Off to a Great Start!!!

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Important Upcoming Dates:

Back to School Night- 9/7 at 6:30pm

Rosh Hashanah- No school 9/21-9/22

Erev Yom Kippur- Early release

AJA third graders are off to a great start as they embark on the new school year. Although there has only been two weeks of school so far, the class has really covered a lot of new topics! Read on to learn what third graders have been studying!

During the “Third Day in Third Grade” celebration, students popped balloons with comprehension questions inside after reading a story.


Students became familiar with the new expectations of being a third grade reader! They learned the importance of responding in complete sentences, explaining their thoughts, and elaborating to convey deep understanding. The class set expectations for our “book chats” which are fun, yet deep, discussions of the chapter(s) read the previous night. So far, the class has really excelled at this activity. All students have been keeping up with their reading, adding insight to our discussions, and listening attentively. A big emphasis is being placed on comprehension. Many strategies for finding answers are utilized such as: going back to re-read, using headings, making inferences, and making connections. Currently, the class is reading Third Grade Angels and is really enjoying the humorous storyline.


Students also became familiar with third grade math expectations. Students start the day with a mixed-review warm up, which we check as a class. Typically, students are in small groups for math, however, sometimes we work as a whole group.The class learned to round a number to the nearest ten and hundred. Using number lines to show proximity proved helpful for many students. Telling time was reviewed, with an emphasis on elapsed time. Strategies for finding the elapsed time included: counting the hours then the minutes, using an analog clock, and using a number line. Students also reviewed graphing, as a part of our graphing activity about summer travels. Soon, we will review the basic concept of multiplication. Becoming fluent with multiplication facts is an important goal for every third grader!

Third graders practice multiplication using manipulatives.

Writing/Language Arts

A lot of emphasis has been placed on forming complete sentences which include a capital letter, punctuation, and a complete thought. Students often receive “sentence starters” to help them form the sentence properly in a way that addresses the question. After two weeks of practice, complete sentences will become the expectation in September and for the remainder of the year. In creative writing, the process was strongly emphasized. Students reviewed the writing process and the procedures for following it. As a mini-unit, the class was introduced to poetry. After reading many examples, students began to understand poetic writing and came up with “cool word combos” of their own. Slowly, these were developed into real poetry reflecting student experiences over the summer. Students were encouraged to convey the “feel” of summer in their poems. These should be done in time to be on display for Back to School Night!

Social Studies

Third grade began its first social studies unit on map reading with an emphasis on landforms. Students reviewed basic map skills such as the cardinal directions, using a map key, map scaling, etc. After that, they were introduced to landforms such as mountains, valleys, plateaus, canyons, deltas, islands, etc. Below you will see pictures from our experiment where students learned that a river starts up in a mountain and ends in the ocean. They even got to see which ocean they would end up in if they went tubing for a way too long in nearby rivers! This unit has only just begun so we will continue it through September. After that, the next unit is Animal Adaptations and Endangered Species.