3rd Grade Curriculum

Below are the 3rd Grade Standards we focus on throughout the school year.  These standards are in direct alignment with the Colorado Academic Standards and the curriculum outlined by Douglas County School District.  

The standards are the basis for the content rich environment and activities we work at Buffalo Ridge.  We also emphasize the 4C's with our kindergarteners at a developmentally appropriate level.  Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration are vital skills for them to continue to develop. 

3rd Grade
Reading, Writing and Communicating

Oral Expression and Listening

  • Oral communication is used both informally and formally

  • Successful group activities need the cooperation of everyone

Reading for All Purposes

  • Strategies are needed to make meaning of various types of literary genres

  • Comprehension strategies are necessary when reading informational or persuasive text

  • Increasing word understanding, word use, and word relationships increases vocabulary

Writing and Composition

  • A writing process is used to plan, draft, and write a variety of literary genres

  • A writing process is used to plan draft, and write a variety of informational text

  • Correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling are used and applied when writing

Research and Reasoning

  • Researching a topic and sharing findings are often done with others

  • Inferences and points of view exist

  • Quality of thinking depends on the quality of questions

3rd Grade

Number Sense, Properties, and Operations

  • The whole number system describes place value relationships and forms the foundation for efficient algorithms

  • Parts of a whole can be modeled and represented in different ways

  • Multiplication and division are inverse operations and can be modeled in a variety of ways

Patterns, Functions, and Algebraic Structures

  • Expectations for this standard are integrated into the other standards at preschool through third grade.

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

  • Visual displays are used to describe data

Shape, Dimension, and Geometric Relationships

  • Geometric figures are described by their attributes

  • Linear and area measurement are fundamentally different and require different units of measure

  • Time and attributes of objects can be measured with appropriate tools

3rd Grade

Life Science:  Growth and Developments: Life Cycles (Change/Transformation)

  • The duration and timing of life cycle events such as reproduction and longevity vary across organisms and species

Physical Science:  Matter and State Change (Changes)

  • Matter exists in different states such as solids, liquids, and gases and can change from one state to another by heating and cooling

Earth Systems Science:  Earth Materials: Rock Cycles (Change/ Cause & Effect)

  • Earth’s materials can be broken down and/or combined into different materials such as rocks, minerals, rock cycle, formation of soil, and sand – some of which are usable resources for human activity

3rd Grade
Social Studies


  • Use a variety of sources to distinguish historical fact from fiction

  • People in the past influenced the development and interaction of different communities and regions


  • Use various types of geographic tools to develop spatial thinking

  • The concept of regions is developed through an understanding of similarities and differences in places


  • Describe producers and consumers and how goods and services are exchanged

  • Describe how to meet short-term financial goals   


  • Respecting the views and rights of others as components of a democratic society

  • The origin, structure and function of local government

3rd Grade
Visual Arts

Observe and Learn to Comprehend

  • The identification of characteristics and expressive features in works of art and design help to determine artistic intent

  • Art has intent and purpose

Envision and Critique to Reflect

  • Artists, viewers, and patrons use the language of art to respond to their own art and the art of others

  • Artists, viewers, and patrons make connections among the characteristics, expressive features, and purposes of art and design

Invent and Discover to Create

  • Use basic media to express ideas through the art-making process

  • Demonstrate basic studio skills

Relate and Connect to Transfer

  • Works of art connect individual ideas to make meaning

  • Historical and cultural ideas are evident in works of art

3rd Grade

Expression of Music

  • Perform from memory and use simple traditional notation

  • Perform extended rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic patterns

Creation of Music

  • Short musical phrases and patterns

  • Notate music using basic notation structure

Theory of Music

  • Apply and demonstrate use of basic dynamics, tempo, meter, and articulation using appropriate music vocabulary

  • Analyze simple notational elements and form in music

  • Identify vocal and instrumental tone colors

  • Identify and aurally recognize simple melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic patterns

Aesthetic Valuation of Music

  • Identify personal preferences for specific music

  • Respond to, and make informed judgments about, music through participation, performance, and the creative process

  • Articulate music's significance within an individual musical experience

3rd Grade
Physical Education

Movement Competence and Understanding

  • Demonstrate a variety of motor patterns in simple combinations while participating in activities, games, and sports

  • Perform movements that engage the brain to facilitate learning

Physical and Personal Wellness

  • Identify the benefits of sustained physical activity that causes increased heart rate and heavy breathing

  • Understand that the body is composed of water, muscle, bones, organs, fat, and other tissues

Emotional and Social Wellness

  • Demonstrate positive social behaviors during class

Prevention and Risk Management

  • There are no expectations for this standard at this grade level.