• Sunday, September 20, 2020

    Dear Grade Three Parents,

    Please read my academic word document that is attached to this email so that you will know exactly what I will be teaching this week in Religion, Reading Comprehension, Phonics, Spelling, Grammar and Mathematics. This way, if your child is having difficulty in a particular area you will know what I am teaching and I have also given examples so that you can help your child at home in addition to what we are doing in class.

    I am sure that many of you are still digesting the myriad of information I sent home to you in the parent packetπŸ“– this past week which included just about everything you need to know about third grade.πŸ˜€ If you have any questions at all about anything that was included in the packet, please feel free to email me.πŸ’»

    This past Friday, I worked through the first reading comprehension test for Boomtown with the children so that they would get the positive feedback of receiving a 100% to begin their reading scores, as well as to know exactly how the tests are formulated. There will always be some questions at the beginning to see if they really learned the week's vocabulary. That is followed by multiple-choice answers to questions about reading comprehension of the story they read during the week. The final part of the reading test contains three essay questions about the story which should be answered in correct grammatical form which I will be working on with them to turn the question around (TTQA) and answer it with a complete sentence.

    The entire class did a great job this week with their first experience using an assignment notebookπŸ™Œ I write the assignment on the board explaining it carefully as the children copy it into their notebooks neatly. I am trying to get them to write it in each section in a grocery list manner so that it doesn't get confusing for them to read. Some of the children caught on immediately, and I will double check with everyone this week to make sure they are copying the assignments correctly.

    Please check your child's homework each night to make sure that it has been completed, and feel free to give them assistance if they need it for homework so that they can learn immediately from reinforcement at home how to complete a problem. Of course, I will help them in class, but it eases their mind to know that they have completed everything when I go to collect or correct it the next day.Since they had seven months without regular school days, it might take a few students a little while to get back into the academic groove! πŸ“šThat is why it is important for you as parents to check your child's assignment notebook and make sure that their work is completed so that they don't have additional work to finish up the next night in addition to regular homework.

    This week, we will be celebrating Katelyn Walsh's 9th birthday on Thursday, September 24, 2020!πŸ˜‡πŸ™πŸ’—πŸŽ‚πŸ¨πŸ¬πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽ Katelyn will be our first birthday "teacher of the day", and although some of the things will have to change because of Covid 19, I will make sure that she will reap all of the major benefits and be very happy😍 with the results of what I have planned for our "new normal" student-teacher birthdays!!!

    Here are a few helpful little thoughts that I wanted to share:

    • Please make sure that your child has enough water to drink for each day since our water fountains have been shut off to follow the CDC guidelines. Perhaps a small 8 ounce bottle of water could be placed  in their backpack and they could be told it was just for an extra only if really needed. Also, check with your child to see if perhaps there are certain foods now that they may have liked previously, but don't like anymore. I would rather have them let you know so you don't waste money putting things into their snack or lunch box that they are not going to eat.
    • The reading notebook which contains the important paper for each story (spelling list; grammar lesson for the week; and vocabulary) is taken home every night. Please make sure that your child practices their spelling words and vocabulary each night so that they will be fully prepared for the test each Friday. You will see from the results of this past week's test in spelling, that some children will need more practice than others and that is why the notebook goes home every day.
    • Please remember that grades K, 1, and 2 are grades where the children are "learning to read." Beginning in grade 3, children are "reading to learn." That is why you will notice that we focus more in grade 3 on "reading to learn" in textbooks about history, geography, (social studies) and science. We will also have a textbook beginning this year that is all about the history and geography of Massachusetts.If your child has had previous problems with phonics and "learning to read", I hope that they have been, or are being addressed because the subject content in third grade moves quicker than in lower elementary grades to prepare them for the intermediate grades that start in grade 4.
    • The CDC Covid 19 guidelines are very specific with regard to air-quality. They want fresh air in each classroom and ceiling fans to circulate the air in addition to keeping the classroom doors open to the hallway. Please feel free to give your child a sweater or lightweight jacket to wear at their desks if they get chilly. Ideally, the St. Joseph sweaters and jackets are super. However, they may wear anything that keeps them warm if they don't have a St. Joseph sweater or lightweight jacket yet. Bookcases are against each window, and the closest desks to any window are at least 6 feet away.We will address the winter season when it arrives, because as we saw last March, our lives can change in a day, so we will not worry about winter yet!
    • This Friday, September 25, 2020, children may wear their own clothes to school when they bring $1.00 for "casual for a cause day". For those who are new to our school, each month we have a casual day with the proceeds going to a special cause. This month it is for Alzheimer's research.

    For several years, grade 3 has sponsored a pet food and supply drive in honor of St. Francis of Assisi whose feast day is October 4th. This year, I am going to have to revise what has been a very fun and educational time for the children and I will send more information home later this week about how we will proceed with our fundraiser for the animals during the pandemic. The animals still need our help, perhaps this year more than other years because some families are struggling to feed their family members in addition to trying to feed their pets. Grade 3 will definitely help the animals, πŸ•πŸˆbut in a slightly different way this year.

    I am blessed to be working with such wonderful children and such cooperative parents.πŸ™Again, please read the Academic Word Document that is attached to this email. I promise you that you will always have 100% of my efforts in teaching your wonderful third grade children.

    Sincerely,

    Mrs. Jane Ellis