Building independence is a key focus for students moving into the middle school. Looking after books and materials in the classroom becomes the student’s responsibility, as well as remembering to bring resources to and from home.
Students in Year 3 begin to complete fortnightly home tasks, independently record their thoughts about books read at home in a reading journal and research information to assist with I-Time.
Year 3 students begin the day with independent spelling and reading tasks. In Reading, we continue to focus on the six comprehension strategies:
- creating visual and sensory images
- inferring and predicting
- determining importance
- asking questions and
- activating relevant prior knowledge.
Students choose from a variety of texts in the classroom and select books that they determine to be ‘Just Right For Me.’ Small group instruction continues to occur through guided reading and one on one conferencing occurs as a way for students and teachers to discuss and monitor reading goals and progress.
In Writing, we focus on the process of writing for a purpose. This involves planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing. As students become familiar with the different types of text structures, the use of vocabulary to enhance written pieces becomes a priority. Creating written pieces that catch the reader’s attention is the aim. We focus on writing narratives, persuasive, information, procedural, explanation and transactional texts, as well as recounts. Grammar and punctuation are taught in a way that allows students to use this knowledge to enhance their work. Joined cursive handwriting is also introduced.
In Mathematics, students continue to develop a thorough understanding of numbers and their place value. This includes being able to read and interpret numbers in a variety of ways, for example 6032 has 6 thousands, 0 hundreds, 3 tens and 2 ones, or it has 60 hundreds and 32 ones. In the middle school we begin incorporating the work of Peter Sullivan and Monash University into teaching Mathematics. They have researched the effect of using challenging tasks. A lesson can involve a challenging task being posed to the students, the students then write and draw to explain their thinking, they then learn from each other during share time and write a written reflection at the end of the lesson. We create enabling and extending prompts to cater for each individual need.
The whole school throughlines for Inquiry units thread into year three; these are identity, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and science and technologies. We operate on a two-year cycle to complete eight units that cover these concepts. The Inquiry units covered in the middle school link in with the learning in the classroom and incorporated into the teaching of English and Mathematics as much as possible. The school learner assets are explicitly taught through the students practising five skills every unit.
I-Time is introduced in year three. This concept provides students with a designated period of time each week where they are ‘free’ to investigate something of their choice. This may be in the form of a topic they want to find out more about or a skill they want to develop or a product they want to create. The content for i-time may stretch across the curriculum. For example: some students may be working on more technology based projects while others are working in the arts.
Students go on a three-day camp for the first time in their schooling. Click here fore more information about school camp.