Third Grade News
Wow…how the school year flies. We are over half way through this year. Third graders have been working hard learning new skills in reading. We have continued to work on fact and opinion, finding key details in a story, sequencing, types of questions, cause and effect, and character traits. The students are in the process of finishing up a writing project of where they had to write four paragraphs over information that we had read about in class. We will be incorporating the importance of pictures and captions to help our readers understand the written information. In the month to come, we will be starting to look at fables. Once we start into our fables unit, we will begin learning how to use clues from the story and what we know to make accurate inferences. This is a complicated skill for third graders, so we will be working on this in steps.
The students have started working on a verb chapter in English. We are looking at present tense, past tense, and future tense verbs…as well as how to use helping verbs with specific subjects.
As the school year progresses, I would really to express how important it is that your child continues to read. Research has shown that only twenty minutes of reading books at their level can increase their reading. The students will continue to have AR goals all the way through May. I would urge your child to work hard to meet those goals. Happy Reading!
In science, the third graders are currently in the middle of their FOSS Kits. “Motion and Matter.” Throughout the kits students have been doing a variety of different investigations. In the first investigation, students were doing different activities with magnets, and learning what repel and attract were. They learned how there was a magnetic field and magnets only attract to certain things. The second investigation students worked with identifying different forces, building axle systems, and understanding balance verses unbalanced. We have just started the third investigations where students will be engineers and designing different carts that meet a certain criteria. The final investigation the students will be doing is mixing different solutions to see what happens when certain liquids mix with other liquids. The students really enjoy the hands on experiments in the classroom and continue to be great scientists!
Understanding and implementing strategies to help learn multiplication facts has been the most recent focus in 3rd grade math. Using “helper facts” to add or subtract a group, doubling, breaking apart a factor, or working from near squares are some of the students’ most favorite strategies. Students are making good progress learning their facts and as a result they are then using the facts to enjoy games such as Multiplication Top-It, Baseball Multiplication, and Beat the Calculator. These games encourage accuracy and speed in recalling the multiplication facts and motivate students to pursue automaticity. Soon the scope of multiplication strategies will be extended to determine products when one factor is a teen number. Soon students will be learning to relate their previous part-whole understanding of fractions to visual and symbolic representations, including standard notation, and begin to explore fraction equivalence. In celebration of the 100th day of school, third graders will be involved in some special math activities for that special day.