The Educational Journey Begins in 3rd Grade:
Profile of Third Graders: Although third grade students are still energetic and inquisitive, they begin to become more serious students. Kids make a big leap this year! While they still need lots of hands-on opportunities, they are getting much better at articulating their ideas and can now draw on past experiences when learning new concepts.
What They Should Have: Development varies, but it will help if your third grader has:
- Good listening skills: There is a lot more independent work so the ability to listen and follow instructions is essential.
- A sense of responsibility. Teachers want children to learn to independently pack and unpack book bags, write down homework assignments, and hand in their work.
- A strong grasp of basic addition and subtraction facts.
- A desire to read for pleasure.
Remember: Third graders are in a key transition year. They are learning every day important life lessons and skills that will be crucial as they grow. Expectations are set high with the knowledge that students are still young and developing as learners. Habits that are formed, skills that are learned, and memories that are made in third grade at Magellan will stay with them forever.
Third grade social studies at Magellan celebrates culture and diversity while exploring our nation’s leadership, geography, and economy. Our units of study allow students to gain an awareness of their place in a changing world. Students are responsible for several projects during the year including timeline projects centered around different time periods and their own lives. We incorporate the use of art, drama, music, literature, technology, field trips and guest speakers while discovering the many different cultures and themes in social studies.
Language arts encompasses reading, writing, handwriting, grammar, and spelling. Students are making the transition from “Learning to read to reading to learn!” The reading component explores different genres including, fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, fairy tales and fables, short stories, biographies, poetry. Teachers use mentor text to guide students as they practice similar skills with their independent texts. Teachers meet with students in small groups and independently in addition to whole group instruction. In writing, there is a strong emphasis on the stages of the writing process. Spelling and grammar are included daily during writing instruction. In third grade, we try to integrate as many subjects as possible during the language arts block and lay a strong foundation for language arts skills. Third grade is the cornerstone of learning at Magellan.
Students are grouped homogeneously in math and taught according to their skill level. Classes follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which includes topics such as Numbers and Operations (throughout addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), Fractions, Measurement and Data, Geometry, and Algebraic Thinking. Students are encouraged to use higher level thinking skills and apply concepts learned to real life situations. Hands-on learning is a critical component of third grade math as is the use of manipulatives and technology. The arts are integrated into the math curriculum as often as possible.
Science at the third grade level is a dynamic exploration of life, earth, and physical science. Beginning with a solid foundation of the scientific method, students are allowed to investigate various principles and theories in a hands-on and interactive manner. Topics include Forces and Motion, Matter Properties and Change, Energy, Earth in the Universe, Earth Systems, Structures and Processes, and Skeletal and Muscular Body Systems. Math concepts are woven into the science curriculum at every opportunity and each unit’s study is enhanced with multimedia, technology, guest speakers and field trips. From measuring friction in a race track to exploring outer space, third graders find science to be both fascinating and fun.
Technology is a teaching tool that is incorporated in all areas of third grade curriculum. Computers are assigned to each student at the beginning of the year. Keyboarding is a major component at the beginning of third grade. Third graders enjoy typing stories and completing various technology-infused projects as the year progresses, and learn how to incorporate clip art and images from the Internet. Whole group lessons are taught using data projectors to share electronic resources in the classroom. Children are given additional opportunities to use computers as a tool for completing learning activities in small group centers, individual classwork, and various homework assignments through the Google Platform. Third graders also work with spreadsheets and databases and create PowerPoint presentations. Children are responsible for transporting a charged computer to and from school daily.