2021 – 2022 Third Grade Year End Review
Hello again! I’m excited to share this third grade curriculum year end review. Third grade brought a lot of change and new things. Third grade brought new unexplored challenges and proved and quite exciting! I very much enjoyed teaching and learning alongside my third grader this year.
This was the first year my daughter’s main focus was not on learning to read. She obviously continued to learn and practice her reading but it didn’t take so much energy and time for her. This was an exciting development because it gave us time to add things like longer read alouds, vocabulary/word study, deeper history, and more! Here is how my third grade curriculum picks worked out for her.
ALL ABOUT READING (AAR)
We started the last level of AAR this year, level 4. Alot of people debate on whether to do this last level since usually your student is reading pretty well by this point. I knew it would add a lot and we have added a bit of our own word study within the program. I must say it has been totally worth it. Yes she has been flying through it and already knew a lot in this level but this level has caught a few things she didn’t know and that in itself has been worth it.
Level 4 goes over less common phonograms as well as a lot of words that simply don’t follow a rule and just are. These are words we might have overlooked and now they have been introduced to her. We have only gotten a bit less than halfway through because though it was important for her third grade year it was not urgent. We alternated between All About Reading and All About Spelling, not doing them at the same time in order to keep her workload less stressful. This worked well.
ALL ABOUT SPELLING (AAS)
We continued to use AAS and it proved very effective. I even wrote a post this year laying out why I think its worth it to use and how it worked for our family, here. Since we alternated between this program and AAR we didnt cover a ton. Im hoping once we finish up All About Reading we will focus more on spelling. We will continue using it for next year
MICHAEL CLAY THOMPSON (MCT)
We tried MCT for the first time this year starting with the “Island” level. My review is mixed and I will be doing a full review soon. We started with the grammar book and ended up dropping it because although it’s quite unique it takes a lot of precious time to teach something very simple. Then the second half of the book took a giant leap and she just wasn’t very interested in it. No interest = no learning here.
We also used MCT vocabulary and we liked it alot and continued using it, sporadically. I really like the way they taught vocabulary but I have the same opinion that it takes a lot of time on something that can be taught more simply and quicker. Though vocabulary / word study is a little more complex so the extra time and material may be worth it. I’m not sure yet if we will continue using this piece of the curriculum.
BLOSSOM AND ROOT (B&R)
If you read my first grade year end review you will see B&R was the curriculum that fell to the wayside. This was also unfortunately true for the third grade curriculum we had from B&R. It proved to be one too many components to her third grade language arts and B&R was the one that we pushed away. I think this was because I really wanted Michael Clay Thompson to work and the two cover similar subjects.
With that being said we came back to B&R by the end of the year. We used it for Grammar, composition, literature, narration, copywork. I appreciate the way it covered these things through the book we were reading for the week which made it more relevant to my child. The relevance factor made it quite enjoyable for her because she is not about doing things just for the sake of doing them which usually results in upset. B&R made these things a breeze and I will definitely be using it for fourth grade.
The Writing Revolution is not a curriculum or even a teacher’s manual. It’s more of a guide. This was quite intimidating and made me hesitate in using it because it’s not like my other teachers manuals that lay out every lesson. It took me awhile to gain confidence in using it but it has really been a great tool.
I used it along with Blossom & Root. Using the techniques and exercises it teaches in conjunction with the story we were reading from that curriculum. For instance I would write sentence stem about the story and she would do that instead of her narration or along with it that week. I will definitely be continuing using it next year but I will have to prioritize prepping ahead since it’s not done for me.
After using Rightstart Math for 2 years we switched to Math Mammoth this year. For many reasons but mostly because Rightstart is very teacher intensive. My daughter does well in math and I felt she could do it a little more independently and that’s just not possible with RightStart.
Math Mammoth is a worksheet based curriculum so my hope was to say “do 3 pages on your own while I work with your sister”. That did not work well for her. I don’t know what it is but something about a worksheet does not mix well with my oldest daughter. It seemed although she knew all the material, she got overwhelmed by a full, busy worksheet. A Lot of the time I ended up saying the problems aloud, she would give me the answer, and I would write her answer. It actually worked quite well.
I really like the way Math Mammoth teaches, it’s explicit and thorough. You can also pace very easily since the teaching sections are short, and to the point, not scripted and can be skipped if your child already knows how to do it. So basically it’s the perfect curriculum for me but not my daughter. Next years math is undecided but I don’t think we will use Math Mammoth next year.
We didn’t do a ton of science from a curriculum. When we did do science we used Blossom and Root first and third grade science curriculum and it worked perfectly. The options of read aloud suggestions, youtube videos, and projects worked well for us.
My kids are naturally adept at science and really enjoy it. They get that from their dad, not me. My daughter often watches nature documentaries with her dad and sister for Saturday night fun. Even shows like the Magic School Bus and Story Bots left her with new knowledge which is pretty amazing because I am not like that at all.
For history I basically made unit studies, informally. I didnt write anything out ahead of time. We really followed interest. Maybe something in the news related to a historical event,we would head to the library and get all the books on that subject. Take a couple of weeks, read books, watch videos, and discuss. My husband is quite knowledgeable in science and history so he taught not only the kids but me alot this year. We studied authors of the past, historical events,mixed geography in and I think it was a good year for history.
We also started the audiobook History Quest Ancient Times and will continue using this next year. I need to either order the student book or some ancient history prints. The audiobook is our preferred way to read it but I think we need a visual component added.
My third grader continued using Hoffman Academy. She graduated into unit three which she was so excited about. We love using this online piano service and it works wonderful for her.
She also took online Spanish classes. Learning Spanish , even a little, is important to me and even if I bought a curriculum it is beyond my ability to teach. We have a wonderful teacher that the girls and I both take classes with.
I loved this year. I watched my daughter grow intellectually in ways I was never able to at her age. Simply through room to explore her interests. She is an amazing artist, she has started to love reading, she is a great bunny mom, and she has a lot of projects in progress. I enjoyed doing word sturdy and history along with her because I was learning a lot as well. I’m so excited for next year! She is already teaching me stuff and I love seeing her shine in things she loves!
That’s all I have for our third grade curriculum. I hope you enjoyed it and this helped in any way possible. Check out my first grade year end review I did for 2021 – 2022, here.
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