Mr. Bechard's Third Grade News

December 10th - January 2nd

posted Dec 11, 2012, 1:51 PM by Hank Bechard

During the week of December 10th - December 14th we will be having a pretty regular school week.  In communication arts we will be reading A Pen Pal for Max.  It is about a boy who lives on a fruit farm in Chile.  The boy gets a pen pal that lives in the United States.  During the story the boy, Max, has a problem and then there is a solution.  This is our focus skill for this week - Plot.  Students are identifying plot events and reconizing cause-and-effect relationships in literary texts.  Our phonics skill this week are words that contain consonant digraphs.  These words have the kn, gn, wr, and gh in them. In grammar we are working on pronouns.  We are identifying singular and plural pronouns such as we, you, us, they, them, I, he, she, him, her.  Third graders will be writing a realistic story during the week.  This story includes characters and settings that could be real and events that could happen.

Vocabulary: deciphered, mistaken catastrophe, fortunate, translate, bothersome, dodging, din, heaving, and repairs.  

Our new math unit we are working VERY large numbers.  We will extend previous lessons on the base-ten place-value system to whole numbers through millions and decimals through thousandths.

We have moved on to social studies and we have been learning about the different types of governments: local, county, state, and national. We will be preparing for next week's test.

The following week is a short week because our last day is December 19th.  Just a reminder that the Holiday Concert is December 18th @ 7:00.  During this week we will be wrapping up a few of our units.  We will have a social studies test on Tuesday.  Have a wonderful holiday break and I will be excited to see your third grader on January 3rd:-)

November 19th - November 30th

posted Nov 14, 2012, 1:40 PM by Hank Bechard

November 19th - November 23rd is a short week due to Thanksgiving.  Reminder that there is no school on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.  During this short week we will be doing a writing activity and will be wrapping up our chemical unit in science.  Have a great turkey day.

When we return from Thanksgiving  we will be finishing up our Theme 2 in communication arts.  This week we will be reviewing all the concepts from the last four weeks.   In phonics we will be reviewing: compound words, consonant digraphs, diphthongs, and consonant blends.  Our focus skill review will be: Fact and opinion, main idea and details, synonyms and antonyms, and using reference sources.  Grammar review: simple and compound sentences, common and proper nouns, abbreviations, and singular and plural nouns.

Vocabulary: investigate, expert, laboratory, various, suspect, confess, inviting, amusing, perplexed, and inquisitive

In math we will be continuing working on multiplication and division.  Students will be practicing multiplication facts and use arrays to solve multi-digit multiplication problems.  We will also be conducting and analyzing a coin-toss experiment.  We will only have math for three days this week because of parent teacher conferences.  If you have forgotten your time that you signed up for, you can come to the class and the schedule is outside the door.  Conferences are November 29th and 30th.  Students will be released at 1:45 on both days.  

One last reminder: Ms. Askin's last day is November 30th.  The third graders will be making a class book for her.  If you want to send your third grader with some art supplies to spice up their page, you may do so.  Thank you.

October 29th - November 2nd

posted Oct 26, 2012, 10:26 AM by Hank Bechard

Happy Halloween!!!! We will be having a Halloween Party on October 31st.  We will start out having our annual Halloween Parade at 2:15, then the party will follow.  Student may dress up AFTER lunch.  Please don't send your third grader with any costumes that are gory or distracting.  

This week we will be reading a selection about a police dog that is trained to do special jobs for the police force.  Students will be thinking about how animals can be helpful to humans.  This selection is called "Aero and Officer Mike".  Students will be working on the digraphs: ch, tch, sh, and wh during the phonics lesson.  The objective is to pronounce and spell words with these letter patterns.  Our focus skill is fact and opinion.  Third graders will be able to distinguish between facts and opinion.  A fact is something that can be proven and an opinion is someone's idea, feeling, or thought about a topic.  Also during our focus skill we will be working with synonyms and antonyms.  In grammar we will be working on common and proper nouns.  Students will be able to use these nouns correctly in speech and writing.  During writing we will be drafting a How-to Paragraph.  These paragraphs will include  a topic sentence, materials needed, and will explain details, in order, how to do a specific activity.

In math we will be using basic facts to find perimeter.  Students will be building polygons out of straws and adding up all the sides to figure out the perimeter.  We will also be drawing and using arrays to help us find the are a rectangles.  This is the start of multiplication!!!

