• Third Grade Curriculum & Procedures


    Third Grade Curriculum & Procedures


    Communication – Communication between teachers and parents or guardians is vital in the classroom. If you have any questions on curriculum, grading or what is expected of your child, please contact me (via email first, to set a time to talk). I am flexible, and would like to meet the needs of you and your child. I want to talk about what is working, and how to adjust anything that is not. While the curriculum can be demanding at times, I respect the parameters of what is developmentally appropriate for your child.

    * What is Expected of Student/Parents at home?

    You are your child’s most important teacher. You can help your child be successful by talking about math in your daily life, helping with homework, and choosing activities like games and puzzles that help children practice basic skills. Make sure your child can tell that you think math, reading and writing are useful, important, accessible and interesting. 

    * Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes and the Growth Mindset         

    As students begin to work on their learning objectives, growth minded language guides and motivates them to ensure that they remain persistent, resilient, and focused on the process of learning. It is important to give learners feedback about their progress and their results so they can specifically see their growth. I believe that feedback and mistakes are the two most important things that happen in any classroom. Mistakes tell you where to focus the deliberate practice. The feedback makes the student aware, and provides help where needed. I have tried to change my perspective of mistakes being a “bad” thing. I try to look at mistakes as a gift. By positively embracing students’ mistakes, the students’ can grow their brain and learn from their errors. This provides a more engaged group of students, who are constantly improving and refining their skills.   

    Language Arts Description- The Ohio Learning Standards will serve as the cornerstone of the language arts curriculum. These standards are bundled into six main domains: reading literature, reading informational texts, foundational skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. Each of these domains will be woven throughout the six units of study your child will engage in this year. Each of these units will place equal emphasis on reading and writing using research proven strategies. These standards and strategies serve students well beyond the language arts arena and will be integrated into science, social studies, and mathematics. We will be teaching our writer’s workshop using curriculum designed by Lucy Calkins The ultimate goal is for students to develop increased independence and dramatic growth in the level of their writing, as they become confident, engaged members of a larger caring community of writers.

    Home Reading- This year your third grader will be expected to read 20 minutes per night. I will send home quarterly projects for your child to present to the class about their reading. It will be simple, but meaningful. Your child will have a thorough explanation in class about the expectations of these challenges.

    *On an average, your child should be reading at least 100 minutes per week. There is research evidence which suggests that volume of reading is linked to attaining higher-order literacy proficiencies.

    Spelling- This is a word study program called Words Their Way that focuses on the connection between reading and writing. There is a phonics component where the child will discover, review and form spelling patterns. The goal is for each child to practice and apply these spelling skills in his/her daily writings. Students will learn to spell the words forever- not just for a Friday test. The length of each unit will vary, depending on the concepts being taught. Word ladders, word meaning studies, root word and prefix studies will also take place during this time. I follow the philosophy of Timothy Rasinski, PH.D., on word study. There will be many word ladders, songs, poems, and vocabulary centered activities.There will be additional information sent home with word study activities to reinforce these skills being taught at school.

    Math Description- The Common Core Standards will serve as the cornerstone of the math curriculum. These standards are bundled into five domains: operation and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, number and operations in fractions, geometry, measurement, and data. During third grade, students continue their exploration of multiplication with the expectation of fluency in multiplication. Students will begin the exploration and modeling of division and fluency expectations will not occur until fourth grade. Students will explore place value with larger numbers and adding and subtracting 4 digit numbers. We will begin our investigation of fractions, examine measurement in both metric and linear units, continue time studies to the nearest minute, and solve many multi-step real world problems. Students will have access to online materials to support their study.

    Bridges Math-Bridges in Mathematics, second edition, is a comprehensive K–5 mathematics curriculum that equips teachers to fully implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in a manner that is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. The program taps into the intelligence strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful. 

