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Third Grade

student hands



This is a summary of the basic third-grade curriculum. The sequential nature of this curriculum guide is important. Progress along a continuum of learning is the goal; therefore, at any time, a student may be working on skills that are at, above or below his or her assigned grade. To the extent possible, teachers provide each child with appropriate material for his or her own level of achievement in language arts and mathematics. By the end of third grade, most students have learned what is presented here; many go beyond. Children who need additional help may receive it through remedial or special education services.

Self-confidence is fundamental to a child’s success in school. Children should learn that persistence, together with loving, firm, supportive help from both parents and teachers, can result in success. To provide this support is our mutual task.

Ideally, during his or her career at the Ray School, each student will acquire an appropriate body of knowledge and specific abilities as a learner, a person, and a member of the school community. Successful life-long learners develop self-confidence, initiative, curiosity, creativity, a willingness to take risks, respect for self and others, enjoyment of learning, and good citizenship. At the Ray School, these traits are developed through studies designed to help each child reach the following goals by the end of fifth grade:

Key Results

  1. Children will use language thoughtfully to express and receive information.
  2. Children will use basic mathematical concepts and skills.
  3. Children will use analytical, systematic, intuitive, and creative methods to solve problems.
  4. Children will use the scientific method to explore the physical and natural sciences.
  5. Children will begin to gain an understanding of the larger world through social studies.
  6. Children will begin to understand themselves, their relationships and their responsibilities.
  7. Children will be able to participate in, appreciate, and enjoy experiences in the arts.
  8. Children will develop responsibility for their health and physical fitness.

Language Arts

The goal of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach children to use language thoughtfully and to express and receive information and ideas.

Children learn to read and write in the same way that they learn to speak-that is, by using their emerging literacy in meaningful situations. In school, we provide children with numerous opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write. The necessary details of reading and writing are taught most effectively in contexts meaningful to the student.

The Language Arts curriculum includes listening and speaking as necessary parts of reading and writing; and it presents a variety of literary experiences to inject meaning and enjoyment into the process of learning to read and write.


  • Understand and follow multi-step instructions
  • Participate in class discussions by making appropriate responses
  • Listen critically
  • Listen for enjoyment
  • Understand speaker’s message
  • Express ideas and elaborate on a topic
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Stay on topic
  • Project clearly

Vocabulary/Word Recognition

  • Expand vocabulary
  • Recognize synonyms, antonyms, and homophones
Word Analysis
  • Continue to use phonetic, structural, and contextual analysis for reading unfamiliar words
Comprehension: Literal
  • Recall sequence of events
  • Follow written directions
  • Identify characters and setting of story
Comprehension: Inferential
  • Recognize main idea
  • Predict outcomes
  • Interpret character’s feelings
  • Identify mood of story
  • Differentiate between fact and opinion; fiction and nonfiction
Comprehension: Interpretive
  • Relate story to own experiences and familiar texts


  • Brainstorm alone and in a group
  • Express ideas orally
  • Categorize ideas
  • Select a topic to develop
  • Read own stories to classmates
  • Respond to the reactions of an audience
  • Compose personal writing, fiction, nonfiction and poetry
  • Give constructive feedback to an author, as modeled by the teacher
  • Decide whether to change own work
  • Publish some of his or her finished work
  • Reread own work to assure the meaning is clear
  • Expand the story
  • Delete unwanted parts of the story
  • Substitute new words for words in first draft
  • Begin to organize sentences into paragraphs
  • When appropriate, correct selected spelling errors using classroom word lists, spelling dictionary, and/or adult or peer assistance
  • Begin to develop proofreading skills


  • Common and proper nouns
  • Verbs
  • Adjectives

Capital Letters

  • Sentences and the word “I”
  • Names of people and places
  • Names of specific things (days, months, holidays)
  • Titles for people
  • Titles of things (books, poems)
  • Titles for people
  • Names of places
  • Names of states
  • Time and dates
Punctuation Marks
  • Periods
  • Question marks
  • Exclamation marks
  • Commas in dates and addresses
  • Apostrophes in contractions, possessives
Learning to spell is a developmental process. Spelling instruction includes helpful strategies and some useful rules that can help children learn to spell. The goal of the spelling program is to help students become competent, independent spellers, and encourage them to apply their spelling skills across the curriculum in meaningful writing experiences. Students learn spelling rules and generalizations to aid in spelling development.

The key components of the spelling program are listed below.

