November and December Newsletter

Here is what we will be working on through December!

Reading: Questioning
Questions help students clarify and deepen their understanding of the text they are reading. They will learn to ask questions before, during and after reading. Learn to write and justify their answers that are posed through questions. Questioning is the strategy that keeps readers engaged.  When readers ask questions, they clarify understanding and forge ahead to make meaning.


Writing: Informational Writing
Students will demonstrate that they can write about a topic they already know. They will provide evidence of the following: Have an interesting beginning that sets the context for a topic. Have organizational structure that has a clear focus throughout the piece of writing. Students will include details and explanations that will help the reader understand their ideas clearly. Communicate big ideas, insights, theories that have been elaborated through facts, details, quotations, statistics and information. Use diagrams, charts or illustrations which are appropriate and that support the text. Have a conclusion or ending section that is logical and Include a glossary of related terms if needed. 


Math: Addition and Subtraction within 1,000
This unit focuses on understanding and extending knowledge of place value and the number system to 1,000, and adding and subtracting accurately and efficiently. Students use a place value context (the Sticker Station) to represent numbers as hundreds, tens, and ones, and find equivalent ways to use 100s, 10s, and 1s to represent a given number. They construct and locate numbers on a 1,000 Chart. They also develop strategies for adding and subtracting 2-digit and 3-digit numbers with sums and differences to 400. Students encounter a variety of different addition and subtraction problems types.


Science: Earth Materials-Rocks
For our rock unit students will be exploring solid materials from the earth, rocks and minerals.  The focus is taking materials apart to find what they are made of and putting materials together to better understand rock and their properties of the rock cycle. Students will:

  •   Use measuring tools to gather data about rocks.
  •   Collect and organize data about rocks.
  •   Use evaporation to investigate rock composition.
  •  Learn that rocks are composed of minerals and that minerals cannot be physically separated into other materials. 
  •  Compare their activities to the work of a geologist.
  •   Acquire vocabulary used in earth science.
  •  Exercise language and math skills in the context of science
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations; observing, communicating, comparing and organizing.
Events coming up: MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

11/15: Parents are invited to attend our Celebration of Learning from 11:40-12:10. This will be followed by the Thanksgiving Feast between 12:10-12:30.
11/16: @ 11:05-11:35 Rock Concert- Parents are Welcome!
11/20-11/24: No School
12/22-1/6: No School

Events Coming Up

Saturday, Nov. 4th @11:00 - Come check out the Parker Task Force with Ms. McMillan and Mrs. Sheppard!
The Parker Task Force has invited our class to tour their facilities and find out more about how they help others! I hope your family can make it! If you would still like to donate canned food, you're welcome to still send it in before Saturday!

Monday, Nov. 6th- Gemologist In-House Field Trip
How to Sign Up:
•   In order for your child to participate in this program you must 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 here.
•   Registrations MUST be completed prior to the presentation.

Tuesday, Nov. 7th-  Teacher Work Day, No School for students

Thursday, Nov. 16th 11:05-11:35- Ms. McMillan's Class Rock Concert 
During your child’s music class Thursday, November 16th, we plan to wrap up the musical pieces we have been learning in music class that connect to the Rock study in the classroom – our “Rock Concert”. If you are available and would like to be a part of a live audience, please come to the music room from 11:05- 11:35. If you are not available at that time – No worries - it will be video recorded in order to share it with you. The videos will be posted on the music website which is linked to the GRE school site.

In House Field Trip- Gemologist Monday Nov. 6th

On November 6th, we are lucky enough to be having a Gemologist come to Gold Rush and teach 3rd graders about rocks and minerals. She will teach the students how to identify and classify gems in their unpolished state. The kids will each be able to take home all the gems they find!!
The cost per student is $12.50. Please follow the steps below in how to sign up and pay for your student to participate. 

How to Sign Up:
•   In order for your child to participate in this program you must 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 here.
•   Registrations MUST be completed prior to the presentation.

 Free/Reduced students will have the option of selecting "no payment" but must still register.

3rd Grade October Newsletter

Reading: Activating and Connections
We are wrapping up our unit on activating and connecting.  Our last area of focus was to connect, extend and challenge our new thinking with non-fiction and stories we read.  After fall break we will be focusing on the strategy of questioning.  Your reader will understand that good readers ask questions before, during, and after they are reading and that some questions will not have answers provided within the text.

Writing: Informational Writing
Each day we think about what we could include in our writing to make it worth reading. Our class is always trying to create meaning strategically with structure and craft. Through the study of mentor texts, we continually jot down inspirational words or phrases and are trying to figure out how to add our own unique craft to our informational pieces.
We will focus on elaboration, understanding how to include more than just facts, and how to make writing even better by continuing to add various structures, text features and paragraphs that link ideas together to make sense. We’re making sure to check our work every day to see what specific areas we need to focus on, and what weekly goals we can set to improve in those areas. The students know that strong writing does not happen overnight, and it’s important to continue to analyze different parts of our writing (leads, transitions, spelling, etc.) to improve along the way.


