Monday, February 28, 2022

Blog: February/March

 Dear Families,

I am looking forward to meeting with you at our Spring Conferences during the week of March 7-11. I know those 15 minutes go so quickly. I will be sharing notes from this conference form with you during that time:

                                                                            March 2022   Parent-Teacher Conference

Key:  Plain/No Highlight = Meets Grade-Level Expectations        Yellow = Next Steps


 Beginning-of-Year Reading Level: _____             Current Reading Level: _____                   


*The expected Third Grade reading level at the end of December = Level 34 and end of May = Level 38


Reading

Writing

Reading Behaviors

  • Selects a variety of “just-right” texts at their independent reading level

  • Sustains independent reading for an extended period of time (approximately 30 minutes)

  • Shows expression (reflects mood & pace)

  • Reads with fluency & accuracy (reads smoothly at grade-level expectations with precision)

Narrative Reading Skills

  • Makes predictions with text evidence

  • Uses story elements to summarize a story

Writing about Reading

  • Writes thoughtful, accurate responses using text evidence to answer questions

Informational/Opinion

  • Strong lead that catches the reader’s attention

  • Organizes

    • Uses transition words

    • Separates writing into paragraphs

    • Includes a concluding paragraph

  • Elaborates

    • Stops and explains each detail/reason with evidence

  • Uses conventions 

    • Spelling

    • Punctuation

    • Capitalization


Math

Behavior

Addition & Subtraction

  • Rounds numbers up to 1,000 using knowledge of place value to read, write, and sequence

  • Solves addition problems & subtraction within a 1,000 by using a variety of strategies


Area & Perimeter

  • Finds the area of regular and irregular shapes

  • Finds the perimeter of polygons including shapes with missing sides


Problem Solving

  • Solves one-step problems using any of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)

  • Solves two-step problems using the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)


Multiplication Fact Fluency 



  • Listens and follows directions

  • Completes work in a timely manner

  • Works independently

  • Resolves conflict appropriately /Owns actions

  • Builds stamina for learning

  • Shows respect

  • Collaborates in a group setting

  • Participates in class discussions

  • Consistently does their best

  • Consistently completes homework

  • Perseveres through challenges

Comments:



Please let me know if there is anything, specifically, that you would like to focus on when we meet, before our conference date. I will accommodate any needs or concerns you have, and I want this time to be valuable to you. If you are unable to attend conferences next week, I will send this information home to you with your student. 

Here's a peek at what we are learning about and practicing this week and next in class! 
Writing: After reviewing topics, leads, transition words, supporting details, and conclusions with student-written examples, your child will craft a final-assessment opinion piece. 

Reading: We are focusing on the tool of the acronym R.A.C.E. to answer questions about texts with thoroughness. Here is what those letters specifically mean:

R: Restate the question. 

A: Answer the question.

C: Cite evidence.

E: Explain evidence. 

For example, if students were reading the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas :),  a possible question would be: 
Why did the Grinch change his mind about Christmas?
Your child could use the R.A.C.E. method and answer this way:

The Grinch changed his mind about Christmas because he saw the way the Whos celebrated Christmas, even when they didn't have presents. When the Grinch saw the Whos standing in a circle and singing, he realized that the day meant more than just getting gifts. They were just glad to be together. 
 
Students continue to read and respond with their own texts in our unit on Character Study. 

Math: We are finishing our unit on addition/subtraction and will begun a unit on fractions. Students will learn that fractions are equal parts of a whole, numerator, denominator, and learn how to order fractions from greatest to least. At home, you might support your student by using measuring cups to teach this concept! It is counter-intuitive to think that 1/3rd cup would be greater than a 1/8th cup. But the learning is that it would take only 3, 1/3 cups to make a whole (3/3) , while it would take 8, 1/8 cups to make a whole (8/8). 

Science: It is such a joy to talk with kids  and see their excitement for our evolving ladybugs! We also have plants that have started to grow and blossom. We will continue with the plant life cycle and then move into the animal life cycle this week and next. 

CMAS testing: 
Please keep in mind that our state testing begins with reading and writing during the week of March 29.
Math testing will take place the week of April 5. Look for more information to come on those special weeks.

Respectfully,
Kathryn Kramer

Friday, January 7, 2022

January Blog

 Month:  January 2022


Word Work:  Home Support Letter



Writing:

Students finished up their informational writing.  We concluded our unit with a Google Slides gallery walk.  Students did a great job.  You may view your child's presentation by having your child login to Clever, go to Classroom, and then go to Kramer's Digital Backpack. 

