Third grade marks the culmination of the lower school experience at Chatham Day School, and as the oldest members, they lead us at Morning Meeting and play an important role in many all-school traditions, and act as ambassadors for student visitors and community events.
In language arts, students continue to refine their reading and comprehension skills as they embark on more complex novel studies and independent reading selections from a variety of genres. The Units of Study for Teaching Reading program supports students in grasping main ideas, understanding various text structures, exploring characters, and conducting research. Similarly, Writer’s Workshop guides students to explore other forms of writing such as personal narratives, expository pieces, persuasive essays, and creative works such as fairy tales, mysteries, and poetry. Grammar focuses on the various parts of speech which are then incorporated with detail into the writing process. Students proofread, edit, and revise their written work prior to publication. The acquisition of vocabulary and mastery of spelling are both explicitly taught and integrated into multiple facets of this class and other disciplines as well.
Mathematics instruction centers around developing fluency with multiplication and division, with an emphasis on applying these skills in problem solving situations. A solid grasp of place value from the millions through the hundredths place allows students to grapple with a variety of real-world situations including those involving fractions and decimals. In addition to mental math and skill acquisition, open-ended investigations provide students the opportunity to ask questions and seek answers as they search for patterns, explore multiple ways to approach a problem, and apply higher order thinking skills in creative ways.
Science and social studies are integrated as students study the various regions of the United States. By exploring geography, extreme weather, ecology, and environmental studies, students work on cross-curricular activities that deepen their understanding and appreciation of the diverse country in which they live. Regions of the country and the ecosystems of northeastern North America are a primary focus. Students choose and research their own endangered species and present their projects at the Third Grade Safari Tour. Design thinking and engineering once again take center stage as students design their own water filters. Students are introduced to programming and coding using our Dot and Dash robots.