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Current Topics of Study
  
  

Reading: Mystery Reading

Mysteries are the perfect vehicle for teaching foundational skills that lie at the heart of engaged reading. Students leap at the chance to do the work required to “get” the mystery, following ideas across their texts, seeing cause-and-effect relationships, and predicting outcomes. And, of course, mysteries naturally push kids to infer—to notice clues and to wonder more about them; to consider how part of one chapter relates back to what was learned in an earlier chapter; and to wonder when characters are really telling the truth. In this unit, students will:

-learn to read closely to catch key details, -learn to think back over and accumulate details, developing hunches, suspicions, predictions -become more skilled at gathering information from texts by rereading and annotating -transfer what they learn about mysteries to other types of fiction

Writing: Persuasive Reviews and Letters

Students will work on crafting claims and collecting specific evidence to support and elaborate these claims and shape them academically in the form of persuasive reviews. Third graders can find multiple topics to write about persuasively, designed to affect a specific audience. They will work on crafting claims and collecting specific evidence to support and elaborate on these claims. The Common Core spotlights the importance of what they refer to as opinion writing. It calls for students to be able not only to state an opinion and give reasons to support it, but also to create an organization structure for those reasons, using linking words and phrases to help readers access that structure. Third graders are more than ready to give their opinion about books they read, foods they eat, movies they watch, and video games they play. This unit capitalizes on that knowledge and passion in writing reviews and letters promoting student ideas and opinions. 

Science: Knowing Science Introduction

Grade 3 Knowing Science continues to build on foundational knowledge and skills, based on experiences from their everyday lives that students could directly observe, investigate, and understand.  Students at the third grade level begin to reason more abstractly and can therefore understand concepts that are not directly related to their daily existence. They are also better able to understand the value of the idea of the actual process that leads to a final product or explanation.  
Topic and vocabulary-specific nonfiction reading passages are included in every lesson which requires students to respond to the text in a variety of ways; through note taking, graphic organizers, and different types of short responses.  Embedded engineering tasks allow students to keep track of their ideas and progress with a journal format. Measurement in third grade briefly reviews standard measurement skills learned in K-2. This allows for independent application of measurement skills needed for investigations and design challenges.

Unit 1, Forces and Interactions, introduces the following concepts through hands-on experiments:

-a review of linear measurement

-measuring distance and motion

-identifying how a push and/or pull initiates motion

-balanced and unbalanced forces

-contact and non-contact forces

-how magnets make things move

Mathematics: Multidigit Operations

In Everyday Mathematics Unit 9, children further develop their understanding of multiplication and division as they apply basic fact knowledge to mentally solve number stories and multiply larger factors. They also interpret length-of-day data and work to calculate elapsed time more efficiently.

Social Studies: Case Study - China

Ni Hao! Unit Three introduces students to a case study of the continent of Asia and, more specifically, the country of China. Students will explore the culture, history, geography, people, customs, and government of China and analyze how these elements shape the development of a community.