Third Grade Language Arts Essential Skills

  1. Use critical thinking skills to discuss/debate, write, respond to stories, poems, and content area read in class
  2. Utilize a dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia, thesaurus, and computerized reference materials
  3. Utilize/follow the individual steps of the writing process to produce two complete research papers as well as regular journal entries written legibly in appropriate paragraphs
  4. Study/learn the art of cursive writing and the similarities and differences between the traditional and D'Nealian styles
  5. Begin to use and develop more "sound" paragraphs in their writing and recognize the need to start new paragraphs when the subject/speaker changes.

Third Grade Math Essential Skills

  1. Use deductive reasoning strategies to solve multi-step word problems
  2. Differentiate between charts, graphs, and tables; extract data from them; and be able to produce examples of each
  3. Recognize the correlation between mathematic properties (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and comprehend when to use each
  4. Identify various geometric figures, manipulate them, and understand their individual characteristics

Third Grade Science Essential Skills

  1. Compare and contrast the stages of the life cycle of a butterfly to an animal that also undergoes a complete metamorphosis
  2. Describe basic features, processes, composition, and structure of the universe and Earth
  3. Combine pre-existing knowledge with in-class research to report on topics dealing with the Amazon tropical rainforest
  4. Routinely apply the scientific method

Third Grade Social Studies Essential Skills

  1. Debate about what constitutes a community, why some succeed and others fail, and be able to differentiate among various urban, suburban, and rural ones
  2. Examine various cultures and discuss their history, traditions, practices, beliefs, etc.
  3. Study/discuss the lives of such historical icons as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass through their biographies.
  4. Explain the art of map-making and reading of maps through lines of latitude and longitude

Meet Chris Downey

Chris Downey has taught third grade at Park since 1996. Since 2005, he has also served as Lower School Dean of Students. In addition to his teaching duties, Chris is also the Lower School soccer coach, 5/6 Grade Girls Basketball coach, and Lower School Student Government moderator. Chris also held the position of head counselor at Park's summer day camp for seven years. Prior to coming to Park, Chris taught second grade for one year at School #54 in Buffalo as a long-term sub, and worked as a counselor for six years at Cradle Beach Camp.

A lifelong resident of the city of Buffalo, Chris himself is a product of private, independent schools, attending Nardin Academy for elementary school, and Canisius High School for high school. Chris's greatest career highlight was being nominated for Educator of the Year sponsored by WKBW Channel 7 and Dunlop Tire in 1999, and winning Educator of the Week that same year.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University College at Buffalo in Elementary Education (K-6) with a concentration in English. His professional experience includes both public and independent schools, and includes administration, classroom teaching, social/emotional curriculum development, and extensive coaching.

Chris is an avid sports fan, especially of both the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. In his free time, he very much enjoys spending time with his two nephews, attending concerts, traveling, and being outdoors.

Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.

The Park School Of Buffalo

4625 Harlem Road
Snyder, NY 14226
Receptionist: 716-839-1242
Voicemail: 716-839-1243
Fax: 716-839-2014