In 3rd grade we provide a balanced literacy approach to reading. In this approach, reading and writing are not isolated but are combined to support student learning. By understanding and taking on habits of good readers and writers students become motivated, confident, and informed lifelong learners.
Students develop and practice reading skills and strategies through a variety of literature. Comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and word study are taught through NYS Common Core aligned lessons.
Comprehension skills and strategies that are focused on this year include:
- compare and contrast
- draw conclusions
- make generalizations
- identify author's purpose
- find main idea and details
- identify important details
- identify facts and opinions
- monitor and clarify
- understand and use cause and effect to help comprehension
- identify and utilize text structure and graphic sources
Students are progress monitored and instruction is differentiated to meet student needs. There is an emphasis on moving 3rd grade students from learning to read to reading to learn.
Communication is the main purpose of writing. Our goals include learning strategies for finding ideas for writing, learning to write with clear intentions, and writing in a wide variety of genres. Our lessons include teaching key qualities of writing such as: generation of ideas, organization, finding personal voice, expanding word choice, developing sentence fluency, correct application of conventions, and appropriate presentation.
The primary focus in third grade math is on developing a strong foundation in mathematical understanding through critical thinking skills and a problem-centered curriculum. The CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract) enables students to encounter mathematics in a meaningful way that translates skills from the concrete to the abstract. There is an emphasis on strong number sense, mental math skills and a deep understanding of place value. Students are encouraged to solve problems in a variety of ways. NYS Common Core standards emphasizes the mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Other concepts include fractions, measurement, and geometry.
3rd grad scientists will explore and discover the plant cycle, electricity, water cycle, and the life cycle of a butterfly. Science 21 emphasizes investigation and promotes the role of student as scientist. Through hands on experimentation each student will predict and hypothesize, experiment, and draw conclusions about their investigations. Throughout our units of study we introduce and use scientific tools and learn new vocabulary specific to the unit. Students record and journal their scientific observations and findings.
We travel the world this year in search of culture, history, geography, economy, and politics. In the beginning of the year we learn about globes and various types of maps. We also learn specific concepts from directionality to reading map keys and scale. From there we learn about continents, oceans and other landforms. By looking at our own country and comparing it to one or two others, we can then examine similarities and differences among other world cultures. We look at the effect geography has on a community and how communities change and develop. Lessons introduce how social, political, and economic systems affect a community.