Dr. Joseph A. Whelan Elementary School

1440 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 233-1180  |  Fax: (401) 353-1465

Principal: Mrs. Amanda Donovan 

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Grade 3

Third-grade at Whelan represents many things: Advanced class work, deeper understanding, meaningful lessons, and a heightened focus on academics and overall learning. Halfway through their time at Whelan, students have transformed into more active thinkers, literate learners, and voluntary participants across all subject areas.

Efficiency and fluency are noticeable in 3rd-grade classrooms at Whelan, where students make the switch from learning to read to reading to learn, and ask more elaborate questions about more complex content. Students make strides socially, emotionally, and academically in 3rd-grade, and our educators act as their cheerleaders as students navigate through new and invigorating curriculum.


Grade 3 Mathematics

At Whelan, math has meaning. Third-grade students are taught in a stimulating environment, and educators work to make sure children are present in their learning. Place value, multiplication, division, and fractions take on purpose beyond the worksheets students complete and tests children take. Third-grade math is a critical component of each child’s education, as it marks transition in subject area and becomes more complex.

The work 3rd-grade students complete, composed of figuring out math problems using charts, graphs, and tables to visualize the find answers to math challenges, pushes them to further hone in on their interpretation and explanation skills. Applicable math is what keeps students engaged and thinking about the subject during arithmetic lessons, but also excites them in a way that causes them to identify math and how it can be used outside the classroom.

Grade 3 English Language Arts

Third-grade students at Whelan are turning the page in more ways than one. They pick up on the significance of plots, can predict how stories might unfold, make note of “big picture” themes, and develop a greater appreciation for individuals characters.

You can see the figurative “light bulbs” turn on as students pick up their pens or pencils and write their own ideas down, brainstorm and sketch out their thoughts for their own stories, and make connections to texts they’re reading in class. The students read more advanced literature, which directly translates to polished creative and objective writing skills.

Grade 3 Science

In 3rd-grade you can see the sparks flying – not literally, unless that’s part of the lesson plan! Students are always experimenting, and we know many students learn best by doing. We’re all about active learning at Whelan, where you will always see many students’ hands raised during lessons, asking questions of teachers and participating in zealous and lively conversations.

Through a variety of workshops and experiments, students make their own choices and decisions to see how they can change variables and what causes different outcomes. The autonomy we provide our students allows room for their personal growth, and encourages them to take a step back, analyze materials and research they’ve completed, and use deductive reasoning and trial and error to find solutions.

Grade 3 Social Studies

It’s the 21st-century, and our 3rd-grade Whelan students are learning with tangible objects, digital tools, and philosophical and open-ended discussions. While doing so, they’re learning how the past impacts the present, and the significance of the word “influence.”

Third-grade students at Whelan see the purpose of reflection when it comes to civics, holding follow-up discussions – and additional follow-up discussions – after reading and learning about key moments in time. Our educators highlight current events that are ongoing to provide more relevant instruction that make lessons really adhere to students’ minds in ways that matter to them.

Grade 3 Teachers

Ms. Susan Coughlin

Mrs. Nina Szumita