Adventures in Third Grade-Week 29

Hope you all enjoy the long weekend and we’ll see you back at OTA on Tuesday:)

Important Dates and Reminders

  • April 22nd: No School
  • April 24th: In class poetry competition-3 winners move on:)
  • April 26th: OTA Poetry Contest 
  • April 29th: Field Trip to Cabrillo National Monument
  • May 3rd: Grandparent’s Day, half day with early dismissal at noon
  • May 4th: OTA Gala, purchase your tickets here:Gala Tickets

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: This week our focus word was HUMILITY which is also one of our core virtues for the month. Our mantra was, “I show humility by knowing I am not always right and that is ok.” We also discussed what it means to be humble when it comes to winning whether it be a game out at recess or winning a competition in Robotics. 

Reader’s Workshop: This week we practiced a variety of skills whether it be reading to gather information, analyzing characters, sequencing events or discussing our reading with book groups. We read about “The Lure of Spices” and how desired these were by the explorers-so much so that they would go to great lengths to bring these valuable spices back to Europe. After reading, we created a flip book where students were asked to gather factual information from the book about spices. They needed to turn this information in to their own writing in order to educate others about explorers and their spices. 

Writer’s Workshop: We started our unit on personal and fictional narratives. We talked about what exactly a personal narrative is, how you even write one, brainstorming things that are important to us, using graphic organizers to categorize our thoughts, and zooming in on a small moment. On top of all of that, we have been thoroughly enjoying reading narratives that serve as mentor text to help us experience strong narratives written by published authors.

Math: This week has been all about comparing fractions whether we are comparing them when they have the same numerator or comparing them when they have the same denominator. When asked if a fraction like 2/3 is closer to one half or one whole on a number line, we must put strategies in place to help us decide. Some strategies we have been using are fraction strips, drawing pictures and using our understanding of fractions as parts of a whole.

Read Aloud: In “Shiloh”, Marty has been keeping a secret and it’s that he has Judd Travers’ dog, Shiloh. Now because Marty has kept this secret, his lies keep going on and on. People are getting suspicious though (like Judd Travers and Marty’s Ma) until one day, Marty’s Ma finds him up on the hill with Shiloh. Once Ma finds out, things just seem to unfold. We are thoroughly enjoying this story and the discussions we have after reading it.

Social Studies: The Early Exploration of North America unit started off with the introduction of Columbus and his first voyage to what he thought were the Indies. We find out who Columbus meets when he arrives to this “new land” (which he named La Isla de Hispaniola), how they respond to Columbus and the Spaniards who arrived with him, what Columbus has his men do when his boat, The Santa Maria, gets stranded on rocks, and how 39 men volunteered to stay on the island when Columbus and the others sailed back to Spain. Then we moved on to Columbus’ second voyage back to Hispaniola with his fleet of 17 ships. We learned what Columbus found when he returned hoping to see those 39 men and how he responded upon finding them. We found out that after Columbus’ voyages, explorations continued with men such as Ponce de Leon and Hernando do Soto. This is such a rich curriculum with incredible depth and I absolutely love how much these kiddos are involved in their learning.

Science: In alignment with our Solar System unit, we did a science activity called “How Long Can People Survive in Outer Space” where we looked at modern day explorers (astronauts) and the dangers they face traveling to space.We compared and contrasted the dangers modern day space explorers face compared to those of early explorers. Through a series of activities, students were documenting the same traits that are tracked for astronauts before and after a voyage:  Push ups (muscle mass), taking 10 steps in a straight line-hands crossed over chest (balance), and measuring their height (do you get shorter or taller after a year in space?). Through observations, activities, discussions and video footage, students came to the conclusion that gravity affects our bodies and so does a year without it. 

Art: Early explorers sailed across mysterious oceans with mysterious creatures. Because of this, many maps were created (not necessarily for navigation but decoration to show the monsters of the sea as described by sailors). Observing various sea monsters drawn on maps dating back to the 1500s, we noticed sea monsters resembling other creatures which led us to the discussion of why they believed these sea monsters to be true. With that, we created our own sea monsters using pastels and watercolors. I’ll share pictures of our finished creations next week!

Celebrations!Today Betey is celebrating her birthday! Happiest of Birthdays, Betey-we hope you have the best day!

Congratulations to Xavier, CJ, Chloe and Selma for showing humility this week. These students demonstrated a gentle presence and image of themselves. Your class is very proud of you all!

