English Language Arts – The ELA curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards and includes a Balanced Literacy approach. A variety of reading experiences including read-alouds, guided reading, reading conferences, and independent reading provide differing levels of support and independence. Students in 3rd grade read an assortment of both literature and informational text. Character, point-of-view, theme, setting, and plot are analyzed and described while reading literature. While reading informational text, determining the main idea and supporting details are the focus. With both literature and informational text, students explore how a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story. Students learn to develop different types of writing, including opinion pieces, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. Independent and group writing activities help students strengthen their writing by planning, revising, and editing. Weekly vocabulary lists incorporate important words from other content areas. Students are expected to learn both the meaning and how to correctly spell each word. 3rd grade students learn cursive handwriting and are encouraged to strive to write neatly in all subjects.
Math – Through interactive SMART Board lessons, on-line mathematics programs, and use of manipulatives, students in third grade learn and develop math skills defined in the Common Core State Standards in areas such as multiplication, division, fractions, time, measurement, and geometry. Third graders further develop skills learned in earlier grades such as addition, subtraction, and place value understanding. As part of the Common Core approach, we focus on developing a deep understanding of each concept. Speed and accuracy of facts are also emphasized. By the end of 3rd grade, students should “know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers” (Math Common Core Standard 3.OA.7) which requires dedicated practice at home in addition to work completed in class.
Science – In Science we cover a variety of topics within Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Space & Technology. Students learn by reading their text book along with other nonfiction books, watching educational videos, and participating in hands-on activities in our science lab. Topics studied include plants and animals living together, the water cycle, weather, natural resources, changes in matter, energy, and the solar system.
Social Studies – In Social Studies, 3rd graders learn about communities around the world. Throughout the year we focus on five countries: Mexico, Canada, South Africa, Italy, and China. Students learn about the geography, history, government, economy, and culture of each country. Students also learn about hemispheres, latitude and longitude, cardinal and intermediate directions, and maps. Students learn to read and create time lines, bar graphs, line graphs, and flow charts.
Religion – Religion is taught both as a class and a way of life. 3rd grade attends 9am Mass as a class twice a month and as part of the school community on the first Friday of each month. In class, students learn about the life and teachings of Jesus, the parts of the Mass, the seven sacraments, and the Church calendar. We learn prayers and pray together daily. Christian values are modeled and are part of the expectations regarding interactions with others and participation as active members of our Catholic community.
3rd graders at SFA have the opportunity to cultivate additional skills through weekly classes in Art, Music, Italian, Physical Education, and Computer Technology. Students visit the school library regularly.