Update: Week of September 17th

We had an amazing week! In reading, we finished our class chapter book and wrote a SLAM to summarize what motivated the main character, Miss Agnes, to come back to teach in the town even though it was a very challenging job! The kids did a great job supporting their thinking with text evidence. In math, we finished module 1 with a focus on multiplication and division! Also, we introduced our quarterly project this week and the kids are very excited to get going on it!


  • Picture Day is September 24th! Order forms will come home in Tuesday folders.
  • Third Grade T-Shirts: Our t-shirts are completed and will be delivered to the school next week!
  • Progress Reports are available to view on MyStudent! Please make sure you set up your MyStudent account to view your child’s report.

English/Language Arts: This will be our final week of character focus! We will be reading Thunder Cake and focusing on how a character’s feelings change and the reason the feelings change. Also, we will continue to work on context clues and our endangered species projects.

Math: We will begin module 2 with a focus on telling time, measurement, rounding, addition, and subtraction. You can view more details about the module here!

Science: Our focus on the scientific method continues this week!

Homework: On Friday, students received their spelling and math homework! They also need to get their planners and calendars signed nightly. This week, we were at 97% of students on track for reading minutes and 91% of students who completed all their homework! Getting better- we can do it!! 🙂

Graded Assignments: We send home all tests that we take in reading and math! When you receive them, you will notice that we have already had the students correct them. This is because we feel very strongly about the power of student conferencing in helping them learn from their mistakes! We graph them and record our progress here at school so the tests are simply for you to see how they are doing. They take a reading assessment every Friday and a math assessment in the middle of the module and at the end of the module.

Update: Week of September 10th

Even though it was a short week, we were very busy and productive! In reading, we worked on using our context clues skills and identifying and supporting character traits as we read our first class chapter book The Year of Miss Agnes. In math, we continued to utilize multiple strategies to solve multiplication and division problems including the Distributive Property, arrays, tape diagrams, Commutative Property, equal groups, and more. Additionally, we worked very hard in our math journals with multistep problem solving!

Seesaw Class & Family: We are very excited (kids AND teachers!) about sharing student work with you through SeeSaw. If you have not yet connected to your child’s account, we will be resending you the directions on how to do that today!

English/Language Arts/Social Studies: This week, we will complete our reading of The Year of Miss Agnes. We will continue to focus on context clues and also analyzing the characters in the text! While we have been reading this text, we continue to have conversations about the cultural differences in the lifestyle of the Athabascans of Alaska. Also, we will begin working on our quarterly research project on endangered animals!

Math: We will wrap up module 1 this week! Our review will be Wednesday and our test is on Thursday. Students will finish out the module with more focus on problem solving, using multiple strategies, and the Distributive Property.

Science: Scientific Method continues to be our focus! This week, students will be reading about the steps of the scientific method before we begin an investigation.

Homework: Today, students received their spelling and multiplication log! They also need to read nightly and get their planners and calendars signed! We are working on a goal of 100% of students completing homework and being on track for reading minutes! This week, we had 88% of students complete all parts of the homework and 97% of students on track for reading minutes! Almost there- WE CAN DO IT!!! 🙂

Progress Reports: These will be posted to MyStudent next Friday, September 14th. If you haven’t already, please make sure you sign up for a MyStudent account!

Popcorn: Next Friday is popcorn Friday! If your child does not have a popcorn card but wants to order popcorn, he or she will need to bring $1 in by Thursday.

Spirit Day: Don’t forget to have your child wear blue or their Odessa spiritwear on Fridays! Our team shirts should be in very soon and we will be wearing those on Thursday.

Update: Week of September 4th

Thank you to everyone who donated books from the book fair to our classroom! The kids are super excited to read them and we LOVE new books! 🙂

We had another fantastic week in third grade! In reading, we began unit 1 module 1 with a focus on context clues to help us identify the meaning of unknown words and using a character’s thoughts, feelings, words, and actions to identify and support a character trait to describe a main character. We read Razor and the Wolves and a text about a group of native Alaskans called The Athabascans. In math, we worked on the Commutative Property and the Distributive Property of multiplication. Our daily math journals continue to push us in our mathematical thinking!

Our Open House night was also on Thursday! All shared resources are available here!

English/Language Arts/Social Studies: This week, we will continue working on character traits and context clues. Our reading will be from the book The Year of Miss Agnes which also takes place in Alaska in a one room schoolhouse. It will be our first class chapter book!

