Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Week of Oct. 16

Memory Work for this week:
The 8th Commandment and Meaning
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.

Psalm 46:11
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Note for Friday:
This Friday will be our fall harvest party at 2:00. Please be in contact with Mrs. Haase, our room coordinator, if you have any questions about how you can be involved.  Report cards will come home on Friday and be electronically released. I will be out Friday for a personal day with my family in Kansas - please make sure to communicate any important information through the office as I may not see it in time to pass it on to my sub.  I'm sad I'll miss the fall party (parents here - take pictures, I would LOVE to see them!) and I will be sure that my sub or Mrs. Sanft gets report cards personally handed out to the children.

Next Week:
Looking ahead, next week is a very busy week. Plan to stop in to visit the book fair Monday afternoon, Tuesday, Wednesday (including breakfast with a buddy beginning at 7 am), or Thursday until 2:00.  The proceeds benefit our school library. I know Mrs. Sullivan has a long list of books she would like to order!

Tuesday evening is the Candy Corn Festival for Kindergarten and younger students. I'm sure I'll see some of your families that night!

Thursday of next week, students are dismissed at noon.  They do not have class on Friday. Thursday afternoon and evening, and Friday morning, are Student conferences.  You will receive your time in your report card envelope on Friday.  This year conferences will only be half student led, then we will excuse the student and have a few minutes of parent-teacher follow-up.  Conferences are tightly scheduled on 20-minute blocks, back to back, many with conferences for another teacher surrounding them. We would love to please, please try our best to keep on schedule for the evening. Thank you so much for your help in this!

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Week of October 2

I hope that you enjoyed the carnival this past weekend and have found time to recover since then! Here are the important notes for upcoming 3rd grade news.

Social Studies Project Reminder:
We have wrapped up our class learning for our rural and urban unit. Students were given project instructions last week explaining what needs to be completed to demonstrate their learning.  We are asking that this project creation happens at home for this unit.  The final due date is Monday, October 9.  Instructions  Grading Rubric  (These have been shared with the students) Additional research resources available on the website tab of my blog.

Memory Work:
The 6th Commandment and Meaning
You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.

Psalm 46:9
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

Casual for a Cause:
If students bring one of the personal care items on the information that has been sent out or a cash donation to support CCLS-Uganda on Friday, students have the opportunity for a free dress day. Students who do not bring a donation are asked to follow normal Friday Spirit Wear expectations. Please bring your donation to Mr. Fishburn's classroom.


Our next field trip is scheduled for Monday, October 16.  We will begin the day at the zoo, eat our lunches, and then attend an interactive workshop through the History Museum.  We will leave school as close to 8:30 as possible and return around 2:30. You are welcome to join us, the more groups we can have at the zoo, the more enjoyable it is! Please let us know if you plan to join us by Wednesday, Oct. 11 so we can create groups accordingly!

Service Project Forms:
The end of 1st quarter is quickly approaching, so please do not forget to turn in completed service project forms by next Friday, October 13.

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Week of September 25

Here's some updates for this week.

Memory Work:
The 6th Commandment and Meaning
You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.

Psalm 46:9
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

Social Studies:
We have wrapped up our class learning for our rural and urban unit. Students now have a project to complete to demonstrate their learning.  We are asking that this project creation happens at home for this unit.  The final due date is Monday, October 9.  Instructions  Grading Rubric  (These have been shared with the students) Additional research resources available on the website tab of my blog.

This week we reviewed for our first math test, took it Tuesday, and are now working on something new that comes with the book version of our math - an Investigation.  These typically follow after every 10th lesson and focus on a math skills in a different analysis approach.  We are currently beginning with pictographs and bar graphs.  We will return to "normal" math lessons on Friday (although no homework since it's a weekend!)

Some skills we have been working on that often help to be reinforced at home include information about the quarter of an hours (quarter past, quarter 'til, half past) and help working on our calendar (days in each month, month order, etc) temperature skills (freezing point, boiling point, normal body temperature, paying attention to difference between F and C), and including important/necessary labels (especially AM or PM).  In 3rd grade we continually move towards problems with multi-steps, support in working through multi-step problems is beneficial.  Several of these above concepts are ones that just have to be memorized and will continued to be referenced throughout the year.

