Room 9 Updates

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hello All,
On Monday, students' Famous American speeches will be coming home to be written in final draft, practiced, and "costumed". We have spent many hours in class working on the speeches, and most of the students were able to complete their research and first drafts. It's now homework, so students will be given a very small Homework Packet this week in order to focus on the speech. This week's packet will consist of a Reading Log and the Moon Observation Chart only. (We hope to see the moon this week!) Attached to the packet is the rubric for the speech, as well as a letter explaining dates and expectations. Students in our class will be speaking on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 8th and 9th. It's been exciting watching the kids learn about these special people and I know they are eager to share the information with the class.

This week we will also be wrapping up our unit on fractions. The kids will have an assessment and then will work on an interesting (in class) project to demonstrate their knowledge of fractions. We are then moving on to forms of measurement not yet addressed (capacity and time). In RTI we'll be enjoying a terrific narrative about the explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew.

Finally, we will continue to practice with the Smarter Balanced format and technology. As you've seen, the tests is quite a shift from former ones, and we'd like the kids to be as comfortable as possible with its structures.

Take care, and have a great week,
Carroll Mayer



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hello All,
I hope you are making the most of our beautiful spring weather;  I know I'm trying!

This week we will continue with fractions, making the connection between fractions and measurement. The kids are continuing to have lots of opportunities for hands-on exploration, and are coming to a deep understanding of fractions and what we really mean when we write these mathematical expressions.  Thank you for your patience with the homework.

This week's homework packet went home on Friday, as so many of the kids like to get a head start on the weekend. I will be sending home one additional page on Monday-- a moon observation chart!  This page should be interesting, and not too time consuming. We are encouraging the kids to make daily observations of the moon for the next 4 weeks in preparation for our science unit on Astronomy. This is one of my favorite units of study in the third grade year, and I'm sure that most students will find it equally engaging. We will begin the unit after the Famous American speeches go home for final drafts and rehearsal.

The Famous American speeches are on the calendar for Tuesday, April 8th,  and Wednesday, April 9th.  We have been working on research and writing in class over the last 2-3 weeks, and will continue through this week. On Monday, March 31st, students will bring their drafts home for finalizing. At that point kids should complete and recopy their speeches (typed or handwritten), rehearse them, and put together their props and/or costume. A rubric will come home with them on the 31st.  I am looking for parent volunteers to video the speeches on the 8th and 9th, but any parent who wishes to watch in person will be welcome.


Take care,
Carroll Mayer


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hi All,

Report cards will be coming home on Thursday!  When they arrive, please take some time to reflect on my comments, and then work with your child to set goals for the final trimester of third grade.  We tell the kids that they are all different, with various strengths and weaknesses.  It's one of the reason why they are instructed to save their report cards for their parents (to whom they're addressed).  Please remind your child to use the report card to think about their own areas for growth, and not to focus on the struggles or achievements of friends and siblings. Finally, I encourage you keep your plans very specific and achievable.

This week in RTI we will wrap up the story Seal Surfer, and then move on to an historical selection called Across the Wide Dark Sea.  In math, we continue with fractions.  Thanks, again, for your support on the math homework. Our in-class writing focus is now 100% Famous American, so be sure to have your child bring any books they have to school to use while taking notes.

I've moved the Smarter Balanced link to the links list on the right side of the blog.  Please have your child experiment with this site so that they may become familiar with the testing format.

I'll be sending home another Scholastic book order on Monday, which is due on Tuesday, March 18th.  The class code is located on the blog.

Lastly, thanks to all of you who have worked so hard on the Auction/ Dinner Dance Fundraiser.  The on-line auction portion of this event is now live, and I encourage you all to take a look at the item from our class, as well as those donated by various members of the community. This fundraiser pays for many things that make our school run smoothly, as well as enhancing educational opportunities for all who attend Rio del Mar.

Take care,
Carroll Mayer

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Thursday Night's Homework 3/6/14
More cool math homework on the computer! Practice for at least 10 minutes.

Here is today’s link. 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hi All,
I hope you enjoyed our rainy weather.

This week we will continue studying fractions in math. Thanks so much for the support as we explore various homework options that we feel support the new standards. In RTI we will continue the theme of animal habitats, finishing up puffins and moving on to a story set at the beach. We also have several writing projects in various stages of production. Students are typing "Little Red", drafting a district writing about the transcontinental railroad, and researching their Famous Americans. Whoo!

Please support technology practice  for your child as much as possible by encouraging him/her to type the LR story on Google Docs. In addition, we are asking that kids try out the Smarter Balanced test questions so as to become familiar with the various navigation tools needed for the state testing.  The link is on the Rio Del Mar website. We will be working on these items in the computer lab, but are limited to 45 minutes a week.

Take care, and have a great week,
Carroll Mayer