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Third Grade

Third Grade Standards

Third Grade Standards

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Well-communicated standards provide you with the information you need to have a better understanding of what your child is to learn in a specific grade level and in a specific subject. Your knowledge of the standards will help you frame your questions for parent-teacher conferences; select reading and writing materials for the home; and shape your visits to public libraries and other places of interest.
English-Language Arts

Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
  • Students understand the basic features of reading. They select letter patterns and know how to translate them into spoken language by using phonics, syllabication, and word parts. They apply this knowledge to achieve fluent oral and silent reading.
Reading Comprehension
  • Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They draw upon a variety of comprehension strategies as needed (e.g., generating and responding to essential questions, making predictions, comparing information from several sources). The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition to their regular school reading, by grade four, students read one-half million words annually, including a good representation of grade-level-appropriate narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information). In grade three, students make substantial progress toward this goal.
Literary Response and Analysis
  • Students read and respond to a wide variety of significant works of children's literature. They distinguish between the structural features of the text and literary terms of elements (e.g., theme, plot, setting, characters). The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.
Writing Strategies
  • Students write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writing shows they consider the audience and purpose. Students progress through the stages of the writing process (e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing successive versions).
Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
  • Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies in Writing Standard 1.0.
  • Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.
Listening and Speaking Strategies
  • Students listen critically and respond appropriately to oral communication. They speak in a manner that guides the listener to understand important ideas by using proper phrasing, pitch, and modulation.
Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
  • Students deliver brief recitations and oral presentations about familiar experiences or interests that are organized around a coherent thesis statement. Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0.
History-Social Science

Continuity and Change
Students in grade three learn more about our connections to the past and the ways in which particularly local, but also regional and national, government and traditions have developed and left their marks on current society, providing common memories. Emphasis is on the physical and cultural landscape of California, including the study of American Indians, the subsequent arrival of immigrants, and the impact they have had in forming the character of our contemporary society.
  • Describe the physical and human geography and use maps, tables, graphs, photographs, and charts to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.
  • Describe the American Indian nations in their local region long ago and in the recent past.
  • Draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land.
  • Understand the role of rules and laws in our daily lives and the basic structure of the U.S. government.
  • Demonstrate basic economic reasoning skills and an understanding of the economy of the local region.

By the end of grade three, students deepen their understanding of place value and their understanding of and skill with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers. Students estimate, measure, and describe objects in space. They use patterns to help solve problems. They represent number relationships and conduct simple probability experiments.
Number Sense
  • Understand the place value of whole numbers.
  • Calculate and solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Understand the relationship between whole numbers, simple fractions, and decimals.
Algebra and Functions
  • Select appropriate symbols, operations, and properties to represent, describe, simplify, and solve simple number relationships.
  • Represent simple functional relationships.
Measurement and Geometry
  • Choose and use appropriate units and measurement tools to quantify the properties of objects.
  • Describe and compare the attributes of place and solid geometric figures and use their understanding to show relationships and solve problems.
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability
  • Students conduct simple probability experiments by determining the number of possible outcomes and make simple predictions.
Mathematical Reasoning
  • Make decisions about how to approach a problem.
  • Use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions.
  • Move beyond a particular problem by generalizing to other situations.

Physical Sciences
  • Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another.
  • Light has a source and travels in a direction.
Life Sciences
  • Adaptation in physical structure or behavior may improve an organism's chance for survival.
Earth Sciences
  • Objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns.
Investigation and Experimentation
Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. To understand this concept and to address the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations.