3rd Grade Newsletter

May 24, 2019

Dear Parents,

We are finished with MAP testing – hooray!  The kids seemed comfortable and relaxed during the testing process, which is great.  The MAP test should give us a picture of the growth the kids have made this year.  I will send home the results of the MAP test at the end of the year.

We are learning what it means to be an innovator during our self-regulation lessons. We found an article in our “Storyworks” magazine in which the people had to be innovators for their very survival. The kids read the article, discussed how these people innovated, and then wrote a paragraph about it. I am really pushing the kids to write to the prompt with elaboration, explanation, and completeness of detail. I hope that when these come home next week you will see the higher level of writing they are now doing. This is a huge growth for them since the beginning of the year when they were writing a five-sentence paragraph (topic/closing sentences and three simple details). We also finished writing our paragraphs comparing the differences between Sadako’s culture and our own. These will come home next week as well. Literacy centers this week also put a focus on the difference between literal and figurative language. The kids learned about a variety of figures of speech. They had fun trying to figure out expressions that even I didn’t know such as “a spark in the frypan” which apparently means that your moment of glory and fame is brief.

In math we kept working through past lessons that were higher level. We focused on constructing arguments to prove our conjectures (the source of our challenge words this week), and also on critiquing our own and others’ reasoning in math. I explained to the kids that as they enter the older grades, they will be asked with greater regularity to explain (in writing) how they got the answer they did on math problems. No time is too soon to have them practice the skill of reasoning deeply and then articulating their reasoning first out loud and then on paper. You can support this at home by not accepting every answer they give you at face value, but by asking them to explain clearly how they got that answer and why they did it that way.

In social studies we continued to learn about the educational culture of Japan. We focused mainly on the importance of education and that the Japanese consider their children their country’s greatest resource. We also spoke a lot about conformity in schools and the benefits of that in a small, crowded country. We guessed at the meaning of the expression, “The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.” Next week, if we have time, we will talk about some of the drawbacks of conformity.

We have a couple of Japan-related events to remember.  One is our field trip to the International District and Uwajimaya, Tuesday, June 4th from 9:00 – 1:30. Lunch will be provided that day for students and drivers (bento boxes from Uwajimaya). We have enough drivers for that trip and have sent confirmation to them.

The second event is Japan Day, which is Friday, June 7th.  This will be a full morning of Japanese activities during which the kids come dressed in Japanese-style uniforms (perfect, matching, etc.) and rotate between a variety of activities in groups.  We will need a number of helpers and will take as many as want to come that day.  Please see the detailed letter about Japan Day below.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, May 27th – No school to celebrate Memorial Day
  • Monday, June 3rd – Free dress food drive, 8th graders’ last day
  • Tuesday, June 4th – 3A field trip to Uwajimaya and the International District
  • Wednesday, June 5th – Graduation Mass 7PM in ASB gym
  • Friday, June 7th – Japan Day all morning
  • Tuesday, June 11th – Ice cream sundaes and movie in the afternoon
  • Thursday, June 13th – Field Day AM, out at noon
  • Friday, June 14th – Last day of school, out at noon


Japan Day June 7th

We will soon be wrapping up our thematic unit about cultural understanding with a celebration of Japanese life.  The first of our activities will be a field trip to Uwajimaya Japanese grocery store in the International District, followed by a bento box lunch at an International District park on Tuesday, June 4th.  The students may bring a small amount of money ($5 or so) to spend at Uwajimaya, but they will be in charge of their own money and may not ask an adult to be responsible for them.

In the spirit of Japanese tradition, and as a way of really connecting to what life might be like for a Japanese student, we have planned a “Japan Day” for Friday, June 7th.  We would like the children to come to school dressed as Japanese children would:

  • Bring a pair of extra shoes to wear as indoor shoes (slip-on style tennis shoes such as “Keds”, “Crocs”, etc., work best). They will change into these when they enter and again at each recess. Use what you have – we do not want anyone buying anything new for this day.
  • Girls wear the school uniform plaid jumper, skirt, or skort (no navy blue skirts or skorts – which do not conform to our uniform policy), white collared shirt (tucked in), white tights or socks (no leggings).
  • Boys wear navy blue pants (absolutely no shorts) with white collared shirts (tucked in).
  • Sweatshirts are fine, but will be kept in the cubbies during the day. If your child is really cold, please have him/her wear a crew neck sweatshirt or sweater that will allow the collar to show.

We understand that some of you may not even own a white collared shirt, plaid jumper, or navy blue pants.  Please call a friend and borrow the necessary clothing for this one day so that the children can get a feel for what it would be like as a Japanese student.  If you really get stuck, let us know what you need and we can look for it in the school uniform exchange.

In the morning from 8:45 – 11:30, we will experience some fun Japanese activities including: making sushi, Japanese calligraphy, origami, games, and a Japanese website.  We are in need of parent helpers during that time.  If you have some experience with any of the areas listed above (especially sushi making and calligraphy) and can help run 20-minute centers with 10 kids in each (5 different times), please let us know via email – this is something we cannot do without help.  We will provide all the necessary materials and will have instruction sheets (or give verbal instructions that day).

We hope this unit has allowed the children to see that, although we are very different, our two cultures have many similarities, and that the true way to peace is through understanding one another.


May 17, 2019

Dear Parents,

Thank you all for the part you played in all the cards, flowers, treats, and gifts you sent in to Arali and me last week. We really felt blessed to be part of a community in which we feel appreciated!

This week we began our MAP testing. We took two of our tests: reading and language. The kids understand that these tests are an indicator of growth through the year. They do not affect report cards, but do allow teachers to understand areas in their own teaching practices that may need more focus. I hope you have found that their understanding of the purpose of MAP testing has alleviated any anxiety around it. We have two more tests next week: science and math. Please do not schedule appointments during testing time (Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon). I will find time to make up the tests missed by students due to illness.

In literacy centers, we learned about silent letters, homographs, and the suffix –ly. We finished reading the book “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” and began writing a paragraph comparing our life to that of Sadako. I am pressing the kids to do some deeper writing in which they don’t just compare the obvious (she has black hair, I have brown), but rather compare cultural differences – the why and how of what they do.

We have completed all our math topics and are now taking the time to go back and work on those deeper-level lessons that we passed up the first go-round – lessons like making conjectures and constructing arguments. These lessons are better met with the greater level of maturity and sophistication that students have at the end of the year. Saving them until the end is also a way for me to review each concept with them and will help them retain concepts learned earlier in the year.

In social studies, we began learning about how the Japanese school system works. As always, we look for cultural universals about Japan, that is, concepts that affect not just that country’s culture, but other countries’ cultures as well. We are amazed at how much geography influences the culture of a country and are getting adept at finding cause and effect relationships between Japanese culture and its geography. We sent home a field trip permission slip for our final field trip to the International District on June 4th. If you have not yet sent it in, please do so as soon as possible so that we can plan our drivers.  We give preference to those who have not yet had a chance to drive, but of course, I am also okay having extra parents along as passengers, if you really want to come. Even as a passenger, you would have to be up-to-date on your Virtus status. Please save the date of Friday, June 7th, as we will celebrate “Japan Day” in third grade all morning until noon. I will be needing parent volunteers and will send more details about it next week.

In religion this week, we studied about reconciliation and forgiveness. We learned the difference between mortal and venial sin and talked about how to listen to our conscience to help us avoid both. We learned the steps of the Sacrament of Penance: examining our conscience; being sorry for our sins; telling our sins to a priest; doing a penance; and receiving absolution from our sins. We remembered receiving the Sacrament of Penance during Lent and talked about how great we felt afterwards. I hope you and your child will seek out this sacrament more than just during Lent as it truly does have restorative powers.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, May 20th – Free dress for color wars and 8th grade vs. faculty basketball game. 3rd grade wears orange
  • Tuesday, May 21st – MAP testing first thing in the morning
  • Thursday, May 23rd – MAP testing after lunch
  • Friday, May 24th – Out at noon
  • Monday, May 27th – No school to celebrate Memorial Day
  • Monday, June 3rd – Free dress food drive, 8th graders’ last day
  • Tuesday, June 4th – 3A field trip to Uwajimaya and the International District
  • Wednesday, June 5th – Graduation Mass 7PM in ASB gym
  • Thursday, June 13th – Field Day AM, out at noon
  • Friday, June 14th – Last day of school, out at noon


May 3, 2019

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to a busy week after spring break! We started off by having a wonderful field trip to the Seattle Underground and the Pike Place Market to culminate our study of Seattle history. We learned how our city turned tragedy to triumph as we rebuilt after the Great Seattle Fire. We also learned about economics and the difference between producers and consumers as we visited the Pike Place Market. We have switched gears in social studies and have moved away from our own nation (remember that we began with our nation’s founding at the beginning of the year and moved west) to another one – Japan. We have learned about the geography of Japan and are now exploring how the geography affects the culture of this country. We began with the obvious – the food culture – and will move on to home life, school life, jobs, transportation, etc., and will see how the geography affects each of these different cultural aspects.

In math we finished our unit on area and perimeter of two-dimensional figures. We took our test today and will have those to you next week after we have had time to correct them.

In literacy centers, we studied a variety of possessives and affixes. We also finished our book “The Hundred Dresses” and had a good discussion about bullying, by standing, and making amends. I hope this will allow students to be more aware of their own behaviors when interacting with others. We learned about cause and effect this week and used our understanding of it to write a paragraph about Japan’s geography. The kids were required to give details about the geography of Japan using their notes and their map, but were also required to add at least 2-3 cause and effect sentences to their writing. I will grade these and return them to you next week.

We spent some time this week learning about the Mass and its history. The kids learned about Passover and were fascinated by the plagues (who wouldn’t be?). I asked permission to show the kids the movie “The Prince of Egypt” and will find some time for that over the next couple weeks. We also spent time practicing for the Mary liturgy that we are putting on this Monday at 1:20 in the church. You are welcome to join us for this. The kids will be teaching about the importance of Mary to our Church and will be showing off their icons of Mary. It is free dress on Monday, but since our kids are leading the liturgy, please be sure that they are wearing nice free dress. Thanks!

The book report for May will be our final one. It is a free choice – both choice of genre and choice of book report style. Kids may be creative and do an art project about their book, a video, a slideshow, or any other type of project about their book. This is the last one, so be sure they do their best and go out with a bang! As with all other book reports, it is due the last school day of the month but may be turned in or presented earlier, too.

MAP testing is coming up. We will be testing student progress on the following days, so please do not schedule appointments that pull your child from class these days:

Tuesday, May 14 – 8:35-9:50

Thursday, May 16 – 8:35-10:35

Tuesday, May 21 – 8:35-9:50

Thursday, May 23 – 8:35-9:50

Important Reminders:

Monday, May 6 – Free dress (dress in NICE free dress) food drive – 3rd grade brings baked beans

Mary liturgy presented by our class at 1:20 in the church – you are welcome to attend!

