This SFUSD third-grade instructional guidance is organized into four sections: Culture of Learning, Academic Ownership, Essential Content, and Demonstration of Learning. We recommend you explore the four sections so you have a sense of what is available here and then focus on the Culture of Learning section for the start of the year. There you will find guidance on the development of 8 and 9-year-olds, setting up your classroom, building family partnerships, and launching the school year. For content-specific guidance go to Essential Content.
Our intention here is to provide an overview of third-grade instruction and make the information easily accessible. This is not a scripted manual - third-grade instruction is more complex and nuanced than these pages alone can illustrate. Still, there is a lot of information here that we believe will be supportive. Please do not feel compelled to dive into this website all at once. Please use it as a resource throughout the year as needed. This guide is one piece of the puzzle; your partnerships with students, fellow teachers, coaches, families, administrators, sites, and departments are all essential to supporting you in creating a learning environment where every day we provide each and every student with the quality instruction and equitable support required to thrive.
The Instructional Guidance Team
Student-Centered Third Grade
Each and every student comes to the classroom with a wealth of strengths and lived experiences along with specific developmental assets, and needs. These constitute the root that instruction should be informed by and grow from. Honoring these roots, cultivate an environment where your students can tap into their joy for learning and nurture it with their classmates.
Support them to deeply engage in their learning by modeling, scaffolding, and providing ample opportunities to freely ask questions, openly explore and share their thinking, provide and use feedback, and ask for help when needed. Support each student to develop and demonstrate a sense of ownership for their own learning and that of their classmates - growing a sense of shared responsibility for academic and non-academic routines, procedures, and expectations throughout their third-grade experience.
Caution turns to confidence as sevens become eights. Eight-year-olds wake up in the morning with plans for adventure percolating before their feet hit the floor. Eight is inventive and creative, full of energy, curiosity, and imagination, always in a hurry to try the next thing - or to create the next thing themselves. With a friend, or better yet, a group of friends, eights roll along with plans for a parade or a play, thrilled with their truly wonderful ideas for “what” and blithely unconcerned with the “how.”
Driven by their growing confidence and competence, eights eagerly learn the tools of their trade whether pencil and ruler or computer and app. They tackle school assignments with industrious verve, going for volume and speed over detail and accuracy, but are likely to become frustrated if accomplishments don’t come easily or quickly. As eights tumble from one interest to another, exploring their world and their own potential, they excitedly keep track of their accomplishments both large and small.
There's an intense inner stirring in nine-year-olds as they become profoundly aware of the intricacies and subtleties of the world around them. This is a solemn age of intellectual stretching, wondering, arguing, questioning, and doubting--all signs of remarkable growth in these children's resilience, intellectual curiosity, maturing moral character, and capacity for independent thought. Nines impatiently question the ways adults have made the world--a world they begin to see they will have the power and responsibility to manage and to change.
The Core Four
This page was last updated on May 23, 2023