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As the children in the third grade enter their ninth year, they start to see the world differently. A nine-year old can feel herself growing up, separating from her parents, and becoming part of the outer world. The child becomes more independent, and begins to question all that was previously taken for granted. This can be a time of loneliness and insecurity as well as a time of new self- confidence. The third grade curriculum is designed to meets the child’s new interests and concerns at this age.
Math – The child begins to develop a basic awareness of practical applications of mathematics. Measurement of all types is covered: length, weight volume, money, and time. All of these measurement systems are put to use in practical activities. In the study of time, money, and measurement, the historical background of the methods, tools, and practices is taught imaginatively before modern methods are explained.
Language Arts – Paragraph writing, dictation and letter writing are key elements introduced this year. Spelling, capitalization, punctuation and the introduction of the parts of speech are included in our Grammar work.
The Social Studies and Science curriculum provides the student with the opportunity to learn about three essential, practical requirements for all of humankind—how we work with nature to provide ourselves with food, clothing, and shelter. This need for the child of this age to experience providing for the basic necessities of life is met in the curriculum through the hands-on study of farming, gardening, food preparation, house-building, and making clothes.
Music is an important focus in the curriculum. The third-grade child is ready to experience the complexity and structure of the full diatonic scale. After two years playing the pentatonic flute, the third grade child learns how to play a soprano recorder.
Art – Painting, drawing and modeling beeswax are weekly activities that sharpen the child’s powers of observation and expression. Artistic work is integral to every academic block and pervades the curriculum.
Foreign Language – Spanish language instruction continues twice a week with emphasis on pronunciation, dialogues, actions, and recounting what they have seen and heard are the main components of the lesson. The students are immersed in a program of song, drama, artistic work, and grammar led by a native speaker.
Handwork – The child graduates from knitting to crochet, completing three or four useful articles for her/himself.
Movement – Basic motor skills (body geography, balance and dynamic jump) continue to be reinforced through circle games and warm ups. Motor planning becomes an important part of the process of performing a desired activity. Children become aware of rules in games this year.