At the beginning of each school year, students are tested using Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) systems to determine the course of curriculum for each individual child for the upcoming year. Using the results from testing, we focus on creating differentiated curriculum and custom learning programs for each child. Testing is done again in the middle and end of the year to assess if we are meeting the needs of each student.
Along with the concept of meeting the student’s individual needs, our curriculum pulls resources from many places depending on the student’s needs. Here is an overview of materials and resources we use during the year:
Math: Our math curriculum is taught using MyMath from McGraw-Hill and supplements with Saxon, Moby Max, XtraMath and Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Math to meet the student’s individual needs. Examples of the standards topics covered include adding and subtracting 2-, 3- and 4-digit numbers correctly, estimations, multiplication and division concepts, memorizing fact families, solving word problems, and applying math to everyday situations.
Language Arts: Our language arts curriculum is taught using the Houghton Mifflin Journeys program. Examples of the standards topics covered include identifying, describing and reading a variety of genre, self-monitoring comprehension when reading and listening, distinguishing fact and opinion, comparing and contrasting relationships among characters, events and key ideas, and understanding/using prefixes, suffixes and root words. Students are also taught D’Nealian cursive in third grade.
Religion: Our religion curriculum is taught using Harcourt’s Call to Faith program. Examples of the standards topics covered include preparing for their First Communion and First Confirmation, celebrating the sacraments of First Communion and First Confirmation in their home parish, praying the Rosary, and reciting Catholic prayers.
Social Studies: Our social studies curriculum uses the Houghton Mifflin Share our World program. Examples of the standards topics covered include locating communities, describing community characteristics, explaining the role of local, state and national government branches, and organizing and presenting information using maps, graphs and tables.
Science: Our science curriculum uses Pearson’s Interactive Science. Examples of the standards topics covered include identifying producers, consumers and decomposers, identifying stages in life cycles of plants and animals, and identifying each layer of the earth and its characteristics.
Technology: Our classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards and a minimum of six student computers. Students go to computer lab weekly.
In addition to the curriculum taught in the third grade classrooms, students attend at least one of the various specials classes each day: