A vital part of a successful school year is open and consistent communication between home and school. For our part, we will try to keep you informed of class news with regular email notes and a weekly emailed newsletter. Let us know if you are not getting regular email from us and from our room parents.
In September, you will have had the opportunity to tell us about your child and ask questions during the short “Get To Know You” conference. Your child’s progress will be formally discussed with you twice a year with conference notes made available to you during the November conferences. The students will participate and lead the conferences in March. An end of the year narrative report will document your child’s progress.
Besides formal conference times, we are available to discuss aspects of your child’s learning throughout the year by way of e-mails, meetings or phone calls. You can reach us at school between 8:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. Along with personal contact, e-mail is the best way to reach us. Our email addresses are Donehowerm@catlin.edu and JahnckeH@catlin.edu. You may also leave a message with Julie at: 503-203-5102
We have a third grade website that includes this handbook and our schedule. You can reach the site by going to www.catlin.edu; click on Lower School, then click on classroom pages, then Third Grade Homeroom.
Taking an active role in your child’s education is an important part of the home/school relationship. In third grade there are a variety of ways you can get involved. We will have opportunities for parents to sign up for visiting and helping out in the classroom and also for helping with field trips and special projects. Our P.F.A. representatives, Heather Blackburn and Dancy Jubb, will be coordinating all of our volunteer needs and contacting parents for specific tasks and events. You are also encouraged to contact us regarding special interests you can share with the class.
Birthdays: We celebrate birthdays by the month with a low-key end of the day gathering. Usually on the last Thursday of the month at 2:55 p.m., we gather all the children, and sing to the all the children with a birthday in that month and hope to partake in popsicle slurping. August birthdays join the September group and June and July birthdays join the May group. Each birthday child will choose a special stone as a gift from their teachers as well as a birthday pencil given on their actual birthday when possible.
Parties: Our P.F.A. volunteers will ask for parents to take leadership and volunteers to guide and organize parties. They will also send home notes regarding the details of the parties.
Third Grade Special Events
Portfolio Night on May 23rd Families are invited to view a slideshow from the third grade year and celebrate the hard work and effort put out by the 3rd graders.
Egg Drop on Friday June 7th In late spring, families are invited to view the dropping of third grade designed protective coverings for eggs. The eggs, in their protective devices, will be tossed from the Lower School roof.
Other Lower School Events: other school-wide special events will receive advanced notice to allow for family participation. Check the school newsletter, The Crier, weekly in your email for events and dates.
Third Grade Curriculum
Language Arts is made up of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Developing interests and skills in these areas is at the core of the class curriculum. Instruction and practice of skills are initiated then applied and honed through creative reading and writing activities.
Reading: Expanding on newly acquired reading skills is a primary objective in third grade. Emphasis is placed on selecting appropriate books, using efficient decoding strategies, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, developing skills for discussing books and most importantly, developing life long reading interests. Our multi-faceted program includes read alouds, guided reading sessions, reading activities, content reading for research and independent reading.
Writing: In third grade, we use the writing process of plan, write a rough draft, revise, edit, create a final draft, publish and share. A variety of writing techniques are taught through the use of writing for different purposes and audiences.
Spelling and Grammar: We build upon the spelling program used in second grade. Students will engage in spelling and grammar exercises and practice to help build understanding of how words work. Emphasis is on spelling patterns and working towards conventional spelling in everyday writing.
Handwriting: Third graders will be introduced to cursive italic handwriting through the use of Getty & Dubay’s Italic Handwriting Series. Weekly practice will be carried out in class throughout the year.
Our central thematic focus is a study of water using our local region as well as water around the world. We will concentrate on water as a source of life, Oregon geography through the lens of waterways, and the importance of water in the history of Oregon. The study will integrate social studies concepts with language arts, science, math and creative arts. Children engage in a number of research and creative projects and read appropriate historical fiction selections.
In addition to water, we are expanding on the brain strengths work done in 2nd grade, striving to help the 3rd graders understand their brains better and use that information to be successful in school.
Outline of Social Studies Topics:
Learning About the Brain
Brain phyisiology: How we learn
Strategies for being succesful in school
From Reservoir to Tap: Our Source of Water
Bull Run Reservoir
Portland’s water system
Water & People
Water as a resource
How rivers effect community
How community effects rivers
Lewis & Clark Expedition
Exploration to the NW Coast
Learning about the present by studying the past
Rivers to the Sea: Oregon Geography
Watersheds and Rivers of Oregon
Maps & Globes
Regions of Oregon
Tide Pools and their inhabitants
Ocean Food Web
In Third Grade we begin the process of teaching keyboarding. Through lessons by classroom teachers, children will learn correct finger placement and are expected and encouraged to use what they learn throughout the year. We will use the online program Typing Pal. Other technology skills including publishing and multi-media programs will be introduced.
Math in third grade is a balance between developing in-depth understanding of strategies with basic skills and fluency of facts. Students go through a developmental progression of conceptual understandings of mathematics. As teachers of mathematics, our goal is to assess where a student is along that developmental continuum and help them build a solid understanding of mathematical concepts and skills. In addition, we want students to develop an appreciation and a love for math that will last a lifetime.
Grades 1-5 use the mathematics curriculum Investigations along with other mathematical resources such as First Steps in Mathematics. The program is divided into a number of units that engage students in the exploration of mathematical ideas.
- Spending time exploring problems in depth
- Finding more than one solution to many problems
- Developing their own strategies and approaches, based on their knowledge and understanding of mathematical relationships
- Choosing from a variety of concrete materials and appropriate technology, including calculators, as a natural part of their everyday mathematical work
- Expressing their mathematical thinking through drawing, writing, and talking
- Recognize and use number patterns, relationships and logical thinking skills to make predictions to solve, and to check problems
- Recognize patterns and relationships
Math Skill Areas
• Place Value • Fractions
• Number operations • Problem solving
• Addition • Algebraic thinking
• Subtraction • Patterns
• Multiplication • Estimation
• Intro to Division • Geometry
• Graphing • Measurement
The purpose of homework in third grade is to connect what’s going on in school with home and to review and practice skills and concepts we’re working on in school. Third grade is a time for students to take on more responsibility for bringing home their homework, taking care to complete it well, and returning it on time.
Homework is given out as a packet each Wednesday. Generally it will have a reading, math, and spelling components. We want all third graders to read at least 20 - 30 minutes a night. Homework should not take any longer than 30 minutes a night. Establishing a consistent homework routine will greatly help your child develop conscientious study habits. Homework should be able to be completed Wednesday, Thursday, Monday and Tuesday nights. If it works better for your family to complete some over the weekend, that is up to you.