Weekly Newsletter

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September 9-13, 2019

Posted by [email protected] on September 16, 2019 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Happy Monday

We had another fabulous week in 3B. The students were very busy this week as we had our first full week of school. Thank you to everyone who attended the Primary Open House on Tuesday. It was so nice to get to talk to all of you about your children and discuss the ins and outs of third grade. 

We officially have a date for our first field trip of the school year: Tuesday, October 1, 2019. We will be leaving right away in the morning (8:30 AM) for Cave of the Mounds and will be returning after lunch (12:30 PM). If you are able to attend please let me know. We need a minimum of 10 parent chaperones for the third grade classes. All parent chaperones will need to meet us at Cave of the Mounds, as we will not have enough room on the school bus for chaperones. We recommend carpooling with other parents. Remember, you MUST be VIRTUS trained in order to attend school outings, so please double check that you are trained.

This week we will have a first through fifth grade Mass on Thursday the 19th. Please make sure you are sending your child in Mass appropriate attire. Your child can always change after Mass.

Here is what we did in third grade this week:


Math:

The students completed their first math unit this week! As mentioned before, learning the basic skills for multiplication and division is new and sometimes scary for kids. I’m hoping that the kids now feel more comfortable and ready to dive deeper into these concepts.

During our lessons this week the students learned to think of division as sharing. Repeated subtraction is another way to think about division. The students were given a total number of objects and the number in each group. They modeled division by repeatedly subtracting equally sized groups of objects and then counting to find the number of groups. For example, Liz has 28 blocks and she can build a wall with 7 blocks. How many walls can she build? One way to solve is to subtract groups of 7 from 28 until you reach 0: 28 - 7 = 21, 21 – 7 = 14, 14 – 7 = 7, 7 – 7 = 0.

One of the things that I really enjoy about our math program is that it teaches the kids a variety of ways to solve and process different problems. By teaching a variety of methods, the students are able to conceptualize, understand, and apply what they’ve learned. In addition, by working with a broad range of problems and methods, the students are able to practice what is being taught and truly demonstrate a mastery of the skill. With all of this knowledge, each child can then choose a method that works best for him/her and use that method on the test.

Toward the end of the week we started focusing on specific fact families. Thus far we have made flashcards for our 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s fact families. This upcoming week we will make a few more flashcards! Please make sure you are practicing the multiplication math facts with your child. Nightly practice will benefit your child and will make him/her more confident.


Social Studies:

This week the students learned that there are all kinds of communities in our country. A community is a place where people live, work, and play. During our lessons this week, we learned about San Antonio, Texas, which is a large community and home to more than one million people. The students learned that the people are San Antonio are very proud of their community. Visitors from all over the world come to see it. One site that many visitors visit is the Alamo.

The students learned that the Alamo was originally a missionary, that was turned into a form. In 1835, Texans fought for their independence from Mexico at the Alamo. On February 23, 1836, the battle of The Alamo began and lasted 13 days. David Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Juan Seguin were among those who died while fighting against the large Mexican army. Although Texans lost this battle, it gave General Sam Houston time to prepare forces at San Jacinto, where Texas’s independence was finally won on April 21, 1836. 

We also spoke of the large flood that took place in San Antonio in 2002. The students learned that the roads were so filled with water that cars could not get through and people had to climb to their rooftops and wait for boats to rescue them. During the flood the citizens of San Antonio helped each other. They cleaned homes that were not even their own and stores gave clothes and food to people in need.

Here are some questions that you can ask your child to check for comprehension at home: 

  • What is The Alamo? (The Alamo in San Antonio, is a place where heroes fought to free Texas from Mexico.)
  • What is a community? (A community is a place where people live, work, and play.)
  • In 2002 there was a terrible flood in San Antonio. What effect did living near the San Antonio River have on people? (The river overflowed. Homes and cars were damaged. Roads were blocked so people could not easily move from place to place)
  • In what ways are your community and San Antonio alike and different? 

