Welcome to Third Grade
Third Grade Mission Statement
We respect ourselves by doing our best. We respect others by being kind and following The Golden Rule.
As third grade teachers at Hemingway Elementary we work closely together to bring a balanced, developmentally appropriate curriculum to our students. We believe that teachers and parents working together make a productive team. We strive to create a stimulating, nurturing environment where each learner can reach his/her potential.
Our reading program is from McGraw Hill. It is based on the belief that children learn to read and write by having many opportunities to do just that. We read a variety of wonderful literature, including fantasy, non narrative fiction, biography/autobiography, folktales, historical fiction, poetry, drama, myth, fairytales, expository text, and realistic fiction.
McGraw Hill provides a complete program with instruction in comprehension, critical thinking and vocabulary development. We also teach reading strategies, phonetic word analysis, oral reading, independent reading, research skills, and vocabulary skills. Most initial instruction is taught in a whole group setting with assignments adapted to meet individual needs. Due to the fact that every child has unique educational demands we also work with small groups and individuals.
One to two times a week the children participate in Writing Workshop. This is by far one of the most engaging subjects we teach. Once a student writes a book, it is published in our school Publishing House. This wonderful resource would not be possible without the support of parent volunteers. Every child will publish books to read to the class and take home at the end of the year.
We learn to write by writing, reading, and talking about what good authors do. It's a magnificent process, and one that makes each child a successful writer. We teach the kids how to write using the Six Traits of Writing (Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions) within the writing process. We also use this time to conference individually with each child and to teach them what they need to learn at that time. For example, some kids are ready to learn possessive apostrophes and some are learning to capitalize the beginning of the sentence. This time allows us to meet individual needs.
We use a combiation of math programs including iReady, Investigations and strategies taught by the Boise State Math Education Program. This is a unique combination that focuses on helping students make sense of mathematics in meaningful ways. These programs use math in everyday activities in order to generate interest and show relevance. Number sense is a driving force of the program, while reasoning and critical thinking (problem solving) permeate the program to deepen mathematical understanding. This program goal is to build confidence and mathematical power that all children need to succeed in mathematics in the real world -- now and in the future.
Our district has adopted FOSS Science kits that are based on the inquiry theory, which includes the following steps: conducting research, identifying the problem, building a hypothesis, project experimentation, and reaching a conclusion. This is also the premise of STEAM. The topics covered lend themselves well to the application of this process. They include the study of animal adaptations and heredity, life cycles, engineering design, forces and weather.
As part of our program, students are given an introduction into the history and culture of our community. We visit the Sun Valley Museum of History. In addition, we study local government and expand on mapping skills.
Our district has adopted The Great Body Shop - a new and fully comprehensive health curriculum.
Students learn about the human skeletal and muscular systems.
With our school social worker we also discuss emotional wellness and personal safety.
Cursive is taught in third grade. The kids will be encouraged to use it after the letters are formally introduced.
Our home reading program is an important part of a third grader’s academic development. All children are required to read, or be read to for at least 30 minutes five nights a week. Third graders will also be responsible to practice and master the basic math facts for all operations with automaticity. There will also be weekly homework and/or math games according to each classroom teacher.
To celebrate all of our learning, our young learners conduct student-led conferences. Each week the kids select one piece of their work to evaluate and put in a portfolio. The work is then saved for the entire year, at which time parents come in for a student-led conference. This is a wonderful opportunity to sit down with your child and hear from them about how well they did in third grade. It also gives parents the opportunity to see how much they grow and learn in one year. In the past it has been a very positive experience for our students.
In third grade student field trips will be extensions of units taught in our curriculum and/or other appropriate performances for third graders.