2/28/19 Dear Families, This week we enjoyed exploring a Japanese house and the art of Suminagashi at the Boston Children’s Museum. We learned about the elements of the Japanese house, we also compared the similarities and differences we noticed from our own homes, and explored many items that are traditional throughout the day; such as common breakfast items, a backpack for school, and some Japanese games they play as a family. After visiting the house we enjoyed a lesson in the art of Suminagashi. Each student got to create their own painting using elements of nature. Please take a moment to check out the slideshow that captures the trip in actionhttps://youtu.be/kxxt7l8Pim0.
Curricular highlights Readers workshop
Final touches on our culminating project on the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Letter from Sadako to her family and friends
Sadako’s favorite jar
Many students have been busy writing a summary on the books they have independently been reading
Japan research (slideshow editing )
Help from a few seventh graders!
Field trip reflection - Boston Children’s Museum
Division word problems
Soft c /s/ city (c says /s/ after i, e, y)
Soft g /j/ giant (g says /j/ after i, e, y)
Review meaning of antonyms, synonyms, and homophones
Regions of Japan
Oceans surrounding Japan
Capital of Japan
Map elements (map key, labels, compass rose, map title)
The students are excited to spend the day Wednesday at the Boston Children’s Museum. We will explore the Japanese House exhibit. Students will take off their shoes, and step into an authentic two-story silk merchant's home from Kyoto, Japan. The bus will leave school promptly at 8:15, we will not attend ASM, the bus will return just before dismissal at 2:00pm. Please pack your child a lunch, drink, and snacks that can be eaten on the bus ride. If you would like to attend, I would love two chaperones. Please email me if you are interested.
Completed Sadako and the Thousand Cranes
Each student finished a project highlighting the details for the story.
Sadako’s favorite Jar
A letter written (Sadako’s perspective) to her friends and families thanking them for what they did for her
Do you think it is important to have black history month, or should it be considered part of American history?
It’s important to encourage diversity around the world because…
Be sure to check out the ‘Dates to Remember’ page, there are a few dates you want to put on the calendar. If you haven’t already done so please be sure to sign up for your student led conference. Conference times are available the afternoon of Wednesday, February 13th (2:30-5:00), Thursday 14th (1:00-4:00) and in the morning (8:00-12:00) on Friday, February 15th. We will also celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. If your child would like to make Valentine’s for their friends we will pass them out during morning meeting on the 14th.
The Band of Friends will be performing at All School Meeting this week 2/6. Please have your child come to the Commons at 7:45 am so they can get a quick practice in.
Continued with Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes
Buddy read an article about Empathy
Reading strategies - main idea, summarize
Read aloud - “I’m Not Cute” - furthered our discussion on “put yourself in my shoes’ theme
Next week will be a share week - Students will share the writing piece they have been working on.
Learned about Children’s Day in Japan
Designed a carp kite
During class this week we had many inspiring and thoughtful discussions about empathy and identity with a focus on race. After beginning a book about Martin Luther King Jr. titled BIG words. The students quickly recognized that Martin Luther King Jr. was working toward equality for all humans. We then read a book titled How to Talk about Race, this hopefully give the students better language to identity what race is and identify their own race(s). We then read the book Walk in our Shoes, this book defined what empathy is and ways to show empathy. We then did a fun activity to document what we have learned. Each students took off their shoes and put them in a big pile. We each choose a shoe and used it to inspire our thoughts on these four writing prompts: define empathy, write 2 ways you have shown empathy or have received empathy, and why is empathy important when we think of identity. Please take a moment to check out their work on the bulletin board in the hallway.
Walk in My Shoe project
Empathy article - buddy read, write a summary, share thoughts and wonders
Canine empathy is strong when humans are hurt, study says
Sadako and the Thousand Cranes
Ask your child for a brief summary of the true story so far
Book Challenge - finish a book and write a brief summary - earn a small treat
Completed chapters 6 and 7 review
Continued to practice word problem
Long o patterns - /o/, /ow/, /oa/
Syllables - identifying open and closed syllables
Vocabulary - using the dictionary
Watched a video representing families in Japan
Geography of Japan
PLEASE remember to check the ‘Dates to Remember’ page!!!
