Colina Contacts - Kyrene School District

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Third Grade

with Ms. Smith

A Guide to Third Grade with Heather Smith, Room 25


Colina Contacts

Colina Office 480-541-2600

Colina Absence/Attendance Line 480-541-2601

Cafeteria (Ms. Nahar) 480-783-2696

Library (Mrs. Spake) 480-541-2686/2687 (voice messaging)

Music (Mrs. McCleve) 480-541-2639 (voice messaging)

PE (Mr. Moser) 480-541-2694 (voice messaging)

Art (Ms. Yorio) 480-541-2631 (voice messaging)

Heather’s Direct Line 480-541-2725

Heather’s e-mail: mhsmith@

Website: (Currently under construction)


This handbook is three-hole punched and fastened with only one ring in order to facilitate adding or exchanging pages.

It is recommended that the handbook be placed in a three-ring binder for convenient reference. Please do not place it inside your child’s notebook, as you may need to access information while your child is at school. We also want to reinforce organization of your child’s notebook.


A guide to Third Grade with Ms. Smith, room 25

CONTENTS (index style)

Behavior Management 22-24


Cafeteria 26

Class Meetings 23

Class Rules 24

Class Schedule 5

Class Spreadsheet 24

Classroom Communication 6-7

Colina Contacts 2, 7

Classroom Phone & Student Phone Use 6

Daily 5 8

Dismissal Plans 7, 29-30

Donation Items 28

Flip Flop Folders 6

High Frequency Words 11-13

Homework 15-21

Homework Example 21

Homework Support 17-20

IXL 14

Junior Great Books 8

Language Arts 8-13

Love & Logic 22

Mad Minute 14

Mathematics 14

Me Time 26

Newsletter 6

Personal Time Lines 26

Phone Numbers 2, 7

Quarter Jar 26


Six Traits of Writing 10

Snacks 25

Spelling 9

Supply List 27

Time Line Presentations 26

Volunteering 31-32

Water Bottles 25



This is a generic representation of our daily schedule. The schedule for enrichment classes (Art, Computer, Library, Music, PE) is below. The enrichment schedule is also a draft.

7:40 LINE UP (We line up near the “big” playground equipment.)

7:45 Attendance, Flip Flop Folders, Daily Review

7:50 Extended Learning Experiences: Science, Social Studies, Health

8:15 English Language Arts: Writing

8:45 Enrichment Classes

9:30 Third Grade Recess

9:45 Math Block

10:45 Math Instructional Focus Groups

11:15 Extended Learning Experiences: Science, Social Studies, Health

11:45 Lunch

12:05 Lunch Recess

12:25 Reading Block

1:55 Reading Instructional Focus Groups

2:25 Jobs, Homework Chat

2:35 Dismissal






Each student has been provided with a 1” notebook (Referred to as the”Flip Flop Folder.”) that is labeled with his/her first and last names. Two folders are placed inside of the Flip Flop Folder: a red folder with pockets labeled “IMPORTANT PAPERS TO TAKE HOME” and “IMPORTANT PAPERS TO BRING TO SCHOOL” and a blue folder with pockets labeled “COMPLETED WORK” and “SCHOOL & PTO NEWS.”

Students are directed to check their Flip Flop Folders each morning for “Important Papers to Bring to School” (homework, notes to the teacher, lunch checks, etc.). PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHILD’S FLIP FLOP FOLDER EVERYDAY for “Important Papers to Bring Home.”


We receive frequent requests from the Colina office to forward information to parents. PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO ME AT mhsmith@ WITH YOUR NAME AND YOUR CHILD’S NAME in the body, so that I can add you to my “contacts.” (District guidelines prohibit use of student names in the subject line.) Please also indicate whether or not you are able to print at home and which information you would like included in a classroom directory distributed via email.


The classroom newsletter will begin publication on Friday, September 11th and is sent via email. The newsletter contains information about current and future classroom events. It also includes notification of class pictures, field trips, school vacations, individual pictures, and school events; such as the Turkey Trot and Book Fairs. It is published weekly and emailed on Fridays.


Our direct classroom line is 480.541.2725. The direct line into our classroom is answered by a voice messaging system. Although I check for messages throughout the day, if you need to get an immediate message to your child during school hours, it is best to call the office line (480.541.2600).

The students are permitted to use the classroom phone to verify after-school plans and lunch arrangements (not to make new plans or arrangements). Students also occasionally call from the classroom when they are feeling ill. Their calls for PE attire or forgotten objects (library books, homework, lunches) are limited. (Colina School has adopted a “no call” policy for these issues and I try to abide by it.) Please let me know if you prefer that your child not be permitted to contact you during the school day.


Receive class reminders via text by texting to 81010 with the message @f8c86. Visit to learn more.


It is important that I have written confirmation of your child’s dismissal plans. If you haven’t already done so, please complete the “Dismissal Plans” form. (This was sent home on “Meet Your Teacher” night. There is also a copy in handbook on page 29.) This facilitates getting each child to the proper location at the close of the school day.

If your child’s dismissal/after school care plans change weekly, I will provide you with extra dismissal planning sheets or you can send me a schedule of your own. As the year progresses, there will be changes in many dismissal routines to accommodate Cub Scouts, Brownies, Chess Club, etc. You can send me an email or write me note as these changes occur, rather than filling out a whole new sheet.

