In third grade, students start to self-assess, set goals, and learn to monitor their own work. Throughout the year we teach whole group concepts, confer individually with each student, and hold small group target instruction based on data. Third graders are expected to be more independent students as we begin teaching them organizational skills and hold them more accountable for completing tasks intrinsically. We also encourage third graders to bring their creativity to various projects, allowing for more ownership and individuality in their learning. Working independently, in small groups, or as a class, third graders take charge of their learning and begin to recognize their own specific learning profile!
In third grade math, students focus on concept development and problem-solving. We learn to use the four operations while simultaneously stretching our understanding of how to solve real-world problems. In third grade we begin applying the fundamental math skills developed in prior years to trickier, higher-level concepts.
Third graders dive into fractions, developing an understanding of fractions as numbers. They also begin to truly understand the properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division. We build on our prior experience in measurement by solving problems involving measurement and estimation with intervals of time, liquid volumes and masses of objects.
Other highlights include using place value and properties of operations to perform multi digit arithmetic, representing and interpreting data, geometry, perimeter, and area!
In third grade, we use an integrated, balanced approach to literacy. Students will become avid, lifelong readers while they build fluency and comprehension. Third grade is a year where we encourage students to choose from a wide variety of genres and text styles. In doing so, we utilize a variety of texts including fiction, biography, reference, and instructional.
As students study the different types of texts, we simultaneously write our own personal narratives, information articles, persuasive speeches, and creative writing. Students build stamina, develop routines, processes, and set goals. All the while, students are taught the rules of English, decoding, and spelling continuing their learning progression from prior years. By utilizing programs such as Words Their Way we are able to differentiate the instruction based on each individual’s learning needs.
Science is all about inquiry and exploration. In 3rd grade, we use science kits to guide students in their exploration of physical, earth, and life sciences. Topics of study in 3rd grade include the science of sound, rocks and minerals, as well as plant growth cycles. The beauty of science in third grade is that we can really start individualizing the learning experience. For example, as part of our unit on the science of sound, we look specifically at instruments and the sound waves that they produce. Each student then gets to research and explore a specific instrument of their choosing. They then get to design, create, and evaluate their own instrument using what they learned from their study. This cross-curricular approach to science not only increases student engagement, it also enhances the learning experience!
The foundation of our classroom is built on creating relationships. Keeping consistent with the rest of Westside School, third grade utilizes the Positive Discipline program to help guide our learning. Students have daily classroom meetings where they discuss classroom community agreements, solve social issues and plan for class events. Positive Discipline provides developmentally appropriate social/emotional lessons that help third graders navigate their ever-changing lives. As with any classroom at any grade level, events may occur where we need to stop everything and manage an issue that has emerged on any given day. With the Positive Discipline structures already in place, we can quickly call a class meeting to work through such events. By third grade, we expect our students to come to such meetings engaged and ready with the tools they have developed through their Westside academic careers.
Third grade aims to promote 21st Century Skills with 1-to-1 iPads. Students use technology as a tool to deepen our understanding as well as produce work that readies us for the future. Students create books, videos, and conduct research throughout the year.
A Westside education has all the components for academic success, but equally important includes the art of teaching social-emotional learning, creative problem-solving skills, communication, cooperation, and accountability."
Our application deadline for the 2023-24 school year has passed. However, we will continue to accept applications for select grades. For information on availability and options for a late application, please contact our Director of Admissions, Ted Holmes email@example.com.