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3rd Grade General Information

Welcome to Third Grade!  We are looking forward to an exciting year for you full of new learning. Here are the answers to some questions you may have.

Q.  What will I learn in 3rd grade?

We will learn so much this year! We’ll continue to learn more in math using the Everyday Math 3 program and even earn a “Multiplication License.” We have all new science standards and will learn about Forces and Motion, Life Cycles, and Weather and Climate. We’ll read tons of books and grow as readers and write personal narratives, poetry, biography reports, persuasive pieces, and more. Lastly, 3rd graders get to learn to read and write in cursive!

Q.  What time do I need to be at school?

The first bell will ring at 7:35am and all students are to line up at their outside door. The second bell will ring at 7:40am. The children should be lined up and ready to come in the classroom at that time. The third bell rings at 7:45, and we are expected to begin teaching at that time.  Anyone who arrives after 7:45 will be marked as tardy.  This means your child must be at school at 7:40 so s/he has time to hang up a backpack and coat, fill in planners, turn in homework, and be ready to start instruction. We want all students to feel successful and starting off the day feeling prepared is the first step towards success!

Q.  I’ve heard 3rd graders use planners. What do I need to know about them?

Each child will receive a planner on the first day of school.  This is a tool to help everyone be organized and responsible, and is used as a means of communication. Students will write down their daily homework assignments, and other important information for the day. There is a “master” planner posted in the classroom.  In the event of an absence, it is the student’s responsibility to get the missing assignments copied into their planner.  Please have your child show you his/her planner each night and sign it to show that have seen it.

 Teachers may write quick notes to you concerning your child and his/her assignments or behavior.  Please feel free to write notes to us as well – we will check the planners daily.  It is EXTREMELY important that you read and sign the planner every day.  Beginning the second week of school, any child without a parent signature will owe Tarver Tiger Paws (I’ll explain this laterJ).

Q.  What kind of homework will I have this year?

You will have homework most nights, but don’t worry because it should only take about 30 minutes to complete.  The following is a list of regular homework.  Please note that any work not completed in class, as well as an occasional project, will be expected to be completed at home, so use your time well in class J.  Homework will be checked each morning.  If you have not completed your homework, you will be required to owe Tiger Paws and complete homework during morning recess.


Math practice and review – denoted as “HL 1.1” (Homelink 1.1) in your planner.

Reading group assignments – denoted as “RG.”   Please share the pink slip in your Reading Notebook for the daily assignment.  Share your assignment with an adult at home and complete and correct it if necessary. 


Spelling practice:  Spelling lists will be written in your planner every Wednesday, beginning  August 22nd.  A spelling practice record sheet will also be sent home.  This must be completed by test day – usually Tuesdays. All students will have the same spelling list for the first four weeks so routines can be easily established. Then  we will differentiate.


Reading log: 3rd graders should be reading at least 20 minutes a night, 5 nights a week.  This is in addition to your regular homework.  Beginning in September, a monthly reading log will be sent home to record the number of minutes you read each night (reading group assignments count toward the 20 minutes.)  This is due the 1st school day of the following month.

*We know schedules can be hectic, and emergencies can occur.  In those instances, please write a note in the planner and you will get an extra night to complete it and you won’t owe any Tiger Paws.

Q.  What are the expections of 3rd graders? What happens when I make good, or “not so good” choices?

We want every child to enjoy school and make strong academic growth.  For this to happen, we have high behavioral expectations for all of our third graders.  During the first weeks of school, we will clearly explain what third graders should look like in and out of the classroom.  Just like mom or dad get paid to go to a job, we see students as having the most important job:  LEARNING!  You will be “paid” five Tarver Tiger Paws each morning just for coming to school and being ready to learn! 

Then, you will have opportunities to earn more Tiger Paws by displaying good behaviors.  However, if you choose to not follow the rules, “a fine” will be imposed, and you will owe us Tiger Paws. To help your parents see how you are behaving and being responsible, every student will keep a purple sheet in the planner.  Any time, you owe a Tiger Paw, you will write down the reason why on the sheet.  Then, each night you will share your sheet when you get your planner signed.  Parents: Please review the explanations and sign if necessary. 

**Please note that we will never use lunch recess as a consequence, only the extra  morning recess.  The exception would be behavior requiring a formal write-up which involves administration.

Q.  I get pretty hungry during the day.  Do we have snack time?

We will have snack time during our morning recess at about 9:15 every day.  You are required to provide your own HEALTHY snack from home. That means no chips, cookies, candy, etc are allowed during snack time!  A water bottle is also recommended – water only.  If there is a medical reason to have another liquid, such as Gatorade, please let us know BEFORE your child brings it to class.

Q.  Can I bring treats to share on my birthday?

Yes, you can!  We love to celebrate birthdays. Let us know ahead of time if you will be bringing in a snack, or just drop it off in the morning and we will find a good time in the day to fit it in.  We will be celebrating summer birthdays toward the end of May.

Q.  How can my parents communicate with you?

The planner is the main form of communication for homework – so make sure they are seeing it every day! Additionally, 3rd grade teachers will e-mail a periodic newsletters home outlining our focus of instruction, and any other important information.   Please be on the lookout for emails as we will communicate with you as needed.

We value communication, so please do not hesitate to talk with us about anything – no matter the size.  Parents can write a note in your child’s planner or e-mail your teacher anytime.  We check our e-mail at least once a day.  Another way to contact us is by phone but we prefer to not receive phone calls during the instructional time, as it disrupts student learning.  We are also available before or after school for a quick word.