The Transition from 2nd to 3rd Grade March 8, 2012
Comparison of 2nd and 3rd grade 2nd grade 3rd grade Takes what students learned in K-2 and adds a higher level of skill to concepts taught Lots of new material is covered, not much review of previous grades Independence during work time is stressed, but teachers offer support when needed Letter grading scale • Builds on knowledge learned in K-1 • Strengthening of skills to build a solid background of all content areas • Lots of support from teachers during independent work time • 1, 2, and 3 grading scale
What’s different in literacy? • In K-2 students are learning to read. In 3-5 they are reading to learn. • Identify and know meaning of most common prefixes and suffixes • Find meaning of words and phrases from text (context clues) • Use root words to find meanings of words • Describe characters in a story and how their actions contribute to events sequence • Distinguish own point of view from that of narrator or character
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts supporting a point of view with reasons • Write informative texts to examine a topic and convey ideas • Include in writing: introduction development and support of ideas, linking words, conclusion • Conduct research projects • Focus more on comprehension than fluency
What’s different in math? Number Sense
What’s different in science and social studies? • Science: • 2nd grade topics of study: animal life cycle, weather, sound, changes in properties. • 3rd grade topics of study: motion and factors that effect motion, properties of matter, how energy can be transferred, earth, moon, and sun, skeletal, muscular, and skin systems, how plants survive in their environments. • Social Studies: • 2nd grade topics: citizenship, how people relate to government, how people are alike and different, changes in community over time, geography, economics, technology, physical environment. • 3rd grade topics: how history of local and regional communities are influenced, earth’s patterns, regions affect activity in economy, entrepreneurship, local government, citizens in their community, diverse cultures in communities.
Typical Day • 2 ½ hours of literacy (this includes writing, workshop, novel studies, Imagine It) • 1 ½ hours of math • 45 minutes of science or social studies • 25 minute lunch • 25 minute recess • 45 minute specials • 15 minute announcements • 15 minute organizational period (packing up)
Grading Scale • We use the CMS grading scale in 3rd grade • A – 93-100 • B – 85-92 • C – 77-84 • D – 70-76 • F – anything 69 and below • **Please note: • In 2nd grade a 3 is equivalent to an 80-100. In 3rd grade that is anywhere from a C to an A. • In 2nd grade a 2 is equivalent to a 60-80. In 3rd grade that is anywhere from an F to a C.
Questions parents had… • Q: How many students can we expect in a 3rd grade class? • A: 3rd grade classrooms, like K-2, are capped at 24 students. This year the average class size is 22 students. • Q: How frequently do the students change class and/or teacher? • A: This school year the third grade team did not switch classes. This meant that all students stayed in their homeroom class all day and the teacher differentiated the material within their own classroom. This may change next year once we get to know our students and their needs. • Q: What are the expectations of a 3rd grade student? • A: Students are expected to come to school everyday ready to learn. They are responsible for getting their homework copied into their agenda each day, getting their parents to view their agendas each night, and getting their homework to school everyday and on time. In class students are expected to follow the school and class rules. Students will be required to work collaboratively with classmates to complete assignments including some in-class projects. Students are asked to be more independent in 3rd grade by getting their assignments done when asked, being responsible to ask questions when needed, taking home information to their parents weekly, and for taking initiative in their own learning.
Q: What can we expect as far as homework? • A: Each night you can expect to see homework for your child. While each teacher may assign different specific assignments, all students will on average 1 hour of homework each night. Every student is asked to read 30 minutes each night. All students will also have a math and a spelling/word assignment. Some teachers send home Time for Kids comprehension assignments and also writing assignments. Beginning after the winter break you can expect extra math and reading assignments (due weekly) that will begin to review and prepare your child for the End-of-Grade tests. All teachers explain in great detail to the students what is expected to be turned in and when. • Q: What kind of testing is done throughout the year? • A: There are several tests that students will take throughout 3rd grade. During the current school year, students took 3 reading and math formatives, and 2 science and social studies formatives. These tests are given by CMS and are used to help teachers plan and direct instruction. These scores do not count for a grade on the report card and are not indicators as to how a child will perform on the End-of-Grade (EOG) tests. Students will also take the EOGs in May. There are 3 days of testing. 1 day is reading comprehension and 2 days are math. These tests are given by the state of North Carolina. They also do not count as a grade, although they can play a role in placement for the following year. These tests are given to see what the students have learned during the year. Students also take common assessments throughout the year, created by the third grade team, as well as individual teacher made tests. These assessment will count as a grade toward your child’s quarterly average.
