What We Are Learning...
Reading and Writing
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.
In reading we are finishing up our unit on making inferences. We discussed ways we can use textual evidence to make inferences about the character's traits and possible outcomes to a situation. We even became detectives as we explored a crime scene and had to use the evidence to predict who stole a secret candy bar recipe. We will continue to explore making inferences, as it is related to theme. Theme can be tricky! As you read, reinforce this concept by asking your child to think about what the author's message is.
As your child is reading, discuss with them what the big idea is about, as this also helps them when starting to summarize a text.
In writing we are working on our opinion essays! We will continue to practice opinion essays to better prepare us for the upcoming AIR test. Next, we will focus on informational essays. It is important third graders learn to support their ideas with textual evidence from text provided, while not copying exact words/phrases.
We will are currently exploring Unit 5 of Bridges, which explores multiplication and division. We are building strong connections between multiplication and division. Your child has flashcards, which were made at school and are in your child's home folder. Please practice these facts for a few minutes each night. We will be monitoring your child's progress with fact fluency.
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)
My homeroom will be learning about maps. We will explore the parts of a map, as well as using the components of map to read and interpret a variety of maps.
When we conclude our unit on maps, my homeroom class will go to Mrs. Keifer to learn about the structures that animals have which help them to adapt and survive in the environment they live in. They will have fun exploring these concepts by caring for and observing crayfish and beetles.
Third Grade Testing Support and Tips:
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.
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.