Working on math facts, especially addition and subtraction is essential.  It will not seem like very long before we are moving towards our focus on multiplication, eliminating a lot of our practice opportunities for addition and subtraction. We will be using the online program Xtra Math to work on our facts.  I really like this program because it's individualized based on student progress and truly focuses on mastery based on brain research for response times, etc. Several students mentioned that they already use this at home.  I will be sending home flyers to connect with our class account from home.  If you connect your account from home, I believe it should merge the accounts so that progress is shared between past and our new account as well as giving you the opportunity to practice at home.

This weekend is the school carnival! Stop by the Kirkwood campus Friday or Saturday for a time of fun and fellowship! It's always a highlight of the year.

CCLS Sunday at Webster Gardens:
We celebrate our school at each of our association churches at least once per year.  This coming Sunday, October 1, will be CCLS Sunday at Webster Gardens.  Mrs. Killian has been working on the first verse of A Mighty Fortress is Our God.  Any elementary students present will be invited to join together at the front of the church to sing the verse for the opening hymn during the 10:45 service.

Upcoming Field Trip:
Our next field trip is scheduled for Monday, October 16.  We will begin the day at the zoo, eat our lunches, and then attend an interactive workshop through the History Museum.  Full details will be coming out soon.  Put it on your calendar and feel free to let me know now if you are interested in joining us.  The more groups we can have at the zoo, the more enjoyable and easier to manage it is!

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week of September 18

We are starting to get rolling in math, learning how to use our books and getting used to the structure of the lessons.  You are likely starting to see a little homework come home. My goal is that students should have work time to get started, with completing approximately the final half (or after #11) as homework.

Memory Work:
The 4th Commandment and Meaning
Honor your father and your mother.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.

Psalm 46:6-7
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

This week we continue to work with final consonant clusters.  Just a reminder that we glue our spelling lists, practice tests, and final tests into our spelling journal so we have an ongoing record of our work.  To see these items, remember to check Seesaw as we post pictures of each step.

Field Trip FRIDAY:
We leave for Fresh Pasture Farms (1931 Kropp Rd, Millstadt, IL) by 9:20.  We will tour the farm and eat our lunches underneath their trees in the grass.  We will then head to the Science Center to the Grow Exhibit, arriving approximately 1:00 and leaving around 2:00.  Parents are invited to attend, but due to class size numbers should not plan on being able to ride the bus.  Please let me know if you intend to go along. The parent cost is $10 for the farm.  Student field trip costs are now included, so there will be no additional charges.

Christian Character Formation Project:
This week we are studying how David spared Saul's life (1 Samuel 24) showing integrity.

Book Orders:
Book orders were given out and I think everyone took them out of their mailboxes (I moved my mailboxes this year due to classroom arrangement and it's not working for the kids or me to remember to always check them at the end of the day, so I'm searching for a new home location in the classroom for them.)

I'm still trying to solve my online ordering issue with Scholastic. Hopefully later today I will finally have that resolved.  You can always order by flyers and send in a check.  Please send paper copies by Thursday, online by Friday.  I will submit the order over the weekend.

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Week of Sept. 11

Spelling Lists
This week are spelling lists are working on words that end with the clusters of -ung, -old, or -ift. Student's put their word lists on Seesaw on Friday. Hopefully, you have been able to see them.  Reminder that our spelling tests are on Thursdays.

Memory Work
Most students are do a very good job with memory work! Keep up the hard work.  Since this week is a short week, we will say memory work on Thursday.

The 3rd Commandment and Meaning
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Reading Logs
Please remember to turn in reading logs.  As of now, I would like reading logs turned in on Fridays.  There are always extras inside my classroom door.

(I'm reevaluating when I have students turn them in as they have a different structure than what I've previously used, recording both home and school on the same sheet with fewer lines. I will keep you posted of any changes.)

We will be going on our first field trip on Friday, September 22.  We will leave school by 9:20 to go to Fresh Pasture Farms in Millstadt, IL.  We will eat our lunches on their property (please bring a home lunch or let me know ahead of time that a school field trip lunch is needed).  We will then head to the Science Center and go to the GROW exhibit.  We will return to school by 2:30. Parents are welcome to join us for all or some of the field trip.  The cost for parents is $10 for the farm.  Please let me know by Wednesday the 20th if you plan to join us. Beginning this year there are no field trip charges for students.

