Have a Great Summer!

Hi Families,

We had a great last day of third grade!! This was a special group of kids this year and I will miss them!
I feel very blessed to teach your children this year. Thank you all for your support, too! I sent home a packet of Summer Learning ideas to help keep your third grader engaged and learning this summer. Please look for this in your child’s folder.

I hope you have a wonderful summer!

~Ms Van Arkel 🙂

Third Grade Update

Hi Families,

Here are a few things to know:
• Tomorrow we are having a Show and Tell day. The students may bring in something to show, but it must fit in their backpack and it may not be an electronic. Please talk with your child about what they might bring. They may also tell something, too. We always love hearing good news from our class!

• Today our class heard an important presentation from the Children’s Advocacy Center. The presentation taught our students a safety rule for their body: All Kids have the Right to Protect their Body. Your child has a bookmark and a pamphlet that they should be bringing home tonight. This would be a great opportunity for you to follow up with this important conversation.

Our class earned our 10 smile reward! We will celebrate by eating lunch and reading outside. Weather permitting, we are hoping to do this tomorrow. Please send in a beach towel for your child to use outside.

Last week, we practiced area and perimeter with a hands on project. Each student designed their own garden. They were challenged to create 5 flower beds and to find the area and perimeter of each one. It was so fun to see the creativity in the way each student designed their garden! It was great practice with using rulers, too! 🙂



Third Grade Update

Hi Third Grade Families,
I can’t believe we are so close to the end of the school year! Despite the changes this year and all things considered, this has been a great year of learning with a special group of third graders!

Writing: Our third graders have been meeting with their research clubs to work on their second animal book. Each person is working on organizing their research to write their chapter to contribute to the book.

Math: Our class has been working hard learning about area and perimeter as well as learning all the different attributes of polygons and quadrilaterals.
Math Test: We will have our math test on Wednesday. A review packet along with a math vocabulary packet will come home today (Monday).
Math Vocabulary packet:  You will see a math vocabulary packet come home with your child tonight. Please use this as you help your child review for the test.

During math, we had fun using tangrams to make different shapes:

Reading: Our research clubs are working on reading and research to find the most important information about their animal. We are learning different text structures such as: sequential writing, compare/contrast, cause and effect, and problem/solution.

Social Studies: We have started exploring the different landforms and bodies of water in Michigan. We are also learning about natural characteristics and human characteristics of Michigan.

Other News:

Early Release on Friday, May 21. Dismissal at 12:15

Bring a towel: Your child may want to bring in a towel for the remaining weeks of school. As the weather gets nicer, we may take advantage of it and do some reading outside.

Note home: Your child brought home a note today (Monday) regarding a third grade presentation from the Children’s Advocacy Center. Please be sure to take a look at this note.

Thank you!
Ms Van Arkel 🙂



Third Grade Update

Hello Families,
Here’s a learning update from third grade:

We are working in research clubs and each club is studying an animal. They are in planning out their table of contents and subtopics. Each club member is in charge of writing a chapter or two and the research club will put their book together. Students are working on reading for research and working on organizing information and using different text structures.

Social Studies:
We are beginning to study the Geography of Michigan. We will learn how to use map skills and learn about the natural and human characteristics of Michigan.

We have started learning about area and perimeter and will move on to learn about characteristics of quadrilaterals.

Math Fact Fluency: We will do our fact fluency pages for only two more Fridays. It has really become evident that many third graders are not practicing multiplication facts and not completely retaining what they have learned. It is very crucial that our third graders are practicing their facts several times a week. This will be very important over the summer as well leading up to fourth grade.

During our reading time, students are working on reading for research. They have been using different resources to gather information about their animal. They are learning to take notes so they will be able to write about their subtopic.

MSTEP testing is this week Thursday, May 6 and next Thursday, May 13. It will be important that your child is at school on time and that they have had a healthy breakfast and adequate sleep. If your child seems anxious or worried about this, it will be most helpful if you would remind them to just do their best to show what they know! They hear this from me a lot at school.   🙂

Book Order:
A Scholastic Book Order was sent home last week. This will be the last book order I send home for the year. This would be a great time to purchase books for Summer Reading!
If you plan to order, please place your order online by Friday, May 7. Thank you in advance for your purchases as it allows me to choose free books for our classroom library!

Our next early release day is May 21. Dismissal is at 12:15pm.

Our classroom is in need of some sandwich sized Ziploc bags. If you are able to donate, please send them in with your child. Thanks in advance!


Thank you for all your support!

Ms Van Arkel



3rd Grade Update

Hi Families,
Here is an update of our learning:

Writing and Reading:
During our writing and reading times, our class is learning to use different reading strategies when reading a variety of texts. We are learning to use thinking strategies for reading a text and answering questions or writing a response.

Growth Mindset:
Last week, we spent time reviewing respect. We watched a few videos that helped us see examples of respect and disrespect. Then we discussed this as a class. We were reminded of the ways we show respect and disrespect and recognize the difference. We will continue to read books that help us review this character trait.

