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3rd Grade


Teachers:

Jodi Abbott

Emily Grant

Teresa McNeilly

Jennifer Pealer

                                      Rhonda Watts

 



The Basics
 
Curtis Communication Folders
Communication is key to your student’s success.  Curtis folders will be sent home on Wednesdays.  Weekly updates and evidence of learning are included for your review.  Please sign and return the folder on Thursday.  All papers are to remain at home unless they have a “Please sign and return” stamp on them. Administration also uses this folder to deliver school wide communication to parents.
 
What does SOL mean?

SOL stands for Standards of Learning.  These standards can be accessed by going to the VDOE website.  For specific information please click on the VDOE link on the right hand side.  Objectives for third grade learning are stated here.  There is also a section labeled Released Test Items where you can peruse past tests or even use them for practice.
 
SOL Tests

This is your child’s first year of SOL testing.  We will prepare throughout the year for these cumulative assessments.  Note the SOL numbers on homework, study guides, and class work.  Each objective ties directly to a tested skill or concept.  Please save all study guides in your child’s binder for continuous review throughout the year.  SOL testing will occur in May and June in the following areas: Math and Reading.
 
Homework

All assignments will be recorded by your child in his/her agenda every morning.  Please review the homework and sign the agenda page.  Please emphasize good handwriting and using a pencil to ensure neatness.  Students will receive math and reading homework daily.  Study guides for other subjects will be included before tests.  These should be kept behind the correct tab in your child’s binder.  Occasionally we will have special assignments to complete. Grades in Work/Study include homework completion as well as class participation.
 
Classroom Rules

Respect yourself, others and school property
Be prepared and on time
Keep your hands and feet to yourself
Walk inside the school
Use proper voice levels
 
Behavior Management

Whole class rewards can be earned for good behavior in the building.  Students also receive praise and prizes for positive behavior through the use of Class Dojo.
 
Grading

Third grade operates on a ten point grading scale. Below is the grading scale for grades 3-5.
 
Academic areas will be graded on the following scale:
 
A = 90-100 
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
D = 60-69
F = 59-Below
 
Work Related Skills and Resource will be graded on the following scale:

4 = Excellent Progress                  
3 = Satisfactory Progress           
2 = Minimal Progress                  
1 = Not Meeting Expectations      
 
Volunteers

If you would like to volunteer at Curtis please let us know.  There are many opportunities to plug in to your child’s school.  We would love to have you here!
 
Language Arts
 
Our goal in third grade is to move our students towards becoming independent readers with the ability to comprehend material across multiple genres.  We will scaffold the learning process through our whole group and small group reading instruction. Students will build on the metacognitive strategies they have learned in previous grades.  The strategy lingo included throughout the year in language arts includes: clarifying, visualizing, making connections, questioning, making predictions, drawing inferences, determining importance, synthesizing, and summarizing.  You can see the level of difficulty increases as the year goes on.   In writing, we will focus on several traits to advance our writing skills in third grade.  Students will work on staying on topic, using their own voice, sentence fluency, organization, and of course conventions/mechanics.
    
Math
 
In third grade we will focus on building on the number sense our students have already developed in Kindergarten through Second grade.  Reading, writing, and expanding numbers through the hundred thousands place will begin in the fall.  We will follow up with adding, subtracting, rounding, and estimating numbers through 9,999.  Multiplication is a HUGE concept for our third graders.  Students will be taught the concept of multiplication as repeated addition then will move into memorizing facts through the twelves.  After gaining the knowledge and understanding of multiplication, division is taught as an inverse process of multiplication and generally comes easy to those who have consistently practiced and memorized their facts.  Time and money concepts, including making change to $5.00 and telling elapsed time to the hour, are also covered in this year.  Students will be expected to know how to count money and tell time to the nearest minute prior to third grade.  After months of intense number concepts, geometry will come as a breath of fresh air! Students will then have the opportunity to explore fractions, including naming fractions of a unit and a set of objects, adding, and subtracting fractions with like denominators (with pictures available).  The homestretch explores measurement skills, probability, and last but not least, multiplying two-digit by one digit numbers (again, not so bad if students have the basic facts memorized)!
 
Social Studies
 
Third grade social studies begins with an overview of the United States government, this includes the three branches of government (yes, you are on the third grade page – don’t worry). Student will advance from United States government to taking a “tour” around the world to study the seven continents and five oceans (yes, there are five).  Ancient Greece, Mali, and Rome will be studied to incorporate how their cultures, contributions, government, and architecture have helped shape our country today.  Students will learn about four famous explorers who came to North America from Europe in their explorations.  The geography of where the explorers departed from and landed will be included in this unit of study.  America is made of a very diverse group of people and we will pay tribute to that when studying famous Americans, holidays, and diversity.  We will end our year with resources and making economics meaningful to our third graders.  It is never too early to begin talking about making economic choices and the impact they make on our future!
 
Science
 
Third grade science is filled with exciting topics.  We begin our year reviewing scientific investigation and jump right into our study of living things.  We learn about animal adaptations, roles and relationships within food chains, and ecosystems first hand while observing our very own aquatic ecosystems in our classrooms.  Our students will also investigate and understand simple machines used in our home, school, and work environments.  We learn that objects are made of materials that can be described by their physical properties and that some objects are made of more than one material.  The water cycle and its relationship to life on Earth is a big focus this year.  We learn that the sun is the source of energy that drives the water cycle and that our water supply on Earth is limited and should be conserved.  We then venture into patterns and cycles in nature such as day/night, seasonal changes, basic phases of the moon, tides, and animal and plant life cycles.  We also study energy sources and whether they are renewable or nonrenewable.  In the 4th quarter home stretch we investigate the components of soil and disucss the effects of natural events and human efects on species survival.  We study the interdependency of plants and animals with a focus on conservation and resource renewal.