Wednesday, June 6, 2012

End of the Year Celebration

Tomorrow is the last day of the 2011-2012 school year and we are already getting teary eyed. This year has been an incredible journey with so many great learning experiences and we've certainly had our share of fun, too. We celebrated in a big way yesterday with our end of year Field Day, pizza lunch and ice cream social, and end of year Awards Ceremony. 

By far the students' vote for their favorite part of the day was the dunk tank. It is rumored that Miss Russell was a great sport and manned that station for a couple of class rotations. Did you see Miss Russell in the tank? Did you get the chance to dunk her once for me? 

We hope that everyone has a joyful, grand, and most importantly safe summer. We look forward to seeing you as Fourth Graders, and we will continue to applaud your talents and efforts as you continue on your educational journey.  We hope you loved 3rd grade as much as we did!  Much love from your SOLAR teachers!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Prelude Concert with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra this week was outstanding. The program master of ceremonies was Tony Kamnikar who did an exceptional job and the orchestra played many songs that were familiar to the students. During the program, you could hear students voices singing along with the songs. One of their favorites was the playing of Pirates of the Caribbean.  

This year's program was in partnership with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall (New York City). They also provided students with the "Link Up" booklets free of charge. Furthermore, the Symphony was underwritten by the Weaver Family Foundation and DCPS Music Departments covered the transportation costs.  

The concert was enriching and one that our students enjoyed. Ask your child to share their favorite part of the experience.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Million Thanks

Teacher Appreciation this week was an absolute delight and made us feel so appreciated and loved by students and parents alike. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love with so many individual student words and gifts and with the class gifts that started on Monday when we arrived to cups of our favorite Starbucks coffee and breakfast. What a treat! On Tuesday, we were greeted with  baskets full of our favorite snacks that are easy to munch on when our stomachs start to growl along with the kids' noisy tummies.
Wednesday, we laughed until we cried as we read the students' handwritten notes. Your children are kind, smart, witty, and blatantly honest! REAL lunches delivered and lunch duty covered by some lovely ladies to give us extra adult time was Thursday's priceless gift. You'll never know how wonderful and unique the gift of time is to a teacher.
And, the week's culminating gifts on Friday, hand painted student made thumb print flower pots with two gorgeous plants adorn our classroom with a touch of greenery; A gift that can be cherished for years to come as we remember sharing a precious school year with your beautiful children.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for honoring our work and the passion we pour into making your child's third grade experience the best ever. Thanks a million for going above and beyond this week. You made us feel like queens! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Needs vs. Wants

 Today, students were treated to a presentation by one of our very own parents Mrs. Hendry.  Students learned all about needs and wants. Needs are things that people need to survive such as food, water, shelter and clothes.  Wants are things that might make our lives more fun but wants are not necessary to live.  Some examples of wants are big screen televisions, iPods or video games.  Students also learned about budgets. Budgets are plans that help us save money.  We also learned about trade offs.  For example, sometimes you might choose to do without something now, in order to save for something that you might buy in the future.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit Hands On Banking or  

What are some examples of wants or needs that you have? Leave us a comment!

Thanks again to Mrs. Hendry for helping us meet our Social Studies standards about economics! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sunshine Math Brawl

Each year students are offered an enrichment math opportunity sponsored by our PTA. Students who accept the challenge receive a Sunshine Math sheet each Monday and return the sheet for grading by the PTA on Friday. The content of each math sheet varies and is commonly not part of our third grade standards. Students are really expected to stretch their math learning. 

We keep track of participating students, not for accuracy of answers, rather for participation. Twice during the course of the program, participating students are celebrated with an invitation to eat lunch outside at the pavilion. Tickets are drawn for prize winners during the luncheon. 

After completion of the enrichment program, all participating students are given a Sunshine Math test. The top 10 scorers on the test then advance to the Third Grade Chets Creek Math Brawl. The third grade student body attends the Math Brawl and the top competitors answer math questions on a white board at the front of the audience. Each competitor has a green light, yellow light, and red light. After answering two questions incorrectly, they are knocked out of the competition. Once the competition is down to three students, the Final Round begins. The competition then moves to a point system as the next 10 questions are answered by the students. At the end, the Math Brawl winner is announced and celebrated! This year's winner, Jennifer, will advance to the District Math Competition. 

We want to thank all of our Sunshine Math student participants this year for stretching their thinking, and want to give a special shout out to our classmates who made it to the Math Brawl. Way to Go...Luke, Caeden, Cullen, and Abigale!! You made us proud!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A great trip to Tree Hill!

Today, we took a wonderful trip to Jacksonville's outdoor nature center Tree Hill!  We had the perfect crisp weather to hike the trails, explore in the gardens, eat lunch under the trees, and make discoveries in the laboratory.  Check out the great time we had below!
Getting ready for our hike!

Learning about woodpeckers' brains!

Check out these holes made by a yellow bellied sap sucker.

Getting ready to study seeds and plants.

Learning about swamps and streams.

Wow, that swamp water moves slowly!

We found a raccoon footprint in the mud!

Mr. Montisano thinks about life while sitting in the Florida woods. :)

Lilly pads in the pond!

Holding Earthworms!  We're so brave!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Social Studies

Over the next two weeks, students will have the opportunity to study and become more proficient at placing all fifty states on a United States map. We encourage students to study the placement of the states daily and  encourage students to log onto the States Jigsaw  so they have an interactive way to practice.

In addition, students will begin working on a Social Studies states project that they will be completing in the classroom. Students will select one of the fifty states to research and learn more about. They will be able to gather information from books and a variety of digital technologies.  We'll keep you posted as our projects get underway.