Parents: Boston Public Schools Grade 3

Grade 3 Learning Standards

This information is from the Boston Public Schools Citywide Learning Standards.


Oral Presentation and Discussion
Students will be able to:

  • Follow agreed upon rules for class discussion and carry out assigned roles in self-run small group discussions.
  • Contribute knowledge to class discussions and participate in self-run group discussions, book club, literary circles, and class project.
  • Give formal and informal oral presentations using effective presentation skills.
  • Express an opinion of a literary work or film in an organized way, with supporting details.
  • Retell a story with a beginning, middle, and end, including important details and story elements.
  • Use teacher developed criteria to prepare their presentations.
  • Use listening skills to obtain information.
  • Recognize the subject-predicate relationship in sentences.
  • Identify the meaning of common prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
  • Identify common idioms and figurative phrases.
  • Identify unknown words using their context.
  • Determine the meaning of words and alternative words using a dictionary or thesaurus.
  • Identify the four basic parts of speech: noun, verb, adjective, and adverb.
  • Differentiate between formal and informal language in advertisements read, seen, and heard.
  • Understand and use the fundamental skills in sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and spelling for grade three as defined in the BPS Course Guides.
Reading and Literature
  • Read grade-appropriate narrative and expository text with comprehension, fluency, and accuracy using appropriate timing, change in voice, and expression.
  • Use letter-sound knowledge to decode multi-syllable words.
  • Use comprehension strategies such as prior knowledge, predicting, visualizing, questioning, and summarizing to understand text.
  • Identify the different forms of literature such as poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, and drama in reading and apply this knowledge as a strategy for comprehending text.
  • Identify themes as lessons in folk tales, fables, and Greek myths for children.
  • Identify and analyze the elements of plot, character, and setting in the stories they read and write.
  • Identify and use knowledge of common textual features, graphic features, and organizational structures to gain meaning from a variety of informational materials.
  • Locate facts that answer the reader's questions, distinguish cause from effect, distinguish fact from opinion, and summarize main ideas and supporting details when reading informational/expository texts.
  • Identify rhyme and rhythm, repetition, similes, and visual and auditory images in poems that are read aloud, and use these techniques in their writing.
  • Plan and perform readings of selected text for an audience using clear diction and voice quality (volume, tempo, pitch, tone) appropriate to the selection.
Writing and Composition
  • Take seed ideas from the writing notebook and bring through the draft, revision, and editing to a published product.
  • Use appropriate language for different audiences.
  • Understand and use writers' craft in their writing.
  • Use knowledge of word study to monitor and check spelling.
  • Organize plot events in an order that leads to a climax in their writing.
  • Write a personal narrative that is organized, has a clear focus, and sufficient supporting detail.
  • Write in different genres, e.g., personal narrative, nonfiction , poetry , a friendly letter, informal notes, thank-you notes, diary entries, and journals.
  • Write an organized response to a key question from a piece of literature or informational text using evidence from the text as support.
  • Organize ideas for a brief response to a reading.
  • Write stories that have a beginning, middle, and end and contain details of the setting.
  • Write short poems that contain simple sense details.
  • Improve word choice by using dictionaries.
  • Write legibly in cursive, leaving space between letters in a word, and between words in a sentence.
  • Use knowledge of correct mechanics (end marks, commas for series, capitalization), usage (subject and verb agreement in a simple sentence), and sentence structure (elimination of fragments) when writing and editing.
  • Use syllabication to monitor and correct spelling in their writing.
  • Spell most commonly used homophones correctly in their writing (there, they're, there; two, too, to).
  • Identify and apply steps in conducting and reporting research.
  • Write brief summaries of information gathered through research.
  • Define the need for information and formulate open-ended research questions.
  • Form and explain their own standards or judgments of quality, display them in the classroom, and present them to family members.
  • Create presentations using computer technology, posters, reports, and graphic designs.
  • Gather information using the Internet and CD-ROM.
  • Use their understanding of television to distinguish between fact and fiction.
  • Examine and explain advertising.
  • View, understand, and discuss informational media productions.
  • Compare stories in print with their filmed adaptations, describing the similarities and differences in the portrayal of characters, plot, and settings.

