PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 3: Write, write, write!

In class the children have begun to use their Writer’s Notebooks. As writers who are trying to live a “writerly life”, the children write both in school and at home.  Our notebooks are places where we hold a collection of our ideas- hopes, wishes, thoughts, dreams, observations, family stories, etc… Notebooks aren’t a place for actually drafting stories; when writers are ready to draft something, they move outside their notebooks. Our notebooks are places to try things out!  We’ll sometimes ask the children to try a particular writing strategy, genre, or craft technique in their notebook, to help them grow as writers. For example, last week we were working on writing observations. We then we went across the street to Seth Low Park and our young writers wrote about what they observed.

Writing in a Writer’s notebook helps our children start to notice details, which in turn helps them write at greater length and with greater specificity. Our goal right now is for students to write “long and strong”.  Get an idea, and write, write, write.

How can you help your child with his or her Writer’s notebook?

  • Help them notice things they might want to write about: a pesky younger sibling, the loss of a tooth, the way the breeze feels at the beach, a funny subway poster…Help your child catch those moments, those ideas.
  • We’ll be giving the students a list to glue inside the cover of their notebooks. It can give them some ideas when they’re feeling stuck. Encourage them to use it.
  • If your child finds it hard to get started, let him/her talk to you about what s/he might write, and maybe ask questions to help the idea expand. Encouraging children to say aloud what they’re thinking about their idea, and then to quickly write those sentences down, can also help reluctant writers. “So you thought you might write about our dog? What do you think your first sentence might be?” “We got a puppy two weeks ago.” “That sounds like a good start – write it down!”

Math Games

Last week we learned a game called “Close to 1,000”. We tucked this game into our “Just-Right Games” bins. This is the first of many games we will play in math this year. If you would like to play this game at home, here are some resources:

Close to 1,000 Directions

Digit Cards

If you choose to print and cut the Digit Cards, it is worth your while! We will use these cards for many games this year.

Community Jar

In our class, we have a jar called the Community Jar. Each time the class works as a community and exhibits positive behaviors, a cotton ball is added to the jar. Behaviors include: quick transitions, lining up safely and quietly, working well in groups and partnerships, sustaining silent reading or work times, and receiving compliments from other teachers. As an incentive for positive group behaviors, our class can vote on a celebration- a way to honor our efforts as a group. Last week, we filled our Community Jar to the line, and this week, we will celebrate! Ask your child about their creative celebration ideas!

🙂 Ms. Marcy

Important Reminders:

  • Please send in the $10.00 for the Cursive Workbook.
  • Please sign your BAM field trip form, and send in the $10.00. Though the trip is a few months away, we need to prepay.

Donations Still Needed for:

  • an electric pencil sharpener
  • games for Choice time
  • hearty, potted plants for the classroom