Alta Vista Elementary School

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Third Grade at Alta Vista
Third Grade is an important developmental year. Students go from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." Their math lessons assume they have command of their facts, and can use them to think, apply logic, and solve a problem often requiring more than one step. Students begin to develop abstract thinking skills. Inference and "reading between the lines" become important to understand and more fully appreciate an author's intent. It is a time of growing independence and self-discovery as the student becomes an independent learner.
 
 
Language Arts
In reading, students learn to identify main idea and supporting details, use inference, identify the author's intent, and begin to understand character development by focusing on what the character does and says. Students begin to learn independent
study skills and the use of reference materials.
Writing Assessments include descriptive and
narrative paragraphs.

Social Studies
Students learn about our local community. The emphasis is on how things are different now from when the community was first inhabited by the Ohlone and first European settlers. Students learn about their family history and make Cultural Dolls to represent their heritage.

Homework
Homework is assigned by the homeroom teacher and includes Language Arts and Math, and may include work from other subjects. Per district policy, this homework should take your student about 30 minutes each night. In addition, your student is expected to read at least 15 minutes each night. Homework may include completing an online assignment.

Third Grade projects include: Brown-Bag It, Cultural Dolls, the Poem Project, the Marine Animal Report, and the Biography Report/Wax Museum.

Birthday Celebrations
As mandated by the recent Child Wellness Act, our school is supporting healthy eating habits. Please do not bring sweets to celebrate your child’s birthday at school. You are welcome to bring a healthy, low-sugar snack or small items such as special pencils or stickers. Please let your student's teacher know of the celebration in advance.

Math
Students sharpen computational skills. By the end of the year, students are expected to know their 1-10 multiplication facts to automaticity. Students use this skill to analyze and solve problems, often requiring more than one step.

A key skill is for students to begin to understand the relationship between whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.

Science
There are three main topics in third grade science: Sun, Moon, and Stars; Structures of Life; and Matter and Energy. Students begin to use the scientific method.

Students focus on adaptations as they learn about snails and crayfish in class. They produce a report on a marine animal which culminates with a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Field Trips
In addition to the Monterey Bay Aquarium trip in February, third grade field trips include the Ohlone Field Trip to Sanborn Park , and a trip to the DeAnza Planetarium. There are three"in-house" field trips." One to the stars" which is usually held in late autumn with members of the San Jose Astronomical Association bringing their telescopes to the school blacktop. All students are expected to attend. Two traveling trunks from the Campbell Historical Museum, one on Pioneers to the Valley and the other Orchards and Canneries, will help bring Social Studies lessons to life.