Third Grade at ACS is when children become more independent and are able to accept more responsibility for their learning. Partners, small group, whole class and individual learning activities are ways this learning occurs. Children also learn the value of teamwork as well as how to help and encourage their classmates. In addition, 3rd graders are taught that they are special and unique children of God and learn ways to grow in this special relationship.
Bible: Third grade uses the CSI curriculum Walking with God and His People. We begin with the study of the book of Ephesians. Next we learn how to be Bible explorers. Then we trace history starting from creation, to the fall and on to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. Finally, we end the school year learning about the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness for 40 years and how they finally settle into the Promised Land. These stories show how God walks and talks with His people as well as God’s fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham. It is presented in a way that makes the students feel God’s love for them and that He walks with them too. Every week we have Bible memory verses that go along with the unit we are studying or the school spiritual theme.
Math: We are using a math curriculum called Math Expressions. This curriculum combines common core standards instruction with the best of traditional approaches. It uses objects, drawings, and real world situations to help students build math ideas that make sense to them. This curriculum includes, intervention, on level and challenge differentiation to support the various needs in the classroom. The 3rd grade areas of study are: learning and becoming fluent in multiplication and division 0-10, length, measurement, time, graphs, multidigit addition and subtraction, word problems, polygons, and fractions. Through their learning students will discover how God created and integrated mathematical concepts into the world around them.
Reading: Our reading program is a reading workshop format. This consists of daily teacher mini-lessons, shared reading with small groups or partners, silent independent reading, teacher read aloud, reading response activities for students’ independent readings, book clubs, and teacher-student conferences.
Spelling: Spelling words are taken from our spelling program Words Their Way. Each week students have individualized word lists that meet their learning needs. Through the Words Their Way curriculum students learn about word patterns as a way of spelling rather than merely memorizing words in isolation.
Writing: A writing workshop format is used for writing. This involves mini-lessons, time for free writing, grammar and mechanics practice, and teacher-student conferences. Each student has a writer’s folder and a composition notebook. They use these for writing stories, personal narratives, personal essays, and nonfiction essays. During the workshop, students will go through the writing process to eventually publish at least three pieces of writing. As Christians, students have the responsibility and opportunity to communicate the love and good news of Christ to others. In third grade students are developing the necessary language arts skills for doing so.
Social Studies: Third grade students have the opportunity to be involved in the study of our great state of Michigan. The geography, history, government and economic issues of Michigan are all taught. Meet Michigan a textbook by Hillsdale Publishing and the Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum are used. Children will learn about the role Christians played in Michigan’s history as well as how they and others can have a positive impact on Michigan’s present and future. Third graders have the opportunity to go on a field trip to Lansing to see Michigan’s government first hand.
Science: ACS uses FOSS Science units in elementary grades. “FOSS Next Generation puts the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into practice by integrating all three dimensions: the Disciplinary Core Ideas, the Science and Engineering Practices, and the Crosscutting Concepts, all within our classroom-proven tools and strategies to engage students and teachers in enduring experiences (hands on!) that lead to deeper understanding of the natural and designed world. FOSS engages all students with meaningful active learning experiences, prepares all students to succeed with the NGSS performance expectations, integrates robust reading and literacy strategies to support the ELA standards for all students, and utilizes technology to deliver learning experiences and provide teachers with excellent management resources.” (FOSS website) Teachers will focus on how great our God is and how His hand is the true guide and science is study of God’s handiwork.
Physical Education: Third Grade students receive two one-half hours of PE instruction each week. Students are using the locomotor skills, non-loco motor skills (bending, stretching, etc…) and manipulative skills to achieve success (like hitting a target). In this way, students are learning that they are not always successful and need to keep trying. Students are learning ways to check their heart rate and what they can do to increase it.
Art: Third Grade students receive forty-five minutes of art instruction each week. In third grade students are introduced to different artists and create using a variety of art mediums. Students continue to study the Elements of Art.
Music: Third grade students receive two-one half hour classes of music instruction each week. The mission of the music program at Allendale Christian School is to allow students to discover and develop the musical gifts that God has given them through an appreciation of, enjoyment of, and success in music. Through movement activities, composition, improvisation, singing, and the use of instruments, third graders will develop the following musical skills: reading complex rhythms, reading pitches on the treble clef, performing harmonies as a class, and recognizing instruments and their families.
Computers and Technology: Third Grade students participate in two one-half hour sessions of computer instruction each week. Students begin to learn keyboarding skills in third grade. They also use various websites and Microsoft applications to enhance classroom instruction. World Book Online Encyclopedia is used for research in order to build on classroom learning.