We have been learning about the natural resources found in Massachusetts and how early peoples used these resources for survival. The children are learning about aspects of daily life in the mid-1600s for the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims. Our field trip to Drumlin Farm and our fall Big Back Yard walk let the children experience hands on learning around natural resources and way of life for each group of people. We have been emphasizing respectful use of land and resources.
The third grade just finished “The Big Dinner!” This is a comprehensive, challenging, and fun unit that helps the children develop an understanding of multiplication. It requires them to use what they already know to discover and learn more efficient strategies to solve problems. On the first day, the students were presented with the context of planning for a big turkey dinner.
The students were presented with the problem of figuring out the cost of a turkey (and many of the fixings on subsequent days). After being presented with a price charts and the per pound values, they used various strategies with their math partner to problem-solve. Their strategies included repeated addition, skip-counting, partial products, ten-times, and doubling and halving. Children thought about ways to stay organized when presenting information to the class and worked on using a T-chart (ratio table) to show work. Most often, the children used more than one strategy when solving a problem.
Our next unit focuses on more multiplication and division strategies as we "work" in Muffles' Truffles candy shop.
We recently concluded our narrative writing unit, “Crafting True Stories.” Our third grade authors did a wonderful job taking their stories through the entire writing process to develop them into published personal narratives.
During December, we have been working on persuasive writing. We have written about why it is omportant to be kind, school uniforms and sugary cereals.
We will soon begin planning and drafting informational writing pieces. Every student will eventually choose a topic that he/she feels knowledgeable and enthusiastic about. Through various writing exercises and lessons, the students will learning how to plan, revise, and refine their topics.
During Readers' Workshop, third graders have been learning about non-fiction reading strategies. The children are “reading to learn.” We have been examining the various text features that help readers navigate non-fiction texts. We have learned about gorillas, candy corn,
Our class is the midst of studying water and weather as part of a new pilot program. The big questions we are working towards is "How do weather, climate, and the environment influence the way people live?"
Please continue to encourage your child to talk about school and what he/she is learning in third grade. Of course, reading every day, and playing games together regularly, will help your child practice and enjoy so many of the skills that are learned in school.