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Classroom Update

Lunch and Recess

Recess will precede lunch again this year. Recess and lunch will begin at 10:35 and end at 11:25 a.m. Snack time will be at 1:18pm most days.  Please select small, nutritious snacks that are not too messy and can be eaten quickly. Also, please note that I have not yet been informed of our classroom status as a peanut or nut free classroom.


Monday – Music                            Thursday - Art

Tuesday – P.E.                               Friday - P.E.

Wednesday - Library


Homework will be assigned to all third graders.  We will begin to assign homework slowly.  We will gradually increase its scope and substance. It is important that homework be completed and returned to school the next day as assigned as it is often an integral part of the next day’s lesson.


This is the first year that your child will use an agenda book. Assignments will be copied into the agenda under my supervision.  Homework should return to school in the Homework Folder the following day. Home reading is recorded in the agenda each night. Parents, please help your child with organization and initial agenda daily.

Home Reading

Developing a love of reading is so important at this age. Students are assigned home reading each night. We kick off the year with a focus on fluency. Your support in listening to your child read even just one page would be a tremendous help. Sometimes parents find it fun to take turns reading. A combination of silent and shared reading is encouraged in third grade. Some children enjoy recording themselves. I prefer that they finish the books they begin, so please encourage finishing one book before they start the next.


A list of suggested supplies can be found on the school website. I can of course supply all of the school supplies required to access the curriculum. However, if you choose to send in supplies for your child, please note that in addition to the posted supplies, my students would benefit from two marble notebooks, crayons and colored pencils, a clean white sock, and a low-profile clipboard of a color of their choice. Also, please note that the binder should have a clear-view cover.


As we as a nation become more mindful of the importance of school nutrition, we as a school community have rethought the tradition of the school birthday treat. This year I suggest handing out a small item or donating a book to the classroom library in lieu of the sweet birthday treat in school. Summer birthdays may choose to celebrate a half birthday or any date in June. Please let me know in advance which day you plan to send it in.


We love volunteers! Be on the lookout for notices asking for help. Your generous donation of time allows our wonderful hands-on activities to run smoothly and our children to be properly chaperoned. An active CORI check is required of all volunteers. Please contact the school office for CORI information. If you filled one out when your child was in kindergarten, your CORI may expire this year.


If you are going to pick up your child at dismissal time, or if you are going to make any other special dismissal arrangements (including after-school activities) please send in a note with your child on that day. Sending in a note in addition to any activity permission slip assures that there is no confusion on that day.


Email is the best way to communicate with me, but I may call you on occasion. Please check to make sure that your voice mailbox is not full so that I or the school nurse may leave a message if needed.

Scholastic Book Club order!   

We love books! Now it's easier than ever to find the perfect books for your child  with the online Scholastic Book Clubs website.  I will send home monthly book order flyers for you and your child to review. To place your order, log onto the Scholastic website. Online you can choose from a much wider selection of books than in the printed flyer, and enjoy the security of direct-pay. Scholastic Book Orders are a great way to build your home library while supporting your child's classroom.   

Our class activation code is HWPL6.

May Update

posted May 7, 2018, 12:24 PM by Frances Pericles

Tomorrow and Thursday will be Math MCAS days for grade 3. Your students are well-prepared. Written homework will not be assigned this week in order to enable your child time to play outside and get to bed early.  However, ReflexMath and viewing any of the math models is always recommended. On MCAS days, please send your child to school with an extra neat, quick, and nutritious snack to be eaten upon arrival. They will have their second snack later in the morning since grade 3 lunch will be pushed back on MCAS days.

Science Fair
Your child is bringing his/her Science Fair information packet home today. Please keep it in a safe spot. The Science Fair Plan on the last page will need to be signed, detached, and returned to school by May 11. This will be the only homework assigned this week. 

Book Order Due May 11
A great end-of-year gift to welcome your child into summer reading is a collection of books to curl up with. This will be our last book order of the year. 

Shop Online:        One-Time Class Activation Code: HWPL6
Ordering online is fast and easy:
  •  SUBMIT your order online only (no paper orders please)
  •  All book orders will be shipped to our classroom and sent home with your child
In addition to preparing for the MCAS, recently our class has explored the concepts of measuring, area and perimeter, and geometry. We skipped some chapter tests to ensure that we had enough time to cover the content, so next week we will begin to review and test those chapters.

Our class is in the midst of our Character Traits unit. Our current class read-aloud is Because of Winn-Dixie. Book clubs and word study are in full swing.

The students have been learning the structure of fairy tales, and are in the midst of writing their own fractured version of the Three Little Pigs.

Character Education
As a culmination of our Bullying Unit, our students watched the movie Chrissa Stands Strong. This movie contains wonderful and pertinent messages. Ask your child about it.

