Monday, October 28, 2013

G Is for Generalization

Dear Wonderful Students and Parents,

 This week was really nice.

 For math we learned about making generalizations and comparing polygons.
 In reading we read the Witch of Fourth Street.
 For science we made observations for our seedlings.
 In writing we brainstormed about what top 3 favorite subjects are.
 My favorite part was math because my favorite subject is math.

 Now you can see this week was a good week,
 Scout #8

Next Week:

  • Math: Multiplication Concepts
  • Science: Seedling Hypothesis
  • Reading: Inference
  • Social Studies: Political and Physical maps
  • Writing: Topic Sentences

Saturday, October 19, 2013

O is for Owl Pellets

Dear helpful, hard working, and awesome students and parents,

This week was really outstanding and fun,

For math I really liked learning the different types of triangles.

In reading I liked doing the Witch of Fourth Street's cause and effect.

For science I liked the wild life volunteer because we got to see what was inside owl pellets and I also liked seeing the stellar jay, the animal skulls, and the leaf tracing station.

For social studies we practiced using indexes to find locations in Los Altos.

In writing I liked learning the different types of writing.

My favorite part of the week was the wild life volunteers because I liked looking in the owl pellets.

Scout #2

Next week:

Math: Topic 5 Test Friday
Reading: Inferencing
Science: Plant Structures
Writing: Brainstorming/Planning
Social Studies: Land form identification

Monday, October 14, 2013

W is for Walk-a-thon

Sorry to be posting this a couple days later than usual. With the Walk-a-thon it was such a busy weekend! I truly enjoyed seeing so many of you there!

---Mrs. Andersen

Dear Active Students and Parents,

This week was really great

For math, we worked on bookwork and rotations on subtraction.

In reading, we worked read a chapter on Mrs. Dunn’s lovely, lovely farm.  We worked on inferencing.

For science we observed seed growth.

In writing we worked on our “It drives me batty when…” papers

My favorite part was Show don’t tell because #1 guessed mine right (students conveyed emotions through descriptive words for others to guess)


Scout #5

Next Week:
  • Math: Topic 4 Test Tuesday
  • Reading: Sequencing/ Cause and Effect
  • Writing: Different types of writing
  • Social Studies: Los Altos Maps
  • Science: Plant Structures

G is for Germination

Dear Astounding Students and Parents,

This week was really exciting. 

For math we did subtraction. We used a hundreds chart and estimated. In reading, we read The Witch on Fourth Street and worked on cause and effect and sequencing.

For science we observed the seeds we have been germinating.

In writing we were working on an assignment about what drives us crazy.

My favorite part of the week was math stations because I enjoy doing the math games.

Scout #1

This is our first recap written by a student!

Next Week:
Math: Subtraction Skills
Reading: Inference
Writing: Begin Expository/Opinion Paragraph
Science: Plant Structures

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A is for Addition

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope you enjoyed your extra day off and took the time to do something very fun. The rest of the teachers and I were busy at work yesterday and I'm excited to try out some fun, new ideas in our room very soon. Last week was a busy week in our classroom.

In math last week we continued to work on addition. On Wednesday, we finished our topic and on Thursday we took our test. A few students still haven't taken the test due to absence so I don't have a class average yet.

For reading we worked on the "Author's Viewpoint." The viewpoint of an author means the opinions, biases, and feelings an author has that are implied in their writing. To help illustrate this point we read two versions of Cinderella and discussed the two different viewpoints.

In writing this week we focused on identifying common and proper nouns. We also focused on the /or/ sound in spelling. In addition we practiced our writing stamina through journaling.

We continued to work on our Oak maps in social studies. Some students have been required to redo their maps a couple of times due to insufficient effort. When students are asked to redo assignments they are graded across their overall effort. We also started talking about our Los Altos community.

In science we made spouters this week. We have placed our seeds in them and made our hypothesis for the growth we will see.

Next week:

  • Math: Begin Topic 4 on subtraction
  • Reading: Begin our 1st novel 
  • Writing: Homophones
  • Social Studies: Landforms
  • Science: Seed soak
Mrs. Andersen

Sunday, September 22, 2013

S is for Seed

Happy Fall Parents and Students,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Last week we did a lot of exciting things in our classroom.

In Math we worked on addition. We used multiple strategies to aid us in multi-digit addition. We also learned how to estimate. We used it to validate our exact sums.

For Reading this week we focused on the skill of identifying cause and effect relationships. We analyzed these relationships in various texts and in our personal experiences.

In Writing we worked on our suffixes and learned about subjects and predicates. Additionally, we started practicing painting pictures with our words to create more interesting sentences.

We continued our focus on the skill of observation in Science this week. To better understand seeds and their similarities, we analyzed different types of produce and compared their seeds. This helped inform our decisions on what to grow.

For Social Studies we continued to work on our Oak maps. Students are learning how to create legends and how to accurately diagram locations from an aerial view.

In the area of life skills, we are continuing our practice of better eye contact, self control, and active listening. Please reenforce these concepts in your homes.

Here's what's coming up this week:

  • Math: Topic 3 Test Thursday
  • Reading: Book Report due Thursday
  • Writing: Show not tell sentences
  • Science: Seed is sprouting
  • Social Studies: Los Altos community 
See you tomorrow! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

O is for Observation

Hello Students and Parents,

I hope you have all had a restful weekend and are gearing up for another big week. We still need to work on our self control and turning in our homework. The students have set a goal of 68 days of everyone turning in their homework but so far we have only had one day in a row.

In math this week we finished our rounding unit. The majority of our class did really well on this topic. The most common error was students not rounding to the requested place.

For reading we worked on inference. Students learned about their schema's and combined that with text to find meaning. We are also continuing to practice our stamina.

Writing this week focused on finishing the parts of speech and looking into complete answers. We also began journal writing to increase our endurance in that area, as well.

In spelling we worked on antonyms and the long "a" sound. We also took a look at syllable breaks in words.

We began science this week by exploring our schema of seeds. We then discussed scientific properties and observed a variety of seeds.

Here's what's coming up this week:

Math: Adding Whole Numbers
Reading: Cause and Effect
Writing: Subjects and Predicates
Science: Diagraming

Saturday, September 7, 2013

B is for Back to School Night

Hello Caring Community,

It was great getting to meet so many parents at back to school night this week. I hope you enjoyed your time and feel like you know more about me, our classroom, and each other. We had an exciting week and had our first of many types of tests this week.

In math this week we finished our unit on place value. We had our first math test on Friday and had a mean of 88%. Some students still need to work on understanding the difference between place and value of various digits. We also began taking our quick check quizzes. Many students are challenged by this assessment since it requires them to explain their thinking about problem solving.

Social studies this week focused on continuing to build our community. We also integrated map skills by having students create self portrait maps. They used landforms and bodies of water to represent different aspects of themselves. Then they created a key and used a compass to tie in mapping skills.

For reading we worked on sequencing. We sequenced books from project cornerstone, along with our class reader. The students also took their first free response comprehension test. Students will take this weekly and will have to work on complete and detailed responses.

In writing we worked on parts of speech. We hunted for nouns, verbs, and adjectives. We also worked on a cursive letters. Many students need to practice their print and cursive letters. For spelling we worked on long o and ch, sh, th, wh sounds.

Next week:

Math: Test Friday on Rounding
Social Studies: School Community
Reading: Inference
Writing: Parts of Speech
Science: Seeds

Friday, August 30, 2013

R is for Routine!

Dear Absorbent Third Graders and Parents,

This week was full of new concepts and more community building. One of the most important aspects, however, was establishing our classroom routines. In our room it is important that students follow routines exactly. Adherence to these norms allows us as a class to do more engaging student directed exploration and learning.

Students are expected to line up silently in number order in a straight line every time they enter and exit the classroom. They are expected to stop and use the whole body to listen. Students and parents should expect these guidelines to be very firm.

In math this week we worked on place value. Students need to practice identifying and assigning the value of numbers into the hundred thousands. Students should also understand how to write numbers in standard form, word form, picture form, and expanded form. We also had our first experience with math rotations. The goal is to increase this practice as students become more responsible.

For reading we went back to the basics, since third grade is a year we shift to a focus on comprehension. This begins with increased stamina in both independent and group reading. We discussed effective ways to work alone and in pairs to ensure comprehension.

For spelling this week students received core words and we had our first spelling test. We also practiced spelling the "long i" sound and the "ow" sound.

In social studies we continued our study of communities through various community building activities. We also explored the individuals in our class as a way to better understand each other. We have begun integrating our map skills into our community building as well.

Here's what's coming up next week:
  • Math: Test on Friday
  • Reading: Comprehension skills
  • Writing: Journal Writing 
  • Spelling: Long O' Sounds
  • Social Studies: Community Map
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Classroom Community

Hi there goal-oriented students and parents,

It was great getting to meet you this past week. The short time we have spent together has made me excited for the year ahead. To get to know each other we are working to set goals, review concepts, and set expectations.

Throughout this process we have been entering into our social studies curriculum with the idea of communities. We discussed what our third grade and class communities need in order to function.

We also reviewed some place value concepts with interactive games. The rest of our time was spent doing assessments that help me best meet the needs of our community.

Next week:

  • Social Studies: Classroom community problem solving
  • Math: Place Value 
  • Writing: What makes a sentence
  • Spelling: Core words 
  • Reading: Basic Reading Skills


Saturday, August 17, 2013


Dear Incoming Students and Parents,

I am so excited to be starting this school year with all of you. Third grade is an exciting time, but it is full of new challenges. As a teacher I try to provide a room that is full of energy, hard work, collaboration, creativity, and of course a lot of learning. We will work together this year to bring out the best in each other. Expect to be challenged and know that it's ok to make mistakes as long as you are trying!

Please take a look around the site and I will see you Wednesday!

Be sure to fill out the volunteer form and look at our back to school checklist .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

Thank you so much for all the wonderful gifts, cards, and flowers that I received last week. I feel so grateful to have such a wonderful class. It is a pleasure teaching such enthusiastic and bright students. Last week we were very busy in our academics and in our preparation for our musical this week.

In reading, we continued to read Charlotte's Web. We worked on our literature circle discussion skills. Each student in the circle had a different area of focus and needed to listen and communicate their perspective.

For writing last week, we took inspiration from Charlotte's Web and wrote personal narratives about a time when a friend helped you. Additionally, we looked at the suffix -er. We practiced sorting words by the usage of the suffix and also practiced spelling words when you add and -er to the end.

In Math, we started Unit 20 on Probability and data. We practiced reading and transferring data to tally charts.

We studied the moon in science this week. Students practiced identifying the moon's phases and understanding its path around the earth. We charted the moon each day and worked on our planet reports.

In Social Studies, we continued our study of the Ohlone people. We also read about scientific work happening for extinct animals.

Next Week
Reading: Charlottes Web
Writing: Personal narrative final draft
Math: Continue Probability
Science: Test on Tuesday
Social Studies: The Ohlone

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

O is for Ohlones and Oobleck

What a great week! We had so many fun and interactive lessons. From visiting our buddies to watching the fifth grade colonies play, we had a lot of adventures.

We started reading Charlotte's Web. We've been practicing various reading and grammar skills through the eyes of the story.

In Math we worked on different strategies for customary measurement. We did an activity where students had to think about weight of objects in relation to their own weight. We also reviewed volume and area.

In Science we started our moon observation project and have been charting its phases each day. We also had some visitors from Camp Edmo who taught us about non-nuetonian fluids. They also made oobleck with the class.

For Social Studies last week we studied the land of the Ohlone people. We also had a special visit from an Ohlone expert who taught us about the Ohlpne people. He even started a fire on the blacktop in the traditional Ohlone way.

In Writing this week we learned how to express feelings in narratives. We also started writing our ABC fairytales in the computer lab.

Here's what's coming up this week:
  • Reading: continue Charlotte's Web
  • Math: topic 16 test Wednesday 
  • Science: start planet projects
  • Social Studies: Ohlone shelters 
  • Writing: ABC fairy tale continued
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Open House Survey Results

It was great seeing so many of you at open house this Thursday. Here are the results of our survey with the right answers boxed in red. I hope you have a wonderful spring break.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Shakespeare and Starry Night

We had a creative week with our Shakespeare assembly and Starry Night art docent activity. Here's a recap of the other activities.

In reading we read a selection called Seal Surfer and focused on the skill of comparing and contrasting. We also discussed multiple meanings of words.

We completed Unit 18 in math this week. Some students are still having trouble visualizing and understanding volume. We also started Unit 19 on math involving money. So far, everyone has been doing quite well. You should brush up on regrouping in subtraction and long division.

In science we worked on understanding the perceived movement of the sun. We also practiced our compass skills.

For social studies this week we took turns being archeologists from the future. We then took a dive into the past by starting our Ohlone unit and spent time reading about this local native american tribe. Lastly, we brushed up on our atlas skills.

In writing we finished our leprechaun narrative final drafts. We also worked on our cursive letters and the rules for adding endings to verbs.

Here's what's coming up next week:
  • Reading: making judgements.
  • Math: topic 19 test on Thursday
  • Science: sunrise and sunset
  • Social Studies: Ohlone art and poetry
  • Writing: integrating feeling and descriptive words
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day full of four leaf clovers and leprechaun hunting. Here's what we were up to last week:

In reading we focused on distinguishing facts from opinions. We read the selection Night of the Pufflings and practiced identifying different facts.

For science we kicked off our next unit by learning the order of the planets. The students learned a fun mnemonic device to help them remember what we learned.