 

Science (with Ms. Schuenemann):

This week, students completed their discussion on pollination by creating their own flowers and simulating what pollination would look like if they were a bumble bee. Students buzzed around the room trying to collect nectar from the different flowers their classmates had created. When they went back to look at their flower, they had to investigate the pollen on their stigma and decide if their flower would successfully reproduce. It was really great to see pollination in action! Following this topic, students explored the question: Why do some plants grow fruit? A fun fact is that plants actually contain eggs!! The students learned that fruit grows in the ovary of the plants where the eggs are located. The fruits contain the seeds of a plant. Here are some questions that you can ask your child to check for comprehension:

  • How do bees help flowers? How do flowers help bees? (Bees help flowers by moving pollen from one plant to the next. This is how a flower’s seed pod forms. Flowers help bees by giving them a drink of nectar in the base of the flower.)
  • Would a scientist consider a pepper a fruit or vegetable? Why? (Even though a pepper does not taste sweet, a scientist would consider peppers a fruit because it has seeds.)
  • Why do some plants grow fruit? (Fruit is a way for plants to disperse their seeds in order to grow. They rely on animals to eat the fruit and when the fruit passes through the animal, the seed gets planted.)


Reading/Writing:

The students are doing an incredible job working in groups and writing their Fairy Tale plays! Most of the students are finished (or finishing) their scripts and are now rewriting and/or practicing performing them! As mentioned in the previous newsletter, we will be performing these plays during the week of September 30th: Monday, September 30 (1pm-2pm) and Wednesday, October 2, (2pm-3pm). Once we get closer to the performances Ms. Schuenemann and I will send out a list of which students are performing on each day. As mentioned last week, we are encouraging all family members to attend the performances so mark the dates in your calendar.

 

Religion:

This past week, our religion textbook had the students learn and discuss the story of creation. The students learned that only God, in his infinite wisdom, could have conceived and then guided to fulfillment the magnificence of creation. They learned that all creation gives honor and glory to God, yet only humans are created in his divine image. He has placed humans at the summit of creation.

As a result, humans have a responsibility to care for the world. We are called to care for all that God has created, including the Earth itself and its natural resources. As a family, I encourage you to discuss the following questions: How do you show respect for creation? What has creation taught you about God?

 

Spelling:

Continue to use www.spellingcity.com as resource for your child’s weekly spelling list. Below is a list of our upcoming spelling test. Here are our new words:

  • New Words: lay, real, trail, sweet, today, dream, seem, tea, treat, afraid, leave, bait, cheer, speed
  • Review Words: paint, please
  • Challenge Words: yesterday, explain, afford, spreading

 

In Conclusion:

Thank you again for a wonderful week. It is truly a joy having your children in my class. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Mrs. Robyn Bernecker

[email protected]

Love in Every Word, Respect in Every Action, Confidence in Every Heart.



September 2-6, 2019

Posted by [email protected] on September 8, 2019 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

September 8, 2019

Third Grade Rocks! 

Happy second week of school! We had a fabulous week at Queen of Peace. The kids did a great job settling into our full week schedule and also thoroughly enjoyed getting to participate in their specials (i.e. physical education, music, library, etc.). I have placed our specials schedule on the bottom of this letter. There is still a chance that this list may change slightly over the next few weeks. If it does I will be sure to update you immediately. 

Make sure to check out the entire website for upcoming events, pictures, and links to other great academic sites. Just a reminder that our Primary Open House will take place on Tuesday, September 10th at 6:00pm. We will start promptly in auditorium where Mary Jo Vitale will address the primary parents. We will then walk up to our classroom. This meeting will be roughly 30 minutes. If you are not able to attend, please send me an email so that I can send you the forms that we will be going over.

Ms. Schuenemann and I are in the process of planning our first field trip of the school year. Our first field trip will be taking place in early October. Once I have the exact date I will send out an email asking for volunteers to help chaperone. If you think you might want to attend, please make sure you are VIRTUS trained through the Diocese. All chaperones and parent volunteers must be trained. (email me with questions)

Here is what we did in third grade this week: 


Math:

Third grade math is very exciting! This week, the students dove into our first math topic of the year: understanding multiplication and division of whole numbers. This is a HUGE topic for third graders. In second grade, students learned how to use addition of equal groups to find a total. During our first few lessons this year, students used repeated addition to determine the total number of objects in equal-sized groups. The number of groups and the number of objects in each group are factors. For example, four groups of five can be represented at 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 20 or as 4 x 5 = 20. Therefore, 4 and 5 are factors.