Adventures in Third Grade-Week 28

Quarter 3 has come to an end and with that I present to you my favorite Tacky Tourists! We have one quarter to go until we have completed third grade. Hard for me to believe how fast this school year has flown by. Get Your Tickets Now!

OTA Nacho Average Gala, Saturday, May 4. Tickets available at the following link:   

Gala Tickets

 Want to volunteer at the event? Sign-up now and we’ll send you a promo code for $40 off admission price:

Check out live auction previews, the generous gala sponsors, a sneak peek at Teacher Experiences in the online auction, and more #OTAGala and Osprey Online Auction information.  Be sure to FOLLOW the Parent Foundation on Facebookand Instagramfor important event tips and announcements. We look forward to seeing you on May 4 at Liberty Station. 

Important Dates and Reminders

  • April 16-17: Talent Show Try Outs
  • April 22nd: No School
  • April 26th: OTA Poetry Contest *Please visit the link below in Reader’s Workshop for important information regarding the poetry contest*
  • April 29th: Field Trip to Cabrillo National Monument…more info to come.
  • May 3rd: Grandparent’s Day 🙂 Special Request…We will send invitation letters to Grandparents next week.  Please return a stamped and addressed envelope to school by Wednesday, April 17th.  You may invite other significant family members if a grandparent is unavailable to attend.  You may also invite two sets of grandparents, but please be sure to send two self addressed & stamped envelopes.  Please do not send more than two envelopes. We will write the letters during Writer’s Workshop, place them in the envelopes and send the invitations from OTA. Thank you for your cooperation and support!

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: This week our focus word, and Core Virtue for the month of April, is GENTLENESS. Our mantra is, “I show gentleness to others by treating them kindly with my words and actions”. We visualized somebody showing gentleness to us focusing on the good feelings that gave us. Then, we thought about how we can then use gentleness to give somebody else those same feelings.

Reader’s Workshop: We are discussing poetry and the elements found within poems such as mood, theme, rhythm, line, meter, stanza and rhyme. Taking a look at different poems, not only did we find these elements but practiced what some of them look and sound like when they are recited. All of this is helping to prepare us for our class poetry competition on Wednesday, April 24th. Each student has chosen a poem for the OTA Poetry Contest and is expected to memorize and perform this poem at our class poetry competition. They will have opportunities to practice their poems in class but they will need to also practice at home. I have given each student a copy of their poem. If they need an extra copy, you can print one from home using the link below.

Third Grade Poetry List

Writer’s Workshop: After completing the published pieces of our opinion essays, fine tuning our persuasive speeches and performing them at our Roman Forum PBL Presentation, we have officially closed out our unit on Opinion Essays:) Next up, Personal and Fictional Narratives.

Math: We took an assessment on fractions this week and we have begun a new unit that focuses on fraction equivalence and comparisons. We are also continuously reviewing and practicing past math concepts especially through our math games. It’s a busy time of year in math with more challenging concepts and I am proud of the effort these kiddos are putting in to this.

Read Aloud: “Shiloh” is such a rich story of what a boy will do to protect an animal. Marty discovered that Shiloh ran away again from his owner while out hunting. Now, Marty has made a decision to keep Shiloh and keep it a secret…even though it is not his dog. Great, deep discussions are taking place about the themes of dishonesty and responsibility.

Social Studies: Our unit on Ancient Rome has come to a close…which is kind of sad! We loved this unit and all of the knowledge we acquired about this fascinating time in history. Our Roman Forum was a success and I couldn’t be prouder of the work and effort these students put in to their stores and products..


Congratulations to Brighton, Wyatt F. Jonathan, and Jimmy for showing GENTLENESS this week. These students, through their gentle actions and words, brought good feelings to others. Your class is very proud of you!

Roman Forum Presentations Tomorrow!

