Friday, May 29, 2009


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The girls and boys from Third Grade Room 117 at Keystone Elementary in Knox, PA would like to wish you all a HAPPY SUMMER VACATION!


CONGRATULATIONS to the 3rd Grade Spelling Bee winners! 1st place: Nate(center), 2nd place: Cassidy(left), & 3rd place Michaela(right). The top 3 worked hard for their awards - the spelling bee went 41 rounds!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


  • A big thank you goes out to Mrs. Byerley, Mrs. Gregory, Mrs. Runyan, Mrs. Smith, and Mr. Horne, who chaperoned our trip to Cook Forest!

  • Another thank you goes out to Ms. Kahle, Ms. Shearer, and Mrs. Warner who helped on Science Fun Day!

  • And last but not least, a thank you to all of the parents who donated hot dog buns for our third grade picnic!


Congratulations to this quarter's Lighthouse Award Winners!

Perfect Attendance: Rachel, Tessa, Ryan, Makenzie, Becca
Best Friend: Abbie, Madison
Random Acts of Kindness: Karlee, Makenzie
Most Improved: Claire, Mercedes
Most Hard-Working: Michaela, Austin
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recommended Reading Grades 3-4: Children's Choice Books 2008

Young Readers

The Amazing Spider-Man Pop-Up
Marvel Comics.
This pop-up hardback comic book draws in young readers with the history of Spider-Man and his enemies. Spider-Man's beginning story is woven in, explaining how he changed from an attention-seeking boy to a man who does good deeds for people. (Team 3)
Candlewick. 16 pp. US$19.99 (trade).

Animals in the House: A History of Pets and People
From Animals in the House: A History of Pets and People by Sheila Keenan; Scholastic Nonfiction.
Sheila Keenan. Ill. with photographs.
Fascinating facts, historical details, endearing animal photographs, and some famous people with their pets are presented in a colorful and inviting format that provides young pet lovers with an abundance of reasons for why we love our furry or feathered friends. (Team 4)
Scholastic Nonfiction. 112 pp. US$17.99 (trade). CAN$21.99.

Babymouse: Camp Babymouse
Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
Spirited Babymouse is back and, this time she goes to camp. As she tries to help her cabin mates win the coveted camp award, things don't go as planned, but Babymouse makes it a memorable experience nonetheless. (Team 3)
Random House Books for Young Readers. 96 pp. US$12.99 (library). Pb., Random House Books for Young Readers. US$5.99. CAN$6.99.

Babymouse: Heartbreaker
Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
Babymouse daydreams about her date for the Valentine's Day dance. When she can't get a date, she goes alone. She is bored and about to go home when Georgie (a giraffe) asks her to dance. The evening ends happily. (Team 5)
Random House Books for Young Readers. 96 pp. US$12.99 (library). Pb., Random House Books for Young Readers. US$5.99. CAN$6.99.

Big Cats: Hunters of the Night
Elaine Landau. Ill. with photographs.
Beautiful photographs of wild cats from around the world draw readers into this accessible nonfiction book. With all the components of good expository texts, this book informs readers that big cats' greatest enemies are humans who clear-cut jungles and forests. (Team 3)
Enslow Publishers. 32 pp. US$22.60 (library).

The Book Club Kit
Patti Kelley Criswell. Ill. Ali Douglass.
This kit contains helpful directions for starting a book club and includes question cards, bookmarks, and activity cards. Suggestions for being a good listener and participant are also included to encourage readers to talk about what they are reading. (Team 3)
American Girl Publishing. 56 pp. US$10.95 (trade).

Could You? Would You?
Trudy White.
This wonderful book allows children to imagine things that they would do if they could. This is a book that everyone can relate to, no matter their background. (Team 4)
Kane/Miller. 89 pp. Pb., US$12.95. CAN$15.95.

Crazy Cars
Matt Doeden. Ill. with photographs.
From Henry Ford's Quadricycle to the fastest dragster, the most unique cars of all time are spotlighted in this captivating book that enthralls young readers as they learn about the intriguing history and continuing fascination with the automobile. (Team 4)
Lerner. 48 pp. US$26.60 (library).

Dare to Dream!
Carl Sommer. Ill. Jorge Martinez, Greg Budwine, and Kennon James.
By listening to stories told by his father and grandparents, a young boy learns how choices can lead to overcoming adversity. The lives of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, Ben Franklin, and Helen Keller are highlighted. (Team 2)
Advance Publishers. 48 pp. US$9.95 (library).

Dinosaurium: 10 Books in One
Laura Buller and Carey Scott.
There's a book for every dinosaur characteristic in this cleverly packaged assortment of fossil knowledge. Dinopedia, Dino Dinners, Dino Swatch (of skins!), Dinotimeline, and others that offer endless prehistoric engagement for kids who are wild about dinosaurs. (Team 4)
DK Publishing. 20 pp. US$24.99 (trade). CAN$29.99.

Dinosaurs Across America
Phil Yeh.
Patrick Rabbit and three dinosaur friends take a trip through a magic map to learn about all of the United States. In graphic novel format, information for each state is accessible and encourages further reading to learn more. (Team 3)
Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing. 32 pp. US$12.95 (trade).

Do Not Open: An Encyclopedia of the World's Best-Kept Secrets
John Farndon.
The name of the book alone gets readers to pick it up. Once open, the reader finds it packed with weird and interesting facts. Readers engage in learning through rich illustrations of the world's best-kept secrets. This book contains much more than just trivia. (Team 1)
DK Publishing. 256 pp. US$24.99 (trade). CAN$29.99.

Dog Diaries: Secret Writings of the WOOF Society
Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey, and Laurie Myers. Ill. Erik Brooks.
These short stories show life through a dog's eyes. Some have historical settings like ancient Egypt, and some explain quirky dog behavior. All are told simply and humorously, as a dog might, so they are easily understood by younger readers. (Team 4)
Henry Holt. 64 pp. US$15.95 (trade). CAN$19.95.

Meish Goldish. Ill. with photographs.
From the Smart Animals series, Dogs uses simple, informational text and photographs to describe how intelligent and loyal these canines are. Two-page chapters discuss topics such as service dogs, the smartest dogs, Pavlov's experiments, and wild dogs. This book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. (Team 5)
Bearport. 32 pp. US$18.95 (library).

Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case
Donald J. Sobol.
Children will enjoy beating Encyclopedia to the solution in each of these 10 short stories. The cases require different knowledge to solve them so this collection is good for history buffs or budding scientists. (Team 2)
Dutton. 90 pp. US$15.99 (trade). CAN$20.00. Pb., Puffin. US$4.99.

Every Minute on Earth: Fun Facts That Happen Every 60 Seconds
Steve Murrie and Matthew Murrie. Ill. Mary Anne Lloyd.
Readers find this book to be a fun way to learn facts about our planet and challenge other readers to match wits as they become knowledgeable citizens of the earth. Students learn nonfiction can be fun. (Team 1)
Scholastic Reference. 224 pp. Pb., US$9.99. CAN$11.99.

Explorer: A Daring Guide for Young Adventurers
Dugald A. Steer. Ill. Milivoj Ceran and Alastair Graham.
Go forth and explore! Armed with sage advice, historical examples, and helpful instructions, readers are encouraged to become explorers with fun pop-ups, booklets, flaps, letters, and even an adventurer's board game in this interactive informational book. (Team 3)
Candlewick. 32 pp. US$15.99 (trade).

Extreme Dinosaurs
Robert Mash. Ill. Stuart Martin.
The oldest, smallest, heaviest, toughest, fastest, slowest, most ferocious, longest, tallest, smartest, and most extreme eaters are among the dinosaurs described in this book. Drawings, photographs, posters, foldouts, and movable parts help readers learn more about these animals. (Team 5)
Atheneum. 32 pp. US$21.99 (trade). CAN$26.99.

Extreme Pets!
Jane Harrington. Ill. with photographs.
A humorous and informative guide to unusual pets, such as skunks, hedgehogs, slugs, and hissing cockroaches. Each pet is graded for coolness, aroma, neatness, ease of care, and cost. Kids also learn how to convince their parents they need one. (Team 5)
Scholastic Reference. 163 pp. US$12.99 (trade). CAN$14.99.

Goosebumps Graphix 3: Terror Trips
R.L. Stine. Ill. Jill Thompson, Jamie Tolagson, and Amy Kim Ganter.
Stine's brand of horror combines with the graphic novel format to grab readers' attention. The book provides fun and scary tales in short, easy reads, a genre enjoyed by this age group. Black and white illustrations and different art styles add to the intrigue. (Team 1)
Graphix. 140 pp. US$16.99 (trade). US$17.99 (library). CAN$20.99. Pb., Graphix. US$8.99.

A Horse in the House and Other Strange but True Animal Stories
Gail Ablow. Ill. Kathy Osborn.
A Komodo dragon undergoes acupuncture, donkeys get married, a parrot captures robbers, a greyhound wears contact lenses, a cow eats diamonds, an elephant is fitted with dentures, a chicken visits a psychologist, and more “strange but true” stories can be found in this book. (Team 5)
Candlewick. 40 pp. US$17.99 (trade).

How Big Is It? A BIG Book All About BIGNESS
Ben Hillman. Ill. with photographs.
Living, extinct, human-made, and geological BIG wonders fill this book. Interesting facts accompany large photographs that provide visual comparisons to show the true enormity of these objects. Layout, pictures, and information make this book irresistible.
Scholastic Reference. 48 pp. US$14.99 (trade). CAN$17.99.

Medical Detective Dogs
Frances E. Ruffin. Ill. with photographs.
Young readers love dogs. The fact that dogs can be used to help people detect illnesses is even more intriguing. Readers find this book factual, informative, and very interesting. (Team 1)
Bearport Publishing. 32 pp. US$18.95 (library).

Military Dogs
Frances E. Ruffin. Ill. with photographs.
This book traces the history of dogs in the military from 1884 to the present. Illustrations provide photographs of dogs in action during war. The stories about dogs who became heroes especially interests boys in this age group. (Team 2)
Bearport Publishing. 32 pp. US$18.95 (library).

Monday With a Mad Genius

Monday With a Mad Genius by Mary Pope Osborne; illustrated by Sal Murdocca, published by Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books.
Mary Pope Osborne. Ill. Sal Murdocca.
In this educational fiction book, Jack and Annie magically travel back in time to meet Leonardo da Vinci through whom they also meet Mona Lisa. History comes alive as readers learn about the Renaissance and search for the secrets of happiness. (Team 1)
Random House. 128 pp. US$14.99 (library). US$11.99 (trade). CAN$15.99. Pb., Random House. US$4.99.

Dugald A. Steer.
The illustrations, maps, and interactive pop-ups in this book will develop a child's interest in mythology. Add to that a sidebar of mystery on every page and they will learn the relationships between the characters in no time. (Team 2)
Candlewick. 32 pp. US$19.99 (trade). Pb., Back Bay Books. US$13.99.

Old Penn Station
William Low.
This story accurately chronicles the rise and fall of an amazing building during the height of train travel in and out of New York City. Readers are engaged by lifelike illustrations. (Team 1)
Henry Holt. 40 pp. US$16.95 (trade). CAN$21.00.

The Painted Circus
Wallace Edwards.
Each page reveals an intriguing optical illusion or visual puzzle for the reader to solve, from spotting pirates to counting ducks. This delightful book will charm and entertain young readers. (Team 3)
Kids Can. 32 pp. US$17.95 (trade).

Race Horses
Copyright © 2007 Bearport Publishing Company, Inc.
Michael Sandler. Ill. with photographs.
From the Horse Power series, this volume uses simple informational text and photographs to describe horse racing, famous races, and some of the most famous race horses. A table of contents, index, and glossary are included. (Team 5)
Bearport Publishing. 32 pp. US$18.95 (library).

Real-Life Sea Monsters
Judith Jango-Cohen. Ill. Ryan Durney.
This book asks, Are sea monsters fact or fiction? Vivid illustrations grab the reader's attention from the first page. Deep-sea tall tales are contrasted with current research. (Team 4)
Millbrook. 48 pp. US$25.26 (library).

The Richest Poor Kid
Carl Sommer. Ill. Jorge Martinez.
In a modern-day twist on the story of King Midas's touch, Randy learns that if you have a loving home, clothes to wear, and food to eat you can be happy. This book teaches the character traits of appreciation, cheerfulness, and trust. (Team 2)
Advance Publishing. 48 pp. US$16.95 (library). US$9.99 (trade).

Scholastic Book of World Records 2008
Jenifer Corr Morse. Ill. with photographs.
Fascinating photographs and text in almanac format works perfectly for readers in this age group. Well-written, concise, and interesting details engage students, who will not want to stop reading. (Team 1)
Scholastic Reference. 304 pp. US$9.99 (trade). CAN$11.99.

See What You Can Be: Explore Careers That Could Be for You!
Diane Heiman and Liz Suneby. Ill. Tracey Wood.
An appealing journal format, lively cartoons and photographs, engaging activities that match personalities and interests to potential career choices, combined with spotlights on real women in real professions, give young girls a wide range of future possibilities to explore. (Team 4)
American Girl Publishing. 108 pp. Pb., US$9.95.

Spike the Rebel!
Carl Sommer. Ill. Enrique Vignolo.
Spike is a big bully who thinks that he doesn't need anybody. But when he is hurt and a neighbor helps him, he discovers that kindness and caring for others is important after all. (Team 2)
Advance Publishing. 48 pp. US$16.95 (library).

Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter
Cover art by Sylvan Dell Publishing; photo by Barbara J. Bergwerf for Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2007).
Mary Alice Monroe. Photographs by Barbara J. Bergwerf.
The nature photography and sketches in this book will teach young children about the wonders of the sea turtle and how to respect and preserve the turtles' natural habitat. (Team 2)
Sylvan Dell. 32 pp. US$15.95 (trade). Pb., Sylvan Dell. US$8.95.

Duncan Searl. Ill. with photographs.
Everything you need to know about wolves is here. The text includes sections on wolves' intelligence, life in the wild, and protection as an endangered species. This is a great resource for reports, due to the number of quick facts. (Team 2)
Bearport Publishing. 32 pp. US$18.95 (library).

The Worst Name in Third Grade
Debbie Dadey. Ill. Tamara Petrosino.
What could be worse than being named Bridgett Butt? Nothing—until her favorite teacher moves, her best friend chooses someone else, and Bridgett's beloved dog becomes ill (but only temporarily). Although things look bleak, all is well in the end. (Team 5)
Scholastic Paperbacks. 66 pp. Pb., US$3.99 (trade). CAN$4.99.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We had an absolutely wonderful day at Cook Forest on Wednesday! Mother Nature cooperated and we had perfect weather. All of the students were mixed into 4 groups and rotated among the 4 hands-on activities. These included: a scavenger hunt, team-building games, tree identification, and a craft based on rock layers. Midway through, we all enjoyed a picnic lunch in the great outdoors, with an opportunity to do some exploring in the forest. Lots of science was shared that day, and a good time was had by all!

Monday, May 18, 2009





Saturday, May 16, 2009


If you are visiting this blog, check out some of my favorite KID links and let me know which ones are YOUR favorite! I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Friday, May 15, 2009

ACADEMICS (May 18 - 22)

A BUSY week is ahead of us, as our school year comes to an end. Lots of final tests and projects to get done.

We are wrapping up the year with our end of the year unit test. Students will be reading a story of their choice this week, and reporting on their favorite story of the whole year.

