Reading in third grade is done through novel study and with instruction from the Treasures textbook and reading practice book series, Fountas and Pinnell, and Wordly Wise 3000. Novel study is facilitated by:
-Exploring every inch of a novel that they are all reading
-Studying novel vocabulary and themes
-Learning story sequencing, characters and their traits
-Understanding story main ideas
Students are able to make connections from the text to themselves, compare various texts to each other, and connect the text globally. The teacher constantly assesses for understanding informally and formally throughout the novel study unit. Learning stations are used to check for understanding, and to let the students work independently through the explained expectations and goals.
Some of the novels studied include:
Who was Ben Franklin
-The Great Brain
Writing is furthered in Third Grade with Writers' Workshop. Students strive to write a solid paragraph with a topic sentence and supporting details. Students learn letter writing skills by following a “friendly letter” format, and consistently build to write a confident letter with correct spacing, a salutation and a farewell. This skill is facilitated with writing weekly letters to our parents (Friday Letters Home) explaining what they have accomplished that week in school and with student critiques of other student letters.
Language arts are strengthened by reviewing and learning parts of speech, capitalization, and punctuation. Texts used are Treasures Grammar, Phonics /Spelling. Students learn more sophisticated grammar and how to properly use it.
In handwriting, third graders review letter formation and proper spacing in print in early fall, and by All Saints’ Day, they have begun cursive. Handwriting is done in third grade using a variety of teaching techniques including:
-Making letters out of playdough
-Use of chalk, markers, pen, and pencils
-Writing blindfolded and utilizing different pencil grips.
Vocabulary is learned through Wordly Wise (also in reading class), We explore the words all week in fun ways, but the best of all may be playing “stump Ms. Parker.” Wordly Wise is challenging, and students feel a sophistication learning the new words. They are thrilled when they later see the words in texts that they are reading across the curriculum.
Third Grade math is usually done in a small group format with two teachers. Both teachers regularly evaluate all of the students. Stations are utilized, as well as problem solving real world problems with the tools that the students have learned and can use from the numerous manipulatives that come with My Math.
As a supplement to the My Math curriculum, Third Graders practice timed multiplication daily. As the quarters go by, they become well-versed in those facts, which are another tool for the students to use in future, more complicated math.
Third Graders learn real life applications of math by participating in their own economic community. Students earn play money from their classroom jobs. They pay “rent” for their desks, and come August 15th, they have to pay their taxes! They have a solid understanding of money because of this deep dive into the standards within the math curriculum.
Religion in Third Grade follows a year of two sacraments, First Holy Communion and Reconciliation, and students continue learning about and practicing them. Religion is a fun part of the day in third grade. Every day, class begins with a prayer or a Bible story. Third graders continue learning daily prayers, as well. They have a special focus on learning the Apostles’ Creed and more about the Rosary. One tradition is at the end of the year, third graders make Rosary bracelets for the second graders to celebrate their First Communion. Third Graders also traditionally complete a saint study and choose a saint to make a report about. The third graders then present their saints to their peers and some teachers, as well as Father Mark and Father Tim. Although religion is taught formally as a course in third grade, we all know that God is always present in everything that we do and say.
Nancy Larson Science, Third Grade science is exciting and hands-on. In science, students use a word wall of key terms, a science booklet that they regularly annotate, and are assessed daily on the new content that they are learning. There are exciting labs and projects throughout the year. The entire Nancy Larson program is accessible online and contains substantial interactive materials. Students regularly use the available Chromebooks to explore the program online when appropriate. The science kits used by Third Grade students include:
-Cubic centimeters, grass seed, and more.
Class is mostly taught as a whole group, with differentiation when needed.
Third grade engages in map study in the beginning of the year, utilizing hands-on activities for a complete understanding of how maps work and are used. Students learn about landforms and review various communities. In addition to map study, Third Grade studies the three branches of government, and discusses the difference between local, state and national levels of government in the United States.
Historical examinations in this year include The Revolutionary War, the Civil Rights movement, and a unit on American Indians. This historical studies are heavily influenced by cross curricular learning with the Language Arts. Books read within the reading program are also discussed and used in Socials Studies. Examples of these texts are:
Who Was Ben Franklin?: Students learn all about the Revolutionary War. They have many hands-on activities, and focus on creating a timeline of Franklin’s life, as well as all of the events (acts, inventions, skirmishes) that took place during the 84 years of Franklin’s life.
-Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni: Third grade explores the Civil Rights movement with this text about Rosa Parks. Students act out the famous bus scene to feel as much as possible what Rosa Parks went through.
Third grade traditionally finishes the year with an all-encompassing unit on American Indians, beginning with those in the Eastern Woodlands and ending with the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. This unit is another way for the students to make connections with other cultures that were not treated as they should have been. The Third Graders engage in learning about the various cultures, religions. Hands-on learning includes and making numerous crafts and models of the homes in which they lived, and dream catchers.
The Lower School curriculum is entirely verbal. Classes are taught in Spanish and the teacher uses techniques that included the use of body language, flash cards, objects, songs, games, and dramatization.
Students continue to strengthen skills begun in 2nd Grade. In addition to this, skills sets are introduced that include:
-Terms to describe both home and school
-Descriptions of family and family relationships
-Clocks and time
-Articles of clothing
-The city and terms used to describe it
Students in the third grade attend the computer lab two times a week.
Students build on lessons they have learned about Internet Safety. This is an ongoing theme throughout their education at St. Bartholomew School. In addition to safety lessons, students work on the following skill sets:
-Continue to improve their skills with Microsoft Word
-Introduce Microsoft Publisher
-Typing drills to improve their familiarity and accuracy with a keyboard
Beginning in third grade, students are given a secure school email account so that they can work on Google Docs or Google Slides in the computer lab, in the classroom, or at home. This allows for substantial increases in cross curricular learning opportunities. Teachers are able to utliize what the computer class and lab offers in their regular teaching curriculum to maximize each child's ability to use technology in lessons.