October 14

The BUZZ ~ 10/15 – 10/19

It’s HERE!  Conference week has arrived!  Please be sure to arrive a few minutes before your conference begins.  I will have a list of each day’s schedule outside of my classroom. I will do my best to stay on time, because I know time is precious.  If by chance we need more time to meet other than our scheduled conference time, we can always work together to schedule another meeting.  Remember, this is your child’s chance to share with you!  I will also be sharing their first 3rd grade report card.  I am looking forward to seeing all of you this week!

SURRENDER THE  BOOTY!:  Thank you so much for all of your donations!  We have raised about $15,000 so far, and I am the leading teacher!!!  This means I’ll be wearing a helmet tomorrow during my tricycle race with the administration.   Woop!  Woop!  I’m sure it will be quite a show!  All of the proceeds go directly back to our school.  Every day there will be exciting drawings for prizes!  Read on to find out all of the wonderful incentives:

~Class with the largest donation in the school receives a pizza party

~Grade with the largest donation receives a popsicle party

~Top donating class for each grade receives extra recess.

~When we reach our goal of $25,000 the top teacher and the top student will get slimed!

EARLY RELEASE!  Please remember that this week we are on the early release schedule.  This means our day is modified.  We will our specials from 8:40 to 9:10 am and our lunch will be from 10:54 – 11:24 am.  Please do continue to bring in  a snack.  They will have one after their specials time each day.   Thank you!

READING: Book of the week: Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

GRAMMAR: Action Verbs


MATH: Multiplication / Division continued…

If time allows: Begin Erosion & Weathering

October 15-19 Book Fair
October 15-19 Box Top Contest
October 18 Fall Picture Retakes

SECRET WORD: weathering


October 8

The BUZZ ~ 10/8 – 10/12

Hello parents!  We had a great week this week learning about poetry, two – step word problems, and soil.  The children have worked hard at finishing their writing assignments, and they look forward to sharing them with you during conferences.  Speaking of conferences?  Have you signed up yet?  Please take a moment and use the link below to schedule your child’s student-led conference.  Thank you!

SURRENDER THE BOOTY!  Our school as already collected $5,000!  One hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to the school to purchase iPads, website subscriptions, agendas, and more!  Weekly drawings will be for gift cards, drones, after school clubs, and an iPAD!!!  Read on to see more awesome prizes:

  • Class with the largest donation receives a pizza party
  • Grade with the largest donation gets a popsicle party
  • Top donating class for each grade gets extra recess.
  • If $15,000 is reached, then the administration will have a tricycle race.
  • If our goal of $25,000 is met, the top teacher and the top students get SLIMED!

HOMEWORK:  Please support your child by helping them with their homework each week.  They should be reading 100 minutes a week, reading their fluency passage each night, practicing multiplication, and their spelling words for the week.  I really don’t assign much, because I do want my students to spend time with their families and play!  If you feel your child needs more work, they are welcome to participate in the Dot Challenge.  This is going above and beyond!  If you have questions, please let me know.

OCTOBER 31st is BOOK CHARACTER DAY!  Start planning your costume today.

I cannot wait to see which characters enter my room that day.  I also cannot wait to see their expressions when they see ME!

Have fun and remember to choose school appropriate outfits.


WRITING:  narratives & poems

GRAMMAR: review of all standards & context clues cont.

MATH: Two Step word problems / Division!


HEALTH: Making healthy choices / nutrition

*We’ll be working on finishing up Quarter 1 work throughout the week.


October 8 Science Olympiad Applications Due
October 10 Mama Frogs Family Night
October 11 Sparkles Family Night
October 12 Movie Night and Book Fair Preview
October 15-19 Book Fair
October 15-19 Box Top Contest
October 18 Fall Picture Retakes

September 29

The BUZZ ~ 10/1 – 10/6

Welcome back!  I hope you all had a wonderful fall break, and your kiddos are rejuvenated and ready to head back to school.  Testing is over!  This means we can get back to our regular routines.  We still have some standards to cover before the grading period is over.  Be on the lookout for school papers coming home this week.  Also, please realize that data notebooks have started and children are saving some items to share with you during conference week, which is right around the corner.  Boy, is time flying!  Read on to learn more about how to sign up for a conference time and what we’re learning for the week.


CONFERENCES: Student led conferences will be held the week of October 15 -19th.  My signup genius schedule will go “live” October 1st at 8am.  I will send you a reminder email when this occurs.  Please take your time to look at the schedule and select a time that is convenient for you and your child.  They will be the star of the conference and will share with you their goals and their work at that time.  If you ever feel you need to meet with me outside of this regularly scheduled conference time, I’ll be happy to set up a time with you.

