Welcome to the Third Grade!

This document is intended to outline the academic goals for the third grade, identify some of the primary resources that are used to instruct your child, the duration and frequency of instruction, and the outcomes that are targeted to be developed by the end of the year.

We recognize that students learn at different paces and occasionally in developmental “spurts”. With this in mind we focus on each child’s individual progress. This progress is monitored through periodic skills assessments, teacher observations and classroom assessments (an inventory of these assessments is available if you are interested). Instruction is regularly augmented by the classroom teacher, differentiation teachers and, if necessary Special Education teachers, for students that would benefit from additional instruction.

We hope that this document adequately introduces you to what you can expect over the next 10 months, but does not replace the opportunity to discuss with you directly the specific questions you might have in greater detail and specificity.

Third grade uses the Everyday Mathematics Series, which emphasizes strong number sense and flexibility in math thinking. Third graderspracticeproblemsolvingstrategies; learnmathfactswithastrategybasedprogram;andpracticefactswithavolunteer. Formal mathematics instruction occurs each day for approximately one hour. Our goals for the third grade are based upon national performance standards, or “Focal Points,” as defined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Our goal is that students exiting third grade have a developing understanding of:
  • Fluency with multi-digit addition & subtraction
  • The meaning of multiplication and division of whole numbers through use of representation
  • Multiplication and division strategies for basic multiplication facts and related division facts
  • How to compare variety of solution strategies, students relate multiplication & division as inverse operations
  • Fractions & fraction equivalence
  • The meaning and uses of fractions to represent parts of a whole, parts of a set, or points or distances on a number line
  • How to use models, including the number line, to identify fractions
  • How the size of a fractional part is relative to size of whole
  • How to solve problems that involve comparing and ordering fractions by using models, benchmark fractions, or common numerators or denominators
  • How to describe and analyze properties of 2 dimensional shapes
  • How to describe, analyze, compare, and classify 2-D shapes by their sides & angles and connect these attributes to definitions of shapes
    How to build, draw, & analyze 2-D shapes, students understand attributes and properties of 2-D space & use of attributes and properties in solving problems including applications involving congruence and symmetry
  • How to investigate, describe, and reason about decomposing, combining, and transforming polygons to make other polygons
By the end of the year third grade students should have a secure understanding of:
  • Multiplication and division strategies for basic multiplication facts and related division
  • Fractions and fraction equivalence
  • How to describe and analyze properties of two-dimensional shapes

The four components of Language Arts— reading, spelling, grammar, and writing—are instructed, practiced, and developed through daily activities in third grade. Instruction is delivered explicitly and through the integration of language skills in other academic areas. The following concepts are goals of the curriculum:
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Decision Making
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Research & Information Fluency
  • Communication & Collaboration

The third grade uses literature-based instruction and the McGraw Hill Reading Series to further develop decoding and comprehension skills. Reading instruction takes place daily. Reading occurs in formal and informal settings, in both large and small groups, with opportunities for individualized skill development. Our goal is that students exiting third grade have the ability to:
  • Read appropriate third-grade text fluently
  • Use word recognition strategies to comprehend text
  • Use context and picture clues to define vocabulary
  • Identify characters, setting, main idea, and plot
  • Identify and interpret figurative language
  • Retell stories in written and oral language
  • Restate informative text including summaries and/or organizers
  • Identify an author’s purpose
  • Compare information within and between texts
  • Draw conclusions and determine cause and effect
  • Question the validity of information
  • Respond to open-ended questions to analyze and evaluate texts
  • Use guide words, table of contents, index, and glossaries
  • Construct questions about topics
  • Explain reasons for character’s actions
  • Respond to sensory, intellectual, and emotional elements of texts
  • Understand the feelings of characters and varying genders, races, and disabilities

