Tag Archives: polar express

Happy Holidays!


Just a few things before we head into Holiday break:

Last week I stopped by Love INC to drop off a bag of socks, gloves, hats, and mittens that our class collected. They were so grateful for this donation! Thank you so much for your participation. Here is a picture of the bag I dropped off:

Homework over Holiday Break: I will not be sending a reading/math fact log over break. Please help your child to continue the routine of reading and math fact practice over the next two weeks. It will be crucial to keep this routine as it is important for our third graders to keep building on their progress even over a break from school. Thanks for your help in your third grader’s success!

Polar Express Party: We had a great time at our Polar Express party yesterday. Thanks so much for all the volunteers and donations. We appreciate it and couldn’t do it without all the help! Check out this video of some pictures:

**On Monday, January 6, our class will have P.E. so please remind your third grader to have their gym shoes at school. I know some students brought their shoes home.


I hope you have a wonderful Holiday break filled with family, friends, fun, and some rest! I look forward to starting a new year and new learning with our third graders on January 6th!

-Ms Van Arkel



Third Grade Polar Express Party!


We have been hard at work as a Third Grade Team getting all the details set for the big Polar Express Party! As a reminder, the party will be next Thursday, December 19th from 9-10:30 am. 

Each classroom teacher will be able to have ten parent volunteers (40 total volunteers for the grade). We will be prioritizing parents who were not able to be a part of the Halloween party or class field trip; if we have fewer than ten interested parents who were NOT a part of either of those events, we will do a “lottery” like drawing for the remaining parents interested. Unfortunately due to how large this event is in a small space, we will not be able to have any parents except those who have been confirmed by the teacher as volunteers come to the party. Thank you for your understanding in this!

Please note that parent volunteers will need:

1) To have a background check filled out

2) To be to school by 8:30 am the day of the party

3) To have alternate plans for younger siblings (because there are already 100 students and 44 adults all in one space!) 

Please email us about interest in volunteering by the end of the school day this Friday, December 13th. Please also consider helping out by signing up to donate party supplies on the Sign Up Genius HERE, as well. This can also be found on the blog. 

Thanks so much – we are looking forward to next Thursday!

The Third Grade Team




3rd Grade Update: Week of December 17

Here is an update from our classroom:

Writing: We are working on writing conclusions to our informational writing. We will work on revising, editing, and writing a final draft.

Social Studies: We started studying Economics in Michigan. We have learned about scarcity, opportunity cost, and we have started learning about economic activities such as manufacturing and agriculture.

Math: We continue with our measurement unit and will begin a few lessons on telling time and using elapsed time. This would be great to practice at home, too! Third graders should keep practicing multiplication facts at home using MobyMax or flashcards.

Reading: We have been exploring nonfiction texts by identifying text features and new vocabulary words. We have also been taking notes as we read and gather facts and information from our reading. Third graders should continue with reading 20 minutes at least 5 days a week. Complete your December reading calendar over break and bring it back on January 7.


Our Polar Express party is on Thursday, Dec. 20. Students may wear pajamas if they would like. ***If you are donating items, please send them in on or before Wednesday. 

Popcorn Friday is this Friday, the 21st.

HOLIDAY VACATION starts Monday, December 24. School resumes Monday, January 7!

Update: Week of December 10

Here is an update for the week:

Math and Reading homework: Our third grade homework consists of independent reading and math fact practice. The reading calendar is homework each month and should be turned in at the end of each month. The December calendar can be returned in January.
Please help your third grader to continue practicing multiplication facts- just 5 minutes each night on MobyMax or using flashcards. Mastery with the basic facts is very important to understanding other math concepts.

Our music program is this Thursday evening. Please read the information HERE.

Our third grade Polar Express party will be on Thursday, Dec. 20. Please be sure you have read the email that was sent on Friday and also the original post HERE.

The 5th grade candy cane sale continues through Friday. If your child would like to buy one, please send $1.00 in an envelope with your child’s name.


Thursday, Dec. 13- Jet’s Pizza Night

Friday, Dec. 14- Early Release: Dismissal at 12:15pm.


Update: Week of December 3

Here is an update for next week:

Writing: We have moved on to Informational Writing. Your third grader will be choosing a topic that they know a lot about. They will learn to organize information to write about this topic.

Math: We took our Unit 2 test on Friday and will move on to the next Unit that will cover measurement. Multiplication practice pages went home on Friday. Please check with your third grader about what math facts they will need to practice for Wednesday.

Social Studies: We took our Geography test and will move on to learn about the Economics of Michigan.

Reading: We have started to explore Nonfiction texts and we will be looking closely to see how author’s use text features to teach about a topic.

  • Coming Up: 
    November Reading Calendars are due on Monday. This is homework and is expected to be turned in at the end of each month. December calendars went home today (Friday).
  • Please see information in a previous post about our Polar Express Party.
  • Information about the Holiday Shop was sent home today (Friday). Our class will be going on Thursday, Dec. 6. If your child plans to make a purchase, please send in the envelope labeled with your child’s name.
  • Holiday Music Program:
    The music program will be on December 13 at Fair Haven.
    Grades K, 1, 2:  Drop off is at 6:15 pm.  Performance is at 6:30 pm.
    Grades 3,4,5:  Drop off is at 7:30 pm.  Performance is at 7:45 pm.
  • Our next Early Release day is December 14. Dismissal is at 12:15pm.


We will be having our annual Polar Express Party on Thursday, December 20 from 9:00 – 10:30am.  We need donations and volunteers to make this fun event happen.  Click on the Polar Express picture to donate items and volunteer to help with a game or craft.  Please send all donated items to school by Wednesday, December 19.  If you are volunteering to be at the party, please come at 8:30am that day to get directions for your game or craft. 

Polar Express Party

Here is a peek at our Polar Express party! We had a great time. THANK YOU to all who volunteered and donated items.

With two weeks off from school, I have reminded the third graders to continue their reading and math fact practice. Please help your child to remember to log on to MobyMax or use their flashcards for practice. They will know what math facts they need to practice. Thanks!

I wish you all a happy Holiday break!


Holiday Party!!

All aboard the 3rd grade Polar Express! Our party will be from 9:15-10:30 on Wednesday, December 21st.  If you are interested in helping run a center on the day of the party, or are willing to donate items, please click on the Polar Express picture below (for the Signup Genius link, enter your email, and click next). We will be decorating cookies and drinking hot chocolate at the Christmas party.  We are planning crafts, games, and snacks related to the Polar Express theme and will be combining all of the 3rd grade classes.

Also for a gift exchange, we would like each child to bring in a small item for each child in their class. Some ideas are pencils, treats, erasers, or small party items from the store. We would also like each child to bring in a box wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper. The box needs to be opened without unwrapping it (so either wrap the lid separately or choose a box with flaps that can open and close). The kids will be putting the items they brought to share in each other’s boxes. The children may start bringing them in as soon as you would like to send them.  Make sure your child’s box is here by Monday, December 19th.

If  you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.