As the final primary year, third grade students are asked to work more independently than in earlier grades, and to be accountable for their actions and decisions. Study habits continue to evolve and team projects require students to develop their social awareness and interpersonal skills further. Students learn about history and the power of stories through a class theatrical performance, a folktales unit, and a diversity project. An exciting field trip excites the imagination of our budding scientists and engineers. Ultimately, third grade is all about helping students identify and develop their individual identities in order to prepare them for the upper elementary grades.
Reading, Phonics, and Vocabulary. In the reading program, students continue novel units and engage in whole class, small group, or partner discussions. Students also enjoy independent and buddy reading. They respond to their reading and demonstrate comprehension through a diverse constellation of targeted exercises. Third graders continue to build their reading fluency and use of expression, improve their public speaking, and continue their vocabulary studies through a dedicated platform program.
Writing and Grammar. A proprietary workshop is taught through whole class mini-lessons and one-on-one conferencing. Third graders use the writing process—with an emphasis on peer revision—to become critical, reflective writers. Throughout the year, students develop their use of descriptive language as well as their writing mechanics. They strengthen their writing in several established genres, plus genres of their choosing. Students enjoy a fun and focused presentation during the fourth quarter, in which they share their work with family and friends. Cursive is further developed during third grade.
Mathematics. In this year, there is a strong focus on the development of problem-solving skills. Instruction takes place in both whole-group and differentiated, small-group settings and employs centers, manipulatives, and open-ended inquiry. While some of the concepts covered build on skills acquired previously, others are brand-new and mastery-focused, which makes this an important developmental year.
Science. In third grade, compelling and dynamic topics in both physical and life sciences are introduced. These topics are addressed in small groups as well as in whole-group discussions. Instruction also takes place through center-based and hands-on activities. With experiential learning as the emphasis, several exciting project-based activities are conducted. The Scientific Method (introduced previously) is also reinforced through various physical science experiments. Ultimately, third grade is all about helping students identify and develop their individual identities in order to prepare them for the upper elementary grades.
Social Studies. Third grade learns about the American government, Native Americans, and important inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The year begins with a chronological overview of American history with the first American colonies, the fight for independence, and the development of our first government. Students perform in a play which dramatizes the struggle to write the Constitution. In small groups, students build their research skills and complete unit-specific projects during the year. They also learn the exciting stories behind the stories.