Students analyze fundamentals in art with more intensity. Science and math concepts are also stressed through art class. Continuing to enhance knowledge of technical skills with a variety of materials is a main focus. Some key aspects of the curriculum involve analyzing special properties in art, layering through design, using materials properly, and connecting life experiences through art history.
Students work on problem solving, communication, friendship skills, assertiveness skills, and character development.
Providing students with the necessary skills needed to communicate, understand, and interpret the written and spoken word is a critical part of the language arts program in third grade. The curriculum focuses on the development of strong comprehension strategies needed for success in all content areas, analysis and interpretation of a wide variety of literary forms, and application of decoding skills and word identification strategies. Developing vocabulary, building fluency and accuracy for effective oral reading, and fostering a love and appreciation of reading for knowledge, understanding, analysis, and enjoyment are also emphasized. Explicit instruction in writing and spelling skills using Standard English, grammar, usage, and mechanics is taught and assessed. Students are expected to understand and use the steps of the writing process to create their own writing pieces. Children write personal narratives, persuasive paragraphs, informative, explanatory, and opinion pieces, poems, plays, stories, reports, articles, and journal entries. Numerous opportunities are provided for students to develop their speaking and listening skills through class discussions, debates, collaborative projects, book reports, and presentations. Third graders also learn cursive writing with correct spacing and slant.
Students are regularly given opportunities to extend, evaluate, and apply problem-solving knowledge to real world tasks within a multi-faceted learning environment. A wide array of brain-based learning strategies build the foundation necessary for high level math operations, including six-digit place value, comparing, rounding, and ordering numbers, and increasingly complex patterning and data analysis. Music, rhythm, and technology combine to reinforce automatic recall of subtraction and division facts. Students also delve deeper into fractions, decimals, and multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division procedures.
This is considered a transition year. Students are introduced to anatomy and take four anatomy tests over the course of the year, which include the skeleton, muscles, heart, and nutrition. Students learn team games and skills for each of the sports and conclude that particular unit by playing the game. The nationally recognized Presidential Physical Fitness test is administered twice a year so that students can see the development of their physical abilities. Students participate in DA Runners every Wednesday during the spring semester to prepare in running their final mile at the ING Kids Rock Marathon in April.
Science instruction is hands-on, utilizing discovery learning methods that build students’ critical-thinking skills. In addition, students perform regular investigations and experiments to enhance areas of study that include biology (plants and animals), earth science (weather and space), and physical science (matter, energy, and machines). These areas also integrate biblical concepts of God’s creation and include weekly science lab investigations which reinforce what is being taught in the classroom. Within the science lab, students have unique opportunities to explore a wide variety of activities, such as owl pellet dissection and aerodynamics. The earth science unit culminates with a trip to the Huntsville Space Center.
Students’ vocabularies increase, as well as writing, speaking, and reading skills in the target language. Age-appropriate praise songs, prayers, and Bible verses are taught throughout the academic year.
Students begin keyboarding lessons using Type to Learn. They learn the home row keys and begin practicing other letters and special characters on the keyboard with an emphasis on technique. Students continue word processing skill development and work on multimedia projects that include text, graphics, sounds, and animation. They learn the basics of spreadsheets including using basic formulas and creating charts (graphs) from their data. Students safely access information on the internet and use that information for projects.