Third grade students are encouraged to learn to the best of their abilities while being taught to the National Common Core standards and the standards of the Archdiocese of Seattle. This is a transition year in which students are guided toward more independence, and where they take ownership of their learning. In all disciplines, students will be competent and independent readers, listeners and viewers, fluent and effective writers, speakers and illustrators.
St. Joseph School follows the Common Core State Standards in math. Teachers have created focus standards for grades kindergarten through fourth grade that are essential for building a strong math foundation for middle school and beyond.
The essential standards in third grade include:
In third grade, we build on the foundational reading and language skills established in K-2 and focus on the following areas: advanced phonics and word recognition, increased reading fluency and comprehension skills, and conventions of standard English and vocabulary acquisition use.
In grades K-4, we have adopted the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Program. This program is closely aligned with the Common Core State Standards and provides students with daily opportunities to engage in interactive read-alouds and literature discussions, shared and performance reading, differentiated guided reading groups as well as sustained silent reading and writing about reading. The Fountas and Pinnell rich collection of fiction and nonfiction books reinforces key vocabulary, has diverse content and serves as an essential tool to build our students' language comprehension.
As we develop skills to comprehend literature and informational text, we engage in three ways of thinking about a text while reading. Thinking within the text involves efficiently and effectively understanding what's on the page, the author's literal message. Thinking beyond the text requires making inferences and putting text ideas together in different ways to construct the text's meaning. In thinking about the text, readers analyze and critique the author's craft.
Our classroom teachers work in close collaboration with our Learning Resource specialist and Advanced Learning specialist to ensure that all students receive the support they need to become skilled readers.
At St. Joseph School, our goal is to develop life-long readers who can decode with accuracy and read at an appropriate rate with suitable prosody that leads to accurate and deep comprehension and motivation to read!
St. Joseph School follows the religion standards of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The standards are tied to the 6 tasks of Catechesis: 1) Knowledge of the Faith, 2) Liturgical Education, 3) Morality/Life in Christ, 4) Prayer, and 5) Life, Community and History of the Church, 6) the Church’s Missionary Life and Service.
Core religion concepts taught in third grade include; The Catholic Church - Essential questions include: Why do we worship? What does the Trinity teach us? What is the body of Christ? Who leads the Church? Why do we have hope? Why do we celebrate? What did God promise? Service is a big part of each grade-level at St. Joseph School. As a Jesuit parish school we teach our students about St. Ignatius and the Jesuits. We begin in kindergarten teaching what it means to be Open to Growth, Loving, Religious, Committed to Doing Justice, and Intellectually Competent.
St. Joseph School has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards and uses curriculum from Carolina Science. Through hands-on experimentation students explore topics such as the solar system, measurement, water, sound & life cycles (with an emphasis on the North Pacific Salmon).
The new K-4 STEM program educates and introduces students to science, technology, engineering and math with a hands-on approach and emphasizes problem based learning with peers. Students are introduced to the key elements of science by making observations, predictions and creating a hypothesis. Additionally, students learn the basics of coding using Lego WeDos, KIBO and code.org.
The instructor works with homeroom teachers to integrate the STEM projects to homeroom learning in science, math and social studies. For example, when exploring 3-D shapes in math, students construct 3D shapes in STEM using toothpicks, gumdrops, marshmallows, etc.
To build strong communication skills, third graders practice speaking and writing for authentic purposes. Writing instruction aims to build greater independence using strategies from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Students build fluency and proficiency with daily opportunities to write for real audiences on topics that are meaningful to them. They explore the writing process in a community of writers that support and encourage their expanding ideas. Young authors study mentor texts and try craft moves shown by published authors. Children learn strategies and conventions in mini-lessons. Feedback and encouragement are provided in groups and in one-on-one conferences. Students use writing skills to record ideas about experiences and gather information as they answer questions. Students will be writing different genres: opinion pieces, informative texts, narratives and poetry.
Writers experience the writing process by rehearsing ideas orally and planning their writing. Students are encouraged to strengthen writing by revising and editing. Published writing is shared with classmates and community members in celebrations.