Third Grade Happenings!

March 1, 2019

Dear Third Grade Families:

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful mid-winter break with family and friends. Students returned filled with enthusiasm, ready to embark on their group projects about Brazil.

Some Celebratory Moments in February …

  • Writing: Baby Literary Essay~ Literary essay cadets successfully tackled a compare/contrast literary essay structure and have learned new tools for the revision process.
  • Character Studies: Together with their book club members, students journeyed alongside their characters through two texts. Students in each club chose from an open-ended menu of options to culminate their character study unit.
  • Our Math Unit: Fractions~ Students have enjoyed their investigations around fractions and even created a class number line with their hand-made fraction cards.
  • Symphony Space: We moved to the rhythm and sounds of Brazilian drums and percussion instruments made out of recycled materials.
  • Author’s Skype Session: We connected with Gita Varadarajan, author of Save Me a Seat. She discussed various aspects of being a writer including her arduous revision process and some possible themes that emerged from her book.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…March

Test Preparation: We will gradually begin test preparation. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS ELA exam.

Whole class and small group work will be designed to target a variety of skills. We use the information gleaned from our mock exams to help identify targeted areas to reinforce during this time.

Center Activities: A variety of center activities will reinforce specific skills for reading and writing.


In order to deeply understand the test passages, students will benefit from reading each passage two times. The first read is to get “the gist” and the second is to return and have a “closer read.” Students will be “road mapping,” where they pine and annotate the text. Students are also encouraged to divide the text into beginning, middle and end, so they can quickly access necessary information that a question requires.

Ask your child to share their special bookmark with you, and explain how it helps remember road-mapping skills for annotating the text.

  • One of the fun things we will engage in is a “reading marathon.” During this time we will channel students to read a variety of texts for long stretches of time. This helps them build stamina.
  • Students will work on strategies to successfully answer multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions using graphic organizers and checklists for support.

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Students have enjoyed giving partner feedback. In addition, students are learning how to use the narrative learning progression to evaluate their own responses,. A recent notebook assessment helped students see specific skills old and new that they have mastered. In addition, they set goals for themselves and helped their classmates develop their skills by providing each other with actionable feedback.

Our Math Unit: Measuring and Classifying Shapes

This unit will include:

  • Linear measurement
  • Sorting and Classifying Polygons
  • Measuring Angles
  • Symmetry and Area

During this time we will begin our small group work around specific targeted skills for our upcoming NY State Math Exam, which will be administered May 1st and May 2nd.

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Based on our research of Brazil, students will have the opportunity to create a collaborative group research project of their group’s choosing. They will research and complete these projects in class and in technology. Some groups have expressed interest to meet outside of school for a “working playdate!” We look forward to share these at our next publishing party.

STEAM: An exciting STEAM project centered around Brazil is on the horizon! Can you keep a secret? So can we! Before long your child will share the details with you.

Look out for March Parent Teacher Sign up, and the upcoming publishing party save the date, coming soon.  

We look forward to our upcoming visit to Symphony Space that will support our study of Brazil. Stay tuned for more details.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kate