3rd Grade

  • Our 3rd grade teachers are:

    • Mr. Matt Campana       MCampana@opschools.org
    • Mrs. Jennifer R Smith     JRSmith@opschools.org    &   Mrs. Nicole Zelasko    NZelasko@opschools.org
    • Miss Kristin Smolarek  KSmolarek@opschools.org
    • Mrs. Lucie Wyatt         LWyatt@opschools.org
    • Miss Brittany Fenimore  BFenimore@opschools.org

    To access the 3rd Grade Supply List or specific teacher web pages, please click on the appropriate selection in the navigation menus at the top of this page.

    Brief Overview of 3rd Grade Subject Areas

    Language Arts/Spelling     


    The math curriculum will focus on the addition and subtraction of 3-4 digit numbers, place value, counting money, time, graphing, geometry, fractions, probability, measurement, multiplication and division.  Special emphasis will be placed on problem solving activities, applications of mathematics to everyday life and writing about math.  A mastery of multiplication facts from 0 –12 is expected, by the end of third grade.

    Social Studies

    The third grade program focuses on the study of world communities.  The students will expand their concept of community by discovering how geography, history, natural resources and economics have shaped the communities of our world today.  Students will explore and learn about the communities and cultures in countries such as:

    • China
    • Zambia
    • India
    • Israel
    • Australia



    The third grade curriculum explores and investigates four units of study through the use of hands-on kits:  Butterflies, Rocks and Minerals, Sound, and Buoyancy. The Growing Healthy Curriculum is an enrichment to the Science curriculum.

    Butterflies – This compare/contrast learning unit will increase the students ability to observe and record written and illustrated information at all stages of the butterfly and moth’s life cycle, care for their butterfly (feeding, cleaning, releasing), comprehend factual material, complete a graphic organizer using the scientific information gathered and compose a writing piece.

    Rocks and Minerals - Students explore the differences and similarities between rocks and minerals by investigating samples of these earth materials, performing a series of tests similar to geologists' field tests, and reading about rocks and minerals and how they are used.  The first lesson focuses on rocks.  The students then turn their attention to a set of 12 minerals and test them to identify properties such as streak color, luster, transparency, hardness, shape, and magnetism.

    Sound - Using simple materials, students investigate many basic sound-making devices.  Students begin to find out the relation between objects, the sounds they produce and the actions necessary to produce and change those sounds.  The major inquiry process skills utilized in this unit are:

    communicating, generalizing,
    manipulating, and observing

    Buoyancy - This unit is a study of why things float. Students will perform many hands-on experiments. Data will be collected, recorded and analyzed using a variety of methods. Most of the learning experiences involve working cooperatively with a partner. Students experiment with a variety of materials and designs and investigate the buoyancy of the boats they construct. A comparison of weight of an object to water displacement will give students a beginning look at density.

    Growing Healthy
    - Students will have an overview of the body systems, making healthy choices and promoting personal safety.


    If a student will be absent or late, please call the student absence line at 209-6216.  If the student has numerous days of absences, please call the school so arrangements can be made, as missed class work will be need to be completed.

    Proper Heading

    Below is the proper heading that is accepted to be used on all your child’s papers this year.

    Student’s Name                                    Date
    Subject                                                     Teacher’s Name


    Students are expected to record their homework assignments in an agenda that is provided by the school.  All homework assignments will be explained before it is assigned.  Students can expect nightly assignments. 

    Orchard Park Central School District teachers use the “10 minute rule” as a general guideline.  On average, your child should spend approximately 10 times his or her grade level on homework per evening (a third grader would spend 30 minutes on homework).  Oral or silent reading is not included in the “10 minute rule”. 

    Parents of primary age students should spend 10-20 minutes per night reading to or with your child.  At the intermediate level, 20-30 minutes per night should be allotted for independent reading. Parents are encouraged to review the work and provide guidance where needed.

    At this age, students should be held responsible for completing the assignments as well as returning them to school on their own. If a child is having difficulty completing work, please us know.

    Classroom Management

    Classroom rules of behavior and expectations for work will be established early and enforced throughout the year. We believe that the classroom should be a fair, caring community that teaches the children to live with fairness and to respond to authority. We will help the children become better citizens who will lead productive and healthy lives and will focus on social skills that will teach the children friendship.


    Recess is approximately 20 minutes four times per week.  Teacher discretion is used on a daily basis whether recess is held.  Weather permitting, the class will go outdoors for recess.  If the weather is inclement, the class may have an indoor recess in the classroom.  Those children who go out during the winter months are required to have boots, hats, gloves and a warm coat.  In warmer months, all students are required to wear sneakers!

    New York State Testing

    In New York State, all 3rd grade students take the ELA (English Language Arts) and the Mathematics State Assessments in the Spring.

        What skills do students need to be successful on the ELA and Math assessments?

       1. reading comprehension
       2. time management
       3. organizing thoughts
       4. listening
       5. problem solving
       6. synthesizing ideas
       7. note taking
       8. sequencing
       9. critical thinking
      10. classifying information
      11. analyzing information
      12. speaking
      13. spelling, punctuation, and grammar
      14. self-monitoring
      15. working independently
      16. comparing/contrasting
      17. explaining ideas
      18. test taking strategies ie: pacing, rereading
      19. math concepts
      20. vocabulary

    We look forward to your child having a happy and successful year!


    The third grade teachers