Third Grade

About Third Grade

Open Window School third graders expand their understanding of the world, both historically and geographically. As eight and nine-year-olds, third graders have a growing sense of self that enables them to look deeper not only at themselves, but at the world around them. Capitalizing on this, third graders learn about the early history of North America and the Native Peoples who populated what is today the United States followed by a deep dive into the geographical regions of the US. Throughout these experiences, the students acquire valuable research and writing skills as they learn to communicate their new knowledge. As with all grades at Open Window, third grade also provides an intentional, age-appropriate learning progression that focuses on social and emotional learning and development. 

List of 5 items.

  • Language Arts

    As a part of Open Window School's program, the reading curriculum is accelerated by one year. As third graders working a year ahead, students continue to work on the reading comprehension strategies that research shows good readers use to make sense of texts. During third grade, students are formally taught or informally experience using their schema and making connections, visualizing, wondering, and questioning, using text features, making inferences, determining important ideas, analyzing text structures, summarizing, and synthesizing. They explore and practice these strategies at an appropriate level of complexity - both in terms of the reading level of the texts and the types of problems and dilemmas dealt with in the texts. This happens both through shared text read as a class and through individualized reading.

    In writing, students write personal narrative texts, fiction stories, expository non-fiction works, opinion pieces, and poetry. Throughout the year, third graders engage in regular opportunities for free writing as well as move through the formal writing process, including brainstorming, creating rough drafts, making revisions and edits, and publishing a final draft. They work to develop a relaxed, uninhibited attitude about writing as they simultaneously hone their attention to conventions, creativity, and sense of purpose in their writing.

    In addition to academic skills, students continue to develop socially and ethically as those skills are integrated naturally into the work. As the students work together, they develop caring and respectful relationships, creating a safe and supportive classroom community that is conducive to sharing their thinking. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to be aware of the effect of their behavior on others. Throughout the year, students think about and act on five areas: responsibility, respect, caring, fairness, and helpfulness. Additionally, the students explore other values that arise in shared texts such as courage, perseverance, gratitude, and compassion. The social skills that students learn as a part of the reading instruction help them to act on these values intentionally.
  • Math

    As a part of Open Window School's program, the math curriculum is accelerated by one year. As third graders working a year ahead, students' mathematical thinking and reasoning abilities are developed through appropriately leveled problems and investigations in the areas of number, operations, algebraic thinking, measurement, data, and geometry. These problems and investigations grow out of ventures into everyday life—reading stories, playing games, drawing pictures, building structures, making collections, and conducting simple hands-on science experiments—while others delve more deeply into the world of mathematics itself. Students are encouraged to explore, develop, test, discuss, and apply ideas: to see mathematics as something fluid, vibrant, creative, and relevant.
  • Science

    Blogs, lab reports, and hands-on projects are an integral part of third-grade science. Building on their knowledge of the scientific process, third graders engage in activities such as the Build a Guitar Project, microbiology investigations, and the aeronautics and engineering unit. Students learn about the scientific principles behind air density and temperature and flight forces as they study the high-interest topic of aeronautics. Investigations also include the study of weather and Earth, taxonomy, and life science. These topics are integrated with homeroom projects and activities. This is also a time for students to develop their ability to create their own experiments, engage in peer review, and defend their work to their classmates.

    Devoted strictly to kindergarten through fourth-grade learners, the Open Window Lower School Science Lab offers inquiry-based, hands-on experiences for young students. Capitalizing on the natural curiosity and zeal for learning of gifted students, the lower school science curriculum develops not only a solid foundation of science skills but a passion for all things scientific. Scientific investigations cover four domains over the course of kindergarten through fourth grade: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
  • Social Studies

    Third grade social studies centers around developing foundational understandings of US Geography and history. Throughout the year, third graders exchange letters with pen pals spread across the country, offering an authentic exploration of geography, culture, and history. They learn about the traditions of Native American storytelling, crafting their own “Stories of How Things Came to Be.” They then engage in identifying their own “origin story,” discovering and crafting their own familial mysteries and myths. Students explore stories of migration to and within the United States throughout history through various texts, interviews, and internet research.

    Third graders then extend their understandings of their heritage as they explore aspects of their own culture as well as that of others, sharing and exchanging information authentically with one another. They engage in a formal research project in which they look even more deeply into a region of the United States to which their heritage is tied, again sharing, and exchanging their learning as they seek to gain a comparative and contrasting knowledge base about the different parts of our country. To culminate the year, students design their “Future Best Life,” identifying a place in the United States in which they could see themselves residing based on their preferences for climate, industry, family, and other factors.
  • Spanish

    The Lower School’s exploratory Spanish program aims to inspire an early passion for learning language. It introduces students to important vocabulary and fosters awareness and appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures with authentic stories, songs, and games. The curriculum includes themes that relate to students and their surroundings, reflecting their needs, interests, and everyday life and provides the opportunity for students to begin developing the speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills necessary to communicate confidently and proficiently in Spanish.

    In third grade Spanish, students strengthen and expand their language skills as they engage in thematic units related to body parts, food, and sports and other hobbies. While the primary focuses are on understanding, speaking, and reading, students begin writing short sentences in Spanish.

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Stephanie Dobler

    Stephanie Dobler 

    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Photo of Arni Muljadi

    Arni Muljadi 

    Associate Teacher, Grade 3
  • Photo of Marissa Sandberg

    Marissa Sandberg 

    3rd Grade Teacher
  • Photo of Tess Cullaz

    Tess Cullaz 

    Lower School Associate Teacher, Grade 3
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.