If your child’s dismissal plans change for an irregular occurrence (such as a play date, a birthday party, or a visit from a relative), PLEASE contact me to let me know! It can be a message on my voice mail, a message at the front office, an email – even a note on a paper towel! District policy requires that I send students home in the manner that parents have previously written, unless I receive some other form of notification. Many students don’t remember there’s been a change until we are walking out the door – it is very difficult to dismiss the class and call a parent to verify a change in plans at the same time. Please help me with this. ϑ


Colina Office 480-541-2600

Colina Absence/Attendance Line 480-541-2601

Cafeteria (Ms. Nahar) 480-783-2696

Library (Mrs. Spake) 480-541-2686/2687 (voice messaging)

Music (Mrs. McCleve) 480-541-2639 (voice messaging)

PE (Mr. Moser) 480-541-2694 (voice messaging)

Art (Ms. Yorio) 480-541-2631 (voice messaging)

Heather’s Direct Line 480-541-2725

Heather’s e-mail: mhsmith@

Website: (Currently under construction)



The Common Core Language Arts program includes Literature and Informational Text, Foundational Skills, Writing Standards, Speaking & Listening Standards, and Language Standards. A term that is now frequently used is “Text Complexity.” This refers not only to the level of vocabulary included in a selection, but also the complexity of ideas contained within a given text.

provides incredible information about the use of “Lexiles” to identify students’ reading abilities. It indicates that Lexile levels 420L to 820L are appropriate for second and third grade students.

The third grade team works together to meet the individual needs of the students. Students are evaluated throughout the school year using a variety of assessments. Kyrene uses Dynamic Measurement Groups: DIBELS Next®. While results are typically reported to us as “Benchmark” (On grade level), “Strategic” (Some intervention needed), or “Intensive” (Much intervention needed); states that Dynamic Measurement Group: DIBELS Next® can assess a student’s Lexile level. I have contacted our Curriculum & Development Department to instruct me on how to use this in our classroom. Students are placed with a reading instructor (One of the third grade teachers) based on his/her instructional needs as determined by these assessments, as well as teacher input.

Reading Group activities may include phonics activities, phonemic awareness activities, reading aloud, discussing material that was read independently, and occasionally editing writing.


DAILY 5 – The Daily 5 structure allows students to be meaningfully engaged with Language Arts skills while the teacher is working with small groups of children ().

BURST – BURST is a DIBELS Next program to work with small groups (No more than five students) of “Intensive” students. It involves direct instruction of phonetic principles, decoding strategies, and fluency.

JUNIOR GREAT BOOKS – Junior Great Books uses Shared Inquiry (A distinctive method of learning in which participants search for answers to fundamental questions raised by a text.) to increase students’ interaction with texts of complexity.



The Colina third grade teachers have purchased a spelling program that places emphasis on spelling patterns and sight words.

Kyrene School District expects that third grade students learn the first 350 High Frequency words. These lists are located on pages 11-13 of this handbook and will be provided in the students’ writing folders.

You will read more about our homework structure on pages 15-16. The spelling homework will also appear on the Homework Sheet that is sent home with your child.

Monday (Due Tuesday): Write each spelling word correctly three times. Write four sentences, using at least one spelling word in each sentence. Use correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Tuesday (Due Wednesday): Write the spelling words in alphabetical order. Write four sentences, using at least one spelling word (Different than those used on Monday) in each sentence. Use correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Wednesday (Due Thursday): Make a tree map organizing the spelling words into nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and other. Write four sentences, using at least one spelling word (Different than those used on Monday and Tuesday) in each sentence. Use correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Thursday (Due Friday): Take a practice spelling test and have a great speller check it for you. Rewrite any misspelled words correctly three times each. Write four sentences, using at least one spelling word (Different than those used on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) in each sentence. Use correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

“Invented spelling” is appropriate for parts of homework (Except for the actual spelling words!), although accurate spelling is desired outcome. Sometimes children become frustrated when trying to complete a writing assignment and spell everything correctly, as well. If your child asks for spelling assistance during the completion of a homework assignment, I recommend that you “sound out” applicable words with your child and have him/her record the sounds. This will provide you with valuable information regarding your child’s logical or illogical choice for letter sounds. If your child requests assistance with a sight word/word that can’t be sounded out, ask, “What do you have so far?” or “What do you have for the first letter? Then what?” Many times, it turns out a child can actually spell the word. ( After a homework assignment is completed, I recommend that you encourage your child to circle or underline words that s/he would like checked for spelling, so that you can give the correct spelling for those specific words. Please do not demand that your child correct all spelling in a writing assignment. Exact spelling is only necessary for specific spelling homework.

The spelling grade appears as part of “Conventions” in the Writing area of the Progress Report.



These Six Traits of Writing and brief descriptions are listed below. Instructing and scoring with the Six Traits allows teacher to focus on specific aspects of an individual student’s writing to increase improvement. We will often score papers for one specific trait to heighten awareness of each trait.

The Six Traits

Ideas & Content: A message that makes sense, more than one statement on the same topic, details, new information, a strong main idea.

Organization: Use of an introductory device (such as a title), use of words to suggest a beginning (once, one day, yesterday, etc.), use of words that connect ideas (meanwhile, however, then, next, etc.), use of words that show a sense of conclusion (at last, finally, when it was all over, etc.), more than one sentence about the same idea.

Voice: Text that makes the reader feel like laughing or crying, text that makes a connection to a personal memory, text the reader wants to share with others, text that makes it easy to identify the author.