One of the most gratifying moments in teaching is when you observe students present their work with confidence and an eagerness to share with peers. This week the students began to share their Mexico research poster. Maxson shared about the Aztecs and Lily taught us about the Mexican climate and three natural disasters; a flood, a volcano, and an earthquake. The rest of the class will present their posters this week.
Curriculum Highlights Reader Workshop
Book club - Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Literature circle discussion, comprehension questions, facts about Japan, history about WWII
Many students are writing fictional stories
Using Google Docs allows the students to share with me their work while their working
I can edit and leave comments. The students love the feedback and I’m noticing great work!
Unit 10 - /i/, /igh/
Focus on adjectives
Sentence writing (can you add more?)
Completed Unit 7
Asia Power Point
Focus on - Japan, India, and China
Japan and China
This week we will focus on the words of Martin Luther King Jr. The reverend was a man with a dream for all humans. I will read some of my favorite books, talk about his message, and begin to discuss how we can live our best lives and do for others. Best Alyson
1/13/19 Dear families,
We had a great week back. It was nice to hear about family adventures and family traditions that happened over winter break. I must say the students were rested and ready to get back to work! They all worked very hard to finish up their Mexico reacherah topic poster. I’m excited for them to share their hard work and the knowledge they learned with their peers this week. I will be sure to take pictures so you can see some of the final project. This week we will begin our next cultural study, Japan. We will first locate Japan, talk about the continent Asia and the bordering countries. The students are very excited to learning more the Japanese traditions and modern living in Japan.
Began our Independent book challenge
Each student is asked to write a brief summary of each Independent book they finish in class
Comics, short stories, and preparation for Book Buzz or an All School Meeting presentation
Sensory Detail stories - editing
Unit 9 assessment - long e (ee, ea)
Antonyms and synonyms
Unit 10 - ling i (i, igh)
Review of parts of speech - noun, verb
What is an adjective?
Practiced multiplication facts
Multiplied by ones, tens, and hundreds
Reviewed regrouping, place value
As a class we looked at three possible drafts to a school Diversity Statement. We went through each version and shared how they made us feel, language we liked or didn’t like, shred what we would add or change. The students were very invested and shared many thoughtful comments. I will share all the comments at the next faculty diversity committee. If you have any questions or would like to read the drafts please let me know. All feedback is welcome.
Dear Families, Shhh, I didn’t tell the students yet! Wednesday, December 19th will be Pajama Day for 3rd grade (PE day, bring sneakers). We will also enjoy a yummy treat after All School Meeting to celebrate the upcoming winter break. The students will have a busy week rehearsing for Winterfest. The performance is on Friday, December 21st starting at 10:30 in the Commons. The regular day will end at noon (after the show), but this year the After School Program is available until 5:30. I wish everyone a well deserved break with friends and family.
Completed our 2nd Literature Circle selection - Santiago Silver Mine
Focused on comprehension, fluency, making connections, inferring, author’s purpose
This week each student will share the piece of writing they have been working on with the class.
Read the book Owl Moon
Focus on sensory details
Began a fiction story using the element of sensory details
I was so impressed with the excitement, stamina, and creativity the students showed during this writing process
Concept of division
Vocabulary - multiple, factor, fact family, equal groups
Assignment- use the students in class to represent a fact family
Continued with Mexican topic research
Synonyms (use of a Thesaurus)
Third graders hit the ground running after our Thanksgiving break!
In math we continued with practicing our understanding of multiplication strategies. I was so impressed to hear the students using math vocabulary and articulating the process of how they chose to use. Having more ‘number talks’ and building our math mindset has opened many of the students to embrace the power of struggle and strengthen their number sense. In readers workshop we moved on to our second book with connection to our Mexican study. Each group with read the same book, Santiago Silver Mine. Groups will continue to have deep discussions on the book. I am pleased to see everyone participating and eager to share their thoughts and connections.
New book - Santiago Silver Mine
Build upon reading strategies (context clues, visualizing, and summarizing)
Ask you child what they have been working on?
Long vowel patterns
Focus on vowel-consonant- e (VCe) pattern
cake, Pete, kite, cube, globe
What is a suffix?
