Friday, November 4, 2016

Here we go a-Viking!

Dear Families,
   This month, your child will be learning about the ancient Viking, or Norse, civilization. Through listening to the story of a young boy named Bjorn, we will be introduced to the Vikings' cultural practices and their history of shipbuilding, sailing, raiding, and trading. We will also learn about the geography of the places where Vikings lived and explored, and how living near bodies of water influenced the Viking lifestyle.  Below are some suggestions for activities that you may do at home to reinforce what your child is learning about the Vikings.

Unit Objectives:
3.C.2 Rights, Roles, and Responsibilities in the Political Process.  I compare and contrast citizenship and slavery, including the applicable rights and responsibilities of each..
* I can identify the three orders/classes of Norse people; thralls, karls, and jarls
* I can describe everyday life of the Norse people.
* I can can recall that the Thing was an assembly where the Norse made decisions for their community
3.E.1 Nature and Function of Economic Systems. I analyze how the finite nature of resources affects (and affected) the choices of individuals and communities.
* I can describe the V. peoples’ proficiency and legacy as sailors, raiders, and traders.
* I can explain that only the warriors who went on raids to other lands were called Vikings, and why they are also called Norsemen or Northmen.

3.G.1 Spatial Thinking. I use geographic terms and tools (maps, globes, legends, etc.) to describe space and place and to organize, represent, summarize, and interpret geographical data.
* I can identify and locate Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) as the area from which the Vikings originated.
* I can locate Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, and the Norwegian Sea
3.H.1 Historical Perspectives.  I identify and analyze the impacts of significant people, developments, events, and resources of the eras I am studying; I create and interpret a timeline.

* I can explain the importance of Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson.
* I can explain that Norse people worshipped many gods and goddesses, and name the 8 most important deities within Norse mythology.

Geography and Culture
   On a world map or globe, have your child locate Scandinavia, which includes the modern countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Talk with your child about how Scandinavia is surrounded by water. Discuss how living close to bodies of water influences what civilizations eat, how they travel, etc. Ask your child what the word Viking means. Discuss that the Vikings traveled by sea to raid and plunder other lands. They also traded with other people, gathering resources and goods not available in their homeland. Emphasize that the Vikings were the warriors of a larger Norse civilization. Have your child locate rivers near Scandinavia, and discuss how the Vikings would also use these bodies of water to reach faraway lands. You may wish to have your child draw a map of Scandinavia and label Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. 

Draw and Write
   Have your child draw and write what they have learned about the Vikings, such as their ships, homes, clothing,  food, the things they imported and exported for trading, and so on. Ask questions to help your child use the vocabulary learned at school.

Words to Use
We will learning many new vocabulary words within this unit. Try to use (or point out) these words come up in everyday speech with your child.

  • ferocious
  • treacherous
  • reliable
  • unison
  • reluctant
  • maneuver
  • intently
  • invaluable
  • mingling
Sayings and Phrases
   Your child will be learning the sayings, "last straw" and "rule the roost". Talk with your child about the meaning of each phrase. In relation to "last straw," share with your child a time when you experienced a series of difficult events, with the last event causing you to lose your temper or cry. In relation to "rule the roost," share with your child someone you know who acts as the boss in your family, your workplace, etc. What did that person do that allowed them to "rule the roost"? Find opportunities to use these sayings again and again to reinforce meaning within a familiar context. 

Upcoming Projects
Fun fact: REAL Viking helmets did not have horns!
   We will be making our Viking helmets in class this week. Next week we begin practicing our Norse Mythology plays! Most of the work will be done in class, but students may bring scripts home to practice, or ask to bring costume/prop pieces from home. 

Celebrating our Learning
   We will end our unit with a family celebration- a Viking Feast- on Tuesday, November 22nd from 2:00-3:30 in the lunchroom. Each family is asked to bring a dish to share, inspired by a Scandinavian food. More details will come home next week, but please put it on your calendars!

