Third graders start to find their unique voice by researching their own personal stories for a biography project. But they also must think of others in writing “Caring Cards,” notes of sympathy and encouragement that are shared locally and globally. Here is a closer look at the curriculum:
The literature-based reading program, Journeys, is a comprehensive literacy program emphasizing comprehension, spelling, grammar, phonics, oral fluency, vocabulary, and writing. Two anthologies, leveled readers, and novels provide opportunities to practice reading skills during guided reading and whole group instruction. Students develop their writing skills while writing narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository pieces. The writing process includes pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing which students will use throughout the year. The Zaner-Bloser cursive handwriting method is also taught.
Third grade curriculum continues to build on the concepts presented in kindergarten through second grade, culminating in the standard algorithms for multi-digit multiplication and division with remainders. Multiplication and division facts for 6, 7, 8, and 9’s are mastered. Additionally, students develop fluency with the bar model, a pictorial technique for keeping track of what is known and unknown in a word problem. Bar models are visual ways to solve problems typically considered algebra problems, but without requiring the abstract formalism. Students use bar models to solve multi-step word problems in such areas as capacity, length, weight, money, and time. Third graders are expected to express mathematical ideas though representations and make connections between mathematical ideas and concepts.
Conveying the love and goodness of God is the primary goal of the Christian Schools International Bible curriculum. Through stories of God’s working in the lives of Old and New Testament people, students learn to recognize God’s work and His plan in their own lives. In third grade, study focuses on Creation, the Patriarchs, Exodus and the Wilderness experience, the Promised Land, and Judges. All Lower School students and teachers meet together weekly for a chapel service.
“Our Communities,” a Macmillan/McGraw-Hill curriculum, forms the basis of third grade social studies. Students explore the people, history, governments, cultures and resources of communities. Map skills learned in earlier grades are expanded using the Nystrom geography program to include map scale, legends, grids and landforms. The continent study in third grade focuses on the geography and culture of South America.
The science curriculum combines units in life science, physical science, and earth science. Topics include the life cycle of plants, weather, inventors and inventions, and simple machines. Hands-on activities applying the scientific method are incorporated throughout the curriculum. All Lower School students are encouraged to participate in the annual Science Fair.