The third grade curriculum is structured around the four pillars of the Catechism: Catholic faith, worship, life, and prayer. Third graders explore the people and events of the early Church and how they relate to our own life in the Church. They learn ways the Church proclaims the Word of God and discover how they can participate in spreading the Good News. Students develop a deeper understanding of the sacraments, the liturgical seasons, the commandments, the saints, and Scripture.
Third graders build upon their reading skills and continue to develop decoding skills and strategies to use language effectively. They expand their use of base words, prefixes, suffixes, syllabication, irregular plurals, possessives, synonyms, antonyms, and homophones. Third graders continue to build their reading comprehension skills by drawing conclusions, making inferences, predicting outcomes, learning about cause and effect, and identifying story elements. Third grade students continue to learn and practice the steps of the writing
process. Proper grammar, spelling, and the mechanics of writing are taught to enable students to proofread and communicate more effectively. Third grade is also the year that students learn how to write in cursive.
Third grade math focuses on developing an understanding of multiplication and division and using strategies for basic multiplication facts and related division facts. Students are expected to master the fact families in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Third graders describe, analyze, and classify two-dimensional shapes by their properties. They develop an understanding of fractions and fraction equivalence. Students learn to apply mathematical processes and reasoning to solve more complex story problems.
Third grade students continue to make observations and collect data to answer scientific questions. The third grade curriculum focuses on physical, earth, and life science. In physical science, students study the three states of matter and learn how heating and cooling can create a physical change. They explore force and motion through the exploration of simple machines. Earth science focuses on the solar system and the relationship between the sun, the moon, and Earth. In life science, third grade students learn about food chains and how plants and animals adapt to various ecosystems.
Social studies is focused on the concept of communities. Students explore the ideas of change, continuity, cultural unity, diversity, and interdependence. They study the regions of the U.S. and California, and explore how geography, climate, and natural resources have impacted the development and history of the areas. Third graders participate in activities that further develop their skills in geography, problem solving, and study skills.