We are fortunate to have enjoyed lots of fun hands-on learning. As part of our Structures of Life unit, we assembled Mr. Bones puzzles, examined the contents of owl pellets, and observed crayfish. We are looking forward to our upcoming Science Fair!

Social Studies
Our class is learning about the events in Massachusetts leading up to the American Revolution.

PTO-Sponsored Presentations
We enjoyed ArtQuest, a rich program which teaches art appreciation through historical paintings. Other upcoming PTO-sponsored events include Ben Franklin and Windows on Wildlife (see calendar of dates below.)

Upcoming Dates
There are so many upcoming special events, that I thought I would list them here for you. Please note that this calendar is not inclusive as events continue to be added.


8      Grade 3 Math MCAS

10    Grade 3 Math MCAS

18    PTO Sponsored Ben Franklin Presentation

24    Advanced Band Concert

25    PTO Sponsored Windows on Wildlife

        Early Release

29    Grade 3 Field Day (Rain Date June 4)



6      Early Release

7      Beginner Band Concert

8      PTO Sponsored Color Fun Run

11    Evening Chorus Concert

19    Recorder Concert

19    Grade 3 Science Fair

21    Last Day – Early Release

Classroom Update

posted Mar 23, 2018, 1:51 PM by Frances Pericles

Dear Families,


I wanted to update you on classroom happenings before March completely flies by.


Moose Hill Field Trip

We were so disappointed that our Moose Hill field trip was cancelled. I especially apologize to our chaperones for any inconvenience that this cancellation caused. We are currently in contact with Moose Hill about rescheduling. I will share out the new date as soon as it is finalized.


Chinese Acrobats

To add a multicultural aspect to our programming, our school was fortunate to welcome a Chinese acrobat group to perform for the entire school yesterday. The students were completely mesmerized as they watched the thrilling show. Ask your child about it!


Book Fair

There will be a Scholastic Book Fair set up in the library next week. The hours will be school hours for student purchases, and during Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon conference hours for parent purchases. Our whole class will go to the book fair on Wednesday afternoon. Purchasing books is completely optional. If you would like your child to purchase books at the book fair, please send them in with money on that day.



I am looking forward to meeting with all of you next week. The class has made so much progress since the last time we met!


Spring Pictures

A spring picture form was sent home today in your child’s backpack. Monday, April 2 is picture day. Please send in the form if you would like spring pictures.



The ELA MCAS test is less than two weeks away on April 4 and 5. Recently we have taken a short hiatus from some of our regular curriculum to prepare the students for their very first MCAS. Our class has just finished the online tutorial, which teaches the children all about the types of questions that they can expect to see, how to use the online tools, and the experience in navigating the interface in general. I am confident that come test time the students will be comfortable with the online format.


If you are wondering what you can do to prepare your student for their first MCAS test, I have some suggestions. Besides the usual get to bed early and eat a large breakfast recommendation, with the electronic format comes a need for a bit of keyboarding prowess. We have been using Typing Pal in the classroom and it can be accessed at home if desired.  In addition to Typing Pal, any typing practice that they could have at home would be helpful.



We have completed our Lucy Calkins Units of Study – Reading to Learn unit, and have moved on to MCAS prep. After MCAS we will kick off a brand new unit – Character Traits.



We have completed our Lucy Calkins The Art of Information Writing unit. The students are publishing their non-fiction books in Book Creator, and they are coming out great! As soon as they are all done I will send you a link. We are also practicing reading response writing in preparation for the MCAS.



We have moved on from fractions to our Measurement Chapter - Time, Length, Liquid Volume and Mass. Any practice that you could give your child with reading analog clocks or calculating elapsed time would help them as they explore these new topics. Pointing out mass and liquid volume on everyday items is also helpful. Please have your child continue to build their fact fluency with Reflex Math at least three times each week.


Science & Social Studies

In science, we have kicked off our Structures of Life unit with life cycles and will soon be moving on to bones. In Social Studies, we are moving on to the events leading up to the American Revolution.


Winter Gear

I wish I could say that we are done with winter gear, but with melting snow comes the muddy season. With this in mind, when the weather becomes too warm for snow pants, please continue to send your child to school with snow boots in an attempt to keep the mud at bay.


Thank you for all you do to support your child’s education. Next week has two half days and no school on Friday, but as always we will make the best use of our instructional time together.


Happy Spring!




Classroom Update

posted Feb 12, 2018, 1:19 PM by Frances Pericles   [ updated Feb 12, 2018, 1:23 PM ]

Dear Families,

February is flying by, so I thought it would be a good time to give you a quick update.


The students have enjoyed the Understanding Fractions unit. Wondering how to help your child prepare for the test? Resources include the Extra Practice homework page, practice sheets from today’s class, and helpful Animated Math Models (on your child's Go Math page) numbers 31 through 34. We will continue on to Comparing Fractions after winter break. 

