A Jaunty January

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Thank you, AJA community, for supporting the third grade’s efforts! We donated $770 to the World Wildlife Fund and each child symbolically adopted an endangered animal!

Upcoming Events:

Feb. 7- Student Led Conferences- Early Dismissal

Feb. 13 – Field Trip to Texas Museum of Science and Tech.

Feb. 19 – Presidents’ Day – No School

March 21- Space Travel Expo – 1:00PM in MPR- Parents mark your calendars!


AJA third graders started the new year off strong with plenty of learning and fun! Keep reading below for a recap of the month of January.

Reading and Language Arts

Students studied the fantasy fiction genre in reading this month. They learned to identify elements of the genre such as unrealistic elements, supernatural abilities, talking animals, magic, etc. The class read, The Magician’s Boy and had discussions regarding the fantasy elements, inferencing, and visualizing. They also discussed the author’s purpose and word choice. Then, students read books based on individual interest in partners or small groups. Third graders had a great time writing their own fantasy stories as well. After pre-writing about which fantasies they wished were real, they continued the writing process to achieve a final copy. Students learned to correctly use quotation marks when writing dialogue. An emphasis was placed on writing a story, not a conversation, as students were encouraged to only use a limited amount of dialogue and to incorporate more action. Currently, students are reading How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days and engaging in deep discussions of “perfection,” debating whether perfection exists and is attainable. In February, the class will be reading a lot of nonfiction pertaining to the solar system unit.


In math, students completed a unit on fractions. They identified fractions as part of whole, and therefore valued at less than one. Students identified the numerator and denominator of given fractions. They used fraction models in order to compare fractions and order fractions from greatest to least. Students also practiced adding and subtracting fractions. After reviewing place value, third grade also completed a unit on rounding numbers for estimation purposes. Students learned to round numbers to the nearest ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand, and hundred thousand. As enrichment, students even rounded numbers all the way up to the nearest hundred million! Students practiced finding the estimate and solution for a given equation. Currently, the class just started working on division and will continue this into February.

AJA third graders use fraction models to compare fractions.

Social Studies/Science

In social studies, students reviewed various map reading skills such as cardinal directions, map keys, scale, etc. These skills were practiced on various maps and assignments. Students learned about longitude and latitude as well. A review of landforms was incorporated into science as the class began studying the earth and its layers. In science students learned the four layers of earth: the crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core. Students made clay models of the earth with each color representing a layer. They also learned about natural resources such as rocks, petroleum, clay, etc. Third graders had many discussions about why the earth is special and different from the other planets. Currently, the class is studying the moon and all of its phases. They have learned that the moon is earth’s satellite and that it rotates around the earth. Students have the option to chart the moon’s phases in order to earn bonus points. In February, third grade will delve into the other planets as we continue our new unit on the solar system. Don’t forget that our field trip to the planetarium is on Feb. 13th and our Space Travel Expo is on March 21st!

Third graders conducted an experiment to discover how the moon reflects light from the sun!

Planting in the AJA greenhouse!