Thank you for reading! Please write "longship" in your child's planner and they will receive a Dojo point for teamwork!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Mrs. Gausman

Friday, September 9, 2016

Welcome to Third Grade!

It was wonderful meeting and visiting so many of you last night at Back to School Night! For those who were unable to join us, or for quick reference anytime of the year, here are the full details as handed out. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Please note the tabs at the top of the page. All of the essential information for the class (essentially the handouts from Back to School Night) can be found here for quick reference any time of year.

Week 1 Highlights
This week we spent some time getting to know each other and the four students who are new to Cascade Heights. We had a class discussion about our Flexible Seating, including establishing guidelines for what this looks like at different times of the day.

Daily 5 has been introduced with our first activity, Read to Self. We are working on building our reading stamina and independence.

We began learning about the human brain and Growth Mindset. We watched the first 2 Class Dojo "Big Ideas" videos introducing Growth Mindset.

Next week we will begin learning Italic Cursive and reviewing our Riggs Phonograms. It will take us about 3 weeks to build a solid foundation for the rest of the year before we are ready to begin Riggs words and regular spelling tests. I will keep you updated as we get closer to this transition!

Again, thank you for coming last night, and have a wonderful weekend!

Mrs. G

Thursday, May 12, 2016

3-2-1- Blast off!

This week has been a very exciting week in 3rd grade. With just 4 weeks left in the year, we begin our much-anticipated Astronomy unit! This week we learned about Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei. We've explored our own solar system, including our lunar phases and the 8 planets (and Pluto, too).  Listed below are some of the major Core Knowledge objectives your child will be expected to know over the course of the next 3 weeks.

  • The difference between a universe, a galaxy, and a solar system. We live in the Milky Way galaxy. 
  • The Big Bang is the leading scientific theory for how the universe began. We discuss the word theory  and students are encouraged to have conversations at home regarding family belief systems. 
    • In everyday language, 'theory' means a hunch or a guess. To scientists, 'theory' refers to a well-supported explanation of why something happens (or happened) based on evidence. Scientific theories do not predict outcomes of future events- that's a scientific law. 
    • The theory that best explains the current universe is the Big Bang theory. This theory states that, in the beginning, the universe was all in one place. All of its matter and energy were squished into an infinitely small point, a singularity. The laws of physics which applied at that instant are not understood at all. Something unknown caused the universe to explode, and thus began the expansion that we see today.

  • Our Solar System includes the sun and 8 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. (We also discuss poor Pluto, and why he isn't a planet anymore!) 

  • The difference between orbit/revolution and rotation, and how these two concepts affect a planet. (One rotation = one day .. One revolution = one year)

  • Earth's seasons are caused by Earth's orbit around the sun and the tilt of Earth's axis.
  • Gravity and gravitational pull are forces that attract one body to another. The sun's gravity keeps the planets in orbit. The Earth's gravity does the same for the moon. The moon's gravity causes ocean tides.
  • The difference between asteroids, meteors, meteorites, and comets.
  • The names of the major phases of the moon, and how both lunar and solar eclipses happen. 
  • The names of some major constellations, and how to use the North Star and Big Dipper to navigate at night.
  • Major events and people in space exploration, including the Apollo 11 and  Challenger missions, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison. 

Important Dates!

Friday, 5/13       Solar System hike in Eugene, 7:00am-5:00pm
Thursday, 5/26   All school Swim field trip. (12:30-3:30)
Monday, 5/30     Memorial Day, no school
Saturday, 6/4     3rd Grade Family Camp-out
Monday, 6/6       Diffendoofer-Field Day
Tuesday 6/7       USO Show, Falcon Fly-up, dismissal at 11:30

Please see the previous blog post for more details about the hike or camping trip. Have a wonderful evening! Please send a Dojo message or write "gravity" in your child's planner for a home-school connection Dojo point!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Things are Looking UP in Third Grade!

Good afternoon!

