The students in third grade expand their knowledge of reading comprehension, accuracy, and fluency. The students are taught additional strategies for reading comprehension. Students use Scholastic Leveled Reading to identify their reading levels, help master their reading comprehension and fluency. Students also begin reading novels as a class each trimester in third grade. Story elements including setting, plot and characters are reviewed and independent reading time is increased. Students respond to literature in their journals and through group discussion.
Handwriting, spelling and word-processing skills are reinforced, practiced and applied. Continued work is done in the area of grammar with an introduction to nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs. Written expression of ideas in a more complete and sophisticated manner is expected and utilized. Students are involved in writing paragraphs, simple reports and letters throughout the school year. Students participate in Writer's Workshop working on the three main areas of writing: narratives, opinion, and informative.
In Phonics, students work on building a foundation to which reading and writing is key! The program Fundations builds upon prior student knowledge; and past concepts are reviewed and integrated within the learning activities. Fundations lessons provide students with multiple opportunities to practice concepts, skills and strategies. Teachers provide both guidance and immediate feedback during practice so that the students' correct responses are reinforced. The purpose of instruction is learning both reading and writing for meaning, understanding and joy. The purpose of Fundations is to provide a truly strong and secure foundation for reading and spelling success.
For handwriting, students review letter writing and are taught cursive. The Zaner-Bloser’s curriculum emphasizes modeling, practice, and self-evaluation.
Students in the third grade learn more about our connections to the past and the ways in which local, regional and national government and traditions have developed and left their marks on current society, providing common memories. Emphasis is also on the physical and cultural landscape of California, including the introduction to the study of Native Americans, the arrival of immigrants and the impact they have both had in forming the character of our contemporary society. Basic map skills are taught taking into consideration California regions, land vs. water and climate. An introduction to Rules and Laws and what it means to be a citizen is provided and there is a discussion of the economy of our region specifically and the kinds of resources we have and use. Basic map skills are taught. Students will be going on field trips to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom.
Students use California Go Math which is a Common Core based textbook. Some skills covered are to fluently add and subtract within 1000; multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range of 10-90; fluently multiply and divide math facts within 100; solve two-step word problems using the four operations; concept of fractions; understand a fraction as a number on the number line; comparing fractions and equivalent fractions; area, perimeter, measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units; draw a scaled picture graph and bar graph; and tell time to the nearest minute. Students will also use math apps on the iPad to reinforce and challenge student skills.
The focus of the third grade religion curriculum is the Church. Students gain an understanding what the function of the Church is and what are the beliefs of the Catholic Church. They are introduced to the sacraments of Confirmation, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick and Matrimony. They gain familiarity with locating Bible passages, the Ten Commandments, works of Mercy and Jesus’ Law of love. Within Family Life, students will learn about how human Families are different from other kinds of families, and understand God ‘s plan for us as we grow in family life. Students will discover the attitudes that are important in family life, and identify the ways that our families celebrate being family. Student will also explore God’s gift of feelings, discover how to act on our feelings, and how to listen to our feelings. Students will learn to appreciate God’s gift of life and to recognize living things as signs of his love all around us. Students take part in service projects - creating holiday cards for local convalescent homes and taking part in our school's famous Hot Dog Lunch where all the proceeds go to a local family in need for Christmas.
Third grade Science is broken up into 3 basic categories. In Physical and how do they change? In Life Science we study Living in Different Environments and Living Science we study Energy, Light and Matter answering the questions, how does energy move and change form? What are some properties of light? What are objects made of Things in a world of change. We will explore the ways living things survive in their environment and how change affects the survival of living things. Within Earth Sciences we explore Objects in Space and Patterns in the Sky. We will explore what can be observed in the nighttime sky and how objects in the sky move in patterns. All science curriculum follows the NGSS standards with weekly hands-on experiments.