We looked at area, perimeter and volume of various objects in math last week. Students were able to apply their math skills to real world objects.

In social studies we discussed the significance of Lindon B. Johnson's address to congress about state voting laws. We used this as a review of our civil rights studies last trimester.

For writing last week we wrote the rough drafts for our Leprechaun narratives. We continued to work on dialogue and discussed alternatives for the word 'said' to add more detail to our stories.

Next week:

  • Reading: selection test on Friday 
  • Science: the sun!
  • Math: test on Tuesday
  • Social Studies: Time for Kids quiz Thursday
  • Writing: Leprechaun final drafts

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Prism Viewers

Hi Everybody,

We had another exciting week. We finished a lot of wonderful units this week and it will be great to dive into the third trimester next week. Here's what we were up to:

Aside from some very creative book report presentations, we read The Garden of Abdul Gasazi and we focused on identifying the important characteristics of the narrative story. We also discussed how to use dialog to make narratives more interesting.

In math we finished Topic 15 on long division. Most of our class did well, however, there are a few students who are still having difficulty with this topic. Long division is considered an introductory unit for third grade, and low scores did not impact overall math scores negatively. It's still good to review if you're struggling and be assured that students will get into mastery of this subject in fourth grade. We also took our benchmark test and the students did very well.

In science, we created our own prism viewers and went around the blacktop looking at various materials to see how the light source was being reflected. Afterwards, we read Dr. Seuss's book called "My many colored days" and discussed how color relates to feelings. Students then wrote sense poems about their color of choice.

In writing we worked on proper punctuation of quotation marks and studied the impacts of certain prefixes on words. We also continued to learn more capital cursive letters.

For social studies we read about how American children have an excess of stuff. Students reflected on their own number of possessions and we tied a discussion of how we could participate in the school book drive next week.

Here's what's coming up next week:

  • Reading: differentiate between fact and opinion
  • Math: topic 16 on perimeter, area and volume
  • Science: finish matter and take quiz
  • Writing: integrate dialog into personal narratives
  • Social Studies: Time for kids quiz

Reports are coming home on Friday. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Light, Division, and Topic Sentences

Hi Everyone!

We had an exciting week back from the break and we still have a lot to go before we wrap up the trimester in a week. Expect to see report cards coming home on the 15th. Here's what we did this week:

In Math we started long division. Since it is the student's first experience with the subject, several of them are still trying to grasp all the concepts. I encourage you to practice long division at home and continue working on your multiplication facts because of their relation to long division.

We continued to study light and color in science this week. We also started investigating matter. We sorted objects into groups of solids, liquids, and gases. We also discussed the properties of each of these phases.

In social studies we learned more about the underground railroad. We also talked about significant women in history.

For reading this week we discussed how to use inferences to draw conclusions while reading stories. We read a selection called Raising Dragons. We also worked on the meaning that suffixes have.

We wrote an expository paragraph about why we're lucky for our writing practice. We also learned about a new form of topic sentences called an Occasion Position Topic Sentence. For grammar, we worked on subject verb agreement in the present tense.

Here's what's coming up next week:

Math: long division test Thursday, benchmark test Friday
Science: mass and volume
Social Studies: Time for kids quiz Thursday
Reading: selection test Friday
Writing: personal narrative

Saturday, February 9, 2013

American Heroes

We had a fantastic week with some really creative American heroes visiting our classroom. It was nice to have so many parents stop by for the presentations.

For math this week we continued working on multiplication of greater numbers. We learned some interesting techniques and even a couple of multiplication magic tricks the kids can show you at home.

We finished up our Martin Luther King Jr. reading by writing about how different elements of his life relate to our own.

In social studies we worked on our California Hero group projects. Students are working together to make a large scale facebook page for their hero. We also read about the recent presidential inauguration.

We identified and used story movers in writing this week. Then we practiced story mover selection in our rough drafts of snow globe adventures.

Here's what's coming up next week:

  • Math: Test on Tuesday on multiplying greater numbers
  • Reading: Martin Luther King reading test on Tuesday
  • Science: Focusing on the properties of reflection 
  • Social Studies: facebook gallery walk on Thursday
  • Writing: snow globe story final drafts

We started SPARK P.E. on Monday this past week. Moving forward, please send your children to school wearing shoes they feel comfortable running around in on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I also hope you all had a chance to look over the valentine's note I sent home. Lastly, students will be picking their poems for poem recitation from my class set on Monday.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Groundhog's Day

What a fun week! It looks like we're in for an early spring according to Punxsutawney Phil. Thirteen twenty-thirds of our class were accurate in their predictions. Can you simplify that fraction?