Wednesday, May 8 – Third grade has morning Mass – dress in nice uniform

Tuesday, May 14 – Thursday, May 23 – MAP Testing Tuesday and Thursday mornings

Friday, May 24 – Noon dismissal

Monday, May 27 – No school – Memorial Day

April 19, 2019

Dear Parents,

We were very busy this week completing three different religious art projects. You should have been presented with an Easter triptych yesterday. These three-paneled pieces of art depict the three days of the Easter Triduum – the three holy days leading to Easter. The kids were asked to teach their families about each day and to explain why it is so important. We finished our icons of Mary in preparation for the Mary Liturgy on Monday, May 6th. 3A is leading this liturgy and those with reading parts have been given the reading to practice over break. We also finished making tissue paper flowers to decorate the float for the Mary Liturgy. I hope you will be able to attend the Mary Liturgy with us at 1:20 in the church!

Our literacy centers focused on writing. We finished writing opinion paragraphs in which we not only presented and provided proof for our own opinions, but we also learned to state an opposing point of view and to refute that (explain why it was not a good idea). I will be grading these over break and will return them as soon as possible. We also read a bit more from the novel “The Hundred Dresses”.  We will focus mainly on what to do when we see bullying and how to apologize and make things right if we were a part of it.

In math we worked on finding the perimeter of a figure. We then focused on finding the missing side length of quadrilaterals when the perimeter is known. Finally this week, we explored how it is that two figures can have the same perimeter but different areas. We began to see that when two figures have the same perimeter, the skinnier figure has the smaller area while the fatter figure (the closer to a square) has the greater area. We will continue this exploration after break.

We have begun our unit on cultural understanding with a focus on Japan. We began by exploring the all-important concept of geography. We looked at maps of Japan to orient ourselves to its location and topography. We learned that it is a pretty small country (covering about the size of Washington, Oregon, and California) with a lot of people (127,000,000 compared to the U.S. 327,000,000) and few resources besides what comes from the sea. We began learning how the geography affects the food that is eaten and will explore other aspects of Japanese culture and the effect geography has on them when we return.

You will notice a packet with resources to help you plan your kids’ summer study schedules. I recommend that you implement some type of summer work with your kids to keep them from regressing too much over the break. There are some good resources as far as tutors and summer camps on the list, so do please take a look at it. I will also be sending a packet of work to prepare for fourth grade (a bit of math and some reading and writing suggestions) at the end of the year.

Important Reminders:

April 22-26th: Spring break

April 29th: First day back to school

April 30th: Field trip to Seattle Underground and Pike Place Market (3A may bring $5 spending money)

April 30th: Last day to donate books to “Assisteen”

April 30th: Last day to submit book orders online (or send them in to class)

May 6th: Mary Liturgy presented by 3A, 1:20 in Assumption Church – all are welcome!

April 12, 2019

Dear Parents,

We had fun at the Walk-a-thon today. The rain held out and we were able to stay dry. Not Mrs. Conklin, though! She bravely volunteered to be the “sitting duck” in the dunk tank while several school families had their go at it. Sadly for her, but to the delight of the kids, she was dunked several times. Amazingly, the sun came out at the exact moment each time she was dunked. Thank you, God!

Next week, 3A will begin preparing for the Mary Liturgy, which will take place on Monday, May 6th at 1:20 in Assumption Church. The kids made portraits of Mary in art class and turned these into icons after learning about this special religious art form. We will assign roles for the liturgy next week and give ample time to practice for those who have reading roles.

In literacy centers we learned about the spelling patterns for /k/, r-controlled vowels, and contractions. We began writing an opinion paragraph about whether or not to use plastic disposable water bottles. We will learn how to not only state our opinion, but also to add details by refuting the opposite point of view. We also started reading a novel called “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes. This novel talks about teasing/bullying in a careful, very thoughtful way. This is timely, as our class has been working hard to learn ways to build up one another. We have had special difficulty lately with competitiveness in PE and have been judging others when they are not as perfect at a skill as their team mates expect them to be.

In math we finished our chapter about 2-dimensional shapes. We reviewed the concepts today and will take our unit test on Monday. The review sheets are in the kids’ Friday folders, in case you would like to review a bit more at home with them.

Finally, I have noticed an upsurge in chattiness and lack of getting right to work lately. With only seven weeks of school left, we have no time to waste, so please remind your kids to get to work in class. I want them to finish out the year strong, but I also want them to remember the importance of good manners and proper classroom behaviors.

Important Dates:

Thursday, April 18: Triduum begins with Holy Thursday – try to attend your parish Mass tonight

Friday, April 19: Good Friday – school out at noon – try to attend your parish service tonight

Sunday, April 21: Easter Sunday – the most important day in the Church year. Attend Mass and celebrate!

April 22 – 25: Spring break – no school

Tuesday, April 30: Field trip to Seattle Underground and Pike Place Market

Monday, May 6: Mary Liturgy 1:20 in Assumption Church. 3A is leading and you are welcome to join us.


April 5, 2019

Dear Parents,

We had a great field trip today to the Lakeview Cemetery and MOHAI. The cherry trees were blossoming, the lake was in the background, and the rain held until the bitter end – what a beautiful day! I will send out information about our next field trip to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Underground next week and that trip will culminate our unit on Seattle history.

We finished reading about Helen Keller in our novels this week and completed our book report for it in class. I hope you are noticing a higher level of writing response now that we are in the last third of the year. The kids have really picked up on adding not only details, but supporting details (examples, explanations, etc.) as well. Next week we begin reading “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes. This book deals with the issue of bullying. It is timely, as springtime is typically a difficult developmental time for third graders as they branch out and navigate changing friendships.

We finished our unit on data and measurement in math and took the assessment today. We need time to correct these and will send them home in next week’s Friday folder. Please be sure that you continue to hone your child’s multiplication math facts at home.

Upcoming Reminders:

Friday, April 5 – Movie Night in the gym

Tuesday, April 9 – Class pictures – Please have your child wear full Mass uniform with red or blue sweater

April 11 – 14  – Spring musical “Hello Dolly!”

Friday, April 12 – Walk-a-thon    Third grade is currently 11th in the standings. Let’s bump it up!


Have a great weekend!

Chris and Arali


March 29, 2019

Dear Parents,

What a great LRS sharing we had both last night and today with the entire school. The kids did great and were well-prepared to teach others about their topic. I hope you enjoyed seeing how much your child learned from this long-term project – organization, note-taking, research, deadlines, presentation, etc. All these skills will be necessary in the grades to come. Thank you, parents, for the support you gave your kids along the way. They are the better for it!

In religion this week we focused on the purpose of Lent. The kids show understanding and appreciation for this season of preparation and reconciliation. I hope they are still feeling great about the “fresh start” they got after last week’s reconciliation service.

We completed our “touching safety” lesson this week. This was a follow-up lesson to the one taught in the fall. It reviewed the difference between safe and unsafe touches, and also reviewed who are considered safe adults. We then talked about what to do if we are in a situation when someone attempts to give an unsafe touch: say “No!”, get away, and tell a trusted adult. We talked about a variety of scenarios and what to do in each. The kids have some good tools in their kit to respond in this type of situation.

We put our Helen Keller novels on hold this week to focus on writing our LRS opinion paragraphs. The kids know that third-grade writing pushes them to not only write their details, but to elaborate more and give examples to support these details. We learned the spelling patterns for /oi/ and /oy/, learned about r-controlled vowels, and again reviewed a variety of suffixes.

In math, we learned about telling time to the minute. We also learned about elapsed time and used either number lines or bar diagrams to help us understand how much time had passed between one event and another. We learned about how to estimate and measure liquid volume and mass using standard (metric) units of measure (liters and milliliters, and kilograms and grams). We will use these measurement units next week in a variety of word problems.

We continued our Seattle History unit in social studies this week. We focused on one particular group – the Denny Party. This is the group of people who came from Cherry Grove, Illinois to the Puget Sound area to found our great city. The kids were divided up into research groups and started learning about some special Seattle pioneers in preparation for our field trip to the Lakeview Cemetery (where most of them are buried), and to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) on April 5th.

I have attached the tech assignments for the month of April. If you have questions, please as Ms. Prewitt.

Grade 3:

Due the week of: Be to this point in Adaptive Keyboarding Lesson ALMA grades entered this week for:  Responsibility (Assignments complete) and Word Processing (Growth)
April 8 5 1/2 Databases:  Performing searches and filtering data. no
April 15 6 Databases:  Sort and filter YES
April 29 6 1/2 Data and Database Basics Unit Quiz no
May 6 7 NONE  ***Please use Spring Break to get caught up on lessons and adaptive keyboarding that you have fallen behind on. YES


Upcoming Dates:

April 1st: Back to school and Free Dress Food Drive – 3rd grade brings granola bars/protein bars

April 5th: Field trip to Lakeview Cemetery and MOHAI

April 9th: Class picture day – please have your child wear full Mass uniform with red or blue sweater

April 11 – 14th: Spring musical

April 15 – 19th: Holy Week; dismiss at noon on Good Friday

April 22 – 26th: Spring break


March 21, 2019

Dear Parents,

Thank you for attending conferences last week. I hope you enjoyed seeing the development of your kids as they took on the role of conference leader. They showed that they know themselves as learners and are aware of the goals they need to set for themselves. Please help them to achieve these goals by reminding them and providing them appropriate resources at home. This may include trips to the library, some assistance during homework time, or simply a quiet workspace at home.

We had the Sacrament of Reconciliation today in the church. We prepared for the sacrament first by talking about the steps to reconcile or “fix” things. We thought about what we did wrong, we acknowledged our regret for having done it, we talked about doing penance afterwards to “make up” for the sins, and we talked about making a pledge to avoid sin in the future. It was a great experience for the kids and they noticed how much better they felt after having gone through it.

In literacy we continued reading our Helen Keller novels. The kids are in small groups reading three different biographies about her. We are using this novel to learn new vocabulary, to learn empathy for the challenges people face, to learn how some are able to overcome challenges, and also to learn about others’ perspectives. In spelling we learned how double letters make particular sounds, how to break up syllables, and how to double the consonant before adding a suffix that starts with a vowel. We learned about a fishbone organizer and used it to plan an opinion paragraph about our LRS topic. We will continue to work on these and will have them ready for LRS Day next week.

In math we took our assessment on fractions. This was a tricky concept, especially comparing fractions and finding equivalent fractions. Please find these assessments in your child’s Friday folder. We began a unit on measurement and data today. We began by reviewing time to the five minute marks, then learned to tell time to the minute. Key ideas the kids needed to know were that as the minute hand advances, so does the hour hand. So at 7:30, the hour hand should be halfway between the 7 and the 8. We learned about elapsed time today and used analog clocks and number lines to help us figure out how to tell how much time has passed. We will continue learning about time and other forms of measurement next week.

In social studies, we learned that the Denny Party finally arrived in the Puget Sound region after many trials and tribulations. We listed the natural resources they found here and discussed why they wanted to stay. The kids have now been divided into small groups and have been assigned one important Seattle Pioneer to research. Each group will work together to find out as much as possible about their pioneer and will then make a poster about that pioneer. This will be done in class. The kids will use their posters to teach their classmates about the different pioneers while we are at the Lakeview Cemetery standing in front of the pioneers’ actual graves! We will then learn more about how Seattle was started by going to MOHAI. This will take place on April 5th. We have enough drivers at this time and will confirm names next week – thanks for your response.

The LRS is next Friday. Don’t forget that we will be setting up next Thursday afternoon. Please see the LRS packet for information about timing on both days.

