Maryland third-grade teacher Jessica Ellis and novelist Juliana Barnet have partnered to improve students' writing through the National Novel Writing Month competition. The pair are guiding students through writing a companion novel to one that Barnet is writing for the competition. The students have enthusiastically spent much of their in-class and out-of-class writing time working on their collective goal of writing 50,000 words by the end of November.
The Mississippi Department of Education has hired 41 reading coaches and coordinators out of the desired 75 positions to help third-graders reach proficiency in reading or face retention. A private provider may be used to assist students in some schools.
An Indiana school district is holding a five-week literacy camp for struggling third-graders that focuses on informational texts, fiction and words to prepare them to pass the state's reading test. Educators said students' immersion in literacy through small-group work will better prepare them to pass a retake of the IREAD-3 test for promotion to fourth grade in the fall.
The school district in Bay Village, Ohio, plans to establish a combined class of third- and fourth-grade students to allow struggling third-grade readers to boost achievement. One official said few students are expected to need the class. The district also offers intensive reading interventions for kindergarten through third-grade students, including small group work, after-school tutoring and summer camps to improve literacy skills.
Third-graders at Dennis Lab School in Decatur, Ill., recently planted milkweed seeds in starter pots that will later be moved to their school's butterfly garden to help support the state's monarch butterfly population. The Department of Natural Resources recently asked for help in enhancing the environment for the state's official insect after milkweed loss was tied to its drop in population. "Our driving question is how can we, as conservationists, help our habitat and create homes for our creatures," said third-grade teacher Linda Burnham.