3rd Grade Team Overview
School begins at 8:30, and class begins promptly at 8:45 a.m. Listed below is a plan of our daily schedule:
8:45-9:00 Morning Work & Morning Meeting
10:15-11:00 Science & Social Studies
11:45-12:05 Interactive Read Aloud
2:10-2:20 End of the Day Routine
During the first half of each quarter students will participate in social studies instruction and during the second half of each quarter our focus will be on science instruction.
Listed below is a schedule of students’ specials classes. Students’ specials on Monday will change each quarter. Your child’s teacher will be sure to update you on the change!
Ms. Shakespeare’s Room (212)
Monday – Art/P.E.
Tuesday – Art/P.E.
Wednesday – Music/P.E.
Thursday – Music/P.E./Spanish
Friday – Spanish/P.E/Library
Mrs. Steenman's Room (210)
Monday – P.E./Art
Tuesday – P.E/Art
Wednesday – P.E./Music
Thursday – P.E./Music
Friday – P.E./Spanish
Responsive Classroom is a teaching approach that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. Developed by classroom teachers in 1981 and continually refined to meet schools’ needs, the approach consists of practical strategies for helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies day in and day out. In urban, suburban, and rural settings nationwide, educators using Responsive Classroom strategies report increased student engagement and academic progress, along with fewer discipline problems. The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers. All teachers at Skinner North take this approach to social learning and management.
Each and every day, students will participate in a Morning Meeting. The Morning Meeting follows a predictable pattern each day. Content is integrated throughout different components of the Morning Meeting. We will integrate social/emotional lessons from the Second Step curriculum into our Morning Meetings as well. Listed below are different purposes for Morning Meetings:
Morning Meeting sets the tone for respectful learning and establishes a climate of trust.
The tone and climate of Morning Meeting extend beyond the Meeting.
Morning Meeting motivates children by addressing two human needs: the need to feel a sense of significance and belonging and the need to have fun.
The repetition of many ordinary moments of respectful interaction in Morning Meeting enables some extraordinary moments.
Morning Meeting merges social, emotional, and intellectual learning.
Students will be assessed on daily activities and assignments, homework, and quizzes, final assessments, and projects. All students will be monitored closely for growth and mastery in curriculum based concepts and skills.
On many newly introduced topics “guided practice” assignments will be assessed with a check plus, check, or check minus. The check plus indicates mastery of the learning objective, the check indicates partial mastery, and the check minus indicates that the learning objective was not yet mastered. A zero means that the assignment was not completed.
Long-term projects, papers, and assignments will be accompanied with checklists, rubrics, and/or guidelines to provide expectations and necessary content. Teacher instruction regarding the project will take place in the classroom.
Tests will be given at the conclusion of studying a specific skill or topic. Students that receive below a 70% on a final assessment will be given a re-take test after appropriate review time. The highest possible final assessment grade a student may receive from re-taking a test is 70%.
Report cards will be given in October, January, March, and June. Traditional grades will be given for each benchmark in each curriculum area. Progress reports will be sent home at the half-way point of each quarter.
Students will take NWEA assessments both in math and reading in the fall, winter, and spring. These computerized tests are adaptive; when taking the test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all of the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. These tests are designed to target a student’s academic performance in mathematics, reading, and language use.
The purpose of NWEA testing is to measure your child’s progress or growth in school. These tests are important to teachers because they let us know where a student’s strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas. We will use this information to help guide instruction in the classroom.
Throughout the school year, we will be incorporating the use of technology into our daily lessons. Keyboarding will be an area of focus this year for third graders. Students will post their published writing pieces and other classroom work on their own personal blog throughout the year. We would love for you to comment on your child’s blog posts after they have finished publishing. The use of computers will also be very important for long-term assignments and inquiry projects. Flash drives are useful tools for data transport and storage, please make sure they are returned to school if they are used at home. We recommend that all third graders have one for their personal use.
Expectations of Students
Skinner North is a school where all students can feel safe and welcome. Bullying and behaviors that fall under this category will be written up and reported to the principal and homeroom teacher. Parents will be notified of any infraction.
Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to work with their peers in groups or pairs. Respect for others in all situations will be modeled and taught. We hope that as your child progresses through school they will have adopted a value system that they themselves, their teachers, administration, and parents would be proud of. Students will know that they will always have a network of peers that will support them at any time.
In third grade, students are guided through large amounts of curriculum. Hands-on activities, differentiation, and explorations are part of everyday learning. The learning experience is one where the student experiences learning.
The approximate homework time appropriate for third grade is 45-60 minutes per night. This will include their daily independent reading at home, long-term projects, weekly assignments, and/or other work not completed in class. Learning, processing, and thinking is guided in the classroom, where the teachers can observe, interact, and encourage careful thinking. Within the classroom, reasonable steps will be taken and taught to ensure that your child understands work expectations, as well as what the final product should be. These steps help to develop a final product that allows teachers and students alike to question, develop, and create an end result that is memorable, authentic, and of the highest quality.
