Tag Archives: Somerville

Raul the third.

Artist Raul Gonzalez III visited our classroom to share his love of comic book illustration with our class.

He’s a contributor to SpongeBob Squarepants Comics, which the kids thought was really cool.  The children especially loved watching him draw SpongeBob!

The kids were captivated by Raul’s lively and engaging stories and they are all inspired to draw and write comics of their own.  At the end of the day they practiced drawing a character that was inspired by themselves, their friends, their family, or their pets.

Want to learn more about Raul’s  comic, Lowriders in SpaceClick here to watch a video on YouTube.  You can also read more about Raul on his website.  Raul’s comics,  Lowriders in Space and Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, can be found at Porter Square Books, your local library, or on Amazon.

 

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Writing about texts.

Our class has been working to develop ideas about what they are reading to write a one page written essay.

Readers read the passage two times.  The first time is to get an idea about what the text is about and what the author is trying to tell us.  The second time is to underline important information (key ideas), to circle challenging and confusing words, to write any questions, and to write your thinking (annotate).

Students have been writing responses based on one text AND responses based on two texts that are related (paired texts).

Below are the steps students take to answer a paired text question, and the success criteria for the written essay.

Steps I take to answer a paired text question:

  1. Analyze the question.  What is it asking?
  2. Look at the first text and my annotations.  Find clues to answer the question.
  3. Look at the second text and my annotations.  Find clues to answer the question.
  4. Develop a central idea.  This is the center of the writing.
  5. Answer the question using evidence from the texts.  Use your box and bullets organizer (see below) to plan your response.  Then write your response.

 

 

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Box and Bullets Organizers

 

I know I am successful when:

  1. I answered all parts of the question.
  2. I stated my central idea at the beginning of the essay.
  3. I gave evidence from the text or texts.
  4. I gave an explanation (say more) sentence for each piece of evidence. (Be sure to connect back to central idea)
  5. I wrote a conclusion sentence (so what).
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Students share their essays.  They offer positive feedback and suggestions to improve writing based on the success criteria.

 

After students are finished with the essay they use a checklist to critique their writing.  This checklist allows them to analyze their writing for the central idea, evidence, explanation, and conclusion.  Perhaps the most important component is identifying what they need to work on so that they can continue to improve their writing.

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Below you can see students hard at work.  They are reading essays and evaluating the essays based on the “Writing about Reading Checklist”.

 

The entire class has made significant progress and we will continue to work on writing about texts.

 

 

 

Happy holidays.

We had a holiday-themed day today!  The students were filled with excitement and energy and we utilized their positive energy for some holiday projects.

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The STEM Tree Building Challenge was really fun!  Every student was engaged and involved in the process.  Every team met the challenge goal!  See the finished products in the photos below.

J’s grandmother was a guest reader in our class.  She shared The Great Pirate Christmas Battle by Michael G. Lewis and Santa Cows by Cooper Edens.  The children loved the stories.  Thank you for volunteering to read to our class!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for the cards, presents, and the generous classroom gift.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.  THANK YOU!  I love spending every day with the students in our class.  We have a kind, thoughtful, creative, intelligent group of children and they make each day new and exciting.  I hope everyone has a safe and fun winter vacation.  Happy Holidays!

 

September classroom update.

We have been busy in the third grade!  Our students are a fun, hard working group.  Every day has been fun and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year brings!  Below is a picture from our very first day of third grade.

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In English Language Arts we have been learning about fiction.  We’ve focused on characters, setting, plot, problem, and solution.  This week we learned about being a predictor and we talked a little about how we will have different roles in Reciprocal Teaching groups.

In math we have been using number lines to solve addition and subtraction problems.  We have also been using number lines to round to the nearest ten and to the nearest hundred.  This week we learned about variables and how to solve problems for an unknown number.  It is really important that students use a number line to solve problems and NOT the standard algorithm for addition and subtraction (this can be used as a second method to check our work).  Today we learned a fun new math game called “Close to 100” where students use number cards to try to find numbers that add up to 100.  Everyone loved the game!

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Having fun!

 

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Playing “Close to 100” during x-block (intervention).

 

We’ve started our unit on weather in science and in social studies we have been learning about Massachusetts and map skills.

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Here are our completed Massachusetts maps that are hanging up outside our classroom.  We are still waiting for a few maps!

 

This week was Spirit Week at the Kennedy School.  We decorated our door with reasons why we love the Kennedy and some students dressed up for “Twin Day”.

 

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These are some of the books we have been reading this year.
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“My something beautiful is…”  What is your something beautiful?

City hall field trip.

 

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Today our third graders had the pleasure of visiting with Mayor Curtatone at Somerville City Hall.  The students learned about Somerville history and asked questions in the Aldermen’s Chambers of City Hall.

Then the children were able to visit Mayor Curtatone’s personal office.  He discussed the artwork that decorated his walls, one of which was a portrait of the Powderhouse. The Mayor also spoke about the plans for the new Somerville High School.

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Students (and teachers and chaperones) even received t-shirts!  The t-shirts celebrate the city winning the All-America City Award in 2015.

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Thank you for a wonderful visit to City Hall!

 

 

 

Makerspace.

Our students were able to visit the Kennedy School Makerspace/Innovation Lab today for the first time.  Read more about the Makerspace, which was launched in partnership with Lesley University, by clicking here. The students were divided into four groups and each group was able to visit two out of four stations.  Every student was engaged and excited.  When we left their first question was, “Can we go back tomorrow?”  Success!

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Kennedy walk-a-thon.

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Today the children of the Kennedy School participated in a walk-a-thon.  We walked to Nathan Tufts Park, known locally as Powder House Park.  We enjoyed a healthy snack, provided by Whole Foods Market.  Students also tracked their steps with a pedometer.

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The students had a wonderful day and they enjoyed seeing some of the local monuments and streets they have been learning about during the Somerville History unit of study.

City hall field trip.

Today our third graders walked from the Kennedy School to Somerville City Hall.  Mayor Curtatone greeted everyone in the Aldermanic Chambers, located at 93 Highland Avenue.  Mayor Curtatone shared information about the City of Somerville and he answered questions ranging from the Pilgrims to Outback Steakhouse.  The students were able to explore the Aldermanic Chambers, trying out the comfortable swivel chairs and posing for pictures.  After that, there was a trivia session in the Mayor’s office where one of the students from our class won a hat!  Students then enjoyed whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, and popsicles.  After the sugar rush, our class posed for some silly pictures and then we walked back to school.  It was a wonderful field trip and everyone enjoyed the day.  Thank you to Mayor Curtatone and everyone at City Hall for hosting us!

 

Waiting for Mayor Curtatone to teach us about the City of Somerville.
Waiting for Mayor Curtatone to teach us about the City of Somerville.
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Listening to Mayor Curtatone.
Answering questions in the Mayor's office.
Answering questions in the Mayor’s office.
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Silly picture!
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Serious picture?