This year, the focus will be on development of those skills and tools, and nurturing independence to help prepare them for their transition to the Upper School. In a year like no other, the third-grade has made it easy to start this important year strong, showing a lot of positive energy and being careful and respectful of each other.
The small pods are an advantage for the third-graders this year as they prove to be a good setting to work on deepening relationships with classmates and for focused development on academic skills. Mrs. Reymond and Mrs. D’Angelo are able to work with students individually and give more one-on-one attention. They are already seeing huge gains in reading comprehension and math. Additionally, Mrs. Reymond says, “The pods are strengthening friendships and encouraging students to interact with new friend groups.”
The students have a predictable schedule every day starting with morning work, Chapel, and morning meeting; moving on to math, specials, reading, writing, and social studies; with a time for snack, lunch, and multiple recess breaks. Cultivating independence is also an integral part of their day. The teachers work with the students to make sure notebooks, desks and books are set up properly, and they provide the students with many opportunities to work at being good and active listeners.
The biggest change this year for third grade is the absence of field trips. However, Mrs. Reymond and Mrs. D’Angelo have turned this challenge into an opportunity, using the Touch-It board in the classrooms to take the students on virtual explorations around the community and the world. Technology has also allowed for more activity in the classroom this year, and the third-graders particularly enjoy participating in GoNoodle movement breaks.
At any given point in the day in third grade, you could walk into the classroom to find a busy, but focused group of students. “Third-graders have a great mix of enthusiasm, independence, and humor. They love learning and they are developing so many skills,” says Mrs. Reymond.