Skills and Concepts for 3rd Grade

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Skills to Teach and Concepts to Introduce in 3rd Grade

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  • Reads multi-syllable and grade appropriate, irregularly spelled words.  
  • Reads grade-level text with appropriate pace, accuracy, expression and understanding.
  • Self-corrects mistakes and re-reads when necessary.
  • Use a variety of strategies to decode and comprehend text
  • Use picture clues to comprehend text
  • Apply phonics skills to read/understand words/text.
  • Talks about and answers questions about a text using specific example from the text and connects different parts of a text.
  • Reads a variety of texts including, fiction, non-fiction, fables and poetry and understands and talks about their main ideas and lessons.
  • Begins to understand the difference between literal and non-literal text such as metaphors and analogies.
  • Uses the text and context to determine the meaning of words.
  • Is able to express his/her own point of view about characters or a text.
  • Makes comparisons between books written by the same author and books such as series that are about the same characters.
  • Apply appropriate usage/grammar: sentence structure
  • Apply appropriate capitalization - first word in sentence, names of people
  • Apply appropriate punctuation: end punctuation
  • Apply appropriate spelling: consonant sounds/blends
  • Acquire and apply new vocabulary
  • Writes a variety types of texts including:
    • Opinion Pieces: Students introduce their opinions, state their opinion, provide reasons for their opinion and provide a conclusion.
    • Narrative Pieces: Students write about an event, using descriptive details, feelings and proper order and provide a conclusion.
    •  Informative/Explanatory Pieces: Students introduce a topic and use facts, definitions and if helpful, illustrations to further explain the topic. Students also provide a conclusion.
  • Uses terms such as: because, since, for example, also, another and but to elaborate on and make connections in his writing.
  • Apply knowledge of revision skills - Plans, revises and edits his writing, going through the same process as most writers do.
  • Demonstrate ability to use oral language
  • Show literacy appreciation
  • Demonstrate critical reading: interpretation and evaluation
  • Continued development of handwriting skills: letter formation, spacing
  • Uses digital tools (under the guidance of the teacher) to publish his writing and interact and communicate with others
  • Demonstrate technology skills: simple keyboarding skills, directions.
  • Begins to take notes and do research for short research projects.
  • Spends a variety of time writing a piece, ranging from a short period of time, such as 30 minutes to working on one piece over the course of a few weeks.
Sample Activities
  • Get Serious About Series: Find a series which interests your child and begin to read it together. You can read to your child, your child can read to you, and he can read a chapter independently. You and your child can interview each other as you read chapter-sharing and asking about main ideas, events and ideas you both have about the books and characters.
  • Look It Up: When your child encounters a word she doesn’t know the meaning of, look up the meaning together. You can even begin to keep your own family dictionary, recording words and their definitions. Your child can create illustrations that show definitions of the words, as well. Use the word yourself, or encourage your child to use that word in a sentence sometime during the day.
  • Learn About an Author: As your child develops favorite authors, look online for that author’s website.  Your child can email or write a letter to the author (under your supervision). The author may even be at a book signing or other events in your neighborhood for you and your child to attend. 
  • Write About Your Lives: When your child experiences an enjoyable or important family moment, you and your child can write about it together as a narrative piece. Describe the events that occurred using details and emotion. You can then send the piece to family members or friends to share the event and the writing.
  • Get Technical: Under your supervision, begin to help your child use a computer to research a topic or communicate with friends and family. Your child can also use the computer to write his own pieces or pieces you write together.
  • Learn How to do Something New: Pick something you and your child want to learn about or learn how to do, for example, planting a garden. Research the topic online or in a book together and then create an informative piece, explaining a topic or how to do something. You can then do the project yourselves or teach another family member or friend using the piece you and your child wrote.  
  • Make Your Own Magazine: Read magazines for children, such as Scholastic News, to familiarize your child with the format of magazines. Then work together to create your own magazine about your family, topics of interest, or anything you’d like!
  • Multiplies and divides numbers up to 100 and understands the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • Understands that 3x5=15 and 5x3=15. 
  • Begins to memorize the product of all one digit numbers so that she has memorized them all by the end of 3rd grade.
  • Solves word problems which require two steps and more than one mathematical action. For example: If Scott has 9 cupcakes and 12 candies, how many cupcakes and pieces of candy can he give to 3 people, so that each person has the same amount?
  • Rounds numbers to the nearest tens or hundreds.
  • Adds numbers up to 1,000.
  • Understands and creates fractions and uses number lines to represent and compare different fractions.
  • Solves problems involving time and measurement.
  • Creates and uses graphs to represent data and answer questions.
  • Learns about shapes and specifically quadrilaterals and their features.
  • Learns about and figure out the area of an object using multiplication and addition and specifically by multiplying the lengths of the sides of an object
