Category Archives: fiction

Spirit week and other updates.

Last week our school enjoyed spirit week.  Monday we dressed in our school colors, orange and black.  Tuesday we decorated our door to show our Kennedy School pride (please come by to read the reasons why we love the Kennedy School), and on Thursday we were joined by our fifth grade buddies from Ms. Bougas’s class to participate in some Kennedy School Trivia.  We finished up the week by wearing Patriots clothing to celebrate our New England Patriots.  It was a fun and exciting week!

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In math, we have been continuing to sharpen our skills with addition and subtraction by using the number line and bar model.  We have also been finding the perimeter of squares and rectangles by using the formula perimeter equals length plus width plus length plus width.  Some children have even written books about “Peri the Perimeter Pet”!  The students have been using variables in equations to solve for the unknown.  We will be reviewing money, time, and rounding to the nearest ten and nearest hundred before our district assessment at the beginning of November.  Reminder: Always remember to show work (two different ways if possible), write equations, and write a sentence with your answer for word problems!

number line and bar model

peri the perimeter pet peri the perimeter pet 2

In English Language Arts we have been continuing our study of fiction.  The last two weeks we have been reading My Name Is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada and we have been learning how to ask questions to further our understanding of what we have been reading so that we can have engaging conversations about the text.  Students have focused on asking a balance of “Right There” questions and “Author and Me” questions.  They have had clear behavior expectations when asking and answering questions with their groups and they have made significant progress over the last few weeks.  Group expectations include speaking and listening to my partner about my work, staying focused on my work for the entire time, and having the materials I need to complete my task.

asking questions

In Social Studies each student has chosen a New England State to learn more about.  Each child will research their state, write a report, and do a presentation.  Much of the research will be completed in school.  Students will be receiving more information in the coming weeks.  We started our maps in class on Friday and the map is due Wednesday, October 21st.

Pool with resume this Monday and Wednesday is a noon dismissal for students.

I’ll leave you with a photograph from Friday.  The students participated in their first session of Playworks on the front school yard. We had a lot of fun, despite the chilly weather and everyone is already looking forward to our next session.


Classroom update.

We’ve had a busy first few weeks of school getting to know each other and our new third grade rules and routines.  Now that each student has returned his or her paperwork I can now start posting some photographs.  I’m very excited because each and every student has permission to appear on our classroom blog and website!

The first week of school everyone enjoyed participating in a puzzle team building challenge.  Groups were randomly selected using popsicle sticks and the students had to work together to assemble their puzzles without talking.  Every group developed different strategies for communicating without using their voices.  Each group successfully participated and three of the four groups completed their puzzles.  The only reason that one group did not finish was that the puzzle had many more, smaller pieces.  It was a successful team building activity and I’ve had many requests to do another puzzle activity!

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We have also been spending time learning how to solve addition and subtraction using a number line.  This method is quite different from the conventional method that students have been using.  Here are a few examples to illustrate the method we’ve been working on in class:


There are many more word problems in third grade and we have been practicing doing three things in third grade: Showing our work (two different ways if possible), showing equations, and writing a sentence with our answer.  This is essential for all word problems solved in class and for homework assignments.  We have this chart on display in class to remind us:


We’ve also started learning about rounding to the nearest ten.  Here’s a video illustrating how we round a number to the nearest ten.

In English Language Arts we have been talking about common elements of fiction, such as characters, setting, plot, problem, and solution.  The class has enjoyed reading Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco.  Towards the end of the week the students identified the character traits of the sister in My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother (see chart below) and they are currently working on developing a paragraph explaining her character traits.

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One thing I remember most about my own elementary school experience is my teachers reading to me.  I can vividly recall which teacher read which book and I am continuing this read aloud transition in our classroom.  The students love listening to George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl because it makes them laugh.

Students have also been reading about Massachusetts and soon they will have their Massachusetts maps on display in the hallway outside our classroom.

Come by and visit any time!