The Third-Grade language arts program focuses on strengthening previously learned skills. Students will continue to develop oral and silent reading skills, comprehension, predicting, vocabulary fluency, and making inferences through the use of a variety of children's literature. Grammar lessons including punctuation, capitalization, editing, and parts of speech are part of daily instruction. Spelling lists are distributed each week. Cursive writing is introduced this year.
Writing in the Third Grade begins with an exploration of various genres that students have enjoyed in the past including personal narratives and fiction. Students focus on the three elements of any story: character, setting, and plot. Students will analyze and learn to identify techniques authors use; question why they are important and make a conclusion about what they are reading. Development of the author's craft will begin by incorporating the techniques learned from the author's style in their own writing. The formation of a proper paragraph is enforced this year with a topic sentence, supporting details and concluding sentence.
Mathematics (Kindergarten - Grade 4)
Our students learn to see math in everyday life, searching for patterns, mathematical processes, and numbers in the world around them. At all grade levels students learn that math is not an isolated subject and recognize connections between all their other classes.
Students begin exploring numbers and mathematical ideas with concrete materials, progress to pictorial representations, and finally, reason abstractly with symbols. Our classes are structured in ways that encourage the use of a variety of manipulative materials, age-appropriate technology, and games for students to construct their own meanings of key mathematical concepts. Through flexible grouping and differentiated instruction, we ensure that each child feels both competent and challenged during their elementary math classes. Students and teachers recognize that enduring learning takes time and practice but work together to efficiently master basic numerical facts to prepare for success in middle school mathematics and beyond.
In third grade, students deepen their understanding of multiplication and division as the relationship between these two mathematical properties is conceptually reinforced through grouping, arrays, repeated addition, and skip counting. Expanding on tens and hundreds, four-digit numbers (thousands place) are introduced through familiar mathematical processes. Money skills help to strengthen fraction study, as students begin to understand decimals as further representations of fractions. Students learn to use standard units of measure for temperature, length, liquid volume, and weight while solving problems involving measurement and estimation. Students develop a broader understanding of geometry while identifying properties of shapes and line segments and grow their algebraic sense by identifying missing numbers in addition and subtraction expressions and equations. Additionally, students learn to solve problems involving the four operations and explain patterns in mathematics. Studying geometric measurement, students learn to recognize perimeter as an attribute of plane figures and distinguish between linear and area measurements as they learn to reason with shapes and their attributes.
Third Grade science focuses on a more in-depth study of life science and earth science as well as study physical science. Some units that will be covered are Fossils/Animal Hereditary, Plant Life Cycle/Hereditary, Weather and Climate as well as Forces and Motion. Students develop an understanding of how animals and their environments change through time. Fossils provide a window into the animals and habitats of the past. Analyzing the traits of animals provides evidence for how those traits vary, how they are inherited, and how they have changed over time. Students also examine how the environment can affect inherited traits and determine which animals will survive in a particular environment. In the Plant Life Cycle unit student discover how plants reproduce by exploring the process of pollination and fruiting. They also investigate how plant traits are inherited from parent plants and how favorable plant traits can be enhanced by humans via artificial selection. In the Weather unit, students investigate and make predictions about the weather through careful observation of clouds and wind. They will learn to differentiate between weather and climate and use models to reveal global climate patterns. Lastly in the Forces/Motion unit, students explore the forces all around them. They investigate the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces, the pushes and pulls of bridge structures and the effects of friction.
Students also explore the power of magnetic forces and investigate firsthand how these forces can be used to help us in our everyday lives.
The Third-Grade studies continue their exploration of New York as they study immigration. They acquire much of their knowledge about immigration through non-fiction and historical fiction. Students learn why people wanted to leave their home countries (push factors) and why they chose to come to America (pull factors). Students will select a country from which their family immigrated for a research project to be presented to the class.
The class is infused with creativity and drama as they take on the lives and experiences of immigrants. What would a journey by steamship across the ocean entail? How were inspections conducted at Ellis Island? Were their lives in New York City all they dreamed they would be? As a part of our interdisciplinary work, students will create journals describing the voyage in steerage on a steamship, passing through inspection at Ellis Island, and life in Lower Manhattan as a new immigrant. Students will use all they have learned, through texts and field trip experiences, to write a realistic story, rich in historical facts.
Third grade students will continue their journey of basic music theory in addition to performance on the handbells. A handbell choir uses the same chromatic scale that a piano uses, but this is very much an ensemble instrument than a solo one. Handbell choirs require each musician to be responsible for one line of music, making the result sound like one instrument being performed by many. Students will learn to read this music and work together to act as an ensemble, practicing steady tempo, dynamic levels, and performance techniques.