With just 1 week left in our Ecology unit, we're getting ready to switch gears and start looking towards the sky in our Astronomy unit! Please bookmark this page for easy reference throughout the month of May.

Click here to access our Ecology Study Stack for vocabulary review!

Thursday, May 5th    Smarter Balance Assessments, day 1
Friday, May 13th       Solar System Hike (field trip) Info below
Wednesday, May 25th  Smarter Balance Assessments, day 2
Thursday, May 26th   MAP testing
Monday, May 30th    Memorial Day (no school)
Saturday, June 4th     3rd Grade Family Camp-out~ Info below

And now, for some details...
May 13th field trip 
We will depart from CHPCS at 7:00am. Please have your student on campus by 6:45 a.m. so that we are ready to leave on time! Students should meet in front of the school. We are expected to return from Eugene around 5:00. IF we are going to be late (traffic, etc.), I will use ClassDojo Messenger to contact parents. Please sign up to receive sms or email alerts.

We will begin our day at The Science Factory with a live planetarium show. After a quick snack, we will walk across the park to Alton Baker Park. Starting at the sun, we hike a 3.7  mile trail, following a scale model of our solar system. We stop at each planet for an exploration activity before moving  on. After arriving at Pluto, we will begin our journey home. We leave Eugene about 3:00pm. I currently have 5 parents signed up for this trip. I would like at least 6, more is even better. If  you can help us out, please sign up HERE or email me ASAP. Thanks!
Students should dress in either regular uniform or CHPCS field trip t-shirts. We are walking the entire way, so comfortable shoes are needed! Hopefully the weather will be beautiful, but it is Oregon, so plan accordingly. Sunscreen or a hat are advised. Each  student needs to bring a lunch, 2 snacks (it’s a LONG day!) and a water bottle. Because  we are carrying everything with us, I highly recommend packing lunches in disposable bags that can be thrown away when finished. Everything must fit in a backpack that  your student can carry all day. Parent volunteers are NOT sherpas! Students may bring a camera (at own risk). No other electronics are allowed. They may bring a book, drawing paper, or other activity for the bus ride.

June 4th Family Camp-out
WHERE: Milo McIver State Park at the Kingfisher Group Site (see directions on back)

WHEN: Saturday, June 4th.
We can check-in at 4:00pm. Check OUT is noon on Sunday. We will have a potluck dinner at 7:00pm. After dinner there will be a campfire with s’mores, games in the field, and time to explore the trails and park before  dark. We will begin Stargazing as soon as it gets dark! Families who choose not to stay overnight are welcome to attend the evening activities.

WHO: All 3rd grade families and family members! Students must be 
accompanied by a responsible adult. A student may accompany another family with written permission from their parent.

WHAT: Please bring whatever camping and cooking gear your family
to needs. Dinner will be potluck, but all other snacks/meals are 
bring up to you. Please sign up on the Volunteer Spot for the dish or items that you will bring for the potluck. Feel free to bring games, balls, frisbees, etc too.

What: Please, no animals, alcohol, drugs, firearms, or tobacco products. Also, students NOT should not bring personal electronic devices (ds, ipod, tablets, etc.) Cameras are
Bring ok, of course!

WHY: Astronomy is always a favorite unit in 3rd grade, but it can be 
tough to stargaze and look for constellations inside a classroom in the middle of the day! As our  school year draws to a close, let’s have a great time together to celebrate our achievements and our learning about astronomy!

COST: Costs for this event were paid by 2015-16 Student Activity Fees. Thank you!

Please send a Dojo message or write the number 22 (as in Days of school left!!) in your child's planner for a Teamwork dojo point!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring has Sprung!

Good evening! Spring break is behind us and now the weather is turning, too. This year has flown by so far, and it's just about to start moving faster! We are just 9 1/2 weeks away from summer vacation, but there is SO much left to learn and do! This post is devoted to giving you an idea of our timeline, including important dates for you to remember.

