In third grade, students begin to acquire new emotional and cognitive skills resulting in a year that includes social transition. Students start to have a greater need to be liked by peers with a better capacity to express thoughts and feelings and have a stronger sense of right and wrong. They progress to creating increasingly important interactions between friends in an effort to help strengthen the bond between peers. By integrating the core values of the Academy into our curriculum, we solidify and promote moral development in the following areas: responsibility, ingenuity, integrity, self-discipline, compassion, service, respect, and perseverance.
Academically, we continue to focus on developing the whole child, and accommodate differences in the individual by providing a variety of learning experiences. Instruction is adapted and individualized to meet the needs of each and every student. We promote a positive learning environment that allows the student to gain self-confidence and establish a sense of accomplishment by combining guidance and challenge.
In third grade, students learn to read for both content, fluency, and pleasure through exposure to many genres, including fantasy, realistic fiction, mystery, traditional literature, poetry, historical fiction, biography, and informational. The goal of the third grade is to solidify children’s ability to read independently. Comprehension is stressed and taught with a variety of texts. Students learn to state main ideas, sequences, and cause and effect while distinguishing fact from opinion. The boys will learn to articulate inferences as well as the content of their reading both orally and in writing. The inclusion of reading groups allows students to analytically explore each reading selection through discussion, connections to self, world, and text, vocabulary, and more.
Writing is taught as a formal process, integrating the language skills of spelling, phonics, grammar, and vocabulary. Extensive practice with writing and skill development helps students pursue writing assignments, including (but not limited to) creative, expository, persuasive, and research. At this level, there is also an increase of involvement and interaction with the use of peer editing. Students will be expected to be able to identify and isolate different parts of speech. Cursive writing is taught throughout the year beginning with lowercase letters. With the inclusion of technology in the classroom and school computer laboratories, the students are able to publish creative writing projects and reinforce current-day skills.
Spelling at the Academy is based on the Sitton Spelling and Word Skills Program. Based on the belief that, “every child is a speller,” Sitton strives to produce life-long spellers. Instead of weekly lists, the program emphasizes the needs of each student, with individualized words to focus on, as well as a high-frequency word list. Instruction focuses on daily lessons that include a specific spelling/language arts skill. In addition to this, Sitton also focuses on visual learning, proofreading, and spelling in everyday writing. At the conclusion of each unit, the students are assessed using a Cloze Word Test and Skills Test. Words that the student has not yet mastered are added to his Words Study list, and remain until mastery is achieved.
The Singapore Mathematics Program is designed to equip students with a strong foundation in concept development, critical thinking, and efficient problem-solving skills. Mathematical concepts are presented in a clear, sequential way to facilitate understanding and confidence. Singapore Math calls for direct instruction and focuses on the immediate application of new skills to problem solving.
The following topics are covered in depth and taught to mastery at the third grade level:
- Numbers to 10,000
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Data Analysis
- Length, Weight, and Capacity
- Area, Perimeter, and Volume
History and geography engage students in the Social Studies curriculum. Units are integrated with other academic areas. The main units include Colonial America, American Independence, and The Founding of the United States of America. Other topics to be integrated throughout the school year include the study of important historical figures within the context of American History, Baseball as an American Pastime, and a geographical study of the United States. Instruction includes research skills, map skills, projects, and current events.