Third Grade


Third Graders will develop higher levels of skills and confidence that allow them to read more challenging literature and articles. Interests they develop on their own and through class activities involving different topics will encourage them to do more independent reading. They will receive continued support with reading through individual reading with their teacher and other adults and through small group reading experiences and literature circles.

Third Graders can read independently.

Third Graders now have enough skills to understand what they are reading and to deal with many challenging new words they need to read. They know how to use the surrounding words and sentences as clues to figure out the new word’s meaning, and they know the sounds of enough letters that they can sound out many words.

Third Graders will read and write using a variety of genres.

Third Graders will learn to identify what type of story they are reading. They will become more comfortable with the various forms of literature by reading and writing their own tales, legends, and fables.

Third Graders will respond to reading through writing and discussion.

Third Graders discuss characters and events from their readings and relate those characters and events to other reading or learning experiences and to their personal experiences. They will deepen their involvement in reading by extending stories they have read or by using information or ideas in reports or presentations. They will learn to look for similes (using like or as to compare: “her hair was as shiny as a new copper penny”) and metaphors (comparing two unlike things without using like or as (“My daddy is a big cuddly bear.”)

Third Graders will learn to plan their writing.

Third Graders may create plans such as story maps before they write. A story map lists the main characters, the events that will happen, and where and when everything takes place in their stories. After their story maps are ready, they use each event in their lists to create the paragraphs in their narratives (writings).

Third Graders will see their writing develop through revision and editing.

Third Graders will experience the excitement and frustration of making their writing say what they want it to say. By thinking about their purpose for writing and their audience, they will begin to write with more direction. To allow their ideas to grow, they will often write more than one draft.

After completing a story, Third Graders will go back and check their work for spelling errors; periods at the end of sentences; missed commas and question marks; capital letters at the beginning of sentences, names, months, days and places; quotation marks around dialogue; and the correct verb tenses.

Third Graders learn new words and ideas.

Third Graders will identify the meanings of new words and build their vocabularies through many direct language experiences in reading and writing and through direct instruction. New ideas and concepts they find in reading will become more valuable to them when they discuss their reading with classmates and explore it further through writing.


Cornerstone uses the University of Chicago’s Everyday Mathematics program, a progressive curriculum that presents concepts in a spiral manner. This means that concepts are presented over multiple years so that students are given several exposures to skills before they are expected to master them.

Third Graders work with numbers 0 to 10,000.

Third Graders learn to recognize the numerals (written numbers) up to 10,000. They learn to add, subtract and compare numbers in the hundreds and thousands. They are now comfortable using regrouping (carrying while adding and borrowing while subtracting).

Third Graders learn about odd and even.

Third Graders learn that even numbers are numbers that can be evenly divided by two.

Multiplication and division is introduced to Third Graders.

Third Graders learn that multiplication is the same as repeated addition. They also learn to find answers using skip counting (3, 6, 9, 12-). Third Graders are expected to memorize multiplication facts up to 10. They learn that when they divide, they separate a large group into smaller groups of equal size and that when they multiply they are combining smaller groups into one larger group.

Third Graders measure length, weight, and capacity.

Third Graders measure length using inches, feet, yards, centimeters and meters; they measure weight using grams, ounces and pounds; and they measure capacity using cups, pints, quarts, and gallons and liters.

Third Graders work with fractions.

Third Graders are able to put fractions in size order. They will work with mixed numbers (4? for example).

Third Graders work with different shapes and learn the various parts of shapes.

Third Graders can draw and label squares, rectangles, polygons, and other geometric figures. They learn to identify the various parts of these shapes–faces, angles, edges, and vertices (the place where two lines meet).

Third Graders work on other basic math skills.

Third Graders can: tell time to the nearest minute; add and make change with money up to $5.00; determine temperature by reading Celsius and Fahrenheit thermometers; decode and continue patterns; solve word problems with addition, subtraction and multiplication; collect data and display it on line and bar graphs; find ordered pairs on graphs; determine if something is more likely, less likely or equally likely to occur; list and figure out the number of possible combinations of up to three items; and use charts in their problem solving.