  • Name, write, model, order, and compare numbers through 9,999; identify the value of the digits.
  • Know and represent multiplication/division facts through 10 x 10.
  • Solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Identify and represent fractions and mixed numbers; locate and compare fractions on a number line.
  • Recognize classes of numbers such as odd/even.
  • Estimate through rounding and regrouping.
  • Describe, create, and extend geometric, addition, and subtraction patterns.
  • Write number sentences; find missing parts.
  • Describe, model, draw, compare, and classify 2-D shapes; identify and describe simple 3-D shapes.
  • Identify and describe angles and lines.
  • Identify and draw lines of symmetry.
  • Plot ordered pairs.
  • Understand attributes of length, area, and weight; find area and perimeter of rectangles.
  • Select appropriate units of measure; carry out simple conversions.
  • Tell time to nearest minute; use a calendar.
  • Gather, organize, represent, and interpret data using tallies, charts, pictographs, and bar graphs.
  • Find combinations for two sets of objects
Sample Activities
  • Create a Multiplication Collage: Your child can look through magazines and newspapers to find multiple pictures (around 20) of one type of thing, for example, animals with 4 legs, cars and trucks or pairs of things. Then help your child practice her multiplication skills by asking her to group the objects to solve a multiplication problem. She can use the collage to solve the problem and explain how she solved it.    
  • Take a Poll: Ask family members a question and create a graph of the answers using numbers and pictures. Ask your child questions about the different “data” you collected and create a graph based on the data. Your child can then “report” the findings to the family like a news reporter.
  • Cook with Fractions: Make foods such as parfaits, sandwiches, or pizzas using fractions. For example, ask your child to help you make a pizza with 1/4 of a topping.  Or when serving food such as pizza or a pie your child can help you slice it into parts and serve it.
  • Time It: Towards the middle and end of the school year, when your child has become more familiar with multiplication, begin to time how long it takes it for her to do multiplication tables by heart for one number at a time. For example, work on 2, then 3, then 4. Record how long it takes as well as her progress, encouraging her to break her previous records. 
  • Observes living and non-living things and makes inferences about the observations.
  • Researches information on a variety of topics using texts and computers.
  • Collects and uses data to support experiments and what he/she learns.
  • Records his/her observations both through writing and talking and uses his/her observations to explain and make conclusions.
  • Understands what living things need (air, water and food) and what they do (grow, move and reproduce).
  • Studies and observes life cycles.
  • Experiments with different types of materials and different matter such as solid, liquids, and gas.
  • Recognize earth as part of the solar system; describe characteristics of the sun and moon; explain the phases of the moon.
  • Understand that the earth revolves around the sun each year and rotates on its axis every 24 hours; connect this to day/night, movement of sun, moon, and stars across the sky, seasonal changes, and eclipses.
  • Describe parts of seeds, flowers, and plants; explain pollination.
  • Recognize that living things go through predictable life cycles; give examples and describe the major stages of their life cycles.
  • Differentiate between observed characteristics of plants and animals and those that are affected by the environment.
  • Classify objects that transmit heat; describe how heat travels through different types of matter; describe how heat can change states of matter.
  • Identify and give examples of basic forms of energy; explain how energy can be transformed from one form to another.
  • Identify materials used to accomplish a task based on a specific property (e.g. fibers—insulation).
  • Identify a problem that reflects the need for shelter, storage, or convenience (e.g. energy sources).
Sample Activities
  • Research Your World: Choose something your child likes for example, animals, plants, cooking, weather, and the body. Your child can come up with a list of questions she has about a topic and then work together to find the answers, experiment and observe that topic.
  • Plant Something: Plant something outside or inside and ask your child to observe what she sees, recording the growth and process. Once the plant has grown, help your child identify the different parts of the plants and talk and learn about what those parts do.
  • Move It!: Go outside or stay inside to experiment with motion. Take a variety of objects, for example, a ball, a balloon, a paper airplane or a toy car and have them move in different ways. Slide them down a ramp, hill or stairs, push or throw them with different amounts of force or blow air on them. As your child does this, talk about the different speeds of the objects, what makes them go faster and slower and why this might be.
  • Picture Science: You and your child can take close-up pictures of objects in science such as animal parts, fur, plants, trees, or different materials (wood, rubber, metal).  Then you and your child can use your observation skills to try to guess what the picture is. Make this a game, taking turns guessing what each other’s picture is.
  • Quiz Show: Find either actual objects or pictures of objects which are both “alive” and “not alive.” Show your child one object at a time and ask him to answer “alive” or “not alive.”  Make this feel fast paced and like a quiz show, showing objects quickly and asking your child to answer as quickly as possible. You can even time how long it takes. After a round of play, look at the different objects and talk about the similarities and differences between the alive and non-live objects. 