Book Orders
I passed out the first book order.  Please return your orders by next Wednesday (the letter says Monday, but I'll extend it). I found out that I have to call customer service to reset something online before anyone can place an online order, but I'm working on that. Hopefully by the end of Wednesday that should no longer be an issue.  My online classroom code is MHHCD to connect.

NO SCHOOL FRIDAY! We will be joining over 400 area Lutheran Educators for our annual St. Louis professional development event.  It's a great day of learning and networking and I thank you for your understanding and allowing us to participate.

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week of August 28

We survived our first full week of school! It was a great week starting out with celebrating God's glory through watching the solar eclipse and having an eclipse themed day.  This week we also added a new student to our class who we are grateful for! We are still in a time of building and practicing routines, with each day slowly looking more like what the school year will feel like.  This week will continue to be a transition week.  Overall, the students are doing well.  It's important that we know the expectation and get in the habit of doing things well now so that we maximize our learning time (and the ability to have fun activities planned for that learning) throughout the rest of the school year.  Please continue to reiterate at home the power and purpose of doing things the best we can the first time and for the duration, not just today.

Monday is Picture Day:
Students are expected to wear their school uniform for pictures, but pick your favorite. You might also want to take an extra minute to check for that bedhead or to find that perfect bow!

Tuesday Night is Curriculum Night:
Parents are invited to come to school (sorry, no child care is provided and it is a parent only event) at 6:45 for some cookies and fellowship followed by a brief whole group information session.  Then you will be released to classrooms where we will have a question and answer session.

Information to connect with your child's Seesaw journal came home on Friday.  If you were connected last year, you should already be connected.  We ran out of time to add our first entry on Friday, but plan to on Monday.  Will you be connected and ready to see their work and like and comment?

PLEASE NOTE: Seesaw has many cool new functions including private messaging with the teacher, I believe folder view is finally being publically released for parents, and more.  However, you will only have access to these if you have updated to the latest version of Seesaw if you are using a mobile app.  You can know you have updated because it will have changed name from Seesaw Parents to Seesaw Family.

Also, up to 10 people can connect to your student's account. So maybe you want to give Grandma and Grandpa who live far away access to see what's going on, etc. It is totally up to you, just know that you have the ability to connect up to 10 people to your student.

Memory Work:
The 1st Commandment and Meaning
You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

Psalm 46:4
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

(Note: If your child choose fill in the blank, the words for the commandment (You shall have no other gods) will not be provided. THe rest of the blanks will have the word bank. The meaning and the verse contain their own separate word banks.

This week we really take the first spelling test.  It will be the names of our classmates that was sent home last week.  Capital letters at the beginning of names count.  If for some reason you need a new list, please let me know.  We will take our test on THURSDAY.

Reading Log:
Friday, I sent home a letter attached to a reading log for your student to be using to record their minutes.  This coming Friday will be the first time I expect reading logs to be turned in to me.  Thanks to those who already turned in one this first week.  I'm switching my reading log form to match what is suggested in our new curriculum (which includes home and school on the same form and has some extra info), so this week my link on my important information tab should be updated to the new form.  If you turn in an old form during this transition that is not a big deal to me.  I also will always try to keep logs stocked in my classroom right when you come in the door on top of the cubbies.  We will be keeping track of total minutes read at home, school, a grand total for each student and a class grand total this year! I can't wait to see how high we get!

This week we begin more formal math, however, I am not planning to work from the math book yet.  The new reading logs are asking for telling time and figuring out the elapsed time read.  While I know the students know this already and it is a concept that comes up for review early in our book, it is evident that we spend several days working on the skill now to help us across disciplines and skip those lessons when we get to them in the book.  This week you will see and hear about lots of different activities working on telling time in different formats, practicing, and figuring out elapsed time.  These could be great skills to also work on reviewing at home.

I am excited for another great week, one that should be more "normal" and help us really get into our routines better!

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Welcome Back to School!

Welcome to 3rd grade! These first three days went incredibly fast, but that was probably because they went so incredibly well. I am blessed to call this group of fine young students my class.  They and you have been and will continue to be in my prayers immensely.

This week we learned how to be flexible with our plans (they handled that very well!), working on our classroom routines and procedures, and getting to know our classmates and school better.

