Literature forms the basis of the reading comprehension program, using various genres throughout the curriculum. The genres of study are historical and realistic fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, mystery, author studies, and biographies. The students choose novels at appropriate reading levels to read individually or collaboratively for each genre of study. Also, the Reading and Writing Workshop program continues from second grade. Spelling skills are developed using the Words Their Way and Wordly Wise programs. Grammar and comprehension skills are taught and reinforce through Daily Language Review. The Handwriting Without Tears curriculum continues with additional practice of cursive. Keyboarding skills are introduced through a variety of resources, with EDU Typing used as the primary platform for instruction. Writing Workshop is used to hone writing and research skills, emphasizing the writing process from prewriting to publishing.
In third grade math, students continue working with Everyday Mathematics and other programs where a variety of manipulatives and games are used to reinforce understanding of concepts presented. Addition and subtraction skills are reviewed and extended as students are encouraged to find efficient ways to solve increasingly complex problems. Increased focus is placed on multiplication, and division is introduced. Math facts are practiced and committed to memory, via Reflex Math, an engaging and research-based digital format. Additional attention is given to measurement, fractions, numeration, and problem solving skills.
Each third grade investigation follows a similar design to provide multiple exposures to science concepts. We use the engaging activities from Mystery Science, coupled with FOSS curriculum to provide hands-on, content-rich experiences. The course includes active investigation -- including outdoor experiences -- recording in science notebooks to answer focus questions, reading FOSS Science Resources, and the use of assessments to monitor progress and motivate student reflection on learning. Each unit culminates with a "museum" in which students design and curate exhibits to showcase their learning. The third grade units of study are Water and Climate, Structures of Life, and Motion and Matter.
Third grade social studies focuses on different regions of the United States, highlighting the people, history, products, and land of each area. Students read first-hand accounts of the life and times of the people being studied, learn map skills, and discover how the country fits in with the rest of the world. At the end of the year, students take part in a grade level Project Based Learning Immigration Simulation focusing on the importance of Ellis Island. Service Learning projects are also incorporated throughout the year.
In third grade Spanish, students continue to build their reading, writing, and speaking skills with simple sentences while responding orally to phrases and questions in Spanish. At this level, students are beginning to describe themselves and objects with appropriate detail. By answering warm-up questions, listening to stories, playing games, singing songs, responding to listening activities, following commands,and completing written work, students interact with the teacher and each other using the target language to communicate. Project-based units round out the curriculum.