Third Grade

Meet the classroom teacher:

Alex Brands has been teaching at Sharon Elementary School since 2019.
Mr. Brands graduated from Castleton University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Mr. Brands received his teaching certification from UVEI.
When Mr. Brands is not teaching, you can find him mountainbiking, foraging, and enjoying all that Vermont has to offer. In the winter months, you can find him backcountry skiing or on the ice, playing hockey.

Alex Brands
3rd Grade Teacher


In 3rd Grade, we are helping students become proficient in:

  • representing and interpreting data
  • using place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic
  • solving problems involving addition and subtraction, and identify and explain patterns in arithmetic
  • developing an understanding of fractions as numbers
  • in Algebra: represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division
  • geometric measurement: understanding concepts of area and relate area to multiplication and to addition
  • solving problems involving measurement and estimation

English & Language Arts

The Third Grade English & Language Arts program takes a balanced approach to the teaching of literacy. Students read and write fiction and non-fiction in a variety of forms, and overlap with all aspects of the students’ learning. Instruction occurs in small group, independent, and whole-class settings. When necessary, a full-time interventionist guides students through areas of difficulty in reading fluency. At Sharon Elementary and across the White River Valley SU, Fountas and Pinnell program is used in all classrooms as support for meeting proficiency. The classroom books and minilessons provide access to a variety of leveled texts geared for all readers. In terms of proficiency, we measure and focus on students being able to:

  • Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for answers
  • Recount stories, determine the central message, lesson,or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text
  • Determine the main idea of a text, recount the key details, and explain how they support the main idea
  • Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters
  • Use text features and search tools to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently
  • Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic
  • Compare and contrast the themes, settings, plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characteristics
  • Reads grade-level appropriate complex text
  • Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words
  • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension


Outdoor education, and educating outside of the traditional classroom walls, is a core value here at Sharon (in Third Grade and beyond). Through our robust Outdoor Learning and Farm To School program, students are able to fully engage with their surroundings. Learning is experienced through all 5 senses to involve the student fully into the natural world. Every week, we venture outdoors to connect with our place and to work on skills we are learning in the classroom. Social skills (empathy, reflection, meditation and mindfullness) are reinforced in a control setting.
Some of the themes we focus on throughout the year in Third Grade:

– Life Cycle of insects, plants
– Tracking and identifying local wildlife
– Exploring native plant species through best foraging practices
– Season changes
– Water cycle
– Nutrition


In Art, the Third Grader meets the NCAS proficiency by exploring Native American artifacts and replicating techniques, studying the seven laws of drawing through famous artists exploration, develop a work of art based on observations of surroundings involving a range of medium.

In Music, the Third Grader meets the NCAS proficiency by working on cadence and rhythm. Students are able to generate musical ideas (such as rhythms and melodies) within a given tonality and/or meter. Students are introduced to the use of standard and/or iconic notation and/or recording technology to document personal rhythmic and melodic musical ideas. Students in Third Grade have two scheduled performances to the community (Holiday Concert and Spring Concert), as well as performances during the school year for special events/assembly

In World Languages, the Third Grader builds on previously learned concepts, and is immersed in Spanish or Standard Mandarin Chinese (languages are both taught during the year). The focus is on exploring colors, counting, family through movements. Mrs. Meagher also brings cultural diversity to the classroom using food, cultural artifacts, and history to expose the Third Grader to context within their language exploration journey.