Welcome back to school everyone!!!
What a wonderful beginning of a new school year it has been!!!
My students were as excited to meet Mr. Mali as much as I was to meet them. What a treat it was to slowly but surely see everyone unwinding a little bit more every day and finding their comfort zone at their own pace through a series of fun, ice-breaking activities.
We've had wonderful Morning Meetings building a trustful and non-threatening environment filled with all kinds of sharing.
We have also been reinforcing on our 7 Core Values and at the same time created wonderful banners.
We enjoyed decorating our notebooks as well as choosing level appropriate books so we could start practicing Read to Self, one of our Daily Five components.
Our Math block starts off by having our students practice their math fluency by completing daily addition and subtraction math facts. Students then complete a problem of the day and are shown videos that explain how the math they are learning connects to their daily lives. After the whole group mini lesson is taught students work in small groups to complete individualized skills. So far we have explored ordering numbers, comparing numbers and rounding numbers. We looked at patterns of numbers and continue to work on adding and subtracting two-three digit number with and without regrouping.
Third graders have been working hard to establish their reading and writing procedures.
During our reading block, students engage in small group novel studies with guidance from the teacher and with independent literacy based activities. Such activities include Read to Self where the students read good-fit books independently as they increase their reading stamina and Word Work activities where students expand their vocabulary and understanding of new words. Students also worked to improve their reading comprehension by completing reading logs and using evidence from the text to answer questions about what they have read.
Reading strategies we have learned to help improve our reading accuracy and comprehension include reading good-fit books, checking for understanding (who and what the story is about), determining authors purpose, visualizing, identifying the setting of stories, and exploring internal and external character traits. We have used our first read aloud of the book titled Frindle practice these strategies. We have just begun reading our second class novel titled The Island of the Blue Dolphin and can’t wait to be able to use our strategies to understand the characters and events taking place in the story even better!
In writing, students have been working to increase their writing stamina. Our focus has been on writing personal narratives. We have been working to “hook” our readers by writing strong leads by using questions, dialogue, flashbacks, action, or sound to begin our narratives. We have just started learning how to use transitional words and phrases to sequence the events in our stories and make our writing clear and easy for our readers to visualize. We have really enjoyed sharing our stories with our peers!
In Social Studies we started off the year learning about South Carolina's six regions and four major rivers. We have also learned about the American Indians of South Carolina and how they interact with their physical environment, the Spanish and French explorers and their attempts to settle in South Carolina, the new colony of South Carolina and the Lord Proprietors and the pirates who sailed the seas off the coast of South Carolina. Ask your child who they chose to follow: Anne Bonny, Stede Bonnet, or Blackbeard? Next we will study the life in colonial South Carolina and how the colony affected the Cherokee and the conditions of slaves.
Our first unit deals with Physical Science.
Students got excited about the overview of the three branches of science and how science has changed our world over the years. We watched several videos that connected our unit to the real world. Students were then introduced to atoms, elements, and molecules. We continue to expand our vocabulary by understanding what the properties of Matter were. We then explored the three form of matter: Solids, Liquids, and Gases. We looked at how each can change and what causes them to change. We did a fun in class experiment to explore gas, where we carefully mixed baking soda and vinegar to make a balloon inflate. To better reinforce learning and understanding of the physical and chemical change of Matter, we made crêpes and watched how a liquid (the batter) can become a solid (the crêpe) and how good can it taste!