Saturday, August 11, 2012

Third Grade: Here We Come!

Third grade is a big year.  Students are moving into more abstract thought processes.  Peer pressure is more influential as well.  In WV, third graders will begin taking the yearly WesTest.  I have provided a link for test taking tips on this blog. Subjects like science and social studies will no longer be incorporated into reading and math.  They will now be stand alone subjects as well.  It's hard to believe, but your baby has grown into an adolescent.

Review two- and three-digit addition and subtraction problems, both with and without regrouping. Children should also be able to tell the value of each number they write. Practice equal grouping.  Provide 10 pennies and have the child to divide the pennies into equal groups of two pennies per group (making 5 groups) for example.  This will help them with division and multiplication.

Counting a variety of coins is a continuous process.  I have mentioned before that this a very hard process for kids to learn.

Teach your child to tell time using minute increments.  Require your child to tell the time, read a thermometer, and report the date on the calendar to maintain the skills learned in second grade.

Practice word problems.  Make sure students know to look for key words.  Words like altogether, difference, increase, decrease, how much more, how much less, total, and sum are clues.

Provide opportunities to measure things with a ruler, measurement tape, or with measuring cups and spoons while baking. In third grade students will be expected to use tools such as rulers to find the area and perimeter of basic 

Point out basic two- and three-dimensional shapes found around the house and in nature: circles, squares, and triangles; spheres, cubes, and cones. Knowing these shapes well will give your child a solid foundation for the geometric concepts introduced in third grade.  Make sure they know how many sides and corners are on the shape as well.

Practice writing name in cursive.

Encourage kids to start reading chapter books if they aren't already doing so.

Work cooperatively and productively with other children in small groups to complete projects

Understand how choices affect consequences.

Use prefixes, suffixes, and root words and other strategies to identify unfamiliar words

Be able to conduct simple interviews or do simple research and write on a topic

Show students to be prepared for a discussion, having read or studied required material.

Encourage kids to start combining sentences into paragraphs.  Three point paragraphs are used (opening sentence attention getter that names the topic, three sentences talking about the topic, and the last sentence restating the topic or a "leave-you thinking" type question to close).

Preparing for Second Grade

Second Grade Readiness

Second grade is the year when teachers put the finishing touches on what was learned in kindergarten and first grades.  Kids are beginning to move from one developmental level ot another.  They are moving from concrete to more abstract thinking.  If you suspect your child is not on-level, now is the time to get help.  Interventionists through the school system and tutoring are good places to start.  It is vital at this point because the years that follow will depend on this base material being mastered.  If the base material is not mastered, chances are not in the favor of the student to be academically successful.  Also, WesTest will start in third grade in WV.  Those basics need to be implanted by the end of second grade so the child is not so overwhelmed by the amount of information covered in preparation for that test.
  • 1
    Teach your child to write his first and last name correctly and legibly using appropriate capital and lower-case letters.
  • 2
    Help your child learn to recite and write their home address and phone number.

  • 3
    Make sure your child can read the first 100 basic sight words. Many free lists can be found on the Internet. Use your favorite search engine and type in "free sightword lists." Some websites offer sorted lists by grade level.
  • 4
    Practice with your child so he can write numbers to 150 as well as count by 2s, 5s and 10s with little effort.  Make sure the child can order numbers correctly.  Twenty comes before thirty.  Nine comes after four.
  • 5
    Teach your child to tell time to the hour, quarter hour, and half hour on both digital and analog clocks.
  • 6
    Practice with your child until he can tell the names and values of the following coins: half dollar, quarter, nickel, dime and penny.  Practice counting mixed values of coins:  two dimes, one nickel, one quarter, and three pennies is 53 cents.  This is a very hard concept for kids to grasp.
  • 7
    Make sure your child knows the days of the week and the months of the year in order, and knows the current month and year.
  • 8
    Help your child practice addition and subtraction facts to 10. If the facts aren't memorized, the child should know of some way to solve them using a learned strategy, a number line or another way other than by counting on her fingers.  Also practice two digit addition with no carry over numbers (22 + 45 = ).  Make sure they comprehend place value (ones, tens, hundreds place).
  • 9
    Read with your child. The more exposure to books a child gets, the better he is at reading and comprehending. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is your time and a good book to read again and again.  I have a suggested book list for all ages following all of the blog posts.
  • 10
    Make sure your child understands how to construct a sentence accurately.  They should use a noun/pronoun as the subject, a verb/auxilary verb for the predicate, start a sentence with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark.  At this level statements that need a period and questions that need a question mark have been taught.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

First Grade in your near future?

Here is a link that lists the expectations for first grade readiness.  More grade levels to follow.

First Grade Expectations

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are you ready for kindergarten?

Is your child entering kindergarten this fall?  Is he/she prepared?  Here is a blog that provides a list of tasks and concepts that will better prepare your child for kindergarten.  If your child is unable to complete some of the tasks on the list, it does not mean your child will fail.  These are suggestions to help your help because the kindergarten curriculum can be strenuous at times.  Parents who have not had the kindergarten experience for many years will be surprised how much material is covered.  After reading the list, feel free to ask questions about the list or comment on your thoughts.  If you notice something is missing, add it to the blog.  Do you believe this is a lot of material for such young kids?  Are you surprised or not by the rigor of the curriculum in kindergarten?  Are we pushing to hard or not enough?  Do you want your child to be challenged more or less?

71 Things Your Child Needs to Know before Kindergarten

Monday, July 16, 2012

Do standardized tests measure teacher or school accountability?

I know a lot of teachers.  Not one of them believes it is fair to base teacher or school accountability on standardized test scores.  I recently read this article and I loved the author's quote which stated,

"Defining accountability in terms of a quantitative measure
- a number - is actually an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the leadership to avoid being accountable.

Do you agree with this statement?  Why or why not?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What would parents like to really say to teachers?

I recently read this article and I believe there is much truth to the author's message.  Now, it's your turn.  Can other teachers identify with this issue?  Do parents identify with this issue?

What is this all about?

The purpose of this blog is to increase communication between parents and teachers.  Your child does not have to be a student in my class, but any parent.  I want this to serve as a reference point to help teachers and parents have better relationships.  In order to prepare children for the best life possible, it takes a village to raise them.  This adage is true and the heads of the village are parents and teachers.  I hope this can serve both parties well leading to positive results in our children.

Each day, I will provide a topic of discussion in order to iniate communication between parents and teachers and vice versa.  In addtion, this blog can be used as a discussion forum if you have questions for me as a teacher or a parent.  If I cannot answer your question, I will direct you to someone who can or another reader may post an answer.  I will also provide links to other resourceful blogs, wikis, news articles, and other tools parents and teachers may deem useful.