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Newsletter October 15, 2012

 
 
Picture of Marilyn Mills
Newsletter October 15, 2012
by Marilyn Mills - Sunday, October 14, 2012, 7:33 PM
 

What a rainy, rainy weekend it has been in upper Michigan.  I think we may need to get our paddles out Monday when we all head out to work and school!  I'll bet there are many who wish their children could get out and play somewhere other than in the house.  And then there are those whose children had football or soccer who are wishing that their kids could just find an indoor sport---or one where the parent didn't have to stand out in the elements to watch them and be there.  With 3 active boys, I have been there, done that---and have many a pair of wet, ruined shoes to prove it!

We are going to be finishing the end of the MEAP testing this week with the Math portion of the assessment. It is a hard period of time when students must sit still and be quiet so that others can do their best on the test.  But, for the most part all have been cooperative and cognizant of each other's needs.

In Math we are finishing up our unit on adding and subtracting, with some additional supplemental lessons on place value.  It is helpful if students know their addition and subtraction facts, and I appreciate any extra time you can give to helping your child work on these.  As with anything else, the more they are used, the more they are useful.

We have had a good time in Science learning about our earth and its surface.  We looked at the samples of soil students brought in and drew pictures of what we saw.  Our landfills and dumps are still working away on the windowsills, although the smells of each are somewhat alarming!  It is making us think about what we can do to recycle and/or reuse, however.  Now it is on to rocks.

In social studies we are tying in MI's natural resources to the other resources that affect Mi's economy.  There is a lot of new vocabulary to learn in this unit, so be on the watch for your child to use some of those new words--hopefully!  We shall also be learning some songs to help us remember those words and concepts as well.  Thank goodness children like to sing, and are not too critical of their teacher's singing voice!

Language Arts happens every morning in our classroom and focuses in on reading, writing, speaking, English, and spelling.  Students should be bringing home their spelling journals every Friday with their new words in the back pockets of the books.  It is important that the homework assignments happen every night in order for your child to be successful in learning the spelling patterns.  Students are tested every Thursday on not just the spelling of the words in the word sorts, but more importantly, the patterns.  There is a list of the homework assignments for each night on the inside cover of the journal, so that you know what needs to be done each night.

Well, the 3-ring binder notebooks proved to not be very functional for 3rd graders and so we have switched to a folder with pockets.  These seem to be working out better thus far.  I would like the students to write the date on each page themselves so as to practice the months of the year and the days of the week.  It is also a way to learn to write the date with the correct punctuation.  Students are to come in each morning and write the day's date on their DAB page for the day.   Some are still struggling with when to use capital letters, so it is more than just the spelling of the words that is important.  I expect the whole word and not the abbreviation of the month or day to be written as well.  It is a good opportunity to practice!

As the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are also cooling down.  That means that the weather up on our playground is even cooler and windier than down below.  Please be sure that your child dresses for those lower temps. so that they are comfortable playing outside.  Last week I even wore earmuffs and gloves outside on the playground and did not feel overdresses one bit.  It was cold, windy, and brisk up there with the wind coming right off the bay.  It is a beautiful view, but the cold winds also come with it on some days.  Brrrr!  Shades of what is ahead before too long. 

Stay warm!

Marilyn Mills