October 2020

3rd Grade is learning many new things!

In Reading, students are using stories from Little House in the Big Woods to identify key details, generate questions, and answer those questions.  The purpose for this is to strengthen their comprehension when reading independently.  Our first Read Aloud, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, is near completion.  We used our CAFE Menu strategies to help us with our comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary.  After receiving 10 compliments from teachers, other than Mrs. K, students earned a Compliment Party.  We will be viewing a movie version of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  It will be fun to compare the book to the movie!

In Math, students have been learning about Multiplication.  Once the connection was made that multiplying is a fast way of adding, students understood the “why.”  Fluency of the facts is happening quickly, thanks to the Commutative Property and playing Around the World!  Other properties being learned are the Distributive Property and Associative Property.  To show the Distributive Property, students have been using whiteboards to create their own rectangles and divide them into two.  They are also remembering to square their answers because these are area problems!

In Writing, students have been learning to write Opinion pieces.  They are applying the Writing Process which involves steps such as drafting, revising, editing, and peer conferencing.  For their first piece, students enjoyed sharing their thoughts on which they preferred, distance learning or returning to the classroom for instruction.  By providing at least three reasons why they felt that way, they constructed sound arguments.  Currently students are writing about the best vacation they ever went on.  They are seeing that the details make the difference in their writing.  After stating a reason why they feel a particular way, they must elaborate so the reader better understands their thinking.

In Social Studies, students have been learning about the four California regions, landforms, and bodies of water.  After discussing the deserts and valleys, students showed a particular interest in Death Valley.  We learned it is most famous for being one of the hottest and driest spots in the world!  When learning about California’s water, dams and aqueducts were explored.  Students gained knowledge about the Shasta Dam and the Colorado Aqueduct.  Did you know the Shasta Dam is the 2nd largest concrete dam in the US?  It is!  Did you know the Colorado Aqueduct carries water as far south as the Mexican border?  It does!

In Science, students are learning about Animals Through Time, a study of animal survival and heredity.  Students recently participated in an activity that required them to outrun a dinosaur!  We are using fossil evidence to help us better understand the past.  We are also using animals of today to compare similar traits that would answer questions about animals of long ago.  Students pondered how it would be possible to find fossils of whales in the desert.  Students were surprised to learn how environments have changed over time.  Trees have even been found on the ocean floors of Florida!

In Religion, students are beginning to learn their 3rd Grade prayers, The Apostle’s Creed and The Prayer to the Holy Spirit.  We are learning how God sent his only son and how Jesus teaches us about God’s love.  Students are looking forward to strengthening their relationship with God this year through their studies in Religion class, prayer, and by attending school masses.  Students are currently learning about Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  This led us to take a closer look at our liturgical calendar.  Up next, Saint Reports which will in turn introduce our next writing text type, Informative Writing!

All is well in 3rd Grade!