"Independence and Inter-dependence"
The 3rd Grade year is when a large academic door is opened. Third Graders experience great growth in all skill areas, and teachers recognize this as the result of new found independence. As each student becomes more and more aware of their learning strengths and interests, they also realize that they are inter-dependent on their classmates.
There is increased emphasis on group works - group projects and activities. Third Graders begin to see their world in a more abstract fashion, and this is enforced by studying states, continents and parts of the world far away. Third Graders also visit the past in their studies of American Colonial Times. They investigate historical figures and the contributions made by those individuals in the creation of their own wax museum. They visit the continent of Africa by immersing themselves in folktale writing and African dance and culture. Students learn about what are facts and what are opinions as they develop their own! The study of multiplication in Mathematics even strengthens and expands their overall skills and problem solving capabilities.
Third Graders are taught conflict resolution strategies so that they may learn how to solve problems academically and socially. These strategies can be utilized on the playground as well as in the classroom. They know that to have a friend they need to be a friend. All students are encouraged to work with their peers as well as individually in order to complete assignments and to solve problems.