Hello Third Grade Families,

Tomorrow at 1pm is our Roman Forum PBL Presentation! We are so excited for you all to come and hear our persuasive speeches about why you should visit our Ancient Roman stores. Each group’s speech will run about 3-5 minutes at the most and we have 12 groups. Our Roman Forum will be in session for about one hour. After all of the speeches have been given, the students would love to show you more closely their hard work:)
For your planning purposes, here is the order in which the presentations will happen. If you do not plan on being here the entire time, I ask that you please wait to enter or exit the room until the presenters are done with their speeches. It is very distracting to our presenters when there are people entering and exiting the classroom during their speeches. Thank you for being conscientious of this.
1. Jane, Aska and Roxy
2. Austin and Xavier
3. CJ and Reece
4. Betey, Brighton and Jacob
5. Louis and Mateo
6. Poppy and Maya
7. Jonathan and Reid
8. Leonard and Wyatt F.
9. Wyatt Mc.
10. Jimmy and Peyton
11. Landon and CJ C
12. Chloe, Mia and Ivy
As a reminder, students are encouraged to wear costumes. These can be as simple as a white sheet wrapped around them, a long, plain t-shirt with a belt/yarn/rope tied around their waist, or even an all white outfit works. I’m encouraging the students to be creative and to put some effort in to dressing up for this presentation. We will change into our costumes after lunch-students do not wear their costumes to school.
You are welcome to take your student home after the Roman Forum presentations have finished. If you have any questions, please let me know. We are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!
Jenny/ Mrs. Ciampa

Adventures in Third Grade-Week 27

Important Dates and Reminders

  • April 10th: Roman Forum PBL Presentations at 1pm. *Students are encouraged to wear costumes for their presentations and will change into their costumes at school. Students come to school in their school uniform.
  • April 12th: End of Q3, Tacky Tourist Spirit Day, and a half day with dismissal at noon. 
  • April 16-17: Talent Show Try Outs
  • April 22nd: No School
  • April 26th: OTA Poetry Contest *Please visit the link below in Reader’s Workshop for important information regarding the poetry contest*
  • April 29th: Field Trip to Cabrillo National Monument…more info to come. *If you are available to drive that day, please email me and let me know how many students you can take in your car (including your student). I am short drivers for 4 students.

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: Our word for the week was “SUPPORT” with our mantra being, “We SUPPORT others by being respectful, offering our help when needed and showing them we care”. This mantra was especially important as the students started the week off with  substitutes. Both subs reported that there were students who showed them much support which was such a wonderful thing to hear upon returning.

Reader’s Workshop: This week we worked on reading non-fiction text about the sun and the moon. While reading this text, we studied vocabulary and how these new and/or unknown words help us gain a deeper understanding of what we’ve read. Also, we compared and contrasted, located text evidence and used comprehension strategies to support us while reading informational passages.

The OTA Poetry Contest is an annual event that every student participates in. Students are given a list of poems from our Core Knowledge curriculum and from that list, they will choose a poem to memorize and recite. *I will share these poems with them on Monday and they will choose one. I will print out a copy of the poem for them. They may also choose another poem from any author on our poetry list or any poem/passage by Shakespeare.

On April 24th, we will hold an in-class poetry recital where all students will recite their poems (costumes and/or simple props are allowed). Three students will be chosen from our class to participate in the Poetry Contest on April 26th at 1:30pm. Please check out this link to see what poems are available to the students as well as a link to print out their poem at home if needed:

Third Grade Poetry List

Writer’s Workshop: We are putting the final touches on our opinion essays as well as our persuasive speeches for our PBL presentations:)

Math: Continuing with fractions, the students made fraction pizzas to represent parts of a whole and practice their knowledge of fraction concepts. We worked on placing fractions on a number line, plotting fractions on a number line and using fractions in measurement. 

Read Aloud: A short story called “The Magic Finger” by Roald Dahl was read aloud this week and yesterday we started “Shiloh”. This Newbery medal-winning book is the story of a young boy, Marty who meets a dog he believes is being mistreated. We’ve already had some deep discussions about the kind of person Marty is and what causes him to not give up on Shiloh.

Social Studies: We are very busy at work on our PBL projects and we are looking very forward to sharing these with you all next week!

Science: This week we began our “What’s In Our Universe?”unit starting with the sun, moon and planets. We read about each of these and sorted characteristics of each of the inner and outer planets. Each student chose a planet, researched and gathered information and began creating a travel brochure for that planet. 

Music, from Ms. King: Students are beginning to prep for our upcoming Spring concert which will be held at the end of May! (Tentative date is Wednesday May 15th)


Happiest of Birthdays to Reese and Chloe! Both kiddos celebrated their birthdays this week and we all hope your birthdays were amazing!









