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.

Math

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.

 

Science

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

Math

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.

Reading

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!
Math
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.
Science
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!

Math

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.

Weekly Newsletter

Reading/Language Arts

This week we begin to use strategies that help children connect to comprehending what they are reading. Our first concept is on metacognition. This is when students are noticing and naming their thinking. In class, students will be aware of how they think about their own thinking. We will do this through modeling as a class and with one another. Spending time noticing, naming and exploring metacognition will allow students to engage in richer conversations. Ask your child to share with you what the Reading Salad is all about. Another strategy we will work on this week is cross checking. Cross checking means students try reading the word and then ask themselves these three questions:

  1. Does what I just read look right? (Take one arm and cross it over our body so our hand is on the opposite shoulder)
  2. Does it sound right? (We take the other hand and cross it over our body to the opposite shoulder so that we have a cross in front of us)
  3. Does it make sense? (Both arms drop down to our sides)

Last week the students learned two of the three ways to read a book. One way is look at the pictures and the other way is to read the text. The third way is retell the story.

Or writing focus this week will be on sentence structure. Students will identify if it is a sentence or a fragment.

Math

What does a Mathematician do? Our class will brainstorm characteristics of mathematicians and create our own. Graphing will also be introduced this week with bar, line, circle, picture, and tally graphs. We end the week with a Skittles activity on graphing!

Science/Social Studies

This year I will be teaching science to my homeroom and Mrs. Niedermeyer’s homeroom. She will be teaching social studies to your children this year.