Dear Third Grade Students and Parents:

Welcome to third grade! This is a letter to inform you of what goes on in the third grade classrooms.  I am looking forward to being your child’s teacher this year.  I am so thrilled to be teaching at Potlatch Elementary again this year.   This is my seventh year teaching in Potlatch and my sixth year teaching third grade.  I graduated from the University of Idaho in 1999 with a B.S. in Elementary Education and Art Education.  I live in Princeton with my husband Denny and our dogs Mac and Kenai. My daughter MacKenzie is a Registered Nurse and my son, Levi, is a junior at the University of Idaho. I love to teach, learn, travel, camp, quilt and hang out with my family and friends.  

Here are some things to expect this year in third grade. Please keep this packet as a reference.

Reading: Our whole group reading is daily from 9:30-10:00. During the whole group reading time, the entire class will read a story and discuss ideas and concepts such as character, setting, phonics, grammar, vocabulary and other literacy skills.  Our reading series is especially designed to encompass all areas of reading and language arts. We also have a reading block time. Reading Block is daily from 10:45 – 11:30 a.m. During this time students are divided into ability leveled groups.  Mrs. Spellman, Mrs. French, Mr. Babb, Mrs. Savage and I each work with a small group of students on specific skills and levels. Student will rotate rooms. 

Spelling:  Each week your child will bring home 15 regular spelling words which focus on a specific phonics skill. We will practice the words daily in class.  Please help your child learn these words with them.  Spelling pretests are on Thursday.  Students who get 100% on Thursday do not have to rake the test on Friday.  Spelling tests will be on Fridays. Spelling words can be found in the student planners after each Monday, or on the class webpage. Students may choose to learn the five extra challenge words.  These words do not count against their spelling score if they have errors.  We do keep track of students who challenge themselves for an award at the end of the year.

Mathematics:  We use the Saxon math program throughout the elementary school.  We have daily math time (8:30-9:30) where we work as a group to explore calendar, money, time, counting, temperature and we introduce the day’s concept.  We do one side of the math paper together in class, the other side is for homework. Often students do a timed math facts page.  Occasionally you will be asked to time your child on these facts.  Your child is expected to know both addition and subtraction facts.  Please review them with your child.  In January we will begin multiplication facts.  Side B of the page is home work.  Home work will come home every day except Fridays.  If your child does not return homework to school, he or she will finish it during recess time. Math tests occur every five lessons, normally on Friday.

Accelerated Reader (AR):  We use accelerated reading in the classroom.  This allows students to read leveled books and take coinciding quizzes.   We will set an appropriate goal for each child during each quarter.  Students who meet their goal earn a reading prize in the classroom and are recognized school-wide.  AR helps students gain fluency, increase comprehension and gain a love of reading.  Students will have a reachable goal each quarter; it is easily reachable with the completion of their daily reading log homework. We try to build in free reading time into our daily schedule, but it is not always feasible. 

Reading logs: Your child is being asked to read 20 minutes each night this year for a total of 80 minutes a week.  Please help your child fill out the reading log and sign it each night. New logs will come home on Monday in the homework folder. The logs need to be turned into the teacher each day to check for completion. Grades will be recorded on Fridays. Your child may read a book, magazine, newspaper or article; it does not have to be an AR book, but if children do read AR books, they can be working towards their reading goal at the same time.   If your child does not return homework to school, he or she will finish it during recess time.

Social Studies and Science:  We will use our text books and other resources to explore these areas of the curriculum.  I will teach Social Studies and Mrs. Spellman will teach Science to each class. 

Writing Workshop:  Our school will be emphasizing improving writing skills this year.  We will teach the 6+1 traits of writing throughout the year. We focus on five major writing projects over year.

Penmanship:  Your child will learn cursive writing this year.  This can be very exciting for some students and very frustration for others. Please help encourage your child’s practice of this new skill.

PE:  Mrs. Stookey provides a high level of movement and exercise during our P.E. time.  It is an important part of our week and the students look forward to the exciting games and skills.  We have PE on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternating Fridays from 1:00 -1:45.  Remember to send PE shoes to school for your child to keep in the classroom. Keep clothing appropriate for PE on PE days.

Music:  Student explore Music with Mr. Richards two-three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays). He always has an exciting rhythmic classroom. We will look forward to our seasonal concerts.

Planners:  Student planners will come home with your child each day.  Please read what they have written, check for teacher messages, and initial on the yellow “Parent/Teacher Comments” box to show you have looked at the planner. This is my way to communicate with you on a daily basis about what your child is doing in school. It is an important reflective part of our day.

Computer Lab: We go to the computer lab each Thursday and some Fridays. We will mostly be working on a Type to Learn program, Math Facts in a Flash, and some Microsoft Word lessons.

Webpage: Our class webpage can be found under elementary staff on the school website. www.potlatchschools.org

Birthday celebrations: We will typically celebrate birthdays on the last Friday of each fitting month. We celebrate during the last part of the day (2:25-2:45). Our first birthday celebration will be September 28  where we will celebrate all September birthdays. Summer birthdays will be celebrated at the end of the year. Please send small treats for your child’s birthday if possible.  I will contact you prior to the party via planner, email, or phone.  

Library: Check out and Return:  Wednesday 2:15-2:40 

Please help your child keep track of his or her library books.                                                                                                                     

Contact: Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns throughout the year. I am available by phone (depending on time) or easily by email: debbie.dawes@psd285.org

You may send a water bottle from home for your child.  Please label it with their name.

 

Thank you for support! 

 
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