In third grade, the nine-year-old child begins to experience a separation of the inner and outer worlds. Children at this age begin to ask philosophical questions as they experience a more investigative relationship to their environment. The children now also wish to experience their environment in a more practical way.
Each day begins with the in-depth main lesson. Read how main lesson promotes learning.
This new inner searching is satisfied through cultural interpretations of the Creation Story and stories from the Old Testament. Tracing the trials and tribulations of ancient stories and peoples parallels the developmentally restless feelings of separation and individuation common for this age.
Children learn to be more expressive in their writing. They learn the parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation and they are expected to write their own compositions while still and developing skills in listening, spelling, and grammar. Cursive script is often introduced in third grade.
As with their writing, the children now learn to read with expression. They learn strategies for decoding multi-syllable words and continue to develop their speech through the recitation of poetry and tongue twisters.
Studies of native cultures provide a trove of practical information about life in accordance with nature. The children are fully immersed in practical activities such as farming, fiber arts and building. These activities leave an indelible imprint: children acquire an understanding and appreciation for the essential natural science that supports life’s necessities.
There is a practical aspect to the mathematics curriculum as well. In tandem with a building project, the children are introduced to linear measurement in both a historical as well as a practical perspective. Some aspects of measurement introduced may include the telling of time, and the use of money. The children learn how sundials progressed historically to the creation of our modern day clocks. The children apply their multiplication and division skills to simple conversions in use of money.
Throughout these units of study, the children continue to review and expand their skills with the four operations. They will learn long division and multi-digit multiplication and become flexible within the multiplication tables. They become confident in applying mathematical processes to word problems.
Following main lesson, children engage in 40 minute specialty subject classes, interspersed by short breaks and lunch.
Third graders begin to move together with their class teacher to attend specialty subject classes in different classrooms located throughout the building.
A special feature of the third grade year is the farm trip. The class will typically spend a week on a working farm learning to do many of the activities that are essential to the farm’s operation. The farm trip is an extensively integrated experience within the third grade curriculum as children experience greater individuation, independence. On this trip, children learn self-confidence and return with a new sense of pride and accomplishment in their ability to do many challenging things related to self- and other- care. The farm trip is an exciting adventure for the students and families alike and many parents have been heard to say that their child had visibly grown, in more than one way.
Another exciting new venture for third graders is their introduction to stringed instruments. Each child will take up either the violin, viola, cello or bass, begin taking a group instrument class in school, private lessons after school and practicing every day at home. Players progress in skill over time, perform at assemblies and special events and eventually become skilled enough to join the impressive Claver Castle Orchestra.