Archive for May, 2011

With an astounding fifteen and a half days of third grade left, the children continue to be introduced to new and valuable information each day! In Science, we will wrap up our work on energy with some really cool, hands-on activities and experiments. The students will learn about potential vs. kinetic energy and will visit each of our five third grade teachers for a look at five different types of energy! During our Kaboodle time, your child will finish up his/her work on the area that he/she chose as an area of interest. These areas are: rocks & minerals, the Solar System and animal habitats.


In Social Studies, we will spend some time wrapping up our learning about the American Revolution. The children will also learn about the Puritans and their similarities and differences when compared to the Pilgrims and we will take a closer look at Falmouth’s history! Of course, each child will be completing his/her research of a historical figure with ties to Massachusetts in preparation for our one-of-a-kind Living Wax Museum! Speaking of which, here are the details for homework for this week:

At home, students should be preparing to “become” their characters… This week’s homework is to design some type of appropriate costume, choose 3 relevant props to go on display, and finalize his/her speech. All students should attempt to memorize their speech before the 8th. It is much more interesting to listen to a presentation that has been practiced many times J.

These tasks are this week’s homework. This will give students plenty of time to prepare. Please be sure that your child takes this opportunity to work hard.  Speeches (completely written), props and costumes should be brought to school on MONDAY, JUNE 6. (A friendly reminder…no weapons or furniture, please.)

On the 8th, we will have a dress rehearsal from 2:00 – 3:00 at school. (Costumes will already be here.) That evening, we will have our performance at 6:00pm. Students should WEAR their costumes (which will be sent home at the end of the school day), and arrive a bit early to be set up and ready to go. Parents will be asked to remain outdoors until we throw the doors open for all to enter.

PLEASE email me with any questions you have as our exciting day approaches!

Also: Friday is our field trip to Aptuxcet Trading Post Museum. Children should bring a bag lunch (unless you sent in the slip last week ordering a school bag lunch) and wear sneakers, a hat and sunblock. Thanks, in advance, to all of our drivers!!

Posted on May 30th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Countdown to Summer!!

This adorable calendar, created and shared by Mrs. Brooks, is a visual reminder of how fast, busy and fun the remainder of our year will be! The learning has not stopped in Room 202, though! Each member of the class is up to his/her elbows in research in anticipation of our Living Wax Museum on June 8th! Homework time this week should be centered on speeches (1st paragraph due Wednesday) and toward the end of the week information will be sent home on the timeline for gathering props and finishing speeches. Interested students can also be working on the extra credit portions of his/her Wax Museum project. Details regarding the extra credit were sent home in the Wax Museum information packet and are posted on the “Projects” page of our classroom blog.

The students are also busy demonstrating their automaticity of multiplication facts. They have been incredibly motivated and all have made great gains! We will be wrapping up Chapter 9 (multiplication and division) in Everyday Math and moving on to Chapter 10 which focuses on measurement and data. This chapter will include a very unique (in-school) project that will surely pique the kids’ interest and have them talking at home!

In Reading/English Language Arts, we will be finishing up our Reading Street work, spending some time with chapter books, working on fiction writing and publishing the student’s final personal narratives in a new & special way. Check out next week’s newsletter for our end of the year wrap up information in Science and Social Studies!

Posted on May 22nd, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Company in the Classroom!

We have been extremely lucky to welcome some special guests into our classroom to enhance our learning!

Falmouth Historical Society: Volunteer docents from the Falmouth Historical Society, in costumes reflecting style of Colonial times, came in and talked to the children about the clothing worn by colonists. They also taught the children about the materials that were used in Colonial times to make various kinds of cloth. The class learned about wool and had the opportunity to “card” the wool and then twist it into yarn. They learned about the numerous steps that are required to make flax into linen and the uses of “tow”. The children were then invited to share their thoughts and opinions on whether they would like to live in Colonial times or not. Ask your child about it!

Falmouth High School Ecology Club: The Ecology Club spoke to our class last week. Each high-school student taught our third graders about different species of endangered “Big Cats.” The students were asked to identify the cats visually by choosing the appropriate picture and by picking the stuffed animal version of the species that were just discussed. The club members discussed each cat’s role in the food chain (eating the cows and goats of farmers) and why this is a critical part of the problem that is causing them to become endangered (frustrated farmers kill the “Big Cats”). The club members helped the children to understand ways that farmers can protect livestock without killing the lions, tigers, leopards, etc. Some of the solutions include building barns, getting guard dogs and using guard llamas! The students then created “Big Cat” pencil toppers to help remind them of the lessons of the day.

Cross-Age Science Teaching (CAST): Teams of eighth grade students came over three times during the months of April and May to teach our class about electricity. Each eighth grader was assigned a group of third graders to work with over the course of the three visits. They worked amazingly well together! The third graders learned about safety in regards to electricity as well as circuits, conductors and insulators and much more. They built motors to spin colorful paper discs, used batteries to light a light bulb, tested everyday objects to determine if each was a conductor or an insulator and created their own circuit board that would light up when a question was answered correctly. The third graders were attentive, enthusiastic and thrilled with their creations! It was definitely a “win-win” situation for all involved!

Just a reminder…we are still looking for volunteer drivers to both Aptuxcet (June 3) and the Cape Cod Canal (June 16). Currently we have enough drivers/seatbelts for 13 students for the June 3rd trip and 8 students for the June 16 trip. If you are able to drive, please send back the form that was sent home last week. Thanks very much!!

Posted on May 16th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Spring Has Sprung!

As the weather changes and the sun is out longer, it becomes increasingly more challenging for the children to keep their brains in the classroom during the day. This is natural, of course! We talked this morning though, about the importance of continuing to do our best in these final six weeks. The Wax Museum is our biggest third grade project and will require substantial effort and attention. It will all pay off on the magical night of June 8th when over one hundred third graders transform Mullen-Hall into a phenomenal learning experience for families and community members of Falmouth.

A Reminder….tomorrow, Tuesday, May 10th and Wednesday, May 11th, your child will be taking his/her first Math MCAS test. These two days will test your child’s math skills.  The test will include answering multiple choice questions, short answer questions and even Math open response questions (“O.R.Q.s”).

The children have been learning and practicing math skills, strategies and important math vocabulary since the beginning of the year. They have been working hard and I know they will do well!

A friendly reminder of the best ways to prepare your child for the test:

  1. Have your child go to bed early on Monday and Tuesday night so he/she will be well rested on the MCAS days.
  2. On the MCAS days, have your child eat a well-balanced breakfast (including protein) before coming to school. We will not be able to have morning snack at our usual time.
  3. Please be sure that your child arrives on time to school on each of these days.

During the week of MCAS testing there will be no written homework on Tuesday-Thursday. Instead, please encourage your child to continue practicing his/her math facts, reading and to play outside. Also, I’m looking for donations of healthy snacks for us to share those 2 days. Students with last names beginning with A-M can donate on Tuesday, N-Z on Wednesday (juice boxes, cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, banana bread, fruit snacks, etc.). My only request is that you send in enough for 19 students to each have exactly the same size, shape or flavor. Otherwise it gets challenging trying to figure out who – gets – what and to make it equal. (Thank you, in advance, for your help and understanding!)

Also, we are looking for volunteer drivers/chaperones for our full day field trips to the Aptucxet Trading Post Museum (on June 3rd) and the Cape Cod Canal (June 16th). Specific details will be sent home this week. If you are able to drive, please send me an email indicating how many children you can fit in your back seat (how many seatbelts). As always, thank you so much!

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »