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3rd Grade Philosophy
Third grade is an engaging year where students at WCSS are exploring the world beyond their local community and enjoying an arts-rich curriculum. Our workshop approach to teaching means that third graders spend most of the day working partnerships, small groups, or independently and that instruction is differentiated. We spend considerable time developing strong classroom communities and work hard on social and emotional skill development.
Reading & Writing – Teachers conduct ongoing and interim assessments in literacy, sitting side by side and listening to each student read, discussing books, assessing high frequency words and spelling, noting what skills they have and which they need, and looking closely at their writing. Running records help teachers track student progress toward benchmarks and guide instruction. Consistent with the Common Core Standards, we have increased the amount of nonfiction/informational text in both reading and writing. By the end of third grade, children are expected to be able to read with understanding level O books. Examples of level O books included Aldo books by Joanna Hurwitz; Boxcar Children books by Gertrude Chandler Warner; Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.
Math – In math, we are strongly committed to a concept-based, problem-solving, hands-on approach to mathematics. We believe children need to be involved in constructing meaning in math, deciding on which strategies to use as they solve complex problems. We also know that children need to learn and practice basic math facts so that they can calculate quickly and efficiently, and so we do that as well. The Common Core Standards outline end of year expectations in math on each grade, and our pacing calendars are designed with that in mind. We draw on GO MATH, units developed by Metamorphosis, and emphasize differentiating math instruction.
Some of the key end-of-year 3rd grade math benchmarks include:
- Demonstrates flexible strategies for addition and subtraction up to triple digit numbers.
- Understands place value to 10,000
- Understands expanded notation
- Identifies appropriate strategies for problem solving
- Understands multiplication and its relationship to repeated addition and subtraction
- Has mastery of x facts to 10
- Understands the relationships between division and fractions
- Can identify some fractions
- Understands how to add and subtract money/can make change
- Fluency with number facts + – x
- Congruency and symmetry
- Tells time (to the minute)
Social Studies – In Social Studies, students study Cultures Around the World, such as Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe. The curriculum incorporates inquiry and engaging trips throughout the year.
Science – In Science, we will be exploring the States of Matter, Simple Machines, Energy and Life Cycles.
Other Activities – All third graders have STEAM, art, music, drama, physical education, dance, Enrichment Clusters, and NYC Ballet Residency. The day incorporates many opportunities for movement during transitions and recess.