Word Choice: Words the reader can read and make sense of, words that replace old standards (something other than “good,” “nice,” “fun,” “cool,” “neat,” “really,” “very,” etc.), strong verbs, words that paint a picture, sensory words (to help the audience hear, smell, feel, or touch the moment), a stretch to use a new or unusual word, the right word at the right moment.

Sentence Fluency: Use of varied sentence beginnings, a mix of statements and questions, a mix of long and short sentences, a complex or compound sentence mixed in with simple sentences, use of connecting words (however, then) that link sentence together,

Conventions: Phonetic spelling on more difficult words, correct spelling of simple words and high frequency words, end punctuation that is correct or mostly correct, capital letters for names, capital letters to begin sentences, correct use of periods and question marks, use of exclamation points, use of commas in a series, experimentation with more sophisticated punctuation marks (parentheses, semicolons, colons, dashes, ellipses, etc.).


High Frequency Words

Students entering third grade are expected to read/recognize (not “sound out”) the first 200 words. Students exiting third grade are expected to read/recognize the first 350 words.

|Words 1-25 |Words 26-50 |Words 51-75 |Words 76-100 |Words 101-125 |

|Read by end of |Read by middle of 1st |Read by end of 1st |Read by end of 1st quarter|Read by middle of 2nd |

|kindergarten |grade |grade |of 2nd grade |quarter of 2nd grade |

|the |or |will |number |new |

|of |one |up |no |sound |

|and |had |other |way |take |

|a |by |about |could |only |

|to |word |out |people |little |

|in |but |many |my |work |

|is |not |then |than |know |

|you |what |them |first |place |

|that |all |these |water |year |

|it |were |so |been |live |

|he |we |some |call |me |

|was |when |her |who |back |

|for |your |would |oil |give |

|on |can |make |now |most |

|are |said |like |find |very |

|as |there |him |long |after |

|with |use |into |down |thing |

|his |an |time |day |our |

|they |each |has |did |just |

|I |which |look |get |name |

|at |she |two |come |good |

|be |do |more |made |sentence |

|this |how |write |may |man |

|have |their |go |part |think |

|from |if |see |over |say |


High Frequency Words – continued

|Words 126-150 |Words 151-175 |Words 176-200 |Words 201-225 |Words 226-250 |

|Read by end of 2nd quarter |Read by end of 3rd quarter |Read by end of 2nd grade |Read by middle of 1st |Read by end of 1st quarter|

|of 2nd grade |of 2nd grade | |quarter of 3rd grade |of 3rd grade |

|great |put |kind |every |left |

|where |end |hand |near |don't |

|help |does |picture |add |few |

|through |another |again |food |while |

|much |well |change |between |along |

|before |large |off |own |might |

|line |must |play |below |close |

|right |big |spell |country |something |

|too |even |air |plant |seem |

|mean |such |away |last |next |

|old |because |animal |school |hard |

|any |turn |house |father |open |

|same |here |point |keep |example |

|tell |why |page |tree |begin |

|boy |ask |letter |never |life |

|follow |went |mother |start |always |

|came |men |answer |city |those |

|want |read |found |earth |both |

|show |need |study |eye |paper |

|also |land |still |light |together |

|around |different |learn |thought |got |

|form |home |should |head |group |

|three |us |America |under |often |

|small |move |world |story |run |

|set |try |high |saw |important |


High Frequency Words – continued

|Words 251-275 |Words 276-300 |Words 301-325 |Words 326-350 |

|Read by middle of 2nd |Read by end of 2nd quarter|Read by middle of 3rd |Read by end of 3rd grade |

|quarter of 3rd grade |of 3rd grade |quarter of 3rd grade | |

|until |idea |stand |sure |

|children |enough |sun |become |

|side |eat |questions |top |

|feet |face |fish |ship |

|car |watch |area |across |

|mile |far |mark |today |

|night |Indian |dog |during |

|walk |real |horse |short |

|white |almost |birds |better |

|sea |let |problem |best |

|began |above |complete |however |

|grow |girl |room |low |

|took |sometimes |knew |hours |

|river |mountain |since |black |

|four |cut |ever |products |

|carry |young |piece |happened |

|state |talk |told |whole |

|once |soon |usually |measure |

|book |list |didn't |remember |

|hear |long |friends |early |

|stop |leave |easy |waves |

|without |family |heard |reached |

|second |body |order |listen |

|late |music |red |wind |

|miss |color |door |rock |



Kyrene District has adopted the Investigations Mathematics programs and frequently utilizes Engage NY ( ) to address the Common Core Mathematics Standards. In addition to the traditional written practice, it includes a variety of “hands-on” activities using “manipulatives;” as well as “mental math” strategies. Students spending time using actual objects to learn mathematical skills; such as counting money, fractions, place value, etc., while also employing a variety of “mental math strategies,” such as rounding to the nearest ten or hundred, skip counting, decomposing numbers, etc. A glossary to help you with some of the strategies will be sent home the first week of school. You may also benefit from visiting some of the websites listed within this link:

Memorizing “basic facts” (single digit addition and subtraction facts) is a worthwhile part of mathematics. I would like to address this by the use of daily timed practices called “Mad Minute.” In order to keep up with the amount of copies needed to do this, I will be seeking assistance. I working on finding creative sources of funding to make these copies.

