ELA: The third grade language arts curriculum incorporates the five key components of the Kansas College and Career Readiness Standards including; reading, reading foundations, speaking and listening, writing, and language as well as spelling and grammar. Accelerated Reader, Study Island, Reading A-Z and variety of other technology rich applications combine to cover this third grade curriculum. STAR
tests as well as reading diagnostic tests are given throughout the year to demonstrate student growth. Each week students receive 15 new spelling words that focus on reliable patterns to help students become better readers, writers and spellers. Each year, the third grade students publish an original
piece of writing that consists of a piece of narrative writing as well as a formative piece.
In third grade students will develop an understanding of the meanings of multiplication and division of whole numbers through activities and problems involving equal-sized groups, arrays, and area models; multiplication is finding an unknown product, and division is finding an unknown factor in these situations. For equal-sized group situations, division can require finding the unknown number of groups or the unknown group size. Students use properties off operations to calculate products of whole numbers, using increasingly sophisticated strategies based on these properties to solve multiplication and division problems involving single-digit factors. By comparing a variety of solution strategies, students learn the relationship between multiplication and division. Students develop an understanding of fractions, beginning with unit fractions. Students view fractions in general as being built out of unit fractions, and they use fractions along with visual fraction models to represent parts of a whole. Students understand that the size of a fractional part is relative to the size of the whole. For example, 1⁄2 of the paint in a small bucket could be less paint than 1/3 of the paint in a larger bucket, but 1/3 of a ribbon is longer than 1/5 of the same ribbon because when the ribbon is divided into 3 equal parts, the parts are longer than when the ribbon is divided into 5 equal parts. Students are able to use fractions to represent numbers equal to, less than, and greater than one. They solve problems that involve comparing fractions by using visual fraction models and strategies based on noticing equal numerators or denominators.
Students recognize area as an attribute of tow-dimensional regions. They measure the area of a shape by finding the total number of same-size units of area required to cover the shape without gaps or overlaps, a square with sides of unit length being the standard unit for measuring area. Students understand that rectangular arrays can be decomposed into identical rows or into identical columns. By decomposing rectangles into rectangular arrays of squares, students connect area to multiplication, and justify using multiplication to determine the area of a rectangle. Students describe, analyze, and
compare properties of two-dimensional shapes. They compare and classify shapes by their sides and angles, and connect these with definitions of shapes. Students also relate their fraction work to
geometry by expressing the area of part of a shape as a unit fraction of the whole.
Third grade students will be introduced to cursive handwriting through a program called Handwriting Without Tears. This series is a continuation of the manuscript series that is taught in primary grades. Students will first be introduced to lower case letters one at a time. They will practice writing each letter individually, gradually learning how to connect to other letters to make blends and eventually words. Next, capital letters will be introduced one at a time. By second semester, students will begin to write complete sentences in cursive. The goal at the end of the year is for each student to have legible cursive writing according to the four s’s: size, shape, slant and spacing.
In third grade I help students to formulate answers to questions such as: “What is typical weather in different parts of the world and during different times of the year? How can the impact of weather-related hazards be reduced? How do organisms vary in their traits? Hoare are plants, animals, and environments of the past similar or different from current plants, animals, and environments? What happens to organisms when their environment changes? How do equal and unequal forces on an object affect the object? How can magnets be used?” Students are able to organize and use data to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. By applying their understanding of weather-related hazards, students are able to make a claim about the merit of a design solution that
reduces the impacts of such hazards. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the similarities and differences of organisms’ life cycles. An understanding that organisms have different inherited traits, and that the environment can also affect the traits that an organism develops, is acquired by students at this level. In addition, students are able to construct an explanation using evidence for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing. Students are expected to develop an understanding of types of organisms that lived long ago and also about the nature of their environments. Third graders are expected to develop an understanding of the idea that when the environment changes some organisms survive and reproduce, some move to new locations, some move into the transformed environment, and some die. Students are able to determine the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object and the cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. They are then able to apply their understanding of magnetic interactions to define a simple design problem that can be solved with magnets. The crosscutting concepts of patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; interdependence of science, engineering, and technology; and influence of engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world are called out as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas. In the third grade performance expectations, students are expected to demonstrate grade- appropriate proficiency in asking questions and defining problems; developing and using models, planning and carrying out solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Students are expected to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.
The theme for the entire school year centers around communities. Units covered within this realm are differences and similarities in communities, understanding that different places have different natural resources, why rules and laws are necessary at all levels of government, how communities differ from country to country, and changes in communities over time. We also explore important events in our country’s history including Jamestown, the American Revolution, US Constitution, and the Civil War. Each day students will answer daily geography questions that pertain to the understanding of the spatial organization of the Earth’s surface and relationships between people and places and physical and human environments. Students will also focus on major economic concepts including, producers, consumers, good and services, wants and needs, supply and demand, loans, interest, principle through an economics fund raising project.