Happy Summer!Posted by Tamra Hauge on 6/21/2019 12:00:00 PM
Thank you for partnering with me and your child during their third-grade year. It has truly been my pleasure and I am so very proud of how they've grown academically and social-emotionally this year. I am so grateful for having had your support and for the generosity you have shown to me with the kind words and incredible gifts during these final days. As you probably are aware, I am going to be taking on a slightly different role in the fall as the new Wilkes librarian! While trying to fill Mrs. Ukich's shoes is daunting, cracking the mystery to hook nonreaders and keeping those who can't satiate themselves enough with wonderful books is one of my greatest joys in teaching, so I am really looking forward to this next chapter in my life! I am also thrilled to continue working with your child next year in the library! In the meantime, thank you for "being the good" in my life and many happy trails to you and yours this summer!
HomestretchPosted by Tamra Hauge on 6/19/2019 2:00:00 PM
This week's Portfolio Share and State Hat Parade and Tourism Fair was a wonderful way to bring closure to a fantastic year together! While a report card will be online for you to view on Friday, there is no mark for assessing the level of creativity, compassion, resilience, joy, and wonder that each and every child demonstrated during our 180 days together. Even the portfolios represent only a fraction of what your student accomplished this year, and merely highlighted only part of our journey compiled of many successes along the way, but as the famous quote by Arther Ashe reminds us, "success is a journey, and not a destination." Please click on the following links to enjoy a slideshow of our end of the year culminating celebrations!
Moving Through MayPosted by Tamra Hauge on 5/30/2019
It's hard to believe that we are really in the homestretch! Here's what we've been up to since my last blog update!
Mark Your Calendars: Students in room 241 and Room 244 will be having a Portfolio Share on June 18th from 12:15 - 12:45 p.m. This will be immediately before the State Hat Parade and Tourism Fair. During this time, your child will be sharing some of the incredible work they've done this year in reading, writing, math, science and social studies! I hope you can make it!
Reading Workshop: Students have started their first book club and are preparing for their first book club meeting with their peers this week! I absolutely LOVE book club days and hearing students reflect and share in a discussion with their group on their assigned reading. I particularly enjoy observing how the groups learn to essentially lead their own discussions and how these conversations evolve from the guided questions they are required to prep prior to their book club meeting. They have so many incredible insights and perspectives and I am looking forward to hearing their conversations!
Writing Workshop: Students recently wrapped up their first persuasive writing piece and have moved onto their second and final source based opinion writing piece. Third graders are exploring whether or not schools should mandate physical education during the school day, and this prompt has elicited some great discussions and an appreciation toward both sides of this complex issue.
In addition, we recently had a guest poet, Vicky Edmonds, share her craft through a poetry residency entitled "Invisible Beauties." She worked with each homeroom class for 90 minutes, teaching basic poetic tools of simile, imagery, and personification while "exploring areas of ourselves to find our deepest truths." Students wrote poems about these "invisible beauties; qualities of ourselves that shine so brightly inside that they can help us find our way through the world," as well as "Appreciation Poems to those who bring light into their lives." I am looking forward to your student sharing some of their incredible poems with you during our Portfolio Share.
Science: Students have been really excited about our current science unit, Wings at Work. Thus far, students have been exploring the essential question of how flowers on an apple tree and bees work together to make apples. During our science investigations, students have dissected a flower, learned the various names of and the function of each part of a flower, and explored how these parts function to make seeds that make new plants. Throughout all of this, we learned about and observed the life cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly. Recently we released our butterflies with Room 241s preschool buddies. Click the link below to see a slideshow of our butterfly release!
Speaking of Science, be sure to check out the slideshow of Room 241/244 Science and Engineering Fair projects. We certainly have some budding scientists!
Springing into Spring!Posted by Tamra Hauge on 4/19/2019
Welcome back from Spring Break! I hope that you enjoyed spending some extra time with your kiddos--I know that I did with my own. It's hard to believe that it is this time of year again! Spring always seems to go so quickly and in heading back from the break there is a certain degree of stress in thinking about what lies ahead in the short time remaining. It's a good time for me to increase practicing the core breathing that our students do several times a week!
