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3rd Grade Curriculum

3rd Grade is a transition year in Lower School when the level of rigor and complexity of work expands significantly. 3rd Grade students begin to develop the skills for self-directed learning.

Language Arts

In 3rd Grade, The Daily 5 curriculum continues to develop literacy skills with an increased focus on writing and grammatical structure. Journaling and creative writing continue as an integral part of the curriculum. Wordly Wise, a Latin and Greek-based vocabulary development program, continues in 3rd Grade with emphasis shifted to cursive writing skills.

Math

The Singapore Math curriculum continues in 3rd Grade, challenging students to use a variety of problem solving strategies. The application of math to real world problems empowers students with not only mastery of math concepts, but also the ability to apply them usefully. Interactive activities include advanced multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, and geometry. Students develop mental math and advanced problem solving skills.

Science

3rd Grade science explores ecosystems and the relationship between energy and the application of force and motion. Science concepts come to life through hands-on labs led by a discipline-specific science teacher in a lab setting.

Social Studies

3rd Grade students continue their study of culture through an in-depth look at our nation’s cultural past, including an exploration into Native American and early European colonial beliefs. Students then explore the dichotomy between a government’s responsibility to its citizens and a citizen’s responsibility towards their government. These complex concepts are examined through role playing, research projects, and field trips. 3rd Grade students participate in the annual Academic Fair, presenting an original research project on a Native American tribe of their choice.

Health & Fitness

In 3rd Grade, physical education focuses on hand-eye coordination, advanced motor and skill development, and basic athletic fundamentals. Activities and games integrate skill development into play as students develop physical fitness, useful physical and athletic skills, good sportsmanship, and an enjoyment of physical recreation. P.E. activities are often integrated to make connections across disciplines and with school activities, such as African dancing and martial arts during Rivermont's annual school-wide International Week.

Computer Science

Computer science is an essential part of Lower School curriculum as technology is increasingly introduced into classrooms and lessons. Lower School is outfitted with iPad carts that can be transitioned from classroom to classroom bringing the creative tools, interactive books, and endless educational apps of the iPad anywhere at any time. Lower School students also utilize their own computer lab outfitted with PC desktops for a wide variety of lessons and projects.

 

Specifically, 3rd Grade students continue to build on digital citizenship and internet safety skills, as well as using Microsoft Office tools. Students also explore how to navigate and search using web browsers, the basics of computer programming, and how to create and deliver good presentations.

Visual Art

3rd Grade students explore increasingly complex artistic processes. Students are encouraged to not only create art, but to verbally articulate why and how they solved problems in their artwork. Each Lower School grade features unique anchor artists from many cultures around the world whose work and techniques students study and incorporate into their own pieces.

 

3rd Grade students share their artwork with a large audience during the annual Family Art Night and All School Art Show.

Foreign Language

At Rivermont, students are exposed to foreign language beginning in PreSchool and begin formal foreign language study in Kindergarten. Kindergarten and 1st Grade students study Spanish, 2nd and 3rd Grade students study French, and 4th and 5th Grade students choose between the two.

 

3rd Grade students continue their journey with French, using the Aventures series supplemented with dialogue conversations with Real French tout de suite. Students learn French through stories and role play centered on such themes as school, toys, birthdays, family, weather, seasons, clothing, animals, and physical and personality characteristics. Students explore customs and holidays from around the world which are appreciated and respected as different from their own.

 

In addition, 3rd-6th Grade students are invited each year to attend French or Spanish language immersion camp at the Concordia Language Villages, where they are fully engaged with the language in a cultural setting. For more information on Concordia, click here.

Music

3rd Grade students are introduced to the soprano recorder as a class activity and pre-band training. Throughout the year they learn to read and play from notated scores, follow directing cues, and test individually for recorder proficiency.

 

In their music textbooks, they continue to develop the concepts of harmony, form, tone color, and knowledge of the families of instruments. They explore various composers through books and classroom videos. Beginning in 3rd Grade, private lessons in violin, viola, and cello are also available during the school day.

Library

3rd Grade students build on a solid foundation of library skills started in Kindergarten to work with increasingly complex text and to evaluate and use library materials for classroom assignments. Students use illustrations and other visual elements to understand text and learn to make connections between stories and their background knowledge. Students make predictions to understand text and learn to recognize basic story structure and define the various types of literature, both fiction and nonfiction.

Faculty

  • Ashley Stelly »

    3rd Grade

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    • Appointed: 2010
    • B.A., St. Ambrose University
    • Lower School Student Council Advisor, Homework Club
     
  • Shalar Knupp »

    Teacher-Librarian

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    • Appointed: 2005
    • B.A., University of Iowa
    • M.A., University of Iowa
    • Middle School Cheerleading Coach, Middle School Track Coach
    • Yearbook Advisor
    • Chair of the Iowa Children's Choice Award program