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Your third grader and reading

In third grade, students shift their focus from learning to read to reading to learn.

By GreatSchools Staff

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The leap to learning

In third grade, students are expected to make a huge change in their fluency and understanding. Suddenly, reading is seen as a tool for learning rather than the object of the learning itself. At this stage, children should be able to read a variety of books including contemporary fiction, historical fiction, legends, fables, myths, and biographies.

Third-graders are expected to read with fluency, comprehension, and expression. As they read a variety of books, they expand their vocabulary and interpret the ideas in the texts.

Third-graders are introduced to the ways language is used by learning about similes, metaphors, personification, and imagery. They should be able to select books at their reading level that interest them. Reading specialist Jennifer Thompson recommends using the "five-finger test" to choose appropriate books: "Have your child open the book to any page. If he can find five words that he does not know, the book is too difficult."

Comments from readers

"My third grade granddaughter loves books and is an avid reader. But she does not comprehend what she has read, has difficulty retelling a story in sequential order and is not doing well in school in that area. Her teacher has provided a Website that includes short stories followed by questions and vocabulary study. But my granddaughter is not enthusiatic about reading these stories and sticking with the assignment. I continue to insist that she read the stories and complete the reletd excercises. But its a struggle and a challenge. Any suggestions for making this more appealing to her. "
"This book is very interesting. "
"This book is very interesting. "