Monday, December 15, 2014

Keep Those Minds Sharp Over Winter Break!

Hey There! I cannot believe it is almost our Winter Break! This school year is flying by! I came across this GREAT article by scholastic that listed some fun ideas for family activities that also help kids keep their minds sharp over the break! Check out the excerpt below as and click the Scholastic Parents Link for the entire article! :)

  • Read for pleasure. Whether your child is in the mood for holiday stories like The Night Before Christmas or the newest installment from his favorite series, winter break provides the perfect opportunity to stash schoolbooks and read for fun. Encourage relatives to give books as holiday gifts or gather in front of the fire (big kids too!) to take turns reading from classic tales.
  • Cook up an easy lesson. Invite your child into the kitchen to help you whip up a special dish — from Christmas cookies to potato pancakes. All of those half-tablespoon and quarter-cup measurements are great practice with fractions.
  • Write thank-you notes. Penning notes of appreciation to gift-givers teaches gratitude and helps polish writing and spelling skills. Not sure what to say? Check out our thank-you note template for wording. One final tip: a mug of hot cocoa can make this task feel more festive!
  • Make the most of car rides. Turn the drive to or from a holiday get-together into an opportunity to practice letters and numbers. You can look for license plates from different states, try to find the alphabet on the license plates, or count the number of red (or white or green) cars you see. (Mrs. Frederick's addition- You could even have kids practice spelling the names of roads, cities, destinations, etc. This builds on their word work practices and decoding strategies). 
  • Maintain reasonable bedtimes. With no school to get up for in the morning, it can be tempting to let kids become night owls. A few days before school starts up again, ease back into the regular bedtime schedule so your child can start the year bright-eyed.
  • Ask for grocery list assistance. Have your child help choose what to buy, decide how much you need, check your supplies to see what you've already got, write or draw pictures on the list, and sort coupons.
  • Let kids help with online shopping. Need a last-minute gift for Grandma or Uncle Joe? Log onto your favorite shopping sites and let your child help you select presents. This helps children work on their computer and research skills. (Mrs. Frederick would even suggest to have kids add up the total cost of the items being bought as they go and then check it against a  given budget. Students can check their accuracy at checkout and discuss with their parent the outcome. Were the correct? Why or why not)?
  • Have a family game night. Chances are many of your family's favorite board and card games reinforce skills such as counting, reading, and drawing. Gather the group to play games you usually don't have time for on school nights.
Mrs. Frederick's Additional Suggestions:
1. Listen to an audio book together in the car! You guys can discuss the story together, make predictions, connections, etc. Go on adventures in literature with your child! :) 
2. On longer trips (or even shorter ones) have your child read a map to you! Give them a map (print or electronic) and let them describe the directions to you! This will help them develop their skills tremendously! 
3. Celebrate your family traditions by researching your family history and creating a family tree together! This arts and crafts activity will help your child develop their research skills while teaching them valuable history lessons that appeal to them! 
4. Watch fun films together, pop a bag of popcorn, and critique the film together. Learning to respond to various forms of media in appropriate ways is huge for our students. Talk about appropriate times to speak about the movie, and appropriate times to remain silent and listen.  This is super fun especially if the movie goes along with a book you are reading together. 
5. Check out the Public Library for Kids' and Family programs! Often they will have performances, reading times, crafts, etc. and it is FREE! :) 
6. Look online for fun and easy science experiments and do them together (I am happy to send you links to resources)!
7. Put boundaries on electronics! Research shows that too much screen time is detrimental for children! Have them play outside with friends, and try doing some of these activities as a family! :) 

I hope everyone has a safe and exciting Winter Break! I will see you all again in 2015! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Reading Tips!

While browsing through some new articles, I found this awesome post from the US Department of Education! I am including a part of it below! Please check out the link for more tips, suggestions, and ideas.

"Without doubt, reading with children spells success for early literacy. Putting a few simple strategies into action will make a significant difference in helping children develop into good readers and writers.
Through reading aloud, providing print materials, and promoting positive attitudes about reading and writing, you can have a powerful impact on children's literacy and learning.
  • Invite a child to read with you every day.
  • When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says is the word he or she sees.
  • Read a child's favorite book over and over again.
  • Read many stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat. Invite the child to join in on these parts. Point, word by word, as he or she reads along with you.
  • Discuss new words. For example, "This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?"
  • Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.
  • Read from a variety of children's books, including fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books.
Reading well is at the heart of all learning. Children who can't read well, can't learn. Help make a difference for a child."
This was found at The US Dept. Of Education and all rights belong to them. Please click the link for more helpful information! :) 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Whew! What a Start to Our Year!

Whew! I know it has been a while since I have posted anything and for that I apologize! We have been busy discovering new and exciting things in our classroom this school year and have not had time to update our blog!

In ELA we have been working on an integrated unit on Native Americans! We are having so much fun working through our novel study on Soft Rain, researching Native American tribes, culture, and legends, and preparing to create our very own Native American exhibits! In the meantime, check out some of our work so far this year! I have also included a few great articles with Reading tips and so much more! :) Enjoy!

Reading Rockets- Third Grade Reading Tips 

Helping Your Child with Social Studies 

Writing Tips for Parents



Calling All Readers! We have been busy reading books and writing book reviews! For this assignments students read Just Right books and practiced recounting stories! They described the Main Character, problem, solution, their favorite part of the story as well as a general book review! Here are just a few.....











Thursday, August 21, 2014

Welcome Back to School!

Well hello there and welcome back to school! :) I hope everyone had a wonderful first day back! I am super excited for this school year and I hope that you are too! Here are a few back to school tips for you all! :)
                                   
   1. Make sure students are getting to bed on time!
                       During the summer, children aren’t always on a schedule. But, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your child be successful this school year by incorporating a bedtime routine and sticking to it. Experts say children should get 8-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal brain function. 

   2. Be sure to stay in contact and communicate regularly with your child's teacher. 
                      Education is a team effort. Contact your child’s teachers at the start of the school year. Get acquainted with them and let them know you want to be an active partner in helping your student to learn and grow. Plan to keep track of your child’s subjects, homework, activities and progress throughout the school year. And, consider serving on your local PTA or joining other parent groups that engage with and support your child’s school. 
         
     3. Provide children with healthy meals throughout the day. 
                         Hungry kids can’t concentrate on learning, so good nutrition plays an important role in you child’s school performance. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. Fix nutritious meals at home, and, if you need extra help, find out if your family qualifies for any Child Nutrition Programs. 

      4. Set up a homework routine and study area.
                 Set up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Remove distractions. Make it clear that education is a top priority in your family: show interest and praise your child’s work. Have the expectation that your child will complete their homework each and every night. If your child needs help, guide them in the right direction, but do not directly give your child the answers or take the pencil from their hand. 

       5. Read with your child for at least 20 minutes each night (even weekends). 
                   Reading is a huge part of student success. Your example reinforces the importance of literacy and reading lets you and your child explore new worlds of fun and adventure together.

Tips are from of Diondra Hicks Blog Entry and all rights belong to her. More information can be found here.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Historic Charleston Field Study!

Recently we went on a field study to Historic Charleston where we learned all about the American Revolution! There, we went back in time to 1781 and explored British Occupied Charles Town. We secretly enlisted into the Patriot Army, learned to drill and fire cannons, toured the Provost Dungeon where some of our fellow soldiers were being held, met some famous South Carolinians from our past, and learned social graces and party etiquette at the Old Exchange. Check out some of our pictures that made it back through our time travels! :)

















Friday, May 9, 2014

Upcoming Spelling Bee!

Hi There!

Since our Annual Killian Spelling Bee is coming up on May 19th, we will be having our class Spelling Bee on May 12th to discover who will represent our homeroom! Students are super excited about these events and so am I! If you would like to review our Third Grade Content Words that may be used in our Spelling Bee, just click here. Please encourage your child to review and study these words and their meanings for Monday! :)

Have a GREAT weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Test Prep! :)

               Test taking can be very stressful for all parties involved! With our upcoming SC PASS test, I wanted to share with you all some tips for how to make this as stress-free as possible! This is a time for students to celebrate what they have learned this year and show what they know! Check out the tips below for both parents and students!