Connecting/One of a Kind


It’s time to wire a house! Students learned about magnetism and electricity this term. Our culminating activity is to plan, build, and wire a wooden house so it has light and power!  Thanks to Peter, students have an unbelievable “hands-on” experience to use the tools necessary to execute such a task.  The house has three sections in it.  Peter has been working on measuring and constructing with the children in the design lab.  In the end, students will be allowed to decorate their house.

In each group students will:

  • draw and design a layout/plan (blueprints) of the house
  • make sure 2 out of the 3 rooms can light
  • use a parallel or series circuit
  • be certain that no wires show inside the house (just like the real deal)
  • exhibit TEAMWORK!
  • decorate the house to make it a home using recycled materials from school or home


Meet Bugsy!  As you know we completed a very intense and comprehensive project on adopting a class pet. We had no idea the project, research, and expert interviews would persuade the majority of the class to change their class pet of choice COMPLETELY….but it did!  There were so many twists and turns throughout our journey.  We learned a great deal and in the end we adopted BUGSY!  He is an adorable guinea pig that brings joy to our children every day.  We love him so much!  They’ve grown to be responsible caregivers to Gizmo and Bugsy:)


One of a Kind

What makes a person unique?

……a  very important concept question we’ve discussed. Martin Luther King Junior lived his life by being true to himself and making a difference in this world.  He was unique in so many special ways.  What makes YOU unique?  Through literature and  creative writing assignments students learn that they have the opportunity to open their minds and think BIG!  We want students to be honest in their writing as well as allowing their voice to shine through.


Our new novels:

Where The Mountain Meets the Moonby Grace Lin and Skinnybones by Barbara Park

Students will:

-learn more about story structure:

  • What are the characters’ goals?
  • What is the story’s conflict?
  • How does the conflict build throughout the story?
  • How is the conflict resolved in the end?

-learn about Chinese Folklore

-learn about faith and friendship











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Math- We are moving along nicely.  Students are doing a great job multiplying double digit numbers and solving multi-step word problems using several different strategies.  Students are also illustrating their processes and explaining their thinking. Please continue to encourage your child to study their math facts:)  Thank you!

“Writing has to be learned in school very much the same way that it is practiced out of school.  This means that the writer has a reason to write, and intended audience, and control of subject and form.  It also means composing is staged across various phases of rumination, investigation, consultation with others, drafting, feedback, revision, and perfecting.” -Jossy-Bass

Writing– Students are in the process of publishing their fantasy stories.  We also just finished writing our formal letters to a scientist of choice.  Some students wrote to geologists, others to scientists at NASA, and one even a physicist.  They are very curious children that have a lot of questions.  Different interests resulted in various questions for the unique scientists all over the world.  Our goal and hope…..is for each scientist to write back.  And yes…..we even addressed envelopes and are sending them tomorrow….. the old fashion way!


Leaders- Yes, the third graders led two very successful assemblies. They were AMAZING!  They exhibited initiative, pride, responsibility, and cooperation!    We look forward to their leadership again in the spring.


l’art de l’education



Students sketched, analyzed, and reflected about various pieces of art in “The Circus Show”-Thank you to Mrs. Bend and to our parent volunteers 🙂

Circus—a glimpse into the visual world of this phenomenon during the height of its popularity, 1850 to 1960. Approximately 40 circus-themed paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and posters by artists such as Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec delve into life under the big top and its wider connections to culture and society.-RISD

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Field of Exploration

Students had an engaging and fun learning experience traveling to Bristol, RI to the Audubon Society to continue our research own owls of New England for our Animal Adaptation Unit!

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Third Grade Rocks! 








Pictures from our AWESOME celebration….. after reading The Chocolate Touch! 

  • Just completed our first read aloud, Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea
  • Currently reading, The Thing About Georgie, during guided reading…….AMAZING! Ask your child….what is the “special” thing about Georgie?



Literature Circles

Students learn to work together by collaborating and listening to one another’s amazing responses to literature while being led by a student facilitator.

Skills we are practicing….

Before Reading:

  • preview
  • use background knowledge
  • predict
  • question: What do I already know about the topic?
  • think aloud

During Reading:

  • use text or story structure (cause-effect, sequence, compare/contrast, story elements)
  • visualize
  • question: Do I understand this? What does the author mean by this?
  • clarify
  • think aloud

After Reading:

  • retell or summarize
  • question: What happened next? What would I have done? What does this remind me of? How do I feel about this?
  • think aloud




Math is fun when multiplying  ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! Students are learning how to solve various multiplication equations using colored cubes. Students will be expected to create multiplication stories while explaining their thinking soon!


Cursive! Script! Yes! We began writing in cursive and we are super excited.

Why cursive? What do you think?


Current Writing Genre-Fantasy

Learning about the process of identifying the characteristics of a fantasy is key:

  • could the story really have happened?
  • could the characters really exist? Why or why not?
  • where does the story take place? Could it really exist?  Why or why not?
  • Do the characters behave in ways that seem true-to life? Explain

Factreading fantasy helps students explore and apply their understanding of literary elements and of the difference between what is real and what is not.

Grade Level Expectations:

  • students can identify a selection’s setting and plot and any unrealistic features they represent.
  • students can identify a fantasy’s characters and any unrealistic traits or actions they represent.
  • students can identify several characters from fantasies, explaining ways they are realistic and unrealistic.


The Rag Coat- a book bag project for families! “People only need people”…..Minna reiterates through this heart-felt story.  This literacy experience reminds us all what is really important in life.

Science Unit – Magnetism and Electricity


1. Students will become familiar with the vocabulary associated with magnetism and electricity.

2.  Students will become familiar with the properties of magnets.

3.  Students will learn to plan and conduct experiments and control the variables.

4.  Students will observe, describe, and record the results of their experiments.

5.  Students will learn to use the skill of prediction.

6.  Students will learn to interpret the results of experiments to draw conclusions.

7.  Students will use technology to enhance their research, graphics, and assessment skills.

8.  Students will develop an interest in experimenting on magnets and electricity.

9.  Students will research the history of magnetism and important milestones in the discovery and use of electricity.

10. Students will appreciate how magnets are used in household appliances.



Gizmo is ready to share the classroom with our new adopted Guinea Pig…..stay tuned!

We are currently in the adoption process! 🙂


  • I will be at a literacy conference this Wednesday, so there will be a substitute teacher.
  • Students will lead their first assembly a week from Wednesday.
  • The Rag Coat book bag project will be going home to families.
  • Remember- homework is due every Wednesday and Friday.  In addition, every Friday student reading logs will be due.  Lastly, students should be reading and studying their math facts nightly.
  • Students MUST be bundled up with winter attire.  It is cold outside and students need to be prepared for recess and outdoor excursions that might be spontaneous at times!

Thank you!

Mrs. Davis

Smart Solutions….it is a “process”

Third Grade Rocks!


What kind of classroom pet should we adopt and why?

This is the first question students tried to answer but realized it wasn’t a question you could just answer easily.  There are so many factors when looking into adopting a classroom pet.  Here are the steps that students took to get to the amazing stage that we are presently at now:

  • researched all about classroom pets using various resources and technology.
  • narrowed them down to five animals (guinea pig, rough green snake, leopard colored gecko, baby bearded dragon, and painted turtle).
  • researched for weeks in groups and with a partner on the popular animal choices.
  • wrote informational paragraphs for the pet of choice.
  • learned how to persuade others into “buying in” on your animal (what do we highlight?  How do we focus on the benefits?)
  • learned about how to use our “VOICE” in our writing. Why is this important?  How do we connect with our audience when writing and speaking?
  • wrote a persuasive writing piece and read it to both third and fourth graders in our Author’s Chair.
  • re-voted after hearing every students’ essays.
  • generated questions for the animal experts (Courtney and Danielle) that met us at the pet store for an interview session.
  • drove in the JCDS van to the pet store and interviewed two separate experts on all five animals.
  • got to handle the animals (even the ones that weren’t on our list) 🙂
  • reflected and added new information to our classroom design board.


What is left to do for our multi-faced project?


  • re-vote on our class pet after analyzing new information on classroom environment, budget, and other extraneous factors!
  • DESIGN our new pet’s habitat with as many natural resources as possible.
  • Design and build a grow lab in our classroom.
  • go out an ADOPT our new classroom pet…..YIPPEE! And of course give him or her LOVE and a name!


Readers’ Theater– “The Pied Piper” ……students are building fluency and having fun with this meaningful story that also prompts great discussion!





What can I say……we LOVE our buddies.  We had a very special time eating soup and playing with our pre-k pals!






Other things we are learning about and/or learning how “to do” in the third grade:

  • problem solving in the real world
  • adding and subtracting up to 10,000 with regrouping
  • multiplication
  • letter writing
  • topic sentences with supporting details
  • applying juicy and meaningful sentences to our writing
  • various owls and their habitat
  • dissecting owl pellets
  • beginning our new novel The Thing About Georgie
  • reading with expression
  • literature circles and all the given responsibilities during group time
  • modeling proper homework expectations and organizational skills
  • Our Reading Log!  It has a different format that is simple and thoughtful, but still holds students accountable for their reading……
  • enjoying our read aloud, Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea


Important Notes:

  • Reading documentation will be turned in every Friday from now on.  Students are only expected to document and write one paragraph on one single reading experience each week and circle their estimated reading minutes. We  went over ALL of this in school…. several times. Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂
  • Reminder: homework is due either on Wednesday and/or Friday only.  Unless there is a special project, and if that is the case it will be written in their homework folder.
  • Please encourage your child to study their spelling or vocabulary words a little bit each night to help feel confident and prepared for Friday’s spelling/vocabulary test.
  • PTC next Wednesday for third grade.  I look forward to meeting with you! 🙂

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. Davis




Third Grade Rocks! Welcome!

Welcome to Third Grade!

This past two weeks we:

  • practiced our routines and went over classroom expectations.
  • played games to get to know one another better!
  • began our first unit Living and Learning! Students’ first two concept questions to ponder, “What can we learn by trying new things?” and “What can we learn by trading with one another?”
  • began learning about place value and reviewing second grade math!
  • learned about third grade expectations when writing and the “WRITING PROCESS”…..
  • brainstormed our first DESIGN CHALLENGE:
  1. students thought about a new classroom pet they would LOVE to have join us (and Gizmo).
  2. they had to research about the pet of their choice and see if it would thrive in our classroom. The process had many guidelines and limitations. For example, the pet had to live in a 60+ gallon terrarium or aquarium and we would have to use our resources in the classroom or design lab to build a “close-to “natural habitat for it.
  3. now they are in the process of writing a persuasive piece that will have to persuade an audience (our class and teachers) that the pet of their choice is the best pet for our classroom. Students must provide evidence and voice to convince readers. ACE Response (I’ll explain at Open School Night)!
  4. DESIGN the most suitable natural habitat for your chosen class pet (on paper). 
  5. prototype your habitat……
  6. vote and create!

Morning Meeting

Working together to line up in alphabetical order without using any voices.

Easy? Hmmmm….

Students represent various numbers and line up in order from least to greatest without using their voices!

       Guess who? Check out our abstract self portraits.

The Chocolate Touch 

We are all reading this same exciting and suspenseful novel! We are presently divided into three reading groups.  We have the pleasure of having Marilyn Katz helping out in the classroom as well as Ms. Emily who spends every week with us during our guided reading time.

As you have probably heard Gili, our beloved bearded dragon, passed away one week before school began.

After students in grades 3-5 had time to process this sad news they decided to make a “memory box” in Gili’s name. Students wrote letters and made pictures and placed all the small sentiments in the box. It was one of the sweetest things I ever witnessed.  I will be closing this box soon and burying it with Gili.



Important to Note:

  • Homework will be given on Monday due Wednesday & given Wednesday due Friday.
  • Although third grade is a BIG transitional year……I would appreciate if parents looked at their child’s homework folder and signed their homework.  It helps reinforce the importance of using  a planner and getting into a routine of becoming more independent.
  • Open School Night October 1st.
  • No peanut butter on Friday.
  • Please communicate with me via email jdavis@jcdsri.com or put a note in your child’s homework folder.

Thank you! 🙂