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Third grade is a fun-filled year of growth and change for both students and parents. Students begin the process of taking responsibility for their learning and behavior. They make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

Individual learning styles are recognized. A variety of lessons, whole and small group instruction, cooperative learning and workshop activities encourage risk taking, creativity, curiosity, and strategic thinking. Students have ample opportunities to be reflective in their daily learning.

Classroom learning is extended through thematic integration of co-curricular classes: music, library, physical education, art, computer, and world language.

Curriculum - click on subject for more information

List of 11 items.

  • Art

    The third-grade art curriculum is designed to focus on the world of art and nature. The students increase their skills by learning techniques which enhance their self-expression. Art and the beauty of nature will be examined through drawing, painting, bookmaking, and clay works. Projects that require more time and effort plus a variety of materials will be introduced. Historical works of art will continue to be examined through the program.
  • Guidance

    The Lower School years are ones of rapid growth and development. Each new birthday brings tremendous change. Typical challenges and characteristics of children, by age and developmental stage, can be found on the School Counseling webpage along with recommended resources.
  • Language Arts

    Guided reading is an opportunity for the teacher to work with small groups of children providing support.  The teacher models reading strategies to enhance the students' comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expand their vocabulary while reading a text that is unfamiliar to them.  The goal of guided reading is for students to use these strategies independently.  

    Book clubs are an integral part of the reading program. Students develop reflective and meta-cognitive skills while participating in student-led discussions. Books from the Literacy Enrichment Collection are utilized to support a variety of levels and themes.

    The 6+1 Trait® Writing Model of Instruction & Assessment comprises 6+1 key qualities that define quality writing. These make up the acronym VOICES:

    • Voice - I show personality in one's writing
    • Organization - I arrange my writing so readers can understand it
    • Ideas - My writing is clear, focused, and interesting
    • Conventions - My writing has proper grammar, capitals and punctuation so it is easy to read
    • Excellent word choice - I choose words that create pictures in the reader's mind
    • Sentence Fluency - I vary sentence beginnings, length and type
    Writing is taught using children's literature that highlights each trait. Grammar is taught through mini-lessons and reinforced through the writing process. In writing, students are introduced to the five-paragraph essay.

    Handwriting Without Tears is a developmental and engaging, multi-sensory program that is fun and easy to learn. The program is designed to help students naturally transition from print to cursive.  Cursive is simplified by eliminating slants, loops and curlicues.

    Word Work
    Words Their Way is a developmental approach to phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction.  Students are given a list of words on their developmental level.  They read, define, and look for patterns within the words and then sort by identifying patterns within the words.  After sorting, students reflect on why they put a word there, how the words are alike, and how they are different. The teacher helps guide the discussion, providing clues as needed to help them identify the focus patterns.  Students are given the opportunity to use these words through various sorts, games, word hunts and word study notebooks.
  • Library

    Students learn how to use the digital library catalog to locate materials. In addition, during the library experience, we seek to support and reinforce concepts learned in other classes. In continued partnership with the technology program, students consistently incorporate the use of the research methods along with print and digital resources.
  • Math

    Math foundations are built through a spiraling, hands-on, manipulative curriculum which allows students continued practice with concepts. This rigorous program moves students through basic arithmetic and on to higher-order and critical thinking skills. Students share and discuss their strategies for solving problems as they work individually and in small groups. It covers all the recognized math content strands: numeration, operations and computation, data and chance, geometry, measurement and reference frames, patterns, function, and algebra.

    The spiraling curriculum of Everyday Mathematics® helps ensure students master key concepts by continually revisiting content in a variety of contexts over time. Students are exposed to multiple methods to problem solve through so they can choose which method works best for their learning style. Skills taught are reinforced through explorations, games, and enrichment projects.
  • Music

    In third-grade music students become more independent musicians with the introduction of the woodwind instrument, the recorder.  Students increase their confidence in reading music, understanding dynamics, and playing as a soloist and with an ensemble as they progress through a series of "tests" to earn "belts" through a program called, "Recorder Karate."  More advanced rhythmic and melodic patterns are introduced using Orff and classroom percussion instruments as well as the ukulele. Students create, improvise, perform melodic and movement pieces. Students further develop their singing voices and develop harmony using rounds, canons, melodic and rhythmic ostinati.  Examples of classical, folk, contemporary, and world music are used throughout the school year to enhance each student's development in understanding musical concepts.  Students demonstrate these skills and their playing abilities through concerts, performing at Grandparent’s Day, the Holiday Concert, and the Lower School Music Night.
  • Physical Education

