Third grade students begin to move from concrete to more abstract concepts and understandings. Children this age look hard for explanations of how things work and why things happen as they do. A shift from our Blocks program to the use of primary and secondary source readings in social studies is a distinction in third grade. Social studies remains at the core of our curriculum, and there are many cross-curricular projects to help students immerse themselves in exciting topics.
See what your child will learn in each of the following subject areas:
- Social Studies
- Social Emotional Learning
- Specials Classes
- Homework and Assessments
Stevens utilizes a balanced approach to literacy through literature circles, read alouds, guided reading, and independent reading. Students develop an understanding of the relationship between reading, thinking, and reflection. Third graders move from learning to read to reading to learn.
Students spend a great deal of time reading every day, whether it be content-related texts in social studies, science, math, or independent reading time. In the first trimester, students are assessed with Fountas & Pinnell running records, which teachers used to place students in groups for literature circles. Each week, students read in their groups, working to strengthen decoding strategies and fluency while reading aloud. Group discussions allow the students to retell, make connections, predictions, and inferences, all while supporting their thoughts with textual evidence. Students are asked to respond to these texts in various ways, including drawing, writing, and retelling.
Third graders begin the year writing in small group writing circles. They practice listening to one another’s ideas and then writing their own stories. The students then transition into writers’ workshop, focusing on writing a small moment story. Students practice brainstorming ideas, writing in a story teller’s voice, and editing their work. From their reading and conversations, students also engage in creative and informational writing about various topics, including their social studies topics. When engaged in informational writing, students practice creating topic sentences and claims supported by evidence from texts. Likewise, when creating persuasive writing pieces, students made sure to make a claim and support it with reasons and evidence.
- Character development
- Practice and implement skills in daily reading
- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences
- Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
- Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
Units of Study
- Myths study
- Informational writing
- Persuasive/opinion writing
- Personal narrative
Students examine the lives and communities of people who settled and live in New Jersey and New York, such as the Lenape, European colonists, and enslaved people who were forcibly brought to the United States. The focus is on deeply investigating and researching a particular group of people and understanding why they migrated and immigrated, how they survived, the injustices perpetrated against or by them, and how groups resisted or reconciled these injustices. We also use current event articles to tie what happened in the past to what is happening in the present, helping students understand the relevance and influence of history and its impact on modern day. Students demonstrate their deep understanding of topics by creating culminating projects.
- Fairness and justice
- Observe artifacts and primary sources to extract information
- Identify main ideas and supporting details in secondary sources
- Explain orally or in writing how past events impact the present
- Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a specific topic
Units of Study
- The Lenape people
- Medieval African Kingdoms
- New Amsterdam
- Slavery in New Amsterdam
- Perspectives of enslaved peoples and their stories
Students continue to extend, refine, and revise their skills as scientists by observing, predicting, categorizing, and organizing the data they collect. Third graders engage in an integrated science approach, studying the foundational roots of physics and earth science while devising hypotheses, collecting data, and drawing conclusions. Scientific writing is a hallmark of the program, where students synthesize their data and support their ideas with scientific evidence, devising testable claims, and experiments.
- Record observations, thought processes and measurements accurately and completely
- Engage in classroom discussions with relevance, meaning, and insight
- Demonstrate understanding of scientific concepts
- Make meaningful connections between established scientific theories and data generated from investigation
- Use iterative testing and modification of a design to successfully meet engineering challenges
Units of Study
- Sound and Light
- Intro to Electricity
- Earth Science (focus on Fossils)
In third grade, students build on foundational mathematical concepts through the Singapore Math curriculum, additional supplements, and manipulatives. Students develop an understanding of place value, learn how to round and estimate, connect real life to math equations using money, time, and measurement, build foundational knowledge of basic multiplication, division, and fractions, and explore the concepts of geometry and graphing.
Units of Study
- Count, write, and read numbers to 10,000
- Number bonds and estimation strategies
- Adding numbers up to 10,000 with or without regrouping
- Subtracting numbers up to 10,000 with or without regrouping
- Bar models, addition, and subtraction can be used to solve 2-step word problems
- 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 times tables
- Multiplication Tables of 6, 7, 8, and 9
- Mental multiplication
- Division with and without regrouping and remainders
- Solving two step multiplication and division word problems
- Metric Length Mass and Volume
- Making fractions
- Finding like fractions
- Adding and subtracting fractions
- Using customary measurements to find length weight and capacity
Social Emotional Learning
The character and social emotional education curriculum in third grade is designed to facilitate student awareness and preparedness to effectively and appropriately interact in groups, as well as confidence and conviction in their own moral and ethical choices. Students explore their identities and learn more about other people’s lives and experiences by respectfully asking questions and listening with an open mind. Topics include:
- Respect and friendship
- Building community
- Similarities and differences
- Joining in
- Standing up for yourself
- Conflict resolution
- Exclusion and inclusion
- Teasing and joking
- In collaboration with Science, students also learn about reproduction, anatomy, and safe touches
- Vocal Technique
- Musical Literacy
- Music Appreciation
In 3rd and 4th grade, students design, produce, and perform a 40-minute musical that takes place at each campus. 3rd graders can audition to be part of the ensemble and supporting roles, and 4th graders can audition for larger roles and take on leadership positions. In addition to being cast members, students also help with costume-making as part of the Visual Arts curriculum. Children who are interested in creating and building the set can also do so as an activity that is part of our afterschool program.
World Languages: Spanish
Students continue their study of Spanish vocabulary, grammar, speaking and listening through cultural studies of Spanish-speaking countries around the world.
- The neighborhood and home
- People in their neighborhood and community
- Places in the community
- The verb "ser" in present indicative
- Identify synonyms
- Genders and numbers
- Familiarity with –que- and qui-
- Map of Argentina
- Argentina's capital
- Argentina's flag
- Poem “Las Cataratas del Iguazu”
- Lifestyle of the Patagonicos and Andinos, specially the types of houses in which they used to live.
Homework and Assessments
Third graders can expect daily homework that is purposeful and helps students manage their time and workload responsibly. This will vary by student and according to subject. Students are assessed frequently through quizzes, tests, journals, daily observation, writing assignments, projects, homework and portfolios.
In addition to the trips connected to the social studies and science curricula, the students enjoy an overnight trip to Fairview Lake YMCA camp in western New Jersey. During their two-day stay, students experience team-building and increased confidence through activities on low ropes courses, exploration of the lake, stream, and swamp habitats, a night hike and campfire, and a challenging hike to the top of the Kittatinny Ridge.