Congratulations to CJ C, Reece, Mateo and Ivy for showing SUPPORT to others this week. Each of these students put in thoughtful effort to make sure that others felt supported. Awesome job! Your class is very proud of each of you:)

Adventures in Third Grade-Week 26

Happy Spring Break! I hope you all enjoy your week off:)

Important Dates and Reminders

  • March 25-29: Spring Break
  • April 1-3: Substitute for Mrs. Ciampa, I’ll be back at OTA on the 4th 
  • April 10th: SAVE THE DATE! Roman Forum PBL Presentations at 1pm.
  • April 12th: End of Q3 and a half day with dismissal at noon
  • April 22nd: No School
  • April 29th: Field Trip to Cabrillo National Monument…more info to come. *If you are available to drive that day, please email me and let me know how many students you can take in your car (including your student).

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: This week our focus word was CALM with a mantra of, “I have a calm and relaxed mind and body”. We worked on calming and relaxing our bodies through breathing while focusing on how a calm body feels. We also visualized how we see ourselves remaining calm even when things around us are not. 

Reader’s Workshop: This week we looked at and discussed passages we read about black bears and bird nests to determine an author’s point of view. What we noticed was that these authors used clue words about a topic that caused us to reflect and come to a conclusion about point of view. I was so impressed by the conclusions the students came up with-they did a great job!

Writer’s Workshop: While using the OREO (opinion, reason, example, opinion) format for our opinion essay, we talked about the use of paragraphs to also help organize our thoughts and writing. We took a look at our opinion essay drafts and found ways to turn our reasons for our opinion in to separate paragraphs. The connection was also made that transition words are often found at the beginning of a paragraph. We’re almost ready to publish our essays.

Math: We are learning all about fractions! Unit fractions, parts of a whole, numerators, denominators, fractions on number lines, fractions equivalent to a whole, etc. We read a math book called “Fraction Action” that connected fractions to our world enabling us to see how fractions exist outside of our classroom:) We are also doing math stations where we are playing fraction games, reviewing  math concepts and completing fraction task cards. 

Read Aloud: We finished reading “The Thieves of Ostia”. This was the first time I read this book and I’m so pleased that we did. The students really enjoyed this story and I can only imagine how this must have brought to life for them what it was like to be a child in Ancient Rome:)

Social Studies: The essential question for our PBL project, “How can you, as an Ancient Roman, create a product and gain customers by advertising in the Roman Forum?”, has brought out the creativity in all students. It is so encouraging to watch them develop ideas and then contemplate their thinking about these ideas. The reflection I am seeing, as well as the problem solving strategies for working with a partner, has developed so much from where we first started this school year. I am so proud of the growth I am seeing in these kiddos! *Students will dress up for our PBL presentation*

Art: We are now in the season of spring and flowers are in bloom! We read about cherry blossom trees which were a gift from Japan in 1912 to the United States as a symbol of friendship. We painted cherry blossom tree branches to welcome spring.





Celebrations!Happiest of Birthdays to Selma who will be celebrating her birthday over Spring Break. We hope you have a wonderful birthday!

We’d like to congratulate Leonard, Betey, Austin and Jane who were recognized this week for their CALM minds and bodies this week in class. We are so proud of you all!

Adventures in Third Grade-Week 25

The Scholastic Book Fair will be at OTA next Tuesday and Wednesday. We are very excited about exploring new books! Please visit the above link and check out this eWallet video so students have the option to be cash-free if you plan on purchasing books.

Important Dates and Reminders

  • March 19-20th: Scholastic Book Fair at OTA
  • March 19th: Class Visit to the Book Fair 9-9:30am
  • March 25-29: Spring Break
  • April 10th: SAVE THE DATE! Roman Forum PBL Presentations at 1pm.

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: Our focus words this week were STRONG HABITS. We discussed how habits can be beneficial and how habits can be something to overcome. Our mantra for the week was, “I enjoy having habits that help me have a happy, healthy and successful life”. In the context of the classroom, we focused our mantra on visualizing situations where we either overcome a habit that doesn’t serve us in our classroom or strengthen those habits that bring us success at school.

Reader’s Workshop: We completed a final evaluation of our Book Club groups and it is so rewarding for all of us to see the growth that has taken place since our last evaluation. We dove deeper in to point of view by focusing on the strong words author’s use in their essays that cause us to clearly see their point of view. For example, we read an article titled “The Dark Side of Aquariums” and discussed how the title alone uses strong words that give you a clear idea of the author’s point of view. 

Writer’s Workshop: Our opinion essay final drafts are complete and we are now editing! In relation to examining point of view in reading, we see the connection to our opinion essays. We looked at words we commonly overuse such as like, nice, good and fun and used a thesaurus to help us find strong words (synonyms) of those overused words. Then, we choose five “weak” words from our draft and used the tools we now have to look for strong words to express clear emotion and feeling.