These units really emphasized conceptual understanding. They established the relationship between addition and multiplication. Multiplication is a very overwhelming concept for many students. Using these real world problems that involve joining or separating equal groups, or making comparisons, can be abstract and difficult. Please remind your child at home that he/she is not expected to know how to do this work right away! Reminders of this really do help children feel capable and comfortable with new material!

Here are some practice questions you can ask your child at home to review what we discussed this week:

  • Jenna saves $5.00 each week. She wants to know how much money she has saved after 6 weeks. How can you represent this using a picture?
  • Thomas invites 5 friends to a party. He gives each friend 2 party favors. How many party favors does he give out? How can you represent this on a number line?
  • Mia puts cookies in 5 rows with 6 muffins in each row. Draw an array to find the total number of muffins.


Reading/Writing:

Our first literacy unit focuses on fairy tales, folktales, and fables. The students learned that a fable always has a moral or lesson, a folktale is a story passed down through generations, mainly by re-telling, a fairy tale is full of magic and contains a plot of good vs. evil.

This month the students will be reading between 8-12 different stories and will be journaling daily on what they read. During their journaling, students will be asked to recall key events, identify new words, describe character traits, make predictions, and complete other third grade writing/reading tasks.

The students are creating reader’s theatre scripts. What is Readers Theatre? Readers Theatre is a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form! As a group the kids will write, practice, and perform their script to the class.

Each story must have between 3-6 characters and should have a narrator. Narrators tell the story. Characters are in the story. Each actor is allowed to perform as two different characters in the play; however, no person can be more than two characters. This week the students identified the type of play they wanted to create. They identified their characters and created an outline of their play. beginning, middle, and end) so that you can easily and accurately write their script.

Over the next few weeks the students will develop their play into a reality and will perform them to their peers. We encourage all family members to attend the performances so mark the following dates in your calendars: Monday September 30 (1pm-2pm) and Wednesday, October 2, (2pm-3pm). Once we get closer to the performances Ms. Schuenemann and I will send out a list of which students are performing on each day. If you know that your child is out of town on either of those days please contact me so I can plan accordingly.


Social Studies:

This week the students did their first official classroom switch for social studies and science. Both 3A and 3B spent time in our classroom for social studies and then we switched classes and they went with Ms. Schueneman for science.

We started our unit by reading a story called The Town that Moved by Mary Jane Finsand. This is a true story about Hibbing, Minnesota. Hibbing was founded in the late 1800s. During this time, people build 186 houses, a hotel, clubhouse, stores, and schools. In 1887 iron ore was first discovered under the town of Hibbing. Due to this discovery, the town knew that they would have to move. If they didn’t, the mines would have to be shut down and the minders would be out of work. The town eventually came up with the idea to lift up their stores, houses, schools, and buildings; place them on smooth, wooden longs; and travel several miles away from where the iron ore was directly located. The Town that Moved was a great story for us to start our social studies unit with because it really showcased how people in communities work together to make decisions.

Here are some questions that you can ask your child to check for comprehension at home:

  • What did people in Hibbing feel about moving their community? How would you feel if your community had to move? (They were willing to work with the mining company to move.)
  • Why couldn’t the people of Hibbing use earth-moving equipment to move their buildings? (The move took place before such equipment existed.)
  • Why do you think the newspaper headline said, “Hibbing Gone Crazy!”? (Answers will vary, but may include that it was an unusual idea that was not often undertaken.)


Science (with Ms. Schuenemann):

In science, students investigated the question: Why do plants grow flowers? Through this investigation students learned that new plants are created through the process of pollination. They learned that in order for pollination to take place, the pollen from one plant needs to be transferred to the stigma of another. Pollinators such as bees and butterflies aide in this process. Additionally, the students learned about the different parts of the plant including the roots, stem, leaves, pistol, stamen, and sepals. Moving forward, students will investigate why certain plants grow flowers and fruits.


Religion:

Our first religion unit the students are learning about Jesus’ life and the ways he taught us to live as his followers. Jesus’ early life on earth is a hidden one. The Gospels relate a few episodes, such as the finding of Jesus in the Temple. However, it does not truly give us a detailed description of his childhood. This week the students discussed what the Bible teaches us about Jesus' early life and also talked about what we think Jesus was like as a child. 


Spelling:

Continue to use www.spellingcity.com as resource for your child’s weekly spelling list. Our newest spelling words focus on one syllable words that contain the long i sound.

