Class work and homework become more rigorous in third grade. Students begin each day at 8:15am and finish at 2:55pm, with the time between scheduled to influence learning in the most positive way for each child. Students move between the two classrooms, as the homeroom teachers specialize in math/science or language arts/social studies for a departmentalized approach supplemented by special area classes. Although the units of study align with national standards in the respective areas, the hands-on program promotes growth through a variety of challenging, interesting, and fun activities that are integrated across the curriculum. The emphasis is as follows:
Third grade offers a combination of reading strategies for nonfiction texts, trade books, readers' theater, and other reading comprehension activities. The students focus on different genres such as biographies, realistic and historical fiction, fantasy, fables, and others. Literature circles allow small groups of students reading the same book to discuss the book and make connections. Writing strategies continue to be refined as well. Developing and enhancing the consistent use of correct grammar and mechanics is a priority. Students are given many opportunities to write personal and imaginative narrative, poetry, and reports. The writing process is practiced throughout the curriculum through a process of modeling and mapping followed by individual and partner writing and editing. Final published pieces are often illustrated and become part of the student portfolio for the year. Spelling instruction is both direct from high frequency lists and indirect with personal words for each individual from work being done in different areas. Attention is given to oral presentation skills within classroom projects and during chapel programs. A favorite unit is the poetry study, which involves collecting works of famous poets, writing poems in a variety of styles, and staging oral readings for the parents.
Third graders focus on problem solving and mental math skills without losing sight of the basic math concepts needed in today's world. Instructional strategies vary depending on the needs of each student. Many third grade topics are investigated with tools such as calculators, geoboards, an interactive whiteboard, and base 10 blocks. Students are shown how to solve algebraic linear equations using the Hands-On-Equations program.
Third grade science encourages higher-level questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving. The objective is to create an inquisitive, questioning desire to learn more about the natural world through earth science, physical science, and life science. Units include classifying animals; the digestive, excretory, and nervous systems; ecology; astronomy; sound; and light optics. Students learn the scientific process through investigations. They also utilize the Outdoor Classroom to collect data and make observations in an environment they have created. Good health practices are continually stressed, and students enjoy finding scientific information on kid-friendly, safe sites through the media center.
The third grade social studies curriculum explores world geography, history, economics, and current events. Their study begins with a look back at the contributions of the ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian civilizations. With this foundation in place, third grade focuses on North American past and present tribal communities. Moving forward in history, students explore the Westward Expansion and the hardships faced by the pioneers who traveled on the Oregon Trail. Along this North American journey, students will embrace the true meanings of legends and tall tales. The civics unit includes the establishment of the United States Constitution, as well as the levels and branches of government. Beginning in the third grade students have the opportunity to experience stock market trading through a school-wide economics project. Finally, students reflect on their roles as Floridians and ways people work together to help solve community and state issues.
The Anne MacGregor Jenkins Lower School believes learning experiences outside of the traditional academic areas are equally important. To this end, all students from preschool through grade 5 are scheduled for various special area classes including Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, physical education, general music, choir, strings, art, computer, and media.
Polk County's beyond-today, beyond-classroom, beyond-expected independent learning community for students in Preschool 2 through 12th grade.
5001 State Road 540 West Winter Haven, FL 33880 863.293.5980