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3rd grade language arts


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Writing: (20-35 minutes right now) Treasured Conversations.  It covers grammar, copywork, and writing structure for us.
Literature: we take turns with books, alternating between reading independently and having a read aloud going.  I mostly pick books I want him exposed to that he may not pick up himself.
Reading: At the beginning of this year he was using an Elson Reader, which we both really like. There are discussion questions in the back and the variety is pretty good.  However, he asked to switch to a unit on just fairy tales this semester, so he's using one of my old books from a set I had as a child.  The entire volume consists of fairy tales, poetry, and folk tales.  We'll go back to the next Elson reader in the fall.
Handwriting:  (5 minutes) first book of Spencerian Penmanship done with a fountain pen
Spelling: (5 minutes) Dictation Day By Day, grade 3.  It's cold dictation with a spiraling list of words done in short 2-4 sentences.

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I have a 3rd grade boy this year. I split language Arts out into all it's subgroups so I can make sure he's being challenged, but not overwhelmed. Here's what we do:

Handwriting: each day, we get whiteboards with lines (the type with the dotted middle line), and practice 1 letter of the alphabet making sure we know how to write upper and lower case in the correct spot on the line-I write it and he copies it on his and practices about 5 times on his own. Then (depending on how long that has taken) I might choose a couple of words using the letters we've worked on so far for him to write also.

Grammar: We are going very slowly through Winston Grammar. (I believe it's for 4th and up, but he wanted to do it because his older brother did it last year-hence the reason we're going slowly.) We like it because it's very hands on. I write the sentences out on a whiteboard, and he labels the parts of speech either with the card or marks them with a marker. We only do about 5 sentences a day. We only do this once or twice a week.

Reading/Literature: I usually read a chapter or two from our read aloud, and then he has a binder of poems, short stories and things like that that he reads each day. He only spends about 10 minutes a day. Many, but not all, days he'll also do some fun reading that is slightly below his level. Right now, he's reading Encyclopedia Brown Books. I'd say he's right about at grade level for reading. (I got most of this from the "What your 3rd grader needs to know" book and a few from the easy peasy website.)

Spelling: I have had the HARDEST time finding a spelling that works. Finally, I had to make my own. So, basically, I'll give him a quote or sentence from a favorite book with words I think he should be knowing how to spell. I've printed them out in large font. And he'll "analyze" it. Basically, circle the silent e's in red, underline the suffixes (-ed, -ness, etc) in red, arrow at all the vowels, things like that so he's looking at how the words are spelled. Then, he writes it out. The next day, he studies it again and I dictate it to him and he writes it, then corrects it after he's done. (kind of like dictation day by day, but nothing so planned out.) We only do this twice a week. Another day, he does a page in word ladders workbook-which is fun, but he's also learning some spelling.

Writing: We're flunking this again this year. We tried Classical Academic Presses Writing and Rhetoric book 1, but it's just not working well for us. So, I think we're going to move to "The paragraph book 1" next. 

Vocabulary: Totally not necessary, we do it together with his big brother using 10 cards of Marie's words that we look at and read.. We only do this once a week, but use the same 10 cards for a couple weeks before we switch to a new 10. 

I think that's all the parts we do.

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Almost all my kids did reading aloud to me 15-20 min/day (3-4x/week), spelling (Spell to Write & Read) and light grammar (Growing With Grammar for some, The Sentence Family for others).

That's it. Handwriting as its own subject is done by then in our house & we haven't started "writing." Minimalists, we are. My kids are late readers, so only a couple were capable of independent literature reading by 3rd grade. We had read alouds, but they were for the whole family so I don't count those.

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We didn't do "language arts." 🙂

One of my little 8yo people was still working on reading skills, so that was our [very gentle] focus. I didn't do grammar with her until she was 10, and then it was Easy Grammar. . When she was 8, she just did writing on her own, if she wanted to. FTR, she began taking classes at the community college when she was 14; we didn't push her to graduate in two years, though. She was offered valedictorian but turned it down because she thought it was too political. She graduated with a 3.98 GPA, so I would say our delayed academics didn't hurt her any. 🙂

Older dd was already reading when we brought her home during Easter break of first grade. When she was 8, she worked some in R&S's English book (grammar, composition), and we went to the library weekly, when she checked out whatever she wanted.

