THIRD GRADE CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
The most important goal of language arts is to enable each child to communicate as effectively as possible. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities strengthen communication. Students are challenged through regular instruction to develop critical and creative thinking skills. In third grade, the five areas of Language Arts concentration are productive thinking, communication, forecasting, decision-making, and planning.
Our instructional materials for grammar include Shurley English and the Daily Oral Language series. In third grade, we focus on the following parts of speech: nouns, subjects, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, pronouns, and prepositions. Through a variety of exercises and activities, students practice writing complete sentences, forming paragraphs, identifying and using the basic parts of speech, and using punctuation correctly. The Houghton Mifflin workbook also emphasizes language skills for writing and speaking.
Students work toward mastery of upper- and lower-case letters in cursive. Emphasis is placed on the proper formation of the cursive style, uniformity, and correct spacing as taught through the Handwriting Without Tears program.
The literature-based Houghton Mifflin Reading Series is our core reading program. A combination of group and independent reading activities promote skill development in comprehension, word recognition, story analysis, vocabulary, and appreciation for literature. Students learn about a variety of genres, including realistic fiction, fantasy, folktale, poems, plays, mysteries, and biographies. Students are read to daily with emphasis placed on comprehension skills. Library skills are taught during weekly lessons in our St. Mary's library. Two additional programs, the computer-based Accelerated Reader and the self-paced SRA, provide additional practice in reading comprehension. As a class, third-grade students also read and participate in novel studies
Students participate in class discussions, express opinions and ideas, and give oral book reports. They also take part in dramatic presentations. Emphasis is placed on developing fluent, organized, and meaningful oral expression
The third-grade spelling program is a part of the comprehensive Houghton Mifflin language program. Their curriculum promotes the formal teaching of reliable patterns and rules and enables students to spell a high percentage of English words without memorization. High- frequency writing words and context words are added, as needed. Third graders also gain experience in using dictionaries, arranging words alphabetically, and identifying compound words, base words, homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms.
Students will continually be involved with creative writing as they narrate their own experiences, describe their observations, and write from extended literature activities. As their written expression develops, five steps to writing are implemented: prewriting, writing, revising, proofreading and publishing. During third grade, students will write summaries, book reports, stories, poetry, and three and five paragraph essays.
The third grade math program uses Everyday Mathematics (EDM) a rigorous curriculum designed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics project. EDM builds a foundation of mathematical knowledge that, in time, enables students to move from the basics to higher-order thinking and critical problem solving. This program is supplemented by Rocket Math (a basic math-facts program) and “Arithmetic Done Daily.” Third-grade math focuses on the use of mathematics in real-life situations. Students use simulations and games to learn and practice new concepts. Emphasis is placed on connections with social studies and science.
St. Mary’s science curriculum is a hands-on approach to learning the fundamental processes of science. Through direct laboratory, classroom and outdoor experiences, students will be exposed to observing, measuring, recording, classifying, interpreting, analyzing, inferring, predicting, and investigating. The third grade science curriculum will focus on the earth/space, life and physical sciences and has been developed with the National Science Education Standards as its foundation. Hands on Elementary Science, AIMS, Science Studies Weekly, Project Learning Tree and Delta Science Modules have been used in the development of activities and learning experiences. The topics covered include: Earth’s resources, habitats, ecosystems, classification of organisms, matter, light, sound energy and the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems. Students will be responsible for participation in outdoor education, conducting lab investigations, keeping lab notebooks and completing various assessments throughout the year
Using reading strategies, thinking skills, class discussions, and interactive simulations, third-grade students are introduced to: history (world and American), geography, communities, humanities and citizenship. Students study communities in the United States and Canada. Units on Ancient Greece, Rome, and Europe in the Middle Ages, Vikings and explorers provide an historical perspective of how communities evolve. Students will be tested on the information and skills they have learned and reviewed. Third graders use Daily Geography, globes, worksheets, field trips, resource materials, class and individual projects to strengthen geography concepts
THIRD GRADE ENRICHMENT CLASSES
Our third grade students participate in the following enrichment classes: