Reading Goals for Third Graders

At the third grade level, teachers are shifting their emphasis from some of the mechanics of reading-related skills to the conceptual skills related to reading. Children are being stretched to think about the meaning of the writing; to understand it; compare and contrast it; and rephrase it. Students start to blossom as consumers of written material. It is an exciting and stimulating time of exploration, not only of the written word itself, but of all the ideas those words encapsulate and express.

Spelling goals.

  • Uses phonics and word parts (prefixes, roots, suffixes) to sound out unfamiliar words.
  • Spells correctly words which have been studied.

Word Recognition goals.

  • Identifies and discusses words or phrases not understood.
  • Expands vocabulary through independent reading.
  • Builds vocabulary through synonyms and antonyms.

Reading goals.

  • Reads and comprehends third grade level texts (stories, textbooks, magazines, computer screens).
  • Reads longer stories and chapter books independently.
  • Discusses themes or messages of stories.
  • Reads and understands charts, graphs, and diagrams.
  • Distinguishes cause from effect, fact from opinion, and main ideas from supporting details.

Writing goals.

  • Gathers information from a variety of sources and uses it in his writing.
  • Reviews his written work for errors and edits and revises.
  • Uses parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions) correctly.
  • Begins to use metaphors and other literary forms in his writing.
  • Discusses his writing with others and provides helpful feedback on their writing.

You can help your child explore these new concepts by encouraging both independent reading and continuing a reading time together. The independent reading encourages further exploration of topics found interesting. The shared reading allows discussion of new words, concepts, and the thoughts and ideas of the author. By now, you and your third grader can change off when reading aloud, a page each, for example. You both benefit from sharing the time this way. You get to gauge how the lessons are being integrated and then expressed. Your child gets the benefit of low-key individual tutoring, wrapped in the pleasant experience of being snuggled up close to you.

Reading is a gateway to knowledge. Your efforts to reinforce the skills being learned at school will help your child access the vast ocean of man’s discoveries and become a contributor in his own right.

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