Curriculum

THIRD GRADE CURRICULUM 

“Learning happens on a sea of talk.”

Douglas Barnes 

COMMUNITY

“Unless we reach into our students’ hearts, we have no entry into their minds.”     Regie Routman

 

Creating a strong community is at the heart of all that we do. We know the social and emotional well being of children has the power to positively increase students’ academic achievement.   When positive attitudes toward self, school and others soar, great things happen. 

Community is three-fold: relationships within the classroom between the students themselves and between the students and teacher; partnerships with family and school; and connecting with the student body outside the classroom.

Community is developed and maintained throughout the year in a variety of ways.  Daily Morning Meeting helps the children to feel a sense of belonging and significance.  Morning Meeting also helps to set the tone for respectful learning and creates a climate of trust.

Weekly Third Grade Circle also builds community. The third grade classes come together to sing and share powerful children’s literature.  Through discussion of these stories LCCS’s school values come to life.  During Circle, Circle Awards are presented to the children to recognize hard work and good deeds.

Thirdly, the children develop relationships through real work accomplished in partnerships and small groups.  Through constant social interaction and cooperative endeavors, the children learn to rely on each other and recognize the diverse strengths and talents of their classmates.

School performances also weave our community more tightly together. Attending and participating in school performances build traditions, which in-turn, build community. By attending performances by their peers, our students are able to support and celebrate the hard work of their Reading Buddies, Circle Buddies and siblings. 

Possibly the most popular activity that builds community is “Reading Buddies.” Third grade children are thrilled to become the big kids as they read to the Kindergarten children.  

Lastly, families are invited into the classroom for many joyous events.  Please see “Special Family Events” on the WELCOME page.

 READER’S WORKSHOP

Reader’s Workshop is a theoretical framework for teaching which employs a variety of approaches and instruction for developing life-long, strategic readers.  In the workshop model, reading becomes a mean-making activity as teachers and students think, talk, create, and write about their reading.  Children spend the majority of their time reading.  We know the amount a child reads directly influences his/her growth as a reader. Reading volume matters.

         Throughout the year, students are immersed in various genres and build a repertoire of comprehension skills.  Within these studies, there is both whole group instruction and small group instruction. Our classroom libraries are stocked with high quality children’s literature to support our studies.  Choice of what to read for both units of study and independent reading is given to the children.           

        The essential components of the reading workshop include:

  • Interactive read-aloud - think-aloud by the teacher
  • Explicit teaching using a variety of approaches and strategies
  • Units of study
  • Reading self-selected books outside the unit of studies
  • Discussion and “charting” our book-talks
  • Conferencing with individual children and in small groups
  • Reader’s response in a variety of formats
  • Sharing session
  • Assessment

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

       
Writer’s Workshop is a theoretical framework for writing instruction. Writer’s Workshop takes the children through the writing process from start to finish, although not every piece written is published. Children learn that writing bounces back and forth constantly between writing, revision and editing. Mentor texts are used extensively as models for the students to emulate.  They serve to bring explicit talk to life. 

 The essential components of the writing workshop include:

  • Immersion in a unit of study using mentor texts
  • Explicit teaching using a variety of approaches and strategies
  • Discussion and “charting” our talk
  • Sharing session
  • Assessment

          Third graders write across the curriculum. They write about their observations, measurements and predictions during science. They write journal entries during social studies. They write out problems and their solutions in math. They paraphrase and summarize information gleaned from their theme reading. They respond to literature.

 MATHEMATICS

The goal of the mathematics curriculum is to have children construct a strong understanding of mathematical concepts. Methods and instructional practices emphasize the exploration of concepts through the use of manipulatives and other tools, in communicating written and verbal mathematical ideas, and developing a variety of strategies for problem solving.   Children look forward to math sessions as games are used frequently. 

THEME STUDIES

We have many wonderful studies to look forward to this year!  The children learn science and social studies content through research, read-alouds, class discussions, field trips, hands-on experiments and culminating projects.  
Language arts instruction is embedded in our studies. Reading and writing become tools of research and reporting.  Engaging children’s trade books are used extensively to immerse the children in their learning.

 WORD STUDY

Word study is two fold:  first, is learning how to spell words and understanding their meanings; and second, is grammar.  Because the brain is a seeker of patterns and wired to categorize information, word study teaches students to examine words to discover regularities and patterns. The days of memorizing unconnected words are over.

Throughout the week, during the scheduled Word Study period, children complete various activities to ensure words and the spelling principles they represent are mastered.

There are many other contexts outside the scheduled Word Study period when the children pay close attention to words. For example, during Reader’s Workshop word study instruction becomes an extension of the reading work to promote fluency and comprehension.  Theme studies also become rich context for learning about words.

All writing tasks throughout the curriculum, in essence, are also a time when children have to think about spelling. 

Completing crossword puzzles and word ladders, plus other various game-like activities are made available to the children throughout the year.

         Grammar lessons are planned for during shared reading sessions and word study periods.

‚Äč‚ÄčTOUCHSTONES

Our culture of promoting articulation of self–expression within a safe, respectful  environment is furthered enhanced by Touchpebble stories.   

ART

Third graders have formal art instruction with an art teacher. Art in the classroom, however, continues to flourish as children express their understanding and interpretations of vital ideas and concepts through crayon, watercolor, collage, colored pencil illustrations, three-dimensional scenes, painted murals, and an amazing variety of handicrafts.

 FIELD TRIPS

Please see FIELD TRIPS on the WELCOME page.

 OUTDOOR PLAY

Please see OUTDOOR PLAY on the WELCOME page.