Third Grade Curriculum, 2002-2003 School Year

Lynn Salter and Mark Ahlness, third grade teachers
Arbor Heights Elementary School

Seattle, Washington

Third grade math covers a wide variety of subject areas. Many of the concepts from second grade are reviewed and expanded, and many new concepts are introduced. The topics we cover are:

Writing and Language Arts
The language arts curriculum covers grammar usage, mechanics, spelling, vocabulary, composition, reference and study skills, thinking skills, listening and speaking skills, and literature and reading. For example, children will learn about the sentence, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc. We will study punctuation, capitalization, paragraph composition, and how to use these skills in their writing. Children will study the writing process and will learn to revise and edit their work. Different styles of writing will be taught; narrative, expository, persuasive,letter, and reports.

The reading curriculum covers comprehension, decoding, exposure to literature, and sustained silent reading. Our students may be grouped by ability, to best meet the individualized needs of each child. For instance, some reading groups concentrate more heavily on basic decoding skills, while another group may spend more time on exposure to literature. Writing skills, including using the writing process, are taught and reinforced.

The science curriculum adopted by the Seattle School District covers the following areas in third grade:

The emphasis is on hands-on, inquiry based science. Students make decisions collecting and analyzing data, developing strategies for problem solving, and working cooperatively toward reaching solutions.

Social Studies
The social studies curriculum covers map skills, the study of communities, and current news and cultural events. As students are taught about communities, some basic concepts about government and U.S. history are incorporated.

The third grade art curriculum is designed around the "ArtWorks" materials. Students are exposed to the works of master artists and are taught critical and evaluative skills. Many media are used, including tempera, chalk, charcoal, crayon, watercolor, printing ink, clay and enamels, fabric, and multi-media.

Our health program in third grade uses the "Here’s Looking at You 2000 Drug and Alcohol" curriculum. This program was developed in Seattle and is used nationally to teach children about the effects of drugs on their growing bodies. We also teach basic health principals, including exercise, cleanliness, dental health, nutrition, safety, and illness and accident prevention.

Students get exposure and a lot of practice in the Windows operating system – using word processors, finding information on the Internet, etc. They also develop problem solving skills about computers and a basic understanding of how they work. The computer curriculum emphasizes research and integrates other curriculum areas, particularly reading, social studies, and science.

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