Third Grade Curriculum Overview
The entire Lower School (PK-4) uses the Daily Five Language Arts Model. This model allows students to be involved in their own learning and gives them a choice. Choice is major part of this program and the students learn to be accountable for each other in the classroom. The goal of this program is to minimize “busy work” for the students and keep them involved in meaningful activities. Students choose from Read to Self, Work on Writing, Partner Reading, Listen to Reading, and Word Work. While the students are participating in their rounds the teacher is meeting with differentiated reading groups. The small group work is beneficial to the students at every level and allows the students to take risks in safe and comfortable environment. In the reading groups the students read a variety of different texts- literary, informative, practical, fiction, and nonfiction. They are encouraged to distinguish between fact and opinion, cause and effect, as well as infer main ideas through context clues. Students are also taught many different reading strategies to help with their Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Vocabulary while they are reading.
Projects: Throughout the year the class reads a series of Novels. While reading they have small group and whole group discussions about these books. We utilize class reading of novels as well as literature circles in small groups. As a class we read Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Indian in the Cupboard, Shiloh, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Flat Stanley. The class has a choice as to which novel we read at which time. This allows them to feel empowered in their learning process. At the end of the year they do a project based on the book “Flat Stanley.” The students send their own flat Stanley doll out to a friend or relative and they make a tri-fold story board that maps his or her doll’s adventure.
Language Arts (Writing, Grammar, Phonics, Spelling, Vocabulary):
Third graders write for a variety of purposes including. The main focus is Narrative writing using entertaining beginnings, elaborative detail, suspense, main events, solutions, conclusions, and alternate endings. They can support their ideas with references to their reading as well as make connections across the curriculum. They use a variety of pre-writing activities, revise their writing by adding details, and accurately proofread their work.
The Grammar Curriculum consists of: Types of Sentences, Subjects and Predicates, Combining Sentences, Punctuations, and Parts of Speech. The students study different parts of speech including: Nouns (common, proper, singular, plural, possessive), Verbs (linking, action, helping, present, past, future), Pronouns (singular, plural, subject, object, possessive), Adjectives, and Adverbs.
The focus of the Phonics curriculum in Third Grade is: Short and Long Vowels, Syllables, Consonant Blends, Diagraphs, Contractions, Suffixes, Prefixes, Synonyms, Antonyms, and Dictionary Skills.
Our spelling words come from the vocabulary words we will be working with for two weeks. Using this model encourages students to not only learn the correct spelling but to use the new words in their everyday speech and writing.
The Handwriting program focuses on mastering Cursive in the Third Grade. The emphasis for legible writing is on size, shape, slant, and spacing. The book will first take students through lower case letters, followed by upper case letters, and then how to properly join letters together.
My Math is a series that gives children the opportunity to engage in critical thinking skills. The students are expected to describe their ideas and processes through math skills, as well as be able to give an explanation. Our Math curriculum guides students through higher order thinking and allows them to use the strategy that works best for them. All learners are engaged with fun, interactive instructions presented in print and through the use of technology. Students are encouraged to use manipulatives to promote hands-on learning. The expectations of higher order thinking skills helps students connect what they learn to real world problem solving.
The curriculum includes:
• Number Sequences and Patterns
• Time and Money
• Adding and Subtracting
• Perimeter and Area
• Multiplication and Division
• Place Value with Whole Numbers and Decimals
• Geometry: Angles, Lines, Shapes, and Symmetry
The Science curriculum focuses on identifying systems and the patterns within those systems. Students take an active role in discovering about Plants and their Adaptations; they will study the different parts of the plant as well as their life cycles. The unit on Landforms and Bodies of Water is integrated in with their Social Studies unit on Geography. It is great for the kids to see how topics can span across their curriculum. The Skeletal System unit focuses on the purpose of the system, the bones of the body, the layers of bones, and where the major bones are located. The Solar System unit provides an opportunity for students to learn about the different system in space. They will focus on the planets, and the relationship between the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Students are actively engaged in the lessons while building their interactive notebooks throughout the year.
The Social Studies curriculum focuses on four main topics. The students study the different ways to express location using maps. They learn to read maps and give directions through role-play activities and oral directions. Third graders learn to analyze and understand the different jobs people have in communities, as well as the types of communities. They will be able to engage in discussions about the qualities of good citizens, as well as identify people who make a difference in their communities. Geography is where they learn about the different landforms on the Earth. They focus on knowing what the landforms and bodies of water are as well as where they are located. This unit is integrated with the science unit that studies a different aspect of the same topic. The United States Government unit allows to the students to get involved in politics on a personal level. The purpose of this unit is for students to understand how our government came to be, the jobs of each branch, and the different levels within our government.
The main themes in Religion for Third Grade are: God-Our Creator and Father, Jesus- Our Lord and Savior, The Church- Our Community in the Spirit, Sacraments- Our Way of Life, and Morality- Our Lived Faith. The curriculum is connected to the scriptures, and gives students an opportunity to learn how to be more engaged in Mass. An Art Print supplement is also provided to allow students to visual and connect their beliefs with past, present, and future generations. During the course of the year students will be introduced to different Saints and Prophets that helped to form the foundation of our Church. There are special units that are devoted to the different seasons in the liturgical year, which allows students to gain more of an understanding as to why we celebrate specific holidays. There is a big emphasis on student prayer life, and teaches them how to reflect on their personal relationship with God.
In third grade we review numbers 1-39 and then add 40-50. The students begin to use pronouns. We build on the vocabulary that was learned in 2nd grade. They learn more colors, days of the week, months of the year, and seasons. We add in gender, emotions, and continue to practice, clothing, food, body parts, animals, and the house. We begin to learn basic grammar such as singular and plurals, adjectives and verbs. Third grade is when the students start to write sentences and put paragraphs together.
In 3rd grade students will learn how artists use their art to express personal ideas. They will explore various artists throughout the year, discuss aspects of their style and subject matter, and create their own personal artwork using similar themes and techniques. They will continue to increase their art vocabulary and use of media. Students will use other disciplines in art such as science, social studies, and writing.
Adding to the 2nd grade concepts 3rd graders will take a larger step into the musical world. Students use their built knowledge of written and seen music, to begin to train their ears to hear different sound qualities, chords, and notes. There will be a performance in the Christmas Musical, as well as 2 class led masses.
Physical Education focuses on the following areas: Applying competent motor skills and movement patterns as needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Understanding concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics that apply to the learning and performance of movement. Understanding the importance of achieving and maintaining a health-enhancing level of physical fitness. Using behavioral strategies that are responsible and enhance respect of self and others and value activity.