Our goal is language arts is to foster a love for reading, increase facility with written expression, and strengthen the child's ability to communicate verbally. We individualize our program as much as possible to meet the needs of all our students. When essential, we regroup for the teaching of specific skills. Language arts is reinforced throughout the core curriculum.
We use the basal reading series, Houghton-Mifflin. Along with these readers, we have many supportive materials such as workbooks, class sets of classic and contemporary literature, skills books, learning centers, games to reinforce skills, etc.
Each child on the team is taught grammar skills using Houghton Mifflin lessons, editing, and presentations.
The third grade team is using the Houghton-Mifflin spelling program which focuses on spelling words by identifying patterns in words. The goal of this program is to create lifelong spellers.
All third grade students receive instruction in cursive handwriting with an emphasis on readability. Students are given ample time to practice and are expected to work toward the development of cursive skills. Children are encouraged to use cursive regularly by January.
Every teacher on the team emphasizes and encourages creative writing activities. We spend a considerable amount of time on these activities with a variety of approaches and presentations. Our Publishing Center publishes students' original works.
We read to the children and discuss the literary works recommended for developing appreciation and critical thinking at their level. Topics include adventure, biographies, poetry, mystery, historical fiction, and informational fiction..
Throughout the year each language arts class meets with the librarian to learn and reinforce specific library skills.
The Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Series is being used by our children. We use a variety of supplemental materials in our math classes as well. Our major areas of concentration are the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Other areas include place value, geometry, fractions, metric and standard measure, number theory, and work problems. When time permits, our children will have math concepts reinforced through games and learning centers. The computers are also used for reinforcement of skills.
The third grade social studies program explores the question, "Who am I in my state?" beginning with a study of maps and globes. We then explore Native Americans. Students learn about the earliest inhabitants of North America and Pennsylvania focusing on their customs and regional differences. Students study the history and geography of Pennsylvania. This includes learning about Chester County and local townships. Our ongoing projects in the social studies units help the child's thinking and working skills. Current events, holidays, Pennsylvania Weekly and Time News for Kids are also an important part of our program. It is always enjoyable and meaningful to have parents share their experiences through slides and other pertinent material with the children. Parents interested in participating in our social studies program should contact his/her child's core teacher.
The third grade science curriculum consists of units developed by National Science Resource Center in its program, "Science and Technology for Children". Each third grade class is scheduled in the science room for two 45-minute periods per week. Many concepts are extended through integration with other curricular areas. Our units are Rocks and Minerals, Land & Water, Chemical Tests, Plant Growth and Development.
All children will be given instruction by their core teachers. We will extend our students' experiences in all subject areas through the use of computers. Through the use of web quests and research quests students explore in greater depth concepts found in social studies and science.
All students will participate in classroom meetings throughout the year to develop and encourage good social skills as well as problem solving skills. A new Life Skills program will be offered this year.
A major focus for our school is the integration of curricular areas. The integration of curriculum takes place in our core groups. Connecting content helps students see relationships between areas of study. Students will have opportunities to work with all third graders and, when appropriate, other grade levels in our school.