Grade 3

Grade Leader – Jill Looney looneyj@weston.org

Tel: 781-786-2019

Teachers:  Andrea Darisse, Jill Looney, Krista Thorne

Woodland School Grade Three

Reading: Reading strategies are reviewed and reinforced through a reading workshop. Students are expected to share their thinking and give evidence from the story during discussions. There is increased attention to inferential thinking and thinking beyond the text.  Students practice using the strategies that good readers use, while reading a wide variety of texts from different genres.

Snapshot: Children will be observed reading just-right books at increasing levels of difficulty.

Writing: This ongoing experience includes all facets of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, sharing, revising, editing and publishing. Specific skills relating to authors’ craft may be taught in isolation, however, much of the writing third graders do is integrated across the curriculum. There are four main types of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Each of these writing styles is used for a specific purpose. Students learn the importance of identifying their audience when determining the style of writing they will use.

There is increased attention to revising and editing.

Snapshot: Students identify a problem and write about its solution.

Spelling:

Third graders expand the number of words they can spell correctly and fluently in their writing. They will independently use spelling reference tools available in the classroom (e.g. word wall, Quick-Word, word lists). Students will understand the value of spelling high-frequency words correctly. High frequency words are introduced throughout the year and are used in all content areas. The focus is on accountability and editing, rather than memorization which tends to be a short-term skill.

Snapshot: Students will self-edit and use peer editing to ensure the accuracy of identified “priority” words.

Handwriting: Correct manuscript is reviewed and students are introduced to cursive handwriting.

Math: In third grade, we place a strong emphasis on problem solving. Students are often required to solve problems using multiple strategies.  Third graders are expected to “explain their mathematical thinking” both orally and in writing.  Students routinely engage in the eight mathematical practice standards. These standards focus on the real-life applications of math and the skills students need to be able to apply to a wide range of problems. Key units include multiplication and fractions.

Snapshot: Students design a “ladybug dream house” using their knowledge of area and perimeter. They write a persuasive letter advertising their design, integrating both math and writing.

Science: Students explore science through units including: magnetism, Blanding’s turtles, weather, habitats, and insects. They head-start Blanding’s turtles and learn about how weather can impact an environment. Much of third grade science work is integrated across the curriculum areas, with many opportunities for classes to work together. There are eight science and engineering practice standards (see below). Engaging in the practices of science helps students understand how scientific knowledge develops. During the year, students are presented with design and engineering challenges and research projects. They pose testable questions, make observations, and collect data. The eight practices of science and engineering are essential for all students to learn.

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Snapshot: Students design a craft to transport a stranded turtle to safety while protecting it from both wind and rain.

Social Studies: Students learn about history through studies on the Wampanoag Indians, Pilgrims, Geography of Massachusetts, Puritans, Revolutionary War and Civics.

Third graders figuratively travel back in time to experience what it was like to live as a Pilgrim or a Wampanoag in the 1600’s. They learn about the culture, religion, dress, and language of that time period. Third graders learn about events leading up to the American Revolution. They discover the importance of looking at events in history through different lenses.

Social competency and communications are also hallmarks of the third-grade experience. Children participate in Open Circle in their classrooms. They learn to collaborate while working on mini-units with students from other third grade classes as well. Third graders participate in our Parent- Student-Teacher conferences, which start in October and then take place again in the spring.

Snapshot: Students compare and contrast the life of a child in the 1600’s to the life of a child today.