Third grade begins with a reflection on First Holy Communion, which the children received in the spring of second grade. Every day begins with a brief prayer service. Throughout the year, the children learn about the marks of the Catholic Church, the liturgical year, saints, the Trinity, the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the sacraments, the Ten Commandments, and Holy Scriptures. Prayers include the Lord’s Prayer, the Rosary, the Angelus, the Glory Be, and the Morning Offering.
Third grade begins with a review of place value, rounding, and addition and subtraction of larger numbers. Throughout the year, the children continue to develop skills introduced in the younger grades in geometry, fractions, money, time, graphs, and problem solving. Multiplication is a special focus of the third grade year. Basic facts are memorized and used to multiply and divide larger numbers. Children practice solving problems using traditional algorithms but are also encouraged to try multiple ways of solving any given problem.
Science is now a major subject and is graded for the first time. Students have a textbook and copybook for notes. Students also conduct hands-on experiments and observations. The year begins with Life Science and an in-depth look at the monarch butterfly. The children raise and release butterflies and observe every stage of the life cycle. This experience serves as a springboard into the study of other animals and plants. The year continues with the study of Physical Science and hands-on experiences with matter and simple machines. Next up is a look at Health, Nutrition and Safety. The year closes with the study of Earth Science, which includes the study of our solar system, rocks and soil, and culminates in a field trip to Lost River Caverns. The year also closes with a close-up look at the frog life cycle, as the children observe the change from tadpole to frog.
Social Studies is also a major subject for the first time in the third grade. Students use a textbook, copybook and additional resources to explore communities past and present. The year begins with a study of Mexico that correlates with the study of the monarch butterfly in science. Other special units of study include the First Thanksgiving, economics, Lewis and Clark, and Harriet Tubman. The history of our country and the lives of those who made it great are brought to life with countless picture books, chapter books, DVD’s and role-playing. The children construct and operate their own classroom marketplace in their study of economics and their own history museum in their study of Harriet Tubman.
In Spelling, the children examine new patterns each week and are encouraged to spell these words correctly in all writing assignments.
Reading includes time for read-aloud, independent reading, and guided reading in small groups. Students practice making inferences and predictions, drawing conclusions, and identifying main ideas, cause and effect, characters and setting. Our goal is reading well and loving to read. The children keep a log of all books read independently and are encouraged to read from many genres.
In English students study the basics of grammar and punctuation and have many opportunities to use these skills in the context of real writing. The children have opportunities to write on assigned topics and on their own topics. They are guided through the writing process and encouraged to make the many decisions that writers make every day.