April News

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Important Dates:

May 11- Portfolio Day

May 16- Senior Buddy Ice Cream Party

May 21- Shavout- No School

May 28- Memorial Day- No School

May 31- Last Day of School- Early Release

Language Arts- Biographies

Third graders kicked off their unit on biographies with a visit to the new Central Austin Library! There, students researched the famous person of their choice. Most students chose historical figures or athletes. Research continued at school, with the kids using various books and websites to discover even more facts. Students then completed the entire writing process to compose a three paragraph research paper. Currently, students are in the process of writing another biography about a peer in class. Each student interviewed his/her assigned partner to learn more about him/her. Students took notes during the interview and used this as their prewriting. Third graders are in various stages of completing this composition and should have this three paragraph informational paper written shortly.

In reading, students have been exposed to a wide variety of biographies. Third graders identified certain components of the genre such as, the person’s birthdate, birthplace, childhood, challenges/hardships, jobs, and accomplishments. Text features such as captions, information boxes, bold or italic print, and timelines were also identified. An emphasis was placed on using timelines, as students created one for each writing composition, as well as other timelines for various reader’s response assignments. Third graders read the autobiography, Ugly, identifying an autobiography as one written by the person him/herself. This book included many life lessons and led to many deep class discussions. Student also chose and read a biography from the, Who Was _________ series, with each student choosing a different person to read about.

Math

In math, third graders reviewed word problems, with a strong emphasis on multi-step problems. Students learned many strategies in order to break down complex problems into steps and solve. They also learned to look out for extra information. The problem-solving formula used in class is: 1. Read the problem twice. 2. Decide which operations the problem is asking you to do. 3. Solve each step carefully. 4. Label the unit and check your work. Following this formula proved to be helpful to students. Math was also integrated into language arts by using timelines to create and solve math problems. Currently, students are learning to write their own multi-step word problems. Fraction concepts such as equivalent fractions, comparing fractions, and finding fractions on a number line have also been frequently reviewed in the last month.

Social Studies/Science

Students have been reviewing their mapping skills in order to incorporate mapping into their biography projects. Many books and websites that the students conduct research on contain maps to identify where a person is from. Students are using globes and maps to learn more about where historical figures are from. In science, students will soon begin a short series of experiments in order to review the scientific method.

A note about cursive: Students have learned nearly all the cursive letters. Third graders are now allowed to write in cursive if they would like to, however, it is purely optional.

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