The theme in Grade 3 is Art from Many Cultures. The children are exposed to examples of art created in different times and places. They develop appreciation of the artistic contributions of various ethnic groups in our culture. They begin to understand that much can be learned about people through their art. The children grow in their understanding that art is a universal form of expression found in every culture.
In Grade 3, students learn to look at words as two or more syllabic or meaning units. Spelling and vocabulary study are integrated, and students develop study and test taking strategies for vocabulary tests. During Guided Reading, students work at their individual reading levels in small groups and practice literacy skills independently at centers. As authors, students practice writing personal narratives, fairy tales, research reports, and paragraph writing, as well as learn informational and persuasive writing skills. The children build on the manuscript letter formation skills to learn cursive handwriting using the Handwriting Without Tears program.
Students in Grade 3 continue their deep study of mathematics using the Singapore Math program. They are introduced to solving word problems using bar model drawing, as well as solving multi-step problems. Students also learn their multiplication and division facts through 10. They apply this knowledge to multiplication and division in problems using up to four digits. Grade 3 students continue to expand their study of measurement, fractions, time, and money.
In music, students build on the foundation started in earlier years, adding the study of notes on the staff. Students have opportunities to improvise on Orff instruments as well as to play more complex accompaniments. More complex movement and body percussion are added to the lessons. A highlight of the year is the introduction of the recorder as an instrument.
Students begin dressing out in P.E. uniforms. Grade 3 P.E. introduces students to more complex manipulative skills and intermediate level games that include a basic understanding of offense and defense, teamwork, fair play, and sportsmanship. Games of low organization, including captain’s ball, kickball, and rounders, are played. Throughout the fall and spring swimming units, Grade 3 students strengthen and refine their swim strokes, build endurance, and learn the beginning fundamentals of diving.
In Grade 3, religion emphasizes belonging to God and His covenants, as expressed in the Hebrew scripture stories. Students learn the Ten Commandments as an extension of keeping their promise to love one another. Justice and peace are explored as expressions of the universal church community.
In Grade 3, students study science using the Full Option Science System (FOSS) program, which gives many opportunities for hands-on investigations. Students observe, compare, categorize, and care for plants and animals while they learn about their structure and life cycles. Students explore the properties of water, the water cycle and weather, the interactions between water and other earth materials, and how humans use water as a natural resource. Students collaborate in a variety of activities that allow them to use scientific thinking and strategies.
Grade 3 students expand their studies of their local community to their region and beyond through interactive and collaborative activities using the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI) program. They create interactive notebooks as they learn about geography, different cultures, the economy, government, and public service roles. They create and ratify their own class constitution.
Grade 3 technology spotlights design thinking and invention. While integrating class curriculum, students explore coding through game design. Communication, collaboration, information literacy, and digital citizenship skills are further enhanced during research projects. Students extend and enhance their skills through woodworking, robotics, and electronics/circuitry.