Monday, December 17, 2018

Spelling Bee Results

Congratulations to all of our class Spelling Bee participants!  It takes a lot of courage and spelling skills to participate.  Another big congratulations to our classroom Spelling Bee winner, Kenyatta!  It was a close bee with Lyra as the runner-up.  We made it all the way to the 7th grade list! 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Sneak Peek into Next Week...

I can't believe it is already winter break time!  This year has been flying by so quickly.

NWEA:  Students will take the winter NWEA this Tuesday and Wednesday.  If your child will not be at school, they can make it up when they return.

Spelling Bee:  The class spelling bee will take place Monday 12/17.  The spelling bee is optional, but I encourage all students to participate.  The winner of the class spelling bee will go on to participate in the school-wide spelling bee in January.

Reading:  We will review our character lessons this week, and we'll continue to practice determining the theme and supporting it with text evidence.   In the writing block, students will learn researching skills.  They've begun a short writing unit about a personal passion.  We will find resources this week and begin taking notes and planning for a final product.   Additionally, students will work on a social studies writing activity.

Math:  Students will continue working on a holiday decimal project this week.  They will develop skills adding and subtracting decimals.  They will also learn to "shop" on a budget!

Social Studies:  Students will explore the Great Migration and learn about it's impact on Chicago.  They will also discuss the World's Fair and Daniel Burnham.   Throughout the week, students will also have time to work on their ABC book.  By the end of the week, students should have 18-20 ABC book pages completed.

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Sneak Peek into Next Week

Reading:  Students will continue to study static and dynamic characters as they read stories from Every Living Thing.  Lessons will focus on determining events that cause a character to change and supporting the theme with evidence from the text.  During the writing block, students will begin to investigate topics they are passionate about learning.  This will eventually lead to a writing project.  Encourage students to notice topics and ideas that interest them outside of school as they will be adding to an on-going list.  Friday, students will participate in a fun activity involving #bettertogether.

Social Studies:  Learning about the Great Chicago Fire will kick the week off in social studies.  Following those lessons that center on causes and effects, students will learn how immigrants contributed to the development of Chicago.  They will also have time to work on their ABC book project.  Students will also learn to identify setting details in a text.

Math: In the math block, I'll instruct lessons around decimal notation and computation.  Towards the end of the week, we'll begin a fun winter project that will extend into next week as well. We need holiday catalogs for this project- please send them to school with your child!

Read Aloud:  We finally finished The Birchbark House.  Next week, we'll begin our next read aloud, The Important Thing About Jellyfish.

Ms. C's last day with our class is next Friday, December 14th.  If you see her in the hallway, please wish her well in her future career as a teacher.  We were lucky to have her in our class this year.

Important Reminders

12/14 Progress Reports go home
12/20 30 BT + project check-in

Fort Dearborn


Each team built a replica of Fort Dearborn in Social Studies this week.  Students will post a photo of their design and a brief explanation on their student blog this afternoon.  Please check them out if you get a chance this weekend!  

Monday, December 3, 2018


We really need catalogs for a project we will begin late next week.  Please send them in if you have them laying around your house.

A Sneak Peek Into the Week...

Literacy: This week students will study characters and how they change.  Students will search for clues to learn about a character's personality (characterization).  The clues reveal themselves in the characters feelings, actions, sayings (dialogue), thoughts, and what others say about the character.  I remind students to use the acronym FASTO to help them remember where to look for clues.  In writing, students will publish their final opinion writing piece.

Math:  Students will be instructed on strategies for comparing fractions.  They will also begin exploring decimals.  Students will practice comparing decimals to the tenths place.

Social Studies:  Last Friday, we introduced students to a longer project we will work on mostly in school.  Students were given their ABC book project.  Each day they will have a short period of time to work on their ABC books.  Additionally, we'll continue to use Just Add Water to study how Chicago became the city it is today as well as different text structures in non-fiction writing.

This Friday, the primary grades will participate in big morning meeting assembly.  Please ask your child about it on Friday after school!

Finally, next week will be Ms. Cecchin's last week with us!  She will be doing observations and slowly phasing out her teaching responsibilities.  If you see her in the hallway, please remember to wish her the best of luck in her future career.  We love having her and we will be sad to see her go.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

This Week in Our Classroom....

Math: We will begin unit 3 in math this week.  Students will review equivalent fractions. Students will understand how to identify equivalent fractions and how to distribute equal sharing. I will review different strategies students can use in order to solve for equal sharing. Students will be encouraged to use drawings as well in order to help problem solve.

Literacy: In reading, we are going to start our character study unit. We will be using the book, Every Living Thing, by Cynthia Rylant during this unit. Students will practice summarizing a fiction plot structure. They will read several short stories and identify the plot elements within each story, then they will use the elements to write a summary. Students will also learn to study a character’s thoughts, words, and actions.  The students will receive a character study packet that they will be using throughout the unit. In writing, we are continuing our opinion writing unit. We will be learning how to research articles to use as evidence in support of our opinion. The students will be choosing their own topic to research and form an opinion on. Once they’ve researched articles and found one to use, they will write another opinion essay.

Social Studies: We’re continuing to learn how Chicago came to be the city it is today. We will be investigating why Chicago was a great place to build a community, what attracted people to Chicago, and who Chicago can thank for its beginning. We will continue to use the book Just Add Water as we go through our investigations. The students will be introduced to a choice board where they will choose one of our first three investigations and do a mini project on it.

Wednesday, November 28th Skinner North will have a Better Together Festival from 1:10-3:05.

Please send in any old catalogs you may have lying around the house!  We need them for a project.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Winter Decimal Project

In December students will work on a cumulative decimal project in which they will apply key concepts learned from the unit.  

We will need lots of CATALOGS for this project!  Since the holiday season is near, if there are extra catalogs you have at home, and don't want, please have your child bring them in to use for this project.  Please check the appropriateness of the catalog before you send it in too.  

Picture Make-Ups and Retakes

Picture make-ups and retakes will take place on December 4th. 

Science and Social Studies

Getting reading for our next social studies unit: How Chicago Came to Be.  Students are studying photos and  making predictions based on photos from long ago.  

Wrapping up our Energy unit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  

Happy Thanksgiving

Image result for ThanksgivingWe are so grateful to have your thoughtful, funny, smart, creative, and exceptionally kind children in our classroom this year.  Thank you for all of your support and encouragement.  Enjoy the holiday with your family.   

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Field Trip Tomorrow

Tomorrow we will visit the Museum of Science and Industry.  The busses will arrive promptly at 9:00am.  We will eat lunch at the museum.  Please pack a brown bag disposable lunch for your child.

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Sneak Peek Into Our Week...

Literacy:  Over the final five days of school before Thanksgiving break, students will participate in Literature Circles during the reading block in addition to our normal small group rotations.  I will assess students on their word study list next Thursday, and the following Tuesday students will take their final unit assessment for our Main Idea & Summarizing unit.  During the writing block, students will work on writing a second opinion piece.  Students will learn to support their thesis with research, reasons, and examples.  

Math: The Unit 2 assessment will be administered on Tuesday.  Students received a study guide to prepare for the assessment.  Following the assessment, students will begin Unit 3.  In this unit, students explore fraction equivalence and compare and order fractions using different representations. They then extend their understanding of fractions to decimals, comparing and ordering decimals using the same methods as for comparing fractions.   

Science:  We are wrapping up our investigation of magnetism in Science.  Students will review the content, update Science Notebooks, and take a final assessment next week.  The following week, we'll begin our 2nd social studies unit.  Students will use a text titled, Just Add Water.  They will need this to reference often during the unit.  I've linked the title to Amazon if you'd like to purchase a book to keep at home.  

Social Thinking: Please ask your child to tell you about our Social Thinking time with Ms. Jacobson.  She visits our classroom every Friday afternoon to teach us about Super-Flex and the Unthinkables.  The curriculum helps students develop further awareness of their own thinking and social behaviors and learn strategies to help them develop better self-regulation across a range of behaviors.

Other Reminders: 
No School Monday 11/12  Thank you to all of you who have proudly served our country.  

Conferences are next Wednesday (11/14).  If you have not sent in your conference time request, please send it immediately.  The end of the day and the beginning of the day are completely full.  

We are going on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry next Friday 11/16.  Make sure you've returned your child's permission slip.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Skinner North Hat Parade

Team 212's creative, vocabulary hats were very entertaining in Skinner North's first Vocabulary Hat Parade!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Walk-a-Thon Pledge Forms

Walk-a-Thon pledge forms were sent home today.  Return the pledge form by Thursday, November 1st to qualify for prizes!

Field Trip

We will visit the Museum of Science and Industry on Friday, November 16th.  Trip slips were sent home in your child's Friday Folder.  You only need to pay the $13.00 if you DID NOT pay the student fees at the beginning of the year.  Please return the trip slip as soon as possible.

Friday, October 26, 2018


We had a successful Walk-a-Thon, and a great time cheering on our 7th grade buddies! 

A Sneak Peek Into Next Week...