Reading Workshop: In the very near future, students will be participating in small book clubs with their peers. Currently, we are sharing the book, Tales from the Bully Box, to work through the questions in isolation that they will be expected to prepare prior to their assigned book club day. During class time, students will be reading out of their book club book and preparing for the book club discussion, but they may choose to also bring this book home with them and wrap up any book club prep as homework if need be.
Writing Workshop: Students have been working on informational writing pieces. Research has been collected from books and online sources, and students have transferred the important information onto a Tree Diagram to help organize their information. Mini-lessons have focused on the structure and framework of an informational essay, including introductions that hook the reader, a thesis statement or main idea, topic sentences to introduce subtopics, examples and evidence to support subtopics, and conclusions that restate main ideas. Additionally, students were taught to cite their evidence from their source(s) and use transition words among and between paragraphs to introduce and connect ideas and add sophistication to their writing. I will be sending the final essays home in the next few weeks for you to see where your child is at in their writing skills and give you an opportunity to look at their writing against a grade level rubric of the standards.
Science: Our unit on Weather and Climate has concluded and I look forward to sharing your child's culminating model that answers our essential question of "How and Why Did the Salmon Cross the Road" at next week's Open House. We are moving full steam ahead into our next science unit, Living Things and Wings at Work. So far, we've explored how whale bones were discovered in a desert, observed fossils, discussed how we know what dinosaurs looked like, and most recently, dissected owl pellets! I have a slideshow highlighting this investigation on my homepage, or you can use the following link to be directed to the pictures.
Thank you to all the volunteers who rallied to help chaperone our recent field trip to the Kitsap Water Festival! Both homerooms started off with a performance entitled "Magic of Our Water, A Touch of Magic" and were left wondering mesmerized over what they saw. From there we went to learn about Fish Printing, or Gyutoku, a Japanese art that began as a way for commercial fisherman to record their catches. Then students broke into different groups to explore the exhibits and attend two different classroom presentations. Click on the following link to see some of the pictures I captured!
Hopefully, you've heard by now that the Wilkes Science and Engineering Fair is quickly approaching! This is an opportunity for ALL students to ask their scientific questions, share their observations and showcase their curiosities! ALL students are HIGHLY encouraged to participate in some capacity in this year's science fair!!! Specific information can be found on the Wilkes homepage in regards to submitting a project. Breathe--this is meant to be a student-led project:)
Looking forward to seeing you at Open House!
Happy New YearPosted by Tamra Hauge on 1/18/2019
Do you have a family member or friend that you always have good intentions of calling, but then you worry that you just don't have enough time to have the full conversation that you know you will get into? Making room for updating this blog is somewhat like that for me! I have SOOOO many things that I always want to share that it becomes a bit overwhelming to even begin, and well, there are often a lot of other "to dos" that are a bit more pressing. With that being said, you can always email me with your questions, concerns, or celebrations! In the meantime, I will do my best to keep you in the loop with this blog as often as I am able. Enjoy!
Literacy: In reading workshop, the highlight of our week for me is Friday's LIJ (Literacy Interactive Journal). During this time students are introduced to a Common Core State Standard (CCSS) in reading or writing and the following week we construct and hone our understanding with daily mini-lessons and activities focusing on that skill. So far, students in the 3rd grade have been focusing on making inferences using background knowledge and evidence from the text, asking and answering questions using evidence explicitly from the text, comparing and contrasting simple story structure between texts, understanding character traits and characterization in writing, first and third person point of view, and summarizing. Here are some examples of the beautiful work they are doing in their LIJs! You will notice that each week it follows the same format, similar to the student's IJ in math; the CCSS and a guided activity on one side of the page, and the learning target (student rewritten CCSS in kid-friendly language,) what I know (that is written prior to diving into it all,) what I learned (after the week is over,) and the reflection--this is the fun part where students' creativity soar. They can, but are not limited to, writing a poem, a cartoon/comic, crossword puzzle, a mini book, a foldable, a song, illustration, etc. The final piece is where the students check in with me with a green (I got it,) yellow (I kind of understand, but I need you to check in with me,) or a red (I'm completely confused still) dot at the top of their pages.
