Saturday, June 9, 2018

Isle of Palms


What an amazing trip! Thanks again to all of the parents who were able to make it. It was such a great way to play and learn a little more as we wrapped up our loop. Love to you all!












Here is a link Ms. Shuping sent for even more pictures of all of the fun! Be sure to check these out. They are gorgeous!
https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=ZCIuwJmtxm8s636S6CIlqw/AUS/27947708142070/SNAPFISH

Friday, May 18, 2018

All The World's A Stage!

Hello families,
Well, testing week is in the books and to celebrate we spent a portion of our day enjoying Reader's Theater.  Small groups worked with scripts and chose parts while making scenery and blocking out skits.  We had a blast seeing each group's performance and spending time laughing and creating together. Below are pictures from the day. Enjoy!












Friday, May 11, 2018


Hello families,
Things are going really well as we continue living and learning as inquirers.  Investigations and uncovering are happening all the time as we continue our unit on measurement and geometry as mathematicians. Two digit multiplication, three digit dividend with single digit divisor division and fractions are also being revisited as we are also doing a lot of reviewing of previous concepts in preparation for the upcoming SCReady testing.
We think like test takers by discussing how we can use a variety of strategies to solve different problems such as crossing off answers we know are incorrect, returning to the reading or charts to gain more information and making sure what we are thinking is reasonable and accurate using reverse operations as a way of checking.
We are also thinking like test makers as we look closely at the way questions are written and set up along with identifying distractors. While reading a passage, we know how important it is to spend some time with the text and reread it several times before going to the questions. Making predictions as we read as to what questions might be asked is another way we think like test makers and gives us a higher sense of awareness while comprehending the reading.
The testing skills are practiced in context as we continue our study of language including figurative literary terms, prefix/base word/suffixes, and identifying the theme and plot line of a story. Our read aloud, Esperanza Rising, has given us many opportunities to discuss change in characters, the mood in a story, and metaphors as we follow the main character through her journey.
I have enclosed the testing schedule for 3rd grade below and encourage families to help our students get lots of rest this weekend. I know it is a crazy busy time of year, but getting a good night’s sleep and a solid breakfast really makes a difference in the children’s ability to maintain stamina throughout the assessment.
In other news, the permission slips and money for our trip to the Isle of Palms is due this week. Wednesday, May 16th is the last day we can accept payment. The company we use for the tour requires that we pay a specific number of days ahead of time which is the reason for this particular date. Please let me know if you have any issues or concerns.
I hope you have an excellent weekend and enjoy your time with the family. Treat mom well!

Susanne


Tuesday, May 15- Writing portion of SCReady
Wednesday, May 16- Reading portion of SCReady
Thursday, May 17- Math portion of SCReady
3rd grade does not take the PASS test. 

Friday, May 18- Family Dance Night! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Part Three of Biography Expert Projects


"Frederic Chopin has changed me in that I want to work harder in my piano class so that I can one day become the best pianist that I can be. Frederic will forever be a part of my life." -D



 "When I first read, Who Was Mozart, I said, "Whoa, I want to learn more about him for biographies." Then I read more and found out he inspired many other composers and I realized that we all are inspired by someone." -S

"Now I know that there is a person who was the first African American principal dancer and who is a soloist dancer in the American Ballet Theatre. Now when I see something about ballet with Misty Copeland in it like a book or a magazine, I want to read it and know that I can do anything even if people tell me I can't." -B

"George Washington inspired me to give people peace and happiness. He changed me by the way I look at the world now. I feel great about my country and my project.."

"I look at technology differently after studying Steve Jobs. I think about what our life without technology would be like and I think more about the past when you didn't have a computer at home." -J

"I learned about Robert Smalls and how he put freedom above all and he used courage which when things were down, but he rows up." -T

"I look at Charleston differently now because I know that so much that happened with the pirates happened in that area. I know that they stored ammunition in one of those buildings I have seen before, but didn't know what it was. I also realized that there were many more pirates than I ever knew before." -A


"I'll reach for my dreams for basketball. It taught me to pray every night." -X


"Ever since I've researched Wade Hampton III, I've looked at my world differently. You don't want violence, you want peace. You only go to war if you have to." -Z




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Part Two of Biography Pictures

Comments on how this project has changed the way our learners see their world or how they act within it.



