About the Teacher
Phone: 951-695-7150 ext 1123
Degrees and Certifications:
BA Psychology from Pitzer College MPA from Cal State San Bernardino Credential from Chapman University GATE and CLAD certified
Ms. Carolyn Thomas
At most, your child should have two books from my classroom library and two books from the school library. They may also add in books of their own, as long as their bookbag doesn't get too heavy. Students are allowed to choose books of their interest, but they have been taught the I PICK strategy to help them make smart choices.
P= Purpose: What is my purpose in reading this book? To persuade me, to inform me, or to entertain me?
I= Interest: Am I interested in this topic, these characters, this plot?
C= Comprehend: Can I comprehend what I am reading? After reading one page or section, can I go back and do a retell or summary of what I just read?
K= Know: Do I know most of the words? Can I pick one page or section and read it out loud with fewer than 5 unknown words? Students have been taught to hold up one hand with five fingers up while reading a page of text. Every time they get to a word that they don't know, they put down a finger. If they still have some fingers left standing by the end of the page, then the book is a relatively good leveled book for their stage of reading right now. If all fingers are down, the book may be too challenging and difficult right now. Either the student can have it read aloud by a loving adult or can return to it later in the year.
Parents should assist their children nightly in "going through" their bookbag to make sure that books are at an appropriate level (not too easy and not too hard) and that books are being returned and exchanged after they are finished.
Friday Folders will come home every Friday. They will be filled with completed school work, memos, and flyers from school. Please empty the folders, sign the folder, and return it to school on the following school day. It is important to review school work with your student to find areas of strength and weaknesses. If you have concerns about returned work, please contact the teacher.
Write Back Journals are a communication tool between you and your student about his year in third grade. Every other week, students will be given a prompt to respond to in letter format to their families. The goals are as follows: 1) to learn how to respond completely to a prompt; 2) to communicate with families about classroom activities; and 3) to improve writing fluency.
The Write Back Journals will be checked, but not corrected by the teacher. They will be graded, however, for a thorough response to the given prompt. Your job is to read them lovingly with your child and respond lovingly to your child. They should be returned on the following school day. At the end of the year, the Write Back Journals become a wonderful keepsake of memories of third grade.
This year, we will not be celebrating birthdays in the classroom any more. Birthdays will be celebrated at our weekly Friday Morning Line Up Assemblies. Please do not send goodie bags, foods, treats, or balloons to school with your student on his/her birthday.
VAPA stands for Visual and Performing Arts. We will have expert VAPA teachers on our site during the second semester of school.
PE and movement activities will occur Monday and Thursday during the first semester in Room 23. Students should come prepared to move and be actively engaged on those days. Appropriate PE shoes are required. Students who want to wear sandals or boots should bring a pair of PE shoes in their backpacks to change into before P.E.
Students should read every day (not just on weekdays) for at least 20 minutes a day. This reading can be independent, with a parent, or with an older sibling. I encourage parents to read with and to their children at least 1-2 times per week. When you read WITH your children you can guage appropriateness of book content and level and discuss the book with them. When you read TO your children, you can read books that are at a higher level than they can read independently. This will help to improve their vocabulary and comprehension.
Students will be assigned a page of math facts to do each week. Students should study those facts until they are mastered and memorized "as quick as a snap". Paper and pencil, flashcards, online games, and digital programs such as XTRAMATH can be used to study math facts. When facts are memorized, new concepts like column multiplication and long division are easier to master. The facts tests on Friday will be timed, but only to determine how long it took for the child to complete the page. They do not have to complete it within a set amount of time. The goal is to improve speed on each successive attempt. They are in a "contest" with themselves to increase fluency, not with others in the classroom.
There will also be a homework "menu" included each week with family fun activities to do together. We encourage you to choose TWO each week and send in a picture, a drawing, or a few sentences describing what your family did together. The students love sharing their "menu activities" with each other.
Homework folders will be given out on Mondays and are due back on Fridays. Please sign the bottom of the homework log so that your students can earn their otter bucks for the week!