Writing Workshop: Students have completed their Fractured Fairytale Narrative writing unit. Upon hearing three different fractured versions of The Three Little Pigs, students discovered three ways in which authors fracture a fairytale; by changing the characters, changing the setting, and/or changing the point of view or perspective from which the story is told. Students then went through the writing process as they planned, revised, edited and published their own fractured fairytale piece. I am looking forward to sharing these with you at conferences.
Currently, in writing workshop, students are continuing to plug along in their narrative writing unit. After several weeks of learning how to come up with story ideas, students are beginning to draft these stories that focus on the people, places and things in their lives. Mini-lessons have supported students in understanding a storytellers voice versus a reporters voice. We've closely examined the work of several published authors who demonstrate strong storytelling voices through dialog with more than one character, showing, not telling by using the five senses to provide a rich description and details, and telling the story bit by bit rather than an "all about." We will have a student writing celebration and share both narrative writing pieces once this unit comes to an end.
Vocabulary: There are a few vocabulary systems occurring inside the classroom. Here are the prefixes we've been studying thus far;
Science: I've never been so excited to have rain so that students can collect weather data! Our rain gauge was looking rather dry last week during those sunny days we all enjoyed, but alas, the rain has returned! Students are studying Weather and Climate, and our focus question that has driven our initial thoughts so far revolve around the real-world phenomena of how and why did the salmon cross the road? As we come closer to finding out the answer to those questions, students have become meteorologists as they gather data on temperature, wind speed using an anemometer, collect precipitation in a rain gauge, and record anecdotally what it looks like outside. Additionally, we are using several weather websites to understand the information that they provide and support our own data collection.
Social Emotional Learning: One of my favorite times of the week, if not day, and something I am immensely proud of this year, is our continued commitment to the mindful minute. We often begin our science time with a mindful minute and I am so amazed at these students each and every time. Most recently, one student questioned if we could start doing TWO mindful minutes and the group erupted into excitement over the very thought of it! For now, we are keeping it at a minute, but I encouraged them and reminded them that the beauty of this practice is that it can go anywhere you want. I am delighted to hear that many students are doing this at home and have even taught some of you the strategies we've explored in class and even made up on our own!
Another piece to our continued growth social-emotionally is recognizing and being "the good." Students are writing gratitude cards whenever they see the good around them and I read each and every one of them to both classes before it gets put up in celebration of all the good around us.
Field Trip: Our first field trip of the year was a huge hit with students and teachers alike! There was barely a seat being sat in with all the dancing that was happening on stage!
I am looking forward to sharing more with you at conferences!
Halloween extravaganzaPosted by Tamra Hauge on 11/6/2018
Thank you to all the families who helped plan, organize and pull off a fun-filled Halloween party for our kiddos in both homerooms. Both classrooms had a few different activities happening simultaneously (cookie decorating and spooky stories) or in rotations (Halloween BINGO, candy estimating, and "disgusting" pumpkin sensory station and students swapped rooms halfway through. The grand finale, as it always is, was the school-wide Halloween parade. Click on the following link to see some pictures highlighting these events!