Literacy:  Our whole class mini-lessons will focus on using main ideas to write a summary of an article.  We will review components of a summary and the importance of telling only the most important ideas.  During writing, students will begin writing an opinion piece.  We will use The Day the Crayons Quit (a personal favorite!) as a mentor text to discuss argumentative writing.  Students will also have a word work quiz at the beginning of next week.

Science:  Next week, we'll will wrap up our first investigation series in Science.  Students will take their science test on Wednesday of next week.  The test will be an open notebook test.  A study guide will be sent home on Monday, please have your child review for the test using their notebook.  Following the test, we'll begin the second investigation series which focuses on magnetism.

Math: Geometry, units of time, and multiplicative comparison statements will be the focus of our math lessons next week.  You can expect the math test the following week.

Important Reminders: 
10/31 Vocabulary Hat Parade
11/2 No School for Students/End of Quarter 1
11/8 Book Tower Check In
11/12 No School for Students
11/14 Parent/Teacher Conferences- sign up coming home next week
11/16 Field Trip- details coming soon

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Vocabulary Hat Project

Please ask your child about the Vocabulary Hat project.  Students brought the assignment home today.  You can find a link to a variety of word choices on the Homework Page of the TGW.  Just click "Vocabulary Hat" under today's homework.

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Sneak Peek Into Our Week...

Literacy:  Inferring the main idea of a paragraph and short passage will be the focus of our mini-lessons this week.  Students will work in small group reviewing this skill as well.  During reading workshop stations, students will work on word work activities, practice reading skills on Freckle, and have time to read "Just Right Books" appropriate for the 30 Book Tower.  During writing, we will finish "The Important Book" based on the Native American tribe we studied.  Students will begin an opinion writing unit later in the week.

Math:  This week in math Ms. C and I will instruct lessons 2.4-2.6.  You can expect corresponding Home Links as homework.  Students will review factors, multiples, and prime/composite numbers.

Science:  We'll continue investigating energy this week.  Students will learn to distinguish between conductors and insulators.  They will also work on building series and parallel circuits.  Students may have some light reading homework for science later in the week.

Read Aloud: Ms. C will continue reading the Birchbark House.  We are about half-way through the book.  The author does a fantastic job of describing life as an Ojibwa Native American.


  • Picture Day is Tomorrow (10/23)
  • End of Quarter 1/No School for kids (11/2)
  • 30 BT Check-In (11/8)
  • No School in Observance of Veteran's Day (11/12)
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences (11/14)

Picture Day

Image result for picture day
Just a reminder tomorrow is picture day.  A form was sent home with your child.  You may return the form to school or order online.

Friday, October 19, 2018

AMID Survey

The Skinner North Classical School has partnered with a 3rd party diversity and education consultant, Single Story, Inc., to administer the AMID (Assessment of Multiculturalism, Inclusion, and Diversity) survey. The survey will remain live digitally to Skinner North parents, staff, and students in grades 5th - 8th Monday, October 1, 2018 through Friday, November 2. (The parent survey is available at 

This survey will be used as a basis for our work and the work of the school as we continue to promote diversity and inclusion, and to foster understanding of differing perspectives and experiences in the Skinner North community.  We really value your participation.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A Peek into Our Week...

Reading: This week students will review inferencing skills and learn a new word study procedure.  During the reading block, they will work in stations while I complete diagnostic testing with individual students.

Writing:  Students received feedback on an essay titled, "My Favorite Trip."  They will use the feedback to write a final essay using a different prompt.  Students will practice using a variety of sentence structures and interesting word choice in their essays.  They will also practice using elaborations strategies to add detail to their writing.

Math: Today students reviewed formulas to determine the area and perimeter of a rectangle.  The next couple of days will be review days and students will take the final assessment for the unit next Monday.  

Social Studies:  During the social studies block, students will research Native American tribes that once inhabited the Chicagoland area.  They will share and synthesize information with group members in order to complete a final "Important Book."  The book will be based off of The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown.

Important Reminders: 
30 BT jackets and project due 10/11

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Sneak Peek into Next Week...

Literacy:  This week in the literacy block students will be working hard to uncover context clues and self-monitor comprehension while reading.  Students will learn the different types of context clues and practice finding the meaning of unknown words.  They will also work with dictionaries and words with multiple meanings.  We will use multiple text sources to practice this skill.  In the writing block, students will practice constructing paragraphs with detail and elaboration.

Math:  Math lessons will center around geometry concepts and subtraction strategies.  You can expect corresponding Home Links for homework.  Please have your child practice on at home!  It is a great math practice website!

