The Week Ahead
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3-A and 3-B

Danny Blum - Humanities

Erika Noel ("Ms. Erika") - Science

Claire Graves - Math

Wendi Kruger - Language Arts

February 27, 2017

Dear Fabulous Parents,

The Flexible Thinkers (3B) started a read aloud, Amazing Women, this past week. Our students spoke about meaningful women in their lives such as their mothers, family members, and teachers. Others spoke about Hillary Clinton. A quote we look forward to sharing with the students, by Malala Yousafzai, “one child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” We will think about her words as we embark on our change maker study! Meanwhile, the Atoms Family continued their read aloud, The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. This is the story of three pets as they journey through the Canadian wilderness to find their owners. Through the story, these animals show loyalty and courage in the face of adversity.


Calling All Half-Gallon Cartons!

Thanks to everyone who has already donated cartons to our cause! We are almost halfway to our goal and are still gratefully accepting half-gallon milk cartons (made of paperboard with either the folding spout or plastic spout). If you have any half-gallon cartons at home, please WASH and bring them to school! There is a box just to the right of the arrival/dismissal door for collection. Thanks again to anyone who can help out over the next few weeks!

Water Bottles and Friday Folders

Please remind your child to bring a full water bottle to school on Monday! Hydrated brains work better! Please also take all graded work out of your child’s Friday Folder and send it back EMPTY.

AVS Library Books

Atoms Family (3A) members, please remember to bring your AVS Library books back to school on Monday. Flexible Thinkers (3B), please remember to bring your AVS Library books back to school on Friday.

This Week…


Last week students were introduced to the Bay Area change maker research report. The students shared about their experience studying change makers in second grade. One student in particular said, “I want to feel what it is like to be a change maker. I want to go out into the world and do something, I want to make a difference.” This passion and desire to be a part of something bigger was inspiring and is a notion we are excited to foster as the students get deeper into their research. Throughout the week we saw this enthusiasm and curiosity come out in various ways, as demonstrated through a variety of the responses from last week’s Google Classroom reflection question. 3B began an all class read aloud and conversation about Amazing Women, by Caryn Jenner, this book will be shared with 3A next week. Students raised a number of questions about why women have been treated so differently from men. As we continue to dive deeper into the research we look forward to seeing the personal connections students make to their research topics, and help them gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for these radical and important people to our nation’s history.


Last week we jumped into our research project. Students were jumping out of their seats during the “big reveal” about their change maker. Students dove right into to their learning by researching articles and books about their change maker. After learning important information about their change makers’ early life, challenges, and accomplishments, students recorded facts and then developed thoughtful questions that they were still puzzled about. We were so proud of the way students used their time productively and purposely to learn more about their change maker. The weekly checklist for students also seemed to ease some of the research stress, as it made the day-to-day expectations clear from the beginning.

This week we will introduce students into phase two of their research. Not only will students continue to gather important information, but they will also develop “watermelon research questions” that will guide their research. We will guide students to think about how to make deeper connections about their research. Students will continue to use Google Classroom as our hub of communication. They will be able to search provided media links, respond to their peers, keep track of important dates, and view templates that we are using for the week. We look forward to our second week of research!

Save the date: Wednesday, April 5th-Research Presentation Day!


In math for the next couple weeks we will be teaching the students about decimals and fractions together. The students began working on a quilt project that allowed them to create their own design using symmetry. The students will use their own individual design to find the fractions, decimals and percents of the colors used in the quilt.

We will continue to focus on place value and discuss whole and decimal numbers. The students will gain an understanding that numbers to the left of the decimal are getting larger and numbers to the right of the decimal are becoming smaller. We will use manipulatives to allow the students to explore this concept. We will be using play money and real world examples to compare decimals.

Math Connection- Paying a bill at dinner, or a trip to the grocery store can be a great opportunity to connect math class to the real world! Encouraging and starting these conversations will help the students connect and grow in math.


Now that we have learned about how the three types of rock are made (sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic), we will investigate how rocks transform from one type to another through the rock cycle. We’ll begin by reviewing the three types of rock through the game Body Rock, where students essentially act out how each one is formed in small groups. We’ll also try to discern whether each of seven rock specimens are sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic based on the defining characteristics we have learned about. After watching a video about the rock cycle, we’ll make a torn paper diagram showing how extreme heat, pressure and weathering can cause each type of rock to turn into another type. To test our understanding of these processes, we’ll engage in an interactive computer program that will allow us to experience the rock cycle in different ways. Finally, we’ll each begin a fictional story of one rock’s journey through the rock cycle.


Monday-Thursday: Read at least 15 minutes.

Choose your favorite spot in your home to read. You may read with an adult or read independently.

Monday (Literacy): Students will spend at least 20 minutes researching about their change maker topic at home. Please use the “Change Maker Project” shared document on Google Docs to find the provided links. Students may use this time to watch videos or read additional articles. If they have read all of the provided links, students may use “” to search for additional videos or articles. Students will record new information learned in their “Think, Explore, Puzzle” packet.

Tuesday (Math): Students will be given real-world problems that challenge them to work through multiple steps and think critically to solve. All students are expected to show their work and thought process on the sheet. We will follow up on Wednesday by breaking into smaller groups, where students will compare answers and strategies they used. This peer discussion allows students to learn from one another as well as see a different way of solving the same problem

Wednesday (Humanities): Spend 30 minutes typing up first paragraph or first two paragraphs of research report. Students will have written out first paragraph in class that morning on their Watermelon Question Planning Page.

Thursday (Science): Dinner Discussion (of course this can also be ride home discussion, etc.) Talk with your parent or caretaker about cycles you know of (like the life cycle of certain animals) and discuss how the rock cycle is similar to and different from these other cycles. Fill out the Cycles sheet with some of the ideas you discussed.

a progressive learning environment
an emphasis on science, math and technology

Alta Vista School  |   |   Telephone: 415 / 467.370