Term I

3rd Grade

Reading instruction in the first term is focused on themes of friendship and city wildlife through the Open Court Reading series.  The students are encouraged to share what they know about these themes and ask questions for further study. In addition, students read Charlotte’s Web, which relates to the theme of friendship.

Grammar instruction focuses on sentence structure and nouns.  This includes subjects, predicates, and run-on sentences as well as common, proper,  plural, and possessive nouns.

The students are in the beginning stages of writing paragraphs and essays.  The students are taught to write a topic sentence, supporting details, and a concluding sentence.  Select pieces of writing will be put into final draft for portfolios, emphasizing proofreading and editing skills.  

The students complete two units in math this term.  Emphasis is placed on reviewing basic addition and subtraction facts, place value, displaying and analyzing data, and learning different strategies for solving word problems.  The children also learn the partial sums addition algorithm for addition as well as the trade-first and counting-up algorithms for subtraction.    Finally, students explore linear measure by measuring line segments to the nearest 1/2 inch and 1/2 centimeter.  Then they use this skill to find the perimeter of objects.

In social studies, the year begins with a unit on community. The unit commences with a trip to Shaker Village to experience early community life. This will lead into a study of early American communities including Jamestown and the Plymouth Plantation.


Third graders begin the year exploring line and shape and reviewing the elements of art. They make name designs with yarn. Gluing skills are used to adhere yarn for each letter.  They experiment with the color mixing properties of oil pastels while making a striking design on black paper. Next they make chalk symmetrical designs using their names written in cursive. There is emphasis on creativity and innovation as they find images within the letters. Following this is the Boo Sing backdrop. Using teamwork within each class they help decide on the elements to be included. Each student participates in the design and painting of this project. They also create props to be used during the singing. Next they work on observational drawing skills of animals using shape and proportion. These drawing lessons lead to a texture collage based on Charlotte’s Web. The students draw and cut out the central characters in the story. They have the option of depicting the inside or outside of the barn and review horizon line.


The third graders work hard in the first term to improve keyboarding skills. The students work with a keyboarding program designed to teach proper hand and body positioning and increase typing speed. They become proficient in formatting a document by changing font style, size, and positioning before beginning a document. The third grade teachers work closely together to incorporate computer into the classroom curriculum. Third graders complete research in the computer lab. They learn to scan web pages to find pertinent information.


The third grade students extend their vocal range by warming up on a variety of vocal exercises using good breathing techniques The students also explore 2 and 3-part round singing.  Students build their repertoire through American folksongs.  Third graders complete their first rhythmic dictation test and prepare for note reading.  Students continue to respond appropriately to music through voice, body, and instruments.  In the annual Boo Sing Halloween concert, third grade students are the stars of the show where they are not only repsonsible to learn a number of songs, they create choreography for many of the pieces.


Third graders are allowed to check out three books per cycle. Having the freedom to choose their books is very important in third grade. In addition to learning what and where to find their "just fit books," a concept learned in the classroom with The Daily Five, third graders are also given the opportunity to explore the collection on their own and to make their own choices.  Fairy Tales from across the land are highlighted the first term. Students read many tales from many countries and learn that the purpose of all these tales is to teach a life lesson. It is nice to know that they can universally be counted on for, “a happily ever after!”


Third grade begins with a variety of activities to motivate each child.  Every student is evaluated on skills through observable assessments.  Components of fitness are introduced and explained in detail to all students.  They have an appreciation for wellness and begin to understand why it is important for one to exercise, eat healthily, and get plenty of rest to benefit their health.  Units covered are soccer, movement activities, relays, and football.  Third grade is a transition year in that sport related concepts are stressed and team oriented participation is more evident. Fitness based activities are ongoing in P.E. and are experienced and mastered daily.  Each class is conducted in Spanish as much as possible and all greetings, warm-ups, days of the week, and weather are reviewed each class period.  When new concepts are introduced Spanish words are recited and students are expected to use these words as frequently as possible.


The third grade students begin the school year by reviewing some of the human anatomy they have covered in the past.  As they revisit some of major systems of the human body, they primarily focus on sensory organs.  They build models of the eye, ear, tongue, and skin in order to gain a better understanding of how we learn and experience the world around us.  The next unit is on mammals and a few other creatures in the animal kingdom.  Students compare mammals (including ourselves) to other animals groups already studied and continue to expand understanding of the groups, orders, and different species of animals that make up the rest of the animal kingdom. 


Third grade Spanish students begin the year by learning/reviewing greetings, numbers (1-40), and colors. After reading Margaret and Margarita, students complete their first art project, where they draw a self-portrait stating their name Me llamo... (My name is...) and ask ¿Cómo te llamas? (What is your name?). Students learn several songs to help reinforce vocabulary and warm up for Spanish class. These songs include Buenos días (greeting song), Los Colores (colors song), El chocolate (Chocolate), Sábado (Saturday), El tren de los días de la semana (Days of the Week Train), El juego de cumpleaños (Birthday Chant),Que llueva (Bring the Rain), La víbora de la mar (The Sea Serpent) and Los elefantes (The Elephant Song). For the unit on los días y meses (Days and Months), students begin work on class calendars to hang in their room. The students take part in numerous listening activities that require them to respond to verbal commands through movement, drawing, or a verbal response. They also complete several exercises to help familiarize themselves with the Spanish written word.