ELA:  We are continuing our new English Language Arts curriculum this year! 

In Unit 1, students read literary texts about children who face challenges with access to education. Throughout the course of the unit, students read three literary texts: Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown, Rain School by JamesRumford, and Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter. They read each text for gist, recount the text, determine its central message or lesson, and then closely read and answer text-dependent questions designed to help them explain how that central message or lesson is conveyed through details in the text. Students also identify the challenges faced by the characters and how they are able to overcome them. Throughout the unit, students are introduced to routines and anchor charts that will be used throughout the rest of the module, as well as the rest of the year. In the first half of the unit, students learn about independent reading and discussion norms and receive their independent reading journals and vocabulary logs. For the mid-unit assessment, students discuss what they like about their independent reading books and the things that they have found challenging. In the second half of the unit, after learning how to write short constructed responses, students read a new literary text, answer selected response questions, and write short constructed responses about questions having to do with the text. 

In Unit 2, students move from analyzing challenges others face in accessing schools to more specifically analyzing challenges others face in accessing books. Students closely read excerpts from My Librarian Is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs, which describes ways people living in different countries around the world access books. For a mid-unit assessment, students demonstrate their reading skills by reading a new excerpt from this book and determining its main idea. In the second half of the unit, students switch gears to begin writing informative texts. Using what they have learned about reading informational texts in the first half of the unit, they plan, write, revise, and edit an informative paragraph describing how people in a particular country overcome the challenge of access to books. For the End of Unit 2 Assessment, students write a new informative paragraph describing the challenge and how it was overcome, using evidence from the excerpt from My Librarian Is a Camel read for the mid-unit assessment.

In Unit 3, students move from analyzing challenges faced by others, to learning challenges that they face, specifically with reading. This is framed with the book More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby, which describes the reading challenges Booker T. Washington faced. Students hear the whole text read aloud and analyze in detail an excerpt of text that is rich in figurative language and describes the challenges Booker faced in detail. For a mid-unit assessment, students demonstrate their writing skills by writing an informative paragraph recounting Booker’s story from More Than Anything Else and the lesson they learned through the challenges faced and how those challenges were overcome. In the second half of the unit, students determine their own reading challenges and some strategies to overcome those challenges. They use The Painted Essay® structure to write a reading contract outlining two of their most significant reading challenges and two strategies to overcome each challenge. Students also practice reading excerpts of Nasreen’s Secret School and Rain School for fluency practice throughout the second half of the unit. For Part I of the End of Unit 3 Assessment, students read an excerpt of Nasreen’s Secret School or Rain School in a group to record an audiobook. In Part II, students revise their reading contracts based on teacher and peer feedback. For the performance task, students create a reading strategies bookmark to quickly reference the reading strategies they have outlined in their reading contract.
MATH:  Big ideas for the 1st quarter in math are: 
  • Objects can be counted in equal groups instead of individual units (NC.3.OA.1).
  • Products of a whole number can be interpreted as the total number of objects, given the number of groups and the amount in each group (NC.3.OA.1).
  • Multiplication can be used when solving story problems that involve equal groups (a number of groups with an equal number of items in each group) (NC.3.OA.3).
  • Division can be used when solving story problems that involve an unknown number of groups or an unknown size of groups (NC.3.OA.3).
  • The Commutative Property can be applied to numbers to make sense of patterns in multiplication (NC.3.OA.9).
  • Data can be collected using a frequency table. (NC.3.MD.3)
  • Data can be organized by creating scaled bar graphs and scaled picture graphs. (NC.3.MD.3)
  • Data in graphs can be used to answer questions and compare categories.  NC.3.MD.3)
  • Place value strategies can be used to solve addition and subtraction problems less than or equal to 1,000.  (NC.3.NBT.2)
  • Reasonableness of answers can be assessed by using estimation strategies. (NC.3.NBT.2)

SCIENCE: Our essential questions for 1st quarter Science are:
  • 3.L.1 Understand human body systems and how they are essential for life: protection, movement and support.
  • 3.L.1.1 Compare the different functions of the skeletal and muscular system.
  • 3.L.1.2 Explain why skin is necessary for protection and for the body to remain healthy.

SOCIAL STUDIES: Our essential questions for 1st quarter Social Studies are:
  • Places are often located by absolute and relative positions.
  • Regions are often distinguished by their characteristics.
  • The culture, economy, and lifestyle of a region are influenced by many factors (including the region’s location, climate, and physical characteristics).
  • Human and cultural characteristics of a place come from human beliefs and actions.
  • Physical characteristics of a place make up its natural environment and how people adapt or change them.
  • When people choose to move, it can have impacts on various communities (immigration, migration, cultural diversity, the environment).