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Ms. Laura Niedbalski, Teacher

Laura has been teaching third grade since 2005. Before coming to OLQP in 2021, Laura taught third grade in Belleville, IL for 16 years. She received her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and a Minor in Art at Mckendree University in Lebanon, IL. 

Laura is a lifelong resident of O'Fallon, IL and a member of St. Clare Church, where she has taught PSR and Vacation Bible School.

During her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys painting, reading, watching baseball, and walking her 2 dogs. 


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 lower grade Mass every other Tuesday. Students participate in leading 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.

Third graders are prepared in their faith journey in receiving the Sacraments of Initiation. Children are especially excited to receive their First Holy Communion and Confirmation as they have seen their family members living their faith and receiving the Eucharist at Mass and are eager to receive the “bread and wine.”

English/Language Arts

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.



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.

Social Studies

Third graders will learn about immigration, Presidents of the United States, economics, and influential American leaders. 


The science curriculum covers life science, earth science, and physical science. Students study engineering, space, the human body, animal habitats, and the weather.