- Embrace and experience greater independence, responsibility and leadership opportunities by participating in the Intermediate School Advisory Committee and service learning opportunities.
- Bring history to life with costume, dance, food, music and presentations in an Old Trail tradition—Frontier Day at Hale Farm and Village.
- Investigate and communicate mathematical concepts in algebra, geometry and data analysis with individual and collaborative study.
- Create personal narratives, biographies, research projects and speeches to develop both creative and expository writing skills.
- Pursue learning opportunities in Spanish, visual arts, technology, music, library and media, and physical education.
The third grade Language Arts curriculum employs a balanced literacy approach, encompassing word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, oral language skills, as well as writing craft and mechanics. The classrooms use the Reading and Writing Workshop structures for direct instruction as well as small group Guided Reading and individual writing conferences. Students read a variety of genres and work specifically to build expertise in understanding the characteristics of information, historical fiction, biography and mystery texts. Students engage in inquiry-based and small group collaborative learning, as they prepare for independent application of new skills.
In third grade the sequence of topics emphasizes number sense, basic facts and computation. In depth work includes fractions, proportional reasoning and problem solving. They explore more in-depth concepts of algebra and geometry and gain understanding of all aspects of measurement including estimation and comparison. Students learn appropriate strategies and reasoning skills for real-world problem solving. Through hands-on exploration activities, students learn to discuss and communicate mathematical thinking. They identify connections and use representations, such as models and graphs, to help visually interpret and solve problems.
Elements of music study continue in Grade 3, based in a playful, improvisatory, and exploratory classroom. Students experiment with both instrumental music and singing, based on Orff and Kodaly teaching methods. Foundational skills are developed such as pitch matching, steady beat, musical literacy, and movement. Repertoire includes music from around the world. The annual fall/winter concert is presented as a culmination of our performance unit. In the spring, students present a special Early American music and dance performance as part of Pioneer Day at Hale Farm.
Physical Education and Swimming
Students build skills and practice teamwork through exposure to traditional and unique sports and activities. In addition to technique, students learn the rules and terminology of tennis, volleyball and flag football. They try their hand at cup stacking, juggling, our climbing wall, and orienteering. In our Red Cross swim program, students progress between Levels IV to V. They learn and practice all strokes, breathe control and water safety, including personal and boating safety and rescue. Students also enjoy organized water games, obstacle courses and relays. In Grade 3, students are also invited to participate in competitive swim meets with other schools.
Students gain an in-depth understanding of the Grassland Biome through a visit to a reconstructed prairie, dissection of an owl pellet, and a research project. With lab work and hands-on investigation, students identify the differences between potential and kinetic energy as well as renewable and nonrenewable energy types. Students investigate local rocks formations and minerals by exploring the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They visit our on-campus Living Machine to continue their study of water and the water cycle.Social Studies
The interdisciplinary nature of the third grade social studies curriculum allows students to apply the skills they learn in a variety of ways and encourages creativity in problem-solving. Inquiry, supported by carefully chosen compelling questions provides the structure for students to develop disciplinary knowledge in civics, economics, geography, and history. Topics include mapping and human geography, Indigenous Peoples, exploration, colonialism, settlement, and migration. Students engage in an in depth study of daily life in early Ohio culminating in a Frontier Day Celebration at Hale Farm and Village. In preparation, students research historic trades and the exchange of goods and services on the Ohio Frontier. Students develop economic literacy as they visit the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, participate Junior Achievement, and apply the skills they have learned at the Intermediate School Craft Fair and Bake Sale.Spanish
Students learn Spanish using a program that replicates the natural way children learn a language, focusing on listening and speaking skills. Our program uses symbol cards placed side by side and interpreted as full complex sentences from the very first lesson. Students see the symbols, listen to the words and understand the message. When seeing a string of symbol cards, they are naturally compelled to recall, interpret the message, and reveal it out loud by producing language. This last action causes the mind to store the information in long term memory. Students are active participants in the learning experience and the role of the teacher becomes that of a facilitator. While the focus is on fluency, students in the Intermediate School start getting introduced to the more abstract world of reading and writing the language.
Because language and culture are interconnected, students at Old Trail experience Hispanic culture through music, literature, games, celebrations, cooking and eating, and through special guests from Spanish-speaking countries. Our hope is that by learning about different cultures students will gain a better understanding of the world around them and of themselves.
With projects designed to enrich their studies in History and Science, students draw landscapes of prairie habitat, design a frontier quilt and build and weave with a simple loom. Through drawing students capture land- and cityscapes, the motion of carousel animals and the human figures. They build and decorate wire sculptures and coil pottery. They also explore printmaking, chalk pastel still life drawings, and origami. Throughout each project, students are able to creatively master a wide range of concepts including composition, symmetry, foreground and background, depth, texture, pattern, shape, color and contrast.