Math: We are diligently working on multi-step word problems that involve multiple operations within a problem, multiplying with multiples of 10s using the properties of multiplication and subtracting across zeros up to 1000. It’s hard work and I am very proud of the effort these students are putting into math. 

Read Aloud: The children in “The Thieves of Ostia” are on a mission and every obstacle they face on their mission is one we love hearing about. Whether it’s being surrounded by wild dogs with nowhere to hide or being chased by a slave-dealer’s frightening men, it’s never enough story for these kiddos:) I am so happy they are enjoying this book as much as they are because it connects so beautifully to everything we have been learning with Ancient Rome.

Social Studies: We have officially finished learning about Ancient Rome. We learned about the Eastern and Western Empires, Constantinople and Christianity, and Rome’s Lasting Contributions which we continue to see and use to this day. I can honestly say that this has been such an enjoyable topic to teach-your students have been engaged, inquisitive and active participants in their learning. 

We began our Roman Forum PBL project for Q3:  How can you, as an Ancient Roman, create a product and gain customers by advertising in the Roman Forum? Students are working with partners and, without giving too much away, have brainstormed some very innovative products so far!

Art: Roman mosaics are beautiful works of art that have given us such insight in to the every day lives and activities of Ancient Romans. After examining many different Roman mosaics and how they were created, students were sent on a mission to create a mosaic. Without giving too much away, this mosaic is an important part of their PBL project.

Music, From Ms. King: Students are working on playing AND singing along to Bruno Mars’ Count on Me. As part of this project we have been talking a little bit about vocal technique and good sound in the voice. Piano is continuing with their individual levels of progress.


Congratulations to Mia, Roxy, Maya, Wyatt Mc., and Jacob! These students demonstrated STRONG HABITS through practice and consistency. Your class is so proud of you all:)


Adventures in Third Grade-Week 24

Important Dates and Reminders

  • March 4-14th: Intent to Re-Enroll open, please complete this before 3/15 if you plan to return to OTA for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • March 19-20th: Scholastic Book Fair at OTA
  • March 25-29: Spring Break
  • April 10th: SAVE THE DATE!
    • Roman Forum PBL Presentation at 1pm on Wednesday, April 10th. Our originally scheduled PBL presentation for March 22nd has been changed.
    • Students may wear Roman costumes during our presentation, more info to come:)

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: Our core virtue at OTA for the month of March is MERCY. We focused on the word mercy with a mantra of, “I show mercy to others by being compassionate when they make a mistake.” We had many discussions about how we want to react quickly sometimes with words or actions due to our frustration or anger at a mistake somebody has made. But instead, we talked about what we can say or do to reassure that person, and show them mercy, when they do make a mistake.

Reader’s Workshop: In book clubs, we practiced the important strategy of pushing the conversation in our discussions by asking questions and making statements that cause others to dig deeper. We noticed first hand how just one question or statement, that pushes the conversation, can have a chain reaction. With that one comment or question directed at one book club member, the students saw the power of how it causes others in the book club to share and dig deeper too. Another topic we covered was point of view. As we begin to take a closer look at this in the books we are reading, we heard the point of view of animals whose home was a tree threatened by the axe of a man as well as the Big Bad Wolf who claims the Three Little Pigs are to blame for his bad reputation.

Writer’s Workshop: Now that we are done learning about and practicing the different types of examples writer’s use to support reasons for their opinions, as well as writing a conclusion with a bang, we have begun drafting our opinion essay. I cannot wait to see students put into place the editing strategies we will begin next week-these essays are on their way to being awesome published pieces!

Math: This week we took a benchmark assessment to see where we are at with math and during our math center rotations, we learned a lot of fun, new rounding games that kept us all challenged. We are Adding and Subtracting Numbers Within 1000 and we keep pushing towards learning those multiplication facts. Any extra help at home with memorizing those facts will only help your student tremendously in 4th grade. 

Read Aloud: “The Thieves of Ostia” has us on a journey with the determined and adventurous Flavia who is out to solve the mystery of what happened to Bobas, Jonathan’s dog. We’ve been introduced to Lupus, a homeless Roman boy who doesn’t speak and when we find out why he doesn’t speak, we’re left wondering how that happened. Ask your child to fill you in.

Social Studies: Julius Caesar, Brutus, Marc Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian (aka Augustus Caesar) have been the talk of our class. These Ancient Romans are intriguing and there are so many insightful thoughts and questions coming from the students. Be sure to ask your child about the Ides of March (March 15th). We learned about Rome’s Republic becoming the Roman Empire and why this took place. We also learned about Pax Romana, the 200 year period of peace within the Roman Empire after years and years and years of fighting and war. We begin our PBL project next week and please note the date of our presentation is April 10th at 1pm.

Art: August Caesar was a lover of art and paid Roman artists to create frescos, mosaics, sculptures and temples. We learned about the good and bad of frescos and how many frescos were preserved in Pompeii, hidden under ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. In Ancient Rome’s honor, we created and painted our own frescos. They look beautiful!







We want to wish the Happiest of Birthdays to Roxy who will be celebrating her birthday on Saturday. We hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Congratulations to Reid, Mateo, Aska and Poppy who showed MERCY this week through their compassion for others. Whether it was kind comments or sharing a perspective that made another feel better after a mistake, these students earned this award. Your class is so proud of you all!


Adventures in Third Grade-Week 23

On MondayMarch 4th, 2019, all forms will be available for you to re-enroll at Old Town Academy.  This is only for returning students, and if you have a sibling that you would like to enroll, please submit a new applicationThe deadline to complete and submit re-enroll forms will be FridayMarch 15th, 2019. Below are the instructions.

Please access the SchoolMint website with the URL link . All registered OTA families should have an account with your chosen primary email address, so go ahead and login.  If you have forgotten your user information, please follow the prompts for “Forgot Username” or “Forgot Password”.  From your “Student Dashboard” select “Re-Enroll” and Complete Forms.

We look forward to having your child/children for another great year at Old Town Academy! Should you have any questions or issues, please contact our office at (619) 574-6225

Important Dates and Reminders

  • March 4th: Intent to Re-Enroll opens, please complete this before 3/15 if you plan to return to OTA for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • March 19-20th: Scholastic Book Fair at OTA
  • March 22nd: Save the Date for our Roman Forum PBL Presentation to take place in the afternoon…more details to come.
  • March 25-29: Spring Break

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: Our focus words this week were “Good Listener” with our mantra being “I am a good listener and can refocus myself to listen to others”. We discussed strategies we can use when we find ourself drifting off from listening. Some strategies we tried in order to refocus were taking a deep breath, tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue or gently scratching the palms of your hand. It was so great actually watching students put these strategies in to action!

Reader’s Workshop: Book Club discussions and behaviors have shown so much growth! Listening to book club members really ask meaningful questions that push each other to dig deeper in their responses is incredible. We read about the lost city of Pompeii and the volcano, Mt. Vesuvius, that destroyed this city in Ancient Rome. Thinking about this eruption from the point of view of an Ancient Roman really opened our eyes to what this must have been like-especially when you are trying to outrun lava and smoke clouds coming at speeds of 60mph (we talked about the speed limit on the freeway being 65mph to give perspective of how fast this disaster moved). Using non-fiction books, we explored the world of gladiators, their weapons, who they really were and what life was like for them. Students designed a gladiator using the information they gathered from their reading.

Writer’s Workshop: Our opinion essays are starting to take shape! We looked at mentor text to see and hear a strong lead that captures your audience’s attention. After looking at the strong lead we noticed that a strong opinion is part of the lead. We wrote a rough draft of our lead. Then we moved on to how you support the reasons for your opinion with examples. Different types of examples include personal stories, specific examples, observations and surveys. We conducted a survey to see if we gathered enough votes in favor of our opinion so that this survey can be used in our essay.

Word Work: We are beginning a very fun Latin roots unit called Reading Olympians where students move through learning a set of Latin roots (the sets are named after gods and goddesses) with various activities. I shared that knowledge of Latin roots helps you figure out the meaning of unknown words-just like context clues help us do that too. We are starting with 10 roots under the goddess Nike. Once we have mastered these roots, we earn a badge to put on a necklace that hangs in the room. If you find these roots in your reading, you earn beads to put on your necklace. The goal is to get to Mount Olympus by mastering the Latin roots of eight gods and goddesses. It’s going to be very fun!

Math: Rounding and estimating sums and differences is now moving into adding and subtracting in the 1000s. We’re also getting ready to take an assessment to see how we have done with all of the math concepts we have learned so far this year. Another thing we are always working on is mastering those multiplication facts before the end of third grade. Our next big math unit is fractions which we’ll be starting in the next couple of weeks.

