Dear Third Grade Families:

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful mid-winter break with family and friends. Students returned filled with enthusiasm ready to embark on their Brazilian independent projects, which will be completed during the next three weeks in school.

Some Celebratory Moments in February …

  • Writing: Baby Literary Essay~ Literary essay cadets successfully tackled a compare/contrast literary essay structure and are finishing the revision process.
  • Character Studies: Together with their book club members, students’ journeyed alongside their characters through two texts. Students in each club chose from an open-ended menu of options to culminate their character study unit.
  • Our Math Unit: Perimeter, Area, and Polygons~ Students have enjoyed their investigations around perimeter and area and learned how to record their work in different ways. Students also discovered how to build different types of triangles from straws and twist ties and name the attributes of triangles.
  • Symphony Space: We moved to the rhythm and sounds of Brazilian drums and percussion instruments made out of recycled materials.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…March

Test Preparation: We will gradually begin test preparation. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS ELA exam.

Whole class and small group work will be designed to target a variety of skills. We use the information gleamed from our mock exams to help identify targeted areas to reinforce during this time.

Center Activities: A variety of center activities with reinforce specific skills for reading and writing.


In order to deeply understand the test passages, students will benefit from reading each passage two times. The first read is to get “the gist” and the second is to return and have a “closer read.” Students will be “road mapping”, where they pine and annotate the text. Students are also encouraged to divide the text into beginning, middle and end, so they can quickly access necessary information that a question requires.

Ask your child to share their special bookmark with you, and explain how it helps remember road-mapping skills for annotating the text.

  • One of the fun things we will engage in is a “reading marathon.” During this time we will channel students to read a variety of texts for long stretches of time. This helps them build stamina.
  • Students will work on strategies to successfully answer multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions using graphic organizers and checklists for support.

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Students have enjoyed giving partner feedback. In addition, students are learning how to use the narrative learning progression to evaluate their own responses, set goals, and push themselves as readers.


Our Math Unit: Unit 5: Fair Shares and Fractions on Number Lines

This unit will highlight work around understanding, representing, and comparing fractions.

Some highlights will include:

  • Understanding the meaning of fractions as equal parts of a whole
  • Finding fractional parts of different sized wholes
  • Demonstrating that different shaped pieces are the same fraction of a whole
  • Extending the use of a number line, to find and represent fractions on a number line
  • Measuring length to the nearest fourth inch on a ruler and represent same on a line plot
  • Comparing equivalent fractions with the same numerators and denominators
  • Understanding and using notation for fractions

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Based on our research of Brazil, students will have the opportunity to create an independent research project of their own choosing. They will research and complete these projects in school and then share them with guests at a publishing party (to be scheduled prior to April vacation).

We look forward to our upcoming class trip to Symphony Space that will support our Brazilian Study. Stay tuned for more details.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin