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Challenger third graders learn increasingly challenging math skills, like simplifying and multiplying fractions, dividing by two-digit numbers, figuring the perimeter of complex figures, and calculating averages. They integrate new ideas with things they’ve already learned to enhance and strengthen their mathematical muscles.
By third grade, Challenger students have an understanding of the structure of a paragraph and are able to write multi-paragraph compositions. They practice writing in free verse and couplets, and they learn to proofread and revise their work to polish and refine their writing.
Third grade students develop proficiency in recognizing parts of speech—such as adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, and interjections—and understanding their various functions in sentences. They also study capitalization and spelling rules to improve both writing precision and reading comprehension. By using phonetic formulas, they become master spellers and readers!
Third graders build upon their knowledge of geography with an introduction to world history. They learn about the world’s first civilizations and their choices, actions, and results. As students study these civilizations, they focus on topics such as cause and effect; culture; deductive and inductive inferences; and values like justice, freedom, and entrepreneurship.
Through this study our students will observe mankind living through prosperity and freedom and misery and oppression. Repeatedly seeing the variety of conditions and outcomes in history will help students identify those values most compatible with the greatest degree of human prosperity and happiness.
As Challenger third graders read novels like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Pinocchio, they study literary elements such as plot, character, conflict, genre, and narrator. They also discuss life-enhancing values that can be learned through literature.
Critical thinking skills are naturally integrated into every subject area at Challenger. In third grade logic studies, students gain experience using creative thinking and deductive reasoning to predict outcomes, understand analogies, and recognize patterns. They apply tools such as matrices and diagrams to solve problems.
Starting in third grade, students use basic concepts of biology, earth science, and physics to create their own experiments, discovering scientific truth for themselves. They increase their understanding of science by studying climate, the behavior of light, mixtures of matter, traits of organisms, cycles in nature, and energy sources and their uses.
Challenger third graders recognize that the effective delivery of a speech requires both mastery of presentation skills and an understanding of content. They learn how to “punch” and “paint” words and use pauses for effect. Our Speech Festival gives students the opportunity to show what they have learned.
To help our students understand and appreciate music, we emphasize five main concepts: singing, rhythm, note and tone recognition, mood interpretation, and movement. Our third grade music instruction helps students develop auditory skills and stage presence. Students study various works and their composers, such as Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and Ravel’s Bolero. Our Christmas Sings and Spring Programs allow students to show off all they have learned!
Students gain valuable programming expertise in third grade. They use logic to plan projects by creating tree diagrams that dissect a task and organize its parts into a hierarchy, and they learn both bottom-up and top-down design. They build levels of subprocedures and superprocedures and can debug programs!
Challenger’s third grade art curriculum gives students experience working with various media and styles. The genres we teach in third grade include figure and portrait drawing, perspective, still life, and sculpture.
Mridula R., Strawberry Park campusGrade 3
As third graders’ bodies continue to grow and change, Challenger promotes activities that will help develop their coordination, speed, stamina, and strength. We incorporate age-appropriate dance skills like circle dances, square dances, and reels as well as traditional fitness exercises and sports.
After reading a section of the novel The Black Stallion, this student’s short answer responses on a quiz exhibit both understanding and an impressive command of vocabulary.
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2021 National Blue Ribbon School