Writing - Third graders work through all three Units of Study in Writer’s Workshop - personal narrative, informational writing, and persuasive essays. They also practice regular on-demand writing, spelling rules, and cursive. Reading - In third grade, students work on reading with fluency and expression, reading comprehension, and making inferences beyond the text. They also learn literature discussion skills.
Third graders practice more complex verbal responses and learn expanded vocabulary through reading and storytelling. Texts are longer, and the instructor leads them through a guided reading of the book iCuéntame! along with pieces from Descubres. Students also continue to practice simple writing in the target language.
In third grade, students begin charting physical activity, and major muscle identification. They practice leaping, jumping, and landing through dance and a variety of target, net and wall, striking and fielding and invasion games.
The Lower School library curriculum encourages students to be information literate, to become independent learners, and to engage in social responsibility. They read; are read to; make connections between the class curriculum and library resources; share their stories; learn to be inclusive and open minded through an array of literature; and find joy in reading. Third graders continue author studies, learn about database research, Common Sense Media, online citizenship, and read biographies and mystery magazines.
Students at this stage continue to develop a foundation in the key areas of Mandarin language learning. This stage has a strong focus on speaking and listening, introducing the student to conversing with their teacher and classmates in a gentle, interactive manner. This includes topics of common courtesy expressions, introductory conversation, simple expressions of feelings and emotions, commonly used verbs and descriptive phrases, and responding to simple questions. Students also explored the cultural topics and gained an understanding of the pictographic evolution of Chinese characters.
Design and innovation connects to all grade levels at Redwood Day as core teachers connect with the Director of Innovation and Design to utilize the lab for the extension of curriculum covered in their classrooms. Students might ideate, design, and build as a way of extending their understanding of electricity and simple circuits. Students might also engage in a building experience as a way to explore the creation of three-dimensional shapes using basic two-dimensional shapes from their math studies. The general flow will be from Tinkering to Making, with an emphasis on the design process as students move into the upper grades.
Third graders learn about and explore oral histories, and specifically focus on the stories and lessons of the elderly in our broader community as part of their service learning focus. Students visit the Altenheim Senior Housing, just down the street from Redwood Day, to meet with, interview, and exchange stories with various residents.
In third grade, students work on addition and subtraction up to 10,000, multiplication and division facts and algorithms, two-step word problems using all four operations, comparing fractions, studying shapes and angles through comparisons and classifications.
Lower School art is where students explore and express their creativity through a variety of mediums. The art teacher collaborates closely with core teachers to create interdisciplinary projects that complement what students are studying in the classroom. The program is fluid and philosophically rooted in the idea that art inspires us to cherish the past, enjoy the present, and create the future.Third graders learn the watercolor technique, wet-on-wet, and create beautiful swirly leaves in warm-and-cool themed painting. They study folk art and learn about Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement, and explore the world of dragons.
Third grade music emphasizes creating, performing, and expression. Each lesson explores rhythm, melody, harmony, and form. Students read, write, and perform simple rhythmic patterns such as ostinati, and begin to identify pitches through solfege and Curwen hand signs. Third graders study rhythm, beat, and rhythmic values through stick notation which is used to compose rhythm combinations; they perform rhythmic patterns while maintaining a steady beat in 4/4 meter.
Units of study include water and climate, structures of life, simple machines, and magnets. Third grade scientists study and explore water wheel engineering, crayfish and human structure and functions, six simple machines, and simple machine engineering through the course of the year.
In third grade, students are introduced to laptops (in the classroom), trackpad navigation, and saving to a remote location. The emphasis is on moving from direct step-by-step instruction to independent learning using different resources, including: written instructions, video demonstrations, and collaboration. Students begin using GoogleDrive, both Documents and Slides, learning early “cloud” skills and basic formatting.
Gardening at Redwood Day is more than starting a seed, planting a flower, or watering some plants. In split classes, third graders learn to respect the creatures living in the garden and help keep our plants and habitat healthy. They learn to apply their math skills and use workshop tools to build planters, raised beds, and birdhouses. They actively participate and engage in the cycle of planting, nurturing, and harvesting varieties of plants (including edibles) and learn simple recipes to taste test the results.