In third grade, the learning environment is focused on encouraging each student’s desire to learn. Study techniques and time-management tips are taught, moving students to become more independent and self-motivated by completing daily homework assignments and preparing for and taking tests. Computer skills are reinforced, organization skills are emphasized, and educational software on computers and ipads as well as the Internet are used for research and communication.
As always, language arts and mathematics are at the core of the curriculum found within all subjects. In language arts, students concentrate on creating well-developed sentences and paragraphs and hone their spelling and grammar skills. Reading comprehension is developed using modeled skills. Guided Reading provides direct instruction in fluency and comprehension skills. Third-grade students apply their skills as they read literature such as: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wizard of Oz. The reading of novels is followed up with a creative project related to the book.
In mathematics, students begin to move from concrete learning to pictorial and abstract thinking by deepening their conceptual understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. With Math In Focus: Singapore Math, students apply learned concepts and skills to solve a wide range of multi-step real-world problems. They strengthen their use of bar modeling to demonstrate visually the question actually posed and the steps necessary to solve sophisticated real-world problems.
Students explore geography focusing on identifying the seven continents, major oceans, and the states so they recognize “where” they are in the world at large. They learn about New Jersey’s regions, people, and history and how they relate to and impact each other. Students learn to apply research and presentation skills when completing projects related to what they have learned. In the spring, a Native American unit culminates in a special Lenape Day celebration.
In third-grade science, students are engaged in a learning process that begins with curiosity and moves toward scientific literacy. Units of study include: electric circuits, the solar system, the rock cycle, soil decomposition and weathering. They plant a Three Sister’s Garden while learning about plant growth and development.Engineering projects are incorporated into the units where appropriate.