Math: We completed the mid module assessment on Friday and will continue to work on strategies for multiplication and division!

Science: Our focus will be on the scientific method! We have been utilizing our science time for a longer class meeting time. Class meetings have been super helpful in helping the kids get to know one another and also to learn each other’s names! We felt that was important for the start of the year but can now transition to using our science time for actual science. 🙂

Homework: On Friday, students received their spelling and math log! They also need to read nightly and get their planners and calendars signed.

Reminders: There is no school on Monday, September 4th. Have a great long weekend!

Open House 2018

Thank you to all families who were able to join us for Open House! We enjoyed sharing information with you and we LOVED seeing the kids excited to show you their awesome accomplishments so far! Here are a few things we want to follow-up with.

Seesaw- Each child received a copy of the Seesaw login information for parents. The QR code we provided allows up to 10 family members to access one child’s account! If the code is scanned, there is no need for teacher approval. However, if someone signs up via email, we have to approve the account on our end. Either way will work. 🙂

Classroom Expectations- Thank you for signing and returning these forms! We will make a copy and send it home to every family!

If you were unable to attend this evening, we will send home all papers that were distributed! Here is a copy of the presentation that was shared and below it you can find the link to the Superintendent’s Open House message. Please let us know if you have any questions!


Update: Week of August 27th

We had a great second week! In reading, we began learning how to write a SLAM. We read all about blue whales and then worked on finding relevant details from specific sections of the text in order to support a text based question that we answered through writing. The kids did very well and we will continue to build on this skill all year! In math, we focused on the relationship between multiplication and division and different ways to represent those operations. We also officially started our Multiplication Masters belt challenge! Finally, we continued to build routines and do some special writing pieces for Open House!

Important Reminders:

  • Summer Work- If your child did any summer practice, reading, etc., please send it in by Friday, August 31st so they can participate in our Root Beer Float Party!
  • School Spirit Friday- Don’t forget that Friday is our school spirit wear day! Students are encouraged to wear Odessa spirit wear to show their school spirit! If students do not have spirit wear, we still encourage them to wear blue 🙂 Even though it doesn’t count toward the spirit wear competition, we love to see the school spirit!
  • Changes in Transportation- Remember that it is VERY important that you communicate ALL changes in your child’s after school transportation to us! Many after school transportation spots take attendance and so we have to inform the office of any and all changes!
  • Absences- Please remember to email us or call the office if your child is going to be absent so the absence can be excused. Thank you!

English/Language Arts/Social Studies: In reading, we will begin Unit 1 Module A with a focus on context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words and identifying and supporting character traits based on the actions, thoughts, feelings, and words of the character. Our texts are about the culture of the Athabascan people in Alaska. We will take our first weekly assessment this week!

Math: Our focus will continue to be on the relationships between multiplication and division. We will also work with the multiplication properties. Our mid-module assessment will be on Friday!

Science: We will be focused on the scientific method!

Homework: On Friday, students received their spelling and math homework! Please see the post below for more information about this homework (directions are also included with the work since it is the first week). It is due on Friday! Also, please remember the importance of signing off on your child’s reading minutes. If a student gets behind and it flags them as being behind in reading minutes, he or she will receive a progress report in their planner on Friday! Here is a picture of what every student received:

Update: Week of August 20th

THANK YOU to everyone for a great first week of supporting your children as they get into their daily routine! We know there is a lot of information coming your way at the beginning of the year and we appreciate your help with staying on top of paperwork and expectations. 🙂

We had a GREAT first week! It was fun getting to know each of our new students! We worked very hard to establish rules, routines, and expectations. In reading, we introduced our workstation routine and how students are held accountable for their priority independent work each week. Also, we began leveling our readers in IRLA and determining their needs in the area of spelling. In math, we focused on our math journal routine (writing in math? Yes, it’s true!) and began module 1. Most importantly, we had fun with some getting to know each other activities!

Finally, students received their first spirit stick on Friday for surviving their first week of third grade! 🙂

English/Language Arts: Our focus for this week will be on learning how to do SLAM writing when responding to a text. We will write multiple SLAMs – one together, one in partners, and one independently- as we read and answer questions from our text about blue whales. The focus is simply on format and using the text to support our writing! Here is the SLAM break down:

Math: We have begun our first module in math and will continue working through it this week! In addition to math journals, we will do a daily lesson. Our first module focuses on concepts of multiplication! You can learn more about the module here. In addition, we will be introducing our math fluency routines for memorization of multiplication facts this week.

Science: We will begin learning about the scientific method and how to investigate questions!


  • Final t-shirt orders (for the first round of ordering) are due on Wednesday, August 22nd! Once we submit the order, the shirts will be here in two weeks. We will do an additional order in September.
  • Code of Conduct Acknowledgement forms must be returned to us by August 31st. Once we receive them, we have to put into our system that you have turned them in. Thank you for being on top of this!
  • Popcorn cards must be ordered by August 27th! After that date, students can still order popcorn on popcorn Fridays but they must bring their dollar by Thursday of that week.
  • Open House is scheduled for Thursday, August 30th!
  • When sending us an email for any reason, please be sure to email both Mrs. Nienhouse & Mrs. Del Forno! Thank you!

Homework: On Friday, students received their Backpack Calendar reading logs. The first page of the packet explains how this program works but it is important to remember that students have to read at least 150 minutes a week for them to remain on track for IRLA. As students are flagged for being behind on reading minutes, we will send home progress reports! Here is what a correctly filled out night of reading should look like:

Next Friday, we will begin our regular homework routine! Students will receive spelling homework and a multiplication fluency log. Directions will be provided with both, but here is a brief description of the expectations:

Spelling: Students will be assigned a spelling group based on needs that were defined on a baseline assessment for spelling. Their group could be Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals, Birds, Insects, Fish, Arthropods or Arachnids. Each group starts on a specific skill, depending on spelling weaknesses, and progresses through the program. Every student will receive a notebook with 4 pages of activities they can choose to complete using their weekly word list. They must do 3 activities in the notebook each week and some activities do count as 2 due to their length. There are no spelling tests as spelling will be assessed through student writing!

Math Fluency: We will begin our Multiplication Masters Karate Belt math fluency very soon! Students will receive a log to document the time they spend studying their facts (expectation is 60 minutes per week). A letter will come home explaining the program with the first log! Every week, students will receive a list of facts for their current belt level and the next belt level. They can do a variety of activities to practice including making flash cards, going on websites, using apps, getting verbally quizzed by a family member- the options are endless! As long as students spend 60 minutes a week studying, they will make progress in our fluency program.

These two pieces of homework will start August 24th. Homework will always come home on Friday and be due the next Friday. If you have questions about the homework once you receive it, please email us!

Family Email List

We hope everyone is ready for a new school year! As we begin to get into our routine, we would like to confirm that we have a way to contact each family via email. On Friday, August 10th, we sent out an email to the email addresses you provided on Meet the Teacher day! If you have received our email and replied, THANK YOU! If you have not yet seen our email, we ask that you check to make sure we weren’t accidentally sent to your junk mail 🙂 As the week progresses, we will also send reminders in the planner for those families we have not yet heard from. Additionally, we encourage everyone to add our email addresses to your contacts to avoid missing our emails!


Finally, don’t forget to order your child’s team t-shirt! We will be wearing these every Thursday (and Odessa spiritwear will be worn on Friday!) and we want to have all of our students included! We have attached the order form! It will be available this week on Acorn for credit card purchasing or you can send cash/check anytime! If you do pay online, please return the form with your child’s size and write “paid online” on the form. THANK YOU!


Finally, we hope everyone has a great week! We are looking forward to a fun first week of getting to know your kiddos!

School Supply List

Here is the Odessa Supply List for Third Grade.

The 1″ binders are especially important as that will be where we keep the student planners and mail/other important communication throughout the year. We will use the second binder for each student to create his or her portfolio. In third grade, we believe that students should have a hand in tracking their progress and setting goals. The portfolio will help them do so!

If you are looking for other ways to support our classroom, please see the Classroom Wish List. Also, one of the best ways to support our school and classroom is to become an approved volunteer! Click here to fill out the Pasco County volunteer application. **Note: You must be an approved volunteer to chaperone field trips!

Welcome to Third Grade!

We are excited to introduce ourselves as your child’s teachers for the 2018-2019 school year! This is Mrs. Nienhouse’s 12th year teaching in Pasco County Schools and Mrs. Del Forno’s 15th year.


This year, our classroom is part of an eight classroom, nine teacher third grade team. We are a passionate team dedicated to student success! As we look ahead to the coming months, we are anxious to see the excitement in your children as they learn and excel in their academics.

Throughout the year, we welcome you to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.  We are looking forward to being able to work together to ensure the success of your child.