The third grade uses Spellography for instruction and support with building skills in word analysis. We concentrate on appropriate application of rules and patterns of written English. The writing process follows the scope and sequence of Write From the Beginning, which focuses instruction through organizational tools supporting student efforts to compose in selected genres of independent writing. Our goal is that students exiting third grade have the ability to:
  • Write so that the topic is clear and developed
  • Write with a clear beginning, middle, and end
  • Write for an audience
  • Experiment with language and sentence patterns
  • Demonstrate and use prewriting strategies such as Thinking Maps
  • Revise by adding and/or deleting for elaboration/clarification
  • Edit to verify and self correct spelling
  • Assess own performance in writing
  • Write for pleasure
  • Use paragraphs to organize information
  • Use concepts of time and order
  • Choose vocabulary, ideas, themes, and language structures from books to emulate in writing
  • Write a variety of literature, informational, and practical text
  • Edit for capitalization and ending punctuation independently
  • Use detail and descriptive words in writing
  • Check written work by reading aloud
  • Publish with teacher support

Students practice the skills of observing, recording, inferring, and evaluating while building and retaining content knowledge in scientific fields. Topics are coordinated with Library Skills and Computer Literacy. Our goal for students exiting third grade is that they will have a developing ability to:
  • Use the scientific method to observe, analyze, interpret, and record information
  • Document basic findings during science experiments
  • Make connections to the real world
  • Make connections specific to the conditions around us
  • Practice and display a beginning grade level ability to employ research skills related to specific content

Through a partnership with the Monshire Museum the third grade will be participating in the newest Lyme School Initiative, our Inquiry Based Science program. Students will work with Museum Scientists/Educators & their classroom teacher to cultivate their instinctive curiosity for discovery by encouraging students to formulate questions and conclusions based upon personal observation, analysis and interpretation.

The third grade Social Studies curriculum is taught both in isolation and in academic integration with other subjects. Topics are coordinated with Library Skills and Computer Literacy. Our goal for students exiting third grade is that they will have a developing ability to:
  • Identify the major physical components of the world
  • Recognize the identifying characteristics of certain geographic features (i.e., peninsula, islands, continents, mountains, rivers, deserts, oceans, and forests)
  • Describe and demonstrate classroom rights, duties, and responsibilities including how student participate in some classroom decisions and are obligated to follow classroom rules
  • Label historical events as past, present, and future
  • Determine similarities and differences in the ways different cultural groups address basic human needs (i.e., food, water, clothing, and shelter)

The Spanish program follows the World Language curriculum of the New Hampshire Department of Education. Spanish instruction takes place each day for 30 minutes. Instruction takes place in large groups, and students participate in a lot of small-group activities as well. Our goal is that students exiting third grade will have expanded on the vocabulary for topics covered in grades 1 & 2, and studied...
  • Daily routine
  • Giving directions & instructions
  • Soccer, in depth
  • Telling time
  • Simple future tense
At the end of third grade, our goal is that students will have developed or are developing the capacity to...
  • Recognize a number of Spanish written & spoken terms
  • Carry on a conversation
  • Identify a variety of items in Spanish
  • Describe action in the present & a limited amount of past tense

In third, fourth, and fifth-grade classroom settings, as appropriate with grade level and developmental expectations, students should be working to develop and/or displaying the ability to
• sit at a work area to accomplish work in an appropriate timeframe
• make productive and positive behavior choices
• follow a set routine
• employ independent skills
• use appropriate listening, speaking, and discussion skills
• use cursive writing (at grade level)
• follow and employ effective work/study habits and directions
• organize personal materials
• employ an independent and productive work ethic, producing complete and timely products they can be proud of
• use resources appropriately
• use Thinking Maps as a tool to organize ideas and writing
• use research resources and processes
In grades 3–5, in group settings in the classroom, as appropriate with grade level and developmental expectations, students should be working to develop and/or displaying the ability to
• work productively and positively in small and large groups
• execute proper and successful behavior, with respect to assigned group roles
• share responsibilities of communicated input and productive output, in small and large groups