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3rd Grade Team Page

Student created Science Adventure maze game at the third grade Bizarre Bazaar
Students create, market and sell games and gifts at the 3rd grader's Bizarre Bazaar.


English Language Arts

The English Language Arts program at Marion Cross School seeks to create a community of learners immersed in reading, writing, speaking and listening throughout the curriculum. Through engagement with a variety of developmentally appropriate literature, students develop fluency, exercise analytical skills, build vocabulary, practice comprehension strategies, and make meaning. Across grade levels, ongoing writing instruction and practice provides opportunities for students to develop confidence and skills as they generate ideas, draft, revise, and edit original works in a wide range of genres. Discussion-based classrooms, project based learning, and presentation opportunities, within and beyond the classroom, encourage students to develop and hone communication skills, promoting active participation in the school community and larger society.

Third Graders read the very best of children's fiction from a variety of genres and non-fiction associated with our units of study. They read to develop fluency and build vocabulary and comprehension skills. They listen to and learn poetry by heart, and in doing so develop an appreciation of the power of imagery and words They write regularly, developing stamina and skills while gaining confidence in their ability to convey their ideas. Discrete skills, such as paragraph structure, topic sentences and conclusions and the use of descriptive language are addressed in either whole class or small group settings. Students are taught the conventions of language in the context of their writing tasks and spelling through the Primary Spelling by Pattern Program. During daily read aloud periods teachers lead student discussion into the author’s craft and use of descriptive language; students examine plot and character, notice the change over time in the characters and make connections to other texts and to their life experiences. In addition to learning poetry, third graders develop speaking skills by retelling Folktales and Native American myths to younger students, as well as in the oral presentations of their work. During these presentations students practice active listening for specific details such as the use of a simile, descriptive language, or specific information in fact-based writing, as well as the developmentally appropriate skills associated with speaking in front of groups.


Numbers and Numeration

  • Recall addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts
  • Read and write ordinal numbers, whole numbers, decimals for money, and simple fractions
  • Use <, >, =, +, -, x, /
  • Identify place value to 10,000
  • Estimate answers
  • Round to nearest 10 and 100
  • Use expanded notation under 1,000
  • Recognize odd and even numbers
  • Recognize value of one or more coins up to $1.00
  • Make change up to five dollars
  • Understand commutative and associative properties with addition

Computation and Estimation

  • Add and subtract up to 3-digit numbers with regrouping
  • Subtract two 3-digit numbers with zeros
  • Multiply a 2-digit number by a 1-digit number with regrouping
  • Estimate, then divide a 2-digit number by a 1-digit number
  • Solve missing addend problems
  • Add money using decimal notation
  • Add and subtract fractions with common denominators


  • Use a calendar
  • Know months, weeks, and days
  • Begin to understand volume
  • Estimate and measure length, perimeter, area, volume, and weight
  • Read, write and tell time to the hour, half-hour, quarter-hour, and minute
  • Use a thermometer (Cº and Fº)
  • Calculate elapsed time


  • Classify angles
  • Identify, name and draw polygons
  • Recognize congruent and similar shapes and symmetry
  • Identify intersecting, parallel, and perpendicular lines
  • Identify characteristics of polyhedra

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Collect, organize, represent, and interpret data from surveys and experiments using lists, tables, and graphs
  • Explore and pre

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Communication

  • Create and use a variety of strategies and approaches to solve problems
  • Make sensible and reasonable estimates

Patterns, Functions and Algebra

  • Identify, describe and extend a pattern
  • Determine a location on a grid using ordered pairs
  • Classify, sort and order objects
  • Distinguish between the intersection and the union of two sets


Process Skills

  • Reinforce all of the K-2 skills plus:
  • Investigate, classify (time, space, patterns, common characteristics), collect and organize (information and materials), recognize patterns, predict, formulate questions


Physical Science: Motion

  • Explore and observe characteristics of sound or motion (gravity, inertia, momentum)

Life Science: Woodland Habitat

  • Understand concepts of habitat and interdependence
  • Observe and understand concepts of diversity and adaptations of woodland species
  • Understand the concept of the forest as a system with ecological cycles
  • Learn about stewardship and how we can care for the forest environment

Earth Science: Soils
  • Learn the differences in soil types and attributes
  • Understand that soils have inorganic and organic layers
  • Understand the need for decomposition in new soil production

Health: Skeleton/Ear and Sound

  • Learn the basic components of the skeletal system
  • Learn the anatomy of the ear
  • Learn that sound travels in waves
  • Learn about adaptation of bones
  • Compare bones of humans and various animal
  • Learn about the function of the skeletal system

Social Studies


  • Pre-history and settlement
  • Maps of the town

U.S. History

  • Westward movement
  • trails west
  • geography
  • the pioneer experience

U.S.Cultural Study

  • Native Americans of North America: A comparative study of indigenous people by geographic region including survival skills and world view


  • Globe and atlas study
  • Geographic place names in the world (lakes, deserts, mountain ranges, rivers)
  • Geography of North America

Social Skills

Civic and Social Responsibility

  • Think before acting
  • Take responsibility for actions


  • Listen to others
  • Observe social cues
  • Express appreciation of others

Personal Development

  • Cope positively when in uncomfortable situations
  • Know and follow class routines
  • Recognize own feelings and those of others


The aim of the art program at the Marion Cross School is to provide children with specific skills and varied media to enable them to express their unique responses, ideas and reactions within a basic artistic framework. Throughout the year we do work in the art program that relates to the third grade curriculum. All students begin the year by contributing a piece to the all-school collaborative art project that celebrates our coming together to become a school community. They then go on to create a variety of works including flower paintings, ceramic pieces, Halloween worms, decorated wood letters, monoprints, Inkle looms weavings, paper mache globes, water colors, self-portraits with mirrors, Native American studies (terra cotta coil vessels, leather pouches, paper mache rain sticks or rattles, sand paintings), ArtStart, and LEEEP art books (forests).


In third grade French, we continue to focus on spoken language but we begin to incorporate more reading. Students read their first “book,” a simple adaptation of a familiar fairy tale. Personalization continues to play a significant role in our class activities as we talk about our families, our hobbies, and our preferences. We increase our knowledge of numbers, creating an interdisciplinary connection with mathematics. Videos and stories provide us with opportunities to hear and use the language and practice vocabulary. We begin to have discussions of simple grammar concepts in context, including singular and plural, and the idea of gender with respect to nouns and adjectives. Students begin to work towards following a “French only” policy in class and we strive to establish a safe environment where students feel comfortable taking risks.


The school counselor, Katie Cormier, visits each Third Grade classroom bi-weekly. We use the Zones Of Regulation Program to increase students’ self-regulation skills and feelings vocabulary. This work builds upon the skills developed in the Second Step lessons in grades K-2. In addition to the Zones, our amazing local resource, WISE, comes to conduct We Care Elementary lessons, which focus on different topics related to healthy relationships. Mr. Minelli, MCS’s technology teacher, also comes in to co-teach for two lessons with Katie on internet safety based on common sense media’s digital citizenship program. There are also supplemental lessons focused on mindfulness, kindness, diversity, and being an upstander (anti-bullying). Role plays, stories, video clips and movement are all used to help practice these skills.

Information Technology

Best practices in education indicate that technology is best incorporated into a student’s education as an embedded “tool” used to support learning in the major curricular fields. This means that tech isn’t something just to “do” for students; rather it is used where appropriate to help students succeed in their other subject areas.

Toward those goals, 3rd grade students at MCS regularly use the iPads for various learning opportunities. This includes several different apps that help with help with things such as math skills, understanding the continents and geography, and exploring parts of the human body. MCS uses the assessment software, Track My Progress, and 3rd grade students are testing 4 times per year in Math and ELA using a computer adaptive test that can help teachers and parents understand the student’s strengths in various areas of these subjects. 3rd grade students also are using Symphony Math to help improve their math concepts and understanding and are given subscriptions to iXL mathematics to improve their math skills. Along with Katie Cormier, our school counselor, we also use a select group of lessons with 3rd grade students about the topic of safe computer use. These include such areas as computer safety, privacy, and the prevention of Cyberbullying. The lessons come from the highly regarded I.S. site, Common Sense Media.

Library Skills

The main objectives of the library program in 3rd Grade are to:

  • compare and contrast versions of the Russian folktale - Baba Yaga - in conjunction with the classroom study of folktales
  • learn how to use and efficiently search the online catalog, use call numbers and spine labels to find books in the library, both fiction and nonfiction
  • learn what ‘the conventions of nonfiction’ are - index, fact box, graphs, maps, glossary,etc. -and how they can be useful in finding information in nonfiction books
  • appreciate literature by listening to and discussing stories related to classroom topics, holidays, seasonal, folktales, humorous and other quality literature


The Marion Cross community sings. We sing silly songs and mundane songs, great classics and new “pop” songs with surprisingly profound meanings, songs written by the students and songs in other languages from across the world, and just about everything in between.

MCS students learn all about music in other ways, too. They listen to it, talk about it, write about it, move to it, and dance to it. They learn it “by ear,” they read it on the staff, and they write a fair bit of it on their own, too. They learn to play instruments in the school’s chamber orchestra, band, and electives.

Music in Third Grade

Third grade is an exciting year for the budding musician! Third graders put the skills they have learned since kindergarten to use learning to read music. We start very slowly, but by the end of the year they are able to read simple songs on the staff with great accuracy. In music classes all year long they learn Trail Songs that they will sing on their Oregon Trail journey in June.


Third graders participate in the Grade 3-4 chorus, putting on a concert in April with me and our wonderful accompanist, Victoria Dobrushina. In chorus they learn to be a contributing member of a large ensemble and to sing more sophisticated music with expression.


Third graders get to compose Art Song. They each choose a poem, decide which notes to use, and then work with a professional mezzo-soprano to refine their song until it’s ready for an audience.

Recorder Program

Third graders also learn to play the recorder. By the end of the year, they are able to play songs that use five notes (but many are able to do far, far more!).


The main objective of the physical education program for grade three is to encourage all children to enjoy and participate in physical activities. Third graders begin more work on game related skills and rules of basketball, soccer, kickball, volleyball, tennis, baseball/softball, badminton, frisbee, lacrosse and track and field activities. They continue to work on social skills and on knowing and following safety rules. Wellness and fitness information and activities promote and teach healthy lifestyles. Snowshoeing and orienteering are introduced in conjunction with classroom work involving the LEEEP program. Games using locomotor and non-locomotor skills and manipulatives also make up a good part of the third grade curriculum.