Weekly Newsletter

Language Arts

This week our focus will be on, “Did you R-A-C-E?”  Here is what this means:

R-Restate the question or prompt where appropriate.

A-Answer in a complete Sentence.

C-Cite evidence to prove the answer.

E-Explain each part of the question.

There will not be any spelling words this week.


Students will work on subtractions this week. I will stress that this operation involves repeated calculations; subtract the ones, then the tens, then the hundreds, and show how regrouping is necessary. If students notice that these calculations are repeated, they can transition more easily to multiplication, which also used repeated calculations.

We will also do a graphing activity with Halloween fruit snacks!


The class will continue to test their minerals this week. Testing of light and luster will remain the focus.

Extra News:

Wednesday: The class has earned their 100 gumballs and will have a celebration Wednesday! Students may wear pajamas, bring in books, games, beach towels, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, slippers, etc to enjoy our time on the floor. J Electronics are allowed as long as the student knows he/she is responsible for it at all times. The doors will be locked when students are at specials or lunch.

Thursday:  Halloween party begins at 1:45 with parade to follow.

Friday: No school today -teacher inservice.


Weekly Newsletter

Reading/Language Arts

This week we will begin reading the story The Haunting of Third Grade. There it was…the old Blackwell mansion!  It was one big monster of a building. It had dark towers, pointed gables, and shadowy arches. It was haunted! Or at least that’s what most people thought. The third grade of Elmwood Elementary was spending the year there because the school’s main building was overcrowded. And very strange things were happening…..We will do some partner reading with this as well.

Our focus skills in reading this week will be main idea and key details along with multiple meaning words.

For writing we will begin our rough draft on The Witches Brew! Friday we made the brew and enjoyed the tasty creation!

There will be no spelling words this week.


Students will work on adding four digit numbers with regrouping and work on problem solving. We will take a chapter preview on Wednesday the 15th and test on Thursday, October 16th.


We will begin the mineral portion of rocks and minerals this week! Students will be able to explore twelve types of minerals and perform various tests such as luster, hardness, and streak. The class will bring home some vocabulary terms this week and will have a short quiz on these terms next Thursday, October 23rd.

Social Studies

This week we will continue to look at alphanumeric grids in class.  Students will locate places in town using a map of Brecksville.  Kindly encourage your child to show you their social studies notes in their journals. They may bring these home to show you what we have been working on during our Tuesday and Thursday classes!



Weekly Newsletter


We will continue to work on cause and effect this week in reading.  Students will be able to identify cause and effect relationships in fiction and nonfiction texts.  When we teach cause and effect, we ask students to go back into the reading to find words and phrases that help identify these relationships.  An effect in one relationship will as a cause in another.  You can help your child at home by asking them to identify cause and effect relationships as you read together.



Students will spend the week writing the 4 types of sentences and identifying subjects and predicates in our grammar lessons.

During writing workshop, 3rd graders are using sequence words to write how to paragraphs.  Students will be writing about how to make Witches’ Brew using sequencing words as well as creating mental images in their writing.  Students will be asked to include the 4 types of sentences in their writing as well.  In class we have been modeling and sharing how to write an effective and interesting topic and summary sentence.



We will be wrapping up the 3 properties of addition this week.  Students will begin working on mental math strategies this week as well as estimating sums.

Please encourage your child to work at home on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Students need to quickly recall their facts so they can apply them in the above concepts.  Thank you for your support at home!


Social Studies

Map skills continue as students investigate and compare and contrast political and physical maps.  Students will also practice finding absolute location using an alphanumeric grid on a map of their local community.



We will complete the rocks portion this week with a book to sum it up. Next, we will move on to minerals. Students will also create a birthstone presentation in their Google Docs soon!


Ohio Achievement Assessment

  • Friday a letter came home regarding the OAA in reading that will be given to your child this Tuesday.  We will have a snack for your child on the day of the test.  If you are wondering what you can do at home to help prepare your child for this assessment, a few helpful items are listed below.
  • Help children get plenty of sleep, especially the nights before their test.
  • Provide a healthy breakfast on the morning of each test.  This will help your child concentrate and provide the proper energy to function at their best.
  • Make sure your child arrives at school on time.  If a student arrives late and testing has already begun, we are not permitted to allow him/her to enter a testing room.
  • Encourage your child to do their best.  Most importantly, let your child know that you believe in them.

Thank you as always for your support.

Weekly Newsletter

Language Arts

This week our skills are:

Comprehension Strategy- Ask and answer questions in text.

Comprehension Skill- Text structure: cause and effect.

Vocabulary Strategy – Metaphors.

Writing Traits- Word choice.

Grammar- Sentences: subjects and predicates.

Spelling – Long a.


Our next unit is on addition. Students will be learning how to use the addition properties to add large numbers. They will also be using estimations to find sums of problems. The key vocabulary in this unit are estimate, mental math, Commutative Property of Addition (4 + 5 =9 is the same as 5 + 4 =9), Associative Property of Addition (4+5) + 2 = 4 = (5+2) (The property that states grouping does not change the sum), and Identity Property (12 + 0 = 12 or 0 + 12 = 12).


We will focus on the three types of rocks this week which are igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.  We will also learn about the rock cycle. Our class is so fortunate to have all of these rock and mineral kids to bring this learning alive in the classroom!

Weekly Newsletter

Reading/Language Arts: Unit 1 Week 3 Communities

The theme this week is communities.

Our essential question is: How do people from different cultures contribute to a community?

Comprehension Strategy: Ask and Answer Questions means as they read, good readers ask questions about the story and look for answers in the text.

Comprehension Skill: Sequence: Sequence is the order in which a story’s events happen; the beginning, middle, and end. Clue words: first, next, then, and finally.

Genre: Narrative Nonfiction: Autobiography- tell the story of a person’s life, tells events in chronological order, and written about the author by the author.

Vocabulary Strategy:

Compound Words- two smaller words that make one word. The smaller words tell you the meaning of the compound word.

Writing: Organization

Good Writers have a clear beginning, middle and end. We will write a “How to” pop popcorn first and then carry it over to a paragraph on how to carve a pumpkin.

Spelling: Our spelling words have the final e sound.


We will finish chapter 1 on place value this week. Our focus will be rounding to the nearest hundred and problem solving. On Tuesday, students will bring home a review guide along with their math journal. Students will also take a chapter review on Wednesday and bring that home with them to study. The test will be on Thursday.


We begin our unit on rocks and minerals this week! Students will explore up to 12 different types of rocks and make observations about these rocks.


Weekly Newsletter


*  Open House is scheduled for this Thursday, September 18th from 6-7pm.  The children have been working hard and would love to show off all their work to you.  Mark your calendars now!

Reading/ Language arts-

We will continue to work on using visualization to increase comprehension.  Our focus skill this week is sequencing.  We will be applying this skill to the realistic fiction story, The Dream Catcher.   In addition, we will be using and applying context clues to identify new vocabulary.  The students will be using the activity Roll and Define to practice our new vocabulary this week. A list of vocabulary words and definitions went home today.  Please review these with your child.  We will have a vocabulary quiz on Friday over these words.

Our spelling and phonetic focus will be short e, o and u words.  Look for a new spelling Tic-Tac-Know to come home today.  Please have your child staple or paper clip all activities together when they complete the assignment for the week. Spelling homework is due on Friday.  In grammar, our focus will be on identifying and using statements, questions, commands, and exclamation sentences.  We will be spending time creating our final copies of our Bio poems and Best Part of Me paragraphs .We will also be learning how to write in our journal during “Work on Writing” time.


This week our focus will be on rounding.  We will be working on rounding three and four digit numbers to the nearest ten and nearest hundred.  We will be using the phrase,” 4 or less, let it rest” and “5 or more, let it score” to identify whether to round up or to round down.  The children will have the opportunity to practice rounding through “Rounding Scoot” and “Cupcake Walk” activities. Fact fluency practice continues with Rocket Math practice.


We will be continue to talk about the scientific method and review the tools that scientist use.  We will also begin thinking about ROCKS!


Looking forward to seeing you Thursday evening.  Have a wonderful week!

