Students have already leaped into Accelerated Reader (AR). In this program, students earn AR points by taking quizzes based on books they’ve read. All students will start the trimester with a modest goal. We will adjust individual goals as necessary to give each child an achievable challenge.
In writing we will be launching Writer’s Workshop. Students will be learning about the difference between watermelon stories and seed stories. They will be brainstorming seed ideas and beginning to write drafts of memorable moments in their lives in preparation for writing their first personal narrative.
Using common core math strategies we are focusing on place value for the first few weeks. The main difference between Common Core and the California State Standards is that we cover fewer topics in greater depth. Students are asked to explain their thinking and to come up with multiple ways of solving problems. Students need to memorize their basic addition and subtraction facts as well.
When we finish place value, we will focus on rounding, and move onto regrouping in addition and subtraction.
*Challenge Math - The first monthly math project is available to our students for extra credit. This optional work is posted on our website under the Student Tab - Planning a Birthday Party. This project is due at the end of September. Students will also be given alternative math homework sheets for extra challenge, or extra reteach, depending on their needs. Reminder - math homework should be an independent activity that takes about 10-15 minutes each night. Lastly, students are working on different assignments, tasks and games throughout the week based on how they are understanding the skills being taught.
For our first science unit we will study "Matter and Energy" which focuses on plants and animals.
3rd Grade students will begin the year studying Geography. We will focus on their local community and landmarks, as well as world geography and map skills.
All 3rd grade students at Bel Aire will be using iPads in our one-to-one classrooms to enhance their learning.
We will be using Edmodo as a tool not only for conversations, but to complete assignments as well. Students will be able to "discuss" books and literature read in the classroom using Edmodo. We will be focusing on "Depth and Complexity" questions that direct the students to take a deeper look at the story they are reading. Students are learning that all comments must be kind, important, and necessary.
Depth and Complexity - This Month's Icons
The Depth and Complexity icons promote a common, universal language that helps promote critical thinking and gives students a chance to make connections between past knowledge and new knowledge and ultimately integrate that to the real world!
Relate Over Time - How are elements related in terms of the past, present, and future? How and why do things change? What doesn’t change? Great thinkers make connections to past and present events. They also extrapolate from the past and present in order to infer about the future. I will be encouraging kids to think about past, present, and future when discussing an array of topics.
Big Idea - What theory or general statement applies to these ideas? How do these ideas relate to broad concepts such as change, systems, chaos vs. order, etc? What is the main idea? Great thinkers are able to identify "the big idea" of a particular topic and build their understanding from there. They can see the full picture and understand how the details fit into the big picture. I will be encouraging kids to identify "the big idea" in a number of circumstances. For example, "What is the big idea behind me asking everyone to be quiet while standing in line? Is it just a rule you have to follow, or is there a purpose for that?" "What is the big idea behind having to always show your work when you complete math problems? Is it just so you can get a good score on your paper, or is there another reason?" "What is the big idea behind photosynthesis? Is the answer, 'it is what happens when the sun shines on plants' or is there a bigger idea? The bigger idea is that living things need energy and photosynthesis is how plants get their energy." (We will be studying photosynthesis at a later date).
Scholarly Attributes - This Month's Icons
Scholars are good communicators - Scholars express themselves with confidence and clarity. They collaborate and actively listen to others while honoring multiple perspectives.
Scholars are productive - Scholars come ready to learn with the necessary tools and materials. They set goals, gather resources, and complete tasks.