Third Grade

21 November, 2022

***Important Notes:

  • On December 7th, there is the ‘Celebration of Wonder’ night where each class, and certain groups of students, do something of the arts (poetry, music, acting out a scene, etc.). The third grade class is going to be singing the song we learned about two weeks ago about St. Martin. All of the class will be singing the song, while two students are acting out the interaction between the beggar and St. Martin while we sing. If your student has begun to forget the song, then just scroll down and the lyrics and Youtube video with the melody are still here on the page. Some of the students are making props. I wanted us to try and all make homemade props in order to draw out more creativity. Any kids who volunteered to make one of the props should try and have the prop finished by Monday, December 5th.
  • Choir Resources for the upcoming Christmas Concert on December 15 are at the bottom of this page, under ‘Resources.’ Your student knows that they need to practice!

New Marian Antiphon for Advent: Alma Redemptoris Mater

Starting on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, the entire school will be singing a different Marian Antiphon at the conclusion of mass. I will be teaching it to the students by saying the words, and by singing the melody, which they will then repeat back to me. If you would like to include this beautiful antiphon in your home for you and your child, then here is some information about it below, along with a video of its tone. It is traditionally sung after the Divine Office Hour, Compline

“The four great seasonal Marian antiphons come from the Divine Office, office of Compline, the last of the sung hours of the day. At the close of Compline, one of the four seasonal Marian prayers was sung: Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Caelorum, Regina Caeli, or Salve Regina.…[The antiphon, Alma Redemptoris Mater, is] [s]ung from the first Sunday of Advent until the Feast of the Purification on February 2 (the original ending date of the Christmas season), this prayer tells of Gabriel’s announcement, and of Mary’s divine motherhood. The text is credited to Herimann the Lame, a monk of Reichenau (1013-1054). Herimann’s Latinized name was Hermanus Contractus and he is sometimes also credited with the chant melody.

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes et stella maris, succurre cadenti, surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum genitorem, Virgo prius, ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud ave, peccatorum miserere.

This translation is by the Reverend Adrian Fortescue, 1913:

Holy mother of our Redeemer, thou gate leading to heaven and star of the sea; help the falling people who seek to rise, thou who, all nature wondering, didst give birth to thy holy Creator. Virgin always, hearing the greeting from Gabriel’s lips, take pity on sinners.”


Classroom Report

In science, we have been working on experiments with water. Thus far, we have looked at how water reacts on different surfaces, how it reacts on a slope, and at calculating the mass of water. In math, we just took a math test on chapter 2. Part of this was to get a more clear idea of where everyone is at. Some students have had difficulty with mental subtraction, so we are probably going to practice a lot of basic skills this week, alongside our new lessons. This is why I have started assigning practice with basic subtraction and addition. The faster we know these foundational facts, the easier the next steps in math will be! Now that the students are able to list all 8 parts of speech, we are going through the definition of each part of speech and learning how to identify them in a sentence. For reading and writing, we are still going to be reading some short stories together, and then writing about them. We will be reading stories about saints and mythology. In religion, we are finishing up learning about the 10 commandments before we switch to learning more about our need for a savior, and thus, the incarnation.

Our Current Recitation

God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins (Due 11/18 – redo is due 11/21)

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

St. Martin – A German Folk Song

Since St. Martin of Tour’s feast day is on November 11, we are learning this folk song for our recitation. The students will be tested on the recitation on this Friday, just in time for St. Martin’s Feast Day! I am planning on having recitations more regularly – weekly. Since singing is part of being human, it is important (and fun) for us to learn these songs in a setting that is outside of an official choir.

“St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin rode through wind and snow 

On his strong horse his heart aglow

He rode so boldly through the storm 

His large cloak kept him well and warm

On the roadside, on the roadside, on the roadside a poor man arose,

Out of the snow in tattered clothes

‘I beg you help me in my plight 

or else I’ll die of cold tonight.’

St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin stopped his horse and drew 

His sword and cut his cloak in two

One half to the beggar man he gave

And by this deed his life did save”

Below is a video with the tune that goes along with the lyrics. We will be singing it in class this week, but if your child really wants a reminder of the melody then you can listen to the video (I could only find a good one that has words in German).

Basic Information

Welcome to the Portal, Third Grade Parents! Thank you for sending your child to St. Thomas. Classical and Catholic education changed my life in high school, and so I am glad that I get to be exposing even younger students to this way of learning, and most of all, of being. I know that this upcoming year will be full of blessings, as I both learn from and teach your children.

The Purpose of this Portal: The portal is primarily a resource for you as a parent who wants to help keep your child on track. Throughout the year, at the beginning of every week, I will be updating the homework for the week. If you would like to double-check your child, if he is absent, or if he forgets or does not write in his planner, then this will be a helpful resource for you. This page will also be a place for me to provide certain links and other resources. Please do not allow your child to access or rely on this portal. Otherwise, he is likely to only rely on you and not to take up the responsibility of writing in his planner. I would like at least one parent to sign the child’s planner as a confirmation of completed homework.

Curriculum: During this first part of the year, we are ‘diving into the deep’ with the theme “Duc in Altum.” In Luke 5:4, Christ tells the doubtful Peter to let down his nets into the deep waters for a catch, and Peter catches a large and various multitude of fish. Each student has picked a virtue that they want Jesus to help them ‘catch’ during this upcoming term. We will use that virtue throughout the first part of the year to help us more thoroughly learn the parts of speech in grammar, to continue developing their writing skills, to continue learning how to read and discuss beautiful works together (starting with Charlotte’s Web – a perfect fall book!) in literature, to learn about our country’s origin and scope in history, to begin to understand Christ’s Church in religion, and to observe and wonder about the world around us (starting with water and climate) in science. Alongside all of these subjects, I also plan to have the students work on their penmanship, and to learn a recitation every couple of weeks. These recitations might be poems, scripture, excerpts, or songs. Poetry is a very beautiful and intuitive way to express and see into the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness that I hope to help your child love more of this year. 

3rd Grade Schedule:

Since the 3rd graders have Special Subjects (Choir, Spanish, Library, P.E., Art) on different days at different times, the schedule can vary from day to day. The schedule can also vary depending on tests or certain activities that end up taking longer or shorter. In general, the first half of the day is spent with Language Arts (any combination of Spelling, Reading, Grammar, Writing) and Math. After Lunch and Recess, there are Specials, History, Science and/or Religion. Penmanship is sometimes done in the morning, or is done during those smaller windows later in the afternoon depending on the day. You can view the specific schedule under the tab below, named “Resources.”

Communication: In order to help your child to be and learn in the best way, I would like to be good at communicating with you all. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your child, the curriculum, or anything else. It is always best for us to meet or talk in person, whether that is briefly when you are picking up your child, or it is for a set time after school. I will be available most days to be in the school building from 3:30 to 5pm. Please set up a time with me through email or phone. My email is, while my phone number is 616-502-6110. If you have simple questions or notices, then feel free to contact me through email or phone/text. Please try to contact me before 5pm. Otherwise, I will not be guaranteed to get back to you until early the next morning.  
Here is a link to Powerschool, which will allow you to see your student’s progress throughout the year:




Mrs. Emily Carter

Third Grade Teacher

(734) 769-0911 Ext. 3211

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School