Welcome to Third Grade

Hello and welcome to third grade at SJNCS! I am looking forward to getting to know you and your child this year! Your children are a blessing to me, and I feel so grateful for teaching in a wonderful faith-based school such as Saint John Neumann Catholic School.

Meet Mrs. Varner

I absolutely love teaching at St. John Neumann Catholic School! The faith-filled family atmosphere has always felt like home to me. My first experience at SJN was as a parent, when my son started kindergarten here.  We fell in love with this school and of course when our daughter was old enough, we enrolled her in kindergarten as well.

My husband, Reese, and I are high school sweethearts and have been married for 28 years.  We have two children, Hayden and McKenna, who are SJN & KCHS alums.  Hayden owns a commercial and residential glass company here in Knoxville (Glass Pros, Inc.), and McKenna is a sophomore at PSCC in Knoxville.  I am so grateful to have both our children living close to us!

We have lots of rescue pets! Scooter is our Cocker Spaniel and Boomer is our lovable Pitbull—who knew pitties were this lovable? Our two tabby cats are Mimi and Buster, and of course Charlie and Clyde are our class guinea pigs!

I was a preschool teacher for five years at St. Mark’s Early Enrichment Program before I began substitute teaching at SJN. This is when my focus started changing— as soon as I subbed at SJN, I knew that I wanted to be an elementary teacher! I had already earned a Communications degree from the University of Tennessee, but decided to return to school for my teaching certification. I was blessed to be able to complete my student teaching at SJN in fifth grade with Mrs. Preskenis! What a wonderful experience that was!

In 2009, I was blessed to be offered a fourth grade teaching, where I remained for nine years. I decided to give third grade a try several years ago and loved it too!  This year will be my 12th  year teaching at St. John Neumann Catholic School. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the SJN family.

What We're Learning This Year


  • It is important that students know their addition and subtraction facts coming into the third grade. Typically, students should have instant recall of addition and subtraction facts by the end of Grade 2 and multiplication facts through the tens by the end of Grade 3.
  • Students will have homework in math most nights. Math homework mostly consists of worksheets, workbook pages, and/or practicing math facts.
  • I try to not assign homework on the weekends so students can get recharged for the upcoming week, but sometimes homework may be inevitable due to certain circumstances.


  • We will cover the reading curriculum using our basal reading textbook and several novels.
  • When reading a novel as a class, frequent quizzes will be given over material read in class, as well as material assigned for homework. Reading levels vary from child to child, so please feel free to read with your child if you feel he/she needs it…and reading with your child is a wonderful way to spend time together! 🙂
  • Quarterly book reports are assigned in third grade. Book genres and formats will vary.
  • Six AR points per quarter are required for each student. AR tests are taken at school during school hours, and students will have a rotating schedule posted in the classroom for assigned computer days. They are welcome to take AR tests on days that are not assigned to them as well.


  • Spelling pretests will be given on Mondays unless specified. Any student receiving a 100% on the pretest will be exempt from Friday’s test. The test on Friday includes the 16 words in the Reader’s Notebook and one bonus word.
  • One or two spelling pages from the Reader’s Notebook will be assigned on Mondays and is due on the test day (usually Fridays).


  • Our English curriculum is covered using English textbooks and also the Reader’s Notebook (workbook format). The Reader’s Notebook incorporates reading, English, spelling, and writing.


  • Scientific method, and life, earth, and physical science will be taught in third grade.
  • In addition to lesson/chapter tests, students will receive grades for packet assignments, science notebooks/folders, and lab sessions. Extra credit will be given each quarter for students who take non-required notes in their notebooks.

Social Studies

  • Our social studies curriculum will be covered using both a textbook series and a magazine series. The magazine series will be available online in several weeks


  • Religion textbooks and Bibles will be used to teach about our Catholic faith.

Friday Folders come home each Friday. please check and clean out your child’s Friday Folder each week.