Third grade is a year of very visible academic and individual growth. Third graders make great strides acquiring new skills and learning how to apply and incorporate their prior knowledge in new ways. Throughout the year they gain increased confidence in themselves and their abilities. They are expected to do more independent work and to make productive contributions when working in a group.
Most lessons in third grade teach to a variety of learning modalities. When possible, hands-on exercises and games are part of learning a skill. This is particularly true in math, where great emphasis is placed on children learning the multiplication facts. We also cover place value, money, time, addition and subtraction with regrouping, word-problem strategies, and number sense.
Reading groups generally begin with a skill lesson, either phonics and/or a literacy skill such as predicting outcomes or identifying main idea. We read chapter books in a variety of genres. Third graders work on comprehension questions and projects, have discussions, practice oral reading fluency and expression by reading aloud round robin style, and sometimes also present a dramatic reading at our Morning Circle.
In our language arts block we work on grammar basics, structured spelling and phonics exercises, proper formation and practice of cursive writing, editing skills, and writing. The focus of writing is to combine these skills to produce a complete piece of writing. Writing topics cover a wide variety of genres. With teacher guidance, students move through the writing process, starting with generating and organizing ideas, then editing the first draft for spelling, grammar and mechanics, on to revising their work, and lastly producing a final copy.
Our social studies units include: map skills, geography and characteristics of the eastern United States, early explorers (1000-1600’s), and U.S. history from the Pilgrims to the Revolutionary War. In addition, each year we choose a Lower School study theme around which many cross-curricular units are developed. Topics have included The Circus, Native American Studies, China, Medieval Times, Maritime Studies, and Space.