Hurricane Harvey Support

Please show your support for the SJ Williamson Elementary school in Houston

The following supplies are requested…

Backpacks – Crayons – Pencils – Pens – Scissors – Rulers- Glue Sticks – Markers – Tape – Index Cards – Post it Notes-

Wal-Mart Gift Cards

Time Frame for collection:

Now – September 29


Reusing Items…part of the 3Rs

As part of our first LA module, we are becoming Recycling Advocates. We have been learning about the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This week we read and worked with a text about reusing. We learned reusing is better than recycling because it doesn’t require energy to run the equipment/machines at the recycling factories. On Friday, students were given the challenge to brainstorm different ways to reuse an object that would normally be recycled or thrown away.  They came up with some great ideas!

We brainstormed lots of ideas as a group for how to reuse this large snack container.

How could you reuse a sock that lost its partner?

How could you reuse a plastic cream cheese container?

What about an empty tissue box?

Can you think of ways to reuse an empty water bottle?

Can you reuse a glass spaghetti sauce jar?


Gold Record Award

It was announced this week that our homeroom class is this cycle’s recipient of the Music class Gold Record Award.  Mr. Goodman awards this gold record each week to the class that has earned the highest number of class points.  Points are earned for good behavior, participation, and using nice singing voices.  I am so proud of my class!  We are displaying our gold record on our doorknob for all to see.



Math Class

We are finally in the swing of things with Math class, so I thought you’d like to take a peek at what a normal day is like.  All third graders took the pretest for our first math unit.  Students were grouped to work with different teachers for this unit based on their learning needs.  Some students go to Mrs. Blankley’s and Mrs. Miller’s classrooms during this time.  Other students come and join me for their daily math instruction.

Each day we begin with a whole group warm up.  During this time I introduce any games or activities that students will be playing at stations that day. I also introduce the concept we are focusing on that day.  As part of our “Kick-Off Unit” we are reviewing addition and subtraction. Today we focused on 2-digit addition.  We sang this song a few times to help remember the steps for adding and when to regroup. I like to incorporate songs and rhymes to help students remember new concepts. These songs can be found on the Math tab of my blog as well.

Next, students rotate through 4 stations. We spend about 15 minutes at each station.  At Direct Station I work directly with students on the concept of the day.

At Independent Station, students work on their computers on various math sites. Today they worked on ST Math.

At Collaborative Station students play math games and complete projects that support the concepts we are learning. Today they played an Addition Spin game. Partners spun two numbers and then added them and compared their sums.

Fact Fluency station is where students work on memorizing math facts. During the first few weeks we are trying hard to remember the addition and subtraction facts we learned in second grade. Eventually we’ll begin memorizing multiplication and division. Students begin with flashcard practice, do a timed math racer (addition and subtraction) and then spend the remaining time playing a game to practice math facts. Any students who are unable to complete 20 addition and subtraction problems in 1 minute will be bringing home a homework racer to complete for practice.

Well, that’s a typical day in math class. Ask your student what station he/she liked best today.


Language Arts Class

Today was our second day attending Language Arts class. Some students go to Mrs. Blankley’s and Mrs. Miller’s classrooms during this time.  Other students come join my room.  There are a few adults who will be working in my classroom with students this year: Mrs. Erin Miller, Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Dingess.  Language Arts is taught utilizing a Rotational teaching model.  Students rotate through stations while in Language Arts.   Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Dingess and I will all be teaching Direct Stations where we work with small groups of students practicing reading, phonics, spelling, and writing skills.  Students will work at the Independent Station each day, often on their Chromebooks accessing technology resources to support and reinforce the skills we are working on.  Finally students will work with their peers at the Collaborative Station.

Yesterday we learned the expectations for these three stations and practiced how to collaborate by doing a fun activity where we tried to make as many words as possible with the letters in “Back to School.” We were so busy though that I forgot to take pictures…sorry!

Today we talked about Close Reading.  Close Reading requires the reader to revisit the same text for a few readings (often 3).  Each time you delve further into the text and look closely at particular aspects. It’s as if we are detectives using our magnifying glass to zoom in on something.  Today we worked as a whole group to do a close reading with a text about Recycling. Then it was time to practice rotating through our stations. We only had time for 4 stations today.

At my students we began a Close Read of a text titled “Reduce”. In our first language arts/science module we are working to be recycling advocates.  We will be learning a lot about the environment and what we can do to preserve it.  We’re going to begin by looking at the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We did our first read to get the gist of the text and discussed some new vocabulary.  Tomorrow we’ll reread it and work on a web to identify the information and facts we believe are important.  Next Tuesday we’ll answer some text dependent questions where we must look back in the text to find information to support our answers.

Mrs. Miller spent some time at her station working with some vocabulary words which students will encounter during module 1. They discussed the words and sorted words into “words we know” and “words we don’t know”.  Over the next few days they will become word detectives to learn some of these new vocabulary words and begin to use a student dictionary.

At Mrs. Dingess’s table, students played a fun sight word game called “Oh No!”. Each person took a turn reaching into a container to pull out a sight word card.  If you can read it, you can keep it.  Just watch out though….if you pull an “Oh No” card you must put all your cards back into the container.  This is an easy game to play at home if you still have the sight word cards your student used in second grade.

Today’s final station was Collaborative.  Students worked in partners or trios to do “Roll and Write”.  In this activity students roll a die to determine how to write a spelling word.  The reference card gives some fun options.  Since we haven’t started our spelling lists yet, students practiced writing sight words.

We have another busy day planned for tomorrow as we continue to learn the routines and expectations associated with third grade.  Ask your third grader to tell you a little bit about what he/she did at language arts…we sure were busy.


The First Day of School Recap

What a great first day! We spent the whole day as a homeroom getting to know third grade routines and one another.  We had a fun scavenger hunt in the morning to find things in the classroom.


We did an activity where students move around the room and use stickers to give their answer to 6 different questions.  We were then able to analyze the data to find out a consensus of things in our room.  Some things we noticed: P.E. is definitely the most popular special, no one really loves spelling, and we are equally divided in our preferences to work with a teacher/collaboratively/independently.  Check out our finished “Consensusgrams” below.


I read the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni. This little black fish has a brilliant idea to teach the little red fish to swim together in the shape of a large fish so they can go exploring through the ocean rather than just hide among the rocks, fearful of large fish.  This year third grade has a hallway bulletin board that features fish decorated by each student and teacher.  It says “We are all different, but we swim together in third grade.”  Just like Swimmy, I hope our class learns to work together to accomplish many exciting things this year as we swim together in our “school”.


We also got to practice recess today. For the first week of school all classes at Brecknock we will review the rules of different games and aspects of recess and then give students an extra opportunity to put these expectations into action while getting feedback from their teachers.  Today we reviewed the rules for using recess equipment and playing 4-Square.  The kids had fun showing that they can use the equipment safely and enjoyed this extra recess time.


I hope your third grader had some great stories to tell about this first day!


Are you ready?

Mrs. Muhr’s children (Madelyn and Joshua) on the first day of school 2016

Monday is the first day of school.  Do you have your backpack ready?  Have you made plans to buy lunch or pack?  I am very excited to begin a new year with you. I have been busy preparing our classroom.  Don’t worry if you are feeling a little nervous about the first day. Even I feel that way. See you soon!


Welcome Survey

At Brecknock the third grade teachers work as a team. To ensure success and a great year for all students we have created a survey to help us get to know you and your child.  All teachers will be able to access your responses.

Please click here to complete the survey before the start of school. Thank you for your time!


Back to School Shopping

school supplies

Hello Third Grade families,

Just wanted to fill you in on the items you might need for school as you begin to do back to school shopping.

* Your child will NOT need any folders or binders.  All third graders are provided with the same subject folders and homework folder.

* Your child will NOT need a pencil box or pencil pouch.  I have purchased pencil pouches for each student to use. Pencil pouches will be easy to carry to which ever classroom students will receive instruction in as we change classes across the hall for language arts and math and rotate through stations in each class.

* This year each student will have a Chromebook laptop assigned to them for use throughout the day.  Please bring a set of earbuds to use with this computer.  The earbuds will be stored in a labeled small baggie and kept in the student’s pencil pouch. Earbuds can be purchased at Dollar Tree, Wal-mart or similar stores.

* You may bring a glue stick and scissors of your own to store in your pencil pouch.  There will be some classroom supplies your child can use as well.

* You will need to provide pencils and erasers throughout the year.  There will not be room in the pencil pouch to store a lot, so it’ll be a good idea to keep some extra pencils and erasers in your backpack that you can use to replenish your daily supply.

* Each student will receive their own box of crayons to keep in their pencil pouch.  Other classroom crayons, colored pencils, and markers are available to share.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions before school begins!

Mrs. Muhr





Hello Third Graders!

CC licensed photo shared by Flilcker user San Diego Shooter

I just wanted to say hello to my incoming third graders and their families.  I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing and safe summer. As the school year approaches I will be preparing our new classroom with fresh bulletin boards, new folders and books, organized school supplies, and plans for lots of fun learning.  I hope you are also preparing for the year.  This summer try to read for at least a few minutes each day.  Practice math facts and concepts such as counting coins, skip counting, and telling time.  Write stories or  journal entries. Get some exercise and play in the sunshine. You can send me an email if you have any questions about our upcoming year.  See you soon!   Mrs. Muhr

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