In math this week we took our addition and subtractions of fractions test. We started working on multiplication of multi-digit numbers. Keep practicing those math facts at home. They'll really come in handy for this unit.

We continued our study of Martin Luther King Jr. in reading. We worked on summarization and comparing his work on civil rights to current events. 

In science we studied the reflection of light. We talked about the concept of light moving as a ray and discussed a few of its other key properties. Students got to complete various challenges with flashlights and mirrors to track the path of light.

In addition to our current events discussion mentioned above, we dug into state policies for healthy school lunches. The students tried to come up with other ways they could be motivated to eat healthy. We also continued our discussions of American heroes.

We wrote stories on our kindergarten buddy's animal paintings. Students interviewed their buddies to gather information on their animals. This was followed by writing an animal adventure tale that incorporated the student and their buddy as the main characters.

Here's what's coming up next week:
  • Math: multiplication of two to three digit numbers
  • Reading: finish MLKJ reading and have closing discussion
  • Science: study of reflection of light continued
  • Social Studies: in-class Californian hero project
  • Writing: story movers and narrative writing

On Friday we discussed that the students who are presenting on Wednesday will need to change into their hero costumes at recess, due to PE and an assembly in the morning. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

One Quick Week

Thanks everyone for a great week. Here's a quick review of what we were working on.

We continued our Martin Luther King Jr. study in reading and focused on using important details to write a summary topic sentence.

For math we worked on addition and subtraction of fractions.

In science we reviewed energy sources and the transfer of energy. The students took a test on this unit and were allowed to use their packets as reference.

We looked at the connection between problems and solutions in social studies and learned about the endangerment of cheetahs.

In writing we continued working on introductions and narratives. Students wrote stories in groups of four on unique pictures.

Here's what's coming up next week:

  • Reading: Martin Luther King and responses to literature.
  • Math: Topic 13 test on Tuesday. Remember to study simplification.
  • Science: Reflection and light unit.
  • Social Studies: Investigating American heros.
  • Writing: Story movers and narratives.

As a quick clarification to the American Hero's project, on Friday your students should have come home with a piece of paper on which they need to draw their heroes' timeline. Presentations need to be 3 to 5 minutes long, the written report should be in paragraph form, and students should arrive in costume on the day of their presentation (I'll send out an email letting you know the day that your student is presenting.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Have a happy long weekend!

What a great week! Thanks to all of the parents who stopped by for our living science lesson and our drama class this week. They were both a lot of fun.

This week we continued reading our Martin Luther King Jr. book and worked on some interesting vocabulary. We also started doing literature circle work.

In writing we started working on narrative introductions. We discussed the difference between expository and narrative writing. Our expository writing focused on transitions.

For math this week the class did very well on their fractions test. We started our next unit, which is adding and subtracting fractions. Please continue to practice simplifying fractions at home.

In science this week we had our living science lesson on seed disbursement. We also worked on the transfer of energy. The students participated in a number of activities to help them visualize and actualize the transfer of energy.

Social studies this week revolved around Martin Luther King Jr. and other heroes. We even did some service projects around Oak to honor Martin Luther King Day.

Here's what's coming up next week:
  • No school for students on Monday and Tuesday!
  • Reading: continue Martin Luther King, skill of summarization.
  • Writing: compose group narratives.
  • Math: adding and subtracting fractions.
  • Science: review energy sources and transfer. Quiz on Friday.
  • Social Studies: Time Magazine - cheetah protection.
  • We will not have a spelling test next week.
See you on Wednesday!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

We had a great and busy week back at school. We didn't waste a minute getting back in the swing of things.

In reading this week we started a Martin Luther King Jr. book. We also practiced our comprehension skills of visualization, seeking important details, vocabulary, and asking questions.

We worked on fractions this week in Math. Students are seeing how fractions relate to their lives through activities like our "Fraction Families" exercise. They wrote fractions for things like the number of boys out of the total number in the family. On Friday, we began working on similar or equivalent fractions. This was a more difficult concept for students and you may want to spend some time reviewing it at home with sites like this one.

In social studies we discussed what it means to be a hero. We differentiated a hero from a famous person and talked about our hero projects. We also looked at important events of 2012.

We looked at the uses of stored energy in science this week.

For writing we established goals for the new year. We also discussed various purposes for a friendly letter and wrote our pen pals.

Next week we'll be doing the following:

  • Reading: continue MLKJ collaborative reading 
  • Math: fraction test on Wednesday
  • Social Studies: studying heroes
  • Science: looking at the transfer of energy
  • Writing: narrative introductions
Have a great week!