• Events for 3rd grade
    Chess 

    Contest Format

    • Chess Puzzle is offered for grades 2-8 in three divisions: grades 2-3, grades 4-5 and grades 6-8. As with other A+ events, districts may choose to structure with these as combined divisions or may choose to offer a separate division for each indvidual grade level.
    • Each division will take a 30-minute objective test plus a separate 10-minute tiebreaker section. A different test is provided for each of the three divisions. The tiebreaker section is identical for ALL divisions.
    • All Chess Puzzle test questions are now multiple-choice format, to allow for a broader scope of questions and increase the educational value of the contest (and make grading even easier).
    • Scoring is simple. For the main test section, contestants receive one point for each correct answer. There are no deductions for incorrect or unanswered questions. For the tiebreaker section, there is a 1.25 point deduction for each incorrect answer to facilitate breaking ties (still no deductions for unanswered questions). All grade levels will take the same tiebreaker section. Tiebreakers need only be graded for contestants actually involved in a tie.

    Study and practice resources

    There are thousands of other chess web sites available online, many that include chess puzzles, and many that are designed for kids.

    What is Chess Puzzle Solving?

    The benefits of chess are well documented for players of all ages, and especially for young people. Chess teaches problem solving, hones concentration and encourages analytical and strategic thinking. Chess can be a lifelong pursuit.

    Chess puzzle competition is very different from tournament chess play. Contestants in a chess puzzle contest receive a paper-and-pencil test that includes a series of chess boards with pieces in particular positions. The contestant must then determine the fewest moves to checkmate given that particular board layout. Time is also a factor - contestants are scored based on the most puzzles solved in the least amount of time. See below for a sample test.

    A chess puzzle event provides an avenue for chess participation that does not require the time and resources of actual tournament play. The fixed time limit makes it practical to include in a district meet schedule, and the availability of free resources allows any school (including those that do not currently have chess programs) to include chess puzzle in their slate of A+ events at minimal cost.

     
    Music Memory
    The focus of the Music Memory contest is an in-depth study of fine pieces of music literature taken from a wide spectrum of music genres to expose students to great composers, their lives and their music. In the course of preparing for the contest, students should be given the opportunity to describe and analyze the music, relate the music to history, to society and to culture, and to evaluate musical performance.

    Students will listen to approximately 20 seconds of up to 20 musical selections and identify the name of the major work, selection and the name of the composer.

     
    To receive full credit for an answer, all information about the music selection must be complete as shown on the official list. Spelling and punctuation are considered in the grading of this contest. Please click on the Constitution and Contest Rules link below for a complete description of the Music Memory Contest.
     
     
     
    Spelling
     
    The spelling contest is designed to give students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 exposure to a wide variety of vocabulary words. It is not a contest of memorization. For the most educational value, preparation for this contest should include instruction in the rules of the English language, meanings and definitions, and root words. In addition to learning to spell proficiently, contestants will learn to write clearly and to capitalize words properly.

    Students will write down words given by the pronouncer on their paper at a rate of approximately five words per minute.
    (A) Grades 3 and 4: 50 words; tiebreaker, 25 words.
    (B) Grades 5 and 6: 80 words; tiebreaker, 30 words.
    (C) Grades 7 and 8: 110 words; tiebreaker, 40 words.
    The tiebreaker is given to all contestants immediately following the initial test.

    Tests will be fully compatible with the Merriam Webster's Intermediate Dictionary 1994 and subsequent editions.

    Storytelling
     
    To tell a story, the participant must develop skills in listening, thinking and speaking. This contest also allows for the development of creative expression, something being given more attention in the professional world. For practice, teachers can use stories from any good children's books or magazines.
     
    Contestants in the second and third grades shall listen to a storyteller read a brief story (between 600 and 1100 words long) only once, and then retell that story in their own words before a judge or judges.
     
    There are no time restrictions on the length of the story the student creates
     
    Ready Writing
    Texas has put a great emphasis on writing skills at all levels of school and all levels of state-wide testing. Ready Writing, a contest for students in grades 3,4,5,6,7 and 8, builds upon those skills and helps students refine their writing abilities. In particular, this contest helps them to learn to write clearly and correctly a paper that is interesting and original.

    A standard dictionary or thesaurus may be used during the contest.

    Contestants are given a choice between two prompts which defines the audience, and provides the purpose for writing. Students should be encouraged to analyze the prompts for the purpose of writing, the format, the audience and the point of view. The format may be, for example, a letter, an article for the newspaper or an essay for the principal. Various writing strategies may be stated or implied in the prompt. Some of these include:

    1. description to inform -- describe the happening or person/object from imagination or memory;
    2. narration -- write a story;
    3. persuasion -- describe and argue just one side of an issue; describe both sides of an issue then argue only one side; write an editorial; write a letter to persuade, etc.
    There is no minimum or maximum number of words the contestants must write.