Third Graders learn that people in their community have many different roles.

Third Graders learn that people contribute to their community by working and paying taxes; by respecting the laws and customs of their country, by learning and thereby improving their own abilities to earn money, and by participating in government, particularly, by voting.

Third Graders learn about the history of the Tallahassee area.

Third Graders will visit local historic sites. They will learn about the people that lived in the local mission settlements. They will learn about the people that lived in farming communities. They will learn how a “Rail” system becomes a “Greenways and Trails” system.

Third Graders discuss the need for government and taxes.

Third Graders learn that some of the money earned by working is used to pay taxes. Governments use tax money to provide services such as police protection, courts, schools, fire fighting, water, garbage collection and public transportation.The students will discuss the various levels of government (city, county, state and federal) that affect the area in which they live.

Third Graders learn simple geography and economics.

Third Graders will construct simple maps and drawings of their community. They will learn the differences between urban, suburban and rural areas. They will identify what types of buildings and services they will find in neighborhoods, business centers and industrial zones.

Third Graders continue to explore cultures and holidays.

Third Graders explore religious and cultural traditions and holidays that affect their lives and their communities.


Third Graders have a rudimentary understanding of the basic processes in the world around them. They are experienced at making observations and have adequate attention to maintain focus for extended periods of time. They are also becoming skilled at asking and answering their own questions.

Third Graders at Cornerstone Learning Community enhance their observation and descriptive skills as they collect and organize data. They make hypotheses and then test them through experimentation. Mathematics skills such as mapping, graphing, and basic computation will help students to summarize and make simple interpretations of experimental results. Language arts skills facilitate the cooperative small group work that is common in third grade science. Third Graders use scientific equipment such as dissecting microscopes, single pan scales, seine nets, binoculars, telescopes, and stopwatches.

The focus for scientific inquiry in third grade is interdependence. All things are indeed connected. We depend on one another and the world around us for survival. Earth’s health also depends on us. Topics of investigation may include food webs, niches, pollution, conservation, and environmental citizenship.

Third Graders also have the benefit of Cornerstone’s life science teacher twice a month who facilitates gardening with the children. As a yearlong project, the children plant, cultivate, harvest, cook and sample the food grown in their gardens.


The creative drama process is engaging and active. Through the use of creative drama, Cornerstone students are given tools that will help them tap into their own creativity and exercise their imaginations. Each class is guided by the teacher as leader to explore, develop, express and communicate ideas, concepts, and feelings through dramatic enactment. In each grade level, developmentally appropriate activities are used to explore themes using elements of drama to give form and meaning to the experience.

Third grade further develops the small group activity through situational exercises. Improvisation is introduced as a means of expressing movement and original dialogue. Narrative pantomime is practiced and sometimes produced at this level.

Through the use of Drama Games the students are encouraged to explore new concepts in a non-threatening environment. The essential goal of creative drama is to impart life skills and increase the student’s awareness of connections in learning.


Third Graders attend formal art classes.

Third Graders attend formal art classes with an art teacher once weekly. They will create visual arts projects using a variety of materials and techniques and will be exposed to works of master artists. At times their projects will be centered on specific themes related to classroom work. At Cornerstone Learning Community students are taught that art is a form of communication and a means of expressing themselves. Through this communication d self-expression, art becomes a source of discovery and joy.


Every student in kindergarten through eighth grade attends a minimum of two 50-minute sessions in physical education per week. To reflect the National Association of Sport and Physical Education standards by providing meaningful, appropriate games and activities, the elementary physical education program explores and promotes the development of skill and health related physical activity components.

Students also have at least 30 minutes of recess everyday.


Third Graders attend weekly music classes.

Third Graders attend weekly music classes taught by a professional music teacher. The class strengthens and integrates basic music skills such as singing and harmonizing, rhythm, reading, writing and creating of music and instrument playing. Instruction is hands-on and energetic so that children develop enthusiasm for music as a means of artistic expression. They also learn active listening techniques as they listen to examples of traditional music from a variety of cultures.