We just started our unit on persuasive speeches.  Students will select a topic and write a persuasive speech in order to make changes in the world, community, school, or neighborhood.  












Reading:

This week, we started our Mystery unit. Students have been learning about what a mystery is and the vocabulary that they will use with our class read aloud (The Absent Author) as well as in their own self-selected mystery.  They will be learning different reading strategies in order to solve the mystery before the crime solver.  Strategies and skills will be modeled using mentor texts and teacher modeling/demonstrations.  Students will have time to practice with their own mysteries.  Students will also be asked to use evidence from the text to support their thinking using "Thinking Stems." This will help students elaborate in order to prove clues, suspects, as well as other mystery elements.

              





















Math:  

We are currently in Topic 7 (Represents and Interprets Data:  reads, makes, compares pictographs and bar graphs and solve problems using information in graphs.   After Topic 7, we will go into Topic 8 (Use Strategies and Properties to Add and Subtract).  Your child should be bringing home weekly homework.  Please make sure your child returns his/her completed homework the following Monday.  In addition, work that is not completed in class (approx. 45 minutes of in class work time given daily) will be given as additional homework.  

Please make sure your child is practicing and knows his/her addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.  Quick recall of the basic facts is important as unit concepts become progressively more difficult and build from single step to multi-step. 

 





Science:  Weather and Climate

We are finishing our unit on the impact of natural hazards with an experiment.  Student groups had to build a prototype that would withstand a flood. They first planned, then made a drawing, and constructed the prototype.  We then poured water (flood) to determine if their prototype would work.  Students discussed possible problems, went back to redesign, construct, and finally test their prototype again. Our next unit will be maps skills, geography, and regions of the United States.

Upcoming Dates: 

January 17th - No School (MLK Day)























Saturday, November 27, 2021

December Blog

 Month:  December

Word Work:  Home Support Letter













Writing:

Students have been working on informational writing.  Kiddos selected a topic they knew a lot about. The goal is for students to teach someone about that topic stopping along the way to explain key information, details, and examples.  They will take the writing they have completed and begin working on a Google Slideshow this week.  All work will be completed in class.









Reading:

Students have been learning different reading strategies in order to read nonfiction well.  This has been modeled using mentor texts, teacher modeling, and then students have time to practice with one of their nonfiction texts.  One strategy is using Boxes and Bullets (big idea/details).  In addition, students construct a summary using this strategy.  Students are also using "Thinking Stems" in order to elaborate and share their thinking.  As students read multiple texts on the same topic, they are practicing synthesis using sticky notes to jot down similarities and difference between the texts.  Our unit test will be the second week of December.



Math:  

We are currently in Topic 6 (Finding Area Using Multiplication and Addition).  This is tricky unit and takes lots of practice.  Your child should be bringing home nightly homework instead of weekly for this unit.  In addition, work that is not completed in class (45 minutes of in class work time given daily) will be given as additional homework.  Please make sure your child returns his/her completed homework the following morning.  Thank you for your help.  Students will have the opportunity to retake their test later this week.


Science:  Weather and Climate

We have concluded our unit on communities and government.  We will begin our unit on Weather and Climate this week.  We will look at the difference between Weather and Climate, as well as understanding the impact of natural hazards. 


Upcoming Dates: 

December 17th-January 3rd - Winter Break ❄







Thursday, September 16, 2021

Mrs. Kramer's Blog

 Word Work – Students are working on and practicing drill sounds of consonants, short vowels, digraphs,  blends, and closed syllables.  Part of our Word Work program involves tapping out the sounds of each letter, learning to write the words with breve', scoops per syllable, and dictation.  Please ask your child to show you what they are learning.  The goal is for your child to transfer the concepts they are learning into their writing and use the skills as they read.  They will have their first unit assessment next week.  Please keep in mind that this is new for the kiddos.

 

Writing – We are wrapping up our narrative writing unit.  Students chose a small moment that they shared with someone who really matters to them (approximately an hour of time).  Students are currently finishing their writing and typing their story in Google Docs. They continue to work on showing instead of telling, sharing bit by bit using descriptive language.  Lessons covered include:  using our checklist to set goals and monitor our writing, writing paragraphs, punctuating our writing with capitals, end marks, commas, quotation marks, transitions that show time is passing, incorporating figurative language, and writing an ending paragraph. Each day I go over the lesson, model for the class, and then students have time to practice what was taught and implement those skills into their writing. These narrative stories are due the end of next week.  All work will be done in class.  The following week, students will take their summative narrative writing assessment.   



Reading – Currently we are wrapping up our first reading unit using our progression.  The progression focuses on key concepts such as character traits, envisioning/predicting, and retelling/summarizing.  In addition, students continue to understand the characters, setting, problem, and solution of their just right text.