Spelling rules for adding suffixes
Each student received their Mexican topic choice
Completed a KWL chart of what they know and what they wonder about their topics
Began research filling out an outline to help organize important information
Commutative property of multiplication
Multiplication word problems
Math games (group work)
Review math facts
Band of Friends
Practiced for Winterfest
Students brought home a copy of the song lyrics - please encourage them to practice
Dear Families, During morning meeting today our lightening share question was, “What are you thankful for?” I was blown away by the honesty and empathy that your children have for those around them. They showed the many character strengths that make them who they are. I found myself feeling even more thankful for being their teacher! They are amazing children with BIG hearts.
I wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time with family and friends.
Quotes from the students
“I’m thankful for my health. There are a lot of children in the world who are sick and don’t get the care that I do.” Ava
“I’m thankful for my mom’s job. She helps people in the community with things they need. She helps with a lot of things.” Maxson
“I’m thankful for my teacher Mrs. Gangi and for United Way.” Hoyt
“I’m thankful for this school and being able to go here. It is an amazing place. I’m so lucky to be in a place that everyone cares about me.” Luella "I'm thankful to have everything I need." Willa
“I’m thankful for a roof over my head and this school. I used to go to a school that wasn’t so good. Everyone is kind here and I like that so much better.” Noura
“I’m thankful for my family, my house, and my dogs.” Rachel
“I’m thankful for everyone being in school today. It’s nice to spend the day together because we will be away from each other for Thanksgiving break.” Duncan
“I’m thankful for having good food. I am lucky to be healthy. There are people that don’t have good food.” Lily
“I’m thankful for my crazy children, family, friends, and my wonderful group of students.” Mrs. Gangi
“I’m thankful for my supporting parents. I am also thankful for not just getting what I need, but also having the privilege of getting what I want.” Ruby
“I’m thankful for a roof over my head and for food.” Diego
Book Fair 2018 is here!
On Wednesday the students will visit the Book Fair. During this time students will create a wishlist of the books they like at the Book Fair. Below are the times you can visit the Book Fair together. If you are not able to attend the Book Fair feel free to send in money on Wednesday and I can help them choose.
The Book Fair is open to families during the following days/hours: Tuesday, November 13th: 7:30am - 5:30pm Wednesday, November 14th: 7:30am - 5:30pm Thursday, November 15th 7:30am - 8:15am (before school) 3:00pm - 5:30pm (after school) 6:00pm - 8:00pm (Parent Night Event) Friday, November 16th 7:30am - 5:30pm
Shop at a special Parents’ Night Event: Thursday, November 15th 6:00 - 8:00pm
On Thursday we will enjoy a presentation from visiting author and illustrator Matt Tavares. Matt has written and illustrated nine original children’s books, including Zachary’s Ball, There Goes Ted Williams, Growing Up Pedro, Crossing Niagara and most recently, Red & Lulu. He has also illustrated ten books for children, including Lady Liberty: A Biography, The Gingerbread Pirates and Helen’s Big World. Matt lives in Maine with his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters. On November 15th, Friends Academy students will have the opportunity to meet with Matt, hear about his experiences as an author-illustrator, and see a drawing demonstration. Visit him at www.matttavares.com for more information and to explore all of his books!
Curricular Highlights Math
Continued working on multiplication
Reviewed fact rules/strategies
Reviewed vocabulary: multiple, factor, product
Practiced 1-7 facts
Thank you letter to Mr. Perez
Wrote a reflection about the play, Dear Edwina or wrote a 'well done' letter to one of the characters in the play
Continued with Literature Circles
Focused on two reading strategies: Visualization and Predicting
Buddy Read a book highlighting Mexican culture
Finished our Maps of Mexico
/oo/ as in loose
/ew/ as in chew
Sight word review
Cursive - capital letters
11/2/18 Dear families,
Our class celebrated Halloween with the annual costume parade and Halloween assembly followed by some spooktacular treats with friends. Do you have extra Halloween candy that you just don’t know what to do with? Baarsvik Souza Orthodontics in Dartmouth has teamed up with Operation Gratitude and are donating candy to our troops overseas. With Veteran's Day around the corner, perhaps this is a meaningful way to give back to our soldiers. Please bring any amount of candy that you are willing to donate to the classroom by Thursday, November 8th.