Read Aloud: “The Thieves of Ostia” is constantly keeping us asking questions and wanting more. Every chapter ends leaving us wondering what’s going to happen next. Life in Ostia isn’t easy. Flavia’s father is a merchant and has just set sail on his ship for an unknown amount of time. Her mother died in childbirth so she is left with the family cook and servant. This is a great story with historical facts which allow the students to get an idea of what life was like for Ancient Roman children through storytelling.

Social Studies: With a focus on life in Ancient Rome, we heard about the difficulties of life as a Plebeian living in small apartments in a loud city. We also discussed how hard life was for Romans with the amount of disease, food shortages due to a rapidly growing civilization, and resentment towards the wealthy Patricians. What the students loved hearing about was how the Patricians tried to make the Plebeians forget about their hunger and worries through what they called “bread and circuses”. They created amazing spectacles to entertain the Plebeians with chariot races, combat fighting and circus style entertainment to try and avoid riots-these Patricians did not like feeling threatened by the mobs of Plebeians. Lastly, we did a Gladiator Simulation which was a big hit! Your life as a gladiator was based on an answer you chose or a number you spun. Each answer either saved you from injury or injured you terribly. We had a great time.

STEM: Ancient Romans were ingenious with their roads, architecture and aqueducts. After learning about the purpose and importance of aqueducts, students were presented with a STEM challenge to design an aqueduct that can transport water from a source to at least three different locations. Using a set list of supplies, students were left to design and experiment with their aqueduct models. There was success!

Music, From Ms. King: Kids are working on playing “Count On Me,” for ukulele. We are still working to master our new chord, D minor. Students are continuing to progress in their piano playing with Yousician. Certificates and achievement awards will be sent home as they earn them:)


We want to wish Aska a very Happy Birthday! Her birthday is on Saturday. Happiest of Birthdays, Aska!We’d also like to congratulate Louis, Landon, Chloe and Peyton for being GOOD LISTENERS this week. These students modeled this skill beautifully and your class is so proud of you all!

Adventures in Third Grade-Week 22

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: This week our focus word is also one of the Core Virtues of February and that is JUSTICE. Our mantra was, “I behave in a way that is fair and equal for everyone”. We discussed this a lot in the sense of challenges we face in the classroom and out on the playground. 

Reader’s Workshop: This week we focused on context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words. We took a look at an underlined word in a sentence and used different strategies to figure out the meaning of that word. This was a great practice for all of us. We also continue to meet and discuss our book club books. Each student within each book club had an opportunity to evaluate their book club. These evaluations were a good reminder that your book club is holding you accountable to the expectations and they are also noticing when you are doing a great job.

Writer’s Workshop: We continue to practice writing strong opinions and reasons for our opinion. With the introduction of the OREO graphic organizer (O=Opinion, R=Reason, E=Example, O=Opinion), we are able to organize our opinion, provide reasons for our opinion and back up our reason with an example. We practiced this strategy by reading about the lives of Ancient Romans. After reading these passages, students were presented with a question about their thoughts on the subject of Roman lives. They had to then organize their thoughts and opinion onto the OREO graphic organizer in preparation for an opinion essay.

Math: By rounding numbers, breaking them apart, or “making a ten” we can do mental math to solve addition and subtraction problems. We completed our graphing project where we had to graph information in four different ways (frequency table, line plot, bar graph and pictograph) as well as analyze that data by answering questions. 

Read Aloud: We began our new book, “The Thieves of Ostia” which is the first in a series called Roman Mysteries. In this historical fiction story, we are introduced to Flavia, a young girl who lives in Ostia, the port of Rome. She lives with her father, a ship’s captain, and he has lost his beloved seal ring. Flavia sets out to find this ring and ends up with a magpie, in a tree, in a graveyard with half a dozen hungry dogs awaiting her descent. After that experience, the story begins to unfold and we are loving it! There are so many references to things we are leaning about with Ancient Rome.

Social Studies: This week we learned about the Roman Republic. Exploring this world of senators, consul, and Ancient Rome’s social classes (Patricians, Plebeians and slaves) has allowed us to practice and share our strong opinions and reasons on this topic. We also dove into the intriguing Punic Wars. Your student should be able to tell you how many Punic Wars there were between Rome and Carthage, who Hannibal was and what animals he took with him to invade Rome by traveling over the Alps, and what the Romans did to the Carthaginian’s land once they conquered them.