"I've learned that by swinging up to hit the ball over the fence and to slide
more often and be safe. Someone who starts off with a bad childhood can do great things." -S



"This project taught me to not judge how good something is before you get to know it. I should read a book before judging it and it made me want to read more than ever." -A


"Anne Frank has inspired me to look at the world in a different way. To see it as Anne did now I think as my world as more beautiful because she taught me to always have hope even when it's hardest." -L

"Studying Cleopatra has changed me because I have learned that everyday she was alive, she tried to be a good leader. My dad says to, "Be a leader, not a follower." I help out everyday at school and at home." -I


"I see my world in a beautiful and natural way like birds and squirrels. Nature has its own beauty. The way painting has changed me is when I look around me, I feel lucky. I wonder about other kids who can't see the beauty." -B

"My project inspired me to believe I am lucky to be free and go to school and make the world a beautiful place." -S

I have learned to try to discover new things outside of my world. I should not do stuff all by myself, but to use teamwork." -C


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Update and Biographies



Dear families,

     I hope you are staying dry and safe on this rainy Sunday. I am working frantically to get this completed before the power goes out one more time. ;) It’s a great time to cuddy up on the couch and read a great book together or even share the personal narrative sent home Friday. Be sure to notice the positive changes and discuss things we will continue to give attention over the next quarter. We still have lots of great learning time together!

    As you know, we’ve completed the MAP testing for the district recently and are preparing to take the SCReady Math and ELA test May 15-17. Third grade does not take the science or social science. Some of the ways we are preparing in the classroom include review content areas from throughout the year as well as studying test taking as a genre. We’re noticing the ways questions are asked, how to break down tasks, and determining how to choose the best possible answer. We’re practicing prompt writing and reflecting on the necessary components such as introductions/closings and providing evidence directly from the text.

     The children are also taking the perspective of the test makers and thinking what kind of questions might be asked in a given situation and which learned skills might apply to a specific task. Continuing to practice certain habits at home such as math facts, reading each night with a focus on summarizing and drawing conclusions, and reading charts or graphs in everyday situations will keep our skills fresh and easily accessible.

     In other news, our first set of presenters for the biography projects shared their learning with us Friday and they were fantastic! I have placed a photo and comment for each child who has shared on the blog. We are all excited to see the rest of the projects over the next few days. The kids have worked so hard and accomplished many steps along the way. It’s so much fun to see it all come together. We will have a share fair this week and I will pass the day and time along as soon as possible.

     As mathematicians, our recent work has focused on measurement of angles and time. When looking at angles, the children are working to identify, draw, and measure acute, right, obtuse, straight angles using protractors. While discussing time, we reviewed hour and minutes to the nearest one minute and have begun to practice elapsed time. This is not an easy concept for third grade, so informal practice in the car or at the table is always a good idea. There are some nice games that reinforce them on Sheppardsoftware.com as well.

    As readers we continue to practice spending time and getting to know a selection of text well. Discussions about the theme, plot, setting, and figurative language have been happening as well as looking at the type of questions that may be asked on the SCReady test. Individual reader are also practicing the habits of effective readers during our independent reading time and sharing their thoughts about our recent read aloud, The Tales of Despereaux. Ask your child about the way Kate DiCamillio wove three separate storylines together to create an amazing tale for the reader.

I hope you have a wonderful evening!
Susanne

"Doing this project changed me because as soon as I get on an airplane I am going to think aobut this biography and know the hard work that it took to make it happen. I know how hard it was to make my visual with all of the paint on my fingers." -J


"This project changed me by knowing that even though we can mess up, you can ry and try again like Jesse Owens and keep going!" -C




"Grace Hopper inspired me to learn how to use code in computers because she didn't stay home like everyone told her to, but worked at a job and invented lots of things with computers." -J.A.



"Dawn Staley really makes me want to be a coach, so that's why I am mastering the coaching and yelling during recess for the basketball game. A'Ja Wilson was very inspired by Dawn Staley too." -C



Sunday, March 4, 2018

Biography Project

Biography Expert Project
Here We Go!


   

This is so exciting! The children have now selected their topics and are hopefully gathering resources for their research. The yellow sheets sent home with their selection and possible places to find information should be signed and returned so that I know you have approved the topic.


This past week has been all about gathering information, reading about our person, and beginning to set up a system for note taking.


We are looking at ways to use the Richland County Library to our advantage as well as learning how to do safe and effective online searches with age appropriate information. I am happy to print out a couple of pages for a child if printers are unavailable.