Report cards are online today, so please take some time to look at them. They are a good indicator of where your child is two-thirds through the school year.

Have a great weekend!

Chris and Arali

March 1, 2019

Dear Parents,

We had a busy week – the first full one in what seems like ages!

We started learning about Lent in preparation for Ash Wednesday next week. We will be having an all-school Mass that day at 9AM and you are welcome to join us. We talked about why we celebrate Lent and learned that we use scripture as our guide. The Bible tells us that Jesus prepared for his coming death by retreating to the desert and withdrawing from material distractions so that he could have time to think, to pray, and to draw himself closer to God. During his 40 days in the desert, he neither ate nor drank and was tempted several times. As Catholics, we do these same things, but to a much lesser extent. We retreat from material distractions by giving things up. We are tempted to do things we shouldn’t during Lent (eat that candy or meat on Fridays). We make an effort during Lent to get to Sunday Mass more often so that we can draw closer to God. One thing we try to do during Lent is to understand who Jesus is. Today we began studying the different names of Jesus. Each child was given one name (e.g. “Lamb of God”, “Messiah”, “Counselor”, “Redeemer”, etc.) and is researching the meaning of this name. The kids will make a sign with that name and its meaning. We will post these on the main bulletin board in the primary wing so that others learn the answer to the question, “Who do you say that I am?”. Look for these if you come to school during the 40 days of Lent.

March is the month we teach our VIRTUS safety lessons. I have attached information about the program as well as an opt out form, in case you do not want your child to get this lesson. Please know that this is a well-developed program and that I am very sensitive in the way that I teach it so that kids feel comfortable, but also get the message.

In literacy centers we used a Venn diagram to help compare our lives to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life. We used our completed Venn diagrams to help us write a comparative paragraph. The kids were asked to write about five similarities and five differences. But wait, they were also asked to stretch their writing a bit and add at least five extra details about what they wrote to make their writing more interesting. For example, they might have written that “One similarity we have is that we both have brown hair.” They would have added a detail to that comparison and said, “My hair is curly though, and hers is straight.” We talked about topic and closing sentences again and also learned to avoid making our writing sound like a list. We continued reading the novel “Little House in the Big Woods” and hope to finish it next week. We will then begin reading a variety of biographies about Helen Keller and will complete our biography book report completely in class this month. I changed this because the schedule would have put our book report due date on the exact same day as the LRS. That day is special and I prefer that it stand on its own.

In math we learned how to measure to the nearest fourth inch and the nearest half inch. This was tricky as it required an understanding of precise measurement (lining the ruler up just right) and also an understanding of “rounding” in measurement. Just like in rounding to the nearest tens and hundreds, they learned that if something makes it halfway to the next measurement, it gets to move up, if not – it drops down. We learned that fractions can be greater than 1 – such as 3/2 or 5/3. We also learned that fractions greater than 1 can be called mixed fractions because they mix a whole number with a fraction such as 1 ½ or 2 ¾. The kids also learned how to record measurement data on a line plot. This was tricky and some kids are still in the early stages of learning this concept. Please look over the homework sheet from today’s lesson this weekend to reinforce this with your child.

In social studies we learned about the Louisiana Purchase and the importance of this event to our nation. The kids will tell you it allowed us to have control of the port city of New Orleans as well as controlling the “Mighty Mississippi”. It also doubled the size of our nation. We also learned about the “Corps of Discovery” – the name Lewis and Clark gave their group as they headed out to find out more about this new land. We will begin learning about a special group of pioneers next week – those that founded the city of Seattle.

Conferences are coming up in the middle of March. Almost all of you have signed up for a conference. Remember that these are student led and so your student must be at this conference. Please see the following from Mrs. Conklin concerning conferences and missed vacation days:

Thank you for taking the time to sign up for a March conference with your child(ren)’s teacher.  Conferences are an important time to discuss progress and set goals for the final trimester of the year. Our teachers put a great deal of work in to being well prepared for conferences and to provide you information that will help your child’s growth and success, and we include this time in our schedule deliberately and purposefully.  Please be respectful of their time by attending school and attending the scheduled conference times.  If you are choosing to use this time for an unexcused family vacation between our recent mid-winter and upcoming spring breaks, please know that teachers are not expected to make up this conference time outside of the already scheduled conference slots.       ~Mrs. Conklin

Upcoming Dates:

Monday, March 4th – Free dress food drive

Wednesday, March 6th – Ash Wednesday Mass, 9AM.  Please wear nice dress uniform.

Tuesday, March 12th – Thursday, March 14th – Student-led Conferences, school out at noon


February 22, 2019

Dear Parents,

I am glad to be back after missing school for snow days and Presidents Break. I have been putting the kids to work with increased expectations as far as behavior and thoroughness. By this time in third grade, the kids should be able to pay attention to a lesson without side conversations or blurting out to be funny. I have had to impose consequences on kids who are still doing this and I hope the behaviors improve quickly.

We worked hard this short week and accomplished quite a bit. We continued reading “Little House in the Big Woods” and explored the style of writing, author’s view point, author’s purpose, and story conflicts in this novel. This has been a great way to use literature to connect to what we are learning in social studies. We learned about Black History Month and each student researched a famous African American. The kids then created a Google slide show about their person and presented them to the other class today. This project allowed them to work on note-taking, research, technology, and presentation skills – all important skills that will prepare them not just for the LRS, but for the future.

We began a math topic about fractions. The kids have learned that a fraction is an equal-sized part of something. They learned that the numerator is the top number of a fraction and names how many parts have been chosen. The denominator is the bottom number and names how many parts the object has been broken into. Finally, today we learned that a fraction can also name the whole item if the numerator and denominator are the same (as in 4/4).

We have been missing many social studies lessons due to snow days, assemblies, Art Parents lessons, etc. and this makes me sad as I am passionate about the importance of this subject area. Mr. Hastings and I will rearrange our schedules slightly to incorporate some extra lessons into the week. We have learned what a pioneer is – someone who leads the way for others. We learned that although there were American pioneers (those we are studying), there are also pioneers in a variety of fields today, such as Jonas Salk (creator of the polio vaccine), and the Wright Brothers (inventors of the airplane).  We discussed the common traits or characteristics of a pioneer and also learned what some of their forms of transportation were. We also discussed why the pioneers began to move west and what groups they encountered along the way. Currently, the kids are using the research they did over the snow days to make “buffalo hides” that tell the story of the Trail of Tears from the Native American point of view. Studying this topic has allowed the kids to explore multiple perspectives about a historical event. It has also taught them that while events sometimes benefit one group of people, they can also negatively impact another. The kids will share these projects with one another next week.

We had a fabulous Art Parents lesson yesterday about Jacob Lawrence, local artist and UW professor. This tied nicely with our study of famous African Americans. The kids learned about Lawrence’s style of painting and explored his migration series of paintings showing the migration of African Americans from the rural south to the urban north. The kids created wooden panels with brightly-colored city scenes using Lawrence’s style. These look fabulous and I almost hate sending them home today. But home they must go, so enjoy these!

LRS: The countdown is on and the LRS is just over one month away. By now, the kids should be well on their way in gathering facts about their topic. Remember that the facts you gather can be either done all on index cards and kept in the LRS folders we provided or can be typed onto a Google doc that lives on their Google classroom account (they should know by now how to access that, but if they don’t, please ask Ms. Prewitt for some help). If your child wishes, you may buy the LRS presentation board now and have them lay it out in some undisturbed part of the house. Many kids like to complete things on the board as they go. You might have them put their title and categories on the board now. I would not recommend gluing anything down until you find out where things will go and where things fit. There tends to be a lot of “jockeying for position” as more information/pictures/graphic aids are gathered.

Book orders are coming home today. If you would like to order for your child, you may either send a check and the hard copy of the order form to class, or order online (class code is HRGHK). Orders are due next Wednesday, February 27th.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, February 27th: Health screenings 11:15 (If your child wears glasses, please have him/her bring them that day)

Wednesday, February 27th – Conference sign-up to go live on SignUp Genius

Thursday, February 28th – Non-fiction book report due (may be about LRS topic)

Friday, March 1st: 40 facts due for LRS

Monday, March 4th – Free dress food drive (first Monday of the month)

Wednesday, March 6th: Ash Wednesday Mass 9AM (all are welcome)

Wednesday-Friday, March 12-14th: Kids out at noon; conferences in the afternoon


February 1, 2019

Dear Parents,

We had a wonderful Spirit Week and Catholic Schools Week — the kids had no trouble showing their great ASB spirit all week. The kids were especially polite and proud to show off their school to the many visitors that came in for the open house yesterday. I have noticed that the kids are become good at welcoming newcomers and showing manners (handshakes, eye contact, kind words) when meeting someone new.

In religion this week, we learned that a vocation is a calling by God to serve Him in a certain way. We talked about how my job as a teacher is a vocation because God has called me to help my students understand and become closer to their faith. We learned about the difference between laypeople and religious. We learned that religious people take vows, or promises, of poverty, chastity, and obedience to live in a certain way. We also learned the difference between sisters and nuns (ask your child, if you don’t know the difference). The most important thing we learned this week is that every vocation, whether lay or religious, is important to the growth of the Church.

In literacy centers we continued reading “Little House in the Big Woods”. We worked on using context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in this novel and used dictionary skills to double check the definitions. We also spent time this week finishing our “I Survived” narratives. If your child hasn’t finished typing his/her story, please be sure it is completed over the weekend.  In these stories, we worked on adding plenty of details, using interesting words, beginning to use dialogue with quotation marks, and all while utilizing their newly forming keyboarding skills. They’re doing great! In spelling we learned spelling patterns for /ā/, syllabication, and sounds made with ou not making /ow/ (as in the words tough and group). We also learned that short vowels are usually spelled with just one vowel.

In math we finished our chapter on adding and subtracting numbers with regrouping. We took our assessment yesterday and these are coming home in today’s Friday folder. Please look these over with your child and review where necessary. As always, if your child would like to show learning by retaking the test, that is always possible. Just have him/her let me know when he/she is ready.

We had no social studies this week due to an assembly on Tuesday and a Mass on Thursday. We’ll resume our Pioneer/Westward Movement unit next week.

LRS: The kids should be working toward adding to their fact notes. These can be stored in the LRS folders we made in class. As I mentioned earlier (and in the LRS packet that came home), your child may also choose to keep the facts in a different way. Some kids prefer to create a Google doc for each category and store their facts there. This makes it really easy when it comes to putting together the LRS board, because the facts have already been typed and need only be organized and printed for gluing onto the board.  The kids need to bring their LRS folders to school next Friday, February 8th so that we can check to see that they are making adequate progress. We are looking for a minimum of twenty facts at this point, although many kids will have more than that.

There is a lot of sickness going around. If you are shopping this weekend, please pick up another package of disinfecting wipes and send them to school. We are cleaning our tables three times a day to avoid sickness in 3A and are going through the wipes quickly. Thanks!

Thank you for the many notes of support as I recovered from my ear surgery. Recovery is going well and the kids have been super supportive, despite the “shark bite” on my ear! Thanks also for the words of encouragement as the news was shared of my move to Bellingham this summer. My husband has taken a Pediatric position there and I will be joining him when the school year is finished. Hopefully, I will be able to continue teaching there and will be on the hunt for another amazing community in which to share my vocation. Could there ever be anywhere as wonderful as ASB?!