MAD MINUTE is a program that presents 30 math facts on a worksheet. The students are given one minute to complete all of the math problems in order. Problems are completed in order, so that the students are learning the facts that they find more challenging, rather than simply completing the “easy ones” first. All of the students will start on the “first level” of Mad Minute (30 single digit additions facts with sums/answers less than ten). A student must complete ALL of the problems correctly on FIVE CONSECUTIVE Mad Minutes in order to “move up” to the next Mad Minute level.

The intent of Mad Minutes to is to increase basic fact fluency to encourage success with higher level mathematics. It is also a method for students to track their own progress. If a child becomes distraught participating in Mad Minutes, that child may simply use flashcards during this time.

IXL - I encourage you to investigate IXL () to provide additional exposure to third grade content for your child. A parent recommended it last year and we were able to use her account for a short time in the classroom. It is aligned directly with Common Core.



. . .and the Kyrene District guideline of 20-30 minutes three days a week. . .

According to Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, and Jane E. Pollack, authors of Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, “. . . homework for young children should help them develop good study habits, foster positive attitudes toward school, and communicate to students the idea that learning takes work at home as well as at school.”

I view homework as an opportunity for review and a means of checking student progress for parents. Homework should also introduce and build strong study practices. As students receive varying degrees of assistance at home, I am unable to take a true “grade” on homework. Working with your children every day, I have a good gauge on their capabilities. Homework allows parents to experience their children’s successes and struggles first hand. I want homework to be meaningful and informative, not a battle – and, not simply something I “check off”!

Each homework assignment will address multiple performance objectives from more than one content area. An example of a homework assignment is found on page 21.

It is critical that children are involved in reading nightly. Most homework assignments will require meaningful reading. We will work with the school-wide “Reading Wall” program to track at home reading. This enables your child to earn free books!

If your child does not bring his/her homework and does not have a note from you, s/he may be required to participate in the “Homework Club.” Students in the Homework Club will be required to complete their homework during recess or free time. This is meant only to be logical consequence, rather than a punishment. If your child receives homework from Special Education/Resource, accommodations will be made to prevent “Homework Overload.”

I make every effort to design homework assignments that are challenging, fun, and interesting. It is also important that homework assignments meet curriculum requirements. Please let me know if you feel that an assignment is too challenging or not challenging enough for your child (Please be courteous when you let me know!). I use this information when creating future homework assignments.



It seems parents are busier than ever and some of the easiest time to capture with their children is in the car. I recommend keeping a bag or box of supplemental instructional tools in it, particularly flashcards. These flashcards can include High Frequency Words, Spelling Words, Noun/Verb/Adjective/Adverb, and math facts.

Have your child read the word to you. You spell it back to him/her and s/he tells you whether or not you are correct AND spells it back to you. With math facts; have your child call out a math problem to you. You give the answer. Your child tells you whether or not you are correct AND repeats the entire problem and answer back to you.

I am willing to invest the time creating these flashcard sets in class, if you are willing to commit the time to working on them in the car.


Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement offers the following recommendations for parents:

• Set up a consistent, organized place for homework to be done.

• Encourage, motivate, and prompt your child, but do not sit with him/her and do the homework with him/her. (This would not apply to reading with your child!)

• If your child is practicing a skill, ask him/her to tell you which steps are easy for him/her, which are difficult, or how s/he is going to improve.

• When bedtime comes, please stop your child even if s/he is not done.


Trips can be value learning experiences. The learning that takes place in the classroom cannot be replicated with worksheets or packets. Rather than sending your child with worksheets:

1. Keep a written journal or make a poster about memorable experiences, include illustrations or pictures to share with the class about the time spent out of school.

2. Talk about locations, track distances, note directions, mountains, valleys, rivers, etc. using a map.

3. Have your child count out money and figure out change due for meals and items that you purchase.

4. Go to Lakeshore Learning and find a workbook your student would enjoy working in.

5. Collect books for your child to read and discuss with you by identifying the main idea, characters, beginning, middle, ending of the story.

When your child returns to class, rest assured, I will help them catch up with the learning that took place during the absence. 



Literature Response

After reading ___________________________________________________________

(the book, chapter, story, or poem)

I noticed. . .

A question I have is. . .

I wonder why . . .

I began to think of . . .

It seems like . . .

I can’t really understand. . .

I’m not sure . . .

I know the feeling. . .

I loved the way . . .

I realized. . .

I was surprised . . .

If I were . . .

I discovered . . .





Math Strategies

Homework – Due EXAMPLE

Show all four strategies for each of the problems.

EXAMPLE: Mary read 573 pages during her summer reading challenge. She was only required to read 399 pages. How many extra pages did Mary read beyond the challenge requirements?

• ADDING UP STRATEGY 399 + 1 = 400, 400 + 100 = 500, 500 +73 = 573, therefore 1 + 100 + 73 = 174 pages

• COMPENSATING STRATEGY 400 + 100 is 500; 500 + 73 is 573; 100 + 73 is 173 plus 1 (for 399, to 400) is 174

• SUBTRACTING TO COUNT DOWN STRATEGY Take away 73 from 573 to get to 500, take away 100 to get to 400, and take away 1 to get to 399. Then 73 + 100 = 1 = 174

• ADDING BY TENS OR HUNDREDS STRATEGY 399 + 1 is 400, 500 (that’s 100 more). 510, 520, 530, 650, 550, 560, 570 (that’s 70 more), 571, 572, 573 (that’s 3 more) so the total is 1 + 100 + 70 + 3 = 174

NBT.A.2 (p. 16): Fluently add and subtract within 1,000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationships between addition and subtraction.



