Updated: Aug 28
3rd grade is a big testing year in the U.S. and can sometimes be the year that students are held back. So what can we do to best support them before and during 3rd grade?
Before even getting into the academics, I think it is important to make sure that as teachers and parents, we aren't putting an incredible amount of pressure on test scores. Test anxiety and just general anxiety is way too prevalent in elementary school. I appreciate so much the way my parents went about tests when I was a kid. They taught me to be a hard worker and to try my best. As long as I tried my very best, they didn't stress over the score of the test. We learn in different ways and at different paces. I was always a good student and did well in school, however I struggled when it came to taking tests, all throughout my academic career.
When we believe in them, they start to believe in themselves.
According to teachers, these are a few of the things a student should be proficient in before entering the 3rd grade. For a more extensive list, check out this website!
Reading & Writing: In 3rd grade, students are beginning to write small essays and longer papers. At this point, they should have learned how to collect information on a specific topic and answer questions about a text.
-Students should also be able to write about an event using a beginning, middle and end with proper punctuation.
- Comparing and contrasting 2 different topics is also important to gave a grasp on before and throughout the 3rd grade.
-In 3rd grade, children should be reading grade appropriate chapter books on their own. Modeling chapter book reading is easy and something that can be done daily at home!
2. Mathematics: Adding and subtracting within 100, and especially understanding how to subtract with regrouping is very important to have a firm foundation in math!
-Two-step word problems
-Place value. Understanding the ones place, tens place, hundreds, and thousands.
-Money. Understanding the value of each coin and dollar bill and applying it to real world problems.
-Fractions. Understanding basic fractions and how to divide an object into halves, thirds, quarters...etc.
3. Social Studies & Science: Basic map skills (i.e. understanding the difference between cities, countries and continents. How to identify bodies of water and landforms.
- Planets and their order in their solar system.
-Recognize and know that the same materials can exist in different areas (solid, gas, liquid)
-Classify animals based on species (mammals, amphibians)
-Talk to them about cultures and languages!
4. Social Skills: By the 3rd grade, children should be able to work independently and know how and when to ask questions respectfully. They should be able to work well in a group of their peers and take turns in conversation.
Although it is expected for 3rd graders to sit in a desk for a long period of time and focus on the teacher and their work, I don't think there is anything wrong with taking breaks or changing up the learning a little bit. Children tend to retain information when it is delivered in a fun way that they understand.
Education.com has an extensive amount of resources for grades K-8th grade! They have interactive worksheets, games, and lesson plans! For access to the premium version, create a free account on my website and get the access code!
For more information or support, please do not hesitate to reach out!