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A quick peek at Mrs. Katz


Here I am with my husband and two sons.  Owen is in 9th grade and Benjamin is here at Paden in 4th grade.  Mr. Katz used to teach here at Paden and is now a school psychologist in West Contra Costa Unified.  This photo was taken in my parents' backyard in Berkeley to give to my Grammie who turned 100 last December!

Reading and Writing Workshop Goals

Our new curriculum for language arts comes from Center For the Collaborative Classroom based here in Alameda.  It is a workshop model for differentiating instruction to all levels of readers and writers within the larger group.  There is great value placed on student interactions to help them develop social skills as well as verbal and critical thinking skills.  Click the links below for current unit overview:


Being A Writer Units 1 and 2 Building A Writing Community - August/September


Making Meaning Unit 1 Taking Responsibility for Reading - August/September


Being A Writer Unit 3 Personal Narratives - October/November


Making Meaning Unit 3 Visualizing and Making Inferences - October/November 


Being A Writer Unit 4 Fiction - November/ December


Making Meaning Unit 4 Wondering and Questioning - November/December


Making Meaning Unit 5 Wondering and Questioning with Biographies - January


Being A Writer Unit 5 Expository Nonfiction - February/March


Making Meaning Unit 6 Using Text Features - February/March


Being A Writer Unit 8 Poetry - April


Making Meaning  Unit 8 Determining Important Ideas - May


Being A Writer Unit 7 Opinion Writing - April and May

Room 23 Third Grade

Kids for the Bay came to teach us about the ecosystems in our watershed...

News and Notes from Mrs. Katz


Dear Families,


What a strange week?!  I can't believe we are off for Thanksgiving week and it's only November 15.  The students were really good sports about being cooped up throughout the past several days.  We didn't talk about the fires much, though I know it was more unsettling to all of us than just our more usual rainy day scenario.  I reassured them that it would clear up soon.  We had some time to play tag in the Multipurpose Room.  We also did some energetic dancing using the Go Noodle website.  This might make for good indoor exercise at home in the next few days, too.  During recess free time, the students played board games, drew or painted, built with dominoes or Kinex, and used educational apps on our Chromebooks.  We integrated some movement into practicing our math facts.  Ask your child if he or she can count by sixes, sevens or eights while doing chair lifts, cross-crawls, tricep dips, chair steps, or squats.  Using core muscles has been proven to support memory!


Thanks so much to our Art Docents Elizabeth and Desiree, aka Addie and Lucio's moms for brightening up our smoky week.  They came in Wednesday after lunch and did a wonderful lesson on observing and drawing from autumn still life arrangements.  Then the students got to use watercolors to bring their sketches into living color.  Some of them were delighting in mixing colors, others were really working hard at making their shapes appear 3 dimensional.  You can see their autumn paintings as well as poems that they wrote with Ms. Head in Media Center displayed out on our bulletin board when you come in for conferences next week.‚Äč


In math, we have finished Module 2 all about place value in the base ten number system.   We practiced addition, subtraction and measurement.  The word problems throughout this module were challenging.  I found from our ending assessment that we need to continue to review rounding/estimating the nearest 10 or 100, subtraction with regrouping, and solving clock problems.   This week, we did 4 days of differentiated reteaching with the support of  Learning Center teachers Ms. Hyde and Ms. Hasmik.   Some students met in a small group with me or another adult to do problems step by step while others did problem sets on the Chromebooks.  There is a great link between our math curriculum and Khan Academy that goes topic by topic in the same sequence with the same vocabulary.   You can check it out with your child and select specific topics for extra practice that continue to be trickier.  


Next, we are circling back to focus on multiplication and division concepts.  Here is the tip sheet with an overview of vocabulary and key strategies. It is time for most of the students to step up the practice on memorizing multiplication facts at home.  Try flash cards, chanting, singing, computer games, drawing out your own multiplication tables, homemade quizzes.  All of these will help.  Please don't let a whole week go by without  practicing math - just 5 minutes a day would really keep the momentum going!  


I announced to the children that of course they should read every day of the break.  What better indoor activity could there be?  However, I am not requiring a reading log for the week off.  I said it was optional as some students really like listing their books, but for others it may be challenging to travel and do the record keeping.  Also, I hope you have checked out our new online option for home reading.  If you are visiting relatives that have internet access, your child could read on a tablet or computer.  We have a subscription to an online library called Raz Kids.  Here is the link to the sign-in page.  Each child has a set of leveled texts to read, listen to,  and then answer comprehension questions.  There is a great balance of fiction and non-fiction.  What may motivate your reluctant reader is that they can earn star points and use those to build a rocket or a robot on the computer.  I have seen this program be very helpful for some students.

Finally, thank you all for signing up for conferences.  I sent an email attachment and a hard copy home with your child.  Check and let me know if you need to reschedule for any reason through the Remind app or by replying to this email.  

I am very thankful for such a wonderful group of young people to work with each day!  Have a safe and restful holiday!



Joanna Katz


We found out lots of amazing things about our brains...

Room 23's Weekly Schedule

Taking Care of Ourselves and Others with Toolbox



Please use the links below to find out more about our social/emotional curriculum.






Our Awesome Class

Everyone is here but Hana

PRESENTING...Stop Motion Animation Fresh from Paden Maker Space Studios!

Check out our first attempt at claymation style animation!

Lake Temescal March 30, 2018 We released the tiny 25 millimeter trout fry that we had raised in our classroom tank from eggs!

Welcome to our library of online books that we wrote from research on animals. We are now published nonfiction authors! Click on any link below to read our collaborative writing.

Big Break Regional Shoreline February 1, 2018

Crab Cove October 27, 2017 - Predators and prey, producers and decay are in the food chain - chain, chain!

We are decomposing a liter into ten cups of 100 milliliters to understand place value and metric measurement.

Writers conferring and revising...

Spring 2017 -The Raccoon docked in Sausalito by the Bay Model

The Raccoon docked in Sausalito by the Bay Model

Winter 2017 -On top of the world...or at least Coyote Hills!

On top of the world...or at least Coyote Hills!

Winter 2016 -We learned how to play games like Ohlone children played right here hundreds of years ago!

Current Assignments

Assigned: 11/13/18 Due: 11/20/18

Assigned: 11/13/18 Due: 11/20/18

Assigned: 11/13/18 Due: 11/20/18

Math Help



Please go to this link for a great overview of our next module dealing with larger factors and deeper conceptualization of multiplication and division starting November 13.



Please go to this link for a great overview of our place value and measurement module starting October 2.




Use this link for info on our first module of study concerning fundamental multiplication and division concepts:




We are growing gorgeous dendrites...