Social Studies:  We will finish our Native American Theme Set as we read a biography about a famous American.  Students will determine important information and understand how it applies to the key concepts we've studied throughout the unit.  They will take their final assessment on Wednesday.  After the assessment, students will begin a mini-inquiry project on a Native American Tribe.

Interactive Read-Aloud:  I will continue to read aloud The Birchbark House.  Students will analyze character development and important plot events as we read.

All-Star Forms

Just a friendly reminder... All-Star forms are due Monday, October 1st.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Room Parent

Room 212 is really in need of a room parent.  I promise to make it easy and not ask a lot of you.   If you'd be willing to help out, please contact Courtney Jacobson:
Your support would be very appreciated.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Newest Blog Post

Please check out your child's newest blog post!  They worked really hard with their buddy to write these essays.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

This Week in Our Classroom

Literacy:  During the literacy block this week, we will finish publishing My Buddy essays and begin writing paragraphs with elaboration and detail.  Students will learn to use examples, descriptions, anecdotes, and explanations to improve their writing and add detail.  In reading, we will learn strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words and review self-monitoring while reading.  Students will learn to annotation marks and how to annotate a text.

Social Studies:  In the social studies block, we'll read non-fiction National Geographic texts on the culture and way of life of Native Americans.  Students will practice generating questions and using the questions to take notes from the text.  Throughout this practice, students will learn how the homeland of the Native Americans influenced their food, shelter, and culture.

Math: In math, we'll review estimation strategies and multi-digit addition and subtraction.  Students will continue to work on and play math games that correspond with what we are learning in class.  You can expect HomeLinks 1.5-1.8 for homework this week.

Interactive Read Aloud:  We will be reading The Birchbark House, by Louise Erdrich.  The book corresponds with our social studies unit and provides an insightful look inside the lives of an Ojibwa family.

Important Reminders
- Book Fair will take place this week in the library before and after school

30 Book Tower Challenge

It was brought to my attention that the book list corresponding to the 30 Book Tower Challenge was not very diversified.  The purpose of the challenge is to expose students to a variety of authors and books.  Please feel free to substitute an author or book.  We are not concerned about the specific authors, we are just hoping it gets our kids reading.  Below is short list of authors to provide a more diverse selection, but there are many more! You may also take a look at books that have won The Coretta Scott King Award or other award winning chapter books.

Author List
Deborah Ellis
Rita Williams Garcia
Erin Entrada Kelly
Gary Soto
Thanhha Lai
Julia Alvarez
R. J. Polacio
Gita Varadarajan
Grade Lin

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Room Parent

Room 212 is still in need of a room parent.  If you'd like to volunteer, please email Courtney Jacobson at

30 Book Tower

Students learned about a year-long reading assignment today.  We will refer to it as the 30 Book Tower.  It is a challenge to read 30 novels throughout the year.  During the year, there are 2-3 "check-ins" per quarter.  Students are required to turn in a Book Jacket for each book they read and complete a book project/report for 7 of the check-in dates.  Your child received a folder with all of the information today.  Please check with your child tonight and ask them about the project.  This assignment consists of both Homework and Project grades in Reading.  All of the information is also available on the TGW.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Fair

Our classroom will visit the Book Fair on Friday afternoon.  If you chose to send money with your child, please put it in a ziplock bag and write your child's name on the bag.

Keyboarding Practice

In third grade students will type a lot of their final drafts in order to publish them to the Student Blogs.  Please have your child practice keyboarding skills at home.   There are many free websites that offer typing practice.  You can find a few under the Links and Resources tab on the TGW.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This Week in Our Classroom...

This week in our classroom, we will spend Monday and Tuesday afternoon in the computer lab taking the NWEA test.

Literacy:  Students will finish their building block posters to represent each one of the building blocks mentioned in Coach Wooden's book, Inch and Miles' Journey to Success. We will also read another short chapter book by Coach Wooden this week.  Students will finish their buddy writing assignment and learn about a year-long homework project later in the week.  Later in the week, we'll review genres and making good book choices.

Math:  We will begin Unit 1 this week in math.  Student will begin receiving nightly homework starting Tuesday evening.  Please check out the Third Grade Website to learn more about the unit's objectives.

Social Studies:  This week students will begin completing an informational text study that focuses on taking a historical look at different Native American groups in the U.S.  The class will be divided into groups, each group will be learning about about the history of different Native people - the Nez Perce, Pueblos, Iroquois, and Cheyenne.  Check out the Third Grade website for more information on this unit!