  • Students use word lists that include
    • Words most frequently used in writing
    • Words governed by reliable or phonic generalizations
    • Words not governed by generalization
    • Words most frequently misspelled in writing
    • High-utility content-area words
  • Students learn a variety of techniques to help learn new spelling words.
  • Students learn and utilize proofreading skills.
  • Students learn use of dictionary and other resources to check spelling.
  • Learn and use upper-case and lower-case cursive
Information Skills
  • Use information skills to locate, organize and record information
  • Locate and use table of contents, index, glossary
  • Alphabetize words to the third letter
  • Use guide words for use in dictionaries and reference materials
  • Understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction
  • Locate fiction and nonfiction materials in the library
  • Choose books for enjoyment or for a specific purpose
  • Use magazines for recreational and informational purposes
  • Use appropriate technology for locating information
  • Read books of own choosing in class
  • Use literature to find out about people, places, and things
  • Participate in open-ended discussion of literature
  • Recognize the work of a variety of authors and illustrators
  • Recognize a variety of literary genres


Problem solving
  • solve problems with and without manipulatives
  • demonstrate that a problem can be solved in more than one way
  • solve multi-step problems
  • write about solutions
  • generalize solutions and apply to new situations
  • draw conclusions
  • use models, facts, properties, and relationships to explain thinking
  • compare and contrast figures, discuss strategy
  • discuss mathematical concepts and relationships
  • draw pictures and use objects to illustrate mathematical concepts
  • write about mathematical topics presented in class
  • explore patterns and relationships
  • understand the mathematical processes and procedures of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and relate them to one another
  • apply mathematical skills and concepts (measurement, graphs, and data analysis) to other subject areas
Number Sense and Numeration
  • read and write any given 4 digit number
  • understand concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and their relationship to one another
  • explore number patterns and computation from 1 to 1,000
Whole Number Operations
  • add any two or more numbers less than 1,000
  • subtract any two numbers with subtrahend less than 1,000
  • Basic facts: addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • know fractional parts: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 1/5, 1/6, 1/8
  • use models to show and compare equivalent fractions.
  • Describe, model, and classify geometric figures: square, triangle, circle , rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and parallelogram
  • cylinder, cone, cube sphere, and pyramid angles: (right, acute, obtuse, straight)
  • congruence and symmetry
  • length – half inch, quarter inch
  • measure to nearest half inch, quarter inch
  • tell time to nearest minute
  • explore area of rectangular regions and perimeter of shapes
  • estimate and measure using quarts, gallons
  • understand coin value
  • given a specified amount of money and a price list, determine what can be purchased
  • tell time to the hour, half hour, and minute
Data Analysis and Probability
  • collect data construct picture, circle, and bar graphs
  • interpret data from bar, picture, and circle graphs
  • write questions and answers using information from a graph
  • use manipulatives to explore probability


Children will use the scientific method to study the physical and natural sciences. Through research and inquiry, students will explore topics in:

  • Life Science – Vernal Pool
  • Physical Science – States of Matter
  • Earth Science – Weather
  • Health – muscular – skeletal systems, cells
We seek to help our students understand their place in ecology utilizing the scientific method. The content areas covered in our curriculum scope and sequence include physical science, life science, earth science, and health.

Four Cornerstones of Scientific Method
  • Inquiry – Questioning, Investigation, Observation, Measurement.
  • Reflection -Describing, Hypothesizing, Systems Thinking (Modeling).
  • Collaboration – Reporting, communicating, Synthesizing.
  • Action – Stewardship, Prioritizing, Decision-making.
Unifying Constructs (Big Ideas)
  • Adaptation
  • Interactions (systems, structure and scale)
  • Diversity
  • Change
  • Energy
  • Human Factor
  • Systems

Social Studies

Children will begin to gain an understanding of the larger world through social studies. In addition, they will begin to understand themselves, their relationships, and their responsibilities to themselves and to others.


  • Map Skills
  • World Geography
  • Global Awareness
  • Japan
Skills and Processes
  • Participate in class effectively as a group member
  • Participate in discussions of world and local events
  • Map Skills
    • Symbols and vocabulary
    • Globes, maps, atlases
    • Location of continents, oceans, etc.
    • Make maps
    • Concept of a bird’s-eye view
    • Interpret a variety of maps
  • Research Skills
    • Locate information on a topic
    • Record information
    • Use a variety of sources
    • Organize facts, summarize, and present a report from notes
  • Similarities and differences
  • Relationship of geography to history and culture
  • Relationship of earth/globe/map
  • Compare own family with those in other cultures


Children study the foundations of personal health and physical well being through a program of health education that integrates age-appropriate information about issues and concerns in these categories: Growth and Development, Mental/Emotional Health, Personal Health, Family Life and Health, Nutrition, Disease Prevention and Control, Safety and First Aid, Consumer Health, Substance Use and Abuse, and Community and Environmental Health Management.


