Monthly Archives: November 2015

Turkey problem.

It’s been a short but busy week!

This week our third grade students have been working in groups to solve some mathematics challenge problems about Thanksgiving.  Here are some examples of the problem solving strategies the children used to solve the turkey problem:


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Gratitude week and curriculum.

gratitude week turkey

Students at the Kennedy School have completed a week of “Gratitude” activities.  Students shared the things they are grateful for in classroom discussions, on a turkey in the cafe, and on a sticker that they wore for an entire school day.  Many students also participated in a canned food drive and they met with their fifth grade buddies to write a letter to someone they are grateful to have in their lives.

In mathematics, the children have been practicing their multiplication facts on daily timed tests.  Some students are still trying to beat the two facts, while others have moved onto the three and four tables.  Students should be practicing their multiplication facts at home to increase their fact fluency.  Also, since we are focusing our time on multiplication in school, please review addition and subtraction on the number line in order to maintain and improve these skills.

In English Language Arts, students have been learning and practicing the roles of clarifier, questioner, and predictor as part of the Reciprocal Teaching model.  Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity where students become the teacher in small groups.  The students are learning these roles so that they can learn to guide group discussions about the texts they have been reading.  After the Thanksgiving break students will be learning about the summarizing role and how to identify the main idea and details about what they’ve read.  Below you can see the cards students use to guide their discussions in their groups.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The students have been learning many new things about nonfiction texts, such as how to identify nonfiction text features and how to use strategies to figure out what new vocabulary words mean.  The children have also been using “stems” to write about their predictions, to share what they’ve learned, and to tell how they know what a new vocabulary word means.  Below are a few of the anchor charts students use in the classroom to assist their learning.

anchor chart nonfiction text featuresanchor chart meanings vocab wordsanchor chart prediction stems

anchor chart what i've learned

The children have been working together in their groups and they are continually self-assessing what is working well in their group discussions and the things that they need to work on.  Here are some photographs of the students in their groups from this past week.


reciprocal teaching group 3reciprocal teaching group 1reciprocal teaching group 4reciprocal teaching group 2

In the upcoming week we will be reading Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen,  developing interview questions for our pilgrim interview project, and solving a challenging Thanksgiving turkey math problem.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Assignment updates.

I think many (myself included) are feeling inundated with projects.  Hopefully the following information will help to clear up any questions you may have.

The Mayflower Writing Assignment final draft is due on Tuesday, November 10th.  Students have been writing three paragraphs about their Mayflower journey (paragraph 1–before leaving, paragraph 2–journey on the Mayflower, paragraph 3–arrival).  They have been reading the book If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 and they have used facts from this book in their own writing.  It would be greatly appreciated if you could help your child to edit and revise his or her writing (your child should have the rough draft in the yellow homework folder). Students can type the final draft, but typing is NOT required.  Please make sure your student submits the rough draft with the final draft.  Thank you!

The New England State Project written component is due on Friday, November 13th.  Students should use the ideas on the graphic organizer in their homework folders to help guide their writing. Students were given time in Library to search for information to complete their graphic organizers. The graphic organizer has four categories: important facts/history, geography, landmarks, fun and interesting information. Students should also draw a picture on the cover of the “My State Report Booklet” that represents their state by November 13th.

Pilgrim Project Intro information should have come home with your child on November 6th.  Our class will begin reading Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. Each student will be interviewing a family member (or friend) about someone who was a “pilgrim”.

Some things to start thinking about… Which country were you born in? Where did your birth parents, adoptive parents, or grandparents come from? Maybe you left a country and came to the United States of America, or maybe your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents left their original countries. Think about why you or your ancestors came to the United States.

Each student will be writing a narrative story from the perspective of the “pilgrim” he or she interviewed. Then, like Molly, each child will make a doll that represents the family member interviewed. Students will be presenting to the class as well.

More information will be provided at a later time.  Right now, students ONLY need to answer these questions:

  1. Who is the person I will interview?  Give his or her full name.
  2. What country did the person come from?
  3. Describe the country he or she came from.  Be sure to use vivid verbs, the five senses, and many adjectives in your description. (Look at pictures or talk to a friend or relative.)
  4. Why did this person leave his or her country to come to the United States? (To practice religious freedom, to find work, to have sense of adventure, etc.)

The answers to these four questions are DUE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16th.

If you have any questions please see Mrs. Tremonte.  Have a great weekend!