Regional United States and Massachusetts History and Geography, Economics, Civics and Government
Topic 1: Using Maps

  • View different kinds of maps (e.g., physical, transportation) and tell how each is used; make simple maps from memory of basic global, continental, nation, and state shapes and features.
  • Recognize the purpose of a key or a legend on a map.
  • Identify the cardinal and intermediate directions and explain their use on a map or globe.
  • Recognize these features on a map or globe: poles, equator, hemispheres, continents, oceans, and major mountain ranges.
  • Identify geographical features of Earth; identify by name and shape landforms such as islands and continents and bodies of water such as rivers, oceans, lakes, and bays; define terms such as climate, coast, continent, desert, equator, poles, hemisphere, island, and peninsula.
  • Explain the purpose and use of number and letter coordinates on a map and find objects using letter and number coordinates.
  • Recognize the human characteristics of a place (e.g., language, how people live, work, and play, form of government, economic development of the place).
  • Identify the United States on a map or globe, name the continent upon which the United States is found and locate the following: Mississippi River, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior), Appalachian, and Rocky Mountains.
  • Identify the Northeast Region, name the states and capitals of the Northeast Region and identify physical characteristics of the Northeast Region including coastline, major harbors, bays, mountains, rivers, and natural resources.
  • Explain how humans interact with the environment in the Northeast Region, including the relationship between the physical characteristics of the region and the economic development of the region.
  • Identify the physical characteristics of Massachusetts and explain the role that geography has played in the economic development of Massachusetts; explain how people in Massachusetts interact with the environment.
  • Recognize the relative location of Massachusetts to other states in the Northeast Region and identify major cities found in Massachusetts such as Boston, Worcester, Springfield, New Bedford, Fall River, Cambridge, Brockton, and Lowell.
  • Identify the physical characteristics of Massachusetts including coastline, major harbors, bays, capes, natural resources, mountains, rivers and locate such places as Cape Cod, Cape Cod Bay, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket Island, Boston Harbor, Charles River, Connecticut River, Berkshire Mountains.
Topic 2: Massachusetts History and Geography
  • Understand the significance of Boston, Massachusetts and the role that geography has played in the economic development of Boston.
  • Recognize Boston on a map or globe; name the neighborhoods of Boston; identify famous landmarks in Boston.
  • Explain, in basic terms, the role of the mayor and city council; name the mayor and identify the building in which the mayor and city councilors work.
  • Explain the importance of the State House; identify the chief government official (governor) who works there.
  • Describe how Boston has changed over time using past and present photographs.
  • Describe the early history of Massachusetts including the Wampanoag, Pilgrims and Puritans; explain how early settlers adapted to the environment.
  • Describe family, community , and daily life in Colonial Massachusetts.
  • Decsribe the economic development of Massachusetts; describe fishing and whaling communities such as Gloucester, Salem, and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • Define, in simple terms, the concepts of freedom and justice, and give examples (historical and contemporary).
  • Recognize the role that Massachusetts played in the American Revolution, including the actions of important individuals (e.g., Paul Revere, John Hancock, Sam Adams, Crispus Attucks, women and other minorities).
  • Recognize the role that Massachusetts played during the Civil War, including the role of the 54th Regiment.
  • Recognize why there is conflict and how it can be resolved in non-violent ways; connect these ideas with examples (historical and contemporary).
  • Recognize the economic development of Massachusetts, past and present; describe the influence of geography on the economic development of Massachusetts; describe the kinds of industries that developed in Massachusetts throughout the 1800s; describe the daily life of a mill worker and how the industry changed the environment; make connections to the present, similarities and differences.
  • Recognize how Massachusetts has grown and changed.
Other Standards/Skills To Be Developed within the Context of Each Topic
  • Construct historical timelines.
  • Put events into temporal order.
  • Understand cause and effect, and the relations between events.
  • Understand that actions can have intended and unintended consequences.
  • Make simple connections between historical people and events, people or events from their own lives, the lives of family members, or people and events in the world around them.
  • Consider and contrast ideas, rituals, customs, and concerns expressed or conducted by individuals of the past that may be similar or different from their own.
Discussion & Presentation
  • Use agreed upon rules to participate in formal and informal, large, and small group discussions.
  • Contribute knowledge to class discussions.
  • Give formal and informal oral presentations using effective presentation skills.
  • Use teacher developed criteria to prepare their presentations.
  • Express an opinion in an organized way, with supporting details
  • Retell an event with a beginning, middle, and end, including important details.
  • Use listening skills to obtain information.
  • Write frequently in response to readings and other presentations (e.g., summaries, questions, reactions, connections, predictions, and other responses to people and events).
  • Maintain a system for collecting, referring to, and sharing their thoughts and writings.

