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3rd Grade

The mission of Bettie Weaver Elementary School is to establish and uphold high academic standards in a safe learning environment where all students reach their potential, become life-long learners, and become productive, caring citizens. The mission will be achieved through a partnership composed of staff, students, parents, and members of the school community working together to provide a challenging educational program while promoting respect, integrity, responsibility, and a positive attitude.

In third grade, children start putting the learning pieces together to take on more complicated assignments.  They begin to do some work independently rather than with the explicit directions given in earlier grade levels.


Language & Literacy

Third graders learn what it takes to be a good reader.  They shift from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’.  They’ll often discuss books in small groups and ask questions about what they’re reading.  They’ll summarize the books they read.  Their teacher will introduce many literary genres and a variety of print forms, such as newspapers, magazines, and Web sites.


Third graders learn organizational methods that help them prepare for more complex writing assignments. They’ll create maps, webs, and Venn diagrams to plan their work. They’ll write reports, creative fiction, and personal narratives. They’ll also be asked to take more responsibility for the writing process, including revising, editing, and proofreading.



Math becomes much more challenging in third grade.  Students work with larger whole numbers (numbers like 356,456), fractions, and patterns.  They’ll solve and explain addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.  They will solve problems that require more than one step. Students are asked to do more math work on paper and in their heads, instead of with physical materials.



Students explore more complex natural systems, such as relationships between the sun, Earth, and moon, weather concepts, and living systems like the food chain.  They’ll investigate different states of matter such as solids, liquids, and gases.  They’ll be asked to make smart guesses about their observations.


Social Studies

Third grade social studies lessons begin to expand children’s view of the world.  Students learn about the natural environment and how groups of people have adapted to or modified the environment.  They’ll learn about landmasses and bodies of water on a globe or map.


Group Work

Teachers plan small and large group activities on longer and more complex projects.  Group work is also a good way for teachers to match students with different strengths and weaknesses.  A struggling reader might learn a new reading strategy from a more literate peer, but may also take pride in being the "master" artist that the group relies on. 


Confident Learners

Third graders are generally courageous, confident, and open to new experiences.  They like to understand the reasons things happen.  Although most third graders begin to prefer some subjects over others, they enjoy mastering new skills across the curriculum.  At home, many third graders start to strive for more independence from their parents, which can make homework a challenge.


Your third grader's command of language is growing, and she enjoys using her linguistic ability for all the reasons adults do: to converse, debate, explain, argue, protest and create.  Their organization, logic and problem solving skills also improve this year.  They’re frequently able to make connections about the world in deeper and more abstract ways. 



In third grade, friendships become extremely important, as children long to be part of a group.  Because they are better at making friends than at keeping them, conflicts can often arise between students.   Teachers may work on conflict resolution strategies with the class.  Socially, third graders can better understand the consequences of their behavior.


Worries & Anxieties

Third graders are doers, but they have a tendency to undertake more than they can handle.  They may get anxious if they feel like they are struggling.  The increased competitive attitude in the third-grade class can magnify reading struggles and other learning difficulties, and the pressures of standardized testing can sometimes distress a child who is already unsure of her abilities. Parents should pay attention to changes in their child’s attitude about school and learn to make sure their child isn’t internalizing any anxieties.  They should be ready to provide support at home when needed.


It’s important for parents to find out what a child is expected to learn and most importantly how he learns, so they don’t push him beyond what he is able to do.  Sometimes, parents may feel that a child’s progress isn’t ‘good enough’.  We want our children to thrive in the ways they are developmentally capable, so they feel like successes instead of failures.

PBL - (2015 - 2016)

Have you heard? In their PBL unit, the 3rd graders are learning about water conservation and that many Sub-Saharan countries do not have enough clean water. Students learned that children and women in Africa must walk many miles each day to find water, often which is dirty and contaminated. Students are going to “Walk for Water” around the track carrying jugs of water to raise money for a well in Africa. They will also be presenting a program to PTA on March 1st.

UPDATE ON PBL: The third graders were able to raise money through their PBL project to help children in Western Kenya. Click here to read more about their project.