3rd Grade Academics
Third grade is a year of great social-emotional growth. Students work on balancing friendships with academic skills. There are many opportunities for students to be working cooperatively in small groups. It is common for third graders to be both helpful and pleasant, as well as bossy and impatient as they learn and grow from different social situations. Friendships are immensely important and third graders are often building stronger friendships and learning how their choices will affect consequences. To foster dialogue around peer relationships and social scenarios, we will use the Second Step Curriculum. In addition, students will also use the MindUP program which promotes mindfulness practices to learn more about oneself, their peers, and the greater community.
During third grade, students are working on becoming more organized and logical in their thinking processes. Expectations for homework and group projects will both increase this year, and students will often be encouraged to help others and work collaboratively. Throughout the year, students will work on note taking skills from texts, online resources, and from copying information from PowerPoint presentations.
English Language Arts (ELA)
In third grade, students will participate in the Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshops. These workshops will typically include a mini-lesson, small group work, and independent practice. In reading, mini-lessons will focus on a range of skills to help develop comprehension, accuracy, and fluency. In writing, mini lessons may focus on aspects of writing craft, editing strategies, or how to conduct a successful peer review. Students will work on getting to know themselves as readers and writers this year and will begin to increase their stamina in both.
Students will also continue to develop spelling, vocabulary, and grammar skills. On Monday, they will be given a list of spelling words to work with and study each week and will have a spelling test each Friday. Students will utilize the Spelling City website for practice and assessment. The number of spelling words will be differentiated as needed for the students.
Cursive handwriting instruction will begin this year! While it may seem that cursive handwriting is a dying art, it is helpful to remember that without knowing how to read cursive we wouldn’t be able to read important primary documents, such as the Declaration of Independence. By January, students will be expected to write some final copies of their writing pieces in cursive. We follow the Handwriting Without Tears program. Of course, we will also continue practicing our keyboarding skills, and some final copies of written work will be typed as well.
At the forefront of the math program is a solid understanding of numbers and basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). Third graders will learn about place value and how to read and write multi-digit numbers. Students will move from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. Fact families are taught to help students consider the relationship between multiplication and division. Third graders typically have an interest in how things are put together, and often rules for solving problems and logic skills are developed. In addition, fractions, geometry, area and perimeter, measurement, graphs, time, and money are other topic areas that are taught and reinforced.
In science, students will continue to develop their ability to work cooperatively to conduct experiments through scientific inquiry. Some topics we will study this year include matter, energy, simple machines, and plant & animal adaptations. In addition, we will have various STEM challenges where the students will complete activities or do lessons which will incorporate components of the science units into hands-on projects. They will often be asked to work in pairs or groups, further developing their team building and group problem-solving skills.
In third grade, students will take a trip around the world during social studies! We will begin the year by learning a variety of map skills such as cardinal directions, longitude and latitude, and using a map scale. Students will study a diverse group of countries and will explore the culture, history, geography, people, and governments. Through projects, videos, and various reading materials, students will submerge themselves in various world communities.