Biblical truths are intertwined in all that we do at DCA. Students are involved in daily morning devotionals with their homeroom teacher. Third grade students participate in school wide and grade level service projects throughout the year. Some examples include the canned food drive to stock the pantries of local food banks, writing letters and encouraging notes to those living in nursing homes, and giving Christmas gifts to refugee families in Nashville. In third grade Bible class, students discover the faithfulness of God as we explore and learn about the lives of many people from the Old Testament. The lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Daniel are the focus of our curriculum. With each unit, students learn of God’s perfect plan, sovereignty, and faithfulness in the lives of those we study. These truths are applied to their lives as we discuss modern day situations.
Students also memorize scripture each week. They are tested weekly on their Bible lesson and memorized verse.
Grammar usage and mechanics are explored in the classroom through the use of interactive resources in iPad centers as well as daily lessons in class. Writing instruction is implemented in the Language program. Students learn several writing styles including a personal narrative, story writing, writing to express an opinion, persuasive writing, and a friendly Letter. Extra practice and re-teaching lessons are given along with a unit test at the end of each unit.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt writing, grammar, research, and study skills are all connected and taught daily to coincide with each week’s literature selection.
Students are challenged in the areas of problem solving and reasoning. A variety ofhands on materials are used in math instruction. Lessons are student driven and based on their mastery of the skills and concepts. Third grade students memorize multiplication facts 0-12. Technology is also used daily in our math instruction. IXL and Freckle Math are incorporated into the math program to allow students to demonstrate individual progress as well as challenge their thinking. Each third grade classroom is equipped with a set of iPads and a Promethean Board which gives students visual graphics and the ability to collaborate, interact and enhance their learning environment.
The third grade incorporates reading, spelling, and grammar instruction into our literacy block each day. Students learn vocabulary, word study skills, phonics and spelling patterns each week. Additional comprehension skills are taught through the reading of a variety of stories, poems, novels, and genres. Small groups are an important part of our instruction. Students are in leveled groups where they receive reading instruction in a small group setting. Reading group instruction includes fluency, leveled readers and novels based on their individual reading level. Third grade uses Renaissance Accelerated Reading to set individualized goals and ensure comprehension of reading books on a student's individual reading level. Third grade students are assigned an individualized reading goal each 9 weeks. They are expected to read and meet their goal during the nine weeks. Parents have access to Renaissance Home Connect to monitor their child’s progress and results on their comprehension quizzes.
Technology is incorporated into our instruction on a daily basis. The use of our Promethean Board allows for state of the art visuals and student interaction. IXL, Readworks, Scholastic, and Epic are just a few of the apps and resources that are used in our instruction to enhance the learning opportunities for our students.
Cursive handwriting is taught in third grade. Students are instructed in lowercase and uppercase letters and words.
Students experience many hands-on activities and labs as well as field trips to enhance the curriculum. Field trips include Ridley 4-H Center where students explore nature and team building. Students also attend an electricity and force of motion lab at Adventure Science Museum. 3rd grade science units of study include Investigating Questions, Engineering and Design Process, Matter, Magnets, Energy, Plants and Animals, Ecosystems and Interactions, Space, Water, Weather and Climate and Changes to Earth’s Surface. They are given tests periodically to assess their mastery of new concepts. STEM Project Based Learning activities are part of our 3rd grade science instruction. Students learn to work in groups, predict, collect data, record results and think critically throughout the year. Throughout the year, students conduct research and create Powerpoints and presentations on different science topics during their technology related arts time.
Throughout the course of the school year, third graders will be exposed to the significance of each continent, the regions across the United States, and learn more about the time period of the colonial United States. As they dive deeper into these standards, Tennessee history is embedded; standards map skills are taught; landforms and bodies of water are introduced; and economics and civics are discussed. Our aim is that each student becomes passionate to learn more about world and U.S. history.
The consumable Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Spelling book is used as a component of the reading curriculum. Students are instructed each day on word endings, beginnings, blends, and other skills. Each lesson has twenty spelling words. Five of these words are the challenge words. A test is given each Friday which includes spelling and dictation. A review lesson is also given at the end of each unit consisting of twenty-five words.
Third grade classes use Promethean Active Boards and iPads in all areas of the curriculum. Children are able to interact with websites and flipcharts to enhance learning. The board allows teachers to incorporate many resources into the curriculum. Each classroom also has ActiVotes which are technological devices used to give the teachers immediate feedback on the skills of each student.
Formal keyboarding classes begin in 3rd grade. Students learn the basics of keyboarding and begin working through a self-paced program to increase speed and accuracy. The goal is for each student to achieve 15 WPM with 95% accuracy by the end of 4th grade. During technology classes these students continue practicing research skills and learn how to use a presentation program (PowerPoint).