Curriculum

Reading

We are reading all the time in 3rd grade.  Reading comprehension is an integral part of 3rd grade literacy.   Each day the children are engaged in activities that teach reading strategies to aid in reading comprehension. Guiding reading groups (skills comprehension, text analysis), silent reading during school, read aloud (currently reading a biography of Susan B. Anthony’s childhood), buddy reading, book groups, poetry, independent reading at home, participation in discussions and written reading responses. An emphasis is placed on becoming active readers and connecting with the text, which is discussed during individual reading conferences. Strategies for pre-reading, during reading and post reading are stressed in all reading, including content area reading. 

Math

Reading and writing about mathematical topics, emphasis on conceptual understanding, explaining thinking, computation skills and problem solving. Students develop their problems solving and computation skills through learning mathematical strategy and theory. The main program used is called Investigations, but other programs are used when needed. Our focus in teaching mathematics is to engage all learners in challenging, authentic and engaging mathematics. Below you will find some of our district’s goals in regards to mathematical instruction:

“Instruction will offer students meaningful mathematical problems with an emphasis on depth in mathematical thinking on each topic. Students will spend time….

  • ·         examining problems in depth
  • ·         exploring multiple strategies to solve problems
  • ·         finding efficient and effective processes
  • ·         developing and testing mathematical conjectures
  • ·         developing strategies and approaches based on knowledge and understanding of mathematical relationships
  • ·         choosing from a variety of concrete materials and appropriate technology, including calculators
  • ·         using math facts and understanding mathematical procedures”

Our large math units this year will be: The number system (addition and subtraction), data analysis, 2-D and 3-D geometry, measurement, multiplication and fractions. Division and decimals will be covered as well, but they are not major units in 3rd grade.

Mad Minutes

Mad Minutes is a timed test that allows children to build on their math facts at their own speed and level.  We do Mad Minutes about 2 times per week. Students are timed for two minutes as they complete a math facts sheet at their own level. As they pass and move up the levels the fact sheet become more challenging.  Mad Minutes is designed to help students gain confidence in their mathematical abilities as they add to their bank of automatically recognized math facts.

Science

Emphasis is placed on hands-on experiences and experiments. Topics will include (Oregon Geography, Voting and Democracy, Weather/Climate, Native Americans, Pioneers, Environmental Impacts on Organisms, Structure and Function and Interaction of Forces)

Writing

During our writing time, we gather all of the students and introduce a strategy or method that children can use to make their writing stronger, clearer, and more correct. After this mini-lesson, the children work on their own writing independently (workshop time) while we pull individual students or groups of students for writing conferences. As the year progresses, your child will learn to write in a variety of genres: short fiction, poetry, fantasy and memoir. During each unit, your child will learn more about qualities of good writing and about the writing processes. They’ll also learn a variety of strategies to draw upon during each stage of the writing process.  We will also teach the conventions of good writing: punctuation, grammar and strategies for accurate spelling. Much of the instruction on conventions (or mechanics) will take place during our daily spelling work and your child’s growing proficiency with the conventions of writing will transfer into their work during writing time.

Rebecca Sitton Spelling program

Your child’s spelling program may be different from what you’ve come to expect as “spelling.” Instead of weekly lists of words to memorize, this program emphasizes the learning of important words, not for a Friday test, but for a lifetime of spelling in the real world. This program aims to help students become confident, strategic spellers in their everyday writing. Every day, students are involved in skill building activities focusing on different concepts. All essential spelling and language-related skills are included and meticulously recycled to ensure their mastery. We’ve included Level Three Core Words in the packet.  These words are your child’s spelling words for the whole year.    

Spanish

We are excited to welcome Carmenza Warrington to Willamette as our Spanish teacher. She will teach and enrich our knowledge of the Spanish language and scaffold our lessons throughout the week. While Carmenza is with us, she will only speak Spanish to encourage us to learn the powerful new language. We’re excited! In addition, we’ll be participating in Rosetta Stone a couple times a week to reinforce the learning taught by Carmanza.

 

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