Spelling for both dc was very informal; I think one of them might have done some Spelling by Sound and Structure. Younger dd did Spalding when she was 14 and I was teaching in a little one-room school at my church, and she came along with me.

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I had a 3rd grader last year, and I will have another next year who will probably use most of the same resources as his brother did.

Handwriting - Learning cursive.  Initially just slowly learning cursive letter formation with The Joy of Handwriting and doing copywork (Spanish sentences featuring new vocabulary words) in manuscript.  Eventually transitioning to doing the copywork in cursive.

Phonics - Wise Owl Polysyllables, reading one page a day out loud to me.

Spelling - All About Spelling.

Grammar - Older DS used MCT Island Level for his 3rd grade year; I was less than impressed.  We just finished going through Grammarland as a family, so I will probably focus on punctuation with the 3rd grader next year.  I may still use the MCT poetry book with younger DS next year because I liked that.

Literature - Reading slightly challenging literature books and writing one or two narration sentences per day.

Writing - WWE level 3, but when we can't stand the repetition one more day, then switching to Winning with Writing level 3b which covers outlining and paragraph writing.

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My 3rd Grader is doing this for language arts this year:

Spelling - Spellwell

Handwriting - Zaner-Bloser Cursive

Reading - I don't have a formal list but she probably reads at least an hour a day. I provide lots of good books for her to choose from.

Grammar - none

Writing - none at the moment although she will write stories and lists and notes to grandparents/aunts/uncles including addresses and posting them. Once she is finished learning cursive (in the next couple of weeks), I'll be transitioning her to more formal writing.

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My 3rd-ish grader is doing the following:

ELTL level B (covers some grammar, copywork, and literature)
Spelling Plus
I am teaching him cursive, DIY style.
Wise Owl Polysyllables (He reads 1/2 a page a day aloud to me) He also chooses a books to read to me from for 5 to 10 minutes.
We are about to try out a Bravewrite project from Jot it Down.

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My 3rd graders have had highly variable abilities, so what we have done has been equally variable.  I use reading ability to gauge my expectations.  Struggling readers are still exerting so much energy on decoding/encoding for word processing that expecting quality writing output is an unrealistic expectation.  For my 3rd graders who have been less than solid readers, copywork as a source for teaching writing skills has been my approach.  (Copywork can be used to teach grammar, mechanics, sentence structure, paragraph structure, etc.)  They are still learning what quality writing is composed of, but the burden of creating the selection is removed from the equation.

For my solid readers, we work on sentence and paragraph constructions. They are learning about what makes a good sentence, what makes a topic sentence, what are good supporting details, etc. As the progress through the year, they start learning to read for information and collecting notes and then how to turn those notes into simple outlines and simple reports. (A long time ago (when my now college sophomore, our 5th child, was in 2nd grade!!) I wrote a post describing a general outline of how we approach writing: 

(It is an approach that has proved successful for all of our kids.  My kids have had zero issues transitioning to college level work.)

All of my third graders also do handwriting, spelling, and reading (either silently or out loud to me, depends on their abilities). We don't do any literature "studies." Reading is for pleasure, not analysis.

 

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Most of my kids have been pretty fluent readers by 3rd grade, but some have needed to finish up AAR level 4 - once they are done with that they read to me about once a week (for fluency practice)

Reading to self (30 min daily from a list that goes along with history and science studies)

AAS (10-15 min daily)

Writing - All Things Fun & Fascinating from IEW on alternate days with finishing up Easy Grammar grade 2 that we started in the middle of 2nd

HWoT cursive book (1 page daily)

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Rod and Staff Spelling 3 and maybe 4 if they are strong spellers.

Alphaphonics is needed still or work on multisyllable words daily.

I did CLE reading and enjoyed it for him at that level...but just reading widely is fine to.

I love PLL...and Rod and Staff so I would finish the first and then begin the second😉.

Brenda

Hope you have a great year😁

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3rd grade was last year for younger son:

Reading: Already reading very well so no special program.  He voluntarily read chapter books on his own time and then we talked about them.

Writing:  Writing With Ease 2.  Didn't finish, carried over to the next year.  Just the right level of challenge.

Grammar:  First Language Lessons 3

Literature:  This kid is a massive consumer of audiobooks.  So I helped him pick some good ones, and he happily listened to them on his own time.  Then casually discussed.  Also participated in the National Mythology Exam.  Prepared for this by listening to required reading on audio (D'Aulaires' Greek Myths on audio is fantastic!)

Handwriting:  Continued to encourage good habits.  No more formal lessons needed.

Spelling:  This was (and had always been) the trouble subject.  Found success with Words Their Way word sorts and entering a spelling bee - big brother had signed up and younger son decided he wanted to do it too.  About half-way through the year it clicked and we moved to doing spelling entirely orally, spelling-bee style.  Which he loved.

 

3rd grade was 2 years ago for older son:

Reading:  Motivated advanced reader.  Novels at bedtime.  Discuss plots in the morning. 

Literature: Ditto reading, plus Mythology Exam.

Writing:  Some of Writing With Ease 2 (the last bit carried over from the year before) and most of Writing With Ease 3.

Grammar: First Language Lessons 3.

Spelling:  Spelling Workout.  This kid is a natural speller and it felt like a waste of time, ditched it by Christmas.  Switched to Words Their Way word sorts.  Much better!

Handwriting:  Handwriting Without Tears.  Needed lots of reinforcement.

 

 

 

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Below are typical 3rd grade LA areas, for the typical/average 3rd grader (no special needs -- no LDs/delays, not accelerated/gifted, etc.):

Reading (for pleasure and practice, no formal "lit study")
   Reading (15 min/day, 4-5x/week) = student reads quality books aloud to/with parent at/just above comfortable reading level
          to build confidence and practice fluency, stamina, comprehension (at level books), and "stretch" (just above level books)
 
  Read-Alouds (30-60 min/day, 4-5x/week) = audiobooks and/or parent reads aloud from good books above 3rd grader's reading level
   Solo Reading (optional) (15-20 min/day, 3-4x/week) = student reads from book basket selections at/below comfortable reading level

Handwriting (5-10 min/day; 4-5x/week)
     goals: printing (manuscript), or introducing cursive (if student is ready)
     ideas: Handwriting Without Tears; copywork

Spelling (5-15 min/day, 4-5x/week)
     goals: vowel patterns; syllabication; word families; prefixes/word endings; contractions; compound words; etc.
     ideas:
Natural Speller; All About Spelling; Logic of English; Rod & Staff / Horizons / CLE / other

Phonics (optional) (5-10 min/day, 3x/week)
     goals: if still needed, used in support of Spelling and/or Reading (if student is still getting solid with Reading)
     ideas: Explode the Code

Writing (optional -- if student is ready) (10-20 min/day, 3-4x/week)
     goals: complete sentences; beginning short writing (a few sentences per sitting) of various types
          (from narration; free writing/journal writing; book report; very short expository paragraph from history/science; etc.)

     ideas: Writing Tales (level 1); Treasured Conversations; Writing With Ease (level 1 or 2); Writing & Rhetoric: Fables 

Grammar (optional -- can wait till 4th or even 5th grade) (10-15 min/day, 3x/week)
     goals: complete sentence; capitalization and punctuation exposure; possibly beginning exposure to parts of speech
     ideas: First Language Lessons; Treasured Conversations; Growing with Grammar; Rod & Staff;
          Winston Basic (more at 4th gr. level); informal Ruth Beechick-style dictations


Vocabulary (totally optional) (5-10 min/day, 2-3x/week)
     goals: introduce new words from Reading/Read Aloud; possible beginning root study
     ideas: Rummy Roots card game; English From the Roots Up (more at 4th grade level)

Edited by Lori D.
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I have a third grader this year and he's doing LLATL Yellow this year. 

He does oral narrations from reading, and copywork or a short (two sentence) written narration from our group studies, every day. Once a fortnight or so, I have him practice the cursive he's learning in LLATL on notebook paper. We read singularly and together a lot. 

And that's it. It's going swimmingly. I often change stuff around in January, but we've had nothing to change this year. [we started off doing another spelling program and dropped it about a month in. The kids and I *liked* it but it was wholly unnecessary.]

