Hello, third grade families!

The weather is finally starting to feel like spring as we gear up for our final units of study in third grade. It’s hard to believe that fourth grade is just around the corner!

In Reading Workshop, we are wrapping up our final cycles of nonfiction research clubs. Students have studied and learned note-taking strategies for several groups of animals, and they have developed questions and conjectured possible answers, such as “Why do penguins take care of their young, but frogs lay their eggs and leave? Could it be that penguins need to protect their young and teach them, but tadpoles survive because of their instinctive behaviors?” Looking ahead, we are excited to finish off our year as readers who participate in social issues book clubs, reading and analyzing fiction to discover how our characters respond to challenges like friendship trouble, loss, or bullying.

In Writing Workshop, we are exploring the art of poetry! We’ve immersed ourselves in reading poems to study the moves that poets make and the subjects – great and small – that poets explore. We’re studying how to use line breaks to change how readers experience our writing, and we’ll soon be revising the poems we’ve already written to incorporate author’s craft techniques like repetition, metaphor, and personification. We look forward to sharing our work with you!

In Math Workshop, we are tackling new challenges as we study numerical data collection and statistical analysis. We’ve made single and double bar graphs and line plots, and now we’re learning how statisticians describe the shape of data and explore ways to know what a “typical” piece of data might be for a given group. The third graders have been eager to learn and explore statistical vocabulary words like outlier and median, and we’ll be learning even more as the unit goes on!

In Social Studies, we are eagerly immersing ourselves in the study of China. We’ve been lucky enough to have two visits from Symphony Space to teach us about Chinese opera and the art of ribbon dancing, and we’ve also had the new opportunity to work with the China Institute, who brought us fascinating multimedia presentations about the Forbidden City and the symbolism of Chinese imagery. Through the rest of the month, we will continue to study and research, reading texts about ancient and modern China and exploring topics of inquiry through technology. We’ve even got a few more special events in store thanks to our scheduled trip to Symphony Space next week and a special guest instructor who will join us at the end of the month!

As the weather gets warmer, we’ve noticed that students are starting to slide into a summery mentality and bending more rules. We would greatly appreciate it if you could brush up with your child about behavioral expectations, whether it comes to bringing toys and candy to school, turning in homework, or following directions given by any adult in the school (not just the classroom teacher). We can’t help but realize (maybe you have, too) that the children are only a few months from fourth grade, and we want to send them there well-prepared for the challenges they will face, both academic and behavioral.

Thank you as ever for your support!

All best,

Kevin and Laura