Dear Families:August 20, 2017

Welcome to 3rd grade! I am very excited to have your child in class this year!

I hope this letter will familiarize you with classroom expectations and logistics. Mrs. Martinez and I are team teaching again this year. I will teach all of the third grade Math, Theology, and Social Studies. Mrs. Martinez will teach all of the third grade ELA and Science.

Specials/Lunch Schedule:

Our lunch period is from 10:50-11:15, followed by recess from 11:15-11:40. The Specials schedule has not yet been completed. I will let you know via newsletter once this is set. I will also post our schedule to my website.

Curriculum Snapshot

Math:Our math series utilizes the following pattern for each lesson:

  1. Daily spiral review
  2. Introduction of new material, including an online tutorial
  3. Guided and independent practice
  4. Daily quiz to determine leveled homework
  5. Leveled homework (reteaching, practice & enrichment)

This series does a nice job of challenging each student at his or her level of competency. We will cover Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, Fractions, Measurement and Data, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, and Geometry. Multiplication table competency will also be stressed.

Students also have a username and password for IXL, an online math practice site. We will work with IXL in the classroom, and students are encouraged to work on this site at home as well. Please see the attached IXL letter.

Theology: Our Theology curriculum is very rich in the teachings of the Catholic Church,

and there is a strong focus on building a relationship with Christ. This year we

will continue working with the Understanding by Design units. Students will be asked to complete a performance task for each unit to demonstrate their learning. These units include Creed, Sacraments, Moral Development, Saints, Prayer and Worship, and Scripture.

Science: This year we will continue to use the Understanding by Design units framed around the

Next Generation Science Standards. Units are approximately nine weeks in length and involve in-depth understanding of core ideas in physical science, earth science, life science, and engineering, technology, and applications of science. In addition to investigations and quizzes based on the text material, students will be asked to complete performance tasks in each unit to demonstrate learning.

Social Studies: The focus for third grade Social Studies is Michigan. Students really enjoy

learning about our state! The curriculum covers our state’s history, economics,

geography, and government.

Language Arts: We use two different texts for Language Arts. Journeys is used for

reading and vocabulary, while Voyages is used for grammar and writing. Phonics

and spelling will be integrated in word study and word sorts using Words their Way.

Comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, and fluency will be emphasized. In addition to

daily writing assignments, writing will formally be assessed through two

performance tasks each quarter.

Handwriting: Students will review the cursive writing they learned in second grade and are

expected to write completely in cursive by the end of this year.

Online Book Access

Math, reading, and science textbooks are available online.

To access the math book, go to

The user name is: stathirdgrade3

The password is: Math2017

Students can access the math videos by clicking on the “Explore” icon

To access the Reading book, go to

The user name is: thinkcentral3

The password is: reading2015

Students can access the reading book by clicking on “My Library”

To access the Science book, go to

Click on “Student login” in the upper right hand corner.

The user name is: first initial last name (example: mmartinez)

The password is: science

Weekly Newsletter/Website:

I will send a copy of the weekly newsletter to the email you provide. The newsletter will be sent by Friday night for the following week. In addition, daily assignments will be posted to my website and will also be recorded by students into the planner.

Homework/Test Corrections:

Students may have to redo homework assignments or retake tests at the discretion of the teacher. Students will receive re-teaching on any assignment or test needing to be corrected. Correction assignments will be worked on at school. Tests needing to be taken again will be stapled into the student’s planner. The retest will take place the day after the re-teaching session. Students’ report cards grades will be based on summative (test) grades.

Late Homework:

It is the policy of the 3rd-5th grade division that students who are missing homework assignments will have to stay in for recess that day to finish the missing work.

Online Gradebook:

You will be able to access your child’s grades through RenWeb. Each family will receive a user name and password shortly after the school year begins. We will update grades weekly.


Students are required to record all homework assignments into the planner each day.

It is mandatory that planners be signed by an adult each night. This will allow for the planners to serve as a communication device between the classroom and home. I will also be stapling weekly reports into planners on Friday, which will include important information about your child’s week.

Weekly Readers:

We will be participating in the Weekly Reader program, which provides students with a magazine of current events several times per month. Please send in $8 to cover the cost of this program.

Accelerated Reader:

3rd grade students are expected to earn 12 points in the first and second marking periods and 14 points in the 3rd and 4th marking periods. Students who achieve this goal will receive a homework pass. Tests can be taken online from school or home by accessing the AR site via the school website. Please remember that user name is the first letter of the child’s name and the first 4 letters of the child’s last name. The password is the child’s initials.

Service Project:

The 3rd grade service project is donating supplies and snacks to the Eleanor House. This is done monthly on a larger scale, with each third grade family donating once per school year according to the Eleanor House “wish list” (please see attached schedule). In addition, third grade students collect extra snacks from lunches to deliver on a daily basis. This year we will also be collecting “Mid-Month Munchies” from the school as a whole, in order to make a larger snack donation.

Snacks/Water Bottles:

Please send in a healthy snack for your child each day. Students are also encouraged to keep a water bottle on their desk.

Classroom Management:

We have implemented a school-wide classroom management system called “CHAMPs”. “CHAMPs” provides explicit instruction for students on behavioral expectations for various activities.

“C” stands for conversation, which specifies voice level during various activities.

“H” stands for help, which gives cues for how to seek assistance.

“A” stands for activity, which spells out expectations for each experience.

“M” stands for movement, which provides direction for body placement.

“P” stands for participation, which provides guidance regarding active involvement.

Students will receive very specific guidelines on expected behaviors for all aspects of their day: morning routine, teacher instruction, independent work, group work, partner work, testing, transitions, end-of-day routine, etc. These expectations will also be posted in the room, and students will have the opportunity to practice these expectations.

Look for more information to come in the following weeks and months! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at: I look forward to an exciting year of learning and growing with your child!