Grade 3 News

Newsletter #1: Where We Are in Place & Time

UOI 4: Where We Are in Place & Time

Transdisciplinary Theme:

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Central idea: People use geography to navigate their place in the world.

Key concepts: change, function, form

Related concepts: properties, structure, transformation, interdependence, relationships

Lines of inquiry

  • Types of maps, and how they have changed over time (change)
  • Purpose of geographical tools (function)
  • Geographical features (form)

Amazing Race Style Field Trip

Students are learning to read and understand maps to navigate their place in the world. Students will be provided a map of Washington DC and will work in small groups to find various landmarks. Students will either collect brochures from the locations (if available) or they will ask their chaperone to take a picture of them with the landmark. Students will also learn to cooperate and communicate in an effective manner to make them successful.

More details coming soon!

What Are We Learning This Unit?


Students begin to conceptualize area as the amount of two-dimensional surface that is contained within a plane figure. They come to understand that space can be tiled with unit squares without gaps or overlaps (3.MD.5). Students decompose paper strips into square inches and square centimeters, which they use to tile 3 by 4, 4 by 3, and 2 by 6

rectangles. They compare rectangles tiled with like units and notice different side lengths but equal areas. Topic A provides students’ first experience with tiling from which they learn to distinguish between length and area by placing a ruler with the same size units (inches or centimeters) next to a tiled array. They discover that the number of tiles along a side corresponds to the length of the side (3.MD.6).

In Topic B, students progress from using square tile manipulatives to drawing their own area models. Anticipating the final structure of an array, they complete rows and columns in figures such as the example shown to the right. Students connect their extensive work with rectangular arrays and multiplication to eventually discover the area formula for a rectangle, which is formally introduced in Grade 4 (3.MD.7a).

In Topic C, students manipulate rectangular arrays to concretely demonstrate the arithmetic properties in anticipation of the lessons that follow. They do this by cutting rectangular grids and rearranging the parts into new wholes using the properties to validate that area stays the same, despite the new dimensions. They apply tiling and multiplication skills to determine all whole number possibilities for the side lengths of

rectangles given their areas (3.MD.7b).

Topic D creates an opportunity for students to solve problems involving area (3.MD.7b). Students decompose or compose composite regions, such as the one shown to the right—into non-overlapping rectangles, find the area of each region, and then add or subtract to determine the total area of the original shape. This leads students to find the areas of rooms in a given floor plan (3.MD.7d).

Purple Group

Students will build on Grade 2 concepts about data, graphing, and line plots. Topic A begins with a lesson in which students generate categorical data, organize it, and then represent it in a variety of forms. Drawing on Grade 2 knowledge, students might initially use tally marks, tables, or graphs with one-to-one correspondence. By the end of the lesson, they show data in tape diagrams where units are equal groups with a value greater than 1. In the next two lessons, students rotate the tape diagrams vertically so that the tapes become the units or bars of scaled graphs (3.MD.3). Students understand picture and bar graphs as vertical representations of tape diagrams and apply well-practiced skip-counting and multiplication strategies to analyze them. In Lesson 4, students synthesize and apply learning from Topic A to solve one- and two-step

problems. Through problem-solving, opportunities naturally surface for students to make observations, analyze, and answer questions such as, "How many more?" or "How many less?" (3.MD.3).

In Topic B, students learn that intervals do not have to be whole numbers but can have fractional values that facilitate recording measurement data with greater precision. In Lesson 5, they generate a six-inch ruler marked in whole-inch, half-inch, and quarter-inch increments, using the Module 5 concept of partitioning a whole into parts. This creates a conceptual link between measurement and recent learning about fractions.

Students then use the rulers to measure the lengths of precut straws and record their findings to generate measurement data (3.MD.4). Lesson 6 reintroduces line plots as a tool for displaying measurement data. Although familiar from Grade 2, line plots in Grade 3 have the added complexity of including fractions on the number line (2.MD.9, 3.MD.4).

In this lesson, students interpret scales involving whole, half, and quarter units in order to analyze data. This experience lays the foundation for them to create their own line plots in Lessons 7 and 8. To draw line plots, students learn to choose appropriate intervals within which to display a particular set of data. For example, to show measurements of classmates’ heights, students might notice that their data fall within the range of 45 to 55 inches and then construct a line plot with the corresponding interval. Students end the module by applying learning from Lessons 1–8 to problem-solving. They work with a mixture of scaled picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots to problem solve using both categorical and measurement data (3.MD.3, 3.MD.4).

English Language Arts

  • I can find the answers to specific questions within informational text that I read.
  • I can figure out the main idea of information I read.
  • I can describe how some historical events are related.
  • I can write an informative text that introduces my topic and then groups related information together.
  • I can write about a topic using facts, definitions and details.
  • I can write conclusions (endings) to my informative pieces of writing.
  • I can plan, revise and edit my writing with the help of peers and adults.
  • I can take notes to help me organize the research in my writing.
  • I can figure out the main ideas and details of what I see and hear.
  • I can create engaging recordings of stories or poems to show my fluency in reading.

Social Studies

Students will:

  • study different types of maps: atlases, globes, local, national, and international maps, elevation maps, climate maps, maps of amusement parks/malls.
  • learn about the Peter's Projection Map vs Mercator Projection Map.
  • inquire about the socio-political reasons why Europe and North America are positioned on the top of the map.
  • learn about hemispheres, landforms, continents, oceans, physical and human-made features.
  • learn the location and capitals of the 50 states. By the end of this unit, the students should be able to locate and identify all 50 states and capitals.



  • Students are going to learn how to ask and respond to questions to describe where they are (أين أنت؟)and where they come from (من أين أنت؟)and where objects and people are

(أين الكتاب).


  • students are learning (الحرف) Prepositions as part of the Arabic sentence and the adverb place (ظرف المكان).

Lessons Vocab:

في، من ، على، تحت، فوق ، بجانب, أين الكتاب؟ ، الكتاب على الطاولة ، أنا من أمريكا، أنا أعيش في مصر.


  • Memorize & Understand Surah Al Fajr and Surat Al-Israa.
  • Fluency: Read pages 7,8 from Surat Al-Baqarah.
  • Review the short surah of Juze Amaa starting from Annas to Al Fajr

Islamic History:

  • Life of Prophet Ibrahim and Noah.


  • Life of Prophet Mohammed starting from Migration to Abyssinia, two great warriors accept Islam (Hamza & Umar), the boycott, the year of sadness, the Israa and Mi'rajj.. Adab of eating, reading Qur’an, entering a house, greeting


    Art experiences

    Students will discover connections between Art and mechanical engineering.

    Mechanical Sculpture (Kinetic art + science)

    Masking fluid in watercolor artwork

    The element of value

    Targeted MSDE Standards

    3.0 Creative Expression and Production: Students will demonstrate the ability to organize knowledge and ideas for expression in the production of art.

    2. Investigate a variety of ways that artists develop ideas and organize the elements of art in response to what they see, know, and artworks

    a. Identify sources for ideas and procedures used to create artworks

    b. Identify color, line, shape, texture, form, space, and selected principles of design, such as pattern, repetition, and contrast in artworks that convey what they see, know, and feel


    In PE, we will continue working on building running stamina and slowly start increasing the distance we run each class. We've done activities to help show the students the difference between jogging and sprinting. They are now familiar with both terms, and are focusing on jogging in order to build their stamina and work up to running a full mile insha'Allah.

    We are also working on improving sportsmanship by:

    • Being principled and playing fairly, even if it means losing the game.
    • Encouraging teammates and including everyone, regardless of skill level.
    • Respecting the decision of the referee.