Getting into the Swing of ThingsPosted by Tamra Hauge on 10/18/2018Here are a few things I touched upon during Back to School Night, as well as a glimpse into what we've been up to in Room 241! From this day forward, the majority of classroom communication will be posted right here. Each time I update our classroom blog, I will send you an email with the link to see what's new in Room 241. Enjoy!Literacy: As I mentioned during Back to School night, I use what is referred to as "Daily 5" as a framework for fostering literacy independence during our block of time together. The Daily 5 is designed to teach children to build their stamina and independence in five different tasks so that they can engage in meaningful and authentic reading and writing activities for an extended time. The highlight of this model for me is that it is steeped in student choice, which increases motivation and intellectual engagement. While the students are engaged in one of the Daily 5 reading and writing tasks, I am able to work with children in small groups or individually based on their needs as a result of assessment, and/or help facilitate book club discussions in the future.Thus far, during our literacy block, students have been introduced to four of the five Daily 5 stations; Read to Self, Work on Writing, Word Work and Read to Someone. Students have collaborated with me in creating 'I-charts' (I=independence-yay!) that lay out the expectations for that particular Daily 5 component. Prior to introducing these stations, students revisited how to pick those "good fit" books and the importance in being intentional about the books that are being selected. Students should be reading books that follow our I-PICK acronym; books that fit our Purpose, Interest, we can Comprehend, and Know most of the words.During Back to School Night, I shared a slide about why those 20 minutes of reading a night are so critical for reading and language development. Which, when you think about it, also has huge implications in the area of math, science, and writing since if they can't read it, they often can't perform well in those areas as well. Here's a recap of those startling statistics in another format that shows how a lack of reading every night can affect vocabulary acquisition:Isn't it astonishing what those 20 minutes a day can accumulate to in the course of a year?!?! Worth every second if you ask me!!Writing Workshop: The number one anxiety that I have heard students express when it comes to writing is coming up with ideas, so not long ago we used the pictures that students brought in to support them in this endeavor. Students finished their Writing journal collages with pictures that "may be worth a thousand words" at a later time, particularly when they begin writing their personal narratives. In addition, we are incorporating some "quick writes" into our weekly literacy block. During these times, I may show students a thought-provoking photograph, and/or present them with a writing prompt, and encouraged them to write as much as they can in a specific timeframe. The goal in these situations is to just keep their pencil to their paper and work on writing fluency and stamina. Students then count the number of words they wrote in five minutes and graph this number. Over time, we will watch these graphs grow!We recently completed our first writing project that embedded several lessons seeking to foster social-emotional learning and character building. Conversations and activities that establish how we want our classroom to be and celebrate why each student matters are so important to pause and make time for and I love building our classroom climate and culture from these moments. For this first project, students spent some time discussing the adjectives on a bulletin board in the room entitled Be Yourself. We defined some of the lesser known words (humble, ambitious, open, mindful) and then student chose one that "spoke to them" or they felt represented who they were and/or wanted to be. Students wrote about why they chose the word they chose and then we looked at words that were not on the bulletin board. Ultimately, students were asked to settle on one word that they identified with personally. Students were then introduced to two websites to search inspirational quotes that embodied the word that they had chosen, and again, spoke to them on a personal level. After finding their quote, we discussed mantra and mottos through an "I will statement" that reflected the word that was important to them. Students then wrote their own "I Will" statement to serve as a mantra for the year and show others how meaningful words can be put into action. Using Google Slides, students put all of this together onto a template with their photos. I am in absolute love with how it turned out and hope you can take a few minutes in the coming weeks and/or at conference time to enjoy them as well!Students have most recently been working on their first narrative writing unit, fractured fairytales. We've been enjoying numerous original fairytales, as well as several fractured fairytales over the last few weeks. Following each fractured fairytale, we've discussed and charted exactly how the author fractured the particular version focusing on either setting, characters or point of view. Students have begun experimenting with each and just this week began planning out their own fractured fairytale using a thinking map called a Flow Map. The Flow Maps helps the students plan their story sequentially and set-by-step from beginning to the middle, to the end of their story, based on the original version that they are fracturing. The students will take these stories through the entire writing process; planning, drafting, editing and revising, and publishing!Science: As I mentioned at Back to School Night, students are spending a few weeks during their science block focusing on mindfulness as a way to build community, learn about ourselves and our brain, and as a way to set the tone for how we think and respond as we move forward. Students in both classes have spent time discussing what being mindless and being mindful looks, sounds and feels like. We've explored picture books where characters go from being mindless to mindful, discussed the turning point(s) and what we could take away as our own learning. We've watched videos celebrating enormous individual achievements despite obstacles and doubters, and most recently discussed what being a champion really meant in light of disappointment and defeat. We simulated neural connections in the brain and discovered our "new, not yet, and strong neural pathways" that are among the billion in our head, and gave special emphasis to the power of the word YET in reframing life's challenges.Cursive: Students in third grade have clearly enjoyed the first few cursive writing sessions. We've compared the printed and cursive alphabets and discussed their similarities and differences. Through this exercise, I think many of the students realized that they actually could read cursive since many of the letters really do look the same. We discussed how cursive letters flow, and how one's hand doesn't come off the paper as it does in many printed letters. So far, students have practiced the "magic c" letters--c, and a.Whew! That's it for now! Hope the morning wake-ups are getting easier! I'm right there with you:)Tamra Hauge