Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Month, New Calendar Math

Today is Wednesday, today is Wednesday, October 1st, October 1st. Yesterday was Tuesday, tomorrow will be Thursday, HIP-HIP HORRAY! What a day!
That is the sound of the beginning of our Calendar Math time. I love Calendar Math because I feel that it reinforces skills that students sometimes lack, plus IT'S FUN! I am so excited for the new month of October. In Calendar Math (CM), a new month = new components of our lesson. This month we have added many new components to our CM routine. We will be comparing the weather in Jacksonville, Florida (USA) to that of Cairo, Egypt (Africa). As a class, we will be graphing this information. Students will practice reading and answering the graph about weather. We will also be adding a decimeter (10 centimeters) each day of the month. This will provide the much needed skill of using metric measurement. Our calendar pattern this month introduces us to different types of triangles such as equilateral triangles and isoceles triangles. We will continue to add money for each school day. We will focus on the meaning of a.m. and p.m. in time. We will keep track of the different times that it is "light" (day) and "dark" (night) in relation to a.m. and p.m. We will also be finding different combinations of coins for a given total.
Some questions that you can ask your child about our CM lesson for October are:
Early in the month:
What is an equilateral triangle?
What is an isoceles triangle?
What is a vertice?
What is a decimeter?
How many groups of 10 equal 100?
Is today's number odd or even?
Is today's number a multiple of 3? 4? 5? 6? 7? etc. How do you know?
How many decimeters equal a meter?
What is the weather like in Cairo compared to Jacksonville at this time of the year?
What does it look like outside when it is 3 a.m.? 3 p.m.?
What are all the different combinations of coins to make 47 cents?

These are just a few questions that you could ask. You can even ask open ended questions such as "What did you learn today in CM?" Any conversation with your child about their work in class holds them accountable for paying attention during the lesson. Thanks for reading!!
-Miss Russell :)

Donors Choose x 2!

As you may know, my first proposal for Science Books through Donors Choose has been completely fulfilled and we received the materials on Friday. The 33 books included all different topics from energy, the sun, animals, the moon, volcanoes, force and motion, rocks, plants, and so much more! Students wrote very nice "thank you" notes to some of our donors yesterday. I am SO excited to announce that I have also gotten my second proposal for math books and games fulfilled. YAHH!!! We are so appreciative to all of our donors. I can't wait to receive the math materials. It feels like Christmas in September!
Your very excited teacher,
Miss Russell :)

Multiplication and Division Story Problems

For the past few days we have been working with multiplication and division story problems. The students have been coming up with some fantastic strategies for solving both types of problems. Some of the strategies that we have come up with are: skip counting, using a ratio table, drawing pictures, decomposing, and thinking of multiplication as repeated addition in order to solve. Take a look at the charts that we made in class. There were so many great ideas to share that we couldn't possibly chart them all. The following charts show awesome strategies from Knowlton, Johnna, Michela, Elias, Katelynn and JJ. Nice work boys and girls!!

Today students were introduced to several different notations for multiplication and division. I can't wait to start seeing these different types of notation in their work!

-Miss Russell :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Open House

WOW!! Tonight we had our 3rd grade Open House and boy was it packed!! The students followed a flow chart to introduce many different aspects of our class to their adult visitor. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those families that joined us tonight. Miss Young and I had such an awesome time visiting and talking with everyone. The students did an amazing job leading their guest around. I could not be more proud of this class.
Your very proud teacher,
Miss Russell :)

Array Game: Count and Compare

Today students learned a new game using array cards. The game is called "Count and Compare." This game helps students practice estimating and comparing the size of arrays based on their dimensions. Ultimately, this type of practice will help students become familiar with multiplication and division. Take a look at the video below to see how the game is played. Students may play this game at home. They just need to take home their array cards, cut them out, and label them with totals and dimensions.