October 15th - October 17th

posted Oct 12, 2012, 2:19 PM by Hank Bechard

Just a reminder that this week is a short week.  It is just a three day week, because the teachers have MEA meetings in Billings and Great Falls.  Also, Jog-A-Thon money is due on the 16th.  Thanks again for all your hard work and dedication to make the first Jog-A-Thon a success.  This short week were are taking a theme (unit) test in language arts.  Students will be assessed on all the phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills that they learned in the last five weeks.  Along with this we are reading a novel study.  

During math this week we will be doing some more adding and subtracting with numbers that have two or more digits.  On Tuesday, your third grader will be taking his or her second math test.  That night the students will be bringing a family letter home.  

In science we are investigating five new chemicals and distinguishing their properties.  

October 8th - October 12th

posted Oct 5, 2012, 1:14 PM by Hank Bechard

Thank you all for your support and help in the first annual Monforton Jog-A-Thon!!!  It looks like this was a huge success.  I am so proud of our third graders.  We had some third graders runs up to 18 laps in 30 minutes!  That is 3 miles, - WOW!  Students will be collecting money for their pledges this week.  The money is due on October 16th.  Thanks again!

This week in our reading series will be a unit review.  Listed below is all the different review your third grader will see on our unit test that we call a theme test.  The test will be next week, because it is a shortened week.  We will be performing a readers' theater called The School News.  It is about a group of students who give a news report about their school.  Students will be reading different roles of the readers' theater.  

Phonics Review:
  • Short vowels a, e, i, o, u
  • Root Word + ending -ed, -ing
  • Vowel Digraphs ee, ea, ai, ay, oa , ow
  • Plurals s , es
Comprehension Review:
  • Characters and Setting
  • Locate information
  • Use Graphic Organizers
  • Use Prior Knowledge
Grammar Review:
  • Sentences: Statements and Questions
  • Sentences: Commands and Exclamations
  • Complete and Simple Subjects and Predicates
  • Compound Subjects and Predicates
  • viewers, survive, camouflage, concealed, independent, donated, media, feature, image, popular

Math:  We continue to work on number stories.  Students use comparison diagrams to help solve comparison to answer number stories.  We are also adding 2 and 3 digit numbers by using partial-sums algorithm.  Students will also be making ballpark estimates to make sure that their answer makes sense.  We will be also reviewing the counting up method and the trade-first subtraction algorithms.  

Social Studies:  We will be reviewing and tested on chapter 2 this week.  Your third grader is able to take a social studies book at anytime to study.  On Friday, we will be diving into our first unit in science - Chemistry.

October 1st - October 5th

posted Sep 28, 2012, 12:35 PM by Hank Bechard

It is getting a little scary in the third grade as the month of October begins.  If anybody has ideas or would like to volunteer for our Halloween Party at the end of the month, please stop by and talk to me.  This week your third grader will be participating in the first annual JOG-A-THON on Friday October 5th.  Students will be raising money for Monforton School Foundation.  For more information, you will be receiving a packet on Friday September 28th or please call our school.

For this week in our reading series we will be reading "Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut".  This is a biography of a woman who worked hard to reach some big goals.  Our phonic skill this week are plural words that end -s and -es.  Students will be able to add and recognize these words.  We continue to work on locating information in our focus skill.  Students identify different parts of a book: table of contents, heading, glossary, and index.  In grammar third graders will be using compound subject-verb agreement correctly in their speech and writing.  Also we will use compound subjects and predicates in sentences.  Third graders will be writing a biography paragraph this week.  We will chose a person to write about, so there is a good chance that your child will be asking you questions about yourself.  

Vocabualry: persevere, invention, confidence, hinder, talented, disappointed, apply, ambitious, attain, search

In math we are continuing working on basic facts to using extended facts.  Along with this, we will be solving number stories. Students will use part-and-total diagrams, change diagram, and comparison diagrams.  During social studies we are learning about map skills, the history of a community, and time lines.  To help us with our map skills, students will be making a map of their community.  The maps will include a title, compass rose, map key and a distance scale.

September 24th - September 29th

posted Sep 21, 2012, 2:13 PM by Hank Bechard

Last week of September already!!!! The school year is just flying bye....

