"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."
-- Socrates

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Well, our school year is well underway!  What an AMAZING classroom family we have in Room 190! We have been busy with team building activities, getting to know each other and establishing classroom routines and expectations that will carry us through the entire year of third grade.

We seem to be quite a cohesive, cooperative group - helping each other when needed and collaborating effectively during classroom activities and projects.

Daily 5, our literacy block routine, is almost completely underway!  We are practicing building stamina in order to be able to work independently for 20 minute intervals during a 90 minute ELA block.  This management system for literacy allows for flexible, differentiated instruction in order to provide individual students support they need in order to become better readers and writers!

In Math, we have begun studying the concept of multiplication.  We have learned about factors and products, arrays, the Commutative Property of Multiplication and making combinations through multiplication.  This concept of multiplication may bode challenging for some, as our school delves into the newly adopted New York State Common Core Standards.  If you would like more information regarding these standards and what is now expected of your children, please visit the PARENT portion of engageny.org.

In Social Studies, we are beginning to discuss Elections.  You may have heard about the posters we made last week in class about Skittles and M&M's.  We will be conducting a Third Grade-wide vote between the two candies at the end of October.  We have already placed our presidential ballots with Scholastic.com and our votes will be tallied in the nationwide kid vote.  Stay tuned for details about that!!

We have not had a formal Science class yet, however, our hermit crabs, tadpole and just-released-into-the-wild Monarch butterfly have provided us with plenty of hands-on learning and inquiry.  I am attaching a link to my ongoing Third Grade Gallery of pictures so you can enjoy the pictures I have taken of our classroom events thus far.  Feel free to download pics of your child and print them as you wish. The picture gallery is password protected and may only be accessed by those of you who know the password.  (The password is room190 when you click on the link below).


I also would like to thank the three gentlemen from the Elks Lodge who delivered dictionaries to each and every third grader at Lawrence Avenue!  They did a few fun activities with the class to really get them excited about their new literary gifts!

We started Spelling this week.  Spelling pretests will be given on Mondays and spelling tests will be given on Fridays.  Bonus words will be added as optional words (will not count against student if (s)he gets a word incorrect on Friday).  Students should choose one spelling activity each night from the yellow Spelling options page.  This page should be kept in your child's Take Home Folder each night of the week.  One of the options is www.spellingcity.com.  Click on the "Find a List" tab towards the top of the site page.  Type in Cruikshank, and my name will appear as a choice.  There are many games and activities children may choose from in order to study that list of spelling words.

I plan to keep this blog updated as a tool for parents and students throughout the year.  The picture gallery will be updated from time to time as well, with shots from classroom/school activities.  I am also working on finding meaningful student website links to add to our page as well.

Thank you for sharing your child with me.  I am thoroughly enjoying each of them!  Please know if you ever have a question or concern regarding your child, you may contact me anytime.  The best way to reach me is via email at kcruikshank@potsdam.k12.ny.us.

Kate C.