Learning with Mrs. Rindfleisch

Third Grade News

Creature Feature From Meig’s Point

We went to an assembly this morning featuring the Ranger from Meig’s Point, along with many turtles and snakes that are housed there.  We learned about the adaptation and special features of these reptiles.  The students even got to touch a snake and snakeskin, too.  Very cool!

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Fractions on a Number Line

Students got to experiment with putting fractions on a number line this morning when I hung up a large string across the room.  They were so excited to do this activity!  When students got to adjust the fractions based on new discoveries, I think many misconceptions were cleared up.  They saw that 1/4 had to be exactly in the middle of the 1/2 mark. We had a great discussion of how 1/8 couldn’t possibly be located after the 3/4 mark.  Then we got to practice our new learning on individual number lines.  Using what they learned in the lesson, students had to figure out where a paper clip would go when I called out certain fractions.  We even got into adding unit fractions!  The fractions that will be covered in this unit primarily are halves, fourths, eighths, thirds and sixths.  Understanding how these fractions are related to one another is essential.  Here are the highlights:

*1/4 is exactly half of 1/2  (therefore 2/4 = 1/2)

*1/8 is exactly half of 1/4  (therefore 2/8 = 1/4 and so on)

*1/6 is exactly half of 1/3 (therefore 2/6 = 1/3 and so on)

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We Aren’t Scared of Fractions!

Students started learning about unit fractions this week, as well as comparing fractions and discovering how they are related.  We “built” fractions out of pretend paper cookies and then cut them apart to see what is left once you take a part away.  Did you know that if you have a “cookie” that is divided into eight equal pieces and then take off one of the eighth pieces, 7/8 are left?  Your children do!  We played games comparing unit fractions this morning, as well.  This is  difficult math unit, but seeing fractions in  a variety of ways, building them with pattern blocks or fraction tiles, playing games, and building an actual number line in the front of the classroom next week, will help to solidify their skills regarding fractions.


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our class did a Complimenting a Friend activity this morning to celebrate Valentine’s Day.   They compiled a list of compliments from each person in the class.  They LOVED reading the nice things that their friends said about them!  After reading all of their compliments, students were asked a few questions, one being “What surprised you?”  Here are a few answers…

“The kids say that I am nice.”

“That this many people said such nice things about me.”

“That they have more to say about me than I thought.”

“A lot of kids say that I am a good friend.”

A copy is going home, as I am saving the original for their anthologies.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Math Forum

Students explained their thinking and strategies for solving problems in yesterday’s math forum.  A math forum is a time where I pre-select students to show various ways to solve problems.  Students come up to the Smart Board, explain what they did and then the rest of the class gets to ask them questions or give comments.  The goal of a math forum is that students will be exposed to different strategies and then try something new, and hopefully, more efficient, next time.

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Publishing Party!

We celebrated our hard work writing realistic fiction stories this morning by having a publishing party!  Students read each others’ stories and left them compliments.  They love to read what their friends think!  We will also read our stories to Mrs. Vitale’s first grade class later today.  I will compile all of these for your child’s anthology, which you will get at  the end of the year.


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A Visit From the School Counselor

Mrs. Lynch, our school counselor, came in this morning for a lesson on social skills.  She taught the students that sometimes you have ideas in your head that can come out and be said, while other times, the thoughts need to stay in your head.  Be sure to ask your child about what kind of statements can be said and which ones should stay in our head!

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Measuring Mass

Students estimated and measured mass of various objects in the room this morning using pan balance scales.  They learned that although weight and mass are similar, mass does not change.  Weight changes based on gravity (you will weigh a different amount on the moon, for example).  Mass always stays constant.

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Building Circuits

Students learned about open and closed circuits this afternoon during a science inquiry.  They tried to turn a light bulb off and on with alligator wires, a battery and a knife switch.  Check out some pictures!

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Show, Don’t Tell!

We will be working on the craft move of “Show, Don’t Tell” when writing and reading this week.  In writing, students will be trying to describe their characters’ feelings by showing examples of how their character feels, instead of just telling the emotion.  For example, “Jake put his hands on his hips and scowled” shows Jake is mad without saying so.  In reading, they are looking for examples of this in their book club books.  Here are some pictures of the kids acting out different emotions.  Can you tell what they are?

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