Third grade is a wonderful year where skills are strengthen and honed. The curriculum focuses on developing the whole child while gently nudging them to independence. Students learn values and skills which enable them to build from their foundation with confidence. Technology is integrated into the content area of many subjects. Students focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, and cooperative learning skills, all designed to equip them for the 21st century.
The overriding goal of religion is to have the students nurture their relationship with Jesus. Each is encouraged to respond through prayer and faith. The guide thesis is the children’s mission statement, “…to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, St. Francis, and St. Clare to make the world a better place.” Respect, love, and cooperation are virtues that guide our behavior and choices.
Becoming more independent and strategic readers, the students are expanding their application of literary elements and techniques to include main idea, character, plot, setting, and point of view to broaden their reading comprehension. They analyze the author’s purpose and infer meaning. They note cause and effect and vocabulary choices. They recognize metaphors and similes. They are critical readers who use these skills to become stronger writers.
Using process writing, third graders begin to see themselves as writers. They pre-write to narrow down an idea. Next, they write rough drafts which are then revised and edited applying their grammar and spelling skills. Finally, they produce and publish their final copy. As the year passes, the children's cursive becomes more refined through instruction and practice.
Students continue working with addition and subtraction facts which advances multiplication and division facts. They work with numbers and equations moving from concrete models to more symbolic mathematical representations. They investigate number concepts and problem solving strategies and ways to explain them. They solve two-step word problems using all four operations. Measuring objects, time, and money puts math into their daily lives.
The students continue following the science strands of life science, earth science, physical science, and space/technology science. The students formulate a hypothesis, plan an experiment, and test. They use their math skills to measure and graph their results.
Students study about land and resources, communities—old and new, government, heroes, and holidays. They improve their map and globe skills. Integrating research and writing, they expand their knowledge of government through a project on presidents and a trip to the Massachusetts State House.