Update: Week of Oct. 29

Here is an update for the week:

Reading Calendars are due Thursday. A new one for November will be sent home on Thursday. This is used to keep track of reading homework. It is recommended that third graders be reading for at least 20 minutes/at least 5 days a week.

We will complete our next practice page on Wednesday. Your child is keeping track of their progress at school and should know what multiplication facts they are working on. You should have seen the practice page come home last week with a “Got It” or a “Not Yet” note attached to it.

We have an early release day on Friday. Dismissal is at 12:15.

I look forward to meeting you next week at conferences! Conference appointment times were sent home on Friday.

Our class will visit the Book Fair next week.  We will look on Tuesday and purchase on Thursday. If you plan to have your child make a purchase, please send money in an envelope with your child’s name by Thursday. Thanks!



Week of Oct. 22


The focus of this week is BE NICE, BE SAFE, BE AN UPSTANDER. In our classroom, we will be talking about what it looks like to be safe and be nice. We will be talking about what strategies can be used to Be an Upstander when others around us are not making safe or nice choices.

Here is a quick update of what has been happening in  third grade:

WRITING: We have finished our personal narrative writing. We celebrated by reading a classmates writing and giving praise feedback and critique feedback. We are now learning about opinion writing.

WORD STUDY: We have started our superswitch reading groups. During this time, everyone is working on reading at their just-right level. We are also working on word study. During word study, groups are observing word patterns, vowel patterns, and vowel sounds. They will be doing some word sorting and practicing spelling these words. You will not see these words come home at this point because we are doing more exploratory work in class right now as we get started.

SOCIAL STUDIES: We continue studying the geography of Michigan. We have studied vegetation and climate and will move into learning the human characteristics such as bridges, highways, lighthouses.

MATH: We completed our unit 1 test and math tests were sent home today. We have started unit 2 which covers multiplication with 6, 7, and 8. Please look for practice pages coming home. Help your third grader to study their math facts for the next practice page on Wednesday.
Continue with multiplication fact practice at home- use flashcards or MobyMax

READING: We are using our read aloud book (Because of Winn-Dixie) to guide us in understanding characters. We are making observations about a character’s behavior to make inferences about what they are like. Continue daily reading at home. The Reading Calendar is due at the end of the month.

OCT. 23: Turkey Trot
OCT. 26: Popcorn Friday
OCT. 30: Picture Retakes
OCT. 31: Fall Party- email has been sent for volunteers. Thanks!
NOV. 2: Early Release- 12:15 dismissal

Social Studies Update

In third grade we study Michigan. We have started our Geography unit and have been learning about relative and absolute location and natural and human characteristics.  We have also started to learn about the landforms and bodies of water in Michigan.
Today we got out the maps to identify these places:

LANDFORMS in Michigan:
– Peninsulas: Upper and Lower Peninsula
– Islands: Mackinac Island, Beaver Island, Isle Royale
– Mountains: Porcupine Mountains, Huron Mountains
– Sand Dunes: Sleeping Bear Dunes

BODIES OF WATER in Michigan:
– Great lakes: Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Superior
– Rivers: the Grand River
– Waterfalls: Tahquamenon Falls
– Bays: Grand Traverse Bay, Saginaw Bay

We had fun looking at the Map of Michigan:

Week of Oct. 8

Here are a few things you will need to know:

  • Our Growth Mindset mantra this month is: MY BRAIN IS LIKE A MUSCLE THAT GROWS. Today, we made a new goal for ourselves. We put it right on our name tag as a daily reminder. The goal is: I will work hard to help my brain grow strong! 
  • Jet’s Pizza night: October 11
  • Early Release this Friday, Oct. 12
  • Snack: Please help your child remember to pack one healthy snack each day. I usually have a snack available for forgetful situations. If you are able to donate a box of graham crackers, our class would appreciate it!
  • Multiplication Fluency Practice Page: On Wednesdays (and sometimes more often) we assess multiplication fact fluency. This helps the students take responsibility in their learning. Students will be given a multiplication fact page one fact group at a time. This Wednesday we will start with the 5s. When the 5s page is passed,  your child will move on to the 2s. The order we will follow is: 5s, 2s, 10s, 9s, 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s. Your child has a graph where they will keep track of their progress so they know what facts to work on. You will see the practice page come home with a note attached that says: “GOT IT!” or “NOT YET”. This will let you know what facts to work on for the next practice page.
  • We made our GOAL!!!!
    Each day we use a scoreboard. If our scoreboard has more smile tallies than sad face tallies, we earn a smile magnet. So our class set a goal of earning 10 smile faces. When the class met the goal they would receive a treat from me. So today was the day! We enjoyed cookies and apple cider. Way to go, class!!

Reading Calendar Homework

Our class is participating in the BOOK IT! Program to encourage reading at home. As third graders, reading is a homework expectation. You will receive a calendar starting October through March at the beginning of each month.  Each time your child reads at home they should mark it on their calendar. The recommendation is to read for at least 20 minutes at least 5 days a week. That’s 400+ minutes a month!!

At the end of each month the calendar should be returned to school and your child will receive a coupon for a FREE personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

This calendar will also serve as our classroom reading log. When a completed calendar is turned in at the end of the month, students will receive the coupon for pizza and also a special prize from me!



Update: Week of Oct. 1


It continues to be very important that students be practicing their multiplication facts at home. We work on multiplication at school, but students need continuous practice with the basic facts so they can complete the math work at school. There are a few ways students should be practicing at home:

FLASHCARDS: these should be coming home each night. It is not so helpful to try and practice the whole pile of flashcards in one sitting. Instead, choose one color count-bys that your child is struggling with and just practice those for that night. Then choose a different color on a different night. This will help mastery. A recommended order of practice is: 5s, 2s, 10s, 9s, 3s,.
As the flashcard folder gets full, we will start to take some out and keep them at school.

MOBYMAX: students have been working on MobyMax math fact practice at school. They are reviewing addition and subtraction facts and when they have mastered those, they will move on to multiplication and then division. Students can access Mobymax at home for practice.

Coming up this week:  WALKATHON
Friday, October 5 is our school WALKATHON.  This is sponsored by the PTC (Parents, Teachers and Children)…and it is our ONLY fundraiser for our school.  The money raised funds learning incentives, online learning programs and parent/child events throughout the year.  Our goal is to raise $30.00 per child to support our extra programs at school. PLEASE donate and join us for our Lovin’ the 80’s Walkathon!

Look for information about our READING CALENDAR later in the week.



3rd Grade Update! Week of 9/24

Dear Parents,
Here is our weekly update for the week:

Your third grader should continue with daily reading and math fact practice. Your child should have the 5s, 2s, and 10s multiplication facts in their folder. Please make sure the yellow multiplication folder stays in the blue Homework folder so it can go back and forth to school and home. Consistent practice is crucial as we move on in our math lessons. Look for the 9s facts to come home this week.

If you are still planning to order, you may still do that tonight. I will submit the order this week so let me know if you are planning to order, but are unable to do that tonight. Thanks!

School Picture Day is on Thursday. 

Please look for information to come home today regarding the Walk-a-thon. Support from you, your friends and family, is greatly appreciated. This is our main fundraiser for our school! More information can be found on our SCHOOL BLOG.
PLEASE NOTE: 3rd grade walks 9:45-10:30am. I believe the page that was sent home listed a different time.

Popcorn Day: 
Popcorn Day is on the final Friday of the month.  This is made possible by YOU – your donations at Open House funded the purchase of the popcorn/oil.  Parent volunteers come in each Friday to pop the popcorn and deliver it to classrooms.

EAGLE’S Spirit Day:
Friday is Eagle’s Spirit day in celebration of the homecoming football game. Everyone is encouraged to wear blue and gold to support the team on game day.

