Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Pi Day!

Hooray for Pi! And Pie! And ties!

Click here to find out about what pi is all about.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Smarter Balanced Assessments

Third graders will soon participate in state-wide tests called the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA). Third graders will be tested in English Language Arts (Reading and Writing) and Mathematics. The assessments are used to determine levels of proficiency regarding grade-level standards. Click on the link on the right to view the standards.

If you are interested in viewing practice tests and other materials related to the Smarter Balanced Assessments, you can access the Smarter Balanced Assessment website.

Please do not plan any family vacations or appointments on test days--it is very important that students are present and on time these days.

Monday, April 23rd-Thursday, April 26th

Monday, May 14th-Wednesday, May 16th

The following is a list of questions and answers from the Bellingham School District. 

How do the Smarter Balanced Assessments relate to The Bellingham Promise?

The Bellingham Promise (our strategic plan) guides everything we do for students, families, our community and staff. The Promise compels us to develop students and graduates who are mathematicians and scientists, readers and writers and historians and global thinkers – outcomes that correspond with these state assessments. That said, we also strive to cultivate students who are artists and performers; innovators and creators; and honest and compassionate humans. One of BPS’ core beliefs is to focus on the whole child. State assessments are only one measure. Other measures and evidence are just as important in assessing the development of our kids.

How important are these tests?

Assessments play an important role in teaching and learning. It’s just one of many parts of the teaching process: we have standards (including our new state standards in multiple subject areas), instructional strategies, quality materials, assessments, all supported by strong professional development.

We want our kids to do their best, but again, state assessments provide only one data point. The hope is that we can complete these assessments, use the results as appropriate, support students in doing their best, and move on.

 Why do we have the Smarter Balanced Assessments?

We’ve had standards-aligned state tests for 18 years and have had online state testing for 4-5 years. There are more similarities between Smarter Balanced assessments and past tests than differences. A benefit of administering the Smarter Balanced Assessments is scores will be “vertically scaled,” which means we’ll have more valid and reliable information about student performance on the standards than we’ve had in the past.

When do we get the assessment results? What do the reports look like?

Scores will be available to schools via the Online Reporting System three weeks after the school has completed all testing. Here are some sample test results. OSPI (The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) will send a paper copy of the Individual Score Report for families at a later date.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

From UW Health physicians to Wisconsin's Department of Health and Family Services to the national Centers for Disease Control, the experts agree - the best way to combat the flu this season is through preventive measures.

Getting flu vaccine is your best defense, but you may also use the following 10 tips to fight the flu this year: 
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, being with ill people and especially before you eat
  • Avoid sharing objects
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes
  • Get enough sleep and avoid getting "run down"
  • Reduce stress
  • Use tissues for coughs and sneezes and dispose of them immediately and appropriately
  • Eat right and get regular exercise
  • Avoid crowds and keep your distance from people whom you know are ill
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with the frail, very young and elderly
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school

Science Fair Research Sites for Kids

Are you interested in participating in the Science Fair, but don't know where to begin? Remember, every science fair project begins with a question. What are you interested in learning more about? What do you wonder about, and want to find out how it works? What experiment would you like to see happen?

You can choose whether you'd like to do a research project or an experiment. Be sure to turn in your Participation Form (found at the back of the Science Fair packet that your teacher will send home) if you want to participate, to ensure that one of those cool tri-fold presentation boards will be ordered for you.

Here are a list of sites that you might want to use to gather research, get ideas for experiments, and get advice on how to present your work. This list is clickable!

Woodland Park Zoo Animals and Plants
Exploring Nature Educational Resource
National Geographic
Science Buddies
Discovery Education Science Fair Central
Science Fair Project Research Guide Science Fair Project Ideas
Science Kids Experiments
Science Bob Experiments
Bill Nye the Science Guy
Perfecting the Project Display Board

Friday, December 22, 2017

Curled-Paper Snowflakes

This video shows how to make nifty curled-paper snowflakes. They will soon be making the third grade a winter wonderland!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hour of Code

This December, third graders are participating in the "Hour of Code," hosted by, and supported by President Obama, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg,, Malala, and many, many more tech-savvy celebrities, school districts, companies, and teachers.

Click here to watch a short video about the Hour of Code.