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Third grade students participate in guided reading and novel studies. The focus of third grade reading places emphasis on skills including reading comprehension, main idea, summarizing, inferencing, and compare and contrast. Students also learn to interpret textual connections such as text to text, text to self, and text to world. Students will learn to reflect on what they read, identify with characters, explore plot, and identify themes. Utilizing a daily writing journal, students will broaden their exposure to different types of writing styles. Students gain experience spelling, editing, using correct grammar, and expanding vocabulary. Students in third grade also gain experience with public speaking through research reports, presentations, and school assemblies and performances. Third graders develop valuable listening skills that allow for engaging in group discussions with teachers and peers.


Students in third grade explore mathematical concepts such as data, statistics, and algebraic thinking. Students learn to utilize the commutative and associative properties of mathematics and

identify patterns and growth in time, money, temperature, and measurement. Third grade students broaden their understanding of fractions and fractional operations. Principles of geometry and expanding the use of measurement to include shapes and figures are also reviewed. Students will learn to identify lines, line segments, rays, and angles. Students also expand their number sense to include the use of decimals.


Third grade science units include the Solar System, the human body, and the Earth’s natural resources. The third grade participates in The Human Body Fair; conducting research on the circulatory and respiratory systems. Life Sciences including plants and animals are learned. Third grade also explores the concepts of heat, electricity, and magnetism.


The third grade social studies units include exploration, states, and capitals, Tennessee history, and Christmas around the world. Third grade also conducts research on past presidents, the Mayflower, and the voyage to America. Types of penguins are researched during the Arctic and Antarctica study. Third grade students additionally take part in the Passport Program, a study of the diverse culture and history of a selected country.


Spanish in Lower School is done as a hands-on approach. It is lively and fun, and follows closely with the curriculum of the program and what the homeroom teacher is teaching at a particular time. Later on, students will continue to develop vocabulary and pronunciation skills and an understanding of the target cultures through hands-on and culturally stimulating ways.


Students begin keyboarding lessons in Lower School, and basic computer vocabulary and functions are emphasized. Projects in class are used to extend classroom lessons, whether it is building a presentation, writing a paper, creating a poster, etc. for a currently studied unit. Students are given assignments that continue to enhance and develop their technical skills and understanding by producing increasingly more sophisticated documents and presentations. Lower School students learn more abstract ideas and terms while being introduced to more challenging software and the structure of networks. Netsmartz and Digital Compass age appropriate areas are used to teach and engage students in conversation regarding a variety of topics in digital safety and citizenship.


​Third grade students will build on their knowledge of the elements of art: lines, shapes, colors, space, value, form, and texture. Students begin to learn a vocabulary of art terminology. They will discover intermediate colors and how to use them in creating art. Students begin to discover positive and negative space and types of balance.


The Sullins model for music education is built upon each student progressing in their knowledge per annum. Beginning in Kindergarten, students at Sullins are introduced to music through beat (steady beat), voice (whisper, talk, shout), rhythm (discovering the difference between beat and rhythm), pitch, patterns, introduction to instruments, dynamics, duration, and listening.


As their year at Sullins progresses, students will learn to sing in tune and on pitch with more consistency, learn to demonstrate a steady beat with more consistency, identify and read rhythmic notation, coordinate movement with music in the form of dances, more complex circle games, and creative movement.


Students will sing in tune and on pitch with more consistency, will demonstrate a steady beat with more consistency at different tempo, and will learn to sing and play simple two-part songs. Students will also be introduced to the concept of harmony and will learn to identify the following musical symbols: staff, treble clef, bar line, measure, double bar line, repeat sign, quarter note, quarter rest, half note, half rest.


The children will coordinate movement with music in the form of more complex dances, circle games, and creative movement.


Third grade students are familiar with the library and its procedures and are independent in fiction book selection. They receive continued encouragement to use the reference and non-fiction sections throughout the year. In addition to locating materials for reading pleasure, students are motivated to use the library for research and study, using print and online resources.


Lower School curriculum focuses on team sports, cooperation, team-building, and individual skills. Sports include volleyball, soccer, baseball, tennis, football, basketball, and hockey. Students participate in bi-annual fitness testing, single and team jump ropes, and seasonal tag games. As a culmination of Heart Health Awareness month, students participate in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart.


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