Weekly Newsletter

Language Arts

This week we will continue to check for understanding three different ways while reading a book. We will also practice picking out what a “Good Fit” book looks like. Our spelling pattern is short vowels a and i. These words will come home today along with a letter and spelling homework. Our grammar skills will be sentences and fragments along with identifying the difference between the two. The class will hear the song Mr. Morton (School House Rocks) to identify what a good sentence has in it. We will also do a Scoot activity involving movement and identifying if something is a sentence or fragment. While reading stories this wee our main focus will be setting, plot, character/thoughts, context clues, and synonyms.


We begin our unit on place value this week. Throughout this unit, students will learn:

  •  How to use a place-value chart up to 1,000.
  • How to use place value to write different forms of numbers. (standard, expanded, word)
  • How to use place value to compare and order numbers. (>, <, =)
  • How to use place value to round numbers. (After giving a pretest I see that this is something that many do not know how to do so there will be a large emphasis here.)
  • How to use place value and the four-step plan to solve problems.



Scientific Method will be a great introduction to our year! We will conduct a few experiments this week to kick off the year. Next week we begin rocks and minerals!

Social Studies

Map Skills will be the focus as we dive into social studies in third grade.  By the end of the map skills unit, students will be able to:

  • identify the continents and oceans
  • identify the parts of a map
  • label and apply a compass rose on a map
  • use an alphanumeric grid
  • develop and use a map key and symbols
  • use relative and absolute location, and finally create their own map.

Students will keep notes and classwork in a shared science and social studies journal.  This will come home prior to assessments for study purposesJ​

Weekly Newsletter


Last week we began a program called Rocket Math.  What is Rocket Math?

Rocket Math is a ten-minutes-a-day,  supplemental, math facts practice curriculum. It is a uniquely structured curriculum for the sequential practice and mastery of math facts.

  • Students learn 2 facts and their reverses on each worksheet in a carefully controlled sequence which enables mastery at an individualized pace.
  • Students practice orally with a partner every day.
  • One minute timings assess when students are ready to move to the next set of facts.
  • Students will start with addition and move their way up to division.
  • Ask your child to share with you how it all works!

This week we will also work on Math about Me! We will see how math is related to everything about us. Next week we will begin our first unit with place value.


We are on day 3 of the Daily 5. Students have learned about three ways to read a book: Read the pictures, read the words, and retell the story. We have practiced this in class. The class also learned a strategy called Cross Checking. Cross checking means I need to try reading the word and then ask myself three questions: 1.  Does what I just read look right (take arm and cross over body)  2.  Does is sound right?( Take other hand and cross over body). 3.  Does it make sense? (If so, both arms drop down to our sides).

Strategies we will learn this week will be how to comprehend what we are reading with checking and backing up and rereading what we just read. We continue to build our stamina while reading to self in class! I will also teach the class this week we why pick certain books and how to pick a “Just Right” book for them. Ask them later on this week to share with you The 5 Finger Rule!

The class will also take a short diagnostic reading test for me to see where they are at in third grade. Last week we took a writing one.

Look for passwords to come home soon for our reading and math program where you can access the book and activities all online from home.

Science/Social Studies

This year I will be teaching science and Mrs. Niedermeyer will teach social studies.

Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!

Elena Kariotakis Kucharski

My name is Elena Kucharski and this is my 22nd year teaching in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Baldwin Wallace College.  My Master’s Degree is from Marygrove College.   My second Master’s Degree is from Graceland University in Quality Schools.  I enjoy taking classes which focus on technology integration in the classroom. I am also a lifelong learner! I just completed coursework on the Daily 5 and have explained it below!  I have been married for 24 years to my amazing husband Don. Don is a medical coder and a content developer for high school electives for an online school! We have two beautiful daughters named Alexis and Melina. Alexis is 19 and we just moved her into her apartment at Baldwin Wallace where she will be in her second year of college!  Melina, who is 13, is at  BBHMS in 8th grade and twirls for our BEES. I hope you enjoy my blog this year!