CONTENT TEACHING:  Last week, I wrote we were going to cover soil during our content time.  However, due to testing, a STEM lesson, and a counseling lesson, we never got to soil.  I used my content time to continue to work on other skills.  Please note that we will begin soil this week!

SCHEDULE UPDATE:  After fall break, I’ll be using a different daily schedule to increase my reading, writing, and math instruction as well as deliver more focused science and social studies lessons.  When I finally work out the “kinks” of this new schedule, I’ll update you all on the new times.  For now, you need to be aware that Monday – Thursday I’ll give more focus to ELA and math, while Fridays will be our content instruction days (science / social studies).  I’m excited about trying this new schedule because I believe it will help my class.  Thank you for being flexible and understanding that sometimes changes need to be made to better suit the students.


READING: Poetry!  Focus poem: “The Power of One”

WRITING: Personal Narratives / Editing continued…

SPELLING: CVCE words: page, gate, chase, fate, glide, slice,

prize, confide, rode, hole, mole, smoke, rude, June, flute, glued

GRAMMAR: Context clues

MATH: Two step word problems!


October 1 – 19: Surrender the Booty

October 10: Mama Frog’s Spirit Night

October 11: Early Release Day

October 12: MOVIE NIGHT


September 18


Fall Break Reading Challenge

Are you up to the challenge? Over Fall Break, Mrs. Allen is challenging all Pirates to read 200 minutes. The challenge starts Friday, September 21st at 2:30pm and ends on Sunday, September 30th at 11:59pm.

If you complete the challenge, your name will be entered into a drawing to win ten Book Fair Bucks to spend at the Book Fair coming in October. Each grade level will have their own drawing.

For every half hour you read ABOVE the 200 minute requirement, your name will be added an additional time to the drawing. So, that means that if you read for 260 minutes, your name will go into the drawing three times: once for meeting the goal, and once for each half hour above the goal.

Log your minutes in Biblionasium just like you did over the summer. You can access Biblionasium at home through Destiny using your office365 email address as the username and your student number as the password.

Happy reading!

September 16

The BUZZ ~ 9/17- 9/21


Does your child want to chop away their multiplication facts?  (HI-YA!)  Well, the weekly multiplication fact timed tests have begun.  This week the students took their 0 & 1 tests.  They learned that zero groups of any number is…ZERO!  They also understand that one group of any number is that number: the identity property.  Woohoo!  Now, the children need to move on to two groups of _____ equals ______.  Please have your child practice their two times tables for this coming week’s timed test. Students will take a two minute, 20 problem test.  If they miss two or less problems, they pass and move on to the next times table.  Thank you to our class math mom, Mrs. Dupree, for helping with all of the organizing of the MATH NINJA materials!

SNACKS! Thank you so much for sending in special snacks, plates, and  napkins for testing days.   The children have loved the extra yummy food.  It certainly lessens the blow of having  to test for over an hour each day!  ALSO, thank you for the extra snacks for my cabinet for when children forget their snacks.  I truly appreciate it.

MORNING WORK:  This week, I’ll begin a regular math page for morning work.  This paper will come home every Friday.  Please review it with your child so that you can see what we are learning in 3rd grade math.  This worksheet is a quick review and preview of math that covers many skills.  Some haven’t been formally taught yet.  This is just a quick exposure or a review of past lessons.  My plan is to go over this sheet daily with the students at the beginning of math.  Therefore, if your child typically comes in right before the bell rings, they’ll still have the chance to work through the problems with me at the beginning of our math lesson.

DOT CHALLENGE:  The biggest challenge as a teacher is to try to teach all children at their level and help them grow. This is called differentiation.  This is no easy task!  One way to provide extensions to learning is  to challenge students to go above and beyond.  The Dot Challenge is a packet of 100 problems to be completed throughout the year.  This is NOT a requirement.  This challenge is completely optional.  If a student chooses to accept the challenge, they will need a spiral notebook to record all answers.  Every Monday students will bring in their challenge notebooks for me to check.  If they complete all 100 questions by the end  of the year, they receive a well deserved, awesome prize.



READING: Character’s feelings, actions, & motivations

WRITING: Personal Narratives

GRAMMAR: Adjectives

NO Spelling this week!