During mix-it-up groups this week, students assembled their altars. Each student had the opportunity to share their altar, giving information about the person it is dedicated to, and explaining the importance of the objects included. Each altar was very meaningful and personal. On Friday, we were also treated to pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. Julio Perez (Diego's dad) was kind enough to come in and share this home baked tradition. He also shared his fond memories about how his family celebrated Day of the Dead in Mexico when he was a child. We ended the watching a special movie in honor of Days Of The Dead called, The Book Of Life. Curriculum Highlights Reader’s Workshop
Began Literature Circles
Two groups: The Puppies and The Chickens (names created by the students)
Book Titles - The Skirt and My Name Is Maria Isabel
Why Literature Circles?
To build reading strategies
To build reading relationships with peers
To self reflect
To build discussion skills
To follow through with roles and responsibilities
Ask your child what job they has this week? What book are they reading? Writer’s Workshop
Typed out final draft of embarrassing moment story
Created a Halloween vs Day of the Dead bulletin board
THE IMPORTANCE OF CELEBRATING DIFFERENT CULTURES IN THE CLASSROOM.
It is important for students to be culturally aware. Learning about other cultures, languages, religions, and holidays aside from their own will help children learn that their classmates may be very different from them. Being culturally aware is a wonderful way to promote inclusion for all in your classroom.
It is important for students to appreciate cultural differences. In addition to being aware of the fact that their peers may be different, it’s also important for kids to learn about some of the unique and amazing things that come from other cultures and ways of life.
It is important for students to overcome stereotypes. Celebrating different cultures will bring to light new thinking and understanding. Students need to understand there is never a right or wrong way- what is ok is that we are all different and we learn and grow together. This type of learning will encourage students to be creative thinkers.
Academic Choice Twice a week the students have the opportunity for Academic Choice. Please take a minute to read an article from Responsive Classroom explaining the purpose and benefits of Academic Choice in the classroom https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/academic-choice/. Academic Choice Menu
IXL (20 Minutes)
Catch up work
Current event magazine (Time for Kids)
Lexia (20 Minutes)
Personal choice (check in with teacher)
Spelling - Vowel team
Sight word review/practice
Grammar - Identifying parts of speech - Nouns, verbs, and adjectives
Vocabulary - Adjective focus
Describe a Monster activity
Cursive Handwriting - x, q, z, capital letter A-I
What is Multiplication?
Math tools to practice facts (wrap-ups, flashcards, top-it cards, fact family triangles, and the Flashmaster)
Next week we will begin to create an interactive Math Notebook
10/19/18 Dear families, What does it mean to reflect on your learning? Next week the students will lead their conference with pride and confidence. Each student has organized their portfolio with Hopes and Dreams, personal work habits, and pieces of work that highlight strengths and growing edges. The students will spend the first 5 to 10 minutes of their conference with us to share a glimpse of what they have been learning in third grade. I’m excited for them to take the lead and share their love for learning with you!
Using the tool “Bar Modeling” to help solve addition and subtraction word problems
Asking ourselves “ What am I looking for in this problem?”
Part or Whole
Independent Read - Building Stamina
Suggested a book to a friend
Final draft explaining the meaning of our individual shields
Began to share embarrassing moments
/oi/ as in boil
/ou/ as in loud
Types of sentences
Cursive - Tow truck stroke
o, b, w
Social Studies - Mix it Up
4 types of maps of Mexico
Agricultural, Natural Resources, Landform, Political
REMINDER - * Ancestor interview and Day of the Dead altar items due Monday, October 22nd
Dear families, Over the past two week we having been discussing a lot about growth mindset. We read the book titled Bubble Gum Brain Ready,Get Mindset..Grow! by Julia Cook. In this book we looked at two ways our brain could think; like bubble gum or like a brick. After reading the book we talked about what type of brain we use more; a bubble gum brain where we stretch our thoughts, never give up, try harder and practice more to make things easier or do we tend to have a brick brain, a brain that gives up, and says it’s too hard. We looked at many scenarios both personal and from the book which helped us realize the power of the way we think! Ask your child why they think having a Bubble Gum brain is helpful.
