Third grade is an exciting year of transition for the learner. It is a time to strengthen basic concepts and take these concepts a step further. Third graders are eager to please and organize their worlds. By providing a positive learning environment, students can become more confident, both socially and academically, thus enabling them to take academic risks. There is the dawning of a bigger world and the ability to handle multiple variables emerges.
While being intellectually curious, children at this age can be highly competitive and critical. Therefore, positive self-esteem and respect are promoted in the classroom, and cooperation is a yearlong theme in third grade. Students work in cooperative groups throughout the year. Each child is unique, and the goal is to enhance each child’s strengths and improve areas that may be weak. A variety of teaching strategies are used to meet the different learning styles of students.
In third grade the students continue to develop their reading and writing skils with the use of the Reader's and Writer's Workshop model. Students are encouraged to continue to develop critical thinking skills, especially from various viewpoints with the exposure to good literature.
Writing is integrated throughout the curriculum. Grammar and spelling concepts are not only addressed in textbooks, but also in the children’s writings. The students learn and write about various types of writing including narrative, expository and opinion writing to name a few.
Math is taught using Singapore math. Using the model drawing process for problem solving is introduced and mastered on a developmentally appropriate scale. All four operations are used in extensive problem solving. Decimals are introduced along with computation with money and fractions. Third grade math ensures that the primary basics have been mastered and offers enrichment activities before moving on to the challenges of extended and new concepts in fourth grade. Real life math reveals to students how math is important in their everyday life.
Social Studies units presented in third grade focus on communities and include: geography, Native Americans, the early settlers, immigration, and strengths of our country today. Many enrichment activities are provided in the social studies program.
Children learn by doing. Science is best understood when students participate in experiments and activities. Use of the Next Generation Science Standards supplies the students with background information, and hands-on activities which are provided to reinforce concepts that are presented.
Specialty teachers provide instruction in art, music, PE, spiritual nurture, and Spanish.