Next week we begin our Earth Science units- Rivers of the World (4/4-7). Classification of Animals (4/11-22), and Ecology (4/25-5/4). These are fairly short units. Our field trip on Thursday, 4/21 to SCRAP Pdx and on-campus 4/22 both center around finishing our Endangered Animals projects, which will be on display in our Animals Museum on the 22nd from 3:00-3:30. Parents, grandparents, etc are invited to attend this special event and learn all about the animal species that we'll be researching during the unit!

I am also nearing the Research portion of my Masters program, and I will be focusing on integrating our science units with reading instruction during these 4 weeks. An Informed Consent form should be sent home by the end of next week, which will give you a full scope of what this will look like in the classroom. I appreciate your support, and welcome any questions you may have about this process!

Throughout the month of May we will be learning about Astronomy! On May 13th we will be hiking from the Sun to Pluto (via a 3.6 mile trail in Eugene, OR!). Please note that this is an extended day trip. Students need to be here at 6:45am and we will return at 5:00pm. 

The 4th Annual Third Grade Family Camp-out is coming up on Saturday, June 4th! I will send a complete information page home the beginning of May, but please save the date- it's a phenomenal experience that you won't want to miss! 

Please note that we also have our spring MAP assessments on May 5th and our Smarter Balance assessments on May 25-26th. PLEASE do not plan any unexcused absences for these days! Our computer lab schedule is extremely tight, and finding slots for make-up sessions can be difficult. Of course, we also don't want students to miss class time and learning experiences because they are in the lab, either. If your child must miss one of these days, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can work together to ensure they have the time and preparation to do their very best at an alternate session. Thank you!

Please write "Spring" in your child's planner or send me a Dojo message and your student will receive a Home-school connection Dojo point!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Colonial America in 3rd Grade

We are already about half way through our unit on the 13 colonies!Read on for what's ahead, including important dates and field trip information!

Colony Map Project
Our big project for this unit is being done entirely in class. For the past 2 weeks, your child has been researching with a partner about one of the original 13 colonies. On Wednesday the individual colony groups came together in their respective Region groups to compare and find commonalities within each region.
New England - Never Make Connie Run!
N ew Hampshire
M assachusettes
C onnecticut
R hode Island

Middle Atlantic- New Pennies, New Dimes
N ew York
P ennsylvania
N ew Jersey
D eleware

Southern- My Vehicle Needs Some Gas!
M aryland
V irginia
N orth Carolina
S outh Caroline
G eorgia

Thursday we came all together to create a Map Key (or legend) using the information we've collected. Monday and Tuesday, colony groups will work on creating a draft and final piece to include in our giant map! Putting it all together to create the map will happen on Wednesday, and it will be on display in the hallway outside of the Spanish classroom. Please take a look if you're on campus!

Colonial Field Trip
This coming Thursday (3/17) we will be visiting the Old Aurora Colony in Aurora to learn about daily life in a colony. We leave after lunch around 12:30 and will return at 3:00 before dismissal. Students should be in regular uniforms (no FT t-shirts) for the day. We have 3 volunteers so far, which is technically enough. but I'd love to have a few more parents if anyone is interested.

Our unit assessment will be on Thursday, 3/31. A study guide will be sent home before Spring break.

Spring Break!
Spring break begins next Friday 3/18 through Sunday 3/27. Enjoy your time off!

Upcoming Dates to Note:
More information and details to come!

