• English Language Arts and Literacy: K-5

    The North Salem Central School District curricula are based on the current New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.

    Pequenakonck Elementary School is committed to using a balanced literacy approach as our instructional model for students to develop skills and strategies in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  

    Students engage in a comprehensive literacy program which includes the following components of effective instruction:

    Reading Instruction 

    Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent reading
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction (guided reading and strategy lessons)
    • Read Aloud

    Shared Reading

    Close Reading 

    Fundations (K-3)/Word Study – phonics, spelling, and vocabulary     

    Writing Instruction

    Writing Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent writing
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction
    • Share

    Shared and Interactive Writing Mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation

    Our reading curriculum includes a balance of literature and nonfiction/informational texts.  Students read daily to improve their fluency, comprehension, and stamina. The level of text complexity increases throughout the K-5 years and assessments are used to match students with appropriate texts.  Additionally, students are taught how to self-select texts for identified reading goals as well as enjoyment. Explicit instruction focuses on foundational skills, fluency, and comprehension.

    The writing curriculum includes three main types of writing:  narrative, informational, and opinion. Students write daily to improve their stamina, volume, and craft.  Writing occurs across the curriculum and for a variety of purposes. Students engage in both the writing process and on-demand experiences.  

    Speaking and listening are also important components of the literacy program.  Students are taught how to effectively communicate with each other, engage in opportunities to think critically, and talk with each other about content, strategies, and original ideas.

    Third Grade Overview

    We follow the workshop model for reading and writing using a balanced literacy approach. Third grade is a transitional year where students learn to actively engage in text, to think deeply about what they are reading. Students will be explicitly taught strategies to develop their fluency, decoding and comprehension skills.  

    Our integrated units of study for Third Grade are:

    The Journey to Meaning - Comprehension and Critique 

    Students will:

    • read closely to examine how the actions, feelings, and traits of characters influence the course of a story 
    • consider how character study allows them to reflect on themselves (mirrors) and gain insight about the lives of others (windows)
    • include narrative story elements in their own original character stories

    The Power to Persuade - Opinion and Argument

    Students will:

    • read closely to deepen comprehension and compare literary elements across book series
    • develop speaking and listening skills and collaborative abilities by participating in small literature study groups
    • cite specific text evidence to support their ideas and opinions  
    • create and deliver an organized presentation on their collaborative group findings 

    The Road to Knowledge - Information and Research

    Students will:

    • use text features to read and navigate a wide variety of informational texts
    • read closely and think analytically to determine the big ideas in informational text
    • choose topics and generate research questions
    • build note-taking and research skills as they gather information from multiple sources
    • use their research to create and present informational articles

    The Shape of Story - Yesterday and Today

    Students will:

    • learn to recognize the common elements of folktales
    • explore connections between folktales and the cultures from which they originate
    • read closely to determine the relationship between the central message, or lesson, and key details in the text
    • practice the skills of fluent and effective storytelling
    • write and present original folktales incorporating literary elements explored in reading

    Word Work

    Fundations is a systematic, structured, multi-sensory language program in which third graders build upon skills learned from previous years. Students receive foundational skills in phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, high frequency word study, as well as comprehension strategies. 


    Pequenakonck Elementary School has adopted the hands-on and minds-on K-5 Math Curriculum, enVisionmath2.0, as the instructional resource to use within our math workshop model. Students explore grade level concepts with engaging materials, manipulatives, videos, online access and interdisciplinary activities that support student learning. The program is organized to promote focus and coherence each day. Assessments provide meaningful feedback to support student learning. The comprehensive program focuses on Common Core Clusters, develops understanding, and most importantly, connects mathematical content and processes. Learning is also supported through small groups and collaborative activities.  

    The Common Core Learning Standards focus on eight Mathematical Practices. These practices are the habits of mind, dispositions and processes that help students understand mathematics. 

    • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them 
    • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
    • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
    • Model with mathematics
    • Use appropriate tools strategically
    • Attend to precision
    • Look for and make use of structure
    • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

    Third Grade Math Topics 

    Topic 1: Understanding Multiplication and Division of Whole Numbers 

    Topic 2: Multiplication Facts: 0, 1, 2, 5, 9 & 10

    Topic 3: Apply Properties: Multiplication Facts: 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8

    Topic 4: Use Multiplication to Divide: Division Facts

    Topic 5: Fluently Multiply and Divide Within 100

    Topic 6: Connect Area to Multiplication and Addition

    Topic 7: Represent and Interpret Data

    Topic 8: Use Strategies and Properties to Add and Subtract 

    Topic 9: Fluently Add and Subtract Within 1,000

    Topic 10: Multiply by Multiples of 10 

    Topic 11: Use Operations with Whole Numbers to Solve Problems 

    Topic 12: Understand Fractions as Numbers 

    Topic 13: Fraction Equivalence and Comparison 

    Topic 14: Solve Time, Capacity, and Mass Problems 

    Topic 15: Attributes of Two-Dimensional Shapes

    Topic 16: Solve Perimeter Problems 


    Social Studies

    The third grade Integrated Social Studies English Language Arts curriculum was created by a consortium of districts from Westchester and Putnam County to help students become familiar with communities around the world. After studying communities around the world, third graders will understand:


    • World communities have similarities and differences
    • World communities are affected by geography
    • World communities have social, economic, political, and cultural systems
    • World communities change and develop

    Unit 1: Geography and Mapping
    Students will be familiarized with various land and water forms and discuss how geographic factors influence where people settle and their lifestyle. Some factors are more suitable for settlement while others act as a deterrents. Students will also examine a variety of maps to discover their features and what can be learned from each type. They will review the differences between maps and globes, and discuss terms such as directionality, scale, and map key, as well as be able to locate the continents and oceans.

    Units 2-5: Communities Around the World - USA, China, Brazil and Kenya
    The four regions of focus in third grade are: The United States, China, Brazil and Kenya. Throughout the year, students will compare and contrast the communities in these places, specifically in the areas of:

    Geography - where are these places located on a map and what types of landforms can be found there.
    Government - what rules, laws, and forms of government exist in each of the four areas.
    Economy - what types of imports/exports, needs/wants, goods and services, natural resources are found in each of the four regions.
    Culture - What holidays are celebrated? What are the lifestyles like in these places? What languages are spoken,and what is the education system like in these four places?
    Climate - students will learn how the environment influences culture and lifestyles in these four places. 


    Students will explore the world of science through observation, hands-on experiences and various informational text. Students will record data in a science notebook as they use critical and creative thinking skills.

    Life Cycle of a Frog:

    • Describe the major changes in the life cycle of a frog 

    Biome - Rain Forest:

    • Describe how plants and animals adapt to the environment
    • Compare and contrast the layers of the rainforest
    • Identify and evaluate ways in which human activities have changed  rainforests and the effects of those changes
    • Describe the relationship among air, water and land on Earth - The Water Cycle

    Earth in Space:

    • Understand that the Earth and other planets revolve around the sun in an orbit
    • Develop an understanding that they are responsible to be custodians of the Earth


    Our health program, The Great Body Shop, promotes behaviors for better health.  Students study topics at every level.  All students study growth and development, nutrition, safety, illness prevention, substance abuse prevention, personal safety, family life, and community health.

    Topics that are also integrated include the following:

    • Safe Away, Safe at Home
    • The Better to See You
    • Let’s Eat
    • Community Health
    • I Like Your Attitude
    • Your Family, My Family
    • Saying No to Smoking, Drinking, and Drugs
    • THings You Might Catch
    • When Bodies Have Problems
    • Finding Out About Bones