Our curriculum is driven by the Diocesan Standards which align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Our curriculum focuses on five main aspects of the Church. The Church is One: Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the sacraments bring us together. The Church is Holy: We learn to be the likeness of God our Father by loving God and one another. The Church is Catholic: Jesus taught us that God is the Father of all and all are welcome. The Church is Apostolic: The Church has spread throughout the world and is faithful to the teachings of the Apostles. The Church has a mission to the world: The Catholic Church is a sign of the justice and peace of God’s Kingdom in this world.
English - Language Arts
Third grade’s literature block is carefully structured to bridge the gap between learning to read and reading to learn. Students learn to annotate text and use the RACE to Respond Strategy in order to respond to comprehension questions. During this time, students are working on the foundational skills good readers utilize to comprehend and analyze fiction and nonfiction text. Students will read several novels as a class such as Charlotte’s Web and use Storyworks magazine to read both fiction and nonfiction texts. Writing instruction and practice is a daily occurrence in third grade as is spelling practice. Students also study a variety of academic words to broaden their vocabulary.
St. James School uses the Step Up to Writing Program. Third grade’s focus for writing composition is expository, opinion, and narrative. The long-term goal is to develop and enhance the skills learned in second grade and guide the students from composing one solid, organized paragraph to a multi-paragraph essay. Students are challenged to include sensory details, rich vocabulary, and academic language in every piece they write. Several of our writing projects are integrated across the curriculum.
Kindergarten through Fifth grade uses the Envisions curriculum for math. The scope and sequence of this curriculum aligns with the California Common Core State Standards. The third grade domains are: Math Numbers and Operations in Base Ten (place value and rounding), Numbers and Operations – Fractions, Math Operations and Algebraic Thinking (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), Geometry, and Measurement and Data. We also implement and practice the Mathematical Practice Standards.
We follow the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). For Physical Science, we investigate and explore forces and motion, and static electricity and magnetism. Life Science includes life cycles of plants and animals, animal group behavior and inheritance and variation of traits, ecosystems and biodiversity, fossils, natural selection and adaptations. Finally, our last domain is Earth Science. In third grade, we investigate weather and climate. In addition, once a month we go to the school’s 1600 square foot science center for a special lesson taught by the full-time science teacher.
Third grade integrates the use of the Chromebooks throughout the curriculum especially during writing, science and social studies. Third graders also use Typing Club to practice keyboard skills