Third Grade Curriculum
Literacy - Reading/Writing: We are excited to begin another year to help foster your child's lifelong love of reading and writing. Benchmark Literacy, the curriculum used at AES, supports all the daily components of high-quality reading/writing instruction, with a particular emphasis on the development of comprehension. The components of interactive read-alouds, skill specific mini-lessons, small-group guided reading, independent reading, word study/spelling, and writier's workshop will be used weekly to help ensure the success of your child. Metacognitive strategies (awareness about one's thinking) are the underlying strategies all good readers apply before, during, and after they read to actively think about a text and monitor comprehension. Throughout the year, your child will be taught how to actively engage in thinking, talk, and writing about texts.
Spelling: Each week your child will receive a list of words molded especially for him/her. Spelling words come from a list of priority words third grade is responsible for, words that have given us trouble in our writing, and interesting words. The spelling list will be tailored to the individual child from words they have missed on their tests, in their writing, of interest to them, or challenging words we have talked about.
Math: Our district uses the 2007 edition of Everyday Math: The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. Our math lessons are organized around eight main topics: Algebra and Uses of Variables; Exploring Data and Chance; Geometry and Spatial Sense; Measures and Measurement; Numeration and Order; Operations; Patterns, Functions, and Sequences; Reference Frames. The philosophy of this program is to use a variety of approaches, teach strategies, use mental computation, and problem solve so that numbers have meaning and are not just numbers. Home Links are sent home to expand on the skills learned and practiced in school. Remember, there is no one way to solve a problem!
Cursive: Yes! We finally get to learn cursive or "cursif" as many of our third graders say! We follow the Zaner Bloser formations. We do encourage the students to write their names in cursive once the letters have been learned, but we do not require any assignments to be done as we are still practicing all year long!
Social: Our district uses the 1998 edition of Nystrom's Exploring Where and Why. This is a map based curriculum. We also study daily oral geography and world cultures. We spend a lot of time discussing the events of the world and locating the places on our classroom maps.
Science: FOSS (Full Option Science System) is the science curriculum we use. We use the 2000 edition that comes to us by way of the University of California, Berkeley. Our three areas of study center around measurement, the human body, and sound. Many hands-on activities/experiments are built into this program. A highlight is when we dissect owl pellets!
Health: Our health curriculum is updated regularly and is called "The Great Body Shop". There is an emphasis on interpersonal skills, decision making, how to say "no", education about tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, and safety issues. Many of the themes tie back to our science unit about the human body. We will pay particular attention to five of the nine units: "When Bodies Have Problems" (glasses, hearing loss, disabilities), "Let's Eat" (nutrition), "My Family, Your Family", "Things You Might Catch", and "The Better to See You".