Monday, February 4 – Free dress food drive; 3rd grade brings lotion

Wednesday, February 13 – Mass at 9AM; please dress in nice uniform that day

Thursday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day Brunch (mum’s the word to 3rd graders); please have students bring Valentines for all the kids in the class. Don’t put recipients’ names on them, only who they are from. Party coordinators will be sending information and requests for help soon.

Friday, February 15 – No school – staff retreat day

Monday-Tuesday, February 18-19 –  No school – Presidents Break


January 18, 2019

Dear Parents,

We had some good discussions and music in religion this week as we learned about prayer. We learned that prayer is communication with God – both speaking and listening. We learned that there are five basic types of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, blessing, petition (praying for ourselves), and intercession (praying for others). The kids came up with sample prayers of each type. To understand what prayers of praise might sound like, we listened to the song “Awesome God” by Michael W. Smith. Fr. Kyle was in and sang along to this song with us. We also learned that any time is the right time to pray and listened to Steven Curtis Chapman sing “Let Us Pray”.

During literacy centers we spent time in our new novel “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This novel is considered historical fiction and gives the students a glimpse into the life of a pioneer family. This will tie nicely into our upcoming social studies unit on the Westward Movement and Pioneers. This will also give students an introduction to the historical fiction genre – the focus of their book report this month. There will be days when the kids will bring home their “Little House” books to finish up reading a chapter, but we will mostly be reading this in class. If they do bring their books home, please be sure they also bring it back as we will be reading from it each day. Our spelling centers focused on spelling patterns for /ü/ (as in who and knew) and /s/, and –er, -ar, and –or endings. We are mostly finished working on our “I survived…” stories. The kids are using graphic organizers to plan out a good beginning, middle, and ending of their story. If they bring their journals home this weekend, it is because they are not quite finished. They should finish it and bring their journals back next Tuesday so that we can share, revise, and do one final edit before publishing. Please notice your child’s DIBELS reading fluency scores in the Friday folders today. This is the middle of the year benchmark score. I have noted on the sheet whether your child will be getting any additional reading support, will be progress monitored, or will receive regular classroom instruction. If you have questions, please let me know.

We began a chapter about the relationship between addition and subtraction in math. The kids know that addition and subtraction are inverse operations and are learning how to check the accuracy of their answers by “undoing” their work using inverse operations. We are doing a lot of adding and subtracting of three-digit numbers, so it is important that your child know his/her facts “in a snap”. Sometimes brushing up for just a few minutes every couple of days helps. Please don’t forget to continue practicing multiplication facts with your child. These are new this year and are required learning by the end of third grade.

In social studies, we continued learning about the Eastern (or Woodland) Native Americans. I am wondering, as we learn about White settlers’ treatment of Native Americans, if the students will return to our conversations about race, discrimination, and stereotyping. We watched the Geo Bee today in the gym. It was really fun listening to the questions that were asked. Many of our third graders got excited to be a part of this competition next year.

LRS: By this time, your child should be gathering facts. We made LRS folders today but didn’t have time to write the four categories on them. We will do this next week and send them home. You will need to provide 3X5 notecards for your children onto which they can take notes about their topic. They may wish to color code their cards by category so that if the cards spill, they can easily be put back where they belong. Please feel free to use some other form of organization, such as an index card box or expandable file, to keep their notes organized if you think that would be easier for your children. If you have questions about the process, please first look in your LRS packet before asking for help as most things are explained there.

I will be gone next week (the kids know why) and Mrs. Flores will be my substitute. We will have an aide in to help her each day. Please direct any important communications to her as I will be checking emails very little.

Important Dates:

January 21st – No school, MLK Day

January 22 – 25th – Mrs. Eusebio gone, Mrs. Flores to sub

January 28 – February 1st – Catholic Schools Week and Spirit Week (see school newsletter for themes)


January 11, 2019

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful vacation. We have been learning about the beliefs of the Church and learned that a creed is a statement of belief. We started learning the Apostle’s Creed and made up some hand motions to go along with it that will help us better remember and understand it. We learned that the Church is the body of Christ on earth (the kids should be able to tell you why), that the Holy Spirit was sent to guide us and the Church, and the Church has social teachings – teachings about how to work for justice and peace, just like Jesus did.

Our spelling centers this week focused on patterns for /ē/, digraphs (ch, sh, th, and wh), and patterns for /k/. We also read a non-fiction article from our Storyworks Magazine about the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii. We talked about text features and how to get the most out of them when reading something. We also talked about how the “I Survived” novels by Lauren Tarshis were based on actual events, but added fictional pieces (like characters, conversations, etc.). We talked about the historical fiction book report due the last day of this month and the kids were able to choose a historical fiction book to take home. In preparation to write an “I Survived”-type story, we completed a graphic organizer to plan the characters, setting, and beginning, middle and end of the story. We will begin writing these stories next week.

In math, we finished our unit on data and measurement using a variety of graphs (frequency tables, picture graphs, and bar graphs). We reviewed and then took the test, which should be in your child’s folder. You will also notice a few math-fact tests in the folder. One is simply a one-digit math test to increase speed in your child. The others are practice sheets to help reinforce multiplying a one-digit number by a multiple of ten (e.g. 4 X 90). The kids grasped this concept quickly, and some even extended the idea to include multiplying a one-digit number by higher multiples (100, 1,000, etc.), or a two-digit number by another two-digit number. These worksheets are practice sheets only and are not graded. We began our next unit today – a review of addition and subtraction. This unit will also introduce properties of addition (we looked at these today) and the concept of rounding.

We began a brief unit on the Eastern Woodland Native Americans this week. We learned how these indigenous people first came to the Americas. We also looked at pictures of different Native Americans and tribal groups and talked about stereotypes – judging people as though they are all the same simply because they share some attributes. We all agreed that we wouldn’t want to be stereotyped, especially in a negative way. We agreed that the best way to avoid stereotypes is to get to know individuals, not judge them by the group they belong to.

LRS:  Kids should now be studying their LRS topic by reading books, watching videos, searching the Web.  They will need to know enough about their topic to divide it into four different categories (areas of study) and be ready to turn in that sheet Friday, January 18th (remember – meeting deadlines is one important thing to learn from this project).  We will make LRS folders in which to keep track of their notes. The kids will write their categories onto their folders to keep their note cards organized.   We will be checking to see that each child is making progress and has a minimum of 20 facts by February 8th.  Of course, they will need many more facts than that to put together a poster board about their topic.  You will also want to start thinking of an expert your child can interview to learn more about the topic.

Upcoming Events:

Monday, January 14th – Peace and justice prayer service in the church at 1:20

Monday, January 21st – No school, Martin Luther King Day

January 28-February 1 – Catholic Schools Week and Spirit Week (spirit topics coming soon)

January 31st – Historical fiction book report due (see 3rd grade website if you need to print off new one)



December 21, 2018

Dear Families,

Thanks for all the birthday cards that were sent my way on Monday. Along with the lunch, I felt very special! It’s not all fun and games in here though — we have been pushing hard this week to finish up some in-class projects. We made it to Christmas break, and we need it!

In literacy centers we focused mainly on finishing our food novels and then completing our sandwich book reports. I will be looking at these over the break and will give them back to the kids when we return. We finished learning all our upper case cursive letters. One great way to have your kids practice at home is to have them write their thank-you letters in cursive. This is a nice, short form in which to use authentic cursive. If your child has not yet turned in the Nov/Dec book report (reading two books by the same author and then writing a letter to the author comparing the two books), please be sure they turn it in when they return in January.

We are nearly finished with our math chapter on data and graphing. The kids have been exploring frequency tables, picture graphs, and bar graphs. We will finish this chapter when we return and will assess proficiency then, after a solid review (something we’ll need after the long break).

This week in social studies we presented our Pilgrim research projects in class. The kids learned from one another and used this project as a “mini LRS” – with fact gathering, note taking, and presenting their findings to their classmates.  We will move on to our unit on the Westward Movement and pioneers when we return from Christmas break.  We will be learning about several major themes in social studies – what causes people to move and settle in new places (spatial patterns on the earth’s surface), causal factors that have shaped major events in history, and understanding multiple perspectives and interpretations of historical events.  Our study of Native American regions as we head west on the Westward Movement allows us to study all these themes.

In religion we have been learning more about Mary and why we as a Church have such a devotion to her. Just for fun, we have been reciting a half-decade of the Rosary each afternoon – in Spanish! The kids love it, and so do we!

Thanks to all of you for your contribution to my gift of scrip. I truly appreciate it and will put it to good use! I wish you all a very joyous, peaceful Christmas.

Upcoming Events:

January 7th – 1st day of school in 2019!   November/December book report is due (read two novels by the same author).

Have a great break!

Chris and Arali

December 14, 2018

Dear Parents,

We have been enjoying Advent and all it brings: prayer services as an entire school, special candle lighting in our classrooms, singing seasonal songs, art projects, and more. The concert last night was awesome and the kids really sang well and showed their Christmas spirit. They also sang well at the Ida Culver House on Thursday. It was so fun to see the residents of Ida Culver smiling and singing along. This is a fun event they look forward to every year. We made a couple of cultural connections this week by first teaching about Hanukkah, that special Jewish festival that Jesus, being Jewish, would have celebrated. We learned about the Maccabees and how they defeated the Syrian/Greeks who sought to destroy the Jews. We also learned about the miracle of the small jar of oil that lasted eight days, enough to rededicate the temple to God. The kids taught their seventh-grade buddies how to play the dreidel game, a spinning top game typically played on Hanukkah. We also learned about a Mexican celebration: the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This feast reminds us of the appearance of Our Lady (one of the many names of Mary) to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego. This appearance is special because Mary appears as a native Mexican (of Aztec origin). This is important because it shows that Mary loves us and wants to manifest herself to us in a way that we can understand. We learned about a Catholic meditative prayer form, the rosary, and how we use this form to ask Mary to prayer for us and our intentions.

In literacy centers this week we read from our food novels, worked more on our sandwich book reports, and learned about compound words, suffixes, and possessive apostrophes. We are nearly finished with our upper case cursive letters and will soon be able to use cursive in class for the majority of the shorter writing projects. The kids still need to develop the stamina to use cursive for longer writing projects.

In math, we finished our chapter on area. We learned that the area of a rectangle can be found by multiplying the length by the width of the figure. We extended this to irregular figures (such as an L-shaped figure). These figures can be first broken up into two smaller rectangles. The kids learned to find the area of the two smaller rectangles and then add them together to calculate the area of the L-shaped figure. We even extended this to figure out how to find the area of a door with a window in it (or a frame with a picture in it): simply find the overall area of the door (or frame) and then subtract the area of the window (or picture). The kids are feeling quite “mathy” and we are having fun solving some of these trickier problems. You can see the math test in the Friday folders today. If your child wishes to re-take a certain portion of the test, please have him/her let us know on Monday. Please be sure you review with your child first.

In social studies, we are nearly finished writing our Pilgrim paragraphs. We will share them with one another next week so that all kids can learn about a variety of topics. Please continue having your kids study the northeastern states. We will test on these states before leaving for break.


