Assessment Alley: Third Grade Literacy Profile

What Third Graders Should Know

Literacy Profile
What Third Graders Should Know
Phonological Awareness and Oral Language Development
Concepts of Print, Letter Identification, and Text Features
Decoding Skills and Word Analysis
Reading Strategies, Processes, and Dispositions
Reading Accuracy and Fluency at Increasing Text Levels
Comprehension and Reading Response
Writing Strategies, Processes, and Dispositions
Writing Effectiveness
Spelling
Writing Conventions and Handwriting
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           By the end of third grade, students must have a firm foundation in all ten of the components of literacy.  Third grade students should expand their phonological awareness and oral language to include figurative language, jargon, homonyms, synonyms/antonyms, and affixes.  Students should be able to organize oral presentations while considering their audience.  Third grade students continue to develop their concepts of print and text features by utilizing informational text features (including indexes or diagrams) and more complex print conventions (such as quotation marks or colons).  By the end of third grade, students should also possess more advanced word analysis and processing skills.  Third grade students should use syllable and pattern knowledge to decode more difficult words while also expanding their use of comprehension strategies.  Reading stamina, fluency, and flexibility also increase at this time.  Furthermore, students are expected to respond to texts in increasingly sophisticated ways.  Retellings become more detailed and require students to cite evidence from the texts, make inferences about themes, and recognize elements of author’s craft.

            During third grade, students also expand their writing abilities.  Students are expected to prewrite independently using strategies that match the form of writing.  Writing flexibility, depth, revision, and editing skills improve. Narrative, expository, persuasive, and poetry pieces are included.  Spelling and writing conventions become more refined.  Students are expected to master more complicated spelling patterns as well as most high-frequency words and homophones. Sentence variety, end punctuation, commas, and apostrophes should be mastered.  Finally, students are expected to begin developing cursive writing skills.

Third grade is a critical transition from primary to intermediate grades. Third grade students are expected to develop increased independence while expanding their literacy skills and strategies to prepare for more work in the content areas.  It is imperative for teachers to assess students’ literacy development frequently in order to target instruction to individual needs.  Frequent, accurate, and informative assessments will ensure appropriate interventions can be applied when needed.

Last updated: April 16, 2009