Third Grade Curriculum
2015 - 2016
Mrs. Leon and Mrs. Blackwill
We got a new series three years ago, which was published by the same company as our old series. We like that it is in line with our Kansas Common Core Standards we are expected to cover prior to state assessments in the spring. It's called “Go Math!” and it helps students use models, manipulatives, quick pictures, and symbols to build mathematical understanding that aligns with the state standards. It takes patience and practice to work with this new approach, but we do believe this series will help all of us be better thinkers and problem-solvers. The books are colorful and consumable, so students get to write in them as they work! Our teacher instruction and daily lessons will be done mainly on our Promethean board. We also have a supplemental program called Every Day Counts - Calendar Math. This takes 10-15 minutes daily and reviews many third grade skills on a regular basis. Last year, we also got to add a computerized Math program to our curriculum, called IXL Math. Each child has a password, and we encourage every student to use this program at home! We have a scheduled time once a week to use the IXL program in the computer lab.
SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES
Third grade is a big jump, and along with that comes Science and Social Studies textbooks. Science will cover Physical, Life, and Earth Science and will be taught using hands-on experiments, projects, class discussions, and videos. In Social Studies, we will spend our year visiting all types of communities throughout the world. This will be done using our textbook, worksheets, and videos. For both subjects, we study thoroughly prior to each test, so it is to the student's advantage to pay careful attention during the test review. We will always send home a reminder of upcoming tests, along with vocabulary cards to study.
PENMANSHIP / CREATIVE WRITING
We will introduce cursive writing in the lower-case letters this semester. Our goal is to be writing in cursive by the end of the year on simple assignments, such as the Friday spelling test or a fill-in-the-blank page.
On our report cards, the handwriting grade will be based on how well we make our letters and how neatly we write in our daily assignments. The creative writing grade will be based on the effort we put into journaling, writing projects, and if we are able to put complete thoughts on paper using correct grammar and writing strategies. We concentrate mainly on sentences and paragraph structure.
READING / LANGUAGE ARTS / SPELLING
We have listed these three areas together because our new and very thorough Reading series combines all these areas into one huge program. The program has thirty complete lessons, and we try to do one full lesson per week. Within each lesson, we have comprehension and vocabulary skills, phonics and spelling skills, and grammar and English skills. We use the suggested spelling lists for our pretest on Mondays, then modify into two or three lists to fit each child's needs. On each list, the same phonetic skill is used. Spelling tests are on Fridays, unless otherwise stated.
For the stories, each child has a reader and is expected to take it home to practice reading the assigned story at least twice a week. This increases the comprehension and vocabulary part of the program. Many activities are added in to teach and reinforce grammar and English skills, all still working around the stories and words of the week. We especially appreciate that various text types are given, fiction and nonfiction. In addition, leveled readers (mini-books) were purchased and each child has access to these for increasing reading ability. Weekly assessments test all aspects of this reading program and we feel the program has been very successful.
You may hear your child talk about reading intervention time. Once a day, for 25 minutes, we divide our own class into three groups to work on additional reading skills. Two teachers help us, and the group members may change as the year goes, based on the ever-changing needs of each student.
We strongly encourage our students to fully participate in our school's AR program. If we promote the reading of books, both fiction and nonfiction, our students will build a deeper vocabulary, a wider understanding of various types of reading, and be exposed to multiple reading formats. We keep individual goals and book levels posted on desks.
Please call if you have any questions or concerns about our third grade curriculum! It is such a fun and important year and we enjoy this age of children SO MUCH!
Katie Blackwill and Marcia Leon