Third Grade Curriculum

English Language Arts (ELA): MAISA
The third grade language arts curriculum is centered around units of study that continue to develop skills in vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. Students are actively participating in the process of reading, writing, speaking and listening. There are ample opportunities for reading and responding in a large group, small groups, or independently. Children practice comprehension strategies that include: retelling, identifying the main idea, questioning, reading for specific detail, etc. Children learn to listen to and retell stories and through reading are encouraged to form ideas, opinions and feelings about writing. Within the structure of writing workshop students learn to build habits and develop strategies that proficient writers use on a daily basis. Children are encouraged to express their ideas in written form, utilizing the writing process. Students learn about the crafting techniques that are common to narrative, informative, and opinion writing. They further develop and strengthen their writing by cycling through the process of planning, revising, editing, and publicly sharing their opinions with a real audience. Grammar, usage, mechanics and spelling and language usage are introduced and practiced within the context of daily writing activities. Children read and write in a variety of genres and curriculum areas.

Logic of English
The Logic of English is a systematic, multi-sensory approach to learning how to read, spell and write. The method is based upon 74 basic phonograms and 31 spelling rules that together explain 98% of English words. Learning these essential tools eliminates unnecessary ‘exceptions’ in spelling, explains hundreds of commonly misspelled words, and brings order to the English language. We do not use any sight words; instead, students learn why words are read and spelled the way they are.  This curriculum incorporates the meanings of roots, suffixes, and prefixes, providing students with the tools to unlock hundreds of thousands of words. Logic of English curriculum also incorporates sentence-level grammar, punctuation rules, tenses, plurals and more. Students learn to read and write in English in a systematic manner that eliminates guessing and limits the amount of rote memory work. They develop strong comprehension and critical thinking skills as they analyze words, think about meaning, and make connections to other words and concepts. In every lesson, multi-sensory instruction and activites engage the different centers of students' brains - visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and speech - which allows them to deepen their learning as they build connections, use their strengths, and strengthen their areas of weakness. We teach this way because research shows that it works. Our goal is to make success in reading available to every student.  Parent Letter

Math: Math Expressions
Math Expressions Common Core combines elements of standards-based instruction with the best traditional approaches. Through drawings, conceptual language, and real-world examples, it helps students make sense of mathematics. NSF-funded* and research-based, Math Expressions is proven to be effective in raising student achievement. Put your students on the path to becoming lifelong learners—and lovers—of all things math with our trusted Common Core math curriculum. 

Science: Changes in Motion, Light and Sound, Earth and Me, Organisims Have Character
Using their everyday observations of motion and through a variety of activities, students build on their Kindergarten experiences and explore concepts of motion and forces. They compare and contrast motion in terms of direction, speed, and the relationship with gravity and friction. 

Beginning with an exploration into the properties of light and sound, students apply their knowledge to concepts related to shadows, color, pitch, and volume. They compare and contrast the properties of light and sound and relate their ideas to observation of change and evidence of sound and light energy.

Students identify earth materials and surface changes and apply their knowledge to natural resources and how humans use natural resources. The effect of human dependency and activity on Earth’s natural resources is applied through ways to protect, conserve, and restore the Earth’s resources and environment.

Students take a deeper look into the physical and behavioral characteristics of organisms and their role in growth and survival. The function of different body parts is related to their environment and how animals survive in their environment. Students apply their knowledge of organisms to the food chain and food web.

Social Studies: Michigan Studies
The third grade social studies curriculum introduces the history, geography, government, and economy of Michigan. Students learn about people and events from the past that have influenced the state in which they live. They study the geography of Michigan including the physical and cultural characteristics of different areas of the state. Using the context of their state, students explore human-environment interactions and their consequences. Using a geographic lens, students also examine the movement of people, products, and ideas across the state, and investigate how Michigan can be divided into distinct regions. Economic concepts are applied to the context of Michigan as students explore how Michiganians support themselves through the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services. By studying economic ties between Michigan and other places, students discover how their state is an interdependent part of both the national and global economies. The purposes, structure, and functions of state government are introduced. Students explore the relationship between rights and responsibilities of citizens. They examine current issues facing Michigan residents and practice making and expressing informed decisions as citizens. Throughout the year, students locate, analyze, and present data pertaining to the state of Michigan.