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

  • Formulate questions, collect and organize data using observations, measurements, surveys, or experiments, and identify appropriate ways to display the data.
  • Interpret and pose questions about data collected.
  • Construct, draw conclusions, and make predictions from various representations of data sets, including tables, bar graphs, pictographs, line plots, and tallies.
  • Describe the shape of the data and analyze it for patterns.
  • Examine a set of data to determine what is typical.
  • Represent data on a line plot.
  • Classify outcomes as likely or unlikely.
  • Predict the likelihood of outcomes.
  • Compare and analyze attributes and other features of 2-D and 3-D shapes.
  • Analyze how shapes are the same and how they are different.
  • Visualize how components of shapes are put together to form whole shapes.
  • Describe, compare, and represent 2-D shapes.
  • Compare the areas of two shapes.
  • Explore relationships among shapes.
  • Estimate and measure the perimeters of various figures.
  • Describe, model, compare and classify 2-D and 3-D shapes.
  • Understand that shapes can be oriented in space without losing their properties.
  • Estimate and measure turn.
  • Understand turn as a change in orientations.
  • Identify common measurement for turns-degrees-and understand that there are 360 degrees in one full turn, 180 degrees in a half-turn and 90 degrees in a quarter turn.
  • Name turns, or angles, as acute, right, or obtuse.
  • Describe paths.
  • Describe a path using mathematical ideas and language e.g., intersecting, parallel, and perpendicular lines.
  • Describe and apply techniques such as reflections, rotations, and translations for determining if two shapes are congruent.
  • Describe physical motions precisely as a series of slides, flips, and turns.
  • Compare shapes to determine congruence through motions such as rotations (turns) and reflections (flips).
  • Relate geometric ideas to number.
  • Measure area by covering a flat surface with square units.
  • Compare areas of rectangles that have different dimensions.
  • Understand the structure of a rectangular prism as arrays of cubes.
  • Design patterns for boxes that will hold a given number of cubes.
  • Identify symmetry in 2-D shapes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of such attributes as length, area, weight, and volume, and select the appropriate type of unit for measuring each attribute.
  • Use a nonstandard unit to measure distance.
  • Compare the effects of measurement using different sizes.
  • Measure weight using a pan balance.
  • Determine volume of rectangular prisms.
  • Carry out simple unit conversions within a system of measurement.
  • Understand and use important equivalencies of time, money, and linear measurement.
  • Identify time; compute elapsed time and use a calendar.
  • Use the calendar as a tool for problem solving.
  • Estimate and find area and perimeter of a rectangle, triangle, or irregular shape, models, grids or by measuring.
  • Measure area by covering a flat surface with square units.
  • Compare area of rectangles that have different dimensions.
  • Compare the area of two shapes and explore the relationship between them.
  • Find the area of complex shapes by identifying smaller units of area (e.g., square and half units).
  • Estimate and measure the perimeters of various figures.
  • Identify and use appropriate metric and English units and tools to estimate, measure, and solve problems involving length and area.
  • Use standard measures in complex situations.
Number Sense and Operations
  • Exhibit an understanding of the base ten number system.
  • Mentally add or subtract 10 or 20 from a number.
  • Know factors of 100.
  • Use knowledge of the factors of 100 to understand the structure of multiples.
  • Use knowledge of factors of 100 to understand the structure of 1000.
  • Estimate quantities up to 1000.
  • Use landmark numbers to calculate "distances" within 1000.
  • Read and write numbers in the hundreds and thousands.
  • Represent, order, and compare numbers.
  • Use landmark numbers to combine and compare quantities.
  • Combine and compare 3-digit numbers and totals to 1000.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of fractions as parts of wholes.
  • Describe in simple terms the relationships among commonly used factors and their multiples.
  • Know that fractional parts must be equal.
  • Understand the relationship between fractions and division.
  • Select, use, and explain models to relate common fractions and mixed numbers, find equivalent fractions, and order fractions.
  • Use conventional fraction words and notation.
  • Group unit fractions that have a numerator of 1.
  • Know common equivalents, especially relationships among halves, thirds, and sixths.
  • Relate notation for common fractions (1/2,1/4,3/4,1/5,1/10) to notation for decimals on the calculator (0.5,0.25,0.75,0.2,0.1).
  • Recognize classes to which a number may belong, and identify the numbers in those classes; use these in the solution of problems.
  • Explore numbers that can be divided evenly.
  • Select, use, and explain the various meanings and models of multiplication and division of whole numbers. Understand and use the inverse relationship between the two operations.
  • Understand that the operation of multiplication is adding equal groups.
  • Recognize the connection between skip counting, grouping, and multiplication.
  • Find factors of numbers using factor pairs.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • Identify whether word problems can be solved by using multiplication or division.
  • Use knowledge of factors and multiples to solve multiplications and division problems.
  • Select, use, and explain the commutative, associative, and identity properties of operations in whole number problem situations.
  • Examine how parts and wholes are related in addition and subtraction.
  • Select and use appropriate operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to solve problems, including those involving money.
  • Solve addition problems that have multiple addends.
  • Have more than one way to solve a computation problem and use one method to check another.
  • Know multiplication facts through 9 x 9.
  • Add, subtract and multiply accurately and efficiently.
  • Solve combining and comparing problems with numerical strategies and record solutions using standard addition and subtraction notation.
  • Use different notations for the same problem.
Discussion, Presentation and Composition
  • Use agreed upon rules to participate in large and small group discussions.
  • Express ideas in an organized way.
  • Explain their mathematical thinking in writing.
  • Maintain a system for collecting, referring to, and sharing their work.