Today and tomorrow, we will be reviewing for our math test that will take place on Wednesday. Next, we will begin a new unit learning about fractions.
Please help your child remember to log on to MobyMax to practice math facts. Some of our third graders are working hard to master their addition and subtraction facts and move onto multiplication and division. Keep working hard!

March is Reading Month:
Your child should have a reading log that is to be kept in their daily folder. They will use this to keep track of their daily reading and parents initial each day/time read. Each Monday, they can earn a raffle ticket when they have completed 100 or more minutes of reading.

Friday, March 19: Wear a shirt with words on it!




3rd Grade Update

Hi Families,

Here is an update of our learning:

This week we are taking time to practice constructive responses. That means we are reading an article or short story and responding in writing. We are learning to answer the question well by using complete sentences with details from the text that supports our answer. This is a skill we continue to practice throughout the year.

We have been practicing telling time and writing it as before and after the hour. We will move on to elapsed time and interpreting and creating graphs.

Book clubs have been meeting for the last week! Each book club has been given a book that has a main character that faces a problem. Each student must complete their reading assignment, make observations about the character, and then the book club meets to discuss. Each group discuss the problem and how the character reacts. They make predictions as they read as well.

Growth Mindset:
The past several weeks we have been talking about kindness. Our class has been working on a kindness challenge and we even made self portraits that included kindness quotes. We have also discussed Black History Month and learned about many courageous men and women who have made a difference by showing kindness with their actions and words even when it was not an easy thing to do.


More Information:

Homework: A weekly reading and math log went home today. This is your third grader’s homework and should be returned each Monday.

• Our next Early Release day is Friday, March 5. Dismissal is at 12:15pm.

Parent- Teacher Conferences will take place (via Zoom) on Monday, March 8 and Wednesday March 10. I will be sending an email with sign up soon.

Book Fair: Our class will preview the book fair on Tuesday, March 9 and students may purchase on Thursday, March 11.

On Friday, February 12, we enjoyed some Valentine themed learning. Check it out!



Third Grade Update

Hi Families,
Here’s what’s happening in 3rd grade:

Last we we started working on literary essays. We are writing about a text that we read by forming big ideas and giving reasons that connect to the text. The students will be working more independently on writing another literary essay this week.

We have been learning about units of measurement and have been practicing using a ruler to measure to the nearest inch, half inch, and quarter inch. We have also been learning about liquid units of measurement as well as units to measure weight.

We are using the book Because of Winn-Dixie to make observations about the main character of a text. We are noticing patterns in the character and using these observations to make predictions and form big ideas and theories. This week, the students will start to work in book clubs and discuss some new characters.

Multiplication Fact Fluency:
Since we had a snow day last Friday, we will do our practice page this Friday. Please remind your third grader to continue practicing their facts so they are feeling confident. As a reminder, it is so important that multiplication facts are practiced regularly. This will help your third grader be prepared for our upcoming math concepts as well as fourth grade concepts.


Classroom Transformation:
We had a great time on Tuesday as our class transformed into a Construction Zone and the students completed 10 challenges that helped them practice measuring to the nearest inch, half inch, and quarter inch. Thank you to The Lifetime Learner for this awesome resource and thank you for the donations from parents!
Here are just a few pictures:



Third Grade Update

Hi Families,
Just a few things to bring to your attention:

Friday, February 5 is an early release. Dismissal is at 12:15. We do not have school on Monday, February 8 due to Winter Break.

Kids Heart Challenge
Kids Heart Challenge information was sent home and began on Feb. 1.  Please note that this program is for the American Heart Association and can only be done online.  For more information ask your child for the KHC envelope they got and you can also go to the PE Blog 

Valentines: If your child chooses to bring in Valentine cards for classmates, please send them to school before Wednesday, February 10.

Extra Mask: Please make sure your child has an extra mask packed in their backpack each day. Thank you!

Homework: Please remind your third grader to complete their math/reading log that is due each Monday. This is their third grade homework and we have many students who have been working on being responsible with this. Thank you!



Third Grade Update

Hi Families,
Here’s what’s happening in third grade:

Today, we started a new writing unit. We will be learning about literary essays and the class will be working on reading a text, studying the characters, and writing a literary essay.

We are finishing up Unit 4 with the test tomorrow (Tuesday). We will move on to Unit 3 and study measurement, weight, volume, mass, elapsed time, and graphing.

We started our Character Studies unit today. We will use the book Because of Winn-Dixie to study the main character and we will move on to book clubs where the students will talk and discuss the characters in their text.

A new math/reading log went home today. Please remind your third grader to fill this out throughout the week to keep track of their reading and math practice. It is very important that our third graders are remaining consistent with this especially as we move into the next reading and math units. Thank you!

Growth Mindset:
In the last few weeks we have learned about empathy, using strategies for worrying, and today we started talking about how our mindset impacts our mood.

Valentine’s Day:
We will do some Valentine related activities on Friday, February. 12. If your child chooses to bring in Valentine’s to pass out, they should be brought to school before Wednesday, February 10. I will send a class list home. We will decorate Valentine gift bags at school.

Friday, February 5 is an early release. Dismissal is at 12:15
Monday, February 8- NO SCHOOL- WINTER BREAK