A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Checkpoints for Progress In Reading & Writing for Families and Communities - February 1998

  Third Grade Students

In third grade, most children get better at reading, writing, speaking, and listening. All students read and write every day. They start to move from "learning to read" to "reading to learn."
Your child...
* Reads many kinds of children's books.
* Reads for fun, information, and understanding.
* Uses different ways of reading--sounding out words, getting information from the story, and personal knowledge--to understand stories and learn new words.
* Understands the themes or main ideas in what he or she reads.
Your child...
* Puts together thoughts and information for writing.
* Uses correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure in final work.
* Includes main ideas, background details, and words that describe in written work.
* Corrects and rewrites work as necessary.

How you can help...
  • Have a daily family reading time. Take turns reading out loud every day.

  • Talk about family and community events.

  • Visit your child's school often and ask to see work that shows your child's progress.

  • Talk with your child's teacher and ask how you can help with learning at home.
  • Ask your child to read wherever you go--in the car, grocery store, and park.

  • Renew your child's library card. Visit the library often to check out books.

  • Carefully pick the TV programs your child watches. Watch and talk about TV programs together.

  • Use good listening skills. Show your child how to politely listen, watch, and take turns while speaking or signing.

  • Give books and magazine subscriptions as gifts.

A child who has successfully mastered these skills should be able to read and understand the following excerpts:

First Grade: Franklin is Bossy by Paulette Bourgeois
In his room, Franklin built a castle. He made a cape to be brave in. He made shields and swords and suits of armor. He drew pictures. He played house. He read stories. He played by himself for one whole hour, and then he didn't know what to do. So, Franklin went looking for company. His friends were in the river, cooling off.
Books to read at this level:*

Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish
Clifford the Big Red Dog, by Norman Bridwel
Freight Train, by Donald Crews
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

Second Grade: Curious George by H.A. Rey
The hat had been on the man's head. George thought it would be nice to have it on his own head. He picked it up and put it on. The hat covered George's head. He couldn't see. The man picked him up quickly and popped him into a bag. George was caught. The man with the big yellow hat put George into a little boat, and a sailor rowed them both across the water to a big ship.
Books to read at this level:*

Corduroy, by Don Freeman
Ira Sleeps Over, by Waber Barnard
Bony-Legs, by Joanna Cole
Where is Cuddly Cat? by June Woodman
Frog and Toad are Friends, by Arnold Lobel
There's an Alligator Under My Bed, by Mercer Mayer
Bedtime for Frances, by Russell Hoban
Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume

Third Grade: Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
I held my breath and floated at last, looking up into the sky, afraid to speak. Crows flew over, three in a row. And I could hear a killdeer in the field. We climbed the bank and dried ourselves and lay in the grass again. The cows watched, their eyes sad in their dinner-plate faces. And I slept, dreaming a perfect dream. The fields had turned to a sea that gleamed like sun on glass. And Sarah was happy.
Books to read at this level:*

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, by Donald J. Sobol
The Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, by Louis Sachar

*Books recommended by the American Library Association.

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