. . . and the goal of being self-managed

The main goal of the Behavior Management Programs in my classroom is to foster decision-making abilities and a sense of responsibility in my students. These programs are explained in greater detail below.


Love and Logic is a philosophy founded in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. Its intent is to empower parents and teachers with practical techniques to raise responsible children and to easily and immediately change their children’s behavior. Their techniques are highly compatible with The Three Bs. The basic premise of Love & Logic is, “Feel free to do anything that does not cause a problem for yourself or others.” For more information, please visit .


The Three Bs are generated from the Character Counts Program. Colina refers to these frequently. They are as follows:

Be Respectful

Be Responsible

Be Safe


Mrs. Brunner reminds the students to “THINK” every day on the announcements. This is an acronym to encourage all of us to think before speaking and ask ourselves, is it:








Class Meetings typically occur four days a week. Class Meetings begin by giving “Compliments.” Each class member’s name is written on a tongue depressor, referred to as the “Compliment Sticks.” Each student is given a Compliment Stick and is responsible for complimenting the person whose stick s/he is holding. The students are encouraged to compliment each other on behaviors that have been noticed. Compliments are given by stating the person’s name, then the compliment. Students respond to compliments by saying thank you, then using the name of the person who gave the compliment.

Following Compliments, we discuss the “Agenda.” The Agenda is a piece of paper on which students write their names and the name(s) of the person(s) with whom they have had a problem that they were unable to resolve without assistance. I facilitate the

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT discussion of the agenda. A student begins discussing a problem by addressing the other person(s) by name and stating, “I felt (hurt, angry, left out, annoyed, etc.), when you (called me a name, took my pencil, didn’t let me play, kept talking to me, etc.).” I then ask the students involved what they consider to be a fair solution. A solution is NOT a punishment. All students involved must reach an agreement regarding the solution. Examples of fair solutions are things such as giving a compliment after hurting someone’s feelings, replacing a broken item, or agreeing to a plan to remind a person not to disturb others by talking during work time. It takes practice to be able to suggest fair and reasonable solutions. The other class members may offer ideas for fair solutions if requested or needed. If the students involved are unable to agree upon a solution within a few minutes; the problem is “tabled” and remains on the agenda until the following Class Meeting, when it will be discussed again.

Students may write on the Agenda, but ask to discuss their problem privately (either with me at a later time or simply with the person involved). This is always permitted.

A student is not “in trouble” if his/her name is on the agenda. If a student’s name frequently occurs on the agenda (more than two or three times within a week), that student and I begin to look at reasons as to why such is occurring. (Is the student attempting to solve problems before writing them on the Agenda? Is the student writing others’ names on the Agenda in order to “get back” at them? Is the student having great difficulty controlling his/her behavior on the playground?)



The Class Spreadsheet includes the first and last initials of each student in our class. It has five columns, one for each day of the week. The Class Spreadsheet is used for monitoring student behavior in the classroom.

If a student is talking during instruction, I place a “t” in the column for that student. If a student is walking around the classroom when s/he should be working, I place a “w” in the column for that student.

The students may use the Class Spreadsheet to monitor their own behavior. I refer to the Class Spreadsheet when I am completing progress reports and for informational purposes. If a chronic problem is indicated on the Class Spreadsheet, I privately bring it to the student’s attention and we discuss a plan of action.


Students whom are having difficulty completing their work due to inattention (i.e. “fooling around”) or whom are disrupting the class in some way may be sent to another classroom to complete their work or get their behavior under control. In these instances, the students are expected to return to our classroom upon completion of their work or at the moment they feel able to control themselves.

Occasionally, a student may simply feel distracted in our room and be unable to complete his/her work. This student will be OFFERED the CHOICE of working in another room.


Love & Logic

All feelings are accepted in this classroom. All behaviors are not.

1. I will treat you with respect and kinds, so you will know how to treat me.

2. Feel free to do anything that doesn’t cause a problem for you or anyone else.

3. If you cause a problem, I will ask you to solve it.

4. If you can’t solve it, or choose not to; I will do something.

5. What I do will depend upon the special person and the special situation.

6. If you feel something is unfair, tell me quietly and politely. Tell me (Or write me a polite note), “I’m not sure that’s fair,” and we will talk when we are both able.



The students are permitted to bring snacks to school. We will take our snacks to our morning “Drink & Bathroom Break” (recess).

Please remind your child to bring only one or two healthy and energizing snacks (acceptable snacks are listed below) each day. I keep an apple slicer/corer (and usually have cinnamon available) to encourage children in this direction. If your child brings an “unaccepted” snack, s/he will be permitted to eat it with his/her lunch.

Dr. Sousa (author of How the Brain Learns) states that “Water is essential for healthy brain activity and is required to move neuron signals through the brain. He also believes that “Eating a moderate portion of food containing glucose (fruits are an excellent source) can boost the performance and accuracy of working memory, attention, and motor function.” Although, various nutritionists recommend a protein and a healthy fat always accompany the ingestion of a carbohydrate. (fruits & vegetables) So, there you have it!

It is a good idea for your child to accept responsibility for bringing his/her snack to school. If your child forgets his/her snack, there are usually one or more children willing to share. If your child makes a habit of forgetting his/her snack, the other students become understandably less willing to share their snacks.


any type of fruit cookies

any type of vegetable anything with chocolate

cheese anything with marshmallows

yogurt/”Go-gurt” candy

trail mix without chocolate chips

roll of deli meat “Froot Loops” cereal

shelled edamame Lucky Charms cereal

Total cereal Frosted Flakes cereal

Wheaties cereal anything that might be a “dessert”

Life cereal any RED drinks (school rule)

nuts (Unless we have a severe allergy in our classroom.)


Students are encouraged to bring water bottles that CLOSE (to prevent spills) to school. There is only one drinking fountain in the classroom, so most students find bringing their own water bottle to be very convenient.




The cafeteria has a new system for purchasing lunches on line. All monetary information from previous years should have rolled over to from the previous website. If you have any challenges with this, please contact Linda Stewart at 480-541-1350 or lstewa@ or contact SFE (The food service provider) at 1-855-832-5226.


Your child is offered one day a month to share a fascinating artifact (A rock s/he found, a scar s/he has, etc.) or an important event (A party s/he attended, an argument s/he had with a sibling, etc.) with the class. Presentations are only two minutes. Your child will be assigned a week during each month and may present ONE AFTERNOON during that week.


Your child should create a personal time line and present it during the month of his/her birthday. If your child has a June birthday, s/he may present any day during any week of August. If your child has a July birthday, s/he will present any day during the week of May.

Your child should bring in a physical time line (example below – drawing or photographs may be included, as well as other artifacts) depicting important events in his/her life. These may include: being born, being adopted, getting first tooth, taking first step, losing first step, getting a broken bone, starting school, moving to a new home, getting pet or a sibling, learning to ride a bike, a parent getting married, etc.

Your child will have approximately five minutes to present his/her time line to the class.



I put ten dollars’ worth of quarters in a jar. When a child is short on lunch money, s/he may BORROW from the quarter jar. The child is expected to count the money correctly and place an “I Owe You” note in the jar, as well as taking home a copy of the note. Ideally, the child will reimburse the Quarter Jar with quarters, as students struggle the most with counting quarters. At the end of the year, I will “match” whatever funds are left to purchase a treat for the class.



It would be very helpful if your child could bring the items listed below. All materials are placed in a classroom supply, so please keep it “uniform” rather than “personalized.” You can imagine how many arguments you will prevent this way!


Please do not purchase a notebook or folder for your child. Please make certain your child’s backpack will fit inside a 10” x 0” cubby when full. Backpacks larger than that may be kept at home.

• 1 box facial tissue/Kleenex

• 1 large container disinfectant/Clorox Wipes

• 12 - #2 Pencils - sharpened

• One box of 24-crayons (No more)

• 6 large glue sticks

• 1 ream of White Copy Paper

• 1 ream of wide-ruled notebook paper, 3-hole-punched

• 4 PLAIN spiral notebooks with NO dividers per child in these colors: 1 red, 1 blue, 1 green, 1 yellow

• GIRLS - One package of broad line markers for class supply,

• GIRLS - One package of broad line DRY ERASE markers for class supply

• BOYS - One package of fine-line markers for class supply,

• BOYS - One package of fine line DRY ERASE markers for class supply


Ziploc Bags (SMITH – Will request as needed)

Friskers Scissors with a pointed tip (SMITH – NO)

Pencil Box (SMITH – NO)

Elmer’s Glue (SMITH – Will request as needed)

Daily Language/Daily Math books (SMITH – NO)

Pencil sharpener hand-held w/case (SMITH – NO)

Pencil Top Erasers (SMITH – NO)

Rectangle Erasers (SMITH – YES)

One shoebox with detachable lid (Sometime before February) (SMITH – YES)



Parents are often interested in donating items to the classroom. We will typically request donation items that we are seeking in the Classroom Newsletter as the need arises (items such as Kleenex, Band-Aids, Clorox Wipes, etc.) We have created a “Wish List” on , as well. You can find it by selecting “Wish List,” (tab at top of page) “Find a Wish List or Registry,” (at side of page) then entering “mhsmith@.” There is also a link from our web page: . The items listed on the Amazon page are all new, but we would be just as delighted with used items that you find around your house! Some donation request items are:

• PaperPro One Finger Prodigy Desktop Staplers

• Shoe boxes (The kind with the lid that comes off.)

• Paper towel and toilet paper tubes

• 3” x 5” white index cards

• Sound machine that makes ocean/wave sounds

• “Pointed” Fiskar scissors for kids

• Door stops

• Air Wick Air Freshener Oils (Island Paradise or Lavender Chamomile)

• Fine line dry erase markers (The kids seem to go through these faster than humanly possible!)

• Dual-hole pencil and crayon sharpeners

• Sand colored 5’ x 8’ area rug

• “Happy Meal” type toys for classroom “Treasure Box”


Student Name _________________________

Dismissal Procedures

(If this changes weekly, please request extra blank forms to complete as the year progresses.)

Please fill in the dismissal information for your child and indicate day(s) of the week your child is dismissed in each manner. If your child will be doing something different for the first day of school, please indicate this, as well. (

_____Meet friend or sibling on school grounds. Who and where:


___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays


___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays

_____Parent park and walk up. Location to find parent:


___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays

_____Ride bus. Bus # ___ Depart bus at ________________________

___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays

_____Kyrene Kid’s Club

___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays

_____Daycare van. Name of daycare provider: ____________________

___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays

_____Other: ________________________________________________

___Every day ___Mondays ___Tuesdays ___Wednesdays ___Thursdays ___Fridays


Do you pick up your child after school?