Topic: Structures of Life

  • Classify plants and animals according to the physical characteristics that they share.
  • Identify the structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, reproduction, growth, and protection.
  • Recognize that plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction, and death.
Topic: Changes
  • Compare and contrast solids, liquids, and gases based on the basic properties of each of these states of matter.
  • Describe how water can be changed from one state to another by adding or taking away heat.
Topic: Water
  • Distinguish among the various forms of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, and hail), making connections to the weather in a particular place and time.
  • Describe how water on earth cycles in different forms and in different locations, including underground and in the atmosphere.
  • Give examples of how the cycling of water, both in and out of the atmosphere, has an effect on climate.
Topic: Technology/Engineering
  • Use appropriate materials, tools, and machines to extend their ability to solve problems.
  • Use the Engineering design process to solve a practical problem that reflects the needs for storage, shelter, or convenience.
  • Describe different ways in which the problem can be represented.
  • Compare natural systems with mechanical systems that are designed to serve similar purposes, e.g., a bird's wing as compared to an airplane's wing.
Inquiry: All Topics
  • Observe and describe familiar objects and events, identifying details, similarities and differences.
  • Ask questions, both investigable and non investigable, about the objects and events observed.
  • Suggest and describe ideas about "how," "why," and "what would happen if?"
  • Make predictions based on past experience with a particular material or object.
  • Plan and conduct a simple investigation knowing what is to be compared or looked for.
  • Extend observations using simple tools, e.g., hand lens, rulers, two-arm balance.
  • Recognize and communicate simple patterns in data.
  • Interpret findings by relating one factor to another, e.g., If a ball is dropped from a higher place, will it always bounce higher?
  • Describe and communicate observations through discussions, drawings, simple graphs, and writing.
Discussion & Presentation
  • Participate in formal and informal discussions in large and small groups, using agreed upon rules to conduct and facilitate them.
  • Contribute knowledge to class discussions.
  • Give formal and informal oral presentations using effective presentation skills.
  • Express an idea in an organized way, with supporting details.
  • Retell an observation with a beginning, middle, and end, including important details.
  • Use teacher developed criteria to prepare their presentations.
  • Use listening skills to obtain information.
  • Write frequently in response to readings, other presentations, and observations (e.g., summaries, questions, reactions, connections, predictions, reports).
  • Maintain a system for collecting, referring to, and sharing their thoughts, observations, writings, illustrations, and other work.