A Blog is a type of online diary that people can write journal entries and post them online. These entries may contain pictures, or file attachments, or links to other things online. Each week I will post a newsletter that will let you know what we are doing in class. This will keep you updated with weekly curriculum, homework, and any other events happening in our classroom. On the left side of this blog you will notice the section on categories. This is where you will find links to spelling tests, special websites, listen to the reading stories on line, and many other important links to our curriculum.

Language Arts

The Daily 5
This year your child will be working on the Daily 5 during their language arts block.  The Daily 5 is a philosophy, not a curriculum, where the children develop work skill independence through a gradual release model that provides systematic practice and modeling to achieve a desired behavior.  Once the level of independence is achieved, students will be engaged in meaningful reading and writing practice that reflects the Common Core State Standards that we use along with students’ needs to drive our instruction.

The Daily 5 consists of 5 areas of practice, Read to SelfWork on WritingWord WorkListen to Reading and Read to Someone.  Each area has expectations and goals attached effectively meeting the needs of that round during the Daily 5.

Once the Daily 5 is up and running smoothly, students will receive explicit, whole group instruction and then they are given time to independently practice the focus of the daily lesson.  During this time, we will be able to provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students that will specifically meet each student’s needs.
Because of the specific components of the Daily 5, we will be spending the first few weeks of school incorporating practice of the expectations that go along with each component. Students will be building their stamina, or working on reading and writing for an extended period of time.  We will also spend time assessing students to gain information about their strengths and needs as a reader.
The Daily 5 will be a different way to structure a literacy block and you may notice that there will be a change in the amount of worksheets that your children will be bringing home this year.  Worksheets do keep your child busy, but they do not necessarily result in the high level of learning that we want for your child.  Instead, your child will be taught how to pick out “Good Fit Books” at their level, and providing motivation and encouragement to write about topics that interest them.  As a result, they will spend time practicing reading and writing.  We anticipate that their excitement and the love of learning will develop as they read and write.
As a parent, the best way to support this new endeavor for your child is to encourage them to pick out “Good Fit Books” at the library.  Help them by sitting down and reading nightly.  At the end of each page, ask them to retell what happened.  Be sure they can answer questions as to who the story is about, when and where it is taking place, what is happening and why.  Children can useFirst, Next, Then and Finally to sequence their response.  Encourage children to ask questions that they hope to have answered by the end of the chapter and have them make connections.  Have children think about how the book reminds them of an experience they had, or how it is like another book they read!
Thank you for your support and for giving me this opportunity to foster the love of reading and writing in your child and helping to develop a love of life long learning!
We are using the My Math program this year. A letter will come home soon on what we are working on each unit. Along with My Math students will work on math fluency every day with the Rocket Math program. We will also work in math learning centers titled MYMATH.
Our science book is from Pearson this year. It is a consumable book that the students are allowed to write in. We will begin our unit on inquiry and rocks and minerals! Stay tuned to detailed information on what we will be learning!


Weekly Newsletter

Reading/Language Arts

This week we will read a story titled Kaffa’s Discovery. Each week students will read a short literature or informational text.  We will first read it together to understand what the author has to say and take notes on words we don’t know or ideas or plot points that are not clear. From here we will discuss the purpose and genre of the selection using these literature elements to analyze the text. Students will learn that this year they will encounter complex texts that will require them to read carefully and think deeply. They will need to read paragraph by paragraph, determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, and connect and make inferences about information and ideas as they go.

We will take a spelling pretest on Mondays and students will have a specific list for Friday based on how they do on Monday’s pretest.

Our grammar focus this week will be on sentence structure and identifying a complete and incomplete sentence.

We began writing about the best part of me last week and will type this paragraph this week on our laptops!


We start our first unit of the year on Place Value. In this unit students will use place value understanding to round whole numbers to the nearest 10 or 100. They will also add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.  When we get into multiplication we will get into the next standard of multiplying one digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10-90(e.g. 9 x 80, 5 x 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations. In small groups many students will take all of these concepts to the next level when ready.

Science/Social Studies

The class will attend science with me and social studies with Mrs. Niedermeyer. They will have two days of science and two days of social studies a week with a rotating Friday. We will begin science this week by discussing what a scientist is and does.  With social studies, maps will be the focus.