Third Grade

 SwiftMs.  Christine Swift

I am happy to be returning to Randolph Elementary for my fourth year of teaching in Arlington. I have taught in Indiana, New York, and Washington D.C. I attended Butler University in Indiana where I studied Effective Teaching and Reading. Go DAWGS! My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education from the State College of New York at Oneonta. I trained as a Reading Recovery scholar at Purdue University and worked as a Reading Recovery teacher for 10 years. In my free time, I attend PAL (People Animals Love) events to visit nursing homes, hospitals, and libraries with my certified therapy dog, Frosty. My dog Frosty is part of the Randolph community and often visits the classroom to read with my students. I am a member of the Greater Washington Reading Council and the APS Liaison for GWRC. I have two boys; Afton who is a rising junior in Fairfax and Corydon who is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Go Rams! As a family, we enjoy hiking, fishing, and boating at Pohick and Occoquan Bays. The summers we visit and stay at my childhood home in the Finger Lakes of New York! There is no place like HOME!


Mr. Ward Merritt


Ward Merritt is a 3rd grade classroom teacher who started working at Randolph in the 1995-’96 school year.  Randolph is his first and only school! Ward received a BA from Amherst College, and a M Ed. from Lesley College/Shady Hill School. When he’s not at school, he can be found reading, working in my vegetable garden, taking long walks, or exploring different neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.


Mr. Jason Re


Jason Re is a 3rd Grade teacher at Randolph. He joined our staff this school year 2019-2020. Mr. Re received his undergraduate degree from Saint Anselm College and his master’s degree from George Mason University. He was born and raised in Virginia. In his free time he likes to draw, read, and exercise.

rodriguezlopezMs. Lupita Rodriguez-Lopez


Ms. Rodriguez-Lopez is absolutely thrilled to be joining the third grade team. This is her first year at Randolph Elementary. Prior to joining Randolph she worked at Fairfax County Public Schools for three years. Ms. Rodriguez-Lopez had an excellent elementary school experience as a child and now wants the same for all of her students. In her free time she loves to play with her dog and bake sweets!

Third grade students learn about Ecosystems and Simple Machines in science. The students will visit the outdoor lab for the first time, to enhance their learning about simple machines.  In social studies, they learn about 5 important Ancient Civilizations: Egypt, China, Rome, Greece, and Mali. It is a big year for mathematical learning! Students learn everything from place value for numbers up to 6 digits, to multiplication, to geometry. In Reading, students make a shift from learning to read, to reading to learn- with a big focus on comprehension skills in both fiction and non-fiction. Near the end of the year, students take SOL’s for the first time in reading and math. The third grade team works collaboratively with the math coaches and reading team to ensure student growth and learning. Students in third grade also learn a variety of new concepts in the arts and physical education including playing the recorder and taking swimming lessons.