**CONTENT**

**Test Prep**

**Math**

**Reading**

**Writing**

**March 2015**

**3/19**– Half Day - Dismissal at

__11:40__

**3/19**– PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE

__1 - 3 PM AND 5 - 7:30 PM__

**3/27**– Birthday Party at 2PM

**Important Information**

**Scholastic code:**KBZRT

**Room#:**310

**School#:**212 678-2829

**Email:**

msemilyps166@gmail.com

**March Newsletter**

**Dear Families,**

**Testing**

English Language Arts Exam: April 14th —April 16th

Mathematics Exam: April 22—April 24

**Math Module 5 - Fractions**
In this 30-day Grade 3 module, students extend and deepen Grade 2 practice with equal shares to understanding fractions as equal partitions of a whole. Their knowledge becomes more formal as they work with area models and the number line. This unit begins with students actively partitioning different models of wholes into equal parts (e.g., concrete models, fraction strips, and drawn pictorial area models on paper). They identify and count equal parts as 1 half, 1 fourth, 1 third, 1 sixth, and 1 eighth in unit form before an introduction to the unit fraction 1/b. Next, students compare unit fractions and learn to build non-unit fractions with unit fractions as basic building blocks. This parallels the understanding that the number 1 is the basic building block of whole numbers. Later, students practice comparing unit fractions with fraction strips, specifying the whole and labeling fractions in relation to the number of equal parts in that whole. Students transfer their work to the number line. They begin by using the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole. Continuing beyond the first interval, they partition, place, count, and compare fractions on the number line. Also, they notice that some fractions with different units are placed at the exact same point on the number line, and therefore are equal. For example, 1/2, 2/4, 3/6, and 4/8 are equivalent fractions. Students recognize that whole numbers can be written as fractions, as exemplified on the number lines below. The end of the unit concludes the module with comparing fractions that have the same numerator. As they compare fractions by reasoning about their size, students understand that fractions with the same numerator and a larger denominator are actually smaller pieces of the whole. Topic F leaves students with a new method for precisely partitioning a number line into unit fractions of any size without using a ruler.

**Writing - Test Prep**
For the next 5 weeks before the ELA exam, our writing work will focus on preparing students to do their best in answering short answer and extended response questions. It’s important for students to understand what the question or prompt is really asking, and thinking about how to answer all parts of the question. We are incorporating the read aloud of Because of Winn-Dixie with our writing responses to make our test prep practice more enjoyable. It is a text that students really enjoy reading and will allow to comfortably practice their writing skills.
To build on their written responses, students will learn that the extended response can be written as stacked short answer responses. In other words, each question on the extended response prompt can be answered in a paragraph (3-5 sentences). Since most extended response prompts have 2 or 3 questions, an appropriate written response should be 2 or 3 paragraphs long. See attached sample below.
Since Days 2 and 3 will have extended responses, there is a chance that students will be asked to respond to two passages. In this case, they will need to find text evidence from two different texts and cohesively include examples from both in their essay response.

**Social Studies - Unit Four – Learning About Cultures around the World through Literature**
This social studies unit focuses on the reading of folktales as a means for students to further develop their reading skills while also learning about cultures around the world. The CCSS ELA standard RL.3.2 calls for third graders to be able to recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures, and to be able to determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. Furthermore, on the ELA exam, students are often asked to determine the moral or life lesson that is being taught through a fable, folktale or myth, showing how details support that lesson. These actual stories may be used on the exams because of the way it is possible to assess high level comprehension, especially interpretation, with a short amount of text. The ELA exams are using only authentic texts, none that are made up by test creators. Therefore, the more reading third graders are doing in class and at home, the more likely they are to encounter texts they are familiar with.

**Back to School Presentation**

Thank You for Reading!