CURSIVE: Letter Bb

MATH: Multiplication –

equal groups, arrays, & repeated addition



Important Dates Coming Up
September 17-18 IOWA Testing
September 18 Zaxby’s Family Night
September 18 Curriculum Night K-2
September 20 Curriculum Night 3-5
September 24-28 FALL BREAK – NO SCHOOL!

September 9

The BUZZ ~ 9/10 – 9/14

Boy, have we been busy!  We had a great time at the Vulcan Rock Quarry on Tuesday learning the process of mining for granite to be used in concrete on roads, schools, parks, and buildings.  We were able to observe the money pit, the conveyors that carry the rock, the trucks that dump the rock into the grinder, and the various rocks and minerals on display in the learning room.   The students were able to hunt for rocks as well!

We also had busy days in the classroom.  The children worked on their “WANTED” rock posters during writing for a fun culminating class activity.   They continued learning new strategies for subtracting within 1,000, worked on their personal narratives, and continued practicing with singular and plural nouns.  Finally, at the end of the week, third graders took their first standardized test, the Cognitive Abilities test.  Whew!  For a four day week, we were surely busy.


REMINDERS: This week third grade will begin the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) which will be given Thursday and Friday of this week and the following Monday and Tuesday.  Please be sure your child is getting enough sleep, eating a healthy breakfast, and arriving to school on time.  I truly appreciate it!

SNACKS!!!:  Children are forgetting their snacks regularly, and I am providing them with one.  This is beginning to get a little expensive.  I fed five children one day last week!  I’d like some help with extra snacks, please.  If you can send in a big box of goldfish or animal crackers that would be very helpful. This way, I can make sure all children get something in the morning to keep their brains working until their lunch.  I greatly appreciate it.


A note from our STEM Teacher, Mrs. Smith:

Good afternoon parents,

I was so excited to see such an amazing turnout for the August STEM Take-Home Challenge! The kids did an AMAZING job!!!

This week your child listened to our STEM book of the month for September, Perfect Square read by Ms. Gurski.  If your child would like to complete the new Take-Home Challenge for September, they may get an instruction sheet from their teacher, me, or you can print one off from the STEM blog. If you have any questions about the STEM book of the month or the Take-Home STEM Challenge, please email me at [email protected]. You can also find out more information on the STEM blog at http://www.cobblearning.net/pmesangelasmith/book-of-the-month/.

Thank you,

Mrs. Smith

READING: Character feelings & motivations / STORY: Pinduli

WRITING: Personal Narratives: Our Memorable Firsts

SPELLING: word chunks: -art, -ip, -air, & -ort

(art, tip, trip, trap, part, start, friendship, port, pair,

airport, parrot, chart, snort, import, chip)

GRAMMAR: Context clues to determine unknown vocabulary

/ introduction to adjectives

MATH: Subtraction strategies: decomposing, number line

/ introduction to multiplication

SCIENCE:  Continued investigations with rocks & minerals


September 12 Wacky Hair Day for $1
September 13-18 IOWA Testing
September 18 Zaxby’s Family Night
September 18 Curriculum Night K-2
September 20 Curriculum Night 3-5


September 3

The BUZZ ~ 9/4 – 9/7

The Infamous “Money Pit”

Do you see that amazing photo of the large hole in the ground?  Your children get to see this enormous money maker tomorrow when we head to the Vulcan Rock Quarry!  I am so very excited to be going back.  This field trip is a great first trip for our third graders.  We drive a short distance, listen to a quarry worker explain the operations of the quarry, and then get to take a little tour of the facility.  We’ll end with lunch at the rock quarry and head back to school in time for specials.  What do you have to remember?

  • PLEASE remember to have your child wear sneakers.  We’ll be walking around the quarry and we have PE!
  • BRING a lunch if you are packing one from home.  I ordered the school lunches last week.  If your child forgets their lunch at home, I’ll be sure to pick up an extra sack lunch for them.
  • REMIND your child to be a LEADER!  This means they are to listen to all teachers and the speaker.  We’ve always received compliments from field trip leaders, and we want that to continue.  Thank you for reminding them to BEE their BEST!



Last week we started our reading rotations.  The children did a lovely job transitioning to each rotation.  I spent a lot of time this past weekend tailoring the instruction in the rotations toward each individual student.  I’m hoping that all works well when we make rotations a set routine. In other classroom news…  NATE DAVIS was voted our first classroom LEADER OF THE WEEK!  Congratulations to Nate for showing leadership in the classroom.

