Third grade is a year of tremendous growth, learning, and transition. Students begin each school day with a personal devotion time and worship jointly in a weekly chapel service. Students have daily Bible classes in which the main goal is to develop a Biblical worldview. Major themes that are covered throughout the year are: God tells His great story in the Bible, His Word is truth, and Bible study, prayer, and worship are disciplines for spiritual growth. Students memorize scripture each week that support the lesson.
Third grade reading places a heavy emphasis on independent reading, but includes reading skills, mini-lessons, and guided reading. Students respond to literature through the use of journals, daily assignments, and book projects. Novels, mini-lessons, journal assignments, and other activities are used to differentiate instruction to meet individual student learning needs. Students participate in the Accelerated Reader program organized through the library. Students are evaluated through the STAR reading assessment multiple times during the school year to chart growth. The study of Greek and Latin roots develops vocabulary.
In Math, critical thinking and reasoning skills are included in each lesson. Students are given a variety of tools to solve problems and learn how to explain their answer culminating in real-world application of math objectives. A major accomplishment for every third grader is the memorization of their multiplication facts.
The language arts curriculum is designed to foster an appreciation of language as a gift from God. It encourages clear and effective speaking and writing skills through the use of the writing process and the 6+1 writing traits (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions). At the beginning of third grade, major writing projects focus on developing a strong paragraph and move toward writing a complete five paragraph essay in the second semester. In class, poetry and children’s books are often used to nurture a love of language and to provide challenging skills to model. The language arts curriculum is a blend of using the writing process and the study of language mechanics. Students work on different styles of writing throughout the year. Latin and Greek roots are the focus of spelling instruction. The art of cursive penmanship develops through the use of Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.
Third grade students learn about the history of the United States through character studies of great Americans and how their faith helped shape our country. Science provides students with instruction that encourages the admiration and discovery of God’s wonderful creation. Students participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities that support the curriculum and problem-based learning experiences.
To help students make real-world connections, there are several different field trips that we take each year. Students travel to the Alcoa Water Treatment Plant, Metcalf Bottoms in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Lost Sea, and Sweetwater Valley Farms.