Friday, July 12, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum- 3rd Grade- Alexander

Just in case y'all think we're just farting around, I thought I'd share our curriculum choices for this coming year. Alexander will be in third grade. Some of the text below is copied from the educational objectives that I've written to submit to the school district so that they don't think we're just farting around.

Moving Beyond the Page: For language arts, science, and social studies, we've chosen to use Moving Beyond the Page. It is a literature based, interdisciplinary, comprehensive curriculum. Alexander will read and analyze some great literature including The Little House in the Big Woods, The Sign of the Beaver, Native American Animal Stories, Ben and Me, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The BFG, Akimbo and Sadako, Holes, Charlotte in Giverny, Abel's Island, Pedro's Journal, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

For writing, Alexander will continue to strengthen his paragraph writing skills and will focus on pre and post writing skills such as planning and revision. He will write for different audiences and purposes, write to record ideas and reflections, to demonstrate understanding, and to express feelings and ideas. He will polish his writing for correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling at a level appropriate for his age. All of this work will be related to the literature he is reading.

Alexander will be studying the following science topics: Dirt and Plants, Ecosystems and Ecology, Magnetism and Electricity, Forces of Nature, Rocks and Minerals, Animal Adaptations, and Work, Tools, and Simple Machines. The Moving Beyond the Page curriculum uses many hands-on experiments and requires a final project at the end of each unit. 

He will be studying the following social studies concepts: Native Americans, The Power of People, Africa and Asia, Europe, and Early Explorers. These concepts will be intertwined with his literature units so that he can form meaningful connections. He will do a final project at the end of each social studies unit as well. 
Moving Beyond the Page booklets, *some* of the kits that go with it, and 2/3 of his math

Spelling: While the Moving Beyond the Page curriculum does include spelling in its language arts lessons, we are choosing to continue using Sequential Spelling instead, because I like the way it teaches how to build words instead of just memorizing lists of words (which is also sometimes helpful, of course).

Math: Alexander will be using Singapore Math levels 2B, 3A, and 3B. Because it's an advanced curriculum, they advise that an average third grader would use 2B and 3A. Since we've already covered many of the topics in 2B and some of the topics covered in 3A, we plan to pick our way through those, covering just the topics that we haven't mastered yet, leaving plenty of time to go through 3B at a normal pace. If we do need to slow down and don't get to 3B, he will still be on grade level.

Penmanship: Alexander will continue to learn cursive using Handwriting Without Tears .

We're also required to (and want to) have lessons in physical education, health and safety, fire safety, art, and music. We will absolutely be doing those things, but they are less structured, so I have less to say about them. Moving Beyond the Page actually includes many arts and crafts activities, and I enjoy planning our own as well. My kids are not art starved! We'll be doing sports at the YMCA, including swimming and probably some type of martial arts. When Alexander turns nine, he will be old enough to take a class about, and use, the kids' gym. For music, Alexander will continue with his recorder, and I will probably have him learn the 50 states song and some holiday songs. We'll visit a fire station and have a fire safety day at home.

Alexander helped choose his curriculum, to the extent that it was appropriate for him to do so. I know he is excited about much of it. I will write up a separate post about Jack's kindergarten curriculum, but I know he is excited, too. I'm the most excited of all of us!

Next year is going to be great! 

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