Thursday, October 10, 2019

October Update

Upcoming Dates:
October 14-18: Fall Break
October 31: Halloween Party/Parade

Using the guidance of Lucy Calkins curriculum, we start out unit titled "Reading to Learn: Grasping Main Ideas and Text Structures". In this unit, we will use non-fiction texts. We will discover how to determine importance, distinguish our own opinion from that of the author, tackle hard words, and teach others about what we have read in the text. We will create new reading goals and will continue to share with our reading partners. 
Parent Tip: Take your kiddo to the library to checkout non-fiction texts that "just right" for them! I encourage you to ask them what they learned after they complete their 20 minutes of reading at home.

We will publish our personal narratives after revising/editing using a checklist. After Fall Break, we will begin our next unit called "The Art of Informational Writing". In this unit, we will discuss the importance of organizing writing, making connections, and balancing facts and ideas. Using mentor texts, we will learn a variety of strategies to aid us as informational writers. We will look at different text structures.
Parent Tip: Ask students what they are writing about and how they are organizing their ideas in a way that makes sense to readers.

Using our new Envision math curriculum, we will look at the Distributive and Associate Property of Multiplication. These properties provide different ways to solve the same problem and help us check our work. After getting comfortable with multiplication, we will use multiplication to divide. Using pictures and bar diagrams, we will represent problems in a multitude of ways.
Parent Tip: Help students recognize the patterns between multiplication facts in order to improve their fluency. It would be beneficial to do some math fact practice at home.

Social Studies:
We will continue our civics unit by looking at rights and roles of citizens in a school, community, and government. We will briefly touch on the Bill of Rights and three branches of government. Students will also exercise their rights as citizens by voting for things in the classroom. They will also identify and demonstrate how to be a good citizen in the community.
Parent Tip: Talk about how you have exercised your rights as a citizen as well as roles/rules you follow in the community.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

September Update

Important Dates:
9/20 - NO SCHOOL
9/27 - Digger Dash
10/2 & 10/10 - Parent Teacher Conferences
10/3 - Field trip to Plains Conservation Center
10/14-10/18 - Fall Break

Using the guidance of Lucy Calkins curriculum, we will continue to build a reading life. In addition, we will touch on how to retell a story, tackle complex texts, and understand the author's purpose. Thought prompts such as "this makes me wonder" or "this lets me know" will help us retell a story. Talking about having grit and using textual clues will help us take on and understand challenging texts.
Parent Tip: Encourage students to make predictions, retell, question, and envision as they are reading at home. Students should continue reading 20 minutes a night.

Using rubrics and checklists, we have been self-assessing and writing goals. Using mentor texts, we will revise our own work and work with partners to help revise theirs. Paragraphing our thoughts to support sequencing, dialogue, and details will be another key point this month. 
Parent Tip: Ask students how they are elaborating on their writing (making it interesting not "BORRRRING!").

We are identifying and using patterns to practice our multiplication math facts. Key vocabulary in this topic includes factor, product, equation, multiple, expression, representation, and properties of multiplication. Students will work on how to explain their thinking using words in addition to numbers. We will break apart word problems to understand what the problem is asking, what the important numbers are, and how to solve the problem.
Parent Tip: Help students recognize the patterns in multiplication facts in order to improve their fluency.

Social Studies
We have been looking at the past and the present. We spent a fair amount of time identifying artifacts from the past and noticing how things have changed over time. More specifically, we will look at how school, transportation, clothing, and communication have changed over the years. We will move into the civics portion of social studies where we will look at rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Parent Tip: Share a story from your past and have the student's compare their current life to yours when you were their age.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

About Me

Welcome to 3rd grade! My name is Kristen Leuschner (pronounced Leshner) and I will be your child's 3rd grade teacher. I am very excited to be doing what I love at such a wonderful place. My goal this year is for each student to learn in a stimulating and responsive learning environment. In my classroom, your child will feel secure, as well as challenged. It is my hope that each child in my class will develop a joy of learning that will endure. I have discovered that the truly magical part of my job is watching my kids’ faces light up when they discover they are capable of so many wonderful things.

This will be my eleventh year of teaching. I have taught 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade and I am excited to begin a new school year! I earned my Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Regis University. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Creighton University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

I am not a Colorado native as I grew up a Navy B.R.A.T. and we moved every two years. However, we always called Colorado home so after my dad retired we settled down in Colorado. I enjoy spending time with my husband, our 2 sons, and our black lab, Diesel. When I am not at school, I can be found spending time with my amazing family, watching my boys play sports, enjoying a Starbucks, and following my beloved Denver Broncos!!

I am thrilled to be starting this new year with your child. The best way to contact me is via email at