Why Third Grade at Friends Academy?

In third grade, children go through a big transition – from the “little kids” of second grade to emerging leaders of Lower School. During this school year, they build character traits that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. At Friends Academy, third graders are given the support they need to take charge of their own learning, think for themselves, and go at their own pace while also pushing themselves to do more.

A large shift takes place in language arts, as children evolve from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Teachers seize this opportunity by hosting Readers’ Workshop and Writers’ Workshop, two regular periods when students choose topics they want to read and write about, and take time each day to practice and strengthen their skills. Third graders are often seen huddled together on the floor in a circle listening to a fellow student or their teacher read a story aloud, or tucked comfortably under tables with pillows while they soak up a new book from the library.

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    Slide 1: Third graders study the world during “Mix It Up” period twice a week, a favorite time for many in the grade. Students in both traditional and Sally Borden Program classes mix together to work on projects relating to world studies.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies2
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies3
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies4
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies6
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies7
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies8
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies9
    Slides 2-8: These projects have included exploring and drawing maps, learning about continents and oceans, studying Spanish-speaking countries, researching world landmarks and ecosystems, and creating artwork and interactive projects to showcase and share their knowledge.
  • grade3_mix-it-up-world-studies10
    Slide 9: Students also visit Gooseberry Island in Westport each September to tag monarch butterflies and track their migration patterns throughout North America.

In third grade, Friends introduces specific classes for Sally Borden Program students with dyslexia. Although these classrooms are separate, the full grade regularly combines for “Mix It Up” period, where they study the geography and cultures of the world, as well as specials (art, music, science, and PE). The theme of “learning differently” permeates the entire grade; third grade classes talk about diversity, inclusion, and respecting and celebrating differences. By the time they head to fourth grade, third grade students understand that everybody’s brain works differently and that our differences are a strength for both our community and the world.

“Friends has transformed our son from school loathing to school loving! The supportive environment builds confidence and overall happiness.”

Parent of a third grade student

Features of the Third Grade Experience

  • A third grade student presents a written project to Kindergarten students.

    Writers’ Workshop

    Students set their own writing goals, practice writing and research skills, and present their work to their peers. During Authors’ Choice time, they can choose what they want to write from a rotating list of options.

  • Two third grade students read a book together.

    Readers’ Workshop

    Each day, students spend time reading books (on their own, in small groups, or listening to a read-aloud from their teacher) to build their reading stamina, apply reading strategies, and deepen classroom discussions about books.

  • Sally Borden Program Class Introduced

    In third grade, a dedicated Sally Borden Program class is introduced for students with language-based learning differences. Third graders learn to respect and celebrate different ways of thinking and learning.

  • Third grade students practice a musical number in the Commons.

    Band of Friends

    All third graders participate in Band of Friends, a performance group where students learn how to communicate through music while having fun. They can choose to continue in fourth and fifth grades as group leaders.

  • Third grade students sled down a hill during recess.

    Two Recess Periods Per Day

    The third grade classroom looks out onto Friends Academy’s 65-acre campus. The Lower School recess area includes a playground, sand box, basketball court, and large field.

Meet the Third Grade Team

The third grade team at Friends Academy includes classroom teachers, specialists, and administrators. They work together to get to know each child personally and create a comprehensive, interdisciplinary education.

  • Jorie Daniel

    Jorie Daniel

    Third Grade Teacher
  • Kay Lindsay

    Kay Lindsay

    Third Grade Teacher
  • Megan Brillon, Third Grade Sally Borden Program Teacher

    Megan Brillon

    Third Grade Sally Borden Program Teacher
  • Abi DeRego

    Abi DeRego

    Third Grade Sally Borden Program Long-Term Substitute Teacher
  • Susan Cogliano, Lower School Art Teacher

    Susan Cogliano

    Lower School Art Teacher
  • Tanner McMullen, Lower School Music Teacher

    Tanner McMullen

    Lower School Music Teacher
  • Megan O'Brien, Learning Specialist

    Megan O’Brien

    Learning Specialist
  • Ann Richard

    Ann Richard

    Interim Librarian
  • Grace Rodrigues

    Lower School Physical Education Teacher
  • Rebecca Vasa, Lower School Science Teacher

    Rebecca Vasa

    Lower School Science Teacher
  • Jamie Ross-Cory, Head of Lower School

    Jamie Ross-Cory

    Head of Lower School

Let’s Talk About Third Grade at Friends Academy

If you’re interested in learning more about third grade for your child, please submit an inquiry or start an application today.

Third Grade Curriculum

At the end of each week, the third grade teacher sends out a newsletter to families with photos and updates about what students learned that week. (See a sample newsletter.)

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Language Arts (Reading and Writing)

  • Exploring various types of writing, including personal narratives, poetry, and non-fiction reports, with a focus on adding details to build toward thoughtfully constructed paragraphs
  • Concrete study of grammar skills, including parts of speech and parts of a sentence
  • Developing reading fluency and stamina through group reads, read aloud opportunities, independent reading, and book clubs
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Mathematics

  • Introduction of more advanced math skills (multiplication and division)
  • Understanding of geometric concepts and language for both two- and three-dimensional shapes
  • Become familiar with elements of a graph and how to interpret data displayed graphically
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Social Studies

  • Developing an understanding of and appreciation for various parts of our world
  • Become familiar with maps and how to use features like keys, legends, and scales
  • Practice research skills, differentiating between fact and opinion/fiction
  • Explore each continent, focusing on cultures and languages, ecology and wildlife, geographic features, news, landmarks, and weather
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Science

  • Explore invertebrates, with a focus on ants, the monarch butterfly, and other insects found on the Friends Academy campus
  • Understand how organisms and their environments evolved over time, and analyze habitat changes that may affect the ability of organisms to survive
  • Become familiar with the solar system and our place in it, including the scale and distance of planetary objects, the life cycle of a star, and space missions and current events
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Physical Education

  • Promote physical activity and the benefits of healthy living
  • Develop movement skills – including locomotor movements, ball manipulative skills, and dance/gymnastics – and understand when to apply skills in game play
  • Practice life skills such as teamwork, cooperation, respect, taking turns, following directions, and communicating with peers
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Art

  • Identifying and discussing art from various world cultures
  • Introduction to basic sewing skills
  • Creation of texture rubbings, watercolor landscapes, 3D sculptures, and more
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Music

  • Discover the role of music and lyrics in our lives, including musical storytelling
  • Learn to improvise using xylophones
  • Develop skills in instrument playing and reading notation by using classroom instruments such as drums and xylophones
  • Continue to sing in multiple parts
  • Learn about musical traditions and the role of music
  • Develop note reading skills
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Library

  • Learn techniques and ethics of research, including searching databases, choosing reputable websites, and including proper citations
  • Practice methods of organizing digital research, such as saving images on Google Drive
  • Create a slideshow using digital research and organization skills
  • Discover new books for independent reading time