Q: What are the greatest challenges that parents/students face in 3rd grade? • A: The biggest challenge for both students and parents is getting use to the pacing of 3rd grade. There is a lot of material that must be covered during the year and we can move quickly. Concepts are taught for a specified amount of time (according to CMS pacing guides) and then only reviewed as the year goes on. Another big challenge for parents and students is the grading system. If a child has made all 3s in 2nd grade it is hard to see Bs or Cs on the report card. However, the teachers in 3rd grade input grades into NC Wise know as Parent Assistant that allows parents and students to check their grades throughout the year. This helps everyone see what the current grades are and how and where the student may need to focus their attention. Another challenge is the independence. Students in 3rd grade are asked to complete a lot of items independently. The teachers are there supporting the students but also rely on the students to ask questions when they don’t understand a concept or problem. • Q: How can I help my child be more independent? • A: At home as your child is completing their homework, allow them to work for several minutes on their own without any help from you as parents. Once a certain amount of time has passed, check on the students and ask if they understand what they are doing. Always go back and check their work to make sure it has been done correctly. Another way to help is to assist your child in their organizational skills. The easier it is for your child to find their homework, books, pencils, etc, the easier it is for them to succeed in class. In our classrooms we stress the importance of organization and try to work with the students on staying organized but having it reinforced at home is very important.
Q: How are students placed in classes? • A: At the end of the year 2nd grade teachers make tentative classes for 3rd grade. Teachers use knowledge of the students in order to guide them through this process. The classes are made only toward the number of teachers that will be in the next grade level and not toward a specific teacher. • Q: What kind of projects do 3rd graders do? • A: This year the students have been involved in several projects. We begin the year with tradition quilts and “getting to know you” types of projects. In second quarter each classroom is assigned a habitat and the students are required to research an animal or plant from that habitat and create a question/answer booklet. Currently students are working on the biggest project of the year, the Living Museum. For this students are asked to research a person, create a report, a 10 fact speech, dress like the person, and perform in a museum like setting. Throughout the year there are several other small projects that the students will receive. Most projects have a turn around time of at least 1 full week (including a weekend). • Q: What field trips do 3rd graders go on? • A: This year the 3rd graders have gone to see a play at Children’s Theater, visited Discovery Place for a bone and muscle presentation, went to the James K. Polk House, and will receive a visit from StarLab, a traveling planetarium. The big field trip for 3rd grade, however, is Old Salem. This is a full day trip that lasts from 7:30-5. The students travel to Winston-Salem, NC to visit Old Salem where they get to experience a town from the past. This trip matches our social studies and literacy units and objectives.
Q: Will the EOGs align with the new Common Core Standards? • A: Not next year. The state is looking into changing the test but it will not occur for a few years. However, we are well aware of what is tested on the EOG and will make sure to cover any content that may not be covered by the Common Core Standards to ensure that your child is ready for the test. • Q: Will tutoring be offered for the EOGs? • A: Each year we are allotted a small number of tutoring spots for students. The teacher uses classroom data in order to fill these spots. Several teachers offer tutoring, for a fee, during the summer and school year if you are interested. • Q: What kind of activities can a third grade child join? • A: Third grade is very exciting for students because they have the opportunity to join several different activities. In school students can run for class representative to serve on student council, they can run for secretary of student council, and they can be a mail carrier at school. This year after school activities were limited, as of right now it looks to be the same for next year. However, Girls on the Run is open to 3rd-5th grade girls and the new Xcel to Fitness is open to 3rd-5th grade boys. Both these activities take place after school 2 days a week. The last activity, open to boys and girls in 3rd-5th grade, is Science Olympiad. This is a spring activity that meets 1 day per week, but requires commitment to competing in the culminating activity at the end of the session.
What can we do over the summer to prepare? • Study up on addition and subtraction facts. Students should know these facts fluently. • Work on subtraction across zeroes (400-123= ). • Work on combinations to 10 and 100. • Work on 10 more and 10 less and 1 more and 1 less of numbers. (visualize a 100s board and how 19 is 10 less than 29 and falls 1 block above the 19) • Do summer reading programs at the library and/or bookstore. • Encourage your child to read chapter books. • Talk to your child about what they are reading. • Introduce nonfiction books into your child’s reading selections.
Websites with extra help • On my website, you will find a page that offers materials for rising third grade students. Please visit this location for a copy of tonight’s presentation along with websites that will help prepare your child for 3rd grade. • http://lauramisiunas.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/ • Questions?
Thank you for coming! • Please fill out an evaluation form before you leave or send it in with your child tomorrow. • If you have any additional questions that you’d like answered please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org