Grade 3

Course Outline

FM Virtual University® uses the Balanced Literacy approach to best address the needs of all students. This approach involves mini lessons about key reading skills, frequent and in-depth discussions, exposure to high-quality literature and nonfiction texts, and the reading of books at each student\’s own level. FM Virtual University® classrooms also use the handwriting without Tears Curriculum to teach cursive writing skills. Reading – During the year, students in the third grade will be working on:
  • Getting to know the characters in stories by reading deeply to learn about a character\’s thought, words, or actions.
  •  Identifying elements of fiction (characters, setting, plot, problem, solution) to help make predictions and follow the story.
  •  Using specific evidence from a text to develop ideas and opinions about characters.
  •  Using multiple strategies such as previewing, asking questions, and visualizing to carefully read and comprehend different types of text (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry)
  •  Finding the main idea of a text and identifying the supporting details
  •  Using new topic-specific vocabulary as they discuss and write about their nonfiction reading.
  •  Noticing how poets play with words and sounds to enrich the meaning of the poem.
  •  Determining why an author writes and what message s/he wants to communicate.
  •  Reading biographies and recognizing how the time, place, and events of a person\’s life affect the choices s/he makes.
  •  Recognizing that folktales (fairy tales, fables, myths, legends) are stories that can teach a lesson, explain a natural phenomenon, or explain the greatness of a legendary character.
  •  Engaging in discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics and texts, building on others\’ ideas, and explaining their own ideas clearly
  •  Reading stories and poems aloud fluently, without pausing to figure out what each word means.
Writing -FM Virtual University® \’s writing program emphasizes giving students many opportunities to write each day across subject areas. As they write during the year, students in the third grade will be working on:
  • Organizing ideas about a topic by writing three connected paragraphs
  •  Using linking words to connect ideas (therefore, since, for example, also, another, yet, nor)
  •  Using a variety of leads to pull in the reader (for example, action, dialogue, questions)
  •  Using a variety of closings to tie up a piece (for example, what I learned, why it\’s important)
  •  Choosing alternative words for said in dialogue (for example, responded, exclaimed, muttered)
  •  Using examples and details that are accurate and make writing and thinking clear.
  •  Using vivid verbs to make writing interesting to the reader (for example, sprinted instead of ran; wandered instead of went)
  •  Using quotation marks and commas when writing dialogue
  •  Using apostrophes in contractions and possessives
  •  Correctly spelling words for third-grade level using resources if needed.
  •  Correctly using \”I\” and \”me\”
  •  Keeping the same tense (present, past, or future) throughout the piece
Over the course of the year, students will complete three types of writing: narrative (story), informative, and opinion. Examples of these in third grade could include: writing about the central message of a story using evidence, writing a research report (biography) about a famous person, or writing a story in the form of a myth.
During the year, students in the third grade will be working on:
  • Solving word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  •  Beginning to multiply numbers with more than one digit (e.g., multiplying 9 x 80)
  •  Memorizing multiplication facts up to 10 × 10
  •  Solving division problems using knowledge of multiplication (e.g., if 9 x 5 = 45, then 45 ÷ 5 = 9)
  •  Rounding numbers to the nearest 10 to 100
  •  Understanding fractions and relating them to the familiar systems of whole numbers (e.g., recognizing that 3/1 and 3 are the same number)
  •  Comparing fractions and recognizing equivalent fractions (1/2 = 4/8)
  •  Measuring and estimating lengths, weights, and liquid volumes, and solving word problems involving these qualities·
  • Reasoning about shapes (e.g., all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares)
  •  Telling time to the nearest minute
  •  Solving problems using information in bar graphs
  •  Finding areas of shapes, and relating area to multiplication (e.g., why is the number of square feet for a 9-foot by 7-foot room given by the product 9 x 7?)
During the year, students in the third grade will be learning about:
  • How multiple forces act on an object and some of these are seen and unseen (for example, friction)
  •  That forces can be balanced (doesn’t change the motion of an object) or unbalanced (changes the motion of an object)
  •  That magnetic forces between two magnets change depending on distance and positioning.
  •  That scientists use fossils to learn about life and environments that existed long ago.
  •  How in certain environments some organisms can survive well, less well, or not at all.
  •  That environmental changes can affect the ability of organisms to survive or reproduce.
  •  How the variations in characteristics among individuals within the same species can provide advantages in survival.
  •  That plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exist in a group of similar organisms.
  •  That different types of organisms have unique and diverse life cycles.
  •  That the climate of different regions of the world vary and that typical weather conditions over a year vary by region
  •  That we can create solutions that reduce the damage caused by weather
During the year, students in the third grade will be learning about:
  • The Pilgrims, Puritans, and Wampanoag
  •  Massachusetts\’ events leading to the America Revolution-Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Battle of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill
  •  Biographies of Massachusetts\’ leaders
  • FM Virtual University® history
  •  Geography – cardinal directions, hemispheres, continents, and oceans
  •  The physical geography of New England and Massachusetts