Students are almost finished researching their chosen pet. They have worked with Mrs. Day in the computer lab to look at websites, they have used care sheets from Petsmart and Petco, and they have looked through books to help them fill in their organizer. They are finding out information on the characteristics of their pet, the care their pet needs, and habits of their pets. These are used to not only help students when they go to write out their information Into paragraphs, it will also be used to see how well students can gather and organize information they find.
The students have really given their all during this testing week. As a break and reward, we broke out the paints and chalk and had a little fun being creative!
This week, students practiced reading short texts and jotting down key ideas from what they read. We discussed how we can read and reread these articles because they are short. This helps us to really focus on those key ideas.
After spending the week with three articles, students had to jot down what they think all of the articles are mostly about. Because all the articles were on slightly different topics, students had to think about the message that was common to all- humans are causing some animals to be endangered, but humans are also helping the animals, too.
We then reviewed the three different kinds of writing- informational, opinion, and narrative and reviewed their characteristics. We also reviewed the best way to plan for each kind of writing.
Students then got to pick to which prompt they wanted to respond. Then they planned and started writing!
Planning for an opinion is done best using box and bullets. Your opinion goes in the box and reasons or examples become your bullets. The bullets should have parallel structure (one example, another example).
Planning for an informational piece should have an introduction, chapter titles or section headings, and a conclusion.
Planning for a narrative should include SWBST (Somebody Wanted But So Then).
This was great review for the Mstep test next week. Students are going to have to read two articles and use those articles to write to an informational prompt, opinion prompt, or narrative prompt.
After students finished their informational books, it was time to share them in small groups and teach others about a topic they know a lot about. Students had to listen carefully and write two compliments for each writer and one question. I loved watching the nervous excitement and listening to these young teachers!
A few random notes-
We are out of Kleenex in our room, and with allergy season upon us, we need some! If you could, please donate a box!
Thank you to all who ordered from the book order we got a stack of new books for our classroom because of what you ordered!
We had two more detectives solve the pentomino puzzle from their book club book, Chasing Vermeer. you have to get the different shaped pieces to fit just right into a perfect rectangle. Way to go Quinn and Emma!
We have had some beautiful days to play outside! We do live in Michigan, however, and this week is supposed to be cool and cloudy, so students should dress appropriately.
Our super hero last week was the cape wearing super Kamryn! Her poster is colorful and detailed. Kamryn is our last featured super hero. All the kids in our classrooms are Heroes!
While I was assessing students on their reading levels, Mrs. Woller was using a Pizza Fraction game to get kids moving around while practicing fractions. Students will be learning how to compare fractions with like and unlike denominators.
The classroom is a buzz with conversation as students get into their book clubs to discuss their first day's reading. I walk around and eavesdrop on their conversations and my heart is happy when I hear the students using words like "red herring" and "suspect."
Then I call time to stop the conversations and all the kids thank their club members for the great discussions and break apart to go read today's chapters on their own. It becomes so quiet you could hear a pin drop! Picture it- 29 students glued to their books, reading. It's a beautiful sight to behold!
Be on the lookout for your child's informational post test coming home soon. They will be written on notebook paper and have a rubric attached to it. During the unit on informational writing, students learned how to write about something that they know a lot about. Students picked such a variety of topics- Minecraft, hockey, t-ball, gardening, the fair, cleaning a pool, cats, dogs, snowmobiling, etc. I am going to learn a lot from these informational books! Most students are finishing up their informational books. These go into greater detail and are more extensive than what is coming home. The post test that is coming home was used to see what the students took from the lessons. Did students learn that the information needs to be organized into paragraphs and chapters? Did they remember that there should be an illustration or diagram that helps the reader better understand the information? Did they introduce the topic and leave the reader with a concluding statement or chapter? And, can they do all that in an hour time? The unit modeled the step-by-step process of writing an information piece, providing scaffold for the students as they wrote their informational books, and the post test measures what they can do on their own, in one sitting.
Below is a great example of a post test. It has an introduction, information organized by detail-filled chapters, a conclusion, and an illustration or diagram. Phew! That is a lot to do in just an hour!
Mrs. Ellis's Class
Learning & laughing our way through third grade.