  • Our April Field trip is a little different! We will be off-campus on Thursday, 4/21 to SCRAP Pdx. (We currently have 4 out of 8 volunteer spots filled) On Friday, April 22nd, we are on campus. I do not need any parent helpers for this day, but ALL parents are invited to join us at the end of the day (2:30-3:30) for our Endangered Animals Museum in the lunchroom. 
  • Our May field trip date has changed due to scheduling conflicts. We will be going to Eugene for our Solar System hike on Friday, May 13th. Please note this is an extended day trip. Students will need to be on campus at 6:45 am and will return around 5:00pm. 
  • Saturday, June 4th is our 4th Annual 3rd Grade Family Camp-out! I will send out more on this after Spring Break!
The Light at the End of the Tunnel!
As most of you know, I am in my final months of completing my Masters degree. It's been a long road, and I am very excited to be nearing the end! Thank you all for your patience as I've been splitting my energies these past few months in particular. In April I will be conducting my Action Research Project in class. A full explanation and a participant permission form will be sent home after the break.

Thank you for reading the blog! Please either write "Aurora" in your child's planner OR send it in a Dojo message to receive a Home-school Connection Dojo point for your student! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

This week in 3rd Grade

The next 2 weeks are a busy time for third grade. Please see the timeline below for details on what's coming up!

Monday, February 8th

CHPCS 2016 Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey) Celebration
10:00 AM

The 1st performance: K Dragon dance and “Happy New Year” song
The 2nd performance: 1st Grade twelve zodiac song
The 3rd performance: 5th Grade multiple plays
The 4th performance: 2nd Grade Singing and dancing “Looking for friends”
The 5th performance: 6th Grade Plays and puppet shows
The 6th performance: 3rd Grade Song “Where do you come from?”
The 7th performance: 7th Grade multiple puppet shows
The 8th performance: 4th Grade Fashion show and song “Where is spring?”

Thursday, 2/11
We will be off campus all day on our field trip to Tryon Creek State Park. I currently have only 3 (out of 6 preferred) volunteers for this trip. If you'd like to join us for their amazing Forests in Winter program, please sign up on our Volunteer Spot page! Thank you!

Please note that all students will need to bring a lunch on Thursday. If you'd like to order a sack lunch from the school lunch program, please let me know by Tuesday.

What to Wear
Our programs run rain or shine, so students and chaperones should arrive with clothing that will keep them happy and successful throughout the day. If possible, each student should have the following:
  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes
  • Long pants
  • Raincoat (please discourage students from bringing umbrellas)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack
  • Lunch 

Sunday, 2/14
Valentines Day (and Oregon's birthday!) falls on a Sunday this year. We will not be 'celebrating' the day, but students are welcome to bring valentines to share with friends. Please keep in mind these guidelines:
  • Valentines should be handmade.  Start on them now!  They can be straight up Valentines, or bookmarks, origami, little books, cartoons, jokes, etc. 
  • Students do NOT have to bring Valentines in.
  • If students DO bring Valentines in, they need to bring one for every student in the class 
  • PLEASE NO CANDY!  If you would like to include a little something, consider fruit snacks, pencils, trail mix, etc.  Sweets will be sent back home with the giver.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Monday, 2/15
President's Day- No school.

Tuesday, 2.16
  • All Native American projects are due. Please be sure to check out the FAQ page and other available documents in the Parent Resources file!
  • 3rd Grade will be in the computer lab most of the day, taking our Winter MAP tests. Students will still go to recesses, art, PE, and world language. Please help your child be successful by providing a healthy breakfast and a good night's sleep. Thank you! MAP results will be in your child's portfolio the following week. 
Wednesday, 2/17
Come celebrate the finale of our Native American unit by joining us for our Potlatch from 2:30-3:30 in the lunchroom.  Each family is asked to provide a dish inspired by traditional foods from one of the tribes we've studied. We have many surprises in store for our guests, so I hope you can make it!

Finally, our Eyeglass donation drive will run throughout the month of February. In our first week, we collected 21 pairs of glasses from our CHPCS  community! Please help spread the word! 

Friday, 2/26
I currently only have 2 out of 6 needed parent helpers for our on-campus field trip. This is a spectacular day of science as we explore the eye, vision, and light AND the ear, hearing, and sound. If you are available, PLEASE sign up on our Volunteer Spot page!

Whether you prefer the 

or the 

have a fantastic day!