Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring!

We have had the opportunity to hear two more of the Red Clover books - Papa’s Mechanical Fish, and Matchbox Diary.  We are REALLY loving all these guest readers!!!  Also, students continued to work in reading groups and on self-selected independent reading.  Keep your eyes peeled for information about the upcoming SBAC testing in future School Bell issues!!!   As a team, Equinox is working on practice tests to become familiar with all the technology skills needed to show learning in English/Language Arts and Mathematics.  We’ve been working on some sample literacy tasks both on paper and using the secure browser and SBAC practice tests.  Stay tuned for more details each week and keep your eyes peeled for information about the upcoming SBAC testing in future School Bell issues!!!   

In math, third graders solved over 5 different division story problems this week!  Our work on solving these stories concluded with a project where we were able to create our very own division story problem. We are even going to solve one another's problems next week! We also learned a new concept called Fact Families, and how to find them using arrays.  Fourth graders continued learning about measurement. This week the focus was on measuring liquids in milliliters and liters. They also completed the Unit 4 post test today!
In writing, The Observer has asked us to contribute to the next Kids Edition. We have been diligently working on completing different types of writing to submit to the Observer (we want to get published!) Some of our writing has include idioms, haiku poems, and answering questions like, “What does family mean to you?” and “If you opened your own business, what would it be?”  Finally, most are close to publishing their final persuasive pieces for our current unit of study in writing. 


  • Our DIY basket for the Big Basket Raffle looks amazing! Thank you all who contributed to it!
  • No school for students on MONDAY, 3/23 due to conferences. Have a wonderful long weekend! 

    St. Patrick's Day Green!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring is Around the Corner

We have entered the final “push” of our persuasive writing unit this week.  Students selected topics, wrote thesis statements and began drafting their persuasive essays or letters.  Our goal is to finish these pieces by next week!

All students wrote a persuasive article about the importance of head protection in football experiences for youth. Evidence from the informational video and news article provided supporting details for the thesis:  “football should be safer for its players.”  Students continued to work in reading groups and in self-selected independent reading.  We also have had the opportunity to hear five of the Red Clover books read to us - A Splash of Red, The Day the Crayons Quit, Eat Like a Bear, The Mighty Lalouche and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.  

In third grade math, after completing the pre-assessment for unit 5, students received their unit 4 assessments and completed a reflection on their work for the unit.  Unit five focuses on multiplication and division strategies, including the relationship between the two operations.  We worked together to explore patterns and functions as we created a “groups of four” chart, and began to use multiplication and division in the context of story problems as we worked through “game store problems.”  In number corner, third graders are looking closely at rectilinear figures and examining the relationship between area and perimeter of these figures.  Ask your mathematician what the current area (in square feet) of our rectilinear figure is!  Fourth graders are learning about units of liquid measure and are using both customary and metric units.  In number corner, classes just uncovered the function for the March calendar:  x3 + 1.  Fourth graders also worked on story problems involving measurement.  A large problem the class has worked on all week was called “Running the Race,” where students calculated distances and determined how many mL of water each runner would need during the race!  This module gave students an opportunity to explore benchmarks and relative sizes for length, time, liquid volume, mass, and weight.  Students use ratio tables to convert units within the same measuring system, and apply some of the place value multi-digit computation skills they've practicing to solve story problems related to measurement.

  • Don’t forget...our Big Basket Raffle theme is “Gift Cards” this year!  3/20 is the last day to contribute to the basket! Our basket only has ONE item...please consider donating.
  • No school for students on MONDAY, 3/23.  Conference sign-ups were emailed today.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for information about the upcoming SBAC testing in future School Bell issues
  • Lucky U begins on Monday.  Students are able to purchase raffle tickets for $0.25 to WIN an activity with a teacher! For more information on Lucky U, please check the latest School Bell.