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Third Grade

Mrs. Eshelbrenner and Ms. Simpson teach third grade. Each classroom teacher leads the instruction in academic subjects in her classroom. Reading and math specialists may also work with individuals or small groups of students when needed.

The third grade reading program uses a combination of phonetic-based instruction and a sight word program. Reading is taught in a whole-group, small group or one-to-one setting. Phonics is taught through the Lindamood-Bell program and the SPIRE program. The SRA basic reading series, Scott-Foresman My Sidewalks on Reading Street, and novel studies are used in reading instruction. Third grade is the year when the students begin to make the transition from learning to read into reading to learn. All students receive reading fluency training with a reading specialist.

Third graders apply the writing process to many assignments throughout the year using the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) writing program. They are responsible for completing a biography project as well as shorter writing assignments. Some of these assignments include letter writing, postcards, book reports, poetry, short stories, descriptive paragraphs, narrative writing, informational writing, and other creative writing projects. Students will enjoy daily journal writing. They learn the importance of different types of writing. Writing skills are developed across the curriculum.

The third graders develop their vocabulary skills using the Word a Day program by Evan Moor. The Sitton Spelling Program is used for spelling instruction. This program ensures a student’s discovery of spelling skills and concepts through word collection and analysis. It also develops a student’s spelling mastery of high frequency writing words with the help of formative assessment.

Third graders will be introduced to cursive writing through the Handwriting Without Tears program.

The students divide into smaller groups for math instruction. Our math curriculum scaffolds to meet the needs of individual students with hands-on learning and visual models that support and optimize the learning experience. The visual models, including bar models, help students develop the ability to visualize mathematical situations, which is key to becoming a successful problem solver. The emphasis on the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach allows students to gain a deeper conceptual understanding through manipulatives, diagrams and models, and then, abstract symbols. The PHPS math curriculum is supplemented with Greg Tang’s new interactive website that aligns with the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, and the IXL online math program that enhances skills practice.

The third graders will learn about communities past, present, and future. They will complete a unit of study on the community of Dallas and its history and will also participate in a biography research project.

Students will be exploring life science through the study of nutrition and health.  During their earth science unit, they will study weather and its effect on the earth.  The physical science unit focuses on simple machines. The science curriculum is enriched with the use of Scholastic News, hands-on presentations from High Touch and High Tech and several exciting field trips.

The third graders participate in at least one community service project each year. The projects change from year to year depending on identified needs in the community.

Third grade students receive additional instruction in the following areas:

P. E.-3 days a week
Tech Lab-2 days a week
Art -1 day a week for an hour