Julia Godfrey, is the third grade teacher at Our Lady Queen of Peace School. She received her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Bradley University. She began her teaching career as a first and second grade teacher in a combined classroom setting in a small rural school in Missouri. She joined the faculty at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in 1992 as the fifth grade teacher. After teaching fifth grade for two years, She accepted the challenge of researching, developing, and implementing a curriculum for the brand new kindergarten. She taught kindergarten from 1994 - 2011 and has been teaching the 3rd grade from that point on.
Third grade is a transitional year from the early primary level of education to the intermediate level. Students will learn to be more independent and have more responsibility for their work. Instruction consists of teacher led whole group lecture, small group, and individualized instruction. The classroom is equipped with a SMART board and students have access to the computer lab whenever needed.
Students attend an All School Mass every Friday and a 3rd,4th , and 5th grade Mass every third Tuesday. Students participate in leading the Mass by reading the readings, responsorial psalm, and petitions; by carrying up the bread and wine; and by being a song leader.
The religion curriculum focuses on the history of the Church, the Church seasons, sacraments, moral and faith formation, prayer, and social responsibility.
The reading curriculum is the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys English/Language Arts program. This program is Common Core aligned and incorporates the state standards for reading, phonics, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and writing. Students have daily instruction and work in each area.
Students read a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction, folktales, fairytales, and poems. The vocabulary lessons for the week correspond with the stories from the student anthologies.
Students develop comprehension skills using various graphic organizers to interpret information, infer and predict, analyze the author’s purpose, answer comprehension questions, and study the characters in the story. They also sequence events, draw conclusions, and differentiate between facts and opinions.
In addition the using the Journeys series, the third grade class completes a literary unit on Charlotte’s Web. Students apply the reading skills they have learned through Journeys to a children’s classic chapter book.
The Journeys program includes daily grammar lessons. The class focuses on sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and parts of speech.
Students will correctly spell words using word families; vowel and consonant patterns; and prefixes, suffixes, and spelling rules. Students learn how to: analyze multiple-meaning words; decode unknown words by identifying prefixes, base words, and suffixes; identify synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms; and practice analogies. They will also list words in alphabetical order and apply that skill to using a dictionary and glossary.
Each week students will practice different writing skills and techniques. Students use graphic organizers to develop their ideas and thought patterns. They will create narrative, expository, and persuasive writing assignments. Through the writing process students learn to write a rough draft, proofread, and create a final copy of their work.
Students perfect their handwriting skills using the Zaner-Bloser method. During the middle of the second quarter students complete assignments solely by writing in cursive.
Our Lady Queen of Peace School uses the Saxon Math series. Through spiral review, third grade masters the math skills that were introduced in first and second grade. They are also introduced to and will gain mastery of multiplication facts. Other content areas include simple division, simple fractions and mixed numbers, basic decimals, place value, money, time, data and graphs, and measurement.
The third grade social studies class utilizes the Harcourt “Our Communities” series to guide students through their exploration of society, the various types of communities, and aspects that define communities. Students identify good citizenship qualities and study the branches of the government, state and federal. Third grade also learns the 50 states and capitals.
The science curriculum covers life science, earth science, and physical science. Students study plants, animals and habitats. At the end of the unit students write a report and build a habitat for an animal of their choice. Other areas of study are: rocks, land formations, and weather.