I was just wondering if this is normal or if I am just overestimating the abilities of the third grade students. My third graders are about average intellectually, but overall many of them do not know how to do basic addition facts, they have no decoding strategies in their mental "toolbox", very few phonics skills, spelling is terrible (and lazy many times), etc. I student taught in second grade last year and it seems like they are at that level, instead of a third grade level. Since this is my first year, I would love any insight! Thanks!

my daughter is in 3rd grade this year.. she can do addition and subtraction of single and double numbers with regrouping plus some multiplication. But her spelling is horrible and so is her reading. Part of it is her attitude and part of it is a lack of being taught the basic mechanics of learning in 1st and 2nd grade. I wish I could give you some answers, if you find any I'd be interested in knowing what to do as well to help her out..

Most of what you described is not normal. Every year I have kids who try to get away with being lazy but that's just a matter of being consistent with what I expect them to do. Third graders should be developing strategies to memorize basic addition facts. They should have many decoding strategies in place so they can move on to comprehension strategies. Sometimes it just depends on the year. I've had years where my class, overall, struggles with the basics.

I have to say my daughter is getting better at comprehending what she has read.. except for the math word problems, they still trip her up.. Being laxy is her biggest bad habit she needs to break.. she doesn't do well with a talky teachers, one that is more hands on is best, it keeps her engaged in the activities.. dunwool, from a parents point of view, try being more hands on with the kids.. what I mean is draw them in physically to the lesson.. that seems to keep my daughter interested and breaks that laziness..

My class is also lower than I expected. I am going to start drilling math facts with the pages from superspeed math from power teaching. My kids also cannot work in groups yet. They have no clue what to do. Our grade level is going to start trying to do LA centers with routine activities so hopefully the kids will know what to expect each week and be able to get more fluent with comprehension and vocab.

I find with third graders they know a lot when you remind them but it's not consolidated yet. For example, yesterday I was editing with someone during writer's workshop and he was making some common spelling errors. When I point out and ask if he knew why the word was wrong, he would say "oh yeah, it needs an e" or whatever. I think they are just into getting things done and don't really apply what they know. Also, beginning of the year 3rd graders are essentially second graders, so it makes sense that they are like your second graders last year!! Most of my third graders don't know ANY multiplication yet and we won't do it until mid year (when our curriculum introduces it in the 4th unit.) Some of them know a few facts that they have memorized, like doubles or like 10 x 10. As for math, they can add with regrouping, but some still can't subtract with regrouping. That skill is HARD. I am going to really focus in on that this year. Most of my 3rd graders are very fluent readers, and can read "anything". Right now they are into the Beverly Cleary books and Erin Hunter books. A couple of my students are lower readers and they like Ricky Ricotta, Magic tree house etc. They are my lowest students. By the way, I got your letters and the kids write SO small and generally neat! I am still teaching my kids to use regular lined paper because until last year everyone used the primary ruled wide long paper! They are using the lined paper but double spacing and some kids write across two lines instead of one. They were so surprised to see the long letters from your students!

My students are the same way. Since I am a first year teacher, I wasn't sure if this was normal or not. Some of my students are still in second grade ZPD's in their AR levels. I also have student who can not write a single complete sentence. How can I help my students who can actually write a five paragraph essay, when I also have to teach some students how to put a capital letter at the beginning, a subject, verb and punctuation at the end?