In third grade, students build the capacity to read more complex texts. They develop deep understanding and build higher-order thinking skills through weekly routines and Close Reading. Weekly and unit instruction is built around science and social studies concepts that connect each piece of literature, vocabulary, and writing allowing students to build deep knowledge. With careful teacher guidance, third graders select reading-level appropriate books in a wide variety of genres. Their genuine love for reading is encouraged and cultivated by acknowledging their achievements during a school wide AR party.
The third graders’ writing also takes a major step forward during this year. Students write longer, more structured writing products within the major text types—narrative, informative/explanatory, and opinion. They practice more complex writing mechanics for each genre. Students learn to identify and summarize the main points in non-fiction text. They begin the process of gathering information for factual reports and projects.
Third grade students continue to develop mathematical practices, procedural skills, and conceptual understanding throughout the year. They consolidate and practice previously-learned skills as they are introduced to new ones. Teachers use real-life problems to introduce new concepts and build conceptual understanding. In grade 3, math instruction focuses on four critical areas:
• developing an understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100,
• developing an understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1),
• developing an understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area, and
• describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes
Third grade students extend their knowledge of the scientific method by applying it to their science explorations. Students are asked to formulate and test hypotheses, repeat observations, improve accuracy, collect data, and then effectively communicate findings. By the end of third grade, students analyze internal and external structures that function supporting survival along with how they adapt to their environment. Students investigate the cause and effect relationships of magnets. Students experiment with static electricity and design a device that converts energy from one form to another. Students investigate and categorize the physical properties of planets. Students synthesize different forms of data to predict and learn about weather patterns, climates, different forms of water, and how different types of clouds all contribute to weather. Students learn about natural hazards and design and test solutions to minimize the impact of these.
Third grade curriculum focuses on world geography, as well as early American and Tennessee history. In geography, students develop skills across the six essential elements of geography: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and the uses of geography. They expand their map reading skills to include geographic terms that illustrate physical and political features on maps and globes. In history, students study the indigenous people of North America and European exploration. They describe early North American and Tennessee settlements and examine the founding of the Thirteen Colonies, their regional geographic features, and the cooperation that existed between American Indians and colonists.
Our elementary school provides a warm, friendly, and dynamic environment that fosters critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity, developing a lifelong love of learning. It implements a high-quality curriculum that is aligned with state standards, built on high expectations, highly rigorous, and meets the needs of all students.