    In third grade, students seek to improve their motor skills by applying movement concepts to skills. Students work on body management skills in game‐like settings. Specific sports skills are also emphasized such as in volleyball by hitting to an open space or cutting to an open space in basketball. While we focus on skill acquisition in every grade level, we begin to add more competitive game play starting in third grade. Therefore, students need to apply rules, principles, problem-solving skills, and concepts to traditional and nontraditional movement settings in order to be successful. Students are given the opportunity to participate in activities such as target throwing games, soccer, gymnastics/tumbling, scooters, tee ball, track and field, basketball, running/jogging, tennis, jump rope, dance, recreational games (corn hole, horseshoes, bowling) and marshmallow ball throughout the year. Students in third grade also participate in The Cannon Health and Performance (CHAMP) Test. The assessment includes a variety of health-related physical fitness tests that assess aerobic capacity: muscular strength, muscular endurance, speed, power and flexibility. Scores from these assessments are compared to our overall class averages to determine students’ overall physical fitness and suggest areas for improvement when appropriate. Our goal as a Lower School Physical Education Department is for all students to be equipped with appropriate knowledge of varying sports and to develop a lifelong love for fitness.
  • Science

    Third grader scientists are mature enough to come up with their own scientific questions which can be tested through experimentation.  Students learn the best methods of seed germination through trial and error work and observations.  It is a mini-unit which leads nicely into a study of life cycles of plants and animals.  They then examine the human body with emphasis on the skeletal and muscular systems.   Later in the year, the students will study force, work, and machines. By examining simple machines, students learn how they work to help us in our daily lives.  Students make their first large scale science project in Lower School when they make a syringe powered model arm.
  • Social Studies

    In social studies, students explore regions of our country through geography, diversity, population density, agriculture, history, and government. Interactive student notebooks invite students to be active participants in their own learning. Understanding of community and citizenship is expanded through social studies projects, guidance lessons, field trips and outreach events.

    Our third grade uses Social Studies Alive!  Regions of Our Country, as well as other materials, which truly engage students in learning.  Children experience concepts through innovative activities that include dramatic role-playing, creative simulations, dynamic group projects, and writing activities.  
    As students explore different social studies topics, they learn to think like social scientists.. They take the perspective of the following social science traditions: economics, geography, political science, and history.  They wear these different social scientist “hats” as they study social studies themes.
  • Spanish

    The third-grade Spanish continues to build on the same areas. They practice interrogation with all their verbs. Short dialogues are a staple in class. They learn numbers up to 400 and work on multiplication on a regular basis. They learn to use verbs for the third person singular form--He/She/It. By the end of the year, they can speak, read, write, understand statements and questions about a friend or family member. They practice the basic restaurant script from second grade and learn a new set of foods for a script taking place in the kitchen at home. As third graders study the history and culture of Spanish-speaking countries, they focus on Central America and the Caribbean, zooming in on Costa Rica for an extended unit.
  • Technology

    In Lower School, our learning design involves high engagement, structured so that students are drawn into appropriate levels of challenge. Curiosity and creativity are nurtured, along with consistent encouragement for teamwork and partner work. Students are encouraged to try new things, and to think and talk through problem-solving steps. Students follow core values as they use media and technology.

    During the third grade year, students work with robotic devices using EdBlocks, a fully graphical robot programming language ideal for students aged 8 to 12 years old. Students also gain experience with coding through using a variety of resources and challenge tasks. Students use digital resources alongside hands-on learning. They participate in a variety of hands-on maker challenges and creative presentations.

    Technology is integrated into classroom curriculum units to promote information literacy, creative work, and critical thinking. Students also use quality learning software appropriate to their developmental level in the areas of literacy and reading, and in math and problem solving. Tech basics include digital citizenship education, keyboarding/writing, creative mixed media and presentations, and information literacy. Special emphasis is placed on comprehension, communication, organization, and research skills. This program helps students increase their sophistication levels in currently available technology, but also incorporates "learning to learn" in a way that will transfer to the technology tools of the future.

Classroom Teachers

Kevin Fox
Third Grade Teacher

Angela Hernandez
Third Grade Teacher

Megan Kelly

Third Grade Teacher

Co-Curricular Teachers

Jennifer Brooks
Learning Specialist

Jennifer Calvert


Kelvin Drakeford
Physical Education

Krista Johns

Nisa Kalambaheti
Media Specialist

Judy Killam
Physical Education

Debbie McKinsey
Aimée Pfitzner

Kathie Riley

Teresa Schmitt
World Language (Grades 1 - 4)

Kelli Waller
Physical Education

Cannon School

Phone: 704-786-8171 | Fax: 704-788-7779