Social Studies
  • Learns about global and historical communities.
  • Discuss the basic history, geography, economics and government of your local city.
  • Identify and discuss local artifacts and sites as resources in understanding local and state history.
  • Research the life stories of key people in your local city and state.
  • Learns about the connection between a culture and its environment.
  • Studies and uses maps to gain a deeper understanding of geography and how geography affects a community.
  • Learns about basic financial needs, such as how different communities support and sustain themselves.
  • Learns about how different communities govern themselves and their leaders.
  • Compares both the similarities and differences between different cultures with an emphasis on accepting and understanding why these differences exist.
  • Uses graphic organizers and charts to make comparisons between cultures and communities. 
  • Uses different media such as literature, art, writing, film and museum visits to deepen her understanding of concepts and portray what she has learned.
  • Discusses American holidays and important days and events as they approach.
Sample Activities
  • Keep Up with Current Events: Read local newspapers, magazines and websites with your child. Look at the pictures and talk about important events or news. Even if your child doesn’t read the articles, you can summarize the subjects for them.  Magazines made just for kids, such as Scholastic News are also great resources for learning current events.
  • Learn about Your Local Government: Visit your town hall and learn about your local leaders. Your child can write a letter or email to local government leaders. It is sometimes even possible to meet with them.
  • Form a Family Government: Assign different roles to family members, vote on family decisions or rules, or hold meetings to discuss decisions and issues that come up in the family.
  • Pick a Place: Have your child pick a place on the map she would like to learn about. Use the internet and/or books to learn more about the place and its community. Or ask someone you know who lives in a different place to send you pictures of and facts about that place. Then work together with your child to create a collage or magazine about that place using text and art.
  • Find a Pen-Pal: If you know of another child who lives somewhere else, coordinate with a parent to set your children up as pen-pals, using technology (under your supervision), when possible. Your child can use email, letters, and video calling to communicate. Have the children send pictures of their communities to each other.
  • Find the Historical Figures You Know: You and your child can talk with and interview an older family member or friend about an important or historical moment he/she experienced. This can be filmed or recorded, or you can even put together a poster or book of what you learned together.
  • Map It Out: When visiting a new place look at a map and show your child your planned route and important locations on the map. When you are given a map somewhere (such as in an amusement park, department store, zoo or museum), help your child read the map and let her lead the way. 


Published:Apr 6th 2017
Modified:Apr 6th 2017


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