Third grade is a time of “expansiveness” in children’s development, a time when they are beginning to look outward more than before and take in new experiences, new people, and new ideas with a zeal and energy that can seem dizzying to adults. More aware of the gap that separates them from adults, they are forming stronger relationships to the group and building on their own sense of identity. With this comes less dependence on the teacher. Developmentally, this is the appropriate time to encourage and support the independence they are ready for and seeking. Third grade is a transitional year that sees children through huge leaps in physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth. The third grade curriculum allows children to expand their views through the study of the Native American culture and the defining qualities of the different regions of the United States. They learn to look at rocks in a new, more analytical way in their Rocks and Minerals science unit. Different perspectives are gleaned from third grade literature, including author studies and literature that is thematically connected to the social studies curriculum. Children also have many opportunities to further develop their individual “voice” by writing for a variety of purposes: to persuade, to describe, to tell a story, and to report information. Math builds on the concepts and skills presented in second grade with an emphasis on multiplication and division. Special days include our Native American Potlatch celebration and field trips to the Sterling Mine and Churchville Nature Center.