Third grade is a wonderful year of transition from the development of skills to the development of independence. Children are encouraged to make decisions and choices throughout third grade, building self reliance and confidence along the way. Children begin to make the distinctions from “learning to read” to “reading in order to learn.”
Goals for Our Students
- To enable our students to feel positive about themselves, their abilities, and their accomplishments
- To enable students to become lifelong learners
- To enable students to master the third grade curriculum and to give them the encouragement and confidence to challenge themselves beyond the norm
- To enable the students to organize themselves for success, while creating a strong work ethic
- To enable students to become responsible learners through the completion of class work, homework, and long term projects
Goals for Ourselves
- To serve as positive role models for our students, modeling the above stated goals
- To provide a positive safe learning environment in which students are given the opportunity to reach his/her potential
- To provide open lines of communication between the home and school environment
- To keep lines of communication open within all arenas of our school
- To model ourselves as lifelong learners by keeping current on educational research
Homework is an important aspect of third grade. Homework enables children to practice essential skills learned at school while it helps to foster a sense of personal responsibility. Homework assignments will be written down in the child’s Daily Assignment Book. We ask parents to review their child’s assignments and sign the Daily Assignment Book in the designated space. This may also be a communication tool between teacher and parent. Homework is typically assigned Monday-Thursday. There will be monthly book reports as well as other long term projects assigned at different times during the school year.To enable students to demonstrate, in their own words and actions, respect for themselves and others
Field trips are an exciting way for the children to make learning more tangible and hands-on. We will be taking two field trips throughout the school year. In the fall we will be traveling to Laurel Caverns. This ties in nicely with our Science study of Rocks and Minerals. Children will be entering the cave, seeing artifacts from early settlers and Native American tribes that once inhabited the area. If weather permits, students will be taking a hike and searching for actual fossils left behind by the oceans that once covered the land.
Our second field trip will take place in the spring. We will be traveling to Meadowcroft Village. We will be traveling back in time seeing how families lived and worked during the 1800’s. We are hoping to expand this field trip this year by also visiting the newest addition to Meadowcroft Village, which is the Native American settlement. This Living History Museum is a wonderful way for children to make connections on what we will be studying throughout the year in Social Studies.
We pride ourselves in being Literature Based. The children will be exposed to a variety of genres. They will experience these books through read aloud time, shared reading as well as independent reading time. Genre study will also be reinforced during monthly book report time. Each month we will focus on a specific genre. Students’ library time will be used to help with the genre study and give children the opportunity to make selections. During Language Arts time, students will have the opportunities to demonstrate an understanding of the literary elements, and make inferences and predictions through comprehension questions, class discussions and literary projects. All of their reading opportunities will spring board into writing opportunities for everyone. Students will also participate in one on one reading conferences. Last year we incorporated “Book Club” and this was enjoyed by all. Once a week, students will have lunch with their teacher, while enjoying reading to one another in small groups. Our goal is to have the children become skilled and passionate readers, having the desire to read for a variety of reasons: entertain, inform, and persuade…Reading is an essential aspect in all subject areas.
Literature Based: Novels Include:
- The Ghost of Popcorn Hill
- Thirteen Moons on a Turtle’s Back
- Molly’s Pilgrim
- Holly and Ivy
- A Lion to Guard Us
- Justin and the Best Biscuits
- The King’s Equal
- The Whipping Boy
- The Enormous Egg
- Charlotte’s Web
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Knots on a Counting Rope
- The Armadillo from Amarillo
- A River Ran Wild
- Muggie Maggie
- 26 Fairmont Avenue
- Annie and the Old One
- The Birchbark House
- The Lemonade War
- The 21 Balloons
Important Reading Strategies
- Reading to make sense Reader should self-monitor to be sure the material is making sense.
- Self-correcting errors If the reader notices a mistake as he/she is reading, he/she should go back and make the corrections.
- Decoding Reader should have the proficiency to use sound-letter relationships to figure out unknown words.
- Compare/Contrast Reader should be able to use known words to figure out unknown words.
- Context Clues If an unknown word is encountered, the reader should read ahead to see if additional information will help him/her figure out the unknown word.
- Predicting Reader should be able to formulate a meaningful hypothesis as he/she reads and to test his/her ideas as new information is uncovered. Reader should be able to change his/her prediction(s) if the evidence is not presented to back it up.
- Use of Background Knowledge Reader should be able to integrate material read with prior knowledge in order to make reading more meaningful.
- Visualizing The reader should be able to picture what he/she is reading in his/her mind. This strategy serves to make reading more enjoyable, meaningful, and more memorable to the reader.
- Prefixes and Suffixes
- Main Idea/Details
- Decoding Long Words
- Word Relationships
- Locate Information
- Elements of Different Genres
- Author’s Purpose
Writing is an essential part of the third grade curriculum. It is carried over in all subject areas. Children will focus on such skills as: choosing a topic, brainstorming, finding and organizing information, editing and revising ideas, proofreading, and publishing. All of the students’ creative writing will be saved for the end of the year when they will have the chance to share their work during the Authors’ Tea. Throughout the year, the children will have an opportunity to:
- Write often
- See themselves as writers
- Use writing as a tool, not only for reflecting, but for learning
- Listen to others share their writing
- Write for a specific purpose…entertain, persuade, inform…
- Write in a wide variety of genres…fiction, non-fiction, poetry…
- Gain confidence in writing, taking risks, stepping outside of their comfort zone
- Use writing as a tool for thinking, developing ideas, challenging thoughts…
- Dictionary Skills
- Sentence Formation
- Grammar (Parts of speech)
- Paragraph Writing
- Story Writing
- Letter Writing
- Report Writing
- Answering Essay type questions
- Report Writing
- Basic word lists follow phonetic patterns, challenge words often taken from stories
- Both spelling patterns and exceptions are stressed
- Children should be carrying over knowledge of skills taught into their daily writing
- There should be a continuing improvement in the transition from invented spelling to correct spelling in subject areas
- Assessment is based on daily work and weekly written spelling tests
Students focus intensively on the four critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade Three: Bridges in Mathematics:
- Developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100
- Developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1)
- Developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area
- Describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes
The first unit reviews and extends work with addition and subtraction as students review facts, look for patterns, and work with larger numbers. Unit 2 transitions to multiplication by having students use a variety of rich contexts (arrays of stamps, groups of windows, and a coral reef) to develop and refine multiplication strategies and models. Unit 3 returns to addition and subtraction, this time focusing on strategies for computing with larger numbers.
In Units 4 and 5, students explore measurement, fractions, division, and multiplication of larger numbers. They estimate and make measurements in different units; explore unit fractions and equivalent fractions, and begin adding and subtracting fractions; they connect multiplication to division and extend multiplication strategies to larger numbers. Their work with multiplication develops a strong understanding of area.
Unit 6 focuses on geometry, as students investigate, draw, and build two-dimensional shapes, using their properties to classify and analyze these shapes. They also connect geometry to fractions as they express the area of a shape as a unit fraction of the whole. Unit 7 brings together and extends many of the skills and concepts addressed in earlier units as students solve challenging problems that involve calculating with multi-digit numbers. They explore algorithms for addition and subtraction and dig deeper into division. Students develop strategies and models for division, many of which are based on their work with multiplication.
Unit 8 integrates mathematics and science, with a primary focus on designing and building model bridges. Students test the strength of their model bridges in systematic ways to collect data. Then they graph and analyze the data, finding the range and mean, to make conjectures and draw conclusions about effective bridge design and construction.
Unit 1 Addition & Subtraction Patterns
- Community Building & Addition Facts to Twenty
- Subtraction Facts to Twenty
- Double-Digit Addition
- Story Problems & Strategies
Unit 2 Introduction to Multiplication
- Multiplication in Context
- Multiplying with Arrays & Number Lines
- Ratio Tables & the Multiplication Table
- Story Problems with Graphs & Multiple Operations
Unit 3 Multi-Digit Addition & Subtraction
- Rounding &
- Multi-Digit Subtraction
- Estimating to Add
- Exploring the Algorithms
Unit 4 Measurement & Fractions
- Measuring Time & Mass
- Measuring Volume & Solving Measurement Story Problems
- Fractions as Fair Shares
- Fractions on a Line Plot
Unit 5 Multiplication, Division & Area
- Linking Multiplication & Division
- Multiplication & Division Families
- Division Practice
- Introducing Area
Unit 6 Geometry
- Investigating Polygons
- Perimeter & Area
- Shapes & Fractions
Unit 7 Extending Multiplication & Fractions
- Multiplication Beyond the Basics
- One- by Two-Digit Multiplication
- Fractions as Parts of a Whole & Parts of a Set
- Fractions at Work
- Unit 8 Bridge Design & Construction: Data Collection and Analysis
- Introducing Bridges
- Investigating Structures in Bridges
- Planning, Building & Analyzing Bridges
- Demonstrating Our Learning About Bridges
- Calendar Grid
- Calendar Collector
- Computational Fluency
- Number Line
- Solving Problems
The Science curriculum provides the students opportunities for hands on exploration and activities to enable students to gain a well rounded knowledge of the science content. Students learn by doing. The hands on experiments and explorations will help to develop a deeper understanding of the science topics through such activities as observing, recording, predicting, and drawing conclusions.
- Rocks and Minerals
- Cycles of Earth and Space
- Pushes and Pulls
- Looking at Plants and Animals
- Where Plants and Animals Live
The focus of third grade social studies is Communities and their Changes over Time. We will be exploring different cultures and time periods, government, citizenship, economics and geography. Students examine these cultures from the past and in the present and the impact they have had in shaping our world. We will study how geography has and continues to play an important role in the development of a community. The emphasis is for students to gain an awareness of their place in a changing world.
- Map, distance scales, timeline, flowchart skills
- Geography of North America
- The early communities of Native Americans and the Jamestown Settlement
- Rural, Urban, and Suburban communities
- The history of San Francisco and Pittsburgh
- Government: History of Washington, D.C., Three Branches of Government, Local Government
- Economics-Producer/Consumer realtionships
- Good Citizenship
Children will be keeping a scrap book of places visited while studying different communities and cultures throughout the world.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with you and your children. Third Grade is a sensational year.
- Unit 8 Bridge Design & Construction: Data Collection and Analysis