Overview of Third Grade Curriculum
The Third Grade curriculum has been developed in accordance with the NJSLS (New Jersey Student Learning Standards). Our goal as teachers is to provide a rich and challenging learning environment where each student is recognized for their unique skills, talents, and needs. We strive to teach our students to develop a lifelong enthusiasm for learning.
Our units of study this year in reading are: Practicing Good Habits and Using Strategies While Reading, Navigating Nonfiction Information in Print and Digital Form, Growing Ideas About Characters in Realistic Fiction Stories and Biographies. Students will also participate in a Folklore Genre Study including folktales, tall tales, myths, legends and fairy tales. Poetry, book clubs and responding to reading are also integral parts of the third grade curriculum.
Through the reading of mentor texts and exploring the writing craft of many different authors, students will learn and continually practice and explore the skills necessary to create solid writing. The topics we will be exploring through our writing this year are: Launching the Writing Workshop Through Personal Narratives, Personal Essay, Nonfiction Expository Writing, Persuasive Essay and Poetry.
Third graders will be using a word study program in order to differentiate instruction and allow each child to work at his or her own instructional level. Throughout word study, students examine, manipulate, and categorize words. The focus will be on the critical features of words including sound, pattern, and meaning. By participating in activities or word sorts, students will physically group the words together by patterns, rhymes, ending or beginning blends and various other techniques. Through this practice, the goal is to internalize spelling patterns, syllables within a given word, to increase phonemic awareness and think about the makeup of a word rather than memorize the spelling of each word.
Our math program is called Everyday Mathematics. This program supports NJSLS as well as our district’s philosophy on math instruction. It is a goal of the Everyday Math program that students become proficient in math facts. Throughout the year third graders will be participating in many hands-on math activities and learning games. This year we will focus on Operations and Algebraic Thinking (multiplication and division properties), Number and Operations in Base Ten (using place value to perform multi-digit arithmetic), Number and Operations - Fractions, Measurement and Data (estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects) and Geometry (shapes and their attributes and area). Math is about persevering and working through problems. There will be a heavy emphasis on problem solving and working effectively in math partnerships.
The third grade science curriculum includes four units of study: Forces and Interactions, Weather and Climate, Inheritance and Variation of Traits and Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. The format takes an inquiry-based approach, presenting concepts using scientific phenomena. In Forces and Interactions, students will learn about force and motion and the effects of these physical laws in our world through investigations. The Weather and Climate unit will be integrated with social studies as students look for climate differences around the world. Students will practice collecting and comparing data. The Inheritance and Variation of Traits unit will investigate the effect of adaptations on survival. During the Ecosystems unit, students will consider the interaction between organisms and their environment.
There are three social studies units: The first, What Is A Social Scientist? covers how social scientists study people, places and communities. Social scientists are geographers, political scientists, economists, historians, anthropologists and environmentalists. We will learn how to look at our world like a social scientist. In our second unit, My Town and State: Then and Now, we will focus on the study of our community and state and how its history enables learners to see the interrelationships between past and present. We will use a historical perspective that informs both thinking and action through a civic lens. The third unit, Global Cultures, focuses on understanding and celebrating the similarities and differences of cultures around the world through the lenses of art, music, clothing, food, hobbies/sports, and languages. We understand other cultures by recognizing the similarities and differences between our needs and wants.