Mrs. Baker’s Class
Open House Questions
I am so excited to be starting a new year! Third grade is a wonderful time, but it does expect more of the students. I believe in giving positive but firm guidance and watching even the most reluctant students openly enjoy learning. Our classroom will be a welcoming environment designed to allow each child the opportunity and confidence to discover and learn. We’ll have lots of fun learning new and exciting things every single day!
Below I have answered many of the common questions parents have at the beginning of the school year. Please feel free to contact me with any questions I have not covered. I look forward to teaching your child this year!
Lu Ann Baker
1. What will my child learn in third grade?
In third grade, students are encouraged to be more independent and have greater responsibility. They will use what they have learned in previous years and apply it to new and reviewed concepts this year. A brief summary of the third grade curriculum follows:
Math- number sense, place value, multiplication facts 0-12, division, fractions, estimation, mass, volume, elapsed time, telling time, perimeter, area, and reasoning with shapes. Students will apply these skills as they solve word problems using strategies learned in class.
Reading- students will become strategic readers as they work to comprehend text. Through large group (shared) reading, teacher-guided reading, read-alouds, and independent reading, students will study genres, elements of text, skills, and strategies that will all help them become more proficient readers. Students will read with the purpose of gaining knowledge and comprehending the text.
Writing- students will learn to read literature with a writer’s eye and apply their knowledge to their own writing. They will engage in many genres of writing including journaling, story (narrative) writing, informative (expository) writing, argumentative (opinion) writing, letters, and poetry. Students will follow the writing process as they take their pieces from thought to publication. Spelling and grammar are emphasized and students are expected to carefully proofread and edit their work.
Science- forces and motion, matter: properties and change, energy: conservation and transfer, Earth in the universe, Earth systems, human body systems, and plant ecosystems.
Social Studies- five themes of geography, history, economics, financial literacy, civics, government, and culture.
2. How will my child be taught?
Every child learns differently. Therefore, I believe in using many different teaching styles for instruction. I will use instruction that incorporates multiple intelligences, visual aids, hands-on activities, manipulatives, discussions, cooperative learning groups, projects, songs, books, and lectures to teach concepts.
Students will utilize iready in class and are encouraged to use it at home, as part of their homework. Iready is an online reading and math program purchased by the school. Students have used this program last year and already have their login information. It assesses students before they begin the program and then tailors lessons for them based on their achievement levels. Students receive practice on the standards that we are working on in class and at times are even introduced to new standards.
3. How will my child be graded/assessed?
I will monitor and assess students’ progress in a variety of ways including rubrics, tests, hands-on activities, personal conferences, and class work. Assessment is done on a continual basis and informs me of how your child is progressing and how to direct their instruction. Parents will be able to monitor their child’s progress via Power School. You can register for usernames and passwords on our school website. Grades from assignments will be transferred to letter grades in the following way:
A-90-100-Excellent B-80-89-Good C-70-79-Average D-60-69-Below Average
F-59 and below-No progress
Grades will be weighted as follows:
Tests- 35% Quizzes- 25% Participation- 10% Classwork- 30%
4. What responsibilities will my child have?
Students are expected to maintain an organized workspace and manage their materials appropriately. They are required to write down their homework in their agenda each day, complete all homework and class work assigned, turn in work on time, and get their agenda and reading log signed nightly. Students are expected to make the right choices to maintain a community of good citizens in the classroom.
5. What responsibilities will I have as a parent?
You are the first and most important teacher in your child’s life. Your encouragement and support will make a huge difference in your child’s third grade year. It is extremely important that we keep open lines of communication and that we partner in your child’s education. Each night, your child will bring home an agenda that will display homework and behavior for the day. Please make sure to sign the agenda every night so that I know you are aware of your child’s homework and behavior. Please provide a set time and quiet place for your child to complete his/her homework each night. Most importantly, please encourage and support your child throughout the year.
6. What are the EOGs?
The End of Grade tests are multiple choice tests administered at the end of the third grade year. They are used by the state to determine how much growth students made throughout the year in math and reading and if they are performing below grade level, on grade level, or above grade level. The scores for each test reflect one test given on one day. They are important for promotion to fourth grade, but are not the only factor in determining students’ progress. Other important factors include report cards, progress reports, and communication about your child’s progress. We will prepare thoroughly for the EOGs in class throughout the year by following the standard course of study-the outline of objectives to be met in third grade.
7. What is Read to Achieve?
The Read to Achieve Program is a part of the Excellence Public Schools Act which became law in July of 2012. It has been in effect since the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
8. What kind of homework will my child have?
Homework is intended to be a meaningful extension of concepts learned in class. Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday and the agenda should be signed on those nights. Students will be required to do 20 minutes of reading each night for the first quarter, 30 minutes for the second quarter and 40 minutes for the third and fourth quarters. Research has proven that the very best way to become a better reader is to read! In addition to reading, homework may include problems from math and spelling/vocabulary work. Students are expected to complete all of their homework each night. Providing a set time and quiet place for uninterrupted homework completion makes this possible. Students should be able to complete nightly homework with little or no help. Please make sure to look at the homework listed in the agenda and sign the agenda each night. This is your way to be aware of your child’s responsibilities. Please contact me if your child is struggling with his/her homework.
9. What time is lunch? J
Lunch will be from 12:50 – 1:18. We will be eating in the cafeteria. Your child will be responsible for his/her own lunch money. Please make sure you send it in a way that will be easy for your child to keep up with. If you would like to prepay for lunch, you can send in a check to the cafeteria or pay online. If you want to eat lunch with your child, go by the office first and get a visitor’s badge and just wait for us outside the cafeteria. We will also have a “working snack” at 10:45 am. Children are encouraged to bring a healthy snack from home to eat.
10. How do I contact Mrs. Baker?
Please remember that we need uninterrupted teaching during the school day. I cannot meet you during student hours, but I will be happy to meet after 3:00. If you would like to meet with me about something, please call the office (771–4545) and they will let me know you called. The best way to reach me is by writing a note in the agenda or put a separate note in the homework folder. I will look at both things every morning as part of our arrival routine. I will write you, call you or e-mail you back. I check my e-mail at planning every day. That is around 10:00. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments regarding your child’s education or behavior.
11. What do I do if my child needs to go home a different way one day?
Please make sure I know how your child is getting home each day. If anything changes, I need a note each time it is different. Otherwise, I will send your child home whatever way you tell me at the beginning of the year. I will not take a child’s word that they are to go home differently. I have to have a note.
12. Can my child suck on cough drops in class?
Please tell me of any medical conditions I need to know about your child. There is new policy that states a school cannot give out any type medication unless there is a doctor’s note and you have filled out the necessary forms in the office when you leave the medication. This includes cough drops, lotion, Tylenol, etc.
13. Will there still be Tuesday Packets?
We will have Tuesday packets again this year. I keep a portfolio for each child in class. These include assessments, tests, writings, and any work asked for by the county to be kept until the end of the year. I will send work home for parents to sign in the Tuesday packet, but need them sent back to put in their portfolios. The school sends important notes in these packets also, so be sure to look through them. I try to send all my notes in the homework folders.
14. What is my child’s daily schedule?
7:50 – 8:30 - morning routine and work
8:30 – 10:00 – reading
10:00 – 10:40 – specials
10:40 – 12:10 – math
12:10 – 12:40 – recess
12:50 – 1:18 – lunch
1:20 – 2:00 – writing and word works
2:00 – 2:30 – science and social studies
Monday – computer
Tuesday – media / science
Wednesday – art
Thursday – music
Friday – PE
15. How do you celebrate birthdays in third grade?
We are unable to have birthday celebrations at school. No balloons, presents, cakes, candles, hats, treat bags, etc. However, you are welcome to send in a store bought treat for the students to eat during lunch. We cannot serve any homemade snacks due to food allergies.
Our class motto is: Effort = Achievement
By working together as a team, we will have a wonderful and exciting year!