What We Are Learning...
We are currently learning about an author's purpose in reading. We will move onto an analysis of fables, discussing the moral of a fable (theme). We will continue with our novel studies, which include biographies of historical figures, which focus on Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Helen Keller.
Do you want to know more about the AIR test that your child will be taking? Do you want to know what the test looks like and the types of questions your child will need to answer? You can go to this website to learn more:
Once you have gone to this website, click on the bicycle icon (student practice site) and log on as a guest. You can look at some sample questions. Although these exact questions will not be on the actual test, it will give you an idea of what the test looks like, as well as the format of the test.
Research shows that kids who read tend to be better readers and stronger students in all academic areas. Reading is such as essential part of daily life. It is important to me that your child finds the pleasure in literature. I truly believe that when a child finds that book which “hooks” them, progress is made in exponential levels.
That being said, not every learner is the same. We all have different interests, abilities, and backgrounds. It is critical that your child is reading a book on his/her level. I will be working with your child to help them select books that are right for him/her. One such strategy is called the “five finger rule.” In this strategy, a child opens up a book to any page and begins to read. Every time he/she comes to a word that is unknown, a finger is held up. By the end of the page, if 5 fingers are held up, the book is too difficult for now. If 0 or one finger is held up, the book is too easy. If 2, 3 or 4 fingers are held up, the book is probably a good fit. Although this is a simple rule, it usually helps in identifying good fit books. Please encourage your child to use this strategy when trying to select a book. It is important that your child is neither reading a book that is not too difficult, nor too easy.
Some extra resources for reading at home can be accessed through an online reading website called Raz-kids. I have set up each child with an account. Simply go to Raz-kids.com and have your child log in with their user name, which is their first and last name, with no spaces. The password is ledelbrock1. Once logged in, your child can easily find his/her name, with a “bookshelf” of books that can be read online. A few questions follow the passage to help your child monitor his/her comprehension.
Another great APP is called Epic books. This site offers common books found at the library and bookstores, but offers them online. The first month is free. After that, a nominal fee is required to continue with your subscription. It is worth investigating!!
We have just finished our personal opinion essays. I am really proud of all that the third graders have accomplished. We have started writing an informational essay together. Once we finish writing this informational essay as a class, expository texts will be provided to your child, which will be used to write an informational essay on their own. This will be great practice for the upcoming AIR tests.
In your child's writing journal, please encourage legible handwriting, as well as correct capitalization and end punctuation.
We are continuing to work on writing complete sentences, with correct capitalization and end punctuation. Make sure your child is applying this in their daily journal. Additionally, many students are forgetting to capitalize the letter "I" when it stands alone.
As we near the end of unit four in Bridges, we will continue to use addition and subtraction strategies to reinforce making estimates and finding actual answers to these types of equations. Unit 6 focused on geometric concepts, where the students explored the attributes of various shapes. We also focused on ways to find area and perimeter of shapes, including rectilinear shapes. Unit 7, which we will begin just prior to Spring Break, will revisit fractions, as well as continue to explore multiplication and division strategies.
Please take a moment to look at Bridges' website! There are great interactive games that your child can play to enhance classroom lessons! (mathlearningcenter.org)
Social Studies and Science
This year the third grade students will rotate among all third grade teachers to learn concepts related to social studies and science.
Our class has been receiving instruction from Mrs. Tolbert. She has been teaching the students about concepts related to government, such as the branches of government and their function, as well as citizen rights and responsibilities.
After Spring Break, our class will rotate to Mrs. Pauken's classroom, where the students will explore forms of energy, including renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
Third Grade Testing Support and Tips:
HELPING YOUR CHILD Report: Test Preparation For PARENTS
Whether you’ve been out of school for five years or 15, the thought of taking a test probably still makes your heart race. Now imagine what its like for your child. As a parent, you can help.
Get them fed. The more nutritiously your children eat, the better they will do in school. Properly fueled and with stable blood sugar levels, their concentration is enhanced. Always give them a healthy breakfast while cutting back on high-sugar cereals, pastries, and undiluted juices (which can have the same sugar content as sodas.) Most kids are ravenous after school, so before they settle down to study, provide a healthful, non-junk food snack to carry them through to dinner.
Get them moving. Exams cause stress, but, sports, exercise, and dancing can relieve it. Physical activity that gets students completely away from academics for a few hours each day can actually help them perform better on tests.
Get them breathing. Teach your kids a simple breathing exercise that you’ll do with them once or twice a day and in times of stress (as in right before a test): Take a deep breath, hold to the count of three, then exhale slowly through the nose to the count of 10.
Get them to bed on time. Elementary and middle school children need up to 10 hours of sleep each night to do their best in school. They also need to curtail the excitement from video games, television, movies, and texting for at least 30 minutes before sleep.
Practice their confidence. Ask the teacher or principal if there are practice tests or worksheets your child can work on at home before the big day. These can help your children get used to how the questions are worded and how to properly fill in test sheet bubbles.
Put piecework into action. Pre-exam cramming does not work. In fact, four 15-minute periods of study are actually superior to one continuous hour when it comes to memory retention. Therefore, see to it that your child preps for tests in small bursts, in some small way, every day.
Unplug already. When it comes to distracting videos, television, telephones, or social media (basically anything with a screen or speakers that’s not directly related to school work), study time is the time to turn the devices off.
Offer super support. As much as you value good exam grades, it’s more important that kids understand that your love and respect for them is not dependent on their test scores.
Review results together. Once the graded exam comes back, sit with your child and review what went right, what didn’t, and how to do better next time. This is not the time for you to lecture. Subtly prompted, your child should do most of the talking.
Report to Parents, written to serve elementary and middle-level principals, may be reproduced by National Association of Elementary School Principals members without permission. It can be posted to school websites, blogs, or sent via email. Issues are available to members at naesp.org.