  • System Skills – file management and operational skills
  • Word Processing – introduction to AppleWorks
  • Library – on line catalog
  • Keyboarding – introduction
  • Microworlds LOGO Introduction


The third grade arts program continues to focus on the design elements of line, color, shape, texture, pattern, and balance with the added elements of value and contrast. Students build upon previous experiences, using familiar skills and materials in a variety of combinations to create new art forms and increasingly complex products. New skills, concepts, and materials are introduced in the instruction of drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture, fiber arts, and collage.

Traditional arts and cultures of many cultures are explored in conjunction with classroom studies of the continents. A large focus on the arts of Japan are studied in preparation for the Japanese festival. In addition, all classes will create art that correlates to our PTO- A.R.T. gallery artist.


General music at the Ray School is full of hands-on activities that help students learn the concepts of music and the art of listening. The majority of general music classes use the Orff-Schulwerk method, a teaching approach which promises that we and our students will interact as partners in making music. Playing instruments , singing and moving are treated as ensemble experiences, requiring mutual awareness and cooperation in order to create successful musical expression. Improvisation and composition are an integral part of this process. Some of the materials used in class may include barred instruments, recorders, bells and simple percussion.

Additional instrumental and vocal opportunities are available. Students in 4th grade may elect to study violin in group lessons while 5th graders may choose violin, cello or one of the traditional band instruments. Chorus is a requirement for all 3rd and 4th graders and is optional for 5th graders.

In December, two concerts are held: one by students in grades K-2 and another by the singers in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade choruses. These older choruses also perform in late spring. Throughout the year, children may participate in mini-recitals, giving them an opportunity to showcase skills learned outside of school. The maxi-recital in June is reserved for 5th graders only.

It is our goal that all students leave the Ray School with a well-rounded knowledge of music and a deep desire to learn more.

Physical Education

Our mission in physical education is to help all students acquire the knowledge,skills, and attitudes they need to lead healthy,active lifestyles throughout their lives. Students develop motor skills,identify movement concepts, and work to achieve and maintain a health enhancing level of physical fitness in a safe and structured environment. And, our curriculum is designed to help students develop acceptable social and personal behaviors in physical activity and team building settings.

The students in grades 3 and 4 are called “Team Builders”. These students take the skills learned in grades K-2 and use them in small sided game situations. In the games they learn different game concepts, all unique to many games in a each of the following categories: invasion (goal on each side),net (volleyball,badminton) and field (kickball, whiffleball). Team builders are also introduced to the different parts of physical fitness; aerobic endurance,muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. They learn what it takes to meet or work toward the healthy standard in each of these components.

Special Educatation

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), special education at the Ray School will provide individual education programs (IEPs) that enable children with identified disabilities to make steady educational progress, while participating to the greatest extent possible in the school’s mainstream classes and the curriculum described herein.

Affective Education

A comprehensive guidance and counseling curriculum represents a lifelong developmental continuum through which each person progresses. Each child grows in skills in the following areas: personal, social, emotional, educational, moral, and the world of work. Children will work to gain competence in self-understanding, social skills, decision making, and taking care of oneself. Study of drugs and alcohol continues in third grade.

Bonding to Family and School

  • Identify personal strengths
  • Identify strengths of others
  • Identify healthy ways to have fun and feel good
  • Identify ways to take care of oneself
  • Appreciate oneself as special and as a contributing part of a group
  • Help others feel included
  • Acknowledge feelings of self and others, and learn to deal with feelings
  • Ask for help from someone you trust when you need it
  • Abide by ground rules for discussing sensitive topics with others
  • Share verbally one’s appreciation of another’s strengths or actions
  • Use “I” statements to express feelings, needs, desires.
  • Keep out of trouble (self-control)
  • Say “NO” to trouble, physical abuse, sexual abuse
  • Find Alternatives
Drug and Alcohol Information
  • Define drugs and their effects
  • Understand the concept of chemical dependency
  • Know the effects of alcohol and nicotine on various body systems
  • Discuss reasons people do or do not use drugs

Timothy Crawford

3rd Grade Teacher

Jessica Hunt

Clayton Simmers

3rd Grade Teacher

Samantha Waterhouse

3rd Grade Teacher