As we are nearing the end of the 2017-18 school year, here is what’s happening in third grade . . .
ELA: We are in the middle of an informational writing unit which merges well with our unit of inquiry. Third-graders have become travel guides, in a sense, as they research and write about notable structures or landmarks within Russia and beyond. They are writing ‘editorial summaries’ which will be curated on a Google map. Viewers will be able to click on a map ‘pin’ and read about a ‘must-see’ structure or landmark to visit in a particular area of the world. Ms. Hart, our Elementary IT Integrationist, shared some great tips on how to perform a Google search to effectively and efficiently find information on a topic.
To go along with our informational writing unit, third grade has been reading a lot of nonfiction and informational text. These are some questions they are using to guide them as readers in this genre:
- How do readers find what they are looking for?
- How is reading informational texts different than reading fiction?
- How do text features support the text?
- Why do we read informational texts?
- What is important information?
- How do readers know if what they are reading is true?
As part of our reading and writing units, students have been exposed to websites that look real and creditable but are, in fact, completely fake. This is to build their awareness of creditable sources and to realize that not everything they read on the internet is true. Also, the author’s point-of-view must be considered when reading information in print and online.
Math: Polygons and perimeter are a big focus in Unit 7. Please check this third-grade blog for Mr. King’s “What’s happening in math?” post to get all the news about this unit as well as resources on how to help your third-grader at home. Meanwhile, Mr. King put together this tutorial which you may have already seen in your email inbox:
Unit of Inquiry: Third-graders have transitioned from the ‘young entrepreneurs’ they were in our last unit, to ‘young engineers’ for our current unit, Where We Are in Place and Time.
Central idea: Structures provide evidence of time and place and have been purposefully designed and constructed.
Lines of inquiry:
- How structures provide evidence of time and place (Evolution of design features of structures)
- Why people build structures (Environmental factors affecting structural design)
- Creating our own structures for a purpose (Scientific principles of design and structure – post and lintel, foundation, patterns of strength, squares/triangles, arches, beams, columns, buttresses)
To observe the amazing architecture in Moscow, third grade went on a Moscow River cruise. This trip provided students with the authentic opportunity to apply this unit’s central idea and lines of inquiry to the structures, buildings, and bridges they were seeing in real life rather than in a picture. Students were diligent about taking notes in their special notebooks as the guide told them about the sites they were seeing during our tour on the river. It was a worthwhile and enjoyable learning experience for everyone.
Soon, our ‘young engineers’ will apply their newly acquired architectural knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles of design to construct their own structures using recycled materials, but keeping in mind the materials that would realistically be used. A big thanks to everyone who sent in their recyclables!
It won’t be long now before our students will be exiting their homeroom classrooms for the very last time as a third-grader! Please be sure to let your homeroom teacher know if your family plans to depart early for summer break.
The third-grade team is looking forward to a strong finish to the 2017-18 school year. Thank you for your support thus far!