3rd Grade

Welcome to Third Grade

3dIn third grade, students are now truly beginning to read to learn! It is such an exciting grade for students as they not only will be listening to some core knowledge language arts, but will also be diving deeper into chapter readers that extend their listening comprehension. For example, third graders will have the opportunity to become experts in many areas. A few of these exciting areas are: animal classification, space, the human body, and ecology! Other fabulous areas of learning in our curriculum include, but are not limited to: Ancient Rome, The Viking Age, and Native Americans.

In addition to the language arts curriculum, third graders will become masters of basic multiplication, simple and equivalent fractions, and will apply their mathematical skills to solving real world word problems.

Along the way, the third graders will be creatively designing, constructing, and presenting hands-on projects that will deepen their learning of lifelong skills!


Mrs Elms
Born and raised in Chicago, I moved to Colorado as soon as I could! I attended Colorado State University and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Child Development. I received my teacher’s license through the Boces program. When my son started second grade, I started working as a 5th grade teacher here at MSES. After 10 years at 5th grade, I switched to 3rd grade, and have enjoyed it more every year. Every day I am thankful to get to work in a classroom with such energized, enthusiastic, kind and quite fun students. It is my hope to model for them a love of learning through a high trust relationship in a safe and dynamic classroom. Third graders are like sponges, and their positivity is contagious. I am lucky to be here at MSES, supporting them through their educational journey.

Mrs. Maria Woytko
I am originally from a small town in Ohio. I always wanted to be a teacher from a young age. I attended The Ohio State University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating in 1990, I was a substitute teacher for six years in Ohio. In 1996, I moved to Adelanto, CA to become a first grade teacher. After the first year, I moved to second grade. My dream (other than becoming a teacher) was to live in Colorado. In 1999, that dream came true when I was hired as a second grade teacher at MSES. I had visited Manitou Springs on a trip with my family and was excited to put down roots here. The mountains speak to me and Manitou does, also. I met my husband, Keith, while working at a local restaurant. In 2014, we were able to buy a house in Manitou so I can walk to school every day! We moved with our two cats, Merlin and Nimue, and our two birds, a cockatoo named Ritzi and a sun conure named Apollo. We enjoy skiing, camping, hiking, the Renaissance Festival and traveling. After many years in second grade, I made the decision to join the amazing third grade team when a position opened and have new challenges. I look forward to working with the one-year older students and seeing them (and me!) learn new things in second grade. I will continue to have high expectations in academics while being a part of a community of learners who support each other in a kind, caring way.

Lisa Mussi
Teaching is both a calling and a career for me and Manitou Springs is a great place to be able to fulfill that calling. I have been teaching for more than 25 years and have taught students ranging in age from kindergarten through adults. Helping kids grow in all academic and social areas is my number one goal, with science of special interest to me. My background includes a B.S. in Elementary Education from Spring Hill College and a M. Ed. in Technology Integration from Graceland University. I also have a graduate certificate in meteorological studies from California University of Pennsylvania. I am a “CAT” (Certified American Meteorological Society Teacher), a program that keeps me learning about cutting edge Earth Sciences which I can then share with the kids. I have served as the Science Coordinator for MSES since 2015. It is also my honor to lead the MSES Stream Team and Imagineers--both after school clubs that focus on stewardship and the environment.