Third Grade


Third grade is a year of transition for students.  During the course of the school year students make the transition from early-elementary to upper-elementary students who have to wrestle with greater academic expectations.  The curriculum is relatively fast-paced and challenging.  Our math and language program challenges students to begin thinking critically and imaginatively through the use of more in-depth concepts and assignments.  The expectation level is increased in science, social studies, Bible, vocabulary, spelling, reading, handwriting and creative writing.  

Standardized Testing

All elementary students complete standardized testing each spring.  We currently utilize the TerraNova 3 test published by McGraw Hill.  More detailed information about TerraNova 3 can be found here.
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Curriculum

  • Bible (ACSI) - This Bible series focuses on the foundational teachings from the Bible about the nature and character of God, the qualities of his people, and his church.  Students are provided with an overview of the Bible, with an emphasis on God's attributes, biblical characters, the early church, and what it means to know Jesus Christ and live for him.  Students will be challenged to memorize twenty verses from the Bible which work in conjunction with the teaching units.
  • Language (Bob Jones) - This text emphasizes traditional grammar, such as parts of speech, sentence structure, mechanics, and provides practice with essential reference skills.  The curriculum explains the step-by-step use of the writing process for eight different types of writing assignments, such as a friendly letter, a make-believe story, instructions, a book report, and more.
  • Mathematics (Saxon) - Third grade students explore many disciplines over the course of the school year.  Mastery of multiplication and division facts is emphasized throughout the year.  Disciplines such as patterns, fractions, place value, adding and subtracting two and three digit numbers, measurement, equivalent fractions, probability, foundational geometry, multiplying and dividing two-digit numbers are all focused upon throughout the school year along with many others.  Saxon is a spiraling curriculum.  This means that students are exposed to concepts multiple times over the course of the school year.  This continuous exposure helps students develop mastery as they have multiple opportunities to interact with difficult subject matter.  Our third grade students typically complete the third grade math early and progress into Saxon Intermediate 4.
  • Reading (A Beka) - Expanding a child's reading level is an important focus of our curriculum.  We currently utilize a series of readers published by A Beka.  These leveled readers offer an excellent way for students to gradually increase their reading level over the course of the school year.  These readers are supplemented with additional books chosen by the faculty each year.
  • Science (ACSI) - Building upon the foundation established in second grade, this text helps students gain a deeper appreciation of God's creation through scientific observation, experimentation, and analysis.  Students will explore the areas of life science, physical science, the human body, and earth science.  The ACSI science series effectively increases the academic expectation with grade-level increase.  
  • Social Studies (Harcourt) - The third grade text, Our Communities, challenges students to interact with the world around them.  Our Communities takes the foundation established in second grade in areas such as human government, geography, environmental resources, world culture, and the marketplace, and leads students to strengthen their understanding of the world community.  Students have the opportunity to read about individuals who have impacted the world through hard work and creativeness.  
  • Vocabulary (Wordly Wise) - The words emphasized in this text expand critical grade level vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.  Words from each lesson are commonly encountered in grade-level literature, content-area reading, textbooks, and standardized testing.
  • Spelling (A Beka) - Thirty-two carefuly selected phonetic-based word lists with vocabulary words added in each list for the second semester.  Each list contains several exercises designed to aid student retention.
  • Handwriting (A Beka) - Proper penmanship is a lost art.  Our handwriting curriculum is designed to foster careful attention to the formation of letters and words.  Students spend the first half of second grade learning cursive writing while the second semester is spent working towards mastery.  Beginning with the second semester students are expected to write in cursive in all subjects.
  • Creative Writing - While we utilize Bob Jones to emphasize the writing process, students are challenged in various ways to develop and express their creativity through the written word.  

Community Service

An important aspect of our program is an emphasis on serving others.  One cannot read the gospel without recognizing how Jesus consistenly placed others before himself.  He plainly states that he came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).  In effort to foster this attitude within our students, we have developed a community service requirement.  More detailed information and ideas of service opportunities can be found here.  Second graders are required to perform a minimum of two hours of community service during the course of the school year.

Field Trips

Students participate in several field trips throghout the course of the school year.  Each trip is designed to emphasize a component of the curriculum.  Examples of field trips taken in the past include: Tellus, Legoland, The Martha Berry Museum at Berry College, and the Georgia Ensemble Theatre.