As you see school work coming home there may be  a number grade (3,2,1) on some of them. See below to find out what this means.
Use this as a guide:

3- proficient

2- progressing

1- beginning


Thank you!!  🙂


~Third Grade Update~


WRITING: We have been learning how to generate ideas for personal narrative writing. We chose a small moment idea today and will learn how to plan for our story writing. We will learn writing strategies to make our writing powerful.

GROWTH MINDSET: We continue learning about Growth Mindset. We have been making goals as a class and then each student made a goal for themselves as a reader.

MATH: We continue learning our 5s and 2s multiplication. We have started to learn how multiplication and division are related. We have learned to make drawings that go with multiplication equations and have practiced solving word problems.

READING: We have been working on choosing good-fit books. We talked about forming strong reading habits that help us grow as readers. We will be starting a new read aloud mentor text (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane) that will help us practice reading strategies.

Please continue with daily reading (20 minutes) and math fact practice. We will be adding the 2s multiplication facts this week.
I sent home 2 MATH HOMEWORK PAGES (1-3/1-5) today. These are due on Friday 9/21. These pages are helpful for practicing facts and strategies so please support your child as necessary.

SCHOLASTIC BOOK ORDER: You will see information coming home about the Scholastic Book Order. Take a look at these with your third grader. If you choose to order, please follow the instructions on the letter that is attached to the packet. Your order helps our class earn free books! Thank you!


school picture day is on September 27.

9/20: PTC Meeting in the library at 6:30pm
9/28: Popcorn Friday
10/5: Walk-A-Thon
10/12: Early Release dismissal at 12:15pm.
10/23: Turkey Trot



A Great First Week!!

We had a great first three days of third grade! We have been learning classroom procedures and we have been getting to know our classmates, too. What a wonderful group of learners! Remember that we do not have school tomorrow (Friday) or on Monday. We will be back on Tuesday, September 4!


We have started learning about Growth Mindset. Our third graders will be learning more about this and will be using it as they learn throughout the year. We learned that our brain is like a muscle that grows stronger when we work hard and face challenges. Our mindset and attitude impacts the way we learn new things. Our mantra this month is EVERYONE CAN LEARN! The has been a great reminder for our class for when something is hard to do.

We discussed the difference between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset.
For example, with a Fixed Mindset, we say “I can’t do it”, but when we have a Growth Mindset, our thought is changed to “I can do it if I practice and try my best”.

Our class talked about how it is okay to feel upset, angry, or frustrated about learning new things, but when we feel that way, we need to use strategies to help us calm down and change our mindset.
We have been learning strategies such as movement breaks or calming breaths throughout our day that help us focus on our learning and be ready to take on challenges in a positive way.
Please take a look in your child’s daily folder. You will see a green paper that gives you more information about Growth Mindset and ways that you can encourage this at home with your child. I look forward to encouraging our students as learners this year!


Puzzle Piece Homework:  Each student in our class is special and unique and together we make a great team! Each student is part of the puzzle that is our class. On Tuesday, we read a book called The Crayon Box That Talked. This reminded us that each one of us is a special part of our classroom community. Students were sent home with a puzzle piece homework assignment today. Please read this over with your third grader. This should be brought back to school by next Friday, September 7. I think I forgot to tell the due date to the class!

Thank you and have a great weekend!!

Ms Van Arkel   🙂

See you on Tuesday!!

Parents and Students,

It was so fun to meet you all at our school open house last night! I can tell we have a great group of third graders. I’m really excited to learn together this year!

Thank you for being so generous with the donations to our classroom! We appreciate it so much!!

A few reminders:
-Make sure your child brings gym shoes to leave at school. We have P.E. on Tuesday.
-Please let me or the office know if there is ever a change in your child’s transportation home. It is important to me that our third graders get home safely and that we are in communication about this. Thanks!

Be sure to look inside the folders you brought home.
There are two assignments for students to bring in on Tuesday:
1. Summer Celebration
2. Get to Know You page -green paper

Parents also have two assignments 🙂
1. Take a look inside the big envelope, read over the forms, and send the necessary forms back to school.
2. Complete the Get to Know You page -orange paper


Thank you!!