Third grade is a fast-paced year of many changes. Students will receive their first “letter” grades on report cards, receive interim reports, be responsible for writing down their homework assignments in their planner, and take their first set of SOL (Standards of Learning) tests in Reading and Mathematics during this year. It is said that before 3rd grade, students learn to read – but beginning in 3rd grade, students read to learn!
In Language Arts, the CCPS Balanced Literacy Framework is followed to provide children a daily balanced “diet” for reading and writing. The framework includes Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Word Study. Parents and guardians are encouraged to have their children read to them every day. After reading a fiction passage, children should be able to discuss the setting, character(s), problem, retell important events, and explain how the problem was solved. In nonfiction passages, children should be able to explain what was learned and tell at least two new things they learned from reading the text.
In Mathematics, emphasis is placed on finding multiple ways to solve a problem and then being able to explain how the problem is solved. Applying math skills to life applications is stressed using word problems. Application of place value, addition, subtraction, and time are expanded from 2nd grade and the concepts of multiplication, division, and fractions are introduced. Parents and guardians are encouraged to have their children practice basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts with their children to rote memory. This will greatly assist in students applying this knowledge to the multiple-step word problems they will be required to complete.
In Science, emphasis is placed on investigation skills such as developing questions, forming hypotheses, making predictions, gathering data, and drawing conclusions. Students use information gathered to make more precise inferences and conclusions of their investigations. They learn about simple and compound machines; energy; matter; moon phases; tides; seasonal changes; the water cycle; and animal and plant life cycles.
In Social Studies, third graders begin the year reviewing how to be good citizens, and begin discussing the basic principles held by all Americans. The ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Mali are studied as well as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and China reviewed from second grade. Students study the early explorers of the new world and expand their knowledge of geography to include both the ancient civilizations studied and North America. In economics, students study economical concepts such as natural, human, and capital resources; goods and services; and the use of these concepts to make economic decisions.
Homework is an integral component of learning in 3rd grade. Homework is assigned nightly, Monday through Thursday, and should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Students are responsible for writing down their homework assignments in their agenda and parents are expected to sign the agenda every night verifying that their child has completed his/her homework. All homework is checked, recorded as to completed or not completed. Students are recognized for completing homework as positive feedback helps students develop good study habits. Parents are the most important people in a child’s life. Parents can make homework a positive experience for their children. Parents and guardians are encouraged to make homework a top priority, provide a quiet homework environment, and praise your child for doing well.