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P'once a little time there was a girl. This girl grew up to be a Mamma to three little girls all very much like herself. And this little Mamma knew she just had to have a place of her own to keep all things home school right at her fingertips.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012-13 English Language Concepts for Mastery

3rd Grade

2012/13 - Use highlight colors below as skill show mastery.
     Dark Green = fairly good understanding of concept
     Yellow = an area of improvement
     Light Green = concept well-covered, but needs continual practice

Vocabulary and Concept Development:

  • Determine the meanings of words using knowledge of synonyms (words with the same meaning), antonyms (words with opposite meanings), homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings), and homographs (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings). 
  • At Grade 3, students continue to write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Students write both informal and formal letters. Student writing demonstrates a command of Standard English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Standard 4 - Writing Processes and Features. Writing demonstrates an awareness of the audience (intended reader) and purpose for writing.

Write descriptive pieces about people, places, things, or experiences that:

• develop a unified main idea.
• use details to support the main idea.

Example: Write a description for how to make a model boat. Include clear enough directions so that a classmate can make the model. Write a description of a favorite place using clear details so that the reader can picture the place and understand why it is a favorite place. 

Write personal, persuasive, and formal letters, thank-you notes, and invitations that:

• show awareness of the knowledge and interests of the audience.
• establish a purpose and context.

• include the date, proper salutation, body, closing, and signature.

Example: Write a letter to a pen pal in another country describing your family, school, and town and asking the pen pal questions about himself or herself. Write an invitation asking an adult to come to speak in the classroom. Write a persuasive letter to your family asking for your favorite foods on your birthday. 
05/13/13 Update. Since our move to Virginia, letter writing has easily taken center stage in our lives from week to week. Mara (and Elinor) have a wealth of penpals that they have been regularly corresponding.

Use varied word choices to make writing interesting.

Example: Write stories using varied words, such as cried, yelled, or whispered instead of said

Write responses to literature that:

• demonstrate an understanding of what is read.
• support statements with evidence from the text.

Example: Write a description of a favorite character in a book. Include examples from the book to show why this character is such a favorite. 10/25/12 Update. Daily narration pages coupled with specific question and answer time has proven that she has a great level of reading comprehension. She has read a number of quality chapter books independently this year and completed 1 in depth book report on "The Black Pearl" Book report included a comprehensive list of main characters of the book, as well as a nicely executed summary of the book. She recorded the setting of the book accurately and I could tell she took a lot of pride in the overall project. 
05/13/13 Update. Mara has been independently writing character sketches in prose and poetry of many of the characters she has read about in her chapter books. Most notable this term has been her amusing poems about Roald Dahl's character's in Charlie and the Glass Elevator.  

 Research Application:

Write or deliver a research report that has been developed using a systematic research process (defines the topic, gathers information, determines credibility, reports findings) and that:
• uses a variety of sources (books, technology, pictures, charts, tables of contents, diagrams) and documents sources (titles and authors). 10/25/12 Update. Mara has had several opportunities for research. We mainly take advantage of this in Science and History. This year she has completed on short research assignment on 16th century inventions and also a much larger scale research assignment on water's surface tension. This assignment was also presently orally in front of her co-op class of approximately 20 student peers.
organizes information by categorizing it into more than one category (such as living and nonliving, hot and cold) or includes information gained through observation.

Example: After making observations and completing research at the library, write a report that describes things found in nature and things that are found outside of nature.

Review of Vowels and Consonants.

Adjectives: Match nouns to a description

Structural Features of Informational and Technical Materials:

  • Use titles, tables of contents, chapter headings, a glossary, or an index to locate information in text.

 Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Nonfiction and Informational Text:

  • Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information from the text.
Example: When reading informational materials about science topics or social science subjects, compare what is read to background knowledge about the subject.


  • Write legibly in cursive, leaving space between letters in a word, words in a sentence, and words and the edges of the paper. 10/25/12 Update. This is an area where I have been seeing improvement, although we could use more improvement. We are currently focusing on this more by having more opportunities to write in cursive. Her script writing has really come a long way and her speed has really been picking up. I can especially tell during dicatation assignments. 05/13/13 Update. Cursive writing has continued to improve throughout the year. Writes with ease. Mara still holds her pencil with some awkwardness, but is becoming more relaxed, her writing certainly doesn't show it.

Sentence Structure:

Write correctly complete sentences of statement, command, question, or exclamation, with final punctuation.
• Declarative: This tastes very good.
• Imperative: Please take your seats.
• Interrogative: Are we there yet?
• Exclamatory: It's a home run!


  • Uses subjects and verbs that are in agreement. Ex: We are vs. we is 
  • Identify and use past (he danced), present (he dances), and future (he will dance) verb tenses properly in writing. 
  • Identify and correctly use pronouns (it, him, her), adjectives (brown eyes, two younger sisters), compound nouns (summertime, snowflakes), and articles (a, an, the) in writing.
  • Use commas in dates (August 15, 2001), locations (Fort Wayne, Indiana), and addresses (431 Coral Way, Miami, FL), and for items in a series (football, basketball, soccer, and tennis).


  • Capitalize correctly geographical names, holidays, historical periods, and special events (We always celebrate the Fourth of July by gathering at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana.)


  • Spell correctly one-syllable words that have blends (walk, play, blend), contractions (isn't, can't), compounds, common spelling patterns (qu-; changing win to winning; changing the ending of a word from -y to -ies to make a plural, such as cherry/cherries), and common homophones (words that sound the same but have different spellings, such as hair/hare). 10/25/12 Update. Mara's spelling is very good. One area that we have recently covered because I noticed it as being an ongoing issue was past tense. When to simply add an "ed" vs. "d" vs. double the consonant then an "ed". We had a lesson on that today, overall I have been extremely impressed with her spelling, although with as fluent a reader as she is, I suppose I shouldn't be. 05/13/13 Spelling is very good. She still struggles with past tense verbs that end in a consonant. Ongoing improvement.

Arrange words in alphabetical order.

  • Example: Given a list of words, such as apple, grapefruit, cherry, banana, pineapple, and peach, put them into correct alphabetical order: apple, banana, cherry, grapefruit, peach, and pineapple. 10/25/12 Update. Alphabetical order still is proving to have it's challenges, although she has weekly opportunities with her spelling list. We are still working on this, as this was a new concept as of this year. I feel with Mara, she simply needs to slow down and look at the full word. She reads them all so quick that she just writes the first word she sees without comparing it to the rest of the list words to make sure nothing comes before it.

Listening and Speaking skills:

  • Read and recite prose and poetry aloud with fluency, rhythm, and timing, using appropriate changes in the tone of voice to emphasize important passages within the text. 10/25/12 Mara is a great oral reader.
  • Clarify and enhance oral presentations through the use of appropriate props, including objects, pictures, and charts.10/25/12 Update. How Many drops of Water fits on a Penny oral presentation with experiment and poster. Excellent job. Things to work on are to speak just a little louder and lift that chin up a little higher so that your voice can carry better to the audience instead of stopping at your paper.

Speaking Applications: 

Make brief narrative presentations that:
• provide a context for an event that is the subject of the presentation.
• provide insight into why the selected event should be of interest to the audience.
• include well-chosen details to develop characters, setting, and plot that has a beginning, middle, and end. 
05/13/13 Update. Mara has been writing, creating her own plays. The have been rehearsed with extras and wonderfully complex and unique story lines. It  is a joy to watch her perform these short plays. seems like a good link to retrieve helpful worksheets.

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