December 21 – Class Christmas party 8:40 – 9:50; out at noon for Christmas break

January 7 – return to school


December 7, 2018

Dear Parents,

We have been enjoying the season of Lent and all that it brings.  We had a visit from Santa and Benny D. yesterday and they delivered candy canes in honor of St. Nicholas Day.  We will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary this weekend in our parishes. We learned that Mary, who was born without sin, was the perfect person to give birth to Jesus. We decorated our door with an Advent calendar with Mary front and center around the manger. We learned the song, “Mary, did you know?” and listened to the Pentatonix version, and we couldn’t help but sing along. Please remember to mark your calendars for our Christmas concert on December 13th at 7PM (be there at 6:45) at St. Bridget’s Church. Mr. Turner has emailed details about this event, so please look for those.

In literacy centers, students continue reading their food novels and are writing paragraphs that elicit deeper thinking about the novels. They have written a paragraph about the main character of their novel and one about the setting. We will turn these, along with other writing prompts about the book, into a “Sandwich” book report to be done entirely in class. In spelling, students spent this week focusing on silent letters, homophones, and r-controlled vowels.

In math, we began a new unit about area and how it covers a region or surface. The kids learned how to find the area of a rectangular figure and learned that there is a special “formula” (a new math term for them) to calculate the area of a rectangle: A = l X w (area equals the length times the width). We connected this to the arrays we already use so much in multiplication. Another important learning is that we label area with “square units” (square inches, square feet, etc.). We will continue working with area next week.

The kids began writing their Pilgrim research paragraphs and will present them to one another next week in social studies. They have been doing a wonderful job during this unit which is teaching them many different research skills: reading to determine useful information, highlighting, taking notes from both written and spoken sources, ways to avoid plagiarism, writing a paragraph using only notes, and listening and learning from others. I am very proud of them! You will notice that the kids have begun studying their states. This is a third-grade standard and we have begun with the northeast states only. The kids should memorize where they are and how they are spelled. State capitals are not necessary (that is a fifth-grade standard), but they may learn those to earn a 4 on their states tests. We will begin our first trial test (remembering that all tests can be retaken when your child is ready) next Friday, December 14th.


December 13th – Entire third grade goes to Ida Culver to sing Christmas carols 1-2PM

(heading down on foot at 12:40)

December 13thChristmas Concert 1st – 3rd grades at 7:00PM at St. Bridget Church (arrive 6:45, nice attire)

December 14th – Report cards available of Alma; Last day to donate unwrapped gifts for St. Francis House

December 21st – Class Christmas party 8:45 – 9:50; Out at noon for Christmas break

January 7th – 1st day of school in 2019!   November/December book report is due (read two novels by the same author). I recommend having your child complete this before he/she leaves for Christmas break, as this gives time off with no worries.

November 16, 2018

Hi Parents,

I was away from school this past Wednesday and Mrs. Flores was my sub. When I returned yesterday, she told me she was overwhelmed with the goodness these kids showed her. She said that they showed her many small acts of kindness during the day, including being helpful, talking quietly, and listening well. They truly are an awesome group of kids. I spoke with the kids today about my belief that every act of kindness changes the world forever. When I said those words, several of the kids raised their eyebrows in wonder and smiled knowing that they had been performing acts of kindness in our class and so had done something that changed the world. I will continue to look for these acts of kindness and acknowledge them and I hope you will, too, when you see them at home.

In religion we learned about the four marks of the Church: that it is one (one community called together by God), holy (God is all good and holy and shares His holiness with the Church), catholic (for all people – universal), and apostolic (we share the same mission as the Apostles – to share the good news of Jesus). We also learned that bishops are successors of the Apostles and continue their work in three important ways: they teach, they lead, and they sanctify. We took a religion assessment and these should come home in the Friday folders next Wednesday (you will not see Friday folders come home today).

In literacy centers this week we worked on the ea spelling pattern that makes the long e sound, and then taught how this spelling pattern can also make a short e sound such as the sound in head and weather. We also learned the spelling patterns for the long i sound, and practiced the homophones for, fore, and four. We have been working on literary/story elements while reading our food novels. We learned about characters and how they develop in a story last week and focused on setting this week, remembering that the setting is both the where and the when. 

In math this week we finished Topic 4 about understanding the relationship between multiplication and division. The kids know that these are inverse operations and no longer use the term “opposite” (that is so second grade!). We have been learning about how fact families can help us know the answers to multiplication and division equations. I told the kids that one way to learn their multiplication facts is to learn the three members of each fact family. For example, if I learn that 3, 8, and 24 are members of a fact family, I can figure out that 3 X 8 = 24, 8 X 3 = 24, 24 ÷ 3 = 8, and 24 ÷ 8 = 3. Speaking of facts, you should be having your child work toward memorizing multiplication facts through the 10s. As I have explained in previous emails, have your child study these using any preferred method. I have been giving this as homework and I will begin assessing these regularly.

In social studies last week we began our history unit about the Pilgrims. Next week the kids will be given their topic and research partner. They will work on reading and highlighting the resource they were given. With only one social studies class next week, we won’t get far, but we will begin learning how to take notes and then transfer notes in a way that avoids plagiarism. All research and writing for this project will be done in class. You need only support your child if he/she decides to find out more information about the topic at home. A bit of help finding and printing out information will probably be needed if your child does decide to do a bit extra. The extra information can be brought to school to use in the research done here.

Christmas season is upon us! The ASB Christmas Concert is scheduled for Thursday, December 13th, 7:00pm at St. Bridget Church. Please put this on your calendar as it is a required event for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade as well as the Choir and Concert Band. More information will be released as the date gets closer. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Turner or Mr. Van Pelt. We can’t wait to see you there!

The Apple Cup Food Drive begins on Monday and goes through Wednesday. This is a friendly competition to help fill Assumption Parish’s food pantry (which provides food for the poor). Students may choose to bring in food on just one, or all three days. If they are a Husky fan, they will bring their food to Mr. Hastings’s classroom. If they are a Cougar fan, they may bring their food to Mrs. Myers’s classroom. If they are neither, they should choose which classroom to bring their food to. Good luck!


  • Tuesday, November 20th – Free dressto celebrate Apple Cup. Dress in your Husky or Cougar colors and bring some food for our Apple Cup Food Drive
  • Wednesday, November 21stGrandparents/Grandfriends Day. If your visitor will be taking your child at 11:30, please send me an email giving them permission to do so (I will not release students to anyone without your emailed or written permission.)
  • Thursday, December 13th – Christmas caroling at Ida Culver at 1PM, Christmas Concert at St. Bridget at 7PM (more specific details to come)

Have a great weekend!

Chris and Arali


November 9, 2018

Dear Families,

Students really enjoyed the wonderful play presented by Taproot Theater yesterday. They watched “Super School”, a play about bullying. The kids watched this lively, fun play to learn about bullying prevention (how to recognize, report, and refuse bullying), how to be a supportive bystander, how to empathize with others, and how to manage emotions (take deep breaths and think of something calm). I am hoping they can use what they learned as they encounter potential bullying situations. We also had the chance to see a preview of the school’s fall play – “A Christmas Carol”. I hope you have a chance to see this play with your family. You can purchase tickets on the ASB website.

We began learning this week about the marks of the Church: that it is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. We also learned this week about leadership in the Church and that priests lead parishes, bishops lead dioceses (archbishops lead archdioceses, like ours), and popes lead the whole Church. We learned that Pope Francis is sometimes called the “Bishop of Rome” because he is the leader of the Church which is located at the Vatican in Rome.

I also took some time to share with the kids the importance of leadership. Among some ideas we discussed were:

  • We’re not there yet – think about progress, not perfection;
  • Show leadership, don’t tell;
  • We are all leaders, but we can have positive or negative leadership;
  • Leaders (all of us) have a ripple effect on others – is it good or bad?
  • Good leaders own their mistakes and say sorry (they don’t blame others or make excuses);
  • Good leaders clean up their mistakes by taking action (unless you show you’re sorry by changing or attempting to change, you’re not really sorry).

These ideas may seem obvious to us, but kids are still in the process of learning what makes a leader and how to be a good leader. These ideas also tie nicely to the growth mindset work we’ve focused on as a school.

In literacy centers students read in their book clubs.  They are reading novels with titles having to do with food.  Their book clubs will give them the chance to practice main idea, summary, book review, and story elements — all while reading a novel at their interest and reading level. The spelling focus for this week was the spelling patterns for the /oo/ and /s/ sounds, and the tricky homophones its, it’s, there, their, and they’re. We began learning the upper-case cursive letters this week and will try to finish them by Thanksgiving break.

We worked part way through a chapter relating multiplication to division. The kids know that these are inverse operations, and as such can be used to help solve equations from either operation. The kids learned about patterns when multiplying even or odd numbers: even X even = even, even X odd = even, and odd X odd = odd. Today the kids learned a few rules having to do with dividing with 0 and 1: any number (except 0) divided by itself is 1; 0 divided by any number is 0; and the final rule – you can’t divide a number by 0, so 0 ÷ 4 = 0, but 4 ÷ 0 is impossible. Please be sure that your child is completing and understanding the homework each night and that he/she is practicing multiplication and division facts through the 10s. This is a third-grade standard and must be learned by the end of third grade.

In social studies we have moved into a history unit about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. This unit will allow the kids to practice their geography skills, and also learn to research a history topic (all done in class). They will be working in pairs (cooperation/group work is a very important life skill) and will continue practicing highlighting, taking notes, and using what they have taken notes on to write an expository (explaining) paragraph at the end of the unit.  The kids will share their paragraphs with the class and teach them about their topic.  This is a good intro to what the LRS will be like (but on a much smaller scale). This new unit will also introduce the topic of Native Americans of the northeast and also the study of the northeastern states. You will see the geography test we took at the end of our last unit in the Friday folders this week. If your child would like to study and retake the test, please have him/her ask me on Monday. I will find some time for retakes.

To prepare for Grandparents/Grandfriends Day on November 21st, we spent some time today thinking about things we were grateful for. We listened to the song “All Good Gifts” from the “Godspell” movie and then decorated our door with things we want to thank God for. The kids used this opportunity to listen to some of the Christian songs we had learned in the past. It was a very relaxing end to our week.


November 12th – Observation of Veterans Day, no school

November 13th – Beginning of first grade cereal drive – bring a box of cereal

November 14th – 3rd grade attends morning Mass at 9AM; nice uniforms, please

November 21st – Grandparent/Grandfriend Day, out at noon

November 22nd – 25th – Thanksgiving break

Have a great weekend!

Chris and Arali

November 2, 2018

Dear Parents,

It was so nice to meet with all of you this week during conferences. It’s nice to talk face to face about your children’s progress and steps moving forward. I thought it might be a good idea to summarize some of the main topics that came up during conferences.

In math, we are moving into the relationship between multiplication and division. They are inverse operations and as such can be used to help memorize both the multiplication and division facts simultaneously. Knowing fact families can really help with this. For example, learning that 3, 5, and 15 are all members of the same fact family can help the kids know that 3 X 5 = 15, 5 X 3 = 15, 15 ÷ 3 = 5, and 15 ÷5 = 3. We also discussed that the kids should be practicing their math facts nightly at this point using whatever strategy works for them. They are responsible for learning their facts through the 10s in both multiplication and division by the end of the year. Our ultimate goal is that they be able to remember their facts without having to count on their fingers. We also talked about the possibility of retakes for any math test. If your child feels he/she did not do well and wishes to study and retake a test, that is always a possibility. Also, kids who want to show higher proficiency on tests can complete the Performance Assessment in addition to the grade-level assessment. Doing well on both shows higher-level proficiency.

In writing we spoke mostly about the need to begin adding more details to their writing and to go on to explain or give examples of each detail. Their writing should sound like real life – giving all the details a curious audience would want to hear or know about. We also talked about getting ideas down on paper when writing and not being hindered by conventions initially. This is akin to learning a new language – if we are corrected every time we make a mistake, we won’t dare even try to speak the new language. Writing is the same – get your ideas down first, then go back and correct mistakes in conventions (spelling, capital letters, punctuation). For those still struggling with spelling, you can help at home by nurturing a discerning eye in your students. To do this, check over their writing and let them know that you see a few errors in spelling (maybe even tell them how many) and have them go back and see if they can find and correct them. They may need help on the corrections initially, but teaching them how to catch these errors is the first step. Another topic we discussed was the spelling list that comes home each week. The kids will be circling the spelling patterns in the list. Rather than memorizing just those words, have your kids practice by making lists of other words that use the same pattern so that they are learning how to apply the pattern.

In reading, we spoke mostly about the need to read books that are at both the interest and the challenge level of your kids. Some kids are great readers but are stuck reading graphic novels. Branch out, discover new genres, and push your kids to read just a bit more challenging books. For those still building fluency, have them read aloud more at home to practice fluency, expression, and phrasing. You can model this for them by buddy reading with them (you read a page or two, then they read a page or two).

Lastly, behaviors came up during conferences. Please work on general manners with your kids at home. We want them to be polite wherever they may be and that includes such behaviors as listening, not interrupting the speaker, helping, being kind, stepping aside when an adult (especially elderly) walks by, using appropriate language, and using polite expressions to show apology and gratitude. We can all work on this together.

If there are any other questions you have that you didn’t have time to mention at conferences, please let me know.

Some reminders:

  • Monday, November 5th – Free Dress Food Drive, 3rd graders bring jelly/jam
  • Wednesday, November 14th – Third grade goes to daily Mass at 9AM. Dress uniform, please. Of course, parents are always welcome to attend and may sit with their child.

Have a great weekend!

October 26, 2018

Dear Parents,

We had an amazing trip to the Cougar Mountain Zoo on Wednesday.  The weather was dry, the leaves were turning color, the animals were out, and the kids were in a learning/discovery mood – everything was perfect!  We learned how important habitat is to every living creature and how animals (including humans) adapt to their habitat. The Cougar Mountain Zoo houses many species that are endangered or threatened and this gave us a chance to think about whether we are really doing what God asked us to do on the sixth day of creation – to take care of all of His creation.  The kids understood that it is mostly because of habitat destruction by humans that some of these species are in the zoo in the first place.

We finished putting together our “ofrenda” for El Día de los Muertos and it looks fabulous. We have had so many visitors come by and comment about it, including Fr. Kyle, who thought it a good idea to put his and Fr. Oliver’s pictures on the ofrenda, too. He reminded us that while it is great to pray for those who have died, oftentimes it is those who are still living that need our prayers, too. It is so nice to learn about other cultures’ traditions and to incorporate aspects of them into our own learning – this makes for culturally sensitive mindsets.

In literacy centers, we learned the spelling patterns that make the /oy/ sound; we learned how to add suffixes to base words to make new words; and we touched upon compound words again. We spent the majority of our writing time finishing our pen pal letters. This is a great way for kids to write for an authentic purpose and encourages the kids to do their best so that their audience (pen pals, in this case) can read a great letter. I sent these to Vermont on Thursday afternoon and they should arrive Monday. Now the wait for their response! We finished learning the lower case cursive letter and can now move on to the upper case cursive letters.

In math, we finished Topic 3. This topic did quite a bit of review of the Distributive Property. We have found this property helpful when we don’t know a certain multiplication fact because it allows us to break the fact into two smaller, known facts. For example, if I don’t know my 7s and I am trying to find what 7 X 8 is, I should break the 7 into two easy facts like 5 and 2.  This would then become 7 X 8 = (5 X 8) + (2 X 8).  We reinforce often that “=” says “equals” or “is the same as”, and this really helps. We also learned the Associative Property of Multiplication this week. This property tells us that it doesn’t matter how we group or order the facts we are multiplying together – we will still get the same answer. 5 X 4 X 2 = 5 X 2 X 4.  It helps a lot to rearrange the order and multiply the 5 and the 2 together to make 10 because then we only have to do 10 X 4 – and that’s cinchy!  We really love the 0s, 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s – they’re so easy. Today, we tested what we learned in this chapter and you should find the results of this assessment in your child’s binder. As always, if your child wishes to study and retake the test, please let me know.

In social studies we learned how use a map key and also how to use grid lines on a map to help us find a location. We will test the kids’ geography skills next week and then move into a history unit.

The October book report is due on Wednesday (Halloween). Many kids have already turned it in. Our next book report is to read two novels by the same author (I will send home the book report sheet next week).  The books do not need to be part of a series, they must simply be written by the same author.  This book report will be due the day we come back in January, giving your child two months to read two books.  They may not use a book they read in the past as one of their books – both books must be read in the next two months.  Some kids asked if they could re-read a book that they read in the past because they know they loved it but don’t realIy remember it and I told them this is okay, as long as they do actually re-read the entire book.  I highly encourage your child to turn in the book report before going on Christmas vacation so that it is not hanging over his/her head, but of course, the choice is your child’s.  I have included a list of book recommendations by the students themselves, in case your child is stumped for what to read.

Goosebumps Series – R.L. Stine                     monsters and ghosts

Secrets of Droon – Tony Abbott                       magical adventure

Sisters Grimm – Michael Buckley                     fairy tale adventures

A-Z Mysteries – Ron Roy                                  kids solve mysteries

Hardy Boys – Franklin Dixon                          boys help dad detective

Zac Powers – ?                                               adventures and spying

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell                           horse adventures

Judy Moody – Megan McDonald                    girl and annoying brother

Ramona books – Beverly Cleary                    a girl and her family

Double Fudge – Judy Blume                          funny books about kids

Boxcar Children – Gertrude Chandler Warner     mysteries

Kingdom Keepers – ?                                      kids on adventures in Disneyworld

Magic Tree House – Mary Pope Osborne     kids on adventures in other times

Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snickett   3 orphans stay with uncle

Magic Half – Annie Barrow                             time traveling

Roald Dahl books                                           awesome writer

E.B. White books                                            “   “

Because of Winn Dixie – Katie diCamillo                kid and dog learning life lessons

Dragon Rider – Cornelia Funke                     dragons and fantasy

Beast Quest – ?                                               dragon-slaying adventure

Geronimo Stilton books                                  mysteries

Lightening Thief – Rick Riordan                     Greek mythology background

Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling                            magic

Lion, Witch and Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis               kids on adventure (biblical theme)

In preparation for conferences next week, I am sending home a conference sheet for you to fill out. This will help me to prepare for our conference time together. The kids will also be filling out conference sheets here at school to use at conferences. Please remember to bring your child to the conference with you.

Please help your child remember to select one assignment as a “proud paper” and complete the reflection sheet about it.  The proud paper and reflection sheet should come back to school on Monday in the Friday folder.  Please also go through the Friday folder to see how your child is progressing.


  • Sunday, October 28th – Halloween Carnival at St. Bridget’s 4PM (bring some money for the raffle to win a giant teddy bear)
  • Wednesday, October 31st– Trick or treating to Ida Culver (9:00 – 10:00; leaving at 8:45), Halloween class party (10:50 – noon)
  • Halloween costume guidelines: No masks, face paint, blood and gore, or weapons. Costumes should follow normal modesty rules (no bare shoulders or spaghetti straps [wear a sweater over the top to avoid this], or short shorts). We have PE that day, so be sure your child wears sensible shoes.
  • Thursday, November 1st – All-school Mass in church at 9AM. Dress uniform, please.
  • Monday, November 5th – Free Dress Food Drive, 3rd graders bring jelly/jam
  • Wednesday, November 14th – Third grade goes to daily Mass at 9AM. Dress uniform, please. Of course, parents are always welcome to attend and may sit with their child.

October 19, 2018

Dear Parents,

We had a busy week filled with sunshine, outdoor lunches, and fall color. It’s hard to beat the beauty Seattle offers this time of year!

In religion this week we have been learning about a religious-based holiday from another culture: El Día de los Muertos. Our own Mrs. Flores is teaching us about this Mexican tradition. The kids learned about its connection to Halloween – that it is a “crossing over” time between life and death (the passing of the summer growing season into the cold, dark, winter months – which is the true origin of Halloween). It is a time to remember people who have passed away but who are still in our hearts. We have been learning about the important symbols that are used to decorate an ofrenda (altar) for this holiday. Calaveras (skulls) are used to represent the dead, fotografías of the deceased are included as well as frutas and other favorite foods, papel picado (cut tissue paper), velas (candles) to light the way, and pan de muerto (special bread for the dead). We decided to make our own altar next week to remember our loved ones and to teach others in our school about this cultural celebration. To prepare, we will ask kids to bring a small photo of a loved one who has died, a piece of fruit, and any electric candles you have that we can borrow (put your name on them so we can give them back). We already made our skulls and will make tissue flowers and cut paper designs next week. We ask that you send these things in with your kids on Wednesday as we will need them to decorate the altar on Thursday and Friday.

In literacy centers this week we learned about the spelling patterns that make the long e sound, syllabication, and digraphs (ch, th, sh, and wh). We used our Storyworks Magazine to explore text features, and worked on rough drafts of our pen pal letters. We will be sending these off to our pen pal class in Burlington, Vermont next week. Students continue to put a tremendous amount of effort into learning their cursive letters. They are almost finished learning the lower case alphabet and have been challenged to write as many words as possible (using only letters learned so far) to practice.

We worked more with the Distributive Property of Multiplication this week. An example of this is to take a difficult multiplication fact like 9 X 6 and break it up (distribute it) into two smaller, known facts: (4 X 6) + (5 X 6). The kids are starting to show proficiency in the use of this handy property. In this chapter we were also introduced to most of the factors (0 through 10). As soon as we finish this chapter, I will ask the kids to start learning their multiplication facts 0 – 10 in earnest. They can memorize them using any method they wish (rocket ship math, flash cards, apps, programs, CDs, etc.). The goal is for them to know their facts well enough so that they don’t have to spend a lot of time counting on fingers. “Fluency” is a spectrum, but I do want to see that they are improving and I will be administering some math fact tests every so often to be sure this is happening.

In social studies, we learned more about maps. Understanding what it means when someone says, “The school is to the south of the gym,” was a bit tricky.

We will be going to Ida Culver on Halloween morning (leaving at 8:45 and returning by 10:10). Your children can wear their costumes that day (remember to follow school rules about appropriate dress and no weapons, masks, blood, or gore). I will provide paper bags for the kids to collect candy. We will not be entering any resident apartments, but will be knocking and trick-or-treating in the hallways escorted by Ida Culver employees and third-grade parents who would like to accompany us that day. Please let me know if you would like to come along.