The phonic skill for this week is long vowel digraphs.  These digraphs include words with ee, ea; ai ay; oa, ow. Our focus skill is locating information.  Students identify parts of a book to predict what the book will be about.  In grammar we will be understanding subjects and predicates in a sentences.  Students will be able to identify the simple and complete subject and predicate of the sentence.  Third graders will be writing a paragraph of information.  Their paragraph will give facts about real things, include details, and use transition words.  

Vocabulary: proper, boarding, literacy, diverse, chore, certain, resource, culture, tutor, and uniform.

If you notice that your child is having difficulty on their Friday weekly test, please come in and I can show you and your child different activities to help with that specific skill.

In math third graders will be solving number patterns.  They will be using addition and subtraction to complete Frames-and-Arrows diagrams.  In Tuesday we will be having our first math assessment.  Along with their math test, students will be bringing home a family letter Tuesday night.  Keep an eye out for this because it will explain what we will be doing for the next unit, vocabulary, and an answer key.  The main topic for unit 2 are addition and subtraction of whole numbers, number stories, and computation with multi digit numbers.

Our first social studies test went very well.  This is usually very difficult for third graders because they have never taken a social studies test.  Next unit we will be still working with communities.  First we will be understanding where on earth is their community.  Then, we fill find out that communities come in different sizes.  They will compare and contrast cities, suburbs, and rural areas.  

September 17th- 21st

posted Sep 17, 2012, 9:11 AM by Hank Bechard

Our first real week went well and all the students are working hard!  In our reading series this week we will be reading The Day Eddie Met the Author.  It is about what happens when an author visits a school.  The phonics lesson this week is about root words ending with -ed and -ing.  Third graders will be able to recognize and read words with these endings.  The focus skill this week is, once again, characters and setting.  Students will be able to identify characters and setting and link them to story events.  Understanding events will help them with comprehension.  Last week in grammar we worked on statement and question sentences.  This week we are working on the other two types: commands and exclamations.  During our writing block we will be writing interview questions.  Once we have drafted questions students will ask them to a specific classmate.

Vocabulary: conquer, resistance, ponder, anticipation, assembly, plenty, dismiss, squirmed, patchwork, and autographed

In this first math unit we are reviewing different concepts and skills.  This week third graders will be finding the differences between pairs of numbers, reviewing calculator skills, review money amounts with coins, and explore number patterns.  During lesson 4 in social studies, the third graders will be able to identify laws in the community and understand why we have them.  Wednesday will be a review day and students will take their books home to study for the test on Thursday.  


September 10 - 14

posted Sep 7, 2012, 2:34 PM by Hank Bechard   [ updated Sep 7, 2012, 5:50 PM ]

We are off to a great start!!! Last week we dove right in and got things under way.  My contact information is below as well as Ms. Askin's information.  Please don't hesitate to contact either one of us if you have any questions or concerns.  We do have a student with allergies to cashews and pistachios.  So, please don't send your third grader with any of these nuts.  

The reading series we use is broken down into five different themes or units.  Each unit is broken down into five different weeks.  Each week, the third graders are introduced to a new concept and then is tested on the subject on Friday.  The series has six elements: phonics, comprehension, focus skill (different comprehension strategies), vocabulary, grammar, and writing.  In phonics we are reviewing short vowels a, e, i, o, and u.  Students will be able to decode words with the CVC and VCCV spelling patterns.  Our comprehension skill for this week is characters and setting.  Identifying the characters and setting in a story will help them understand what they read.  It will also give them clues what is important in the story.  In grammar your third grader will be comparing and contrasting statements and questions.  Finally we will be writing a descriptive paragraph.  We will be using our five sense to help use with this paragraph.

Vocabulary: trudged, gushed, frustrated, imitated, pleasant, coincidence, modeled, loyal, recited, and murmur

We have taken off in math and we will be continuing working on growing our number sense.  We will do this by using the name-collection boxes, analyzing and displaying data, and chance events.  

In social studies, we have started our unit on communities.  We are learning about many jobs people do, different cultures, community government and reading graphs.  Each day we read a chapter and then do a follow-up activity.

Welcome Back!

posted Aug 29, 2012, 8:40 AM by Hank Bechard

Open house is Thursday, August 30th from 3:30 to 6:00.  Come see the new classroom, meet the teacher and student teacher. Don't forget to bring your supplies to get settled in early for a great learning adventure. School will resume on Tuesday, September 4th.

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