PLEASE write your child’s last name on a “placard” and place it in a visible location in the front windshield of your vehicle. Please let me know if you need more placards for additional vehicles for your family.

This streamlines the “curbside” pick up process and reduces wait time for both you and your child.




There are a variety of volunteering opportunities in our classroom. As volunteering opportunities arise, a note will be sent home in the class Newsletter. If you are interested and able to volunteer at that time, you will mark the appropriate line and sign your name. The volunteering opportunities that appear in the Newsletter are activities such as field trips, guest readers, and class parties.

Please complete and return this page of this handbook if you are interested in volunteering on a regular basis or in any of the other volunteer opportunities listed.

Parent name ____________________________________________________________

Student name ___________________________________________________________

____Art Masterpiece (This begins around January and ends around April. This person presents two works of Art & a related activity in each of those months.) Sometimes two parents co-present Art Masterpiece. Class photographers would be invited to these presentations.

____Class Photographers (We need several of these!) The Class Photographers will take photos at classroom events and/OR print/develop two copies of each photo. The photos are used at the end of the year to create individual photo albums. The newsletter will indicate upcoming events for which we would like to have photographers.

Homeroom Parent (This person contacts the other parents from our class to gather materials and organize class parties.) (Select the party for which you would be interested in being the Homeroom Parent below.) We also need class photographers at each of these events.

___October Party (Beginning of October) – We use a “Football Theme” for this, as Colina School has diverted the focus from Halloween. Activities requiring assistance include face painting; completing a megaphone craft; setting up, guiding students through, & putting away an obstacle course; and taking pictures at a photo booth.

___October Measuring Extravaganza (End of October) – Students complete a variety of measuring activities using pumpkins. Parents lead stations for measuring, weighing, estimating, and floating.

___December Party – We often have a “Snow Ball” theme and have had snow delivered a few times. Having snow delivered requires parents getting business donations. This would need to be set in place by October.

____Friendship Party (February) –This typically is a very simple breakfast and service project assembly, to allow students time to read the letters that we write to each other in class.


____Discovery Room The Discovery Room will include a variety of science inquiry activities and will be open during lunch. We are seeking enthusiastic parent volunteers to guide children in using and putting away equipment properly to maximize learning.

___Library Volunteer Contact Mary Spake (mspake@ , 480-541-2628) or Heather Cannon (hcannon@, 480-541-2628) if you would like to assist in the library by sharpening pencils, making copies, or shelving books.

___Mad Minute Copies Make copies of Mad Minute sheets at Kinko’s, UPS, or similar business.

____Volunteer Regularly

___ weekly ___ bi-weekly ___monthly

___ morning ____ afternoon M T Th F

___ copying ____sharpening pencils

___ listening to kids read ___ I’ll do anything!

PLEASE enroll in SignUpGenius () to simplify volunteering for parties.

We have reviewed Ms. Smith’s Third Grade Handbook.

(Parents read the handbook & discussed what they felt was necessary with their child.)

student name __________________________________________________________

parent name ___________________________________________________________

____We have no questions at this time.

____We would like the following topics/pages to be discussed on Curriculum Night.



____We would like a phone call to discuss our questions about the following topics/pages:



____We would like to schedule a conference to discuss our questions about the following topics/pages:





8:45-9:30 Library with Mrs. Spake

*Please bring your library books.


8:45-9:30 Music with Mrs. McCleve


8:45-9:30 P.E. with Mr. Moser

*Please wear running shoes (sneakers) and pants or shorts.


8:45-9:30 Art with Ms. Yorio


8:45-9:30 Computer Lab with Ms. Smith (


When stuck on a word, ask yourself. . .

• Does this sound like good language?

• Do I need to sound out the word?

• Do other words give me clues?

• Do I need to go slow and reread?

• What is happening here?

• What have I read before like this?

• What do I know about this?

• What is the author telling me?


Before, during, or after reading. . .

Think about the reading

• Beginning, middle, end

• Characters, setting, plot

• Main idea, details, vocabulary

Make connections

• Text to self

• Text to world

• Text to text


• Take “pictures” of the selection

• Tape-record it in your mind

• Show a movie in your head

Ask questions

• I wonder . . .

• What if . . . ?

• How come . . . ?


• Make predictions or conclusions

• Use the text for support

• Use examples from your life

Determine Importance

• What is the main idea?

• What are the details?

• What do I want to learn?

Watch what you are doing

• Monitor for when you get lost

• Reread

• Use one of these strategies


1. Adjective – word describing a noun

2. Adverb – word that describes verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs

3. Antonym – word with opposite meaning of another word

4. Author’s Purpose – reason for writing

5. Cause – reason that something happens

6. Cause & Effect – how one thing leads to another

7. Character – person (or anything that acts like a person) in a story

8. Comparison – way in which two things are the same and different

9. Conflict – main problem in a story

10. Conjunction – word that connects two parts of a sentence

11. Context Clue – hint from words around a word

12. Contrast – Way in which two things are different

13. Detail – information about the main idea

14. Drawing a Conclusion – Putting inferences together to understand

15. Effect – what the cause makes happen

16. Fact – claim that is always true and can be proven true

17. Figurative Language – words specially used to be more descriptive

18. Graphic Organizer – Drawings/charts (Like Thinking Maps) that help organize information

19. Graphic – visual aid to help you understand the words

20. Heading – bold or large words starting a new section, explaining it

21. Homograph – words spelled alike but with different meanings

22. Homophones – like-sounding words with different meaning and spelling

23. Idiom – a phrase that doesn’t make sense, yet people understand it

24. Inference – Ideas or clues to help you figure out what is happening

25. Informational Report – a report with facts and details about a topic

26. Main Idea – the topic of a passage

27. Metaphor – Comparison between two different things

28. Narrative – story

29. Noun – person, place, thing, or animal

30. Opinion – belief that cannot be prove true for everyone at all times

31. Personification – animal or object that behaves like a person

32. Plot – events in a story, including conflict and resolution

33. Prediction – guess about what may happen, based on text clues

34. Prefix – group of letters before a root word

35. Pronoun – takes the place of a noun (He, she, they. . .)

36. Resolution – story ending , when the conflict is over

37. Response – written opinion about what is read, supported by text

38. Sequence – order in which things happen

39. Setting – time and place in which the story happens

40. Simile – compares two things, using the words “like” or “as”

41. Skim and Scan – quickly look through a passage for a key word

42. Speaker – character who is telling the story

43. Suffix – group of letters after a root word

44. Summarize – state the main idea and important details of a selection

45. Synonym – word with the same or similar meaning as another word

46. Verb Tense – verb form, depending on time (past, present, or future)

47. Theme – main lesson of a selection

48. Web – graphic with main topic in the center and details around it


You could start your writing with. . .

A simile – “She was as smart as. . . “

A metaphor – “He was a clever monkey.”

Alliteration – “A stunning student. . . “

An idiom – “It was a snap to. . . “

A question – “Have you ever wondered . . .”

A belief – “I have always felt sure. . .”

A single word – “Brains. That’s all I. . .”

A good fact – “The encyclopedia says. . .”

A sound – “Ka-blam! . . . “

A quote – “Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘. . . ‘”


Try these transitions and conjunctions to organize your writing and boost sentence fluency!


and, or, but, for, because, when, if, then


INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH: first, in the beginning, to start

MIDDLE PARAGRAPHS: also, additionally, furthermore, then

CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH: summing it up, in conclusion, ultimately, finally


Some synonyms for commonly used words

Sad – depressed, gloomy, miserable, unhappy, mournful

Happy – glad, jovial, joyful, cheerful, delighted

Mad – furious, enraged, livid, fuming, irate, seething

Good – awesome, cool, wonderful, fantastic, excellent

Nice – pleasant, delightful, kind, thoughtful, charming

Beautiful – lovely, glamorous, attractive, elegant, gorgeous

Big – huge, gigantic, enormous, massive, immense

Walk – strut, hobble, march, plod, stroll

Run – rush, bolt, jog, dash, scurry

Said – replied, stated, exclaimed, responded, remarked

Laugh – cackle, chuckle, giggle, snicker, chortle

Very – truly, surely, especially, chiefly, incredibly, extremely

Like – enjoy, adore, admire, appreciate, love



• Think of an interesting purpose, details, and message. (Small idea, great details)


• Give your idea a good beginning, middle, and end; going from one to the other easily


• Write so your words sound like you, your ideas and feelings. Let readers really understand YOU.

Word Choice

• Use interesting words that makes pictures in readers’ minds. (Trying using a thesaurus)

Sentence Fluency

• Shape sentences differently, some short and some long.


• Work on capitals, commas, and periods. Spell your best.

+1 Presentation

• Write neatly or use word processor. Make it look good! (


A – about, actually, again, a lot, almost, always, another, anyone, August

B – basically, beautiful, because, before, believe, buy, by

C – can’t, character, Colina, coming, could, country

D – December, described, determined, didn’t., doesn’t, don’t

E – each, enough, especially, everybody, everything, except, exactly

F – favorite, February, first, foolish, forty, Friday, friend, furious

G – getting, giant, girl, government, great, guaranteed, guess

H – half, having, hear, heard, hole, honor, horror, hour, house

I – I’m, impossible, instead, into, it’s, its

J – January, July, June

K – knew, know

L – language, laugh, let’s, literature, little

M – making, March, meant, minute, Monday, myself

N – natural, necessary, new, November

O – obey, October, off, offer, often, once, one, only, other, our, own, owner

P – packet, people, piece, private, probably, prove, purpose

Q – quickly, quiet

R – raise, read, ready, really, rely, require, resist, right

S – said, Saturday, separate, September, since, school, something, sometimes, success, Sunday

T – teacher, terrible, that’s, their, then, there, they, they’re, thought, threw, through, Thursday, to, tonight, too, trouble, truly, Tuesday, two

U – unaware, under, unfortunate, until, unusual, use, used, usually

V – vacuum, vegetable, very, violence, vocabulary, volunteer

W –

-!^bwÂW Ž š ¹ Ý Þ ð ñ ôåÖʼ¯Ê¢•Œ…zodo…\…Q…CQ[?]?j[pic]hã{´hã{´U[pic] wear, weather, Wednesday, we’re, went, were, what, when, where, whether, which, who, whole, with., won, won’t, wouldn’t, write

X –

Y – yawn, year, yellow, yesterday, young, your, you’re, yummy, young



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