This age is truly the time when students are learning to become independent learners. Our goal is to prepare for the rigors of upper-elementary grades and in doing so our homework policy is that all assignments must be turned in on the due date and be of third grade quality. Assignments that are one day late will receive a deduction of 10%. Assignments turned in two days late will receive a 20% deduction. All assignments turned in three days late will receive a 30%, etc. In the event of unforeseen homework obstacles, please contact your child’s teacher. Growth is inevitable when you let your child take on this responsibility of getting their homework completed.
Student Independence and Ownership
Students are responsible for their own schoolwork. There should be an appointed area in your home and a specific time when homework is completed each day. This predictability will help prevent arguments, frustration, and incomplete or missing assignments.
Your child is ultimately responsible for the product of work that comes back to school, thus it is their responsibility to complete the work in a reasonable amount of time and of superior quality. Do not feel like you have to edit or check over their final product of work.
Parental Support with Planners
Each evening you can help your child by looking over the assignments that are recorded in the Daily Planner and initialing each day to ensure you are aware of the homework assignments for the night. Double check that your child has completed all of the assignments and that they are in their green homework folder to return to school the next day.
At the end of each day, students will be given time to write down all of their homework assignments in their student planners. Homework assignments recorded in the planner are due the next day, unless otherwise specified by the teacher. he student planner is a great tool for learning organization and a wonderful way to keep you informed of the assignments that your child is working on.
There is a comment section available in the planner, but because the planners are out on desks and visible to all students, we would ask that parents send in separate notes with their children if they want to communicate to the teacher for confidentiality purposes.
The Third Grade team encourages all parents to become involved in the education of their child. Throughout the year we will be in need of volunteers for a wide variety of activities and programs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to help in any way. We will also post on our Newsblog when we are looking for volunteers to help out with classroom projects or “teacher” work.
Third Grade Field Trips
Throughout the year parents will have the opportunity to assist with curriculum related activities. As a third grade, we are planning on going on at least one field trip per quarter. We will need chaperones, teachers, leaders, and volunteers for many events. We will email all parents prior to each event to request volunteers. If we have an abundance of parents that volunteer for a particular activity, we will draw names. Our hope is to include all willing parents in at least one activity. Please make sure your volunteer status is up-to-date in the office.
Report Cards & Conferences
Grading Scale & Weight
This is the grading scale Skinner North has adopted:
100-90% = A 89-80% = B 79-70% = C 69-60 = D 59% ↓ = F
Students’ grades are broken down into five sections. Each section is weighed differently to account for students’ overall grade for each subject area.
Fall and Spring Conferences
This fall and spring you are invited to attend our parent/teacher conferences. This conference will last ten minutes and will take place in the child’s classroom. Report cards will be handed out at this time. A sign up sheet will be sent home about a week prior to conferences. Sign up times will be honored on a first come, first serve basis. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule.
Report Cards & Progress Reports
Report cards are given to parents quarterly. There is a progress report sent home at the five-week mark of every quarter. Progress Reports are expected to be signed by a parent and retuned to school the following day.
Breakfast and Lunch
Eating a good breakfast is very important. If your child is planning on eating breakfast at school, please make sure they are here at 8:30 to receive their breakfast. We will leave the cafeteria promptly at 8:40 to make sure we are in the classroom at 8:45 for instruction. Morning work is a graded assignment and very important for their vocabulary acquisition.
If students are bringing a lunch from home, they must leave it in the lunch bin downstairs outside of the cafeteria. No food is allowed in the classroom at any time. To ensure the safety of all students, we expect students to place their lunches in the assigned bins for the classrooms. Due to limited staff for adequate supervision during the lunch and recess block, students will not be permitted to go back to the classroom to retrieve lunches, unless a previously approved plan is in place. As a natural consequence, they will be offered a free school lunch, unless a documented food allergy or dietary restriction is on file.
Parent and Teacher Communication
Communication is a vital component of any relationship. We plan to keep our communication open to parents in a number of different ways. These will include News Blog updates, e-mails, and websites.
News Blogs & Website
Each of the third grade classrooms has their own News Blog.
Mrs. Steenman's News Blog
Each classroom’s News Blog will be updated on a weekly basis with important news and happenings in the classrooms. Please look for this publication to know what is happening in our classes. This will be one way that we will communicate with all the parents.
Please feel free to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns. It is easiest to reach us via e-mail:
Responsibilities When Absent
If circumstances prevent your child from attending school, the child will be responsible for obtaining a Classroom Absence Form, which states incomplete homework or in-class work that was missed. The day that he/she returns they will collect their absence folder and form from the student absence helper. The student helper and teacher together will explain assignments that were missed and class work that was completed. Please report all absences to the homeroom teacher and the Skinner North office.
Making Up Missed Work
Keep in mind that all work missed may not be able to be made up at home. The Classroom Absence Form will go home with the student the day he/she returns. Depending on how many days the child has missed, the student is granted one day per day absent to make up missing assignments.
Families are encouraged to use breaks and holidays for extended vacations. Please refrain from taking family vacations during school days. If you choose to go on an extended vacation (3 days or more) during school, teachers will not be able to provide the assignments and activities that your child will be missing in advance. If extensive curriculum is missed, those standards may not be assessed on the report card.
Schedule doctor and dental appointments before or after school hours if at all possible. Notify the school office and your child’s classroom teacher if the scheduling of appointments during the school day is unavoidable.
We Greatly Appreciate Your Support!