Please help your child remember to select one assignment as a “proud paper” and complete the reflection sheet about it.  The proud paper and reflection sheet should come back to school on Monday in the Friday folder.  Please also go through the Friday folder to see how your child is progressing. This is a good time to see how your child did on graded work and to review concepts with him/her so that re-takes can be done. 


  • Wednesday, October 24th– Field trip to Cougar Mountain Zoo (lv. 9:20, rtn. 1:30)
  • Wednesday, October 31st– Trick or treating to Ida Culver (9:00 – 10:00), Halloween class party (10:50 – noon)
  • Wednesday – Friday – out at noon for conferences


Have a great weekend!

October 5, 2018

Dear Parents,

In religion this week, we learned that church means a building, while Church means the community of believers. We learned that the Apostles received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to help them on their special mission to spread the Kingdom of God throughout all the earth. We consider Pentecost the real beginning of the Church.

We used our Daybooks of Critical Reading and Writing to learn about making predictions based upon text evidence. We then learned how to use a storyboard to help guide our writing and wrote our own endings to the story “Solomon the Rusty Nail” by William Steig.  In spelling we learned about silent letters, simple contractions, and compound words. We continue to learn our cursive letters and the kids seem to enjoy this new way of writing.

In math we learned how to multiply with 10 as a factor. How easy and fun! We also reviewed the factors of 0, 1, 2, 5, 9, and 10. While we don’t expect the kids to know these quickly yet, they should begin to memorize them so that they are coming more easily. As with addition and subtraction facts, use the method that works best for your child. We have been doing a lot of solving and sharing of math ideas, including how to use a variety of models and tools to solve math story problems. Today we learned how equations are like using a balance scale – both sides of the equation should even out. This is a very simple way to introduce algebra and simple linear equations. The kids had fun trying to balance both sides of many different “shape” equations (each shape having a particular value). One of our math norms says, “Everyone can learn math to the highest levels,” and activities like this one offer a great way to push the kids to think just a little bit deeper and make connections to previous learning.

In social studies we learned more about Christopher Columbus, and more about globes and maps. We will continue learning about map skills next week as we attempt to “find our place in the world.”

I am amazed at how far these kids are coming. They are stepping up the pace and I can see a bit of continued improvement in self-control and classroom behaviors in most, although we have a ways to go. Thanks for your continued support in this area. Our partnership in this is crucial to raising responsible and respectful children.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Important Dates:

Wednesday, October 10 – Third grade attends Assumption morning Mass at 9AM. Nice dress, please. Parents are welcome to attend Mass with us and may sit with their child.

Friday, October 12 – No school: faculty in-service day

Tuesday, October 16 – Individual picture day – appropriate free dress allowed



September 28, 2018

Dear Parents,

We have been working hard this week on “puppy training” – that is, going back to the basics to teach the kids to listen attentively during instruction time, to use their work time wisely, to follow rules in the hallway and bathroom, and other basic manners and self-control. Please do what you can do at home to support what we are working on with the kids in the classroom. We all want them to be responsible, respectful human beings no matter where they are. As a faculty, we are learning about executive functioning (EF) this year, specifically, how to coach kids in need of increased EF. I will let you know if I think your child would be a good fit for this bit of extra coaching.

As part of an ongoing effort to prevent child sexual abuse, ASB will be teaching the Seattle Archdiocesan curriculum Touching Safety during the month of October. Each student, grades K-8, will receive one age-appropriate lesson regarding personal safety within the context of their religion instruction. If you would like more information, you can review the attached Protecting God’s Children Guide. All ASB students will be automatically included in this lesson. If you do not want to take advantage of this opportunity for your child, please return the attached Opt-Out Letter to me by Friday, October 5th and we will arrange for your child to be out of the classroom during the lesson.

In religion this week, students learned about the Resurrection of Jesus and that someday He will come again at the end of time in the second coming. We learned that Jesus will judge us at the Last Judgement and that, if we have lived in the way that God wants us to live (loving Him, treating ourselves and others with respect and love, etc.), we will go to Heaven – which really means being with God forever. Most importantly, we learned that Jesus has power over sin and death and His coming at the end of time will be a very joyful event for all those who believe in Him. I used our conversations about Heaven to teach a song by Chris Tomlin called “Home”.  The kids continue to enjoy music as a way of learning about their faith.

Students are putting a tremendous amount of effort into learning their cursive letters. They have now learned all the basic strokes and have learned the letters i, t, u, w, e, l, b, h, and f.  We’re continuing to work through our spelling program and worked this week on the /ow/ sound spelled with ou and ow, silent letters in words, and contractions. Thank you for checking your child’s binder each night to help practice the spelling pattern and word wall words for the week as well as the “challenge words”.  While we don’t expect perfection on the challenge words (indeed, some of them are quite a challenge), we do keep track to see that your students are recognizing the challenge words so that they can use them more easily when writing in content areas each week. We learned what text evidence is this week and used text evidence to write a paragraph about whether or not the photo I showed was actually Tomie dePaola’s 26 Fairmount Avenue house in Meriden, Connecticut (it was). I will look at these paragraphs this weekend and send them back in next Friday’s folders.

We continued working in our math textbook to study patterns in multiplication facts. We learned the Identity and the Zero Property of Multiplication. Remember that the beauty of this math text (other than the fact that it is Common Core State Standards aligned) is that we are able to send home the lesson we worked on each day with the homework attached.  If your child still doesn’t understand a concept, you’ve got the lesson right there with which to reteach and support your child’s learning. Sometimes just re-explaining the lesson one-on-one is all it takes for things to “click”. I am providing enrichment for the kids who need it. Now that we have entered the realm of multiplication and division, you will need to help your child start memorizing multiplication facts through the 10s. Because of the Identity Property and Zero Property, the kids should already know their 0s and 1s. They have also been introduced to the 2s and 5s, so start there and have them memorize those facts. The Commutative Property of Multiplication means that if you have memorized one set of multiplication facts, you automatically know the other set that uses the same factors (e.g. 2 X 4 = 8, so you automatically know that 4 X 2 = 8). This helps the kids cut down on the number of facts they need to memorize because they’re really memorizing two facts every time they think they’re memorizing just one. You may use whatever apps, flashcards, other strategies that work for your child to practice their facts. See the resources page of the third-grade website to see some math website options. I recommend about 5 – 10 minutes of practice on these each night. You might also put a box of flashcards in the car to use driving time effectively. (We spend a lot of time in the car these days!)

In science the kids continued to nurture and observe their sprouting seeds.  We discussed the fact that the seeds managed to grow with just one resource – water.  They noticed that all the seeds (give or take a few that didn’t make it) had grown and become swollen only because each seed had absorbed the water provided it.  In order to find out how much water the seeds are able to hold, students used scales to measure the mass of dry lima bean seeds.  Students measured the mass of the lima bean seeds again after being soaked in water for 24 hours.  They used their math skills to figure out how much water had actually been absorbed.

In social studies students learned about the grid marks of latitude and longitude and how those help locate a place on a map or globe. They took a short quiz after watching a video about maps. Our social studies time was cut a bit short by MAP testing, but we will resume learning about geography and map-reading next week.

We are sending home completed assignments today.  Your child needs to select one assignment as a “proud paper” and complete the reflection sheet about it.  The proud paper and reflection sheet should come back to school on Monday.  I have told the kids that they will be spending some time filling out their reflection sheet during recess if they choose not to do it at home over the weekend.  I am trying to teach them to be responsible for their homework.

Have a great weekend!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, October 1 – Free dress food drive: third grade brings small liquid laundry detergent or pods
  • Wednesday, October 3 – Math Night featuring Math 4 Love and UW Experimental Math Lab: 6 – 7:30 starting in Assumption Fellowship Hall and then going to classrooms; parents and students welcome!
  • Friday, October 5 – Opt out forms due if not wanting Touching Safety training for your child (see attached form)


September 21, 2018

Dear Parents,

We’re starting to find our groove in third grade.  We’ve learned many of the routines that are new to third grade and have reviewed the routines that are common to our school.  In religion we learned about God’s love and how strong that is.  In fact, God’s love is so strong that He was willing to send His son to take the punishment of crucifixion and death for our sin. We learned that faith is that gift from God that helps us believe and trust in Him. We finished the week by celebrating the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the gym.

In literacy centers we were introduced to our new Storyworks magazine. This is similar to Scholastic News, but is a higher level and is filled with a variety of articles of all genres. We read more from our book “26 Fairmount Ave.” by Tomie dePaola – this time focusing on story elements (character, setting, and plot). In spelling we studied the long a and long o spelling patterns, digraphs with h (ch, sh, th, wh), and syllabication. We took our next spelling test and as I mentioned at Curriculum Night, the challenge words on the back of the sheet are not graded, but rather tested just to be sure the kids are getting familiar with these content words.

In math this week we continued exploring the concept of multiplication and introduced division, as well. The kids learned that while multiplication can be thought of as repeated addition, division can be thought of as repeated subtraction. We used Kix cereal as manipulatives to make these concepts more concrete. When completing homework at home, your child may benefit from the use of manipulatives as well, though they need not be edible!  As I mentioned on Curriculum Night, you need not correct the nightly math homework, but please do check over it to be sure your child understands the concept and is giving his/her best effort.  Sometimes just explaining one more time at home helps. If your child is still confused, simply write at the top of the paper that he/she needs a bit of extra support in class and we will work with him/her. We took our first topic (chapter) test today and I will send these home on Monday when I’ve had a chance to correct them.

In social studies we continued learning about the basics of geography. We were fascinated with the story of Ferdinand Magellan and his attempt to circumnavigate the world in 1519 to prove that the world was round. We were also saddened to learn that although he was credited with this proof, he never actually made it back and was killed in the Philippines. Already the kids are learning how interesting history can be!  Hooray!

We are sending home completed assignments today.  Your child needs to select one assignment as his or her “proud paper” and complete the reflection sheet about it.  The proud paper and reflection sheet should come back to school on Monday inside the Friday folder, but you may keep all other work at home. When there are sheets that have grades on them in the Friday folder (note that not all class work is graded – some is merely practice) and your child did not do well on a graded sheet, he/she may always study the concept or skill on his/her own time, then ask to retake it to show that he/she knows it now. This is the beauty of “YET” combined with a standards-based grading system. We are looking for eventual mastery and allow kids to show us when they’ve finally mastered it. So you might want to encourage your child to look at results, restudy, then retake an assessment.

I have sent home another set of book order forms. Those from two weeks ago should arrive any day now. The new set includes many different themes and all levels of difficulty so feel free to look through them and encourage your reader to choose something beyond his/her typical scope. If you would like to order books as gifts, simply let me know and I will pull the books aside when they arrive and get them to you secretly.

MAP testing went without a hitch this week. We will test Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon this coming week, so please avoid making doctors’ or other appointments on those days.

Our tests are:

Tuesday, Sept 25: Science 8:35-9:50

Thursday Sept 27: Math 12:30-2:30

Important Notes:

Friday, September 28th – Fiction book report due

Friday, September 28th – Book orders due (online code is HRGHK)

Have a great weekend!

