Third grade is an exciting year at Mountain View! Students transition from being dependent to independent learners. In all content areas, students work collaboratively on projects and we often bring in technology to enhance their learning. One special piece of third grade is learning cursive. We look forward to working with you and your family to make your third graders year a productive and fun one!
This page will be updated monthly with our current units of instruction, math games to enjoy at home with your family, and important dates to mark on the calendar. We will send out a Remind message to let you know when the website has been updated.
Beginning of the Year Review - Place Value, Comparing Numbers, Addition Strategies, Subtraction Strategies, and Elapsed Time
We like to spend a few weeks at the beginning of the year reviewing some basic math concepts. We focus heavily on place value to ensure that the students have a good base of number knowledge to build on throughout the year as we explore harder math concepts. If students do not have a strong understanding on how to use and manipulate place value, they will have a harder time understanding tougher concepts like fractions, multiplication, division, and order of operations. Currently, we are directly teaching a whole group lesson on the first day of a concept and then reviewing that concept on day two with math stations. This model ensures that students are getting plenty of time to practice a concept while we are conferencing with each student to work on concepts at her/his ability level.
We use the Everyday Math (4th edition) program for the majority of mathematics instruction. The mathematic conceptual focuses of 3rd grade will entail single digit multiplication and addition, multi-digit addition and subtraction, word problems involving the four mathematic operations, and fractions. Our instructional methodology is rooted in students understanding place value and how the mathematical operations manipulate the place values of numbers. The strategies we teach your child will look different than how you may have learned, so we welcome any questions or concerns. We do not require students to do nightly math homework. Instead, we encourage families to play math games together. These games are designed to develop math fact fluency, strategic thinking, and problem solving skills. New games will be made available monthly along with the monthly website updates.
Unit 1 - The Reader and Characters -A study of fiction, focusing on characters and distinguishing the reader’s point of view from that of the narrator or characters.
In unit 1, students are working on identifying a character's traits by analyzing the way a character acts and responds to events within a story. After students can identify a character's traits, we will then move on to identifying narrator's/character's points of view and comparing them to our own points of view. This will help students become better readers by guiding them to make connections and predictions as well as understanding multiple perspectives. Throughout this unit we will be guiding students as they ask and answer questions about text citing explicit evidence from a text. We will develop this skill throughout the year so students will be able to support their understanding and thinking using text evidence.
Using links on the literacy page, you will find both the third grade literacy (fiction texts) common core reading standards and the informational (non-fiction texts) common core reading standards. Our reading units of study center upon these standards and each unit will alternate between fiction and non-fiction texts to ensure the students can read and comprehend a vast variety of texts. Within each reading unit, we will only focus on a few standards so that your student will develop a deeper understanding of each standard. However, students will be expected to practice employing all standards as they read throughout the year to develop mastery by the end of 3rd grade. In third grade, a substantial shift takes place in reading development and reading instruction. In third grade, students are shifting from learning how to read (learning how to read the words on a page) to learning from their reading (understanding the meaning of what was read in a text). What this means is that the focus of reading instruction in third grade is comprehension, students deeply understanding what they have read in a text. Comprehension, understanding meaning from text, is the main purpose of reading, and students will be learning reading strategies and skills throughout the year that will help them develop strong comprehension.
Unit 1 - Launching Writer's Workshop and Personal Narratives - Students will write narratives developed from a real event using a clear sequence of events and descriptive details.
It is always great starting the year with narratives/memoirs because they really help us to get to know the students and your families. This year we introduced personal narratives as memoirs (a written account of a memory or moment that changed our lives). We have been practicing adding details through dialogue (how characters communicate with one another) and thought shots (what was the narrator thinking during this time). Through whole class lessons, peer revisions, and teacher conferences, students will have a completed memoir by the end of this writing unit. We can't wait for you to read them with your student and take a trip down memory lane!
This year we are focusing heavily on the mechanics and purposes narrative, opinion, and informational writing. We will examine each of these genres of writing twice throughout the year. In third grade, our goal is getting students to explain and elaborate their thinking to make their writing more precise and clear for the reader. Additionally, we focus on helping students learn how to organize and group their ideas more clearly in order to best deliver their intended main idea. Posted in the literacy tab you will find rubrics that we use to gauge student mastery of our writing standards.
We use a curriculum called Words Their Way for spelling instruction. This is a student-centered approach to phonics, spelling and vocabulary instruction that actively engages students in constructing concepts about the way words work. Each week, students will have the opportunity to construct their own word knowledge that they can then apply to their reading and writing. In class, the students will be sorting words that compare spelling features/patterns of words that they know well, with features/patterns of words that they are “using but confusing.” Students sort the words based on the pattern, sound and meaning of the words. Students are asked to explain their reasoning by making a generalization of the spelling principle. Through this active process, students take ownership of spelling principles by constructing their own learning. Students will receive guided practice and coaching throughout the week. In addition, students will be presented with exceptions to patterns so they can discover the inconsistencies within the English language (we call them “oddballs” in class).
Cursive & Typing
We will dedicate time to both cursive practice and typing. We both are important to include in instruction. Cursive aids in coordination, handwriting, and brain development while typing is a real world skills that today's students will be required to have. The links below can be used for optional practice at home.
Unit 1 - Life Cycles - Begins in October
In science, students will engage in hands-on learning to discover more about states of matter, life cycles, and the rock cycle. We begin the year by teaching the students how to be scientist by following the Scientific Method. We encourage students to ask questions about the world and explore possible solutions.
Unit 1 - Our Democratic Community - A study of how democratic communities solve problems through civil discourse
We cover a lot of topics within this unit on how our local government works and our role, as citizens, within the community. We start this unit discussing the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of citizens in this country. Next, we talk about our local government and the public services that we as citizens enjoy and depend on(law enforcement, firefighters, health care, public schools, parks and recreation) as well as the different departments at City Hall. This unit culminates with students voicing their opinions about an issue within the community in a variety of ways.
Not only is social studies content delivered during a designated time to students, we also integrate social studies through our literacy units as well as in our classroom routines. We use a money/economy behavior system so that kids learn financial responsibilities like how to earn money, spend money, and plan for long term financial goals. In addition to economics, students in third grade will also learn about different geographic regions, how these regions affect peoples' lives, and problems that people face based on their geographic location. This year we look forward to having some outside programs come into the school to enhance our social studies instruction with hands-on activities.
The only homework that we require nightly is reading homework. We believe that time after school should be spent participating in extra curricular activities and spending time as a family. There will be two community projects done through the course of the year. The first will be a timeline of your student's life outlining important events in their lives. The second will require the students to participate in some sort of community service project. The goals of these projects are for students to understand their history and ways that they can connect to their community. It is our hope that these projects will be done as a family.
We understand that there maybe times where students have to miss an extended time in school whether it be for family emergencies or fun travel plans. During this time we DO NOT send make-up work for your student to complete during. There are a number of reasons why we do no send make-up work. First, this time is meant for families to spend together. We would rather your student enjoy the time traveling than worrying about getting school work done. Another reason is that most of the work that would need to be made up is accompanied by a lesson in the classroom. The work would be unproductive without the corresponding classroom lesson. Also, if the reason that the student is missing school is for an emergency, we don't want you and your family worrying about class work when there are more pressing matters on your mind. If you would like some work for your child during this time we suggest reading and writing a journal entry about their experience.