Third Grade Curriculum Overview
At the beginning of each school year, students are assessed utilizing the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to determine the course curriculum for each individual child for the upcoming year. Testing is done again in the middle and end of the year to determine if we are meeting the needs of each student.
Using students’ Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) assessment results from the end (spring) of the previous year, we focus on creating differentiated curriculum and custom learning programs for each child.
To this end, our curriculum pulls resources from a variety of sources depending on the student’s needs. Below is an overview of materials and resources we use during the year:
Our math curriculum is Saxon Math Level 4 by Houghton Mifflin. Examples of the standard 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. We strive to use math across the curriculum and look for engaging ways to use math with fun seasonal activities. We incorporate IXL math to enhance their strengths, as well. Information on the IXL program may be found at www.ixl.com.
Our language arts curriculum is taught using the Houghton Mifflin Journeys program. Examples of the standards topics covered include literature studies (e.g., Charlotte’s Web, Frindle, Boxcar Children), 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. Students also participate in the Accelerated Reader program. Finally, each October, students create a pumpkin book report based on a character of their choosing.
Our religion curriculum utilizes Blest Are We, Faith in Action series and sacred Scripture. Examples of standard topics covered include what we believe, how we worship, how we serve others, and how we pray. We also prepare our students to receive their First Holy Communion and Sacrament of Confirmation. Students celebrate their Sacraments in their home parish. Our third graders also lead the annual school wide “Living Rosary” in October.
Our standard social studies topics covered include geography, explorers, economics, 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. We also study holidays around the world. Each Christmas, students choose a country to research the different Christmas traditions of their chosen country. Students create a diorama and share their research with our school community.
Our science curriculum uses Science Dimensions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, along with a variety of in class STEM projects . Examples of standard topics covered include the weather and patterns, life cycles and inherited traits, the engineering process, forces & motion, and fossils.
- In addition to the curriculum taught in third grade, students attend at least one of the following specials each day:
- Physical Education (2x a week)
- Spanish (2x a week)
- Art Masterpiece (Taught by volunteers on a rotating-monthly basis. In addition to students’ personal creations, this subject includes various aspects of art including focus on artists, mediums, history, expression, creativity, culture, etc.)
- Students also work on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) projects.
The third-grade classrooms are currently equipped with Chromebooks and Smartboards (Promethean Boards coming spring 2022).