Welcome to third grade! This is a big year for students as they transition from the primary grades to the intermediate grades. Third grade has always been much more challenging and demanding, and more rigorous standards have only increased those challenges and demands. However, we will help students meet these new standards successfully by working together. We have learned that with hard work and perseverance, students are capable of meeting or exceeding expectations of very challenging and fast-paced subject matter. Support and encouragement at home will only help to make this transition easier for students.
English Language Arts (ELA) time incorporates a balanced literacy approach and includes strategic lessons, guided reading, and writing workshop in third grade. During our guided reading block, students work through literacy activities such as independent reading, word work, and listen to reading. Throughout the year, students build their “stamina” to read and write for extended amounts of time. During their independent work periods, teachers meet with students individually and in small groups to work on specific goals aimed at developing their reading and writing skills. Students work with fiction and non-fiction texts at, and sometimes above, their reading level to help meet the demands of the third-grade curriculum.
The skills and concepts students learn in math this year become a framework for the future. Third-grade mathematicians have to think critically and apply their knowledge of a wide range of skills and concepts in order to solve a variety of challenging questions and problems. Students begin to work with all mathematical operations in third grade and apply their skills to solve multiple step problems. For instance, rather than reading a word problem and solving it using a basic fact, students may first have to find the sum, difference, product, or quotient of another problem and apply that information to determine the final answer of the word problem.
In order to solve challenging problems efficiently and accurately, students need to develop fluency with their recall of basic math facts. It is expected that students are proficient with their recall of basic addition and subtraction facts upon entering third grade and with their recall of multiplication and division facts by the end of the grade. In order to achieve mastery of facts, students are asked to practice facts at home on a regular basis. Multiplication, division, and fractions are our dedicated focus areas. Therefore, the most time will be devoted to these important units.
Third-grade scientists analyze and interpret data, ask questions, and define problems, plan and carry out investigations, and use evidence to support their ideas. Students will often work in groups during science and take on the role of engineers to test theories and ideas.
The major units of study in science are:
- Life Cycles
- Social and Group Behavior
- Inheritance and Variation of Traits
- Environmental Traits
- Environmental Changes and Effects
- Plant and Animal Extinction
- Survival of the Fittest
- Weather and Climate
- Processes and Impacts of Natural Hazards
- Objects and Motion
- Electric and Magnetic Forces
Social studies concepts will be integrated into English Language Arts. The major units to be covered in social studies this year will focus on communities of the world and include the following concepts:
- Maps/globes - geographical aspects of the world communities selected for study
- Culture across communities
- Universal human rights
- Economic systems of selected world communities
- Government systems in world communities
Each day, your student will bring home his/her homework binder that will contain his/her homework, corrected papers, newsletters, notices from the office, and/or notes from us. This binder will be returned to school every day with his/her completed assignments and signed papers.
Initially, we will remind students to bring their homework home and/or check their binders to make sure they have it, but after the first few weeks of school, it will become their responsibility. The goal of homework is to reinforce and practice previously learned skills and to build responsibility. Students should be able to complete assignments independently. Leaving homework at school or forgetting it at home will count as a late assignment. Students that do not turn in their homework may need to complete it during recess or while eating their lunch in a designated quiet area. We understand that sometimes life gets in the way, and something may come up to prevent your student from completing his/her homework. In the event of an extenuating circumstance, where your student is unable to complete his/her homework, please contact us and we will make accommodations as needed.
This is the first academic year that students will receive a school planner to keep track of their assignments. We would like students to keep their planners inside of their homework binders. A parent or guardian should then sign or initial the planner each evening. Planners are also a great way to ask questions and/or to communicate your concerns with us. Looking over your student’s homework and signing his/her planner nightly will help keep you informed of daily and upcoming assignments and events.
Our rules will align with our building-wide expectations, which are:
We Show P.R.I.D.E. by being:
We discuss and demonstrate what these expectations look and sound like in all areas of the building the first weeks of school. Consequences for not following rules will be natural and logical. For example, if a student makes a mess, he/she will be responsible for cleaning it up. If he/she refuses to complete an assignment, he/she will need to finish it during a preferred activity or for homework. If a student says or does something to hurt another’s feelings, he/she will need to apologize verbally, or in writing, and explain what he/she will do or say differently in the future.
We want our students to be friendly, accepting, thoughtful, and sincere, and to make safe and responsible choices consistently, especially when no one is watching. We will have classroom celebrations and commend positive choices, but we will not reward students for expected behavior. We want students to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do - not because they want to earn a prize or reward.