3rd Grade Happenings
Unit 2: Astronomy, Space Exploration
Summary of Unit:
In this unit, students will learn about Astronomy and Space Exploration. They will explore the planets, the moon & moon phases, the sun, solar & lunar eclipses, gravity, comets, meteors and asteroids. Students will continue to work on informational writing skills as they create their own informational books on a topic of their choice related to space.
During this unit, students will learn about Astronomy and all about the Solar System as they read nonfiction texts. They will learn about Gravity, the 8 Planets, explore the different phases of the Moon, the Sun and other stars and lastly, the Black Hole. Throughout this unit, students will be working on reading skills such as, asking and answering questions, identifying text features, explaining how these text features help them as readers, gaining knowledge of topics by referring back to key details, determining main ideas and supporting key details. We will also be discussing cause and effect relationships, sequencing, summarizing, and using pictures and illustrations to gain a better understanding of a topic. Students will also do some research of their own and gather information about the planets, the sun and stars, to present to the class. As students gather information about space, they will use the content they have learned and apply it to their writing assignments.
While reading with your child at home, have them continue to build their stamina by reading independently for 20 minutes each night. They should be reading from RAZ- Kids for at least 20 minutes being sure to complete the quiz after each reading to check their comprehension. This will continue to build stamina, vocabulary and reading comprehension. You can also have your child practice reading aloud to build fluency. Encourage him/her to read with expression! Your child should stop and ask questions before, during, and after they read to help them understand and analyze each part of the text.
Your child can read more books about space by reading from:
Many nonfiction texts from Epic!
National Geographic Kids by going to: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/space
Reading articles from https://hubblesite.org/resource-gallery/articles
Exploring NASA for Kids https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html
Magic School Bus Episode to learn more about space https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmHHPGkUPWw
Materials: Unit texts, graphic organizers, scaffolds, passages/articles, Anchor Charts, Leveled books, Epic!, RAZ-Kids, https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html , https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/space
The culminating task for the Astronomy and Space Exploration unit will be to write an informational book teaching others about a concept of their choice related to this unit. Students will work through the writing process beginning by gathering notes and conducting research. They will then draft, revise, edit, and publish their pieces focusing on paragraph structure. Finally, students will use nonfiction text features such as a table of contents, vocabulary definitions/glossary, headings, captions, etc. to organize their books and help their readers better navigate their texts.
While reading with your child at home, talk about the importance of nonfiction text features and how they help a reader navigate a text. How can you use nonfiction text features in your own writing?
Provide your child with opportunities for writing.
- Keep a writer’s notebook where your child can freely write about anything that interests them.
- Practice author’s craft. Try to write in the style of some of your favorite authors.
- Keep a fact tracker. When reading about space or other interesting topics, practice note taking by writing down interesting facts. Try putting that information in your own words.
- Write a letter or card to a relative or friend. Let them know what you’ve been up to!
Materials: Notebooks, pencil, writing folder, graphic organizers, informational writing scaffolds (linked on Google Classroom), writing rubric, unit texts and exemplars.
Math: Understand Multiplication and Division of Whole Numbers
This module focuses on interpreting the meaning of multiplication and division, using patterns to begin to build fluency with multiplication facts, apply properties to multiplication and finally solve real world problems that involve these operations.
Students will begin by looking at the connection between addition and multiplication. Students learn that both repeated addition and multiplication can be used to represent situations involving equal groups. An equal group situation builds on students’ knowledge of addition, as it can be solved by adding equal sized groups.
Division situations that involve sharing are also equal group situations. The number of groups is known, but the number in each group is unknown. Division is also used to solve problems in which the number in each group is known but the number of groups is unknown. Students will work in situations involving an unknown number of groups to reinforce the connection between division using equal groups and repeated subtraction.
Students will learn the different Properties of multiplication. Starting with the Identity Property of Multiplication and Zero property of multiplication. Moving onto the Distributive property . Students use the Associative (Grouping)Property of multiplication to multiply with three factors.
These different topics will help students understand that like addition and subtraction, multiplication and division have an inverse relationship. Inverse operations “undo” each other. Students will find patterns in multiplication and division tables that involve even and odd numbers.
At the end of this module students will solve real world problems involving both operations. Students use visual models such as equal groups, arrays, tables, and equations to represent these situations.
One way you can support this unit at home is adding real life connections when shopping or cooking with your child for example
- If we need 20 apples to make apple pie and there’s 5 in a bag - how many bags of apples do we need?
- If a milk carton costs $2 how much would we need to buy 4 cartons?
Materials: Notebook, pencil, EnVision Volume 1 book, Math Tool kit (tool kit includes: Number Line, Counters, Dice)
(Class 301): Students in third grade music are learning songs that connect to their Ecology unit and their upcoming Astronomy unit. Students are planning and assembling a small concert for families that is themed to the care and importance of our world. The students are learning the importance of performing as a cohesive ensemble, practicing matching pitch, using appropriate singing posture and tone.
Home Connection: Sing with your students at home using the links below!
- In This World Together
- We Will Care
- What A Wonderful World