The LA Block
The third grade Language Arts Block is a carefully constructed period of time where children are engaged in a variety of literacy activities. It will consist of, but is not limited to, guided reading, independent reading, shared literacy, word study (FUNdations), grammar, spelling, cursive, and writing. Each day, there will be a minimum of two MUST DO centers and CHOICE centers. Each day's MUST DO centers must be completed in school.
Reading takes many forms. We will be conducting guided reading groups during the Language Arts block. These differentiated groups allow for instruction based on selected texts and the needs of the students. Independent reading becomes increasingly important at this age. The children will have the opportunity to read self-selected texts during the Language Arts block. However, at-home reading and skills work is still an expectation. There will often be homework assignments which require students to directly reflect on their at-home reading. The children will also be reading from works out of their Anthology. Reading tests are generated based on comprehension of their Anthology selections. I will be reading aloud from quality literature during these periods. A non-fiction target will be reached via our integration of Achieve 3000.
Writing in the classroom will occur at many points throughout our day. Writing is a task that takes places across the whole third grade curriculum. Both the MUST DO and CHOICE centers will involve writing. This may include activities such as responding to a book or using their spelling words to come up with "Third Grade Worthy" sentences. We use the Empowering Writers methodology to teach writing which involves many visuals and graphic organizers to help children organize their thoughts and writing.
There will be a grammar text and workbook. The workbook will be the source for nightly homework assignments. Every day the children will have a MUST DO grammar center. Their homework will reinforce that day's topic. Our grammar units will provide the students with a resource for what is expected on writing assignments. The parts of speech are a major area of focus. Recognizing the parts of speech and applying them correctly will be a goal for all third graders.