What We Are Learning...
Reading and Writing
In reading, we are working on developing stamina in reading, so that we can develop the perseverance to read for extended periods of time. We are also working on finding "good fit" books, where students can use the "5 finger rule" to help them find books independently. I am finishing up reading and writing assessments, so that I can determine next steps for instruction, tailoring reading and writing skills to what each student needs.
The students have begun brainstorming and organizing details in order to write our first narrative. We are also working on how to write stronger sentences with details and making sure to write complete sentences with nouns and verbs. We continue to work on using correct capitalization and end punctuation in the correct places. Please encourage this when your child is writing at home, as this makes it easier to communicate with others.
The ELA AIR test will take place at the beginning of October. More information will come home as this date approaches. Please try to avoid scheduling doctor appointments on days of the AIR test and have your child at school on time these days, since we will begin testing at the start of the school day. Results from this testing should come in sometime around the end of November. These results will be used to help determine strengths and weaknesses in the areas of ELA, as well as determine skills that need to be focused on prior to the spring testing in April.
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.
We have started Unit 1, which focuses on strategies for adding and subtracting. Encourage your child to think about how to efficiently add and subtract, by making using of using double facts or counting up to get to a "friendly number" (often a multiple of 10) to make adding and subtracting easier. Unit 2 will get into addition and subtraction in greater depth, as we explore multiple digit addition and subtraction with story problems.
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)
As we focus on ways to make our school a safer place, where citizens follow school rules, we are also exploring ways that our government works. We are learning about ways we can promote the common good, rights and responsibilities of citizens and why laws and rules exist in a community.
When we conclude our unit on government, we will be learn about the different states of matter. We will do some super fun science experiments and discover the three states of matter, ways matter can change from one of matter to another, as well as characteristics of forms of matter.
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.