We are pronoun experts, and will have our final English unit test this week. We will also be completing our last writing prompt (expository).

We are finishing up Chapter 8 and will have a chapter test at the end of the week. Topics include lines, rays, line segments, angles, polygons, quadrilaterals, triangles, perimeter, area, and volume.

Just a reminder that our multiplication fact challenge ends on Friday, May 22nd.

We're ending the year with a Jamestown Settlement quiz, and our final social studies project. Each student will be making a Jamestown colonist's house to add to our construction of a model of Jamestown Settlement.


May 19 & 21 - Third Grade Olympics (weather permitting)

Students will be participating in a variety of "sporting" events. Most of the events are outside so be sure to dress appropriately. Sunscreen, a hat, and a bottle of water are a must have!

May 20 - Third Grade Science Fun Day

This day will focus on numerous hands-on, fun, science activities. We'll also be having a picnic lunch/cookout. Please bring in requested food items, if you are able, no later than Tuesday May 19th.

May 21 - Lighthouse Awards

May 22 - LAST DAY for Multiplication Fact Challenge

May 25 - NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day

May 28 - Last Day for Students

Thursday, May 14, 2009


With the arrival of nice weather, please be reminded that Keystone School District has a dress code. Please refer to the school's handbook for dress code information. All families received a copy of the school's handbook at the beginning of the year. You can also find the handbook on the school's web page listed under the very first link in the Parent section.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


CONGRATULATIONS to Onycka, Rachel, Tessa, John, Becca, and Michaela for qualifying for the Third Grade Spelling Bee on Friday, May 15, 2009.

Each third grade classroom had its own individual spelling bee to determine the participants. The top five (in our case -6, due to a tie) were chosen to move on to the grade level bee.

The spelling bee will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the group instruction room. Parents, family, and friends of the participants are invited to attend. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!





Friday, May 8, 2009


Summer birthdays will be celebrated during the last two weeks of school. Students may choose an"unbirthday" date to celebrate their special day. Just send in a note with your child to let me know the date he/she has chosen, and that day will be "reserved" for him/her.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Congratulations to Tessa and John for being the first students to complete our Multiplication Fact Challenge! Thank you for all of your hard work practicing your facts. WELL DONE!

Sunday, May 3, 2009



Saturday, May 2, 2009


We will be taking our last round of 4Sight tests this week, in reading and math. We will be testing on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

ACADEMICS (April 27 - MAY 4)

We read the Time for Kids selection, Pure Power, and learned about using solar energy and windmills to help save our natural resources, and cut down on pollution. Did you know that our entire country could get all the power it needs from the wind that blows through North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas?

We are still finishing up our "Wacky Weather" report pictures. The children are having fun illustrating their weather with all kinds of materials; fabric, buttons, food, cotton balls, straws...just to name a few. We hope to have these done and on display SOON!

Our study of pronouns continues; subject, object, and possessive. It's getting a little tricky knowing when to use: its-it's/ your-you're/ there-their-they're, but we keep working at it!

We are in the middle of our geometry chapter, and have learned about points, lines (parallel-perpendicular-intersecting), line segments, rays, and angles (acute-right-obtuse). Other topics to come include polygons, perimeter, area, and volume.

Our MATH FACT CHALLENGE is closing in on the finish line. John, Tessa, and Michaela have completed the task! Many others are closing in fast! Please be sure that your son/daughter continues to practice his/her multiplication flashcards daily (even if they've met the challenge), as this is a key component of fourth grade math, and is also a graded activity.

Our study of Jamestown continues, and will culminate with making a model of Jamestown Settlement! Check the links a few entries down for some online Jamestown adventures!

The students had fun working in groups, and creating "something" from the treasures they brought in, that were going to be thrown away in the trash. These treasures were reused, and turned into robots, a helicopter, boats, and all sorts of creative things! It was fun to watch them work cooperatively and let their imaginations go wild!