Fun Fall Days

I enjoyed looking back at these fun pictures from autumn of 2017. I hope you will too!

On the 50th Day of School, we enjoyed dressing in 1950s clothing.

During Red Ribbon Week, students had fun themed days:

“Teaming Up Against Drugs”


Our students have bright futures! During this week dressed as their future careers:

Every year 3rd grade students in Barrow County schools get their own dictionary. Dictionary delivery day is always fun!

In November we went on a field trip to Stone Mountain for the Native American Pow-Wow. Students got to experience American Indian culture first hand.

What a fun time with friends!


American Education Week: Parent’s Day

Happy Parent’s Day! Thank you for your support everyday! We are partners in your child’s success and I appreciate everything you do! Here’s a peek into an average day in our third grade classroom:

8:00-8:27 Students enter the classroom and eat their breakfast
Morning work choices are usually reading, writing, or technology

8:27-8:37 We watch the morning announcements and hold a class meeting where we greet each other and talk about our day

8:38-9:00 S.O.A.R.

9:00-10:25 Math
Our math class includes a whole-group lesson, guided small group lessons, and time for independent practice.

10:27-10:57 Recess

10:57-11:27 Lunch

11:27-1:35 English Language Arts
Our ELA block includes a whole-group reading lesson, a read aloud, conventions and/or cursive handwriting practice, a whole-group writing lesson, and Daily 5/Guided Reading time.

1:35-2:15 Specials

2:15-3:10 Social Studies/Science

I hope you enjoyed this look into our classroom. We appreciate you!

1st Quarter Awards 2017-2018

I am so proud of how hard each of my students has worked this quarter! They are a great group of students, and I’m looking forward to a great year!

Here are the awards for the 1st quarter:

Honor Roll: Grayson, Eric, Abbey, & Daniela

Hardest Worker: Mason
Happy HAWKs: Bryson & Gabby

Merit Roll: Mason, Chaffic, Joshua, Arianna, Bryson, Lance, Juliann, Colin, Aaron, & Conner

Perfect Attendance: Mason, Chaffic, Joshua, Grayson, Lance, Kimberly, & Aaron

Never Been Absent (NBA Award): Grayson, Lance, Kimberly, and Aaron

Math fact fluency is a very important skill in 3rd grade. I am very proud of the five students who have achieved 100% fluency with their addition and subtraction facts on Reflex.

Joshua, Lance, Grayson, Eric, & Aaron

Reading comprehension is also a very important skill for our students. AR provides a way for students to take practice reading quizzes and earn points. All students are working toward AR reading goals. I am very proud of the top five AR point earners in our class for the first quarter.

  1. Eric – 188.4 points
  2. Daniela – 30.8 points
  3. Aaron – 27.7 points
  4. Lance – 26.8 points
  5. Abbey – 20.9 points

Top 5 AR Point Earners for Ms. Masters’s Class

Congratulations to each of these students!

Hot Stuff Science Unit

We just wrapped up a unit on heat in science class. First students investigated why some objects on the playground felt hotter than other objects. Then students experimented with different colors of paper in the sun. They put black and white paper around their hands and tested which one got hotter. They wrote down their observations. We also used thermometers to test the temperature difference under black and white paper in the sun and in the shade.

Later, students were challenged to build a solar oven that could cook a s’more. We went over the rules of the challenge and then started the engineering design process. Students imagined and planned before they started building their solar oven.





Then students built their solar oven. We took it outside and tested it with a piece of chocolate to see how it worked. Some students realized they needed to make some changes to their design to make it more effective.

After making improvements to their designs, we took the solar ovens outside again the next day. Students made their s’mores and then ate them! Yum!

Ask your student what they learned about heat and solar energy from this fun unit!

Reading Parade and Character Dress-Up Day 2017

The 2017 Holsenbeck Elementary Reading Parade was held on August 18. Students who read 10 books during the summer marched in the parade. It was a fun celebration of reading!

HES Reading Rocks Parade: Characters Welcome

After the parade, our class went back into our classroom for book character presentations. Students dressed as their favorite character and gave a presentation as that character. The students did a great job with their presentations. You can watch your child’s presentation in Seesaw.



Math Fact Fluency…Revisited

Math fact fluency is very important for student achievement in math and it is a standard in 3rd grade.  The standard states that 3rd grade students should fluently multiply and divide within 100 and by the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.  The 2nd grade standard states that students should be able to fluently add and subtract within 100.  By the time our students finish 3rd grade, we want to be sure they are fluent in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.


To help students master their math facts, we use the Reflex math fact fluency online program.  We use this fun program instead of just using worksheets or flash cards.  All students will have log in information for Reflex in their agenda binders.  To use Reflex, students go to or open the free Reflex math app on an iPad.  They enter “smasters” as the username and then click on their class name.  After clicking on their name, they enter their password.  Parents can sign up for a parent reporting account by going to  Follow the onscreen instructions to easily set up your account.  This will allow you monitor your child’s math fact fluency progress.  (You will need your child’s password to access this.)

Usage is important for success with Reflex.  (Three days of usage is good but four days is better!)  Any help you can provide by encouraging your child to use Reflex at home will be appreciated.

Math Masters

The Math Masters fact incentive program has been used at Holsenbeck for many years, but we have made some changes this year. This year, awards will be given in recognition of the student’s fluency in Reflex.

Math Master level: 50% fluent with addition and subtraction facts
Math Mentor level: 100% fluent with addition and subtraction facts
Math Wizard level: 50% fluent with multiplication and division facts
Math Genius level: 100% fluent with multiplication and division facts

These awards will be recognized at awards celebrations.

First Week of School 2017

It was a great first week of school and it started with a great first day! Our first day of school included “get-to-know-you” activities and academic practice. We even had our first day of Daily 5 and Read to Self practice.

During the first week of school we reviewed our school-wide expectations (Be Ready, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible), played math games, learned about map features, read lots of fun books, decorated our writing journals, and started writing true stories.

I can tell we are going to have a great school year…because this is a great group of kids!