Can you believe the nice weather? I’m so happy that the snow that kept us out of school for 3 days last week is melting. Students were thrilled to be able to go outside for recess in 60 degree weather rather than the below freezing temperatures we have been experiencing. I for one really hope that winter weather has run its course and that spring weather takes its place!

Since we were only in school for 2 days last week, we are going to finish our * graphing unit*. Most students completed their data sheets where they asked 20 random people a question that they constructed, giving a choice of 4 to 5 answers that these 20 people could respond with. Since a few students were absent last week, math homework tonight was to finish these data sheets if need be. All data sheets should come to school tomorrow with your child so that we can complete our data graphing projects tomorrow. Details for this project were explained in last week’s blog if you need any clarification.

We are also going to talk about * geometry* this week. Specifically, we are going to be classifying shapes into different categories, such as rhombus, rectangle, triangle, etc. We are going to look at attributes that are shared among these categories, and look at how these shared attributes, such as a shape that has 4 sides, can lead to a larger category (ex: quadrilaterals). This geometry concept is one that students are familiar with, so I foresee that reviewing this topic will only take a few days.

That leads us to the end of the third grade math curriculum. My homework for the week is going to be to really delve into the fourth grade math curriculum and map out skills that we will work on mastering for the rest of the school year. Students are beyond excited to jump into fourth grade math, as am I!

Much of our graphing vocabulary is the same as last week, and can be viewed on my blog post from last week. As far as new vocabulary is concerned, students will recall/understanding the following terms:

* Geometry* – mathematics that deals with points, lines, shapes and space.

* Shape* – the form of an object – how it is laid out in space (not what it is made of, or where it is).

* Parallel *– always the same distance apart and never touching.

* Polygon* – A plane shape (two-dimensional) with straight sides. Some examples include triangles, rectangles and pentagons.

* Quadrilateral* – a polygon with four sides (or edges) and four vertices or corners.

* Rhombus* – a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where all sides have equal length. Opposite sides are parallel and opposite angles are equal. A rhombus is a type of parallelogram.

* Rectangle* – a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where all interior angles are right angles (90°). Opposite sides are parallel and of equal length.

* Square* – a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where all sides have equal length AND every interior angle is a right angle (90°). It is a Quadrilateral and a Regular Polygon

* Trapezoid* – a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides that has a pair of opposite sides parallel. The sides that are parallel are called “bases”. The other sides are “legs” (which may or may not be parallel).

* Parallelogram* – a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where opposite sides are parallel. Also, opposite sides are equal in length and opposite angles are equal. Squares, rectangles and rhombuses are all parallelograms.

For additional assistance, please examine the following web sites:

Recognize shape attributes (a LearnZillion video and lesson)

Sort quadrilaterals by their attributes (a LearnZillion video and lesson)

Have a wonderful week!