If you are interested in learning more about array cards and their purpose in multiplication and division, please visit the following links:
What Are Array Cards?
Teaching Multiplication and Division

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Battle of the Books

Battle of the Books is a reading competition for third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Chets Creek Elementary. To participate in the competition, students read books from the Battle of the Books List. The fifteen titles used in this competition are the Sunshine State Young Readers’ Award nominees for this year. Battle of the Books culminates in three “battles” where teams buzz in to answer questions about the books. Last year Mr. Montisano and Mrs. Nash’s Third Grade “Bookaneers” won the Battle of the Books! These amazing third graders received gold medals and a pizza party for their class!
Here is the Battle of the Books List:


1) The Blue Ghost - by Marion Dane Bauer
2) No Talking - by Andrew Clement
3) Missing Manatee - by Cynthia DeFelice
4) The Sloppy Copy Slip-Up - by DyAnne DiSalvo
5) Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Erupts!: The First Experiment - by Frances O'Roark
6) Stumptown Kid - by Ron J. Findley & Carol Gorman
7) The Thing About Georgie – by Lisa Graff
8) The Homework Machine - by Dan Gutman
9) Dexter the Tough - by Margaret Peterson Haddix
10) The Ghosts Grave - by Peg Kehret
11) Rules - by Cynthia Lord
12) Roxy and the Hooligans - by Phyllis Naylor
13) Clementine - by Sara Pennypacker
14) The Stupendous Dodge ball Fiasco – by Janice Repka
15) Listen!- by Stephanie S. Tolan

In class we have already read No Talking and we are currently reading The Thing About Georgie. We love the battle books!!
A huge THANK YOU to Mr. Pieri for typing up the list of Battle Books.
-Miss Russell :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Growing Plants

Today is Day 7 of our plant growing project. We have been watering them everyday and have a source of heat and light (Sun) on them at all times. We have some plants that are growing like crazy and some that haven't germinated at all. (I am slightly fearful that Carter and Anna's plant may take over our room one of these days like in the book Plantzilla.) Out of all of the plants, the lima beans have grown the fastest. We are also starting to see some sprouts from the radishes and peas. Every day we go to school we can't wait to see the progress that our little plants have made over night. The students have also been recording their observations in their science journals. Through the clear cups we are able to see the awesome root systems of the plants. The students have also been able to identify the stems and leaves or their plants. Our class has quite the green thumb!
-Miss Russell :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Silly Story Problems

Today I constructed our first Standards Based Bulletin Board. The purpose of a SBBB is to give students and parents several examples of work that meet the standards that we are working on. This SBBB centered around two story problems dealing with repeated addition and multiplication from our "Things That Come In Groups" math unit. Although there were many excellent pieces of work, I chose work from Trinity, Taylor, Luke and Jake for this month's board. Also, every student drew either an octopus or giraffe to help decorate the board. Nice work kiddos!
-Miss Russell :)
(A HUGE thank you to Susan Ammons for helping put the SBBB together.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Resource Schedule

At this time, I only have a partial resource schedule to share. As soon as I get the schedule for the rest of the year, all students will receive a copy and be taught how to use it. Here is the resource schedule for the next few days:
Thursday, September 11th- Media
Friday, September 12th- Art 2
Monday, September 15th- PE 2 (Don't forget to wear tennis shoes!)
Tuesday, September 16th- Character Education
Thursday, September 18th- Science
That's all that I know for right now. I will keep you updated as I receive information.
- Miss Russell :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scientists At Work

Check out these pictures from our work in science this week.

Roots, Stems, Plants, and Flowers...Oh My!

Recently in science we have been learning about plants, their parts, and needs. We spent Monday and Tuesday planting a variety of plants such as lima beans, grass, flowers, green peas, and radishes. We have learned that there are 4 main parts: roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. There are also 4 things that plants need to survive: water, space, light,and air. On Monday, students made predictions about what would happen to a lima bean when soaked in water for 24 hours. On Tuesday, students dissected the lima bean to observe the inside. Students were able to identify the embryo (new plant), stored food, and seed coat. They recorded their findings in their science journal. Next we will be learning about animals. Did you know that plants and animals have many things in common? More to come...
-Miss Russell :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Multiplication Story Problems

In class we have been working on multiplication story problems. Here are some examples from Kayla, Emily, Katelynn, and Jessica. Nice Work!
-Miss Russell :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Farewell Miss Young! We will miss you!

Today was Miss Young's last day before her big trip to Africa. Yep, AFRICA! She will be going to Swaziland, Africa to help people and learn more about their culture. She will be spending a little more than 2 weeks there. This year she is bringing along our class mascot Chet the Bear. (Look closely to the picture at the right, can you find him?) While in Africa, Chet will be journaling about his travels on his blog. We will certainly miss Miss Young while she is gone but we can't wait to hear about all of the exciting stories and see wonderful pictures of her time in Africa.
-Miss Russell :)