This is a post in favor of keeping it simple and building your school around what's important to you 🙂 

Edited by OKBud
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My DD is in 3rd this year and she does:

TGTB 3

Mosdos Opal

IEW Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales

IEW Fix it! Nose Tree

Sonlight 4 readers

Spelling Wisdom

Looks like more than it really is. This has been a great year for her in LA skill growth

Next year I will have two third graders and my plan:

3rd grader #1

TGTB 3

W&R II

SWO D

Mosdos Opal

Fix it!

Sonlight readers grade 4

3rd grader #2

TGTB 3

BJU English 3

SYS D

Mosdos Opal

Reading list I choose and he chooses

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Third grade is generally when I switch from phonics to doing English/grammar and spelling. So I usually get R&S English and Spelling, WWE 3 and, depending on how solid they are with reading, I might have them read aloud to me occasionally. I usually use Pathway Reading for that. Otherwise, they just read on their own for pleasure and I read aloud to them. We also cover cursive that year.

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This is what my 3rd grader is doing this year:

Reading: AAR 4 + reading library books to mom

Spelling: AAS 3-4 + SpellingCity for practice

Handwriting: HWT Cursive

Grammar and Writing: FLL 2 and WWE 2

We are also always working on a Critical Thinking Press book. We did Inference Jones first, and now we’re about 2/3 finished with Editor in Chief.

 

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I have my 3rd 3rd grader this year, and every one of them has been slightly different. This year we are doing:

Grammar: Memoria Press Grammar Recitation

Writing: A mix of Bravewriter, narration, copywork, dictation, with a little WWE 2, and will complete the first section of Treasured Conversations

Handwriting: copywork

Spelling: AAS 3 and Traditional Spelling from MP (she is a struggling speller)

Reading: Sonlight readers and family read alouds from history

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My 3rd grade DD is doing the following:

Reading: AAR 4

Literature: BYL 3 (includes both read alouds and readers)

Handwriting: copywork from BYL and the Writing for Learning Series Beginning Cursive 

Spelling: AAS 3

Writing: IEW All Things Fun & Fascinating, she also writes in a Daily Journal (just for fun)

Grammar: Beowulf Grammar

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise Book 3 

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I've just started 3rd with my 3rd child. He's still a fairly new fluent reader and quite immature.

For language arts I've planned: 

Spelling workout c, writing with ease 2, mct grammar, lots of reading.

He also does copywork of a bible verse in our morning time.

 

I've got 4 students this year, that's all I've got time for!

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On 1/15/2019 at 7:47 AM, HomeAgain said:

@Elizabeth86, what are you guys doing this year for language arts?
Most of what we do this year is a natural extension of last year's work. Even if we do change the particular program, what we do for the subject is still a natural progression of the work.

I made a new post about this.

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On 1/15/2019 at 10:15 AM, nixpix5 said:

My DD is in 3rd this year and she does:

TGTB 3

Mosdos Opal

IEW Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales

IEW Fix it! Nose Tree

Sonlight 4 readers

Spelling Wisdom

Looks like more than it really is. This has been a great year for her in LA skill growth

Next year I will have two third graders and my plan:

3rd grader #1

TGTB 3

W&R II

SWO D

Mosdos Opal

Fix it!

Sonlight readers grade 4

3rd grader #2

TGTB 3

BJU English 3

SYS D

Mosdos Opal

Reading list I choose and he chooses

Mosdos. Hadn't seen this before.  Thanks.  Ugh.  I like the looks of it.  

 

What does TGTB stand for?

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8 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

Mosdos. Hadn't seen this before.  Thanks.  Ugh.  I like the looks of it.  

 

What does TGTB stand for?

Yeah, we are kind of in love with Mosdos. It has enjoyable and varied stories, it tackles all of the important literary elements well, it includes fun and interesting writing exercises, vocab and so forth. It is a solid program. I wasn't expecting to like it so much because it felt schoolish but it has been a fast favorite. 

TGTB is The Good and the Beautiful. This was a program I didn't like last year and threw in the towel early just to later realize everything my kids had retained came from that program and all 3 kids begged to do it this year. Now I am a convert and love it immensely. Go figure 😋

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We are halfway through our 3rd grade yr and changed some things.

started with The Good & The Good Beauitful LA & Lit level 3, paused and did some things below, then came back to tgtb>

Phonics/Reading: Mcguffy Reader level 2-3 and other independent reading books everyday. 

Grammar/mechanics: Easy grammar grade 3 

Spelling: Buidling Spelling Skills grade 3 from Christian liberty press (we use this about 3-4 days a week for independent spelling practice only and don’t test) 

Writing: Writing & Rhetoric Fables. We take about a week and half to get through a lesson and then we take a week or so break. It has been a hit. 

Pentime 3 cursive about 3-4 days a week

Edited by Hallyv
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My 3rd graders typically had a pile of high quality literature, a spelling book, a grammar book, and they worked on writing. Specifics depended on the kid. Some were ready for actual writing curricula and some weren't. 

 

My youngest is currently 2nd grade, 3rd this fall. He's a very asynchronous little person. Writing and spelling are his nemeses and he's well "ahead" in most other subjects. Right now his LA looks like:  

-a pile of high quality literature, he reads from this pile daily and we'll chat about what he read, no formal study

-Writing Road to Reading for spelling, working until he seems spent rather than using the schedule

-writing is either Writing With Ease 1 or letters to big sister at bootcamp (he rarely misses a question in WWE but it's worthwhile pencil to paper practice)

-First Language Lessons 3 for grammar, just started this week (lots of discussion, minimal writing)

 

Next year for third grade we'll just continue with the same books, moving up a level as needed. 🙂 Spelling may switch to Rod and Staff if he seems ready for the 4 book. I never used FLL 4 with my older kids, but he's really taken to it. We'll see when the time comes. 

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12 minutes ago, Ellie said:

What schedule?

😂 I didn't actually re-read the "this many words this often" part and forget specifics, so perhaps schedule was the wrong word. I'm running on one of the old versions, vinyl audio help in the back cover sort of old.  I remembered enough from older siblings to know he needed it more relaxed at this point. He's learning fast from the discussions, but his writing ability isn't quite at 8yo with the rest of him. 

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I call it language arts but because we do language arts for an hour and rotate through the seperate pieces. We can't get through all the different things every day.

Here's what we did for 3rd grade:

Reading: solid reading skills so she read to me for 20 or so minutes, I read aloud 20 or so minutes and we could chat about all the great stories throughout the day. We did do this every day. This was not part of the rotation.

Spelling: Spelling Workout C after failing at Spelling Power. I wasn't thrilled with how Spelling Workout was going either but I didn't know what else to do. If I had a do-over with this particular child, I'd wait on spelling and start Sequential Spelling in 4th grade.

Grammar/Writing: Language Lessons for Today Grade 3. We did Grade 2 the year before and loved it. It was easily our favorite part of the whole day. It did not go as well for 3rd grade but that was us, not the curriculum. (See spelling frustrations above. 😊 ) This program is good for a kid that doesn't struggle in writing. I mean, its gentle and good for a chatty kid. Lots of poetry and art to talk about. But when the nitty gritty narration/ dictation/ copywork rolled around, holy moly! We are now with a much more structured approach and a position of, "this is a challenge for you so you're just going to have to sit down and work through it with my help and the program's help. We can do the fun stuff later."

Handwriting: McRuffy Cursive Grade 3

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2 hours ago, SilverMoon said:

😂 I didn't actually re-read the "this many words this often" part and forget specifics, so perhaps schedule was the wrong word. I'm running on one of the old versions, vinyl audio help in the back cover sort of old.  I remembered enough from older siblings to know he needed it more relaxed at this point. He's learning fast from the discussions, but his writing ability isn't quite at 8yo with the rest of him. 

That's the best one. 🙂

I was just checking, because random people have made schedules that Mrs. Spalding did not write. 🙂

In a classroom, children do 20 or 30 words a week, but although I'm a Spalding purist, as a homeschooler, I can totally get behind doing fewer than that (as long as the words are taught properly, lol).

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1 hour ago, Ellie said:

That's the best one. 🙂

I was just checking, because random people have made schedules that Mrs. Spalding did not write. 🙂

In a classroom, children do 20 or 30 words a week, but although I'm a Spalding purist, as a homeschooler, I can totally get behind doing fewer than that (as long as the words are taught properly, lol).

 

He's so asynchronous a day by day, graded schedule would drive us both mad. 🤐 Before winter break he was asking for help spelling really basic one syllable words for his letters to big sis. Today he broke the word Spanish into syllables and spelled it orally for something else. I'd say it's working. (If he had to write it the p might be a 9 though. 😄 )

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