Third grade is an exciting year at Mountain View! Students transition from being dependent to independent learners. They begin to use planners to organize their homework and time and work towards being responsible students. 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!
We use the Everyday Math (4th edition) program for 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 might 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 newsletters.
In documents posted below, you will find both the third grade literacy (fiction texts) common core reading standards and the informational (non-fiction texts) common core reading standards along with the rubrics that we will be using to assess your student's progress towards these 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 sole purpose of reading, and students will be learning reading strategies and skills throughout the year that will help them develop strong comprehension.
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 below you will find links to the rubrics that we will be using throughout the year to assess your student's writing progress.
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 daily to both cursive practice and typing daily. 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.
In science, students will engage in hands-on learning to discover more about states of matter, life cycles, and the rock cycle.
Not only is social studies content delivered during a designated time to studnts, 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 finciancial 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.
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.