Chris and Arali


September 14, 2018

Dear Parents,

We finished a successful second week of school!  We worked through the second chapter of our new religion text, We Believe, in which we learned how much God loves us: more than the birds in the sky and the flowers in the fields. We learned that we build the Kingdom of God when we share God’s love with others. The amazing thing for us to think about is that God wants us to build His Kingdom right here on earth! I sometimes have to ask myself if I am building or tearing down God’s Kingdom with my words and actions. I taught a song by Kristian Stanfill called “One Thing Remains” which talks about how God’s love will never run out, no matter what we do or how deeply we mess up. I am hoping the kids love the inclusion of music into their learning because I think it’s a valuable way of reaching them in faith matters.

We have officially begun our new math text, enVisionmath2.0. This text hops right into multiplication and division and we managed to complete four lessons this week that dealt with the concept of multiplication.  We learned that arrays are simply a special math word for arrangements of items. We also learned that multiplication is really just repeated addition, and the arrays we drew helped us to understand and visualize that notion. We learned that we can show multiplication on a number line by hopping a certain number of spaces over and over (sound like repeated addition or skip counting? It is!).  And finally, we learned the Commutative Property of Multiplication that says no matter which order you multiply the two numbers (factors) of a multiplication equation, you will always get the same answer (e.g. 2 X 3 = 6 and 3 X 2 = 6).  You may notice that we don’t have time to do all the problems on our lesson worksheets. This text gives quite a bit of work, so I will often complete only the odd or the even numbers so that the kids get a variety of practice in the day’s content. Please be sure that you are supporting your child in reading and understanding the directions in homework. This should always begin by having them read the “Another Look” section at the top of their homework sheet.  If they still don’t understand, you can look back at the first sheet in the packet and review how we learned the concept together in class.

This week in math we also began a “Problem of the Month” packet. This packet contains math problems related to what we are learning, but the problems go deeper and require careful thinking. I “launched” this packet with my kids today letting them know my expectations for showing their work with words, pictures, or equations. They may work on this packet whenever they finish a math lesson early or have extra time between lessons. When they finish with a packet, I will send it home so that you can see the high levels of math thinking they are beginning to use. These packets are not graded but are rather provided to nurture deeper learning in math.

We began work in our “Daybook of Critical Reading and Writing” to learn the strategies active readers use to increase comprehension: predicting, visualizing, questioning, and marking up the text. We also began our first class novel, “26 Fairmount Ave.”, by Tomie dePaola. We learned that this is an autobiography written in a personal narrative format. The kids were excited to get a start in their cursive books by copying a cursive poem as best they could. We will revisit the poem at the end of the year to see how far they’ve come in their cursive. We began learning the basic strokes of cursive and learned our first letter – i – today. We took our first spelling assessment today. I am sending home an explanation of the three spelling lists that are in your child’s binder each week for those who missed the explanation on Curriculum Night. Remember especially that the “challenge words” on the back of the spelling assessment are meant to familiarize your kids with content words used in class and these are not marked in the grade book.

We introduced the kids to our social studies and science curricula this week and explained that I teach social studies to both 3A and 3B, while Mr. Hastings teaches science to both classes. With me the kids learned that there are four strands of social studies: geography, history, civics and economics while Mr. Hastings introduced them to the three FOSS science kits they will be using this year:  Structures of Life, Motion and Matter, and Climate and Water.

MAP testing begins next week (see dates/times below). Please be sure that your child comes to school rested and ready for testing. Please do not schedule appointments during testing times as it is sometimes impossible for us to make up the test with your child.

In your child’s Friday folder you will see the beginning of the year DIBELS (reading fluency and comprehension) benchmark. The sheet will tell you what type of reading instruction or monitoring your child will receive at this time of year. You will also see a sign-up for Epic. This is an online reading resource that we use in class from time to time. Signing up will allow you greater access from home, if your child would like to utilize it. It is not expensive and might be a good motivator for the reluctant reader.

We are sending home completed assignments today in the Friday folders.  Your child needs to select one assignment as his or her “proud paper” and complete the reflection sheet about it.  The proud paper and reflection sheet should come back to school on Monday inside the Friday folder, but you may keep all other work at home.

Upcoming dates:

Tuesday, September 18th and 25th – MAP testing 8:35 – 9:50 (reading, science)

Thursday, September 20th and 27th – MAP testing 12:30 – 2:30 (language, math)

Friday, September 21st – Mass of the Holy Spirit 1:30 in gym, parents are welcome! Nice Mass uniforms, please.

Have a great weekend!

September 7, 2018

Dear 3A Families,

Welcome to a new school year!  We’re off to a great start.  We spent much of our week getting acquainted with routines, learning a new schedule, and organizing our third-grade supplies. We also introduced one of our class themes, “All are welcome in this place,” and created a class poster to remind us of it.

In religion this week we learned about Jesus and why God sent his Son to us. The kids were very curious and were surprised to learn that original sin is not really about whether or not Adam and Eve ate an apple, but rather that they decided not to obey God’s law. This showed that they didn’t respect God and wanted to be Gods themselves. We talked about original sin and the need for Baptism to erase it. I let the kids know that God’s mercy is far greater than any sin they could commit and that He loves them and is always inviting them back into His arms. I hope that as you get into the routine of the school year you will make coming to church a part of your routine. I would love us all to be together on Sundays! Look for me at St. Bridget’s 9:30 Mass on Sundays and come sit with me. If you attend Assumption Parish, look for other third-grade families and sit with them.

We did some writing this week so that I could get a general idea of where the kids are in their skills. We also talked about paragraphs and identified what makes a paragraph. You will likely notice that we will push for more detailed paragraphs this year, although not quite yet.

The kids were excited to get a start in their cursive books by copying a cursive poem as best they could. We will revisit the poem at the end of the year to see how far they’ve come in their cursive. Formal cursive lessons will begin next week.

The kids were given their first book report form.  This can be found in the reading section of the binder (although some kids may have opted to put it in the homework section).  The book report should be based on a fiction book and is due September 28th.  Each month the book report will be from a different genre and may vary a bit in format. It will always be due the last school day of the month, but may be turned in early – just be sure they’re putting in their best effort and not rushing.  I do expect complete sentences and as much elaboration as they have space to give.

I have sent home book order forms with the kids. Book orders are a great way to encourage reluctant readers and to provide more challenging reading to the higher readers. Scholastic offers very reasonable prices and your purchases allow me to purchase books for the classroom library using bonus points. If you would like to order from Scholastic, please send in the completed book order forms by Thursday of next week with one check made to Scholastic (they don’t take cash). If you prefer, you may order online using our class code: HRGHK  Ordering online is easier for me, but I am happy to take paper orders, too.

In math we introduced and had a great conversation about our class norms for math: 1) Everyone can learn math to the highest levels; 2) Mistakes are valuable; 3) Questions are really important; 4) Math is about creativity and making sense; 5) Math is about connections and communicating; 6) Math class is about learning, not performing; 7) Depth is more important than speed.  We will come back to these math norms time and again as we work through our math lessons. To whet our appetites for multiplication, we played a game called “Circles and Stars” and did a research project to design different shaped candy boxes. Ask your child about these two activities. Finally in math, we logged in to Mangahigh – the online math program offered to our students. This is a game-based learning platform designed to reinforce math skills and concepts. It uses the principles of growth mindset in its design and will be used mainly at home by the kids.

As we informed the children, we will be doing a significant amount of learning with them as we navigate a new grade level and curriculum.  We will be giving you an overview of our curriculum on Curriculum Night, Wednesday, September 12th beginning at 7PM in the gym. We’ll also talk about classroom procedures and about ways to help your child succeed in third grade. This will be a time to ask any general questions you have about the year. We have already sent home a parent survey to complete about your child.  This will give us a glimpse into the life of your third grader. If you have not yet sent it in (the Walking Field Trip too), please send it in next week, or bring it with you on Curriculum Night.

Classroom Helpers:  We welcome parents to come into the classroom on a regular basis.  However, we will not invite parent help until October.  This allows the kids to learn the new routines, procedures, and atmosphere of the class on their own – an important step toward greater independence, responsibility, and self-confidence in third grade.  The best message you can give them is that they can do it on their own and that you have every confidence in them. Your help is greatly appreciated and needed, and we will be sending a monthly calendar home to schedule volunteers for the classroom nearer October.

Wednesday Envelopes:   This continues to be a means of communication from the school.  Please look at it on Wednesday evenings and return it on Thursdays.  You may, of course, put things into the Wednesday envelope that you want to come to me or to the office.  It will be sorted on Thursday and your items will be delivered to us.

Friday Newsletters:  In an effort to practice stewardship (and save money!), I will be sending the Friday newsletter via email only.  Please email Ms. Flores or me if you would like to add any other email addresses to the list (Mom, Dad, work, nanny, etc.).  If you do not have access to email, please send a note requesting a hard copy of the newsletter.  The newsletters will always be posted on the 3rd grade page (under the “Academics” tab) of the ASB website as well.

Friday Folders:  Starting next week, I will be sending home a Friday folder with your child. This will contain the work your child completed during the week and is one way for you to check to see how your child is doing. I will teach the kids how to complete a reflection sheet (“Proud Paper”) next week and will let you know about this in next week’s letter.

Free Dress Food Drive: This Monday is our first free dress Monday of the year. For those new to our school, we have free dress the first Monday of each month. Of course, the free dress must follow normal modesty guidelines (no spaghetti straps, yoga pants, or short shorts, etc.). We have a food drive each free dress day and this month, third graders are being asked to bring toilet paper. Please bring it in on Monday.

VIP: I am attaching the VIP list so that you can plan out when your child’s VIP week is. I have already included instructions about how that works, so please review the packet you received at the Open House.

Daily Mass: Third graders attend Assumption Parish’s daily Mass once each month. It is from 9 to 9:30. I am attaching the schedule so that you can be sure your child is dressed nicely those days. Most importantly, I am attaching it so that you can feel welcome to come and attend Mass with us on those days.

As we start our journey, we look forward to seeing you on Curriculum Night, September 12th.  Please feel free to contact us with your comments and questions. We are available to assist you in any way we can.

Chris Eusebio



Arali Flores



September 4, 2018

Dear Families,

We had a great first day of school and are off to a good start!  The kids spent time learning some of our procedures, unpacking their school supplies, making a first attempt at cursive, doing a quick fire drill, and meeting their buddies, and learning some tech-niques (turning on HPs, logging on to third grade desktop, using Chrome to get on the ASB website).  What a day!

The kids have begun putting their homework binders together.  They have a homework sheet in the front pocket of their binders with instructions for putting the binder together tonight.  Please help them to do this so that we can get into the full swing of things tomorrow.  They have been asked to read for twenty minutes tonight (this will be a nightly expectation) and to write down the name of the book they read in their assignment notebook (on the right-hand page in the yellow “notes” section). Please sign the P.I. (parent initials) spot in that yellow box to show that you have checked their homework.

Some of you missed our open house and the class procedures sheet that was sent home that day.  Look for that in your child’s binder along with a couple other forms as well.

Thank you for all your support in getting us off to a great start. Again, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing you on Curriculum Night September 12th!         ~Mrs. Eusebio