Grade 3

In Third grade, a child’s awareness of self grows stronger, signaling an exciting new stage of cognitive growth, evident in their increasing mastery of academic skills.  This sharpened sense of individuality can also manifest in new worries, fears, and a more critical nature. Third graders want to know the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind what was once taken for granted and so may engage in persistent questioning and challenging of those in authority, whether in regards to a rule, a fact, or questions of a more philosophical nature. As they achieve more fluency in reading, children utilize this new tool to acquire their own information and begin the process of organizing and interpreting this information in written form. Third graders are increasingly able to apply the concepts and skills they have gathered in new and challenging ways.

School Day: 8:20 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. with the option of Extended Day through 5:10 p.m.

Language Arts

A balanced approach is most effective in children’s reading and writing development.

For reading, writing, and phonics, teachers use Reader's and Writer's Workshop curricula, developed at Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

Below are key elements of our rich and balanced language arts program:

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Third graders integrate their growing mastery of basic arithmetic facts and knowledge of the number system to solve more complex equations. As they deal with greater quantities, they come to recognize the purpose of multiplication and division as efficient strategies. Third graders delve into the multi-step procedures of multi-digit multiplication and division. At Nantucket Lighthouse School, we use Bridges in Mathematics developed by The Math Learning Center to guide our study of mathematics.

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Social Studies

Norse Mythology; researching and report writing and oral presentation. 
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Investigating animals and plants and the concept of a habitat; mapping; local geology and geography; recording observations of nature; gardening of vegetables and herbs, seed saving, composting, and recycling.
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Physical Education

Weekly Physical Education classes include exercising gross motor skills through running, jumping, hopping, climbing, balancing, throwing, and catching. There is an emphasis on collaborative games and good sportspersonship.


Third graders learn more songs from popular and folk traditions as well as more complex musical games and activities.  They start to accompany short rhymes and songs with simple “orchestrations,” which use different instruments, each playing different parts. Towards the end of the year, students learn about “rounds,” where they learn about independent singing and singing in harmony. They also have an introduction to keyboards at the end of the year so that in the upper grades, students are familiar with the layout of the instrument and can dive right in with simple accompaniments for songs and musical games.