TESTING SEASON!  Did I say routine?  Well, this week we start CoGat testing, so our daily routine isn’t going to happen. I am going to try to integrate our science unit into our reading rotations.  We will all just have to flexible!  This test lasts from Wednesday to Friday of this week.  We’ll begin first thing in the morning.  We all should be done by 8:45am.

PLEASE make sure your child is going to bed early, has a good breakfast, and is at school on time. 

MEDIA CENTER CHECK OUT:  Our scheduled day for class check out is usually on Tuesdays.  If your child is in Target, they may go first thing in the morning.  This week due to our field trip, we’ll have our check out on Friday.  Please help your child “begin with the end in mind,” by having them pack their books the night before.  Thanks!


Let’s all take a math moment!   I gave the class a math sheet last week for homework to complete using the strategies that I’ve been teaching them in class. I wrote the strategies step by step on the back of the homework paper.  This was to help parents and children with each strategy.  I grew up using the standard algorithm also known as “the old fashioned way.”  I realize that this strategy is the one that many are comfortable using.  However, I am teaching the math standard that states: “Consistently and independently adds and subtracts within 1,000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.”  It is very clearly written in the Cobb County math curriculum that the standard algorithm should not be introduced until the fourth grade.

You may wonder why fourth grade is the year for introduction.   Students must have a good handle on “number sense” before they can truly understand what is happening when they add or subtract.  Simply going through the steps isn’t enough to show understanding.  I told the children the other day that sometimes the journey to get to the correct is as important as the answer.  I also encouraged them to teach you some of the new methods!  In the future, I’ll allow students to choose their favorite strategy and they may choose the old fashioned way.  I just have to be sure they can also solve problems using the strategies that we are learning in class.  If you have any questions at all, please contact me.

READING: Rocks & Minerals / Rotations continued…

WRITING: Personal Narratives / My Memorable Firsts

GRAMMAR: subjects & predicates / writing a “good” sentence

SPELLING:  -ap, -amp, -ail, words (shortened list)

MATH: Subtraction Strategies continued

SCIENCE: Rocks & Minerals

Important Dates Coming Up

September 4: Saleeby Class Field Trip!
September 5-7 CogAT Testing
September 12 Wacky Hair Day
September 13-18 IOWA Testing
September 18 Zaxby’s Family Night
September 18 Curriculum Night K-2
September 20 Curriculum Night 3-5

August 28

Chess CLUB!


Our Chess Team will be holding tryouts next wee

Our Chess Team will be holding tryouts next week (Sept. 4th-7th) after school. Chess Team is for students with some experience. During the tryout your child will be assessed on their ability to correctly set up the chess board, move each chess piece accurately, and demonstrate effective capturing and end game skills. Currently, the only cost associated with Chess Team is a one-time $10 ASP Registration fee. If your child makes the team, practices will be on Thursdays starting September 13th through January 17th.
Use the following link to view their SignUpGenius page – www.tinyurl.com/pkmchess.


August 26

The BUZZ ~ 8/27 – 8/31

We’ve had a good week in the HIVE learning about character traits, addition strategies, and government.  I hope you’ve been asking your children about what they’re learning in school.  Try the following prompts:

  • Tell me about the executive branch of government.
  • What are character traits?  Tell me some of yours.
  • Will you show me how to use one of the addition strategies you’re learning?

Our first spirit day of the year was a success!  The children looked so wonderful in their pirate costumes.  Thank you for supporting our school.  This week we’ll have our first early release day.  Please be mindful of the different schedule for dismissal on Wednesday.  We also have our class pictures on Thursday this week.  Looks like another busy week!

FIELD TRIP!: Information was sent home this week about field trips.  Our first one is on Monday, September 4th, from 9:30 to 12:30.  We’re heading to the Vulcan Rock Quarry to learn about rocks.  If you are interested in chaperoning, please send me an email.  You will need to meet us at the quarry that day.  The cost is free!  We will eat our lunch at the quarry that day and then head back to school. Send me an email if you’d like to join us. Thank you!

Media Center: Tuesdays are our check out days in the Learning Commons.  Please remind your child to bring back their materials that day.  If your child is in Target, they are able to check out that morning.


Reading: Review of character traits / asking & answering questions

Writing: Personal Narrative / My Memorable Firsts

Grammar: Making a good sentence (subjects & predicates)

Math: Review of addition / Begin subtraction strategies

Social Studies: The 3 Levels of Government

Science: Rocks & Minerals!

August 28 Watch DOG Pizza Night
August 29 Lakepoint Family Night 2-9pm
August 30 Fall Picture Day
August 31 STEM Project Due