Thank you for all you do to encourage your children to practice with Reflex Math.  As you know, math fact fluency is an important foundation for higher level mathematical thinking. 


We are enjoying our Lucy Calkins Units of Study - Reading to Learn unit. The students have been practicing identifying main ideas, details, and text structures in non-fiction texts, and have recently moved on to using the Somebody-Wanted-But-So structure to summarize biographies. Students may continue to read the genre of their choice at home. Home reading should be recorded in your child's agenda Monday through Thursday.


I have recently completed another round of reading level testing, and am so pleased with the progress that your students have made!  I will share your child’s information with you at our March parent conference. (Invitations will be emailed this week.)

Fluency Tip: As students become better readers, they naturally tend toward more silent reading at home. However, it is important for reading fluency to keep pace with comprehension leaps. So be sure to encourage your child to occasionally read aloud at home. I often suggest reading to pets. Pets are good listeners and are great for reading fluency.


We are in the midst of our Lucy Calkins The Art of Informational Writing. Your students have completed the planning phase and are now writing their own informational texts. Please note that although the information texts are not intended to be research based, students are welcome to incorporate information that they find in books and on the web.

The students have made so much progress in learning their cursive alphabet. They should reach the end of the capital letters by the end of February! 

Science & Social Studies

In science, we have been exploring water, climate and natural water hazards. In Social Studies, we are continuing to learn about the history of Puritans in Massachusetts.

Valentine's Day

The students are looking forward to their Valentine's Day party on Wednesday, February 14. They may begin bringing their valentines in tomorrow. A class list for this purpose was sent home last week. Thank you to our room parents and to all families for your part in making our Valentine’s Day party a memorable one.

Coin Wars

The cafeteria is buzzing with coin wars strategy. See TPO email sent last week for or details of this enjoyable fundraiser. 100% of the profits will go toward classroom books.

 African Drum Presentation

We are looking forward to having African Drummers perform for the whole school on Friday morning. This should be a memorable experience. Ask your child about it when they get home!


Winter Gear

I want to thank all of you for sending your children to school with all of their winter gear. As the weather warms, please continue to send in boots as we approach the muddy season.


Field Trip

Our class will be going to the Moose Hill Audubon Sanctuary to learn about maple sugaring and food chains on Wednesday, March 21. We will leave school at 11:45 and return in time for dismissal. Official information and volunteer request will be sent out as the date approaches.

Thank you for all you do in supporting your child’s education. I wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing winter break.


Classroom Update

posted Jan 26, 2018, 1:21 PM by Frances Pericles

Our class is moving on to new fun and excitement in the new year.



The students are enjoying their introduction to division, which is nearing completion. Given that this is our first experience with this new concept, I am very impressed with how well the students are doing. Barring any snow days, I expect to finish up the chapter this week with a test on Friday. Helpful Animated Math Models (on your child's GoMath page) are a fun way to review concepts. Models related to division are numbers 22 through 29. Please contact me for assistance if you are unable to access this valuable resource.


Thank you for all you do in encouraging your children to practice with ReflexMath.  Math facts are important as they are building blocks for higher level mathematical thinking. 



We have recently kicked off a new Lucy Calkins Units of Study - Reading to Learn unit. In this unit, your students will be practicing non-fiction comprehension by grasping main ideas, details, and text structures. Students may by all means continue to read fiction at home. However, now would be a great time to add some non-fiction choices to your child's balanced home reading diet. Home reading should be recorded in your child's agenda Monday through Thursday.



We are nearing the completion of our Lucy Calkins Unit of Study in Persuasive Writing. It has been my pleasure to guide the class in learning to craft essays on topics that are meaningful to them. Next will be Lucy Calkins The Art of Information Writing, which will dovetail nicely with our non-fiction reading unit.


The students are also very proud to have completed the entire lower case cursive alphabet. They are now learning capital letters. 


Science & Social Studies

In science, we have been exploring the properties of water. We are in the midst of studying evaporation, and are moving on to condensation. In Social Studies, we are continuing to learn about the early history of Massachusetts.


Valentine's Day

Our class will hold a Valentine's Day party on Wednesday, February 14. I will be contacting our dedicated room parents soon to plan for this event. Although it is absolutely optional, I want to let you know that children may distribute valentine cards during the party. I will send home a class list for this purpose as that date approaches.


Winter Gear

I want to thank all of you for sending your children to school with all of their winter gear. Having the proper clothing keeps them warm, dry and happy during outdoor recess.


Our class is off to a great start to 2018. The students are working hard and are excited to be moving on to the many new challenges ahead.


posted Oct 9, 2014, 5:41 AM by Frances Pericles   [ updated Aug 26, 2016, 9:48 AM ]

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