It is important that the children have some type of resource at school other than the Chromebooks since we may not have access to them each day. Books, printouts, articles, etc. are all great places to start. Don’t forget the importance of hearing about a person in their own words if at all possible. Quotes in newspapers or writings from a journal are great primary sources.

Biography Requirements
There are three components for this project.
Part One- The process of researching, reading about, collecting/organizing notes, and communicating growing understandings and continued questions/wonderings.
Part Two- The written element where the children take their new knowledge and create a nonfiction piece using the elements of writing. This is be in booklet form incorporating components of nonfiction. The kids will help design the look and organization of this part. This portion will have an accompanying rubric as a guide.
The categories the children have chosen include:
childhood/family, important events/challenges, accomplishments/ways they have impacted the world, and beliefs held by the person researched.
*The booklet should include at least one quote from the subject.
*Illustrations should be a combination of hand drawn and printed out pictures.
*Booklets must include at least one map, chart, or diagram to help the reader understand an idea.

Part Three- The visual component is the most creative aspect of the project. This is where the children are able to decide on some way to communicate important information to compliment their topic. It is not meant to include all of the information within the written piece, rather highlight or represent the beliefs held or the accomplishment of the person. We will have many conversations about the possibilities as we work on the written portion.

Calendar for Pacing




February 26- March 2 Gather resources and getting to know our topics while reading carefully and forming questions to investigate.





March 5-9 Continue to read and learn about our subject as we take notes using our file folder note system. Children will use Post it notes to write single facts and place in the corresponding category in folder.





March 12-16 and 19-23 Children will organize notes and begin writing pages within the booklet. Visual component should be worked on at home over the next two weeks.





Project presentations begin March 26.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Friendship Day and Student Led Conference Update

Hello families,
Here are a few updates you may want to know. The children and I discussed Friendship Day next Wednesday and made some class decisions. Here are the highlights:

*Cards and treats are fine, but all candy and cookies will be sent home to enjoy. The District has a specific policy on these things, but I am able to put them in a baggie to be sent home at the end of the day

*Children are not required to bring in anything, but if they choose to do so, there must be one for ALL students in the class. I'm sure you understand that we are thinking about our friends' feelings.  

*There was a vote for having secret friends on top of the cards. The children will choose a name tomorrow and create a HANDMADE gift to present to their person. For this activity, we talked about how a sweet card with our artwork or a small item made for our friends mean so much more than a store bought purchase. Thought and care are the real gifts in these creations. We'll keep our person a secret and share our gifts on Wednesday. 

*I have attached a list of the children's names in my last email in case you need it. 

On a different note, preparations for our student led conferences are going well. The kids are working SO hard gathering their ideas and writing their reflections.  You are going to be so pleased.  Just a reminder about the invitation for you to write a letter to your child to share at the conference if you would like.  I explained this in previous emails and on the blog if you would like to revisit the invitation. 
Don't forget to save your time. Just email me and I will place it on our schedule. You can see available times on the blog at www.spender4.blogspot.com.  

Have a great night!
Susanne 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Other Happenings

     In other news, our class is in the beginning stages of a new expert project. We have been studying the elements of biographies as authors and will embark in a journey of researching and presenting about someone who has made an impact in our world. We would love to have an array of people who have made changes here within South Carolina, but it doesn't seem reasonable to narrow it down to just this area. 
     The children are thinking about possibilities at this point and we are taking things slow as we also prepare for conferences. Most of the research and writing will be done in workshop times, but there will be some things that will need to be supplemented at home. I will keep you informed through each step and provide a calendar as we get into the project further. 

     While we are thinking down the road, I wanted to provide two dates for your calendar. the first is our final gathering date will be March 16th.  Many parents have expressed a desire to know this in order to clear the day.  