Math: Data/Graphing
What can data tell you about your class or school? How does data displays help us understand information? These are a few guiding questions that are helping our student think about why data collection and data representation are important mathematical strategies. In our current unit, students have started to collect, represent, describe, categorize, and interpret both categorical and numerical data. They are using the 21st century skill of Problem Solving by reasoning abstractly and quantitatively to analyze data and generate solutions. Students will begin the important work of seeing a data set as a whole as they design and carry out their own data investigations, create representations of the data collected, and compare and discuss these representations. By the end of this unit, students will be able to draw scaled picture graphs and scaled bar graphs to represent a data set with several categories. Additionally, students will solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.


Later in this unit students will work on students’ collections of numerical data that includes measuring length in inches and feet. Students will review the basic units of inches, feet, and yards and their relationships by measuring lengths longer than one foot.


Science- Earth Science/Rocks
For our rock unit students will be exploring solid materials from the earth, rocks and minerals.  The focus is taking materials apart to find what they are made of and putting materials together to better understand rock and their properties of the rock cycle. Students will:
  • Use measuring tools to gather data about rocks.
  • Collect and organize data about rocks.
  • Use evaporation to investigate rock composition.
  • Learn that rocks are composed of minerals and that minerals cannot be physically separated into other materials.  
  • Compare their activities to the work of a geologist.
  • Acquire vocabulary used in earth science.
  • Exercise language and math skills in the context of science
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations; observing, communicating, comparing and organizing.


DATES TO REMEMBER
  • Halloween Party/Parade-October 31st
  • Gemologist in house field trip November 6th
  • November 7th No School PLC/Voting Day

Digger Dash and Fall Conferences

DIGGER DASH SCHEDULE & SHOUT OUTS
This Digger Dash is September 29.  You are welcome to come cheer us on! Our team name is Ms. McMillan's DJs!!  Please see the school running schedule below.  You will also see the form for shout outs, or personal messages you want announced to your child during his/her race.  The form is also included in this week's Thursday folder. Each shout out costs a donation of $2.


8:45 – 9:00            Stretching (Preschool and Kindergarten)
9:00 – 9:15            Race  (Preschool and Kindergarten)
9:10 – 9:25            Stretching (1st and 2nd grades)
9:25 – 9:55            Race  (1st and 2nd grades)
9:50 – 10:00         Stretching (3rd and 4th grades)
10:00 – 10:45       Race  (3rd and 4th grades)
10:40 – 10:50       Stretching (5th grade)
10:50 – 11:35       Race  (5th grade)

FALL CONFERENCES:
Fall conferences will be held on Wednesday, September 27th, and Thursday, October 5th, 2017Click here to schedule your conference using the online scheduler
.  The password is digger. 

3rd Grade September Newsletter

MATH
In math our first unit is understanding equal groups.  This unit focuses on students’ understanding of multiplication as combining equal groups. Students will be writing, representing, and solving multiplication problems in context. They will be identifying the number of groups and the number in each group (the factors), and the total number (the product). Students will also understand the relationship among skip counting, repeated addition and multiplication.  Lastly, we will build on the inverse relationship between multiplication and division.  


LITERACY

Reading comprehension refers to the ability to acquire meaning from written text. When students enter third grade, they are now reading to learn. Our reading curriculum relies heavily on comprehension strategies instruction. That is, students use a variety of strategies to apply before reading, during reading, and after reading in order to make the most meaning from a text. In reading our first strategy we will be working on is, activating our schema with building our knowledge through different types of connections and making sure that we are choosing books that are at their level.

For Writer’s Workshop we will be focusing on Personal Narratives. Students will learn to take everyday events of their lives and stretch them out into a well-structured story. Students are learning that in order to do their very best to communicate these stories they need to create a plan, then apply that to their writing. 

SOCIAL STUDIES
For our social studies unit we started our learning with comparing communities from the past to the present. We have discussed museums, and the importance of preserving and learning about history through objects and others research. We are excited to see how students analyze artifacts  to reflect the importance of the past and its role. Students now have an understanding of what makes a community.  We will be exploring local history that will allow students to grasp how communities change overtime. It will be fun for the students to get a hands on experience with the Plains Conservation Center.  They will learn about a modified homestead, one room school house, and daily chores that happened in the “good old days”.  Thank you for your support in helping your child choose an artifact to research for our class museum.


DATES TO REMEMBER
September 4: Labor Day-No School
September 6-8: CogAT Testing
September 15: Western Night
September 19: Field Trip to the Plains Conservation Center (9:30-2:00Students need to bring a sack lunch and be prepared to be outside for most of the day).
September 27: Parent Teacher Conferences
September 29: Digger Dash
October 5: Parent Teacher Conferences