Lastly, we had the pleasure of meeting two Ancient Romans, Augustus and Cassia Flavian (aka my mom and dad). Augustus and Cassia taught us all about their home, Augustus’ olive oil trade business and what Ancient Roman’s ate. Augustus, a wealthy Patrician, let us see how servants prepared him for his feast as well as how he ate while reclining on his left side…there is a reason for that. Ask your student if they can tell you:) This was such a fun experience and my parents were so impressed with all of your amazing kids, their questions, engagement and most of all, their willingness to try foods of Ancient Rome.





















Art: Columns are a major contribution from Greeks and Romans and have beautiful and often ornate designs. After looking at how columns were used in Ancient Rome, as well as how columns are used today all over the world, we observed the four major columns used throughout Ancient Rome and they are called:  Doric, Tuscan, Corinthian and Ionic. The students sketched then traced three different types of Roman columns as step one of a very pretty art project.


Congratulations to Jonathan, Xavier, CJ C and Selma who showed us all how they use JUSTICE by behaving in a fair and equal way. Your class is so proud of you!

Adventures in Third Grade-Week 21

Important Dates and Reminders

  • February 15-February 18th: President’s Weekend, no school on Friday or Monday
  • February 20th: OTA Board Meeting 6pm
  • February 22nd: Honor Roll recognition at morning assembly, 8am

Curriculum Highlights

Daily Morning Meeting: This week our word was HONESTY which is also a Core Virtue for the month of February. Our mantra this week was, “I am honest with myself by making choices based on what I believe, not based on the beliefs of others”. We discussed this in relation to making choices in our classroom based on what we believe is the best choice rather than being influenced by the choices of others. Lastly, we shared compliments we had for one another. Each student picked a classmate’s name out of a bowl and then they were responsible for writing compliments on paper hearts for that student. We then passed out these compliment hearts to each other this morning and glued them on to our Valentine’s Day box. It’s a very special thing to watch the smiles on these student’s faces when they read these kind words somebody else had for them.

Reader’s Workshop: Our focus with book clubs this week was using a rubric to guide us to write our best reading response letter to our book club. We reviewed and further practiced making text connections to help us better understand what we are reading. We also read the “Myth of Cupid and Psyche” which gave us even more insight into the fascinating stories and world of Roman gods and goddesses.

Writer’s Workshop: This week we read an opinion essay on whether or not wild animals should be used in the circus and this was a great example of taking a stand on a topic. As we took a closer look at this essay we discovered that the author included three strong reasons to support her opinion. Discovering this strategy, we also chose a topic to take a stand on (ex: a later start time for OTA) and come up with three strong reasons why we feel this way.

Math: We began Topic 8: Use Strategies and Properties to Add and Subtract which has a focus on rounding numbers, properties of addition and using these skills in mental math. There are some extension projects going on as well which are designing a toy store (using the skills of area, multiplication, data collection and organization) and graphing conversation hearts and displaying our data using four different types of graphs. This also involved answering questions that really get you thinking about analyzing the data you collected.

Read Aloud: We finished reading “Because of Winn Dixie” and I have a lot of love for this book. I know a lot of students felt the same. Opal is the kind of character we can all learn something from:) We loved the movie and it was so fun discussing the similarities and differences between the movie and the book. Next week we begin reading “The Thieves of Ostia” which is about four children in ancient Rome and it’s the first in a series called “The Roman Mysteries”.

Social Studies: Roman Gods and Goddesses were the topic this week and it was a topic that every student was silent and engaged for-it was so much fun teaching and talking about these fascinating deities. We discussed the history of the relationship between the Romans and Greeks, why they believed in gods and goddesses, how they celebrated and thanked these gods as well as where rituals took place to honor these gods. Each student chose a god or goddess who caught their attention and began gathering research for a future project.

Science: Before we took down our Body Systems expert bulletin boards (to make room for Ancient Rome), we took pictures for you all to see:)

The Skeletal System Experts
The Muscular System Experts
The Nervous System Experts

Music, From Ms. King:Piano: Work on 4 finger songs 
Ukulele: Learning Count On Me by Jason Mraz. Learned D minor chord


Congratulations to Wyatt F., Jimmy, Brighton and Ivy for their HONESTY this week. These students really put in the work to show they were being honest with themselves about their choices in our classroom this week. Your class is very proud of you all!