     Second, is a trip to the Barrier Islands of South Carolina. Since our state is a year long focus, it seems fitting that we wrap up our time learning about the diverse ecosystems, history, economic elements, and geography of our Coastal Zone.  
     On Tuesday, June 5th our students will participate in a day trip to the Isle of Palms. There, we will enjoy an excursion as we venture to Capers Island, one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands. We will cruise through winding tidal creeks to find diverse wildlife living in this salt marsh environment. Common sightings include bottle nose dolphin, osprey, pelicans, bald eagles, herons, egrets, and more. Along the way we'll investigate various nets and habitat traps for an up-close look at some of the marine creatures that thrive below the surface. Once arriving on Capers, we will explore its "Bone-yard Beach" and interior freshwater ponds while learning about the ecosystems and economy of the area. Finally, we'll enjoy grilling out on the island and playing on the beach.
     It has been an amazing trip in past years and parents are more than welcome to join us! The cost will be $60.00 for students and $32.00 for parents. This includes the cost of the bus, the boat excursion with a guide, and grilled lunch on Capers Island. 
     I wanted to give families plenty of time to save the date and make a series of smaller payments on parent portal if desired. *Please note that chaperones will pay Mrs. DeBeaugrine in person. Parent Portal is not set up to take payments for adults.  
     Please let me know if this is a problem and we'll see what we can do to help.  
MUCH more information will be coming later in April/May.  

Have a great weekend! 

Student Led Conference Information

Dear Parents,

     It’s that wonderful time of the year when our students take the lead and show how they have grown as learners and community members.  Student Led Conferences provide our learners with an opportunity to reflect on growth, recognize areas in need of attention, and celebrate successes with their biggest fans!
     These gatherings, while light and relaxed, provide a genuine and insightful look into your child’s academic progress. The children will share thoughts on what they are doing well, what they find difficult, highlight artifacts and provide demonstrations in order to show what they know.
    In the spirit of celebration and reflection, I would again like to provide you with an invitation. I am inviting you to compose a letter to your child which can be read at the end of the conference. I envision these letters to be an opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings about your child as a learner and person. Since honest self evaluation is not an easy task, I thought it would be nice to provide the children with immediate feedback from the people who mean the most to them. If you choose to accept this invitation, please bring the letter with you to the conference.  
    I am interested in setting the dates and times for conferences on February 15 and 16.  Appointments will be 20 minutes in length. It is important to be on time in order to be fair to other families and schedules. Please note that the conferences will be in place of Curriculum Night on the 15th and that Friday, and the 16th is a half day for the students.   
    I have found it helpful to have a paper schedule just outside my classroom door for you to access before and after school or you are welcome to email  me with your preferences. I will also have a schedule set up on the blog so that you are able to see the available times. It will be updated daily by 4:30 each day. Once you have given me your preferred times, I will email you a confirmation. I’ll do my best to find a date and time that suits your family.
    I look forward to these wonderful opportunities for sharing!
                                     

Friday, January 26, 2018

Big Week!

Hello families,
What an interesting week this has been. Thank you so much for your kind words and support at home with the disruption of having substitutes.  
Yesterday's field study to the State House and the State Museum was fantastic! It was a day of making connections, building upon knowledge, asking questions, and thinking of our world in different ways. It was exciting to hear the children's comments when walking through the geology exhibit and connecting our learning within the classroom to the concepts presented and illustrated there. 
The State House presented an opportunity to see our legislators in action and gain a sense of the historical and current significance of the people and work being done.  
Everything went very smoothly and I can't thank the chaperones who joined us enough. These kind of days would not be possible without you. I have attached a few pictures of the day below. Please feel free to email any others you may have taken and I will put them on the blog too.  
Next week will be a busy week as we continue with our study of the framework of the government and to look at a series of biographies of people who have made a difference in our world and promoted change.  
As mathematicians we will continue to explore and gain a conceptual understanding of equivalent fractions using a set of objects, on a number line, and in pictorial representations.  
The children have been enjoying hearing their choice pieces of writing and will continue to do so as we share even more over the next week. As mentioned before, the authors are writing a piece of their choice while using the authoring cycle and completing a revision form before having an adult edit and then writing a final draft. Our workshops have been divided into time to compose these pieces along with a class study of writing a comparative essay between the book and the movie of, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  
Finally, as geologists we are finishing up our study of Earth materials and changes in the Earth.  We will spend this week looking at specific properties and in determining a specific rock based upon those properties. This is such a fun unit of study! I hope your child has been sharing their observations in the world when noticing evidence of weathering or erosion.  

Pretty soon we will be gearing up for this years' Student Led Conferences. I can't wait for the children to have the opportunity to show and tell how they have grown throughout the year. It is a special time! They will be February 15- 19. I will send out sign up times soon. 
Have a wonderful weekend!
Susanne






















Isle of Palms

What an amazing trip! Thanks again to all of the parents who were able to make it. It was such a great way to play and learn a little more ...