Charlie giving an overview of our garden!
Research by McRel has shown that "summarizing and note-taking" are two of the top strategies for student learning. If a student can recall the most-important events of a story and retell it fluently in their own words, then they have clearly understood the content.
This year our class has read over a dozen short fictional stories in their "Purple Readers." For the following activity, I reviewed with the students what a summary was (a concise retelling of information in your own words), and then had them partner up into groups of two or three.
Next, they selected a story and re-read it together so it would be fresh in their minds.
As students read, they used sticky notes to record each important event.
After they had finished the story and had a collection of sticky notes, they sequenced them in chronological order. Once in order, they discussed the importance of each event and together made tough decisions as they narrowed the sticky notes into the most important five events of the story. These events would then become the backbone for their summary.
Once groups had an adult review their five sticky notes with them, they rewrote them as a summary in their own words. Groups had a choice to write it on paper, in Notability, or in Pages. Some students even pulled out their plug-and-play keyboard so that they could type their summary! After having their final summary approved for fluency and tone, the students began capturing pictures to use for their movie. This was easy. They simply used their iPads to take pictures of the images already in their "Purple Readers." These images were brought into iMovie where they were cropped and positioned.
Once students had the images, they printed their summary and used it to narrate into iMovie. Finally, they added sound effects and music to complete their project.
I will be posting finished videos here after we review them in class and all students have a chance to make final edits.
Special thanks to Mrs. Held for helping us both days!
We have met with our 5th-grade buddy class for the first time; During the first meting, Mr. Remmers and Mr. Devoto challenged the students to build a toy or a game in 15 minutes. The catch? Students could only use cardboard, tape, scissors, and a Sharpie pen!
Check out what we were able to accomplish in that limited time!
Book Donations - Thank You!
Check out the generous stash of books donated to us by Daniel and his family! Thanks so much!
Spanish with Señora Malone!
Señora Malone brings Spanish to life! "Buenas...tardes...Señora...Malone!"
After learning about the compass rose, students engaged in a school-wide scavenger hunt using an iPad-based compass.
Early finishers engaging in a hands on math activity. It looks like they figured out how to create the five squares with the 15 fractional pieces!
Thank you to Debbie for reading us two fun picture books on Friday. The students loved your reading style and choice of books.
Here you see students attempting to build a marshmallow-topped tower using only spaghetti sticks, tape, and string...oh and they only had 18 minutes!
Buddies - Solutions for a Scratching Cat!
After discussing the process of identifying needs and coming up with creative solutions, students were tasked with coming up with a solution for a scratching cat at home!
Back to School Night
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow night at Back-to-School Night from 6:30-8:00pm. If you aren’t able to attend, I will be uploading parts of the presentation to our class website.
Throughout the year you will be able to find important classroom information at http://pdevoto.reedschools.org (including blog posts with photos).
Your child has been assigned a general username and password that will work for most programs that we use at Bel Aire. It would be valuable to memorize these now (we have practiced in class - ask your child when they get home today if they know theirs)! The pattern is as follows:
Username: First 3 Letters of First Name + Last Name
Password: First 2 Letters of First Name + First 2 Letters of Last Name + Last 4 Digits of Student ID (district assigned)
For example, following this formula, my username and password would be as follows (Paul Devoto)
*Please note, while this login information will work for most school programs, some will require a different username (like IXL).
We have officially launched the Accelerated Reader (also known as AR) program, which is a school-wide reading program. Read more about it on our class website.
IXL is a great program for practicing core skills in both math and language arts. We will be using it regularly throughout the year and students can access it from home too.
Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the online parent survey. For those of you who have done so, I have taken the time to read them carefully multiple times. It helps me to revisit them a few times during the first month of school to gain a clearer, more comprehensive vision of your child. If you haven’t yet done so, you can still fill it out here (link).
Internet and Photo Permission List
Thank you for taking the time to sign the online internet and photo permissions lists. These are needed for your child to use the internet at school and to have their images posted to our classroom blog site.
We have several students with severe nut allergies and are officially a nut-free classroom. Please read the attached flier for more information from the district about being a nut free classroom and school.
Students are bringing home a small bag today to be used as a “comfort kit” in case of a school emergency. Feel free to add pictures, notes, or other small items that you think would comfort your child in such a situation. They will be returned at the end of the year.
Students were issued headphones on Friday to use with their iPad at appropriate times (e.g. watching a tutorial video or editing a movie). They are the earbud type. If students would prefer to bring in a more comfortable pair from home, they are welcome to do so.
The 3rd-grade team works collaboratively to put together the homework packets each week. At this time, it is not possible for me to guarantee that I can get you the packet early. I apologize if this scenario is not optimal.
Starting Tuesday, students will be issued a spelling list for homework each week. In addition to any homework-related activity, students can practice the spelling words using Spelling City (available online or as an iPad/Android app). Find out more here.