I apologize that the blog has not fully been converted to this year's information before now - it was a busy summer of both travels and waiting to see curriculum changes up close, plus adding a new grade level teaching partner! The memory work page has been up to date and spelling is now up to date. Most of the other tabs do not have information that changes, but I will be trying to make sure they are up to date this week.

Solar Eclipse:
We get to spend our fourth day of school together partaking in what is considered a once in a lifetime event in the total solar eclipse.  We will finish up some activities from the first three days in between solar eclipse events, but most of the day will be centered around that theme from our morning devotion, to read aloud, to video clips, data collection, journal writing, and more. And of course, much time will be spent going over eclipse safety and the seriousness of safety measures.  We plan to view, safely through our glasses, a normal view at about 10:00, around 11:45 view the partial eclipse, be outside for most of 1:05-1:25 to view the total eclipse (this is the period of time you are invited to join us at school for viewing - we do NOT have any extra glasses, so you will need to provide your own), and out again around 2:10 to view the partial eclipse as it's nearing its end.

If you have other viewing plans or are planning to keep your student at home for the day, there will be no required make up work, I just ask that you please let me know so I can plan accordingly.  Thank you!

On Friday, I sent home the first spelling list we will test over (every student's first name).  On the list (and I told the class) it says this week would be our first test.  As I'm looking over my plan for this week, I realize that I intended to spend 2 weeks practicing with this list, using it to teach how to use our spelling journals, etc. This means our first spelling test will NOT be Thursday, August 24th, rather it will be Thursday, August 31st. I apologize for the miscommunication.

Memory Work:
Psalm 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Christian Character Formation Project:
This year we are again using the Christian Character Formation Project (CCFP) in our classrooms.  The CCFP each week focuses on one Bible story and one of seven virtues (courage, diligence, integrity, justice, resect, responsibility, or self-sacrifice).  Students will reflect upon the character’s identity, purpose, and actions and apply their learning to their own individual lives.  The CCFP seeks to help students answer the three essential questions of “Who am I? Why am I? and How shall I live?” within a Biblical worldview understanding.  Students reflect on these essential questions through a 3 step process of Experiencing the Bible Story standing in the character’s shoes, Internalizing the 3 Essential Questions in regards to their own life and that of the Bible character’s life, and finally by Activating Learning through Worldview and Daily Action Plan application.  Every student K-8 is studying the same story and virtue each week, allowing cross-grade level and family conversations, as part of a 4 year rolling curriculum cycle.

Our first story will be God Speaks to Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-21) with the virtue focus of diligence.  Our discussions will focus on how Samuel displayed diligence in his wait for God’s response, in his explanation to Eli, and as God used this to launch his ministry as a prophet and judge for the people.  We will discuss in age appropriate ways that Samuel was successful in his jobs from God because he was grounded in knowing who he was, why he was, and how he was to live out his life. You are encouraged to have conversations with your student this week about Samuel and his diligence and ask your student how they will show diligence in their life at school and at home.

We will begin using our planners this week.  I have a tab on the blog which is also a direct link to a digital version of the class planner (you might have to scroll to the correct week across the bottom of the page when you open it).  The planner will show all major items from the day, however, many individualized or small groups tasks will not be listed.  It will serve more as an overview of homework than detailed descriptions of our day.

For those of you returning and waiting for our first Seesaw use, it's coming soon! We are still getting connected to our devices to use for 3rd grade.  I will be sending home all parent Seesaw information this week.  For those of you who are new and may not be familiar with Seesaw, it is a web and app based digital portfolio for your student.  We began using it grades K-4 last year, and this year expanding it's usage to some Early Childhood Classrooms-5th grade.

You will be able to see all sorts of posts from pictures, videos, digital creations, and more for your student.  You will also be able to privately comment and like on their work. At the end of the year, you will be able to achieve and have access to all the work your student has produced and shared this year.  I love and can't say enough wonderful things about Seesaw!  This year Seesaw has a new message/communication feature so that I can send messages that are not part of the student's portfolio.

As this week many will be in awe of the sun, let it be a time when we can remember the infinitely more majestic Son and His saving work! Let is be in awe of the work of our Creator Father who would even imagine such a phenomenon!

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn