Third grade is an exciting year as students become more independent and responsible citizens. For the first time, they have the opportunity to elect and be representatives for the Lower School Student Council. Third graders are also solely responsible for performing the Nativity Play at our special Christmas and Carols service in the Chapel. Community service involves the students learning about how they prevent homelessness and hunger for low income families and volunteering at Sunnyvale Community Services.
Third grade continues the development of life-long reading skills as they study literature representing various genres. From biographies of Martin Luther King. Jr. to fiction such as Charlotte’s Web, they read, discuss and write about each book. They work on revising and editing their drafts to improve their grammar, word choice and punctuation,
Through games, drills, cubes and drawings, this is the year for mastering multiplication and division tables. Students write their own multiplication riddles and word problems.
Our third grade students become astronomers as they investigate the sun, moon, stars and planets. They use a compass to locate and predict the direction of the sun and observe change in the phases of the moon. This topic is supported with a fabulous hands-on class about how astronauts survive in space, a planetarium show and a guided tour of the exhibits at Chabot Space and Science Center.
Curriculum is based on the Imagine It! series. It optimizes their individual reading skills through independent small groups and whole class reading. Students analyze a variety of genres and their own reading interests. This is then explored through their writing with strong writing, poetry and expository essays. Their reading texts become models for their writing and their grammar, spelling, vocabulary are applied to all areas including oral skills. Themes include Friendship, animals and their Habitats, Money, Earth, Moon and Sun, Communities across Time and Storytelling.
Students conclude mastering their addition and
subtraction facts. They begin memorization of basic multiplication facts and concepts. They compare fractions and decimals. Geometric figures are introduced as well as reading and creating graphs. Students practice strategies to solve word problems. Geometry and measurement is reviewed including solid shapes, perimeter area and volume. Fraction concepts and customary linear measurement are extended. Decimals and measurement, units of capacity and weight, describing probability and chance are considered.
Students identify different types of environments including
mountains, plains, forests, oceans and deserts. Whilst they consider
these different geographical regions there is also the opportunity to
practice map-reading skills. In addition, students perform extensive
research on Native American tribes such as the Kuquikut, Cherokee and
Anasazi tribes and learn how Native Americans used the resources in
their environment to adapt and survive. Students also visit Alpine Pond
in Saratoga Gap and complete a challenging hike at the same time as
learning about animal adaptations and their habitats.Science
Students analyze and collect date from their experiments and use a variety of advanced techniques including charts and tables to interpret and present their data. We focus on the solar system and ecosystems.
Third Grade includes a brief introduction of the history of the Spanish language and the various Spanish speaking countries. The geographical location is presented to the students in order to promote cultural awareness. Throughout the year some of the Spanish festivities are observed. Students will be acquainted with certain cultures and traditions. Students will develop basic oral and writing skills through exposure to the basic phonetic sounds of the Spanish language. Other topics include:
- Parts of the body
- The face
- The calendar
- We continue to count to higher numbers
- Days of the week
- Months of the year
Students begin learning through the Orff-Schulwerk Approach of music education which uses everyday activities such as dancing, clapping, signing, chanting poems/rhymes, in the purpose of music creation by children. This includes singing in groups and performing voice instrumental music, rhymes and playing instruments such as the metallophone, xylophone, glockenspiel, and other percussive instruments. The music generated is largely improvisational and original tonal constructions and this builds a sense of confidence and interest in the process of creative thinking. Children also make music together in a group and hence realize the joys of group co-ordination and cohesion.
In Technology class, students continue to work with age-appropriate software as they create their solar system reports and other projects. They work with an expanded pool of applications, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. Students conduct research on the Internet and learn about Internet safety. Third grade also features a 1:1 iPad program. Students especially enjoy employing the iPad for timed math tests. With a list of approved apps, students are able to explore areas of personal interest and further their individual studies by utilizing learning adaptable apps.
During Third Grade Library, students will learn to discern between folk tales, fairy tales and tall tales. This year they also learn how to select books appropriate to their interests and reading ability. Using the card catalog, students will learn to find books by author, title, and subject then find the books on the library shelves.
In Third Grade Physical Education class, developing healthy habits is the emphasis. Throughout the year students learn about stretching, muscle strengthening, flexibility and healthy eating habits. Twice weekly classes include cardiovascular activities, team games and basic pilates and yoga. Students learn the muscles and parts of the body. They also learn how to check pulse rates and Body Mass Indexes.