Welcome to 3rd Grade!

by Ms. Christine Fuentes

About Me

Hello Students and Families!

My name is Ms. Christine Fuentes and I will be the Third Grade teacher at St. Mary, Star of the Sea.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to earn my Elementary (K-5) Teaching Credential and immediately join the St. Mary’s staff as the Third Grade Teacher.

A little bit about myself: I was raised here in Oceanside, California and at a very young age was part of the St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish. Volunteering and serving my community is a very important value for my family and I; in saying that, any volunteering opportunity that was available, I tried my best to participate in.

I graduated in June 2014 from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelors of Art in Linguistics (Spanish Emphasis) and have a background in Biochemistry and Education. After graduating, I decided to dedicate a year of service and volunteer through an Americorps program called City Year. I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and served as a third grade tutor, mentor, and as the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Coordinator at a failing elementary. While that year was full of challenges, I gained more experience and a stronger passion for education than I could ever read about. In the future, I do plan on furthering my education by earning a Master of Science in Educational and instructional Technology.


Ms. Fuentes


Contact Me: cfuentes@stmarystars.com

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, and/ or concerns! I am always willing to meet and talk.

My Class

"We are all different, but like a team, we fit together!"

Please let me take this opportunity to explain the environment and educational practices of Saint Mary’s Third Grade class. Our class is a child centered, Christian faith-based learning environment. We will begin each day coming together with the entire school community with our "Community Prayer", and then in class will continue our 2P's, Prayer of the Faithful with our personal intentions we may hold in our hearts and finish with poem recitation.  

As we start our day we reflect on ways we can make today a great day by reminding one another of the Third Grade Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” We also acknowledge that the day may bring challenges and we proclaim that we can take on all challenges with Christ as our helper (Philippians 4:13).

Growth Mindset

The beliefs children have about intelligence, effort, and struggle impact the choices they make about learning. In Third Grade we acknowledge that we will come across certain obstacles that can be challenging, and sometimes we may have to take chances, but we are all here for one another and to support one another. 

People tend to hold one of two different beliefs about intelligence:

  • Children with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed. These students see school as a place to develop their abilities and think of challenges as opportunities to grow.
  • Children with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed at birth and doesn’t change or changes very little with practice. These students see school as a place where their abilities are evaluated, they focus on looking smart over learning, and they interpret mistakes are a sign that they lack talent.

 That is why, in this class, we will be practicing a growth mindset

More Information on Growth Mindset 

Language Arts
The art of reading, writing, listening, and speaking will be practiced in every content area, which includes Social Studies, Science and Religion. Third Graders are at the right age and will begin learning the skill of note taking. They will be required to read the lessons as I display them on the front board, to write them onto paper, to listen as we discuss the notes, and to reflect orally in response to the notes. Note taking may be challenging at first, but after a few months the children will get comfortable and accustomed to the classroom expectations and practices and parents appreciate the notes when looking over the day’s work.

For Additional information on Standards:

Words Their Way 

Words Their Way (WTW) is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program. Words Their Way is an approach to spelling and word knowledge that is based on extensive research literature and includes stages of development and instructional levels that are critical to the way students learn to read. This program also allows me as a teacher to provide differentiated and effective instruction in phonics, spelling, and vocabulary.

Word study teaches students to examine words to discover the regularities, patterns, and conventions of the English language in order to read, write, and spell. It increases specific knowledge of words – the spelling and meaning of individual words. Literacy is like a braid of interwoven threads: reading, oral language, and writing. Words Their Way demonstrates how exploration of orthographic knowledge can lead to the lengthening and strengthening of the literacy braid.

Reading Instruction
Third grade is a pivotal point in a student’s education because, this is the year that students move from learning to read — decoding words using their knowledge of the alphabet — to reading to learn. The books children are expected to master are no longer simple texts, but fact-filled texts on the solar system, Native Americans, Women’s History, Cultural History. Furthermore, Children are taught how to navigate their way through book parts and resource materials, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries and atlases.

Writing Instruction
Writing instruction is geared toward teaching students how to select topics, to identify the reading audience, and to present information in paragraph form. Grammar, spelling and vocabulary lessons are taught separate from the writing lessons, but then come into play during the writing process in the editing phase. In order to foster writing skills, reading comprehension, speaking skills and listening skills, the children are offered many opportunities for group work and presentations.

Third Grade Mathematics may be challenging, but it full of rewards. Students will learn to understand the base-ten number system, multiplication division facts by repetition and other various learning style methods, fractions/decimals- to name just a few of the major concepts. Lessons from day to day move quickly, so it is crucial that students repeat problems over and over to retain understanding. We have daily Multiplication drills in order to promote automaticity of the facts, speeding up the process when learning to multiply and divide with greater numbers.

For Additional information on Standards:

My Classroom Economy  

My Classroom Economy is a program in which teaches students financial responsibility through fun, experiential learning.

It's a simple classroom economic system based on the idea that students need to earn school "dollars" so that they can rent their own desks. By bringing real-world scenarios into the classroom, students see the impact of their decisions to save, spend, and budget.

My Promise

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech” Titus 2:7-8

That is my promise to you as parents and students. I will continue to create and provide a loving, trusting, joyful, and productive environment in our Third Grade class. I want my students to see me as someone who is here to help them and continuously cheer them on, and not as someone who is here to “point fingers at.” By embracing a loving and trusting relationship we can create a joyful and productive learning environment. Please come by anytime to peek in on our confident and responsible group of children as we go about our daily business. I would be glad to take a couple of moments to greet you and answer any questions you may have.

*One of our goals in third grade, is to gain more ownership and responsibility. Students will be expected to write in their planner- that way they are able to communicate the homework and any announcements to you.

What is 3rd Grade up to !