3rd Grade Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: December, 2014


Third graders continue to work on their Oaxacan sculptures. Students are taking their time laying down base colors. We will then start to add detail and intricate patterns all over the animals. Students are being so careful and aware of their work that I foresee this project lasting the month of December. We also have the first of two exciting trips to the art museum. This trip will be focused on European art and the trip will guide us into our next lesson.


Third grade is starting a unit on cyclical stories. We will read Jumanji , a generation or life cycle story; and Christmas Every Day, a daily repeat or “Groundhog Day” story. During Hour of Code week we will explore computer coding in the lab during library class.


The third graders have been doing an awesome job with their new unit on Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet." We have studied the story, the main elements of ballet and Tchaikovsky himself. We are now taking an in depth look at the instruments and motifs used in the Suite. Tchaikovsky is also our December composer of the month.


In P.E. we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength with a focus on the core. This month our new fitness exercise will be jogging. December is the start of our basketball unit and many of the classes will focus on various basketball skills, drills, and activities. We will participate in basketball activities like Runners and Gunners and Basketball Pirates. We will play large group games like BBK and Line Basketball. We will also participate in non-basketball activities including Battle Star and Flag Grab, class favorites that develop skill, teamwork and cardiovascular endurance.


Students have learned about animal adaptions and habitats. We explore what makes up both a habitat (what an animal needs to survive) and its environment (everything that surrounds an animal). We learned biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) parts of an environment and were able to differentiate between the two. This week we move onto the characteristics that make up a living thing (organism). During this short month we will learn about consumers, producers, and decomposers. We will focus on the food chain and food webs and understand how the whole cycle starts with the Sun. We will also play Eco Fluxx to help solidify the concepts.


This month we will be working hard to compose conversational dialogues in partnerships. Although they did write and film short dialogues in second grade, this year’s project will be longer and include more questions. It’s a fun way to review what they learned last year and add some other typical introductory questions in Spanish. The goal is to finish writing by the break and practice and record when we return. Depending on our progress, we may take the last class of 2014 to review holiday traditions in the Spanish-speaking world. The kids love to sing “Feliz Navidad” and “Ocho Candelitas.”