Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reading Logs

Hi 3rd Grade Family,

A number of parents have asked me about reading logs and how they work so I decided to make an up-date just on that.  Here's how they work.

We started the year with the children getting a reading log from me, but I've stopped this because by now the children should know how to set them up using their own paper.  This saves the school paper and it allows them to build their own logs to their taste.  That gives them more room to write, to make comments, and so on.

The log should have the following minimums:

*Name of the text.

*Author of the text.  (this builds awareness of who writes their books so the children can follow authors they like)

*Page read (ex. pp. 12-29.  This gives me a feel for their reading endurance)

*Comments (This can be as simple as a couple of sentences as a summary for what they read to a critique of the text or what they think about characters and their actions in the text.  I want them to show me their thinking and connections to the text as much as possible, so stay away from just pure summary work if possible.  However during some weeks, like this week, I do ask for summary work because it matches up with current reading skill:  summary and main idea/supporting details.

As long as hour child's reading logs have these minimum items then they are fine.  They can add more though!  They can tell me how many "fingers" a book is (as in how many words he didn't know out of the first 100), they can add a summary column and an opinion column, they can also list interesting words, whatever strikes their fancy.

The weekly reading log  is great practice in both reading and writing.  The more practice your child gets then the better reader and the more confident writer they will become..

Cycle 5

Time for Cycle 5.

Hello 3rd Grade Parents,

Welcome to our new 3rd Grade Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies blog.  Here you'll find homework, spelling lists, and a general layout of what we're doing over the course of the year, cycle by cycle.  This year our curriculum follows a basic 7 day cycle that we'll follow as part of our studies.  The cycle is broken into two basic parts:  a reading section which is the first four days, then it is wrapped up by three days of writing.  This week are are , so we are off with a new spelling list and a new set of reading objectives to cover.  In addition, this cycle will also cover the ground we are discussing in Social Studies.  So feel free to drop in every seven days or so to catch-up on what we're doing, or daily to keep track of homework and what material we are covering.


Base words with /k/, /s/, and /j/ sounds.
Our list this cycle uses words that have hard /k/ (like knock), /s/ (and soft c sounds like ceiling) and /j/ (like judge) sounds.  We've discussed this in class and we're looking for examples of words with these sounds in our text.  One thing that can help your child is to look for these words in your daily use and on signs you see as you drive or travel around town. 

You'll notice that our spelling list has changed.  We now have 20 words in our spelling lists.  The students are only held to the first fifteen words.  The other five words are extra credit words that use the same strategy as the basic list and grant your child extra credit if they get them correct on the test.  I don't count them against your child if they are missed.  Please study these words with your child so we can enrich their vocabulary!

Spelling List.
1. clock
2.  large
3.  page
4.  mark
5.  kitten
6.  judge
7.  crack
8.  edge
9.  pocket
10.  brake
11.  change
12.  ridge
13.  jacket
14.  badge
15.  orange

Challenge Words
16.  ceiling
17.  advantage
18.  pledge
19.  Kentucky
20.  pencil

11/7- List in ABC order.
11/10- Write each word you missed on the spelling pretest three times each.
11/12-  Worksheet
11/13  Study for the test.


In this cycle we have been studying a text about the stars called "Constellations".  We are using this text to accomplish two basic things:

1.  Students are being asked to read the text in small chunks, usually paragraphs, then they are being asked to think about what they are reading.  Finally they are being asked to jot their thoughts down in a journal or to share them with a classmate or with the class.

2.  Students are being asked to use text features, mainly graphic ones like maps and illustrations, and then explain how these features assist them with understanding the text in their selection.

These strategies are a part of the close reading process and they are tools to help the students gain as much insight out of a text as possible.

There are several ways you can help with this.  For SIR reading have your child stop reading after a page or so then have them tell you their thoughts about that small section.  Then have them continue for another section and do the same thing.  For using text features you might break out a newspaper or magazine and have them look at a picture or graph and tell you what's going on in that feature. Then you could both look at the text and figure out how this illustration helps you to "get" the text.


This week your child will be looking through their writer's notebook and will be looking for a subject to write about.  They have two basic choices:  to write a narrative (story) about a memory or experience or to write about something that interests them, but as an informational text.  The story requires your child to come up with a character (it could be them!), a setting (where and when the story takes place), and a plot (a problem for the character to solve and their solution to the problem).  The informational text should have a main idea (I think our school should not use uniforms) and details to support it (this would be reasonable reasons, ones that are well thought out).  We will start the prewriting process during this cycle and we will wrap it up during cycle 6.