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Third Grade

Third Grade Curriculum

Third grade is an important year academically and socially. At this pivotal year between primary and upper grades, children begin to take more responsibility for their school work and homework. Assignments and discussions are aimed at helping students think at a deeper level to be ready for success in fourth and fifth grades. Student learning is guided by the standards and benchmarks adopted by OUSD.

Students read in small groups which allow for closely supervised instruction. Reading concepts in third grade include vocabulary, sight words, fluency, main idea, setting, characterization, predictions, using context clues and cultural appreciation. Students use Houghton Mifflin as their basal reading program and varied genres of appropriately leveled text throughout the year. Leveled reading books are also provided for individualized differentiated reading practice.

Language arts is closely connected with the reading program and writing program. Students are writing linked paragraphs during Writer's Workshop. They study spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, research skills, oral language and poetry. Students write across the curriculum and complete a research report as well as book reports of various genres. Biographical book reports are presented orally with the student dressing and speaking as the character.

In math, Houghton Mifflin materials are used to teach our standards based math curriculum. Students learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They master multiplication facts, time, money, place value to one hundred thousand, and measurement. They are introduced to algebra, plane geometry, use of graphs, probability, fractions, area, perimeter, volume, logic, and various problem solving strategies.

The social studies program (Scott Foresman) combines geography and an introduction to U.S. history. Third graders learn about government, communities, Native American contributions, westward expansion, immigration, American inventions, protection of natural resources and the history of Orinda. Field trips and art activities enrich these concepts.

In science, students use the FOSS program to study structures of life (plants and animals), rocks and electricity. Lessons are extended with a variety of teacher-provided materials, art, literature, field trips and films.

Third graders participate in technology and library once a week taught by the classroom teacher. They also are provided instruction in art, music, and additional P.E. instruction through the generosity of parent donations to the Educational Foundation of Orinda. Students also have access to computers and a Smart Board in the classroom thanks to our Parents Club generous donations.