Grade 3 Overview

Third Grade Curriculum Overview

This overview has been written to inform you about the academic program, skills, and concepts being studied in third grade. It is intended to give you a broad overview of the core subjects, instructional goals and learning expectations your child will experience. Newington has a strong comprehensive curriculum, which includes sequential instruction at every grade in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and wellness.

Language Arts

The purpose of the Language Arts Curriculum is to develop all aspects of language (reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing), so students are able to communicate effectively in a technological, ever-changing world. We seek meaningful ways to guide our students to apply their knowledge of the language arts across content areas and in realistic situations through a balanced literacy program, including reader's workshop and the Harcourt Trophies reading program.

The third grade reading program includes reading aloud, where teachers share quality literature and highlight skills; shared reading, which allows students to become involved in the reading process with the teachers; guided reading, in which students receive reinforcement of skills in texts at their individual levels; and independent reading, when the students self-select texts at their own reading levels.

The third grade writing program is based upon the writer's workshop model. The students work to develop quality narrative and informational pieces. Teachers guide students to elaborate ideas, organize pieces, select interesting words and develop voice and fluency. Through conferences with peers and a teacher, students further craft their work. Finally, students edit for conventions and share completed work.

Students will:

  • read grade-level text with fluency

  • learn, understand, and apply new vocabulary

  • use clues from text to determine meaning of a word or phrase

  • monitor comprehension while reading

  • determine central ideas of text

  • use text features to demonstrate understanding

  • distinguish point of view from that of the author

  • use information from graphics and words to demonstrate understanding

  • compare and contrast central ideas across texts

  • use capitalization and punctuation appropriately

  • write and speak using grammatically correct sentences

  • write organized and elaborated narratives, opinion pieces and informational pieces

  • proofread, edit, and revise work

  • apply spelling strategies in writing

  • write legibly in manuscript and cursive

  • follow rules for discussion and prepare appropriately

  • ask and answer questions to add to a discussion

  • present information clearly to an audience



The goal of the third grade math curriculum is to build upon students' existing foundation of concepts and skills. Students participate in specific units of study to further their understanding through meaningful and challenging tasks. The curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, which define what students should know and be able to do in their study of mathematics.

The third grade mathematics program includes direct instruction, where teachers target specific skills and concepts; guided math, in which the teacher reinforces and builds on skills with small groups based on individual progress; independent practice; and collaborative learning, where students have the opportunity to communicate their reasoning, cooperate, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Through activities, labs, daily practice and problems, and games, students will:

  • describe problems that can be solved using multiplication and division equations

  • demonstrate fluency with multiplication facts

  • demonstrate fluency with division facts (1, 2, 5, 10)

  • add 3-digit numbers with and without regrouping

  • subtract 3-digit numbers with and without regrouping

  • multiply 1-digit numbers by multiples of 10

  • apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide

  • compare and determine equivalence of fractions

  • categorize shapes by shared attributes

  • partition shapes into parts with equal areas and label parts using fractions

  • tell and write time to the minute

  • use elapsed time to solve problems

  • determine area using a variety of methods

  • solve problems involving area and perimeter

  • make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

  • communicate mathematical thinking clearly and precisely, orally and in writing



As third grade students explore new concepts in science, they are encouraged to apply the skills of the scientific process. They make observations and predictions, ask questions, seek information, and conduct experiments. The students analyze data and use it to draw and present conclusions. Third grade students explore how materials can be identified through the use of simple tests, such as adding water or heat. Plants and animals of water and land (forest and desert) habitats are explored. The students learn that plants and animals must adapt to survive in their natural habitats. The physical and chemical properties of rocks and minerals are observed and tested by students. These properties help the students to determine how the rocks and minerals are used by humans.



All students in Newington are encouraged to appreciate and demonstrate respect, responsibility, and empathy. The goal of our health program is for students to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students practice making healthy and appropriate decisions throughout each school year. Third grade students learn how to make healthy choices by reading food labels and by taking good care of their bodies, specifically their eyes and ears. Third graders learn to identify safety hazards in and out of the home, including electrical safety. The students also learn how the immune system works to fight off disease. The students explore how to deal with stressful situations by using the strategies of conflict resolution. Additionally, students will learn to make good choices if getting pressured by others to try drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.


Social Studies

In third grade, students will engage in a yearlong study of Connecticut and local towns. They will analyze the impact of geography, economics, and government structures to study the history and contemporary society of Connecticut and local towns. The study of Connecticut requires that students generate and research compelling questions across the four core disciplines. Such questions may include:

  • How are governmental decisions made at the state and local levels?

  • How has history and the culture of Connecticut influenced our community today?

  • What caused changes in Connecticut and how did it contribute to the history of America?

  • What role does geography play on the economy of our state?

  • How do individuals and groups contribute to the local community or state?


Educational Technology

The technology education program provides students with direct instruction and practice in technology skills on a graduated basis. Students acquire a working knowledge and understanding keyboarding, word processing, multimedia skills, and features in G Suite for Education Applications. Students demonstrate mastery of skills by completing grade-appropriate activities and projects.


Art education promotes the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as self-awareness, self-expression, and well-being. The elementary art program promotes interdisciplinary experiences that aid students in the integration of ideas, concepts and processes, and in a holistic perception of their world. It promotes an understanding of the diverse cultures in society as reflected in the arts. Third graders have the opportunity to experience original art in a museum setting. They continue to create art based on their imagination, recall, and observation.

Students will:

  • continue to practice and build upon previously learned skills and techniques

  • exhibit greater proficiency in using the art criticism process

  • learn about individual artists, styles, and genres

  • begin to use specific elements in their artwork such as color, lines, texture, and shapes

  • perceive and begin to use design principles such as balance, contrast, variety, patterning, and rhythm to compose and manipulate space for visual impact in their artwork

  • identify various careers that make use of the visual arts


Music education enhances learning, communication, creativity, teamwork, discipline, cultural awareness, respect for others, and self-esteem through personal accomplishment. The music program develops these skills in children to help them succeed in school, in society, and in life.

Students will:

  • reinforce their vocal skills by using a ‘singing' voice and singing ‘in-tune', expanding their repertoire of songs

  • continue movement exploration with steady beat and body percussion as part of rhymes and songs, circle games and folk dances

  • use recorders as a tool to expand music literacy development

  • learn symphonic instrumentation through the study of the four families of instruments

  • learn a variety of music terms and symbols


The Wellness program in third grade is designed to help children better understand their movement capabilities, and in turn, helps them to better master many movement skills, whether they be functional or creative. It provides the students with the opportunity for individual and creative responses. It allows the child to progress at his/her own rate. In grade 3, skills unique to individual and team sports are introduced. Through movement exploration, students are exposed to various sports skills that may be used in game-like situations.

Students will learn:

  • fitness appreciation

  • to work with a partner

  • to function as part of a "team"