Here are our new words:

  • New Words: spoke, mile, save, excuse, cone, invite, cube, price, erase, ripe, broke, flame, life, rule
  • Review Words: these, those
  • Challenge Words: surprise, decide, honest, guilty


In Conclusion:

Over the last two weeks we had an incredible student photographer: Max. Make sure to head over to the photo page to see the incredible pictures that they took.

Thank you again for a wonderful week. It is truly a joy having your children in my class. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Mrs. Robyn Bernecker

[email protected]

Love in Every Word, Respect in Every Action, Confidence in Every Heart.



School Schedule:

Monday:

Music 9:10-9:40

Technology 1:30-2:00

Tuesday:

Art 10:45-11:25

Reading Lab 2:30-3:00 

Wednesday:

Spanish 10:40-11:10

Physical Education 12:15-12:45

Thursday:

Music 10:35-11:05

Library 2:00-2:30

Technology 2:30-3:00

Friday:

Physical Education 10:40-11:10

Reading Lab 1:10-1:40

Things to Know About Third Grade

Posted by [email protected] on August 30, 2019 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

WELCOME TO THIRD GRADE!

I am so excited to be working with you and your child! This school year promises to be fantastic for all of us. This “start of the school year letter” will provide you with some basic information about me, about 3rd grade, and about my policies, procedures, routines, and expectations for our class this year. Please read it carefully, review it with your child, and let me know if you have any questions. I will be going over more information during the open primary house.


About Me…

My name is Robyn Bernecker and I am one of the third grade teachers at Our Lady Queen of Peace School. I received my bachelors degree in Elementary Education with minors in English and Mathematics from Loyola University Chicago. Upon my graduation in 2010 I moved to Madison, WI where I have taught third grade, second grade, and four-year-old kindergarten students. In addition to my love of teaching I have a passion for music and theatre. I am the current theatre director at QP and am thrilled to share my love of the stage with the junior high students. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband, running, reading, cheering for the Packers, and traveling. My husband and I are expecting our first child this January. We are beyond thrilled for this new adventure. I feel greatly blessed to be able to share in the academic growth and faith journey of the students at Our Lady Queen of Peace School.


About Communication…

As a teacher, I understand and appreciate the concerns that parents have regarding their children and their education. In addition, I also know that strong, positive relationships and communication between parent(s) and teacher are vital to all students and their success. With that in mind, I am always willing and available to meet or speak with you. My email address is [email protected] If you have any questions or comments about your child and/or our class, please contact me and I will get back to you as quickly as possible. We can also schedule a time to talk in person before or after school. You should also look for a weekly newsletter, which will be available, online and sent out via email, to stay informed about what we’ve been doing in class. These newsletters are also a great way for parents to learn different things that you can do at home to support our work in the classroom.

 

About 3rd Grade…

3rd Grade is a wonderful year for learners! Students are capable of tackling increasingly advanced tasks, texts, issues, and projects. The 3rd grade curriculum at Our Lady Queen of Peace School is rich and exciting. Students will learn a variety of challenging concepts: organizing, displaying, and interpreting data; paragraph writing; independent, shared, and small group reading of complex books; and research and inquiry based assignments. This year will be full of many fun and exciting learning experiences, and I am confident that you will be amazed at how much your child will grow academically, socially, spiritually, and physically this year!

About Classroom Expectations…

Along with following the Our Lady Queen of Peace student handbook, I ask students to follow 3 basic rules:

  • Respect others, yourself, materials, and the learning at hand.
  • Accept responsibility for your work and actions, positive and negative, and for work that needs to be done.
  • Do your best!


Homework…

Students complete homework to reinforce and practice skills and lessons learned throughout the day in class, to provide an opportunity for students to share their learning with their families, to develop time management skills and personal responsibility, and to develop positive reading routines.

Students will be given a monthly reading log. Over the course of each month, the students are expected to read a predetermined number of minutes. This is a standing assignment, whether it appears in the assignment notebook or not. Nightly reading should not be done on the Internet, but can include items printed from the web, as well as:

  • books read aloud to students by parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members.
  • students reading aloud to parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members,
  • students reading silently to themselves,
  • chapter books from home or school
  • picture books from home or school
  • newspapers or magazines


Other Nightly Homework…

In addition to nightly reading, other homework may be assigned Monday through Thursday and take anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. These assignments will include math, spelling, vocabulary, religion, writing, and even some social studies and science work. Some special projects may need to be completed over the weekend and over a longer period of time (such as monthly projects). With that being said, no direct homework will be given out on Fridays. I want to make sure that the weekend is spent enjoying your time as a family. Please make sure your child has the proper space, time, and materials needed to complete his/her work.

