Third Grade Update

January 2016

Happy New Year!

What are learning in third grade this six weeks?

LANGUAGE ARTS (READING AND WRITING)

Our Focus

The focus of the fourth six weeks is to teach students to infer and summarize while reading informational text. In writing, we will continue working on using the writing process to compose expository essays (explain why).

Instructional Approach

During the third fourth weeks we will practice using schema (background knowledge) and text clues to make inferences and summarize the big ideas in informational text. Students will also work on their individual reading strategy and reading stamina. We will reassess your child’s reading progress. During writer’s workshop, we will use the writing process to write expository essays (explain why) and work on our writing stamina. We will also continue to read, interpret, and analyze poetry.

Family Support

You can help your child in several ways:

· Reinforce the need for daily reading in a variety of genres at his/her “just right” level.

· Engage in discussion with your child about his/her reading.

· Ask your child about their background knowledge related to their texts.

· Ask your child to tell you the big ideas of their texts.

· Encourage your child to write/tell you about their opinion and explain why.


MATHEMATICS

Our Focus

In this six weeks, your student will be learning how to represent and solve multiplication and division problems as well as developing an understanding of the relationship between these two operations.

Instructional Approach

Students will develop an understanding of the meanings of multiplication and division of whole numbers by using models and solving problems involving equal sized groups. They will compare solution strategies to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between multiplication and division. Third graders are expected to recall multiplication and division facts with automaticity by the end of the year. Automaticity is defined as one fact in 3-5 seconds.

Family Support

You can help your child in several ways:

· Ask your child, “How is multiplication different from division? Can you show me what multiplication looks like? What does division look like?”

· Encourage your child to practice his/her math facts at home. This will be critical to his/her success and automaticity.

· Explore and discuss the key terms and examples online (third grade wepage).


SCIENCE

Our Focus

During this unit, your child will be learning about the relationships between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. We will discuss the interactions between the three as well as the limitations of the models used to represent them.

Instructional Approach

We will be researching the interaction of: the Moon and the Earth, the Moon and the Sun, and the Earth and the Sun. This will be done using technology and research books in our school library. The students will deepen their understanding by creating a model of the Earth, Moon, and Sun to demonstrate their relationships with one another.

Family Support

You can help your child in several ways:

· Point out the moon in the sky, its location, and its appearance.

· Talk about the relationship between the Sun, Earth, and Moon; day/night; seasons/years; phases of the moon.

· Create your own models of each at home!


SOCIAL STUDIES

Our Focus

During the fourth six weeks, third graders will understand that responsible citizens demonstrate the characteristics of good citizenship and take an active role in their community. Citizens can make community changes by helping to serve the common good.

Instructional Approach

Students will identify the characteristics of good citizenship and individuals who exemplify these characteristics. They will explain the importance of individual acts of civic responsibility. These include obeying laws, serving the community, serving on a jury, and voting.

Students will explore the idea that community changes can be made from individual or group decisions. They will identify actions citizens can take to improve their community. After learning about nonprofit and civic organizations in our community, students will draw conclusions about the ways these organizations serve the common good. Third grade students will identify and compare the heroic deeds of state and national heroes.

Finally, students will research a local civic organization and design a flyer that provides information about the organization’s work in the community. The flyer will list ways that other students can get involved and why it is important for students to take an active role in their community.

Family Support

You can help your child in several ways:

· Discuss the meaning of the terms: civic responsibility, military, first responder, and heroic deed

· Discuss the characteristics of good citizenship and their meanings: truthfulness, justice, equality, respect for oneself and others, responsibility in daily life, and participation in government by educating oneself about the issues, respectfully holding public officials to their word, and voting.

· Name examples of nonprofit and civic organizations that your family supports.

· Share examples of historical and contemporary figures that are good citizens and heroes.

Dates to Know

Monday, January 4: School Closed for Teacher In-Service

Tuesday, January 5: 4th Six Weeks/ Second Semester Begins

Wednesday, January 6: Report Cards Sent Home

Monday, January 18: School Closed MLK Holiday

Thursday, January 21: Open House

Week of January 25: PLC Week (no Specials on Mon, Tues, or Thurs)

Wednesday, January 27: Third Grade PLC (PE, Art, & Music; wear athletic shoes)

Wednesday, January 27: Progress Reports Sent Home

Friday, January 29: Color me Healthy Day (Third grade wears yellow)

Friday, February 12: Valentines Party 1:30 pm

Thursday, February 18: Science Fair

Thursday, February 18: Family Fun Science Night

Wednesday, February 24: Report Cards Sent Home

Friday, February 26: Class and Individual Photos

Week of March 14-18: Spring Break; No School

Week of March 21-24: PLC Week (no Specials on Mon, Tues, or Thurs)

Wednesday, March 23: Third Grade PLC (PE, Art, & Music; wear athletic shoes)

Wednesday, March 23: Progress Reports

Friday, March 25th: Possible Weather Make- Up Day

Growth Mindset: I can do hard things!

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Third Grade Reminders

  • Please send a healthy Snack & Water Bottle EACH DAY (ideas include: fresh fruit, dried fruit, cheese ,vegetables, granola, whole grain cereal, yogurt, or whole wheat crackers)
  • Our classrooms can be cold, please send a jacket/sweatshirt for your child if necessary.
  • Parents must sign their child's agenda EVERY night and Communication Binders/Agendas must be returned each day.
  • Weekly Homework: Students MUST read 20 minutes each night; Reading Log must be completed and must be signed by the parent each night; Written responses to reading are due each Friday. Math/Science Homework is due on Fridays.

Teacher Contact Info