Third graders enter the year as primary students but grow by leaps and bounds so that they leave us in June having successfully transitioned into the intermediate grades.
In language arts, children read novels and non-fiction paperbacks linked thematically to other areas of study, such as with Sacajawea, read in conjunction with their Native American unit in social studies. An author study of Roald Dahl is a delight each year as children enjoy the madcap adventures of Dahl’s original and intriguing characters. Writing in third grade provides for personal responses to literature and for creative storytelling; additionaly, expository pieces that are descriptive or persuasive in nature, along with letter writing and personal narratives, are also introduced.
A program based on spelling patterns and the introduction of a formal grammar text continue throughout the year. Math builds on second grade concepts and skills with the use of manipulatives and math journals. Problem solving experiences are linked to real life whenever possible, and teachers pull from a wide library of resources to provide age appropriate and stimulating instruction. Science units cover the human body, measurement (metric and standard), motion and design, and rocks and minerals. Social studies units, in addition to Native Americans, include early explorers and the 50 United States.
A special event in third grade is their annual Potlatch, a celebration of months of learning. Parents are invited to help cook and enjoy Native American recipes and to play traditional Native American games. Children also retell the fables and myths of various tribes. Always an impressive display of their knowledge of and appreciation for other cultures, it is also a ton of fun!
As part of their community service to the school, third graders are happy to take turns helping in the Parents’ Association School Store where they put their math skills to good use.