These three subjects are the ones that give me the most problems, mainly because they were my weaknesses when I was in school. I don’t want to pass that on to my boys; I want them to be well versed and have the necessary grammar skills to succeed in life. I have put a lot of time into discovering new ways to teach these very important subjects.
Spelling always comes first! Even though there is this wonderful invention called Spell Check out there now, it is important for everyone to be an average speller. Some children and adults excel in this subject, spelling words I don’t know if I could even pronounce! But for those of us who actually have to work at spelling, it can be very tedious. For my 3rd grader, we have weekly tests and we also still work on phonics. Yes , 3rd grade is still young enough for me not to worry too much, BUT it is a weakness of his(ours) so we are in a constant state of review. We also found online spelling games that help him out when we have words that he just isn’t getting. They usually help him get over that hump.Our favorite online free program at the moment for spelling is SpellingCity.com.
I tend to combine vocabulary and writing into one subject in my house. The beginning of the week we have a list of new vocabulary words. To make it more productive for us they usually have something in common, to allow us to combine them into a writing lesson, as well. Last week, we did vocabulary on the snake world ( a favorite subject at the moment) using words that, later that week, we inserted into a short story about snakes and their cousins. When my boys complete their stories I usually have them read them out loud to me so that they can get comfortable with sharing these (sometimes hilarious) stories.
Third grade is a wonderful time, for kids to develop a love of everything writing. I love it when they open up their minds to me through their stories. It gives a sneak peek of what is come.