 

Math – Students are working through Unit 3 (Apply Properties of Multiplication).  We continue building the foundation of the how and why, providing multiple strategies, and ways to look at multiplying 3's, 4's, 6's, 7's, and 8's. Students are learning and practicing the distributive property of multiplication.  This concept helps students to break numbers apart (working with numbers that are easier to multiply). We will be covering the associative property of multiplication in the near future.


 

Social Studies:  Students Then and Now projects look great.  They will be presenting their projects in small groups.  


Science:  Our next unit of study is science.  This unit covers electric and magnetic forces.


Upcoming Dates:

Sept. 24th-No School

Oct. 1st-Digger Dash (11:00-11:30)

Oct. 5th and 7th - Conferences 

Oct. 18th-22nd - Fall Break

 

I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend.  As always, my door is always open.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Kindly ~

Kathryn Kramer 


Thursday, September 2, 2021

Kramer's Blog

 

Dear Parents ~

Good morning!  I wanted to give you a quick update of the learning which has been taking place.

 

Word Work – Students are working on sounds of consonants, short vowels, digraphs, and blends. 

 

Writing – We are well into our narrative writing unit.  Students chose a small moment that they shared with someone who really matters to them (approximately an hour of time).  Students are writing about that small moment showing instead of telling.  The goal is for students to show through descriptive language (juicy words), explaining bit by bit, and using actual dialogue/conversations.  In addition, students were working on leads to their story (beginning paragraph focusing on who, what, when, where) and drafting.  Each day I go over the lesson, model for the class, and then students have time to practice what was taught and implement those skills into their writing.

 

Reading – Currently we are working on Building a Reading Life. We are selecting books at our independent reading level, building our stamina for reading, setting goals using our progression, stopping to check our comprehension, envisioning (making a movie in our head of what is taking place/connections we have), and predicting.  I am also discussing with students that readers often revise their thinking and predictions.  We are using phrases such as:  I think … because … or I use to think … but now I predict …

 

Math – Unit 1 and 2 focus on basic multiplication and division.  We are building the foundation of the how and why, providing multiple strategies and ways to look at multiplying and dividing. Students are learning to use number lines, arrays, bar models, drawings, repeated addition, and repeated subtraction to divide.

 

Social Studies:  As mentioned in previous emails, we are focusing on communities.  We took a look at Parker’s history (past to present).  Students are also reading about and looking at different items then and now (school, tools, transportation, technology, homes, clothing, etc.).  Students should be working on their Then and Now project (specifically the interview).  The interview is due in class on Wednesday, September 8th.  Your child received their project packet with all directions and examples on Monday of this week.

 

I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend.  As always, my door is always open.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Kindly ~

Kathryn Kramer 


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Welcome Back to School (2021-2022)


Dear Parents and Student ~                                                                                 

I would like to introduce myself, and welcome your child to 3rd grade! My name is Kathryn Kramer, and I will be your child’s 3rd grade teacher. This year we will embark on an incredible journey together and I look forward to meeting you with great anticipation and excitement! 

My husband, Tom, and I moved to Parker twenty-three years ago. We absolutely love the Parker community. Tom and I have two children. Logan is 20 and is working his way through college. Jeffrey is 16 and a junior at Chaparral High School. Our family enjoys traveling, hockey, swimming, bicycling, water skiing, and snow skiing. Hiking and camping are a time for relaxation and finding peace, as a family, in the great outdoors. 

I have been teaching for the past twenty-seven years and have a Master’s degree from Regis University. I have taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades here in Douglas County, as well as in Littleton Public Schools. Gold Rush is the best family!

Teaching is my passion! I strive to provide an environment that is encouraging, stimulating, collaborative, as well as fun. As we embark on our year long journey together, it is my goal to create an environment that is safe, nurturing, and kind.  One where we build a community in which friendships flourish, and empathy and respect are given.  In addition, I want students to believe in themselves, have a growth mind-set, take ownership of their learning, and reach their true potential. I will encourage your child to take risks, advocate for themselves, do their best, and to be a lifelong learner. Third grade is a year of tremendous growth, increased responsibility, and an opportunity for your child to think critically. 

A successful learning environment involves teachers, students, parents, and the community. Open communication is extremely important as we will be working as a  team. My door is always open.  If at any time you have questions or concerns, please let me know. I am excited to be working along-side your family to provide opportunities for your child to grow and flourish academically, emotionally, and socially. I am looking forward to a wonderful year. 

 Fondly ~
 Kathryn Kramer