Students are expected to complete their homework in pencil and their work must be legible. All students are expected to turn their homework in on time. If a student receives an unsatisfactory grade on an assignment, he/she may redo the work to improve the grade. Please do not hesitate to contact me over the course of the year if homework proves to be too challenging for your child. I want us to work together as a team to make sure your child has success. With that being said, letting your child work through his/her problems is an important developmental skill for a third grader. We want our students to complete their own work so that they develop key critical thinking skills. We will talk more about this during our primary open house.

 

Monthly Projects…

Monthly projects are perhaps my favorite part of third grade! Your child will be required to complete several reading and research projects over the course of the school year. (Inventor Unit, Wax Museum, Classroom Newspaper, etc.). These projects will involve both background research and a presentation of learning (for example, a poster presentation). Background research for these projects may be a part of kids’ independent reading each night or over the weekends. As each research project approaches, detailed information will be distributed to each child, providing a rubric, required material, and suggested ideas. During these units, students are encouraged to ask questions and receive help from their peers, their families, and me. If at any time you have questions, please contact me so that we can best assist your child!


About the Assignment Notebook…

Each day’s assignments are written on the board as a reminder, and students are responsible for recording these assignments in their notebooks. Prior to leaving the classroom, students are expected to show their assignment notebook to me in order to ensure tasks are completed on time. Detailed instructions for each assignment are reviewed during class each day, and students should be able to complete most assignments without adult assistance, though parents are encouraged to review and/or supervise nightly homework to keep abreast of and support what we are learning. Each night, the notebook is to be initialed by a parent or guardian saying you have seen what needs to be done and the actual completed assignment. There is also a place to write notes to me if you wish. I will do my best to respond to any of your questions on a daily basis.


Science and Social Studies Swap...

Another exciting aspect of third grade is our social studies and science swap. Ms. Schuenemann (3A) is the science teacher for all third graders, whereas I am the social studies teacher for both classes. Students in 3A and 3B switch between the classrooms three times each week and participate in experiments, group projects, other learning activities. Any homework received in science or social studies will be distributed to the students and should be returned to the appropriate teacher on its due date. If you have further questions regarding the science curriculum please contact Ms. Schuenemann at [email protected]

 

Birthdays and Classroom Parties…

Birthdays are a wonderful way to celebrate the growth and success of a child. Treats and birthday materials can be sent in and parents are encouraged to attend celebrations. Please contact me one week before your child’s birthday (or half birthday) so we can plan a time and a set of activities to celebrate your child’s Big Day. Classroom parties (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.) are another fun way for the kids to socially interact with their peers in an exciting way. Information regarding classroom parties will be shared with each family in advance. All family members are welcome to participate in all aspects of our classroom celebrations.

 

Allergies…

Here at QP we take all allergies very seriously. Seasonal allergies, food allergies, medication allergies, etc. should all be shared with me and our school administration. One way that we keep our classroom safe is by asking that ALL students and parent volunteers wash their hands carefully. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to keep every child safe. If you plan to send in a birthday snack, please contact me a week in advance so that I can get the food item approved by Rosa Bogues, our school nurse. If you are sending in a store bought treat, feel free. Just make sure it has a list of ingredients and is also approved by the office. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions regarding food allergies.

 

Snack…

Due to the allergies in our school, students are not allowed to eat daily snacks in our classroom. (Birthday treats are an exception so long as they have been approved ahead of time). I will be designating a time for students to eat snacks in the hallway--quietly and respectfully. Snack time will be right before morning recess. If your child requires another snack as the day progresses, please let me know so that we can work with your child’s needs. Parents are not required to send children with morning snack; however, it is a good way for kids to get an extra boost of energy before lunch at 11:20am. If you do choose to send your child with morning snack, please try to send in healthy foods! Thanks!


I am thrilled to be your child’s third grade teacher. I am looking forward to a wonderful year. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments throughout the year.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Robyn Bernecker

[email protected] 


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