Room 18 Handbook

Welcome to Third Grade!

 Classroom Handbook




Room 18: Mrs. DeMarsh

Fishcreek Elementary School



Welcome to Mrs. DeMarsh’s third grade class!  I am very excited about starting a year full of exploring, learning and fun.  This packet will be your guide to all of the happenings of our classroom.  Please keep it handy so that it may be used as a reference throughout the school year.  Be sure to contact me if you have any other questions!


Contact Information: The best way to reach me is through email.  My email address is:  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!



I have created a classroom website to keep parents and families updated on everything that happens in our classroom.  It will contain newsletters, child friendly websites, spelling words, a school event calendar, pictures and slideshows.

Please keep in mind that I will not place any names by pictures.  In order for any pictures of your child to be placed on the Internet, you must complete the permission slip that will be sent home during the first week of school.  


Newsletter: A weekly newsletter will be sent home every Friday.  This will be a review of the previous week and a preview of the week to come.  Please use this as a way to talk to your child about what is going on at school.

If you have Internet access, please let me know; the newsletter can be sent to you through email and you will be able to check the webpage for the newsletter.  This will cut down on use of paper.


Supplies: All supplies need to be labeled with your child’s name.  Please check regularly with your child to see if anything needs to be replenished.  Supplies such as crayons and glue usually need to be replaced halfway during the year.  Children will always need pencils with erasers.   Please let me know if you need another copy of the supply list!


Student Spotlight: Each week beginning in September we will have the “Student Spotlight” shine on a specific child. This is an activity, which gives each student a chance to “shine” for a week, allows the class to learn more about him/her. Each child will be chosen at random the Friday before s/he are in the spotlight.  Below is a schedule of what to expect when the Student Spotlight shines on your child!  I look forward to learning more about your children and seeing all the wonderful things they have to share with us!


Student Spotlight Schedule:


Monday: Child shares family photos.

Tuesday: Child and shares the “All About Me” paper.

Wednesday: Child shares “My Favorite Vacation.”

Thursday: Child shares “Math Story Problem.”

Friday: Child brings in something s/he would like to “show & tell”.  Briefcase is returned and a new child is chosen for the following week.


 Curriculum: Our curriculum includes many open-ended, hands on activities.  Below is a list of the specific content areas.  


Spelling: There will be a specific list of words for each week.  The words on each list follow a certain spelling pattern.  The spelling pattern will be sent home, in the newsletter, every Friday.  The lists consist of at least 10 words.  Lists will become longer as the school year progresses.  The words will be in the newsletter on Friday, and the students will be introduced to them in class on Monday.  The goal of spelling word lists is to have students use spelling rules correctly, not to have them memorize words.  To be sure that children are using the rule for each week, approximately five words will be added to the list that follow that spelling pattern.  These words will not be introduced to the students until the spelling test on Friday.  The children will engage in spelling activities throughout the week.  Please take a few minutes to review these words with your child every night.  


Vocabulary:  To expand students’ vocabularies, there will often be a short list of words that students need to review the meanings of.  The list of vocabulary words will be selected from the texts that the children are reading.  Students should practice the definitions of the words at home during the week.  Students do not need to know how to spell vocabulary words.  Vocabulary tests will be given on Fridays. Test formats will vary; they will usually have an achievement test format.  


Reading & Writing: Our literacy block of time will be spent using the concepts from The Daily 5.  The daily activities that students will be participating in include reading to self, partner reading, working on writing, listen to reading and word work.  The goal of each of these centers is to develop independence in reading.  Each student will meet with me throughout the week to discuss specific, independent reading goals.  Guided reading groups will be created so children are able to work with students with similar goals.  Goals will be grouped based on the Literacy CAFÉ: comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary.

Other reading activities will vary from literature circles to whole group reading activities.  We will constantly be focusing on grammar and exciting vocabulary that we find in our reading.  

Students will keep a Bag of Books (BOB) in their desks for independent reading.  These books may be brought home to read but must be returned the following day.  

There will be many different writing activities throughout the school year.  Children will focus on specific genres and practice reading and writing examples of each genre.  I will often have writing conferences with the children to help improve their writing.


Math:  The math series, Investigations, is directly related to the State Standards.  It includes many hands-on activities, games and lessons where the children are able to discover the math concepts by interacting with each other.  

During the first half of the year, students will have addition and subtraction flash cards to review; later, multiplication and division flash cards will be sent home. Please make sure that your child is practicing his/her math facts each night.  


Science & Health: The units of study in third grade include animals, nutrition, rocks and minerals, and force and motion.  In health, we will study the skeletal, muscular and digestive systems and nutrition.  


Social Studies:  The units of study in third grade include citizenship, geography with a focus on maps, government with emphasis on Stow’s local government, cultures, economics and Stow history.  


RAH! RAH! Read At Home: RAH stands for “Read At Home.”  Parents, family members and teachers should cheer on students during independent reading.  Students are required to read 15 minutes each night and to record their reading in the chart provided.  The RAH record sheet is a place for your child to keep track of time spent reading at home.  Parents must sign the record sheet everyday.  Please keep this sheet in your child’s orange communication folder each day.  Completed RAH record sheets will be used to earn a special prize during each grading period.


ICMM Cards: ICMM stands for “I Can Manage Myself.”  In third grade, students need to become more responsible. Your child's classroom peers, in a whole class meeting, will create a list of classroom rules or guidelines. Everyone will decide that these are the behaviors we 

will expect from all our classmates.  We will guide our rules around the Character Counts! traits:  Respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, caring, fairness, good citizenship.  This list will be sent home for your reference.  

Each week this report will come home on Thursday. A stamp indicated that your child has successfully managed all of the characteristics (our class rules). A number in the dated box indicates your child has not managed the corresponding characteristics for that date. Please review this report with your child and sign in the signature box for the week. 

This card must be signed by a parent and returned each Friday.   Thank you for your support as I try to encourage responsibility in each of the students!


Technology: I believe that technology is a great way to motivate students to learn and allows children to become engaged in the curriculum.  We have many types of technology that will be incorporated into learning explorations.  Through a grant with Kent State University’s Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET), the third grade classes at Fishcreek received a Smart Board.  Our classroom also houses 15 Netbook Computers, which were also received through a grant from RCET.  If you prefer your child to have his/her own headphones, you may send them in at any time.  We have a Flip-Cam (small digital video camera) to use to record learning experiences and performances.  Students will soon become familiar with the ELMO document camera, which allows students to share work using a projector.  We will also be using the different technologies that Fishcreek Elementary also has, such as the Student Response System (clickers) and the Mimio (portable interactive white board). 


Snacks & Water:  During the hot summer days, your child is encouraged to have a water bottle at school each day.  Water bottles should contain only water.  Children will have snack time around 10:00-10:30 each day.  Please do not send in snacks that require utensils.  Snacks should be healthy choices; cookies, chips, sugared snacks, etc. will not be permitted during snack time.  


Communication Folders & Homework: Your child will bring home an orange communication folder every day.  In the folder, you will find a study buddy and a RAH record sheet.  The study buddy will be completed at the end of the day with a list of activities that were completed for the day.  “Mail” will be sent home every Friday.  Look for additional supplemental homework in other subject areas throughout the week as well. 


**What role should parents play in helping their children with homework? A publication from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI, 1996) suggests four ways form parents to help a child with homework: 

1. Show that you think homework is important by providing a consistent time and place for it. Help your student to concentrate by turning off the television, banning personal phone calls, and setting a good example by reading and writing yourself. Make sure your student has any needed supplies and access to reference materials. 

2. Check over the work your child is doing, offering help or monitoring when needed. Know what the teacher expects and monitor more closely if your child is having problems completing the work.

3. Provide guidance and encouragement. Your job is not to do the work but to help in ways your child needs. Talking about an assignment may help the student work through it. Teach ways for a child to divide a large assignment into manageable parts. Look for work that you can praise. 

4. Discuss your child’s homework difficulties with the teacher. Work together with the teacher to resolve problems and work out a plan to improve homework completion. Check to see if the plan is helping. 


Please remember homework is an extension or review of a lesson to be completed outside of school for reinforcement of that day or week’s learning. Homework will not consist of “new” concepts. Homework is the responsibility of the student. Encouraging a positive attitude and atmosphere for homework completion is essential in helping your child bridge the learning that takes place in school to home. It is very important that students realize that learning takes place all of the time in all different places- not just in the classroom.  


Volunteering: There are many opportunities for volunteers in the classroom!  If you did not get a chance to sign up to help at open house, please contact me regarding your interest and availability.


Mystery Reader: I would like to invite any parents, older siblings, grandparents, relatives or other special people to surprise your child by being a “Mystery Reader” this year in our classroom.  Students LOVE having their family, friends, and relatives visit our classroom to share in our learning by reading a favorite story aloud to our class.  Mystery readers will visit us on Fridays at 12:45pm each week.  Readers are asked to bring a short picture-book to read or read a teacher-chosen book from our classroom library.  There was a sign-up sheet at Open House; if you missed it, e-mail me for available dates!



THANK YOU! A special thank you to all of the parents and guardians.  You are your child’s first and most important teachers.  Thank you for all that you do; I look forward to working with you to reach ultimate success for your child!


I’m looking forward to a wonderful year!



Mrs. DeMarsh