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School Night!

With Mrs. Hill


Our Fabulous 3rd Graders!
































Our Daily Class Schedule

Arrival 7:55am

Pack Up 2:05pm – 2:15pm

Dismissal 2:15pm

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that learning needs to come from many different angles. These angles include: the teacher, peers, and the world. Our students should not only get their knowledge from me. They need to learn from the students around them through discussion, hands on learning, and open communication. By observing through peers students feel more comfortable asking questions as well as failing and succeeding in the classroom.

Bringing in technology is a huge aspect of how children learn. They are able to research ideas for projects, get their questions answered through multiple sources, as well as explore new worlds that aren’t possible in a textbook classroom society. These ideas are then brought into the classroom through discussion and presentation so others can learn as well.

I feel I should not be the sole source of knowledge for my students. The world is constantly changing and we need to adapt our learning and teaching to this idea. Kids need more than one way to interpret education. By allowing these outlets, I think, kids will be able to set higher educational goals that are achievable.


Homework Policy

Homework is given in order to reinforce and support any concepts or ideas taught during the school day. It is given as an extra tool to help students succeed and further reach their academic goals. Homework will be graded in order for me to monitor student’s comprehension of new skills. Assigned homework will be given every Friday in their homework folders. It is expected to be returned by the following Thursday and consists of the following:

*Reading 4 days a week for 20 mins and recorded on their reading log

*Math 3 days a week for 10 mins and recorded on their math log

o   Some ideas are, but are not limited to:

§  Flashcards

§  Yahtzee

§  Cribbage

§  IXL

·        Other various assignments throughout the year

Students are informed of the required homework every Friday when we go over what is in their homework folder. If your child does not turn in their homework assignment by the following Thursday they will be going to study hall for Fun Friday. This is a grade level decision that your students are fully aware of!

Every month there will be a monthly bingo sheet that includes various extension activities that can be completed at home and turned in at the end of the month. Each month a new sheet will be placed in their homework folders. At the start of each new math unit there will be an optional math packet that will come home. These worksheets match skills that your child is learning in 3rd grade and build upon skills they learned in previous years. These packets are due at the end of each math unit and communication about these due dates will be sent home a week prior to that due date.

If there is some emergency or unusual circumstance I am happy to be flexible when there is open communication!


Fun Friday

          We will celebrate Fun Friday every Friday with the entire third grade. We’ll have different activities such as video, games/art, and the chill zone (aka study hall). Those students who have completed all of their homework and weekly school work, will get to attend Fun Friday. The students who need to finish work, or didn’t turn in homework, will attend the chill zone where they have an opportunity to catch up. Work is allowed to come home and be finished in order to attend Fun Friday.

Friday Folders:

            These will be sent home every Friday and are expected to be returned the following Thursday. In these folders are important papers that parents need to look at and often times return with a signature. There will also be student work that can be kept at home.


Teacher Communication

            I believe that communication is a HUGE factor in the success of your child’s education. If there is anything that you feel I should know I would love to hear about it no matter how big or small the subject matter is. My email is - ahill@sherwood.k12.or.us. Email is the best way to communicate with me as I often have meetings after school or am busy during school hours. Again, thank you for trusting me with your child and I am looking forward to an amazing school year!

Literacy Program:

            One of the literacy programs we will be using is called Daily Five. Daily 5 teaches independence and gives children the skills needed to succeed in reading and writing. There will be five tasks that will all be introduced individually and at a time where we feel our student’s are ready for the next task. When these tasks are introduced as a class we talk about what the classroom should look like, sound like, and feel like in order for every child to be successful. We model good and bad behavior so they also have a visual interpretation of how the classroom environment should be during this time. Every day we will build our stamina until we reach 45 minutes and they are successful at being independent while working on their designated task.

            Once students have built up the stamina to be completely independent this allows us to move around the room and help students individually, conference, pull strategy groups, and complete assessments.

            The five tasks include:

1.     Read to Self

2.     Work on Writing

3.     Listen to Reading

4.     Word Work

5.     Read to Someone


Each student will be given independent power goals that help support areas of struggle in their reading. We stress reading good fit books where they can read the book on their own while still being able to focus on their power goal. When reading with an adult it is more than acceptable to be reading a book at a higher reading level because we are able to stop and check for understanding.

Third Grade District and State Testing

Third grade is the first year of State Testing (also known as “Smarter Balanced Assessments or SBAC). Your child will be taking multiple choice and short answer tests in reading comprehension and math as well as doing “performance tasks” (real life scenarios involving reading and math). We will be taking the State tests on the computer.  We will be testing (tentatively) in April or May.

Third graders also have district benchmark requirements.  They will be assessed several times a year in reading (words per minute, oral comprehension, fluency and accuracy), writing and speaking.

An easier way to understand State Benchmarks and Testing would be:

State Assessments (Smarter Balanced) taken on the computer:

·         Multiple Choice/Short Answer Reading Comprehension

·         Reading Performance Task

·         Multiple Choice/Short Answer Math

·         Math Performance Task

District or School-wide assessments given throughout the year in the classroom:

·         Reading (assessing words per minute, oral comprehension, fluency and accuracy)

·         Writing (assessing purpose, evidence and conventions and research/note taking)

The students will be well prepared for all the assessments.  Throughout the year we will take several “practice” tests to learn test taking skills and to be prepared for the “real thing.”  We will let you know ahead of time when the testing is scheduled so you can make sure your child has a good night’s sleep and eats well during the testing.  We make a point of not making testing a “big deal” to the kids, as stress will not help them on the tests. Most importantly, test results are used as a tool for the teachers.  They show us where the gaps are in your child’s learning so we can work with them to fill those gaps.  These tests do not, by any means, determine if your child is moving up in school.  We use it as one more piece of information.  We realize there is a lot of emphasis on “test scores” in the media, but our education in the classroom does not focus on test scores – rather lifelong skills and learning.  Testing has been “built in” quite nicely into our curriculum and shouldn’t faze your children at all! Thanks for your support on this! 


Reading Tips

·         Read...a lot! 

·         After reading have them write about what they read.  This is good for comprehension as well as writing.  Have them include characters, setting, main idea, beginning, middle and end.  Remind them to write in complete sentences!  Another good thing would be to just tell you these things orally.

·         To work on fluency, practice smooth reading, not fast reading.  Record them so they can hear how they sound. 

·         Also to work on fluency, you can read a page, then have them read the same page back to you.

·         Ask them questions!!

·         For expression, work on reading with punctuation!

·         If needed, have them track with a pencil or with paper (to cover up the parts they haven’t read—that may help them from getting overwhelmed, or it may keep them focused on the words).

·         Give them a purpose for reading to help with comprehension (ie:  "How do you think....?"  "Read to find out why...?"). 

·         Talk about the words they don’t know the meaning of as they’re reading.

·         Remind them to read for accuracy (the words as they are written), expression and fluency.

Remind them of our reading strategies:

·         Predict (what is going to happen)

·         Monitor and Clarify (go back and reread if you’re not clear)

·         Question (ask questions as you go)

·         Evaluate (decide how you feel about the story)

·         Summarize (retell the story including main characters, settings, beginning, middle and end as well as problem and solution)

·         Main Idea or Moral (what was it mostly about or what was the lesson you learned)

·         Compare and Contrast (how are the characters, setting, plot or theme the same or different from others)

Find books they will enjoy reading!  Books about topics they’re interested in!  Maybe a series that will keep their attention.