I assume your third graders have told you all about the Bike Rodeo! The kids were lucky enough to learn about bicycle safety, including hand signals. They also had their helmets adjusted and learned about maintaining their bicycles. Finally, third grade bicyclists demonstrated their skill on the obstacle course. They did a wonderful job! A big shout out to Mr. Brenhiser and the wonderful parent volunteers for making this wonderful event happen.
"I heard a bad word in the video," a third grade student stated.
"What bad word?" I replied, puzzled, because there was nothing inappropriate in the video we had just watched.
"Muslim," the student answered.
Truthfully, my eyes filled up with tears. The third grade student meant no harm. They were not trying to be disrespectful or mean. They were asking a sincere question. It just made me sad that we live in a world that causes a third grade child to think such a thing.
I bring this to your attention because your third grader may come home talking about our discussion today. They may have more questions, or they may just want to talk. Here is a summary of my response:
"Muslim is not a bad word.
Do some Muslims do bad things? Sure.
Do some Christians do bad things? Sure.
Do some people who are Jewish do bad things? Sure.
Do some people who are Buddhist do bad things? Sure.
However, a person's religion does not determine if they are good or bad.
You can't judge a person based on their religion, just like you can't judge a person based on the color of their skin.
There are many wonderful people who are Muslim. There are many wonderful people who are Muslim. There are many wonderful people who are Muslim."
Throughout the year, we will spend time discussing stereotypes and treating all people in a kind and respectful way. In Room 221, we aim to be respectful of all people, from all backgrounds, religions, nationalities and skin color.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
I hope your third grade scientists came home from school last Friday telling you all about the minerals you can find all over your house! Each mineral has unique characteristics that make it very useful. They can be found in many household objects - not just food!
Click here to explore a website that shows the minerals you can find around your house.
Yesterday we began learning how to round numbers to the nearest ten. The children began to understand that sometimes you need to count with precise accuracy, but other times you can make an estimate. In situations that require only an estimate we round numbers.
We used a number line to help us develop our number sense as we round. This method might be new to you. Check out this brief video where it is clearly explained.
You can practice rounding to the nearest 10 at home! Ask your child to round 67 to the nearest 10. (67 rounds up to 70.) Or try 21. (21 rounds down to 20.)
Tomorrow we will practice rounding to the nearest 100. We will also use a number line to help us develop our number sense as we round to one hundred. This brief video will explain it clearly.
The trickiest part for some children is figuring out what the choices are. For example, if I am rounding 361 to the nearest hundred, I need to find the closest multiples of 100. Children need to know that 361 is between 300 and 400. Once they have determined this, they can see that 361 rounds to 400 because 360 is closer to 400 than 300.
Happy rounding! :o)
Wednesday and Thursday were some of my favorite days in third grade! Room 221 writers began writing in their writer's notebooks! We love watching the children's writer's notebooks fill up. It's such a window into their personalities.
Third grade writers learned two strategies for generating topics for our personal narratives (stories about our lives). You can try them too:
1. Think of a person who is important to you. It's best to think of a person you spend lots of time with. A person with whom you have created lots of memories. Visualize that person. Let the memories pour into your mind. Write a list of memories.
My person is my aunt Denise. She and I are very close in age and we've done many things together over the years. When I visualize Denise these are some of the story topics that come to mind:
Burning the popcorn
Lost on the rowboat
Stuck on the paddleboat
Ask your third grade writer about the memories they wrote about.
2. Think of a place that is important to you. Think of a place where you spend lots of time. A place where you have created lots of memories. Visualize that place. Draw a quick sketch/map of that place. Let the memories pour into your mind. Label the map with your memories.
My place is a campground. I don't actually have one campground in mind. I have gone camping many times in my life so I have lots of memories at campground around New England. When I visualize campgrounds these are some of the story topics that come to mind:
year of the mosquitoes
canoe race with an anchor
The kids also listed memories of a place. Ask your child about the person/place they chose to remember. I bet you will generate an even larger list together!
We will continue using these strategies and others to develop small moments, focused stories of our lives. I can't wait to read them!
Did you hear about the mineral mystery your third grade geologist began to solve yesterday?
Each type of mineral has specific characteristics. Scientists can perform tests on a substance to determine which mineral it is. Third grade geologists tested their minerals to determine:
reaction with water
reaction with acid (vinegar)
Ask your third grade geologists the results of their tests. We will learn the actual identity of each mineral this week.
Your students have 3 assignments due next Friday 10/14:
1. Xtra Math log (Xtra Math completed 3 times)
2. Reading log (Read 20+ minutes/night)
3. In addition, your child is responsible for a new assignment on Spelling City. The assignments are individualized to best meet your child's spelling needs based on several pre-assessments.
Each child is familiar with using Spelling City. We have practiced together in the computer lab. Third graders can access Spelling City at SpellingCity.com, or by going to:
Eliot Home Page
-The Spelling City link is at the top of the page.
Third graders can log in using their username:
first three letters of their first name, first three letters of their last name
Please let me know if you have any difficulty accessing your child's assignment.
Third graders are responsible for 2 things this week:
1. Complete Xtra Math three times. Record in log.*
2. Read each night for at least 20 minutes. Record in log.*
Both logs will come home from school in third grade folders tomorrow afternoon.
Logs are due Friday morning.
*If your family is celebrating Rosh Hashanah this week, please do not feel pressured to squeeze in homework. Your children will not be penalized for missing homework on religious holidays. Just write me a note and your child will be excused.
Last week we created our classroom rules. We discussed ways our community should act so that everyone can reach their hopes and dreams. First, we brainstormed many different rules - we had 15 or 20. We realized however, that we wouldn't be able to remember them all! So we found connections and similarities in our list, and narrowed it down to 3 rules that we can all remember. The rules are:
Be respectful of everyone and everything.
Work hard and try your best at everything.
Be a bucket filler to everyone.
Be very safe in all you do.
This week, the children will work in groups to act out what it looks like to follow each rule. We will practice following these rules together so that everyone can achieve their third grade hopes and dreams.
Mrs. Sullivan wants you to feel informed! Check out this blog to learn about what's happening in Room 221. Feel free to leave a comment. Let us know what you think or ask a question.