Third Grade


In the third grade, students practice applying critical thinking skills to all areas of the curriculum. They use reading strategies to comprehend lengthier text, develop tools to organize their thoughts into well-structured paragraphs and essays, and continue to gain an understanding of number concepts, while practicing computational procedures in more complex math problems.

A considerable goal is for students to develop independence, as they assume increasing responsibility for monitoring their own progress and for learning. One way third grade students learn to navigate through social situations with greater independence is through observing modeled behavior; they also gain greater comfort with this skill by participating in Class and Morning Meetings.


The third grade reading program emphasizes independent reading skills. In flexible ability groups, students enhance their comprehension by developing strategies to read for literal and inferential meaning, all the while broadening their vocabularies. Through creative book reports, students gain a deeper understanding of a variety of genres and their unique characteristics, including: realistic fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction, biography, fantasy, folktale, and fable. Students are also afforded the opportunity to express themselves artistically and through public speaking. Nonfiction social studies and science texts provide further opportunities for comprehension strengthening, and a linguistic spelling program highlights the importance of dictation and carries over to students’ every day writing. Finally, third graders gain a basic understanding of analogies and verbal reasoning that will be built upon as they progress through their upper-elementary years.


Writing continues to be emphasized and integrated throughout the curriculum, while the children learn to develop clear and concise paragraphs and to write sequential, multi-paragraph essays. As students gain greater comfort with the writing process, they also hone their abilities to inform, persuade, and express ideas, while building upon their formal knowledge of grammar and mechanics.  

New this year, third grade students also participate in the Writers' Workshop program at least three times a week. The goal of the program is for children to write what they know by selecting topics that are personally meaningful and relevant to them. Through focused mini-lessons and individual conferences with the teacher, students will enhance their craft as writers and become independent authors of a variety of literary pieces. At the conclusion of each instructional unit, students will publish a piece of their work and share it in celebration with the rest of the class.  


Singapore Math

Our Singapore Math program enhances students' higher-level thinking and understanding of real-life mathematical ideas, including number concepts, measurement, patterning, estimation, simple fractions, and geometry. Working in flexible ability groups, students also focus on regrouping with addition and subtraction and on developing recall of multiplication and division facts. Each learning group level is introduced to and develops basic algebraic and advanced multiplication and division skills; they also gain comfort with adding and subtracting fractions. Practical application and problem solving are the ultimate goals of our third grade math program.

Social Studies

In social studies, a combination of literature and interactive online curriculum helps to expose our students to units on the various geographical regions in the United States, the Pilgrims, and the Native Americans. The children also explore the importance of rules and laws in government and develop citizenship skills through our Character Education/Service Learning programs.

Active, hands-on simulations on topics ranging from the Pilgrims to flight simulation allow students the opportunity to experience life during different historical periods and in different parts of the world. Finally, third grade children, through song, dance, and music-making, develop an appreciation for community in preparing for their Brotherhood performance, a beautiful celebration of friends, family, the holiday season, and their sister country, England.

Global Education

The children explore England in greater depth through our Global Education program, gaining an understanding of the similarities and differences between England and the United States and also acting as pen pals to like-aged peers from Great Britain, with whom they exchange letters, photos, and emails and complete various interactive projects.


Third grade science is enhanced by an interactive, online curriculum, “A Child’s Place in the Environment,” which strengthens students’ knowledge of the interdependence of living things. Other themes explored are: preserving and restoring the earth’s precious resources, energy, matter, geology, the human body, and good nutrition.

Further enriching our science program are our school’s diverse gardens and ecosystems and a fully-equipped Science Center.Hands-on experiences include: weekly lab work, monthly gardening, a school-wide Planting Day, enrichment assemblies, and service learning that promotes environmental stewardship. The third graders are also given the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the scientific method by designing their own experiments and sharing them with their class.
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