Book Fair:  Our class will visit the Book Fair this Friday afternoon.  If you'd like to send money with your child, please make sure it is in a sealed plastic bag with his/her name on the bag.  

- Check with your child to make sure ALL materials are returned to school each day.  These include Homework Folders, Planners, and any other school materials that were taken home.  

- Book Fair will take place next week in the Skinner North library from 8am- 5pm each day.  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Student Blogs

Students have published their first post to their personal blog.  Please check it out and leave a comment if you can- the kids love it!  I need to "approve" your comment before it will show up, so please be patient if you don't see the comment right away.  You can get to the Student Blogs on the TGW (Third Grade Website) under the Student Blogs tab.  You DO NOT need to log in to look at the blogs.

You can give valuable feedback to your child by telling them two things they did really well and then offering one piece of advice for next time (i.e. Capitalize your title, double check your spelling, give more detail, etc...) However, "great job!' is fine, too!

Student Blogs:

Freckle is an on-line learning platform.  It differentiates instruction automatically based on your child's performance.  This keeps your child engaged and constantly learning.  Please encourage your child to use at home.  Each student received a user name and password.  This information is taped inside of their Student Planner.  They may work on at home anytime!


I am in need of a volunteer or volunteers.  Please email me if you are available at all next week!
Thank you!


Third graders use a lot of checklists to help them do their personal best.  Each child received a morning checklist and an afternoon checklist to keep in their Homework Folder.  I will remind the students every morning and afternoon to take out this checklist and make sure all the items on the list are completed.  They will use a dry erase marker on the list and erase it when completed.  Please make sure your child brings his/her Homework Folder to school each day.  You may find it helpful to replicate the checklist with chores and/or homework at home!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Open House

If you were unable to make it to Open House last night, please take a minute to read through the Parent Information Packet (it will be in your child's Homework Folder tonight).

You may also check out the link on the Third Grade Website:

Monday, September 10, 2018

Room Parent

Do you want to be a Room Parent?  
Room Parents work with the Teacher, FOSN and the other class parents to facilitate communications and organize parent teacher coffees, end of year gifts, teacher appreciation, etc.  Being a Room Parent is largely a communication role and can be done remotely via email.  Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering this year. For any questions, please email  The form to provide a bit of information, if interested in the role, is below.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

First Week Team Building

Team Building Activities from Week 1


I am looking for a volunteer or volunteers to help make copies and get supplies organized for the school year.  If you are available to help during the day, please email me and let me know when you're available.

Back to School Night

Please join us this Wednesday, September 12th from 5-6:30pm for Open House/Back to School Night.  Ms. Noecker and I will be sharing important information about third grade.  

A Sneak Peek Into Our Week

A Sneak Peek at Our Week

Room 212 had a wonderful start to the school year!  Our main focus for the first week of school was getting to know each other better, understanding expectations and routines of the classroom, and developing communication and team building skills together as a classroom.  Here is a "sneak peek" at our second week:

Interactive Read-Aloud:  We will finish reading Coach John Wooden's Inch & Miles: Journey to Success this week and will finish the week reading related shorter chapter books.  This book presented students with different "pillars of success" individuals need in order to do their personal best.  Ask your child what pillars they remember!  These "pillars to success" serve as a foundation for discussions during students' entire third grade year.  

Reading:  This week students will be introduced to reading workshop and discover what it looks like in third grade.  Students will spend the week deciding how to make book choices based off of level and interest.

Writing:  This week, students will interview a peer in the classroom.  Then, students will be writing "My Buddy & Me" papers where they write about themselves, their buddy, and then similarities they found between themselves and their buddies.  Their work will be posted on their student blogs later this week!

Math:  Towards the end of this week we will be starting Unit 1 of Everyday Math.  The Unit 1 Family Letter,  correlating games, and additional resources can be found on the following page of the Third Grade Website:

Social Studies/Science:  During our social studies/science block, students will continue participating in team-building activities.  Team-building and communication skills that the children are developing are life-long skills that will be helpful to them at any age!

Important Updates:
  • Students will begin using their classroom planner this week.  Along with the green homework folder, the planner and homework folder should be taken home and returned each night.  There is homework page on the Third Grade Website that is updated on a daily basis:
  • Every Friday graded work will be passed back to students

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Welcome to Third Grade

I am so excited to be your child's teacher this year.  Third grade is an exciting year; it's filled with engaging projects and learning experiences.   High expectations are set in the classroom to make sure your child continues to grow to his/her full potential.   I will make sure your child is welcomed, cared for, challenged, and encouraged each day throughout this journey.   I'm looking forward to meeting your child and working together with your family this year! #bettertogether