State Testing

Hi Families,
Students in grades 3-5 will begin their state testing on Wednesday this week.  Students in the 3rd grade will be assessed in literacy and math using the state CMAS assessments, or the Colorado Measures of Academic Success.   The testing schedule is shown below.  Please refrain from scheduling outside appointments during all testing times.  We also recommend that students get plenty of rest and eat a healthy breakfast during the testing window.

March 28, 29 & 30 CMAS English Language Arts Assessment 
9:00-10:30 3rd Grade
10:15-12:00 5th Grade
1:30-3:00 4th Grade 

April 2, 3 & 4 CMAS Math
9:00-10:30 3rd Grade
10:45-12:15 5th Grade

Spring Conferences

SPRING CONFERENCES
Spring conferences will be held on March 8 and March 15.  We believe that conferences are an opportunity to celebrate your child's progress and continue to collaborate on his/her goals.  Our electronic sign up is open.  Please click here for the link to Canyon Creek Online Scheduler.  The password is digger.

February/March Newsletter

Here is what we will be working on through March!

Reading:
Synthesizing
 “Synthesizing takes the process of summarizing one step further. Instead of just restating the important points from text, synthesizing involves combining ideas and allowing an evolving understanding of text. Synthesizing is creating original insights, perspectives, and understandings by reflecting on text(s) and merging elements from text and existing schema.” –Metacognition News
Synthesizing requires the use of many strategies learned throughout the year. We will focus on this strategy in this month and will continue throughout March. During this time, students will be learning how to identify multiple perspectives while creating opinions or arguments. Students will also practice identifying the theme or big idea of a piece. They will then communicate text evidence used to support the theme or big idea. Students will be responding to one or more texts in order to synthesize info. Synthesizing also requires readers to use evidence from the text in support of personal meaning. We will encourage students to communicate how their thinking evolves from the beginning to the end of a passage or unit of study.
Technology integration: Students will have access to their Chromebooks throughout the unit to read various texts of different reading levels and texts of different genres and topics. Students will also occasionally respond to their reading digitally.

Writing:
Opinion: Changing the World
In writing we have started to work on Opinion Writing. To start the unit, third graders have created bold opinions and written them in a form of a thesis statement. Students have learned that persuasive writers look at their world and imagine how it could be better to grow ideas for possible writing projects. We have looked for problems that needed to be addressed and imagined solutions. Students are really enjoying that their voices are being heard and that they are starting to learn how to justify their opinions to persuade others. 
Technology integration: Students will use online research resources to find evidence that supports their opinions. Students will share their opinions in the format of speeches on Seesaw. This will allow 3rd graders to practice their fluency and expression when conveying a convincing tone. It also gives others a chance to hear various opinions and give each other feedback on how to make their writing stronger. Hearing others' opinions also enhances critical thinking skills when evaluating one's own opinions.

Math: 
Perimeter, Angles and Area: 2-D Geometry and Measurement
This unit develops ideas about the attributes of 2-D objects and how they are classified (the definition of a triangle, rectangle, and square), how to solve for perimeter, and area, Using the context of perimeter, students are continuing to develop their ability to use measurement tools as they work on accurate linear measurement techniques. Students learn to identify angles by their relationship to a right angle. (Is the angle greater than, less than, or equal to a 90-degree angle?) They are also developing an understanding of area as the amount of flat space an object covers and determine the area of 2-D shapes in square units.
Technology integration: After building schema about shapes, perimeter and area, they will apply their learning to program the robot Dash to travel different perimeters and areas.

Parts of a Whole Can Be Modeled and Represented in Different Ways 
By mid-February students will begin to develop an understanding of fractions as numbers. We will begin to start solving problems, describing fractions as numbers on a number line, and explaining equivalence of fractions. Through all activities, our class is using critical thinking to make sense of problems and demonstrating resiliency when persevering in solving them. This requires them to interpret, evaluate, summarize and synthesize every day!


Science: 
Matter
Students learned about the scientific process and how it is essential when conducting experiments as a scientist. Students applied this process with the states of matter. Through experiments, videos, literature and class activities, students have discussed different attributes of solids, liquids, gases while using evidence to develop a scientific explanation around how heating and cooling affects states of matter. Students used different types of measurement tools to measure matter. Some of these skills, within the customary and metric system included finding the volume, mass, and temperature. 
Technology integration: Students will access different digital resources to support their thinking and learning about states of matter

Social Studies: 
Civics
 Students will learn the important roles of citizenship and the difference between their rights, roles and responsibilities. Along with this, we will discuss the basics of local government. Some of these mini lessons include; an introduction of our laws, the process of how laws get passed, types of consequences for decisions made for following/not following the law and how they can play a role in their community to name a few.  

