“Peace feels like a golden light encircling me that nothing can penetrate.” –Third Grade Student
Words can move us to tears or make us laugh. They can make us feel peaceful or agitated. They can communicate who we are and who we want to become. They can connect us or divide us from others. The Third Grade Language Arts program cultivates children’s innate love of language by:
- Reading classic books from a wide range of genres, from folk tales to mysteries to non-fiction.
- Memorizing oral language pieces that are funny or moving or informative and sharing them with the school community.
- Directing our writing at different audiences through poetry, narratives, essays, stories, and journal entries.
- Building our vocabulary with words like “loquacious”, “botany” and “compassion” to name a few!
- Morphing manuscript handwriting into cursive.
- Expressing opinions, reading between the lines, supporting a point of view, making up with a friend.
From “The Question of the Day” in Morning Meeting to Read Aloud time at the end of the day, we are immersed in Language Arts.
“I don’t know what it means to multiply but I know it has something to do with bugs because they do it.” – Third Grader
Learning to solve problems individually and cooperatively is a primary goal of the Math program in Third Grade. Math activities are organized so that students have varied experiences with numbers and symbols as well as geometry, probability and logic. In the process, they learn to make sense of new problems in the world as they encounter them.
When working in math, students begin with the familiar and concrete and move on to more complicated and abstract work. Advanced problem solving and other extensions are offered to those who finish early or who have mastered a concept. Students are tested in math periodically and given extra help as needed.
The principal concepts taught in Third Grade are:
- Building on computation skills and problem solving strategies that were introduced in previous grades.
- Experiencing multiplication and division through a variety of activities.
- Engaging in measurement challenges.
- Exploring geometry through area and perimeter, working with polygons, building models.
- Playing with probability and logic through games and activities.
“Birds migraine south for the winter!” –- Third Grader
Third Grade science activities encourage children to embody environmental intelligence and to become stewards of the earth:
- Bay Ecosystems allows the children to explore their “ecological neighborhood” and discover the plants and animals of this region. Children at this age have a deep appreciation for nature and are ready to learn ecological concepts through field study, research, building models and playing games.
- Towards the end of the year, Third Graders study Botany. Students continue to build their knowledge of the scientific method, including the use of controls and the accurate reporting of observations. A student garden yields vegetables for a final salad.
- The students share their original science experiments and activities at the school Science Fair.
“Peace feels like the whole world getting along.” – Third Grader
Our Social Studies activities encourage children to become citizens of the world by introducing them to and helping them understand different cultures.
The children record information in learning logs and are assessed through tests and special projects. Through these studies, students embrace diversity and understand and appreciate a wide world.
- Mexico: Students study the Aztec and Maya, the arrival of the Spanish, and contemporary Mexican culture. The children create skits to act out the conquest of Mexico, look at the development and uses of corn, and celebrate Mexican culture with a fiesta during which we sing, play games, dance and eat Mexican food prepared by the class.
- California Indians: Students are introduced to the natives of this region. Having investigated Bay Ecosystems in science, we focus on the cultures of the Miwok and Ohlone of this area, learning about how these indigenous people respected and used the plants and animals of the Bay. Clothing, shelter, tools and customs are explored through independent projects the students present to the rest of the class.