Lower School

Third Grade

Third graders at All Saints’ eagerly come to school each day ready to discover and learn. They are able to understand and analyze information using their reasoning abilities, creativity, and independent thinking. It is a critical transition year that is truly a year of firsts. 
 
It is an exciting time when children move from learning to read, to reading to learn. Proficiency in reading is paramount with our differentiated and comprehensive reading and literature programs. After reading Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, students showcase their musical and theatrical talents onstage with our highly anticipated production of Pioneer Day. Our writing program is thoroughly integrated throughout our curriculum with 6 + 1 Writing Traits highlighted.  For many students it is the first time they are able to use advanced writing skills.
 
For most students third grade is not only a time to master previously introduced math facts, but to learn and discover new mathematical concepts such as multiplication and division. Our science program offers students the opportunity to explore our natural world with hands-on scientific experiments. This is, for many students, their introduction to the scientific method.
 
Each year the entire All Saints’ community looks forward to third grade’s Ohlone Indian Village Open House. Each student builds a diorama of an Ohlone village; a project that reinforces our yearlong exploration of the Monterey Peninsula’s rich history.

Core Curriculum

List of 5 items.

  • Language Arts

    In third grade, All Saints’ students learn to be lively and attentive readers and effective and articulate writers. Our language arts program is designed to foster a love of literacy and literature while giving each student the tools they need to succeed. Our differentiated program helps students focus on key strategies that lead to improved comprehension and fluency.
     
    Monthly Book Share projects introduce a new literary genre to students each month. After reading a book, students will create a project and present their work at the end of the month with an oral presentation.
     
    Students conduct in-depth literature studies, which focus on plot, character development, vocabulary, and the voice of each author.  Our comprehensive reading program promotes vocabulary development, reading fluency, and grammar skills in a differentiated learning environment.  Spelling is taught through the reinforcement of spelling rules using phonics, reading, and writing.
     
    Students are taught writing using the 6 + 1 Writing Traits program, which teaches writing conventions using a research-based model of teaching and assessing writing.
  • Math

    The third grade year begins with concepts of place value which are essential to many of the lessons that follow. Mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers is a goal of third grade math. Students take weekly timed tests on the addition and subtraction facts and focus on multiplication and division for the rest of the year. Elapsed time and using customary and metric units of length, capacity, and weight are part of the measurement study. Students learn plane and solid figures, angles, lines and rays, area, perimeter, and volume during geometry. Fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals are studied. Graphing, problem solving, and working with algebraic concepts are woven throughout each unit of the third grade text.
  • Science

    Physical, earth and life sciences make up the third grade science curriculum. Magnetism and electricity are the first areas taught. Students explore the classroom with magnets, looking for conductors and insulators. Teams work together to create simple electrical circuits that run a motor or light a light bulb.
    Third graders then become junior geologists, learning the difference between a rock and a mineral as they observe a “mock rock,” then investigating the properties of some minerals through the scratch test for hardness, and the cold acid test for the presence of calcite. Third grade science comes to a conclusion with the study of the structures of plants and animals. Students examine different kinds of seeds from fruits and vegetables, use mini sprouters to watch seeds sprout, and observe plants as they go through all of their cycles in a classroom hydroponic garden. Animal structures are explored as crayfish and land snails inhabit the classroom. Careful scientific recording is also an important part of each activity.

    STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is an important part of the All Saints’ curriculum. Of the twenty fastest growing career fields in the United States, fifteen of them require a STEM education. It is widely recognized that the United States needs to do a better job of preparing its students to be able to integrate skills and knowledge in these four fields, not only to prepare those who will end up working in a STEM-related career, but to prepare all of its students to grow into informed citizens, able to make wise decisions on the many public issues involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
     
    All Saints’ math, science and technology teachers work together to insure that, at all grade levels, All Saints’ students “do STEM.” Presented with a problem to solve, students brainstorm in small groups, using their science, math, and technology skills, to design and engineer a solution to the problem. They test their design, and, if necessary, re-engineer it before presenting their solution to their classmates. Among the many STEM design challenges students undertake are roller coasters, spirometers to measure lung capacity, cardboard furniture to hold classmates, rain gauges, bird feeders, electrical circuits, bridges, and oil spill cleanup systems. In addition to the design challenges, students routinely integrate their math and technology skills into their regular science lessons.
     
    STEM education is not only fun for students, but it also teaches them the importance and value of creativity, collaboration, flexibility, and communication, important traits for 21st century citizens.
  • World Languages

    Class instruction is held in Spanish. The focus in lower grades is placed on developing oral communication and conversation skills.  Songs, stories, games, poems, and props are used to encourage children to participate actively in speaking the language. T.P.R. (Total Physical Response) Storytelling, a method that permits immediate comprehension of the input as students listen to and mimic the phrases in the target language, is used in grades 1 - 5.  Students enact dialogues and readings, focus on conversational skills and expand their knowledge of Hispanic or Francophone countries through poetry, songs, and readings.

    In third grade Spanish, students delve into the world of feelings, clothing, family, fruits, and vegetables. The fruit and vegetable unit results in a scavenger hunt in our very own organic garden where students put their language skills to the test. The third graders ultimately venture on a field trip to a local farm stand where they purchase produce using a dialogue they have learned entirely in French or Spanish.
     
     
  • Social Studies

    The primary goal of third grade social studies is to gain an understanding of the culture, lifestyle, and traditions of those who first inhabited the Monterey Peninsula. These studies emphasize the geography and rich environmental resources of this region of California and encompass a demonstration of how cultures change over time. The class studies the Ohlone Indians, a tribe of Native Americans who prospered in this area for over a thousand years. Native American studies conclude with a project in which each child builds a miniature Ohlone village. The villages are shared in the annual “Ohlone Village Open House.” Students then study the early explorers of Monterey County and its history. Emphasis is placed upon the cultural changes these individuals brought to the area and their influence on the Native Americans living on the Monterey Peninsula.

List of 1 members.

SPECIALITY CLASSES