On Friday during Mix It Up social studies we began our first unit in our Mexico Study. We learned about the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. We watched a short slideshow (https://spark.adobe.com/video/SEJYLq6ICmLck )highlighting the tradition of the holiday. We have been talking a lot about ancestors and our heritage through literature. After reading Minstrel in the Tower a few students shared their heritage bringing in their family crests. The students created a family crest displaying things that represent their families. Connecting the focus on heritage and ancestor the students were quick to make a connection to a tradition of how Mexicans honor ancestors during the holiday Day of the Dead.
Over the next week students are asked to interview a family member about a passed ancestor to learn more about. Each student will conduct an interview, create a Day of the Dead altar, and write an essay about their ancestor. We ask a family member to help complete the interview and collect small items to represent their ancestor on an altar, which we will make in class.
The completed form and materials are due back Monday, Oct 22nd. Please take a look in your child's folder for more information.
Math *completed Ch.4 subtraction *reviewed estimation *IXL
*There are only three punctuation marks with which to end a sentence: period, question mark, exclamation point Using different types of sentences and punctuation, students can vary the tone of their writing assignments and express a variety of thoughts and emotions. *cursive - k,j,r
Dear Families, On Friday we enjoyed our first field trip to Gooseberry Neck in Westport. The experts from the Lloyd Center Educational Program taught the students about the butterfly life cycle and their migration patterns. Please take a moment and ask your child what they learned. Did they catch a butterfly? How many butterflies did the class tag? What was their favorite part? It was a beautiful, exciting, and informational field trip. We used the migration patterns Monarch’s take to Mexico as a springboard for our Mexico study. Over the next few months we will learn more about Mexican culture.
Curriculum Highlights Writer’s workshop
wrote a final draft about someone you admire, each piece includes the character strengths their subject holds ( writing is displayed on the bulletin board)
free writing - building stamina
finished our group read aloud Minstrel in the Tower
Shared books we are reading and suggested reading based on genre
Dear Families, Welcome to our weekly newsletter web page. My goal when writing my newsletter is to give you a glimpse of what your child’s week was like and what we are working on in class. I will also include upcoming events and reminders of dates that are important to mark in your calendar. I would ask that after reading the newsletter you use the information to prompt a discussion with your child. I strongly believe that having open conversations about school, and showing an interest in what is going on in the classroom will foster self confidence, and encourage your child to share their love of learning at home. I look forward to documenting our journey together this year!
Spelling Completed unit one - reviewing short a sound and short e Unit two - focusing on short o sound and short i Passed out Individual sight words study cards Unit two assessment and sight words review will be Tuesday 10/2 Analogies * Connections to reading: context clues, inferring, connections * Connections to writing: proofreading marks, writing a letter
Handwriting cursive lowercase letters c, a, g, h, t, f, d, e, l
Math Completed chapter one - numbers to 10,000 and place value Comparing and ordering numbers greatest to least Reviewed ways to write a number (standard form, word form, expanded form) Reviewed addition with regrouping Wrote word problems for peers to solve
Next week we will focus on subtraction with regrouping Estimation and rounding to the nearest tenth, hundredth, and thousandth
Reader’s workshop Buddy read a book of choice - Working together to answer the following questions about the "character strengths' in the story. Students then shared their answers and thoughts with the class. -Title of the book -Write a summary about what the book was about. -What character strengths do the characters have in this story? -Give examples (explain) how the character used their strengths in the story. -What was the author’s message in the story? Moral -Would you recommend this book? Why or why not?
Continued to read our whole group book club - Minstrel in the Tower Discussed vocabulary and answering comprehension questions
Writing On Wednesday we discussed Global Character Day. Character Day is an annual global day that brings together millions of people of all ages in schools, classrooms, companies, homes — anywhere people already gather — to engage in conversation and action around character (strengths like empathy, grit, gratitude, creativity, and leadership). We watched an inspiring video highlighting the science of character strengths. We thought about our own character and discussed how important it is to strengthen and embrace our own individual strengths. We also wrote about someone we admire and what type of character strengths they have. We created a bulletin board displaying our very own hashtag and who we admire. Please take a minute to check out the powerful work your child has been working on. Here is the link to the video and questions we discussed in class. I encourage you to use the language you hear in the video at home and embrace everyone's strengths. The Science of Character (8mins) (video link)
Students were asked to think about the following questions. What are my character strengths? What character strengths do I want to be known for? #________________ How can I support others with their character strengths? What character strengths do I admire in others?