Third Grade Curriculum
Third grade Language Arts is an integrated program that includes reading comprehension, spelling, phonics, writing, grammar skills, speaking, and listening. Palmer Method writing is taught in both second and third grade. After the first trimester of third grade, cursive writing is used for all written work. The Trophies reading series is used for phonics, spelling, some grammar and writing, and reading. Emphasis in third grade reading moves beyond decoding and is on comprehension, vocabulary development, and research/ study skills. Voyages in English is used to supplement Trophies in the study of grammar. Students apply this knowledge in a comprehensive writing program that includes writing in the content areas. Children also listen to a daily read-aloud of classic literature by the teacher, and read trade books throughout the year. Reading outside of class is required, and students are held accountable through reading logs or book reports. The language arts program is further enhanced by frequent discussion and student presentations of writing to classmates. These activities instill confidence in students, and provide them with necessary skills for life beyond the classroom.
The third grade Mathematics program provides a foundation for further study in the upper elementary grades, and also gives students practical skills they can use in their daily lives. Sadlier Math series provides a traditional, carefully sequenced study of mathematics. The third grade level reviews the operations of addition and subtraction, but focuses on multiplication and division. Other important areas of study include: place value, data and statistics, patterns, and a foundation for algebra. Concepts are first introduced using manipulatives to facilitate complete understanding. In time, students are encouraged to demonstrate quickness and accuracy in basic computation without such aids. Students learn critical thinking skills through problem solving, and are presented with ways to use math knowledge in practical, real life situations. Math is integrated into other areas of the curriculum, especially Science. Students work as a whole group at times, but also work frequently in small groups. Instruction is enhanced with flashcards, timed drills, manipulatives, games, and projects.
Third grade Science teaches the foundation skills needed for the study of science, such as observing, classifying, collecting and interpreting data, creating models, and making inferences. Students study some aspects of Earth Science and Physical Science, but Life Science is emphasized. Third graders study plants, animals, and ecosystems, using both a Scott Foresman text and trade books. Many ideas are incorporated into a rainforest unit that uses film, art, experiments, and other resources to make concepts come alive for students. Students create a diorama of the rainforest that demonstrates their learning and make presentations to their classmates. Students also participate in an experiment that is presented at the annual Science Fair.
The third grade Social Studies program serves as a springboard for the study of history and geography in later grades. It begins with a study of communities and how they change over time. Students examine old photographs of surrounding communities, and note the similarities and differences. Students learn some basic information about local, state, and national government, and about their own rights and responsibilities as citizens. Map skills and geographical terms are introduced. The third grade curriculum exposes students to some of the history of the United States, and develops an appreciation for the early settlers who made it what it is today. People and Communities, by Harcourt, is used as a resource, and trade books are also an integral part of the curriculum. Important units that are taught predominately through trade books include a study of the Pilgrims, and Black History. Time for Kids magazine helps students keep track of world news, and frequent class discussion helps students see how what they are learning relates to the real world.
The goal of the third grade Religion program is to develop a strong love of Christ, and instill a desire to be his disciple. Religion is incorporated throughout the fabric of the school, through daily prayer, participation in liturgy, and acts of kindness towards others. Third graders participate in Building Bridges, a program that takes the students to a local nursing home several times a year to visit and share themselves with the residents. They also learn to be kind and care for animals through a program with the Potter League, a local animal shelter. They are Feinstein Scholars, who try to perform good deeds throughout the year. Third graders, like all classes at All Saints Academy, are responsible for planning a Mass and performing all the needed roles, including reading from Scripture, offering the gifts, and reading the intentions during the Prayer of the Faithful. The text used is by Sadlier, We Are the Church. It focuses on the life of Christ, and also lays the foundation for understanding Catholicism.
Third grade students enjoy a computer lab/library at All Saints Academy, and receive library and computer instruction weekly. Computer instruction conforms to the standards set by the Diocese of Providence and includes practice in basic word processing, and accessing the Internet for research. Among other projects, students learn to create a graph, and use PowerPoint to create a simple presentation. Computer and library time are integrated into the curriculum and tie in to what is being taught in the classroom. Computers are also used in the classroom throughout the school day. In keeping with the standards of ethics expected in a Catholic school, students are instructed about safety and responsible use of the Internet, and are held to a high standard.
The main goal of the Spanish program in Grades 3 is Spanish vocabulary attainment. Students learn vocabulary according to themes and to start to communicate cooperatively and with the teacher. Students also start to learn about gender of nouns and adjectives, to comprehend and use common expressions and commands, and finally, to learn about the Hispanic culture. Students meet for one class period per week.
The Physical Education Program offers developmentally appropriate lessons for Grade 3. The main objectives of the program are to ensure that students: are active all the time, acquire sports skills, demonstrate Christian values, have fun, and most importantly are successful. Students meet on Fridays for one class period. Some of our most popular activities are Beach Ball Volleyball, Obstacle Course, Monkey on the Ground, Basketball, Street Hockey, and Strategy.
The goal of the music program at All Saints Academy is to promote an appreciation and understanding of music through listening, singing, movement and theory. The middle grades expand on the knowledge they have gained in the younger grades. The third graders learn to play flutophone. This basic instrument allows the students to practice beat, note reading, counting, and working together as a group. This prepares students for learning to play the recorder in Grade 4 and possibly begin a band instrument in Grade 5.