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Tiffany Painter » About Me

About Me

My name is Tiffany Painter.  I have been teaching third grade at PRA since the school opened in 2011.  I love third grade!!  I have a bachelor's degree in advertising from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in education from Regis University.  I love learning too much to be in an office where I can't share with students.
When I am away from school I am usually doing something with my family. My husband and I have known each other since high school.  We have two children, our son Mitch is 20 and our daughter Holly is 18. I also have a dog, Diego, and two cats, Max and Riley.  I love to read, walk my dog, cross country ski, golf, and run/walk.
I believe school should be about loving to learn.  In my class, we all work together to grow our brains.  Mistakes will happen, but they help us become better versions of ourselves. I believe it is better to try and fail than not to try at all. Also, the students will often hear me say it is better to be kind than right. I expect the students to treat each other with respect and be aware of each other rather than just being focused on being right.


Recent Posts

Canary Chronicle

Our first meeting of the 2019 year will be on Wednesday, January 16th.  Students should report to the Elementary Tech Lab at All Call.  They will be assigned a new assignment and some will get a new partner. A final article will be due at the end of the meeting on January 30th.

Math - Chapter 10, Book B

Math in Focus

Chapter 10:  Money

Colorado State Standard for Mathematics

Standard 1.  Number Sense, Properties, and Operations

Grade Level Expectation: Third Grade Concepts and skills students master:

  1. The whole number system describes place value relationships and forms the foundation for efficient algorithms.

Students Can:

  1. Use place value and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.  (CCSS: 3.NBT)
    1. Use place value to round whole numbers to the nearest 10 or 100.  (CCSS: 3.NBT)
    2. Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.  (CCSS: 3.NBT.2)

Essential Question:

Can students use mental strategies to add and subtract money?

For larger amounts of money, can students find sums and differences the same way they learned with whole numbers?

Personal Narratives

We will return to writing Personal Narratives for a few weeks.  Typically, the students have a lot they want to share about their winter breaks.  Writing personal narratives taps into that enthusiasm and eases us back into the school routine for the second semester.
We will also work on informational writing in Science as the students research their assigned bone and draft a paragraph about the bone.  We will give them specific guidelines to follow to craft a well developed paragraph. 

PRA Databases - How to access

  1. Go to the Prospect Ridge Academy homepage
  2. At the top of the page there are links - choose the link to the “Academics” page
  3. Once in “Academics” - click the “Library” link
  4. On the right - choose “EBSCO Databases”
  5. This will take you to a login page.
    1. User Name: prospectridge
    2. Password: prospectridge

EBSCO Database offers several choices in databases. Depending on the topic of research, there is: EXPLORA (separated by Elementary, Middle School, and High School reading levels). EXPLORA is a general encyclopedia database. The other two databases, HISTORY and SCIENCE, focus on those two subject areas for more detailed information.

Earliest Americans

We will begin studying the Earliest Americans in Social Studies focusing on how the early people came across the Land Bridge from Russia to North America.  We will also learn about how they then settled in different parts of the continent and learned to adapt to their specific environments. This unit will include learning about a few of the different Native American groups.

Human Body

Essential Question: Why is the skeletal system important? (The skeleton has three main functions in terms of structure: support, protection, and locomotion; the bones are also responsible for making red blood cells).

We learn a lot during this science unit. Students will be expected to memorize the names of 25 bones so they can label a skeleton. Don't worry, we spend a lot of time throughout the day and in class studying these bones by playing variations of Simon Says, quizzing each other during movement breaks, etc. The students will have a word bank on the Bone Quiz - they aren't expected to memorize the spelling of the bones.

Dr. Rooks and Dr. Kierein visit third grade on our Science Day to present their experiences working with broken bones and to teach the students how to protect their bones. We also have quite a few in-class, hands on activities, as well as exciting science labs.

Each student will be assigned one of the 25 bones, and they will write an informational paragraph about their bone. We will do all the writing in class as we learn about the specific bone and the key components of writing a paragraph. More information will be sent home about this in class project.

Mid-year math test

We are wrapping up book A before break for math.  We will do the mid-year assessment this week and then finish the boo with bar-models next week.  Next week, there should be time in class to start the nightly homework.  I know this time of year can be busy and homework can be difficult to finish.  Hopefully a few less minutes will be helpful for everyone.

Astronomy Tests

We are wrapping up Astronomy before break.  Students will work on a study guide in class on Tuesday.  They will be able to bring this home to study before the test on Friday.

Spelling Pattern the week of December 10th

Students will be working on the different ways to spell the long e sound.  We will focus on ee and ea.  The spelling test will be on Friday.

Cereal Boxes

Students need to have a cereal box for a book project.  The projects will start Monday, December 17th.  This will be the conclusion of our Lit Circle books.


Justin Matott the author is coming on December 12th.  He will host an assembly for third and fourth grade in the morning before leading all three classes of third graders in writer's workshops.  If you would like to purchase one of his books that he will deliver autographed and addressed to your child, please use the attached form.  The deadline has been pushed back until December 5th.

OG spelling pattern - 11/26

Students will be continuing learning beginning blends this week.  They will review the seven l-blends:  bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, spl.
The red words this week are great and above.

Orton Gillingham - Spelling

Here is a list of the concepts we have covered for spelling patterns and rules this year.  Each week the kids learn either a pattern or rule.  There is not a set of words to memorize, but instead they need to learn the pattern or rule and apply it to their writing. The OG program encouraged multi-sensory learning to activate the whole brain.  In class we use plastic screens to create bumps in their writing so they an feel the letters as they spell.  Other things you may consider at home is writing with sand, rice, shaving cream, etc.  Anything they can feel will work. If you like Pinterest, there are ideas on there as well.  We also have red words that don't follow patterns or rules and just have to be learned.  We tap them out on our arms.
Red words so far: enough, they, friend, said, goes, very, our, some, about, every, again, knew, much, could, other, who
Patterns and rules:
qu says /kw/ and works together.  Examples: queen and quiet
Vowel teams that make the long vowel sound: ea says /e/, oa says /o/and ai says /a/
Sammy Rule: When a syllable or word ends with an S, L, F, or Z and has a short vowel sound, the s,l,f,z is doubled (Sammy loves friendly zebras)
K vs. ck; ch vs tch; ge vs dge: When a one syllable, short vowel is directly followed with the /k/, /ch/ or /j/ sound we use ck, tch, or dge so the vowel has a helper.  If there is a vowel team or an extra consonant just use k, ch, or ge.
Soft c /s/ or soft g /j/: When c and g are followed by a, o, or u they make the hard sound (cat and get).  When they are followed by e, i, or y they make the soft sound /s/ or /j/ (city and giant)
R-blends: br, dr, gr, fr, pr, tr, cr, spr, scr, str, shr, thr. A blend is when two or more letters work together closely to make a sound but you can still hear both sounds.  A digraph is when two letters (usually consonants) work together to make a now sound (th, ch, sh).