Reading and Writing
For third grade students, skills in reading and comprehension becomes even more important. Students should begin using contextual clues to predict and comprehend content. To build the skills needed for both listening and reading comprehension, talk about what you see and do daily. Start conversations, for example, while cooking together, visiting a new place, or after watching television together.
Third graders begin reading longer, more difficult words because subjects become more complicated. By the end of the school year, a student should will understand and identify synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, and affixes and roots. To help your child build vocabulary, use time in the car to play word games. Explain, for instance, that "jam" can mean cars stuck in heavy traffic, in addition to something you put on bread.
Children need to stay motivated to continue learning how to read. They also need to understand that the purpose of reading is to learn. Students in third grade should know that fiction is read for entertainment, and nonfiction is read for facts and true information. Read different types of books with your child to explore different types of writing. When reading fiction, tell your child how to summarize the story in sentence or two. Discuss how to predict what might happen next in the story. Both strategies help a child remember main ideas and understand the author’s purpose in writing.
Since writing is closely related to reading, children should be encouraged to write every day. In school, students in third grade should keep journals, and write to one another, to parents, and to grandparents. Third graders are encouraged to pay more attention to punctuation, the sequence of events and ideas in stories, an individual’s intent of writing, and the purposes of editing. Parents should remind children that writing is a process. A rough draft is just that – rough. Writing is not done perfectly the first time.