DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES AND TRANSITIONS
Children at this age often times love to work with others in groups, but often need to work independently depending on the type of activity. At this age children begin to think more concretely. Organization and turning in neat work is something that is reminded as we want the children to show ownership of their work. Fairness and competition become more prevalent this year. Competition in gym class, recess, and in our curriculum is presented with a sense of fun, lightness, and humor. It is common for children at this age to need reminders to “just have fun” during situations that involve competition. Third graders are self-aware, outgoing, and receptive. They are growing in social awareness and are able to work cooperatively on projects. They are curious and imaginative, and able to express their ideas in creative ways.
The third grade has many highlights throughout the year. We have two main field trips. We visit the zoo in the fall in support of our studies related to our food chain unit in science. The students enjoy learning more about the food chain in a classroom activity and then walking around to see many of the animals. In the spring, we go to Faust Park where the students get to learn first-hand what life was like in the 1820’s. They participate in many activities they would have done if they were a child during this time. We also learn about Missouri’s second governor, Frederick Bates. This truly is an unforgettable educational field trip and the students always leave commenting on how much fun it was, asking when they can return. In the spring we also have several fun and special days which are just for third graders. Star Night is an exciting time for students to learn more about the sun, moon, stars, and planets in many fun, hands-on activities. We also have Metric Day, where the students use measuring in many fun activities. Market Day is a fun way to conclude the year during the month of May. Each student designs their own product and brings in enough to sell for the class. They get to sell their product as well as buy products from their peers. This is a great activity that helps teach economics and also serves as our “how to” story in writing.
Zaner-Bloser Handwriting – Level 3
Houghton Mifflin English – Grade 3
Houghton Mifflin Spelling – Grade 3
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Reading – Grade 3
Step Up to Writing
The third grade language arts program includes skills on the following content areas: Vocabulary, Comprehension, Oral Fluency, Speaking and Listening, Writing, Phonics, Spelling, and Grammar. Emphasis is on learning about words, reading text with fluency and expression, and learning comprehension strategies. Children often begin reading at different levels, and it is important for each child to be reading books that are appropriate for them at their level. Our time in the library is one way I help ensure they are selecting appropriate books. The students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts which relate to all areas of our curriculum. Reading comprehension strategies are applied in mathematics, science, social studies, and religion. Our language arts program promotes oral and written communication. The program is based on the writing process with all grammar, usage, and mechanics. Spelling skills are introduced, practiced, and reviewed in the context of writing. Writing skills are taught using the nationally recognized, research-based Step Up to Writing method. Reinforcement is provided through pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing activities using a color-coded system to write paragraphs. Daily formal and informal speaking opportunities develop oral language and listening skills. Handwriting skills are practiced with an emphasis on legibility and consistency of letter formation and spacing. Students complete transition from manuscript (printing) to cursive writing.
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill – Grade 3
MacMillan/McGraw-Hill Problem Solving Workbook
Simple Solutions Level 3
The third grade curriculum is divided into several content topics. The students will investigate numbers and operations, data, geometric and algebraic relationships, and measurement. To help with the goal of knowing the basic facts, the students are exposed to multiple strategies to solve computational problems. In the study of mathematics the students work as a whole class, cooperatively, and individually, using a variety of hands on materials to help develop their mathematical understanding and gain the ability to explain strategies through verbal and written expressions. Our constant focus is to meet the needs of all students and to help them connect mathematics to their daily lives.
Sadlier We Believe: We Are the Church, Grade 3
Apostolic Works: The St. Patrick’s Center
The religion curriculum focuses on the early Church, what it means to be a member of the Church, worshipping at Mass through the Sacraments, and acting as a disciple. In addition the students make beautiful rosaries during the month of Mary. The Apostolic Work for third grade is working with St. Patrick’s Center by helping those who are less fortunate.
Scott Foresman Science – Grade 3
In science, emphasis is placed on the inquiry process, developing investigative skills and understanding the nature of science. Instruction centers on plants and animals, relationships of animals in food chains, states of matter, and patterns in the sky made by the planets, moon, sun, and stars.
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Social Studies – Our Communities
The third grade social studies curriculum focuses on the geography of communities and the cultural development of the people who inhabit them. Students study relationships between natural resources and other geographic characteristics in a community. Studies also include how the unique characteristics of an area influence where and how communities develop and how they adapt to change.
The third grade art curriculum introduces students to more realistic drawing techniques with an emphasis on facial proportions and 3-D objects. Students will begin to see how math relates to art through using a compass, ruler, and protractor to draw designs and through drawing a variety of solid geometric forms. Cultural emphasis focuses on the folk art of Mexico and folk art of the Southeast while fine art comparisons are made between Kahlo and Matisse. Third grade students analyze human anatomy by accurately drawing skeletons and sculpting a head with clay. Using assemblage techniques, they create a theme based found object sculpture.
Symtalk Language Systems: Mon Monde Beginning French Level 3
In third grade, French class students continue building their vocabulary with sports, clothing, and entertainment words while learning to use pronouns, the singular present tense of verbs and being introduced to the conjugation of verbs. Songs and games are fun ways they practice and reinforce their new knowledge. Holidays and French culture are also interesting areas of discovery and learning. Third grade students learn to recite the Sign of the Cross and I am a Child of the Sacred Heart (Je suis un Enfant du Sacré Cœur) prayer in French in honor of our Sacred Heart Heritage.
During the third grade, reading and understanding musical notation becomes an essential part of their music education. The students will be required to read all the note names of the treble clef, and be able to identify and understand different rhythmic values and rests. This is all accomplished through the soprano recorder. With the recorder and the Orff instruments, they will learn to read, compose, and improvise simple melodies to be played on the soprano recorder and the xylophones. Simple choral accompaniments will be used with the xylophones, metallophones, and gloxenspiels. The students will actively participate in group singing, musical games, and folk dancing. During the second semester, all third and fourth grade students will perform in a musical for the students and parents.
In third grade, the students continue to refine the skills they had learned in the sports units we worked on in first and second grade. These include: soccer, jump rope, gymnastics, tee-ball, track and field, swimming, and pillow hockey among other shorter units. The students work on mastery of the basic skills of these sports and on a complete knowledge of the rules and procedures of the sports. We strive to have the students be able to run a game on their own knowing when to call a foul or out of bounds and how to compete well but play fair.
We use a variety of strategies to meet students’ needs: whole group instruction, one-on-one, small groups, and pairing with partners. iPads are used for various research projects: Native American tribes, constellations, endangered animals, and planets, etc. Our iPads also have apps on them to enhance student learning. We use them for math, spelling, grammar, and reading. Throughout the school year students will complete and share four different types of book reports. We use the SMART Board for various academic games in all subject areas. The students love sharing their work on the SMART Board. It serves as a great learning tool for various subjects.
The students are assessed in a variety of ways. Tests and quizzes are given, with advance notice given for preparation. Study guides and student-made notecards will be sent home to help prepare them, along with the textbook. Grades are posted online for assignments and lessons in third grade. Percentages are used to calculate the final grade. The grading scale moves to letter grades (A-F) based on scores on assignments and tests. Tests will come home for parent signature. In addition, the students are assessed daily through their work and classroom participation. Project-based learning is another method used to assess student achievement. Thursday folders will contain classwork from the week. Parents are asked to look over the papers, sign the folder, and send it back the next day.
We use the iPads for research, as well as the various learning apps we have for different subject areas. We visit the technology lab to work on PowerPoints, when navigating websites in our Science units, and other curriculum related technology projects. We also use the SMART Board for daily learning, review, practice, as well as interactive content oriented games.
The students will have homework each night, except for weekends, and it will be due the following day. Before they leave at the end of the day, they will write their assignments in their homework organizer. Homework each evening usually takes about 30-40 minutes. Homework should be turned in the following day. Homework serves as a reflection of what students learned at school during the day. In addition, students will be writing weekly story starters using the nationally-recognized, research-based Step Up to Writing process. Some stories will be written in class, while others will be done for homework. We always begin writing a new story on Tuesdays with a due date of the following Tuesday. Please have a conversation with your child daily on what homework they have to complete independently. Homework is designed to review and reinforce what was taught during the school day.
Third grade daily classroom routines center around respect for others and living out the five Goals of the Sacred Heart. Each day students arrive in the classroom ready to learn by turning in homework assignments and beginning the morning procedures written on the board. They also use their morning time to organize themselves for the day. Students often learn by working with others in cooperative groups, which helps them use their gifts and talents while learning how to accept others’ differences and perspectives. Daily class discussion also helps students solve problems, learn from each other, and foster creative and critical thinking in all subject areas.
Parents can expect to receive blog entries each week stating upcoming tests, quizzes, projects, special activities, and summaries of what the students will be learning. A monthly overview displayed on the classroom web page will also show what the students will be learning in each subject throughout the month. Homework is posted daily on the class calendar for students and parents to check. Thursday folders come home each week to show the students assessments, as well as information about school opportunities.