IMPORTANT DATES:
February 14: Valentine's Party 2:15-3:15 (Kids Only)
February 16: No School-PLC Day
February 19: No School- President's Day
March 8: Parent Teacher Conferences
March 15: Parent Teacher Conferences
March 18-March 25: Spring Break
March 28-30: CMAS Literacy Testing (9:00-10:30)
April 2-4: CMAS Math Testing (9:00-10:30

In-House Science Field Trip

On January 31st we will be having a science program to help enhance students' learning about states of matter. They discuss three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) by breaking down what each looks like and how they behave.  They will be involved in some hand-on chemistry by combining two liquids to make a solid (Space Mud) and do a bit with evaporation rates of different liquids. Lastly, they will wrap up their lesson by making a non-newtonian solid to show that some things can be a liquid and a solid depending on outside forces. Listed below are the steps to sign your student up for this fun event. Thank you so much for your support. 

In order for your child to participate in this field trip/program you must register (includes online permission form)  & pre-pay on-line by going to: RevTrak > Elementary Schools > Elementary Schools E thru L > Gold Rush > Field Trips. The RevTrak link can be found on GRE’s website under Parent Info or click hereRegistrations MUST be completed by 2 days prior to your field trip. The cost is $9.50.
  •  Online registration is for your student only- please do not register yourself or younger siblings.
  • Free/Reduced students will have the option of selecting "no payment" but must still register. 
  • No refunds

January Newsletter

Here is what we will be working on through January!

Literacy:

Reading- Determining Importance and Summarizing
We will start this month continuing to determine importance and apply it to summarizing. We will continue to make meaning strategically by learning how to find the main idea of the texts we read and the events or ideas that are truly significant to what we are reading. The students will learn what it means to summarize and how determining importance is key to writing a summary about something we have read or watched. We will discuss the difference between events that are significant and events that are just something we happened to enjoy most in the story.

Writing- Summarization, begin Opinion Writing
We wrapped up our unit on Informative Writing. Students did an amazing job with their final drafts and it is clear that students are experts at many things!  They have done a good job implementing structures of a non-fiction, organizing, and elaborating on their written pieces. You can check out your child reading their published draft on Seesaw!

We will be focusing on responding on summaries through our reading and also prompts. Students will be learning how to use the structure of Name It, Verb It, Big Idea to help write a strong topic sentence. They will also focus on great ways to capture big ideas and ensure that our summaries are written in their own words. Additionally, they are making sure to add transitions so their thoughts are organized and well written. This is good practice from reading assessments as well as the state assessments that students will take later in the year.

Additionally, we will begin our opinion writing unit. Students will start by defending an opinion with reasons and facts.


Math:

Wrapping up Subtraction
We will be trying on different subtraction strategies of numbers within 1,000. Students can practice adding up, subtracting back, using blank number lines, grouping by tens and hundreds, etc.

Perimeter, Angles and Area: 2-D Geometry and Measurement
This unit develops ideas about the attributes of 2-D objects and how they are classified (the definition of a triangle, rectangle, and square), linear measurement (which includes perimeter), area, and the measurement of angles. Using the context of perimeter, students are continuing to develop their ability to use measurement tools as they work on accurate linear measurement techniques. Students learn to identify angles by their relationship to a right angle. (Is the angle greater than, less than, or equal to a 90-degree angle?) They are also developing an understanding of area as the amount of flat space an object covers and determine the area of 2-D shapes in square units.

Science:

Matter
Throughout every science unit, all third graders are using critical thinking to demonstrate the process of inquiry. By experimenting, reading articles, discussing and reflecting. Students will learn the scientific process and how that is essential with their new learning with identifying the states of different types of matter. Through Foss Investigations, videos, literature and class activities, students will discuss different attributes of solids, liquids, gases and plasma while using evidence to develop a scientific explanation around how heating and cooling affects states of matter. Our grade-level science day later in the year will allow students to practice analyze, interpret and write observations about matter as it freezes and melts, and boils and condenses.

Dates to Remember:

January 8th: Welcome Back
January 12th: No School Professional Development Day
January 15th: No School Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 29th: Firefighter visits to teach about fire safety

January 31st: In-house field trip- Mad Science with Matter Experiments