Third Grade Learning Concepts and Goals

Learning Concepts and Goals for third Grade

At Temple Beth Sholom Innovative School, the focus of our philosophy is anchored in emergent learning — we value being responsive to children’s interests, thus creating meaningful learning experiences. This way of teaching and planning of curriculum is developed in a collaborative, child-centered, and developmentally appropriate way. Learning habits and academic milestones are embedded and fostered. We believe that academic growth rests upon a positive foundation of social and emotional development. Classroom community is developed and strengthened through meetings and discussions — through such discourse, learners authentically witness, firsthand, the value of multiple perspectives. We believe this not only enhances children’s understanding of themselves as learners but also fosters their being flexible, empathetic and active members of a learning community. The goals of our academic program are to offer learners opportunities to: solve problems, access information, think creatively and present information to others.

Literacy: Reading, Writing and Word Study

Reading, writing, and word study skills and concepts are taught explicitly and practiced each day. In third grade, children are transitioning from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. Learners immerse themselves in ‘just right’ fiction books and expository non-fiction. Vocabulary development, envisionment, ascertaining main ideas, recognizing text infrastructure, and thinking deeply are some skills directly taught and practiced. As the books evolve to take on nuanced characters/traits, situations, and exciting plots, we expect the children to express their thinking and ideas about their reading in both verbal and written form. Expanding from second grade, third graders continue to write longer and more thoroughly. Teachers continue to model and directly teach skills to support: drafting and revising; synthesizing and organizing; and writing persuasively about meaningful topics. The third grade literacy program also focuses on writing mechanics, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization. Spelling concepts advance to more complex patterns and syllable types; students’ sight-word repertoire expands as they continue to commit such words to memory.


Third graders focus on understanding the meaning of multiplication and grasping  the inverse relationship between multiplication and division. They develop fluency with the multiplication facts and find factors of numbers up to 100 while examining the relationship between multiplication and division. Learners solve multiplication and division problems, multiplying by multiples of 10, and learning the remaining multiplication facts to 10 × 10.  They also develop strategies for adding and subtracting two-digit and three-digit numbers with sums and differences to 400. Learners add multiples of 10 and 100 to, and subtract them from, three-digit numbers. They learn to use multiples of 100 as landmarks as they solve addition and subtraction problems with three-digit numbers, including problems that involve liquid volume and mass.  Third graders understand and extend knowledge of place value and the number system to 1,000, and add and subtract accurately and efficiently. Students use a place value to represent numbers as hundreds, tens, and ones, and find equivalent ways to use hundreds, tens, and ones to represent a given number. Learners use bar graphs, pictographs, and line plots to represent, describe, and compare data. They solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in the graphs. Learners also generate measurement data in inches, half-inches, feet, and yards. They focus on classifying 2-D figures and understanding and finding perimeter and area using standard units of measurement. Third graders study the meaning of fractions as numbers and as equal parts of a whole; reasoning about equivalent fractions; comparing fractions; and using notation to model fractions and fraction relationships.

Social Studies

Learners engage in hands-on studies around the Social Studies arc, “Florida, Then and Now.” As learners study the history, cultures, and human relationships of Floridians over time, the children gain perspective on Florida today. Through hands-on research and content knowledge gained from literature, children are investigating, observing and expressing understanding through various modalities and materials. As children learn about the ways in which Florida has developed and changed, they will embark on a Bridge Study. Children will study the history of our local bridges, the makers behind them, and the needs these bridges serve for the civilians, long ago and now. Learners are guided by the essential questions “How do maps represent history, cultures, and human relationships? How can we compare between historical events and our lives today?” “How does history affect our lives today?” “How does Florida’s geography  and climate influence our culture over time?” and”What ways does Florida’s geography influence our culture today?” Through this inquiry-based process and direct experience from field trips, learners use knowledge and perspective to take constructive and dynamic steps to solidify their place in the world today. Third graders will have authentic opportunities to make deeper connections between Florida long ago and now.


Learners organize and use data to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. Through research, learners will develop an understanding of the similarities and differences of organisms’ life cycles and have an understanding that organisms have different inherited traits, and that the environment can also affect the traits that an organism develops. Types of organisms that lived long ago and also about the nature of their environments will be studied. Learners will determine the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object and the cause and effect of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects. Third graders are expected to demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency in asking questions and defining problems; developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations and designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.