Third grade is a very exciting year at St. Thomas Academy. My role as the teacher is to guide students toward their personal learning goals. I teach using thematic lessons that align with the common core state standards.
I strongly believe in setting goals with students, and helping them work toward doing their personal best. During the school day, students receive guidance through whole group instruction, small group work, and one-on-one conferences. Making time for individual instruction is important to me to stay connected with students and their growth.
A typical day in third grade is jam-packed with learning opportunities. Here’s a quick look at what we do during the day:
Writer’s Workshop – During our daily Writer’s Workshop students work on personal compositions. I meet with each student at least once during the week to assess a student’s progress toward mastering skills. At the end of each writing unit, we celebrate by publishing and sharing our work.
Reading Groups – Sometimes this might look similar to a book club meeting, because that’s what we’re doing—getting together to chat about good books. Weaved into these meetings are guided discussions about the text, the story structure, author’s purpose, etc. This is also the prime time for me to deliver very specific reading strategy instruction for each student. While a group meets with me, the other students work independently on word work, vocabulary studies, mini research projects, independent reading, and responding to what they are reading.
Math – Math centers occur in conjunction with daily instruction. Students need time to work with, practice, and ask for additional support as we move through each new concept. Math centers allow students the time and flexibility to work at their own pace and receive re-teaching help from me when needed.
Social Studies, Science, Religion, Art, and Health are all integrated into the core reading-writing-math lessons. However, special time is set aside during the week to dive deeper into each subject matter and coincide with the thematic unit of study. Units are also enhanced with hands-on learning, community field trips, and guest speakers. There is never a dull moment inside the third grade classroom. At the end of third grade, I hope I have shown kids that learning is fun and have inspired them to continue on a path toward lifelong learning.