Third Grade at Beecher Road School represents the transition to the Intermediate Grades and all that implies. Most obviously, the geographic center of the school shifts, with classrooms and most Specials now in the South area of the school. In addition to increased expectations for student independence, Third Grade marks the beginning of a student’s adventures in the world of standardized testing.
In the Language Arts, Readers’ and Writers’ Workshops are the vehicles for delivering the reading, writing and speaking curricula. Students are exposed to a variety of genres in both reading and writing.
Third graders work in mathematics using a variety of resources to deliver the curriculum. Common Core State Standards are the basis of lessons. Students engage in the workshop model. After the mini lesson students will work with partners and in small groups to investigate math concepts and work to mastery of the standards.
Science and social studies have rich content. The early history of Woodbridge and compare it to the New Haven area present day in four major areas: geography, civics, economics and history. Also, students engage in multiple explorations of maps and their use from our town to the world help students to broaden their horizons. In science, the major units include: forces/motion/magnets, weather/climate, and an interdisciplinary unit on the adaptation, hereditary of organisms, and ecosystems.
The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning is a core of third grade classrooms. Social skill development is taught as well.. Efforts are made to develop and enhance individual classroom communities and the grade as a whole. Recess is important for all.
About the teachers
The third grade team is a veteran team of teachers who enjoy working together. Each person brings significant strengths to the team. The teachers work hard to make sure your child is comfortable and safe at school
We are always happy to communicate with parents. Feel free to email your child’s teacher at any time.
Our main goal in teaching reading is to inspire students to become enthusiastic and skilled readers. We encourage students to dive headfirst into their books, ready to get lost in the magical worlds of both fiction and nonfiction. We teach students how to choose books that are at their just-right level. If they pick books that are too easy for them (e.g. no unfamiliar words, simplistic plots and characters), they will not make much progress. If they pick books that are too hard for them (e.g. several unfamiliar words on every page, a plot that confuses them) then they run the risk of getting frustrated and discouraged. We push students to increase their reading stamina as the year progresses.
We follow the Reader’s Workshop model for our daily lessons. This involves a mini-lesson, independent reading time, and sharing time. During the mini-lesson, the teacher focuses on a particular teaching point for the day. Then students engage in independent reading time where they practice reading strategies and skills using a book at their just-right level. During Independent Reading Time, the teacher engages in student conferences on an individual or group basis. Teachers can also engage in guided reading with groups of students who need additional support. At the end of the lesson, the class gathers back together for sharing time. This is when students discuss what strategies they tried during independent reading time and the teacher has a chance to synthesize the session’s work.
UNITS OF STUDY
We follow the Teacher’s College Project units of study as the framework for our reading curriculum. These units include:
Building a Reading Life
Mystery: Foundational Skills in Disguise
Reading to Learn: Grasping Main Ideas and Text Structures
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD
Students are expected to read at least 20-30 minutes nightly. It is imperative that your child picks a “just-right” book for this nightly homework so as to continue to make progress without getting frustrated. Talk with your child about his/her book. Encourage your child to write sticky notes detailing what they’re thinking about while they read (e.g. predictions, connections, questions, questions, character traits,etc.)
Our goal in teaching writing is to help students see themselves as real writers. In the third grade classroom, Writer’s Workshop is a time for students to study and practice the craft of writing. Their writer’s notebooks, with their beautiful personalized covers, are a place for students to jot down seed ideas and draft writing pieces. In Writer’s Workshop, students have an opportunity to study and practice writing different genres. Students become familiar with the different steps in the writing process, including brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, conferencing, and publishing. The children share written work with their peers, with the whole class, and conference with teachers. We use expert texts as well as examples from our own writing and student pieces as models of good writing techniques.
Much like our reading program, we follow the Writer’s Workshop model of mini-lesson, independent practice, and share. We start with a mini-lesson which focuses on a particular writing skill or strategy. Students then work on that skill in their independent practice. During this time, the teacher works with students both on an individual and group basis to target specific needs. At the end of the lesson, there is time for students to share their work either in partnerships or with the whole class.
UNITS OF STUDY
We follow the Teacher’s College Project units of study as the framework for our writing curriculum. These units include:
Crafting True Stories
Changing the World: Opinion essays
The Art of Information Writing
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD
The more practice students get with independent writing, the better! If possible, get a blank journal for your child and give them free rein to write what interests them. Talk about their writing and celebrate particularly good writing tools that you notice. Tell stories to one another. Encourage your child to elaborate on his/her ideas by including details and descriptive words.
The common core state standards are met through a variety of resources and teaching strategies.
We utilize Math Workshop for our instruction. We start with a mini-lesson which introduces the day’s math concept. We then move into independent practice which will look different day to day but most often involves a variety of games and manipulatives. We end each session with a share where we share the strategies we’ve used in the lesson as well as any mathematical observations we’ve discovered.
UNITS OF STUDY
Computing with Whole Numbers and Perimeter
Multiplication and Division and Area
Fractions and Geometry
Elapsed Time and Measurement/Data
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD
Please utilize the resources that have been sent home with your child to regularly practice:
Any other skills or concepts
Science and Social Studies have rich content. In social studies, we study the early history of Woodbridge and as well as present day Woodbridge and Connecticut.
In science, we follow the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). The major units include: forces/motion/magnets, weather/climate, and an interdisciplinary unit on the adaptation, hereditary of organisms, and ecosystems.
Specials run on a 6 day cycle (Days A-F) and are held for one hour. If you see two specials under a letter day, it indicates that the time is divided between the two specials. Example: 30 minutes of technology and then 30 minutes of Physical Education.
If school is cancelled due to inclement weather we do not skip letter days. If a C day is a snow day, the C day will get pushed to the following day school is in session.