The Island School, a private school on Bainbridge Island, offers an engaging 3rd Grade program for students from the Kitsap Peninsula, including Poulsbo, Suquamish, Indianola, Kingston, Hansville and Silverdale.
The third graders meet daily for reading. During this time they read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, and meet for individualized or small group instruction. At the beginning of the hour, we meet for a mini-lesson about comprehension, accuracy, fluency or expanding vocabulary. Our classroom CAFÉ wall gives students reminders of what to practice when they are reading.
Our Writer’s Workshop meets four days a week. The Writing Workshop follows a predictable pattern of a 5-10 minute mini-lesson on a timely writing technique, a quick status-of-the-class check, at least 30 minutes for the workshop’s main business of writing and conferring, and 5-10 minutes for the concluding group-share session.
“It is terribly important for kids to read and write for the reasons that people the world over read and write, which is to communicate, to be delighted, to laugh.”
- Lucy Caulkins
The third grade uses the phonics, spelling and vocabulary program called Words Their Way. The main benefit of Words Their Way is that it differentiates instruction, allowing each child to work at the appropriate instructional level.
Students are given an initial spelling inventory to help guide the placement of each student into a group of words. From this point, students will begin working with a different group of words each week. Work in our classroom includes sorting our words into categories and noticing similarities and differences between words that sound alike.
Words Their Way focuses less on memorization and more on allowing students to work with the words during word sorts to give them the chance to learn and hear the spelling patterns.
The third grade uses the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) cursive program. HWT teaches a vertical style script that is easy to write and easy to read. Lowercase letters are introduced first, beginning with letters that are similar to print. The emphasis of the 3rd grade workbook, Cursive Handwriting, is on correct habits for forming and connecting letters.