Third Grade

As a 3rd grade scholar at Capital Prep, the students will begin to prepare for the Connecticut Mastery Test. Capital Prep’s students have now developed strong foundational reading skills. Students have now fully shifted from learning to read to reading to learn.

Foundational skills focus much less on phonetic patterns and move on to word parts such as common affixes and Latin root words, and the focus on oral fluency begun in second grade continues to be emphasized. Inquisitive third grade readers learn to infer character traits, compare and contrast various genres of fiction from around the world, compare and contrast themes of stories while referring to specific evidence in the text to strengthen their comprehension of literature. Comprehension of informational text is bolstered by the study of text features, the ability to describe the relationship between historical events, and to compare key ideas between differing viewpoints on the same topic. Vocabulary development is supported by learning to distinguish shades of meaning between related words, by studying multiple meaning words, and by learning homonyms. Writers in third grade focus on the modalities of opinion, informative, and narrative pieces making sure to include a clear statement of focus, elaboration of detail, organized structure, and English Language conventions. Students use these agreed upon “rules” to have meaningful discussions, and present their work in complete sentences using correct grammar while asking and answering peer generated questions to improve their speaking and listening skills. Students also hone speaking and listening skills by making oral presentations of their quint projects to the class.

Third grade math instructional time will focus on four main areas: developing an understanding of multiplication, division and their strategies for numbers within 100; beginning to develop an understanding of fractions, mainly with 1 as the numerator (unit fractions); developing an understanding of rectangular arrays and area; and analyzing two-dimensional shapes. Students apply their knowledge of patterns and sequence in counting to develop an understanding of multiplication and division through equal groups, arrays and area models. This beginner understanding is coupled with geometry lessons to lay foundation for comparing and describing two-dimensional shapes using area and perimeter. With continued collaboration of number sense and geometry, students begin to develop their understanding of division and its relationship to fractions. Students continue to build fluency of place value in the base10 number system throughout lessons and especially lend these skills to perform multi-digit arithmetic using properties of all four operations.

Through hands-on centers and inquiry based science labs, the third grade students will have a real life application of math and science. Students apply higher level thinking skills when problem solving and conducting science experiments. In science, the students will be learning about topics including the properties of matter, animal adaptations, the solar system and rocks and minerals.

In addition to English language arts, science and math studies, students build on knowledge of timelines in social studies to include connecting multiple historical time periods and identifying similarities in historical events. The study of historical events and their geographical locations includes identifying the physical features of places. This learning is used to determine how the geographical features influence migration patterns of people. In the process, students develop empathy towards groups of people as they begin to appreciate how groups of people fight to keep their traditions alive in the modern world. Students are also working towards answering their social justice question, “How does the way groups define themselves affect the relationship among communities?” Becoming more knowledgeable as they learn about themselves and how they can relate to one another is one of the key building blocks for creating a true Trailblazer!