picture book about a girl who cares a LOT about animals.  We read this book together, took sketch notes, and then discussed the big ideas in the book with partners.  We took a practice IREAD test in the afternoon.  Then we worked with toothpicks to create different types of polygons.  We even made a dodecahedron.

Tuesday:  We took IREAD today.  It’s nice to be done with that big test.  The Thirdlanders were focused and put great effort into the three segments of the test.  In the afternoon, we had a literature circle discussion about 2 chapters of Matthew Jackson Meets the Wall.  We decided that J.P.’s main character trait is “helpful.”  We shared two bits of evidence from the text to support this claim.

Wednesday:  Writer’s Wednesday!  We went outside with our notebooks and wrote “in role.”  We pretended we were the main characters of our social stories.  We wrote letters to someone NOT in our story, telling this friend or relative some of the things we’re dealing with.  Ms. Bayles-Hall came and taught us more about rhythm patterns.  We read two folktales about Anansi, the trickster spider.  We’re learning more about themes and messages in the stories we’re reading.  In Math class, we worked more on polygons, using our geoboards.

Thursday:  The 3rdLanders started the day by writing notes to my dad.  I’m going to see him next week.  He’s going to be thrilled.  Then we worked in pairs to find examples of STRONG LEADS in books.  We made a PADLET of some great leads from popular books in our classroom.  During Math, we worked on equivalent fractions.  We also did more work on the attributes of quadrilaterals.  At the end of the day, we skimmed Time for Kids for important articles, finished our Matthew Jackson assignments, and worked on a word sort, making words with the letters of our secret work, UNHAPPIER.  This was a fine Thursday.

Here’s a link to our Padlet.