We have started using Class Dojo to track all of the wonderful
My class is once again linking up with Mr. Remmers’s 5th-graders for collaborative, design thinking learning experiences. Students will be paired up with a 5th-grade “buddy” who they will work with on a series of creative projects each Tuesday throughout the school year. Keep an eye on the class blog for highlights!
Hope to see you tomorrow evening for Back-to-School Night.
Mr. Paul Devoto
PS Ask your child if they can remember the 10 body parts that begin with 3 letters!
New Family Member!
As you know, I have a new addition to my family, Savannah Soleil Devoto! She was born on March 13, 2014, and she is sweet as can be!
It has been wonderful to spend time with Sierra, Noah, and Savannah as our family navigates this new transition.
I look forward to returning to the classroom!
Sierra reading a book with Noah with Savannah crashed out.
As part of our geometry unit, students have been using the GeoBoard app to design art using geometric shapes. Here are some of the students favorite designs.
As you know, our school specialists come together every Wednesday to create fun integrated lessons for the 3rd-graders. Below is an update from their team letting you know what they've been up to.
Update: Tri #2 3rd Grade Specialist Block
Since January during the specialist block, we have been integrating music, PE, Spanish, art and technology with the “Community” theme. We have focused on each letter in MOSAIC and worked through the Scholarly Attributes. To build community, we begin each Wednesday as a whole group, where we sing songs accompanied by the piano and music activities with Mr. Gist.
All classes experience a myriad of specialist teachers within multiple subject areas, given the blended teaching approach.
Most recently, students working with Ms. Cala and Mr. Sawyer have finished creating Public Service Announcements on the iPad for our school, our community, and our world. Students created movie trailers in iMovie using our MOSAIC values and Scholarly Attributes The short trailers will be posted on our school’s website and on the Bel Aire Magazine for all students to view and learn from.
Ms. Morphy and Mr. Jacobson have been recently partnering to lead students in movement activities using raccoon circles with ropes. Students have been demonstrating teamwork , cooperation, leadership and community skills while using their Spanish and applying MOSAIC and Scholarly Attributes.
Ms. Malone and Mr. Gist have partnered in the last four weeks to embed Spanish and Music into student’s lives. 3rd graders have been engaging in hand-clapping patterns and melodies with the poem “Roses are Red.” They also have been learning to play this tune on the xylophone. Students have been dissecting the same poem in Spanish, where students have been creating their own poems in Spanish using word and picture manipulatives.
Mr. Rossi and Mr. Kaiser, continue to engage students by playing skill-based games to develop necessary skills for game playing development (i.e. throwing, passing, dribbling, catching) as well as instilling cooperation and collaboration through team building activities in support of our theme, COMMUNITY.
Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Gist partnered in January/February to teach yoga poses with music, as well as a folk-dancing, which challenged the students in teamwork and increasing aerobic capacity through yoga and dance.
Ms.Malone and Ms. Morphy paired together for a six-week unit that integrated art, the community theme, MOSAIC values, and Spanish. Students designed and created two large paper-mosaic murals, which are now displayed in the library and the E building for all to enjoy. You can see some photos of their mosaics if you click on our Bel Aire Magazine link here: http://belairemagazine.weebly.com/art--poetry.html
Room C3's Homophone iBook
We have been working hard and finally have published our first class book! You can download it here from your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, or any other mobile device with an ePub reader). After clicking on the "download it here" link in the sentence above, you may need to wait for a bit for the 72MB file to load. At that point, I recommend opening it in iBooks (free Apple download if you do not already have it installed). You will see in image like the one below (if you have not updated to iOS 7 you will have a wooden looking iBooks icon).
In the book there are photos, a video we made together, and student work (including their voices!), so you don't want to miss out!
Field Trip #1: The Railroad Museum and Old St. Hilary's Church
Thanks to Daniela Mount, Sara Tamer, Byron Thompson, Jay Sewell, Christine Lowndes, Gina Han, and Dina Craft for driving our class safely to two of the four Tiburon local landmarks that we visit for 3rd-grade local history. A special thanks to Christine Lowndes and Dina Craft
The Railroad Museum
Old St. Hilary's Church (sorry some are sideways)
Field Trip #2: Tiburon Art & Garden Center and China Cabin
Thanks to Christine Lowndes, Laura Zhang, Cathy Frymier, Sara Tamer, Tera Matthews, and Daniela Mount for driving us safely yesterday to the Art & Garden Center and China Cabin. Thanks again to Christine Lowndes for sharing some of the photos below.
The Buddy Board Game Challenge
Ask your child what it's all about!
Bel Aire's Online Magazine
Our very own Whitley stars in Bel Aire's first online publication. Check it out by clicking the image below.
We have started to learn and practice cursive. That's right, cursive! While cursive is not as necessary for success in today's world, research shows that there are clear benefits related to fine motor skill development when kids learn the art of cursive. We are learning a few new letters each week.