    The students are also assessed on their ability to develop and practice the following skills:

    1.     Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

    2.    Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

    3.    Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

    4.    Model with mathematics.

    5.    Use appropriate tools strategically.

    6.    Attend to precision.

    7.    Look for and make use of structure.

    8.    Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

        Bridges Activities 

    A Bridges classroom features a combination of whole-group, small-group, and independent activities that are problem centered. Third graders engage in five major kinds of activities:  

    ·         Problems & Investigations

    ·         Work Places

    ·         Math Forums

    ·         Problem Strings

    ·         Assessments

    Keyboarding- Your child will have access to an online keyboarding program called Keyboarding without Tears.  This is a very new experience for the children and at times they can become frustrated. This is a learning process and keyboarding practice will continue in fourth grade as well.

    Yellow “Take-Home” Folder/Homework & Happenings Sheet- Check in your child’s yellow folder for homework and/or any important notes on a daily basis. Help your child with organizational skills, by setting a specific time of day to check the folder, complete any homework, and then repack the folder in the book bag for the start of a new day. It should take your child approximately 30 minutes to complete all of his/her homework on any given night. If homework cannot be completed, a written note from the parent is required. If there are other circumstances that frequently impede homework or unfinished daily work being completed, please let me know and I will work it out on an individual basis.

    Unfinished Daily Work- The children will have an opportunity to complete their daily work in class. If your child does not complete work in school, a note will be sent home with the assignment explaining why it has become homework. It will then need to be completed that night and turned in the next school day.

    Make-up Work- The school policy for make-up work during absences is to collect the work while the student is absent and give it to them upon their return.  Most of our classroom work cannot be made up at home due to the “hands on” approach, the amount of discussion, the lack of “worksheets” and the impossibility of duplicating a learning situation.  Please make every effort to have your child here every day unless they are ill. Absence due to vacation is strongly discouraged.

    Classroom Management/Selner Bucks/Entrepreneur Day 

    Students will be responsible for weekly “real-world” jobs. Students will earn money for their jobs. We will hold an “Entrepreneur Day” each quarter where students create products to sell, and they are able to purchase these products from classmates with their hard earned money. Dates for each Entrepreneur Day will fall at the end of the quarter, but are TBD.

    To promote positive behaviors, positive relationships, and self-esteem, our class will be exposed to The Zones of Regulation and The Leader in Me curriculum, as well as the Love and Logic approach (see additional packet for Love and Logic info.). Both of these will also help with behavior and classroom management. I try to implement natural, logical consequences to issues that may arise in class.  Issues are dealt with privately and on a student by student basis.

    The Zones of Regulation

    The Zones is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones.  The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts. 

    By addressing underlying deficits in emotional and sensory regulation, executive functions, and social cognition, the curriculum is designed to help move students toward independent regulation.  The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking® concepts and numerous visuals to teach students to identify their feelings/level of alertness, understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings and states. 

    The Four Zones:  Our Feelings & States Determine Our Zone

    The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions.  A person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, explosive behavior, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.

    The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has some control when they are in the Yellow Zone.  A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone. 

    The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone.  This is the zone where optimal learning occurs. 

    The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.


    The Leader in Me

    The Leader in Me is Franklin Covey’s whole school transformation process. It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.

    The 7 Habits of Happy Kids


    Be Proactive classroom poster

    Habit 1 — Be Proactive

    You're in Charge

    I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.

    Begin with the end in mind classroom poster

    Habit 2 — Begin with the End in Mind

    Have a Plan

    I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

    Put first things first classroom poster

    Habit 3 — Put First Things First

    Work First, Then Play

    I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.

    Think win-win classroom poster

    Habit 4 — Think Win-Win

    Everyone Can Win

    I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.

    Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood classroom poster

    Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

    Listen Before You Talk

    I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.

    Synergize classroom poster

    Habit 6 — Synergize

    Together Is Better

    I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different than me. I work well in groups. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with others we can create better solutions than anyone of us can alone. I am humble.

    Sharpen the Saw classroom poster

    Habit 7 — Sharpen The Saw

    Balance Feels Best

    I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school. I find meaningful ways to help others.

    Instead of seeing children through the lens of a normal distribution curve—some kids are naturally smart and others are not—The Leader in Me paradigm sees that every child is capable, every child is a leader. This paradigm changes everything.