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October 26 — different ways we’ve thought about learning

Dear Third Grade Families,

We have had three full weeks of school, so far, and we are more used to the routines of each day. As a class, we are continuing to work on making eye contact (when talking to someone), and speaking loud enough for everyone to hear you. Next month will begin with two changes — students will have new lunch spots AND students will have new desk groupings. This is very exciting!

In math, we tied up our unit on mental math. This section was about discussing the strategies we use to do math in our head — specifically addition and subtraction. The most well-known strategy is the break apart method. In this strategy, you separate each place value and add them independently. For instance, if you are adding 724+275, you would break it apart by doing:

  • 700+200=900
  •  20+  70= 90
  •    4+  5= 9
  • 900+90+9=999

In reading, we have had MANY opportunities for independent reading while Hilary reads individually with members of our class. At conferences, Hilary will be providing book list ideas for each family, listing books that are at uphill, just right, and downhill levels. During snack, two days a week, we get to hear chapters read aloud from Kate DiCamillo’s novel, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. We have noticed an evolution and change happening to the protagonist, Edward (the china rabbit), throughout the first half of the book. We are excited to see where this leads, and who his next owners will be.

Third Graders have reached the editing and publishing stage of their writing unit! Throughout the unit, of personal narrative small moment pieces, we have been working on:

    • Revisions
      • Trying a new introduction or conclusion that hooks the reader
        • Action
        • Dialogue
        • Question
        • Description
      • Focusing on one moment in our story, and stretching it out with details
      • Using juicy language
    • Edits
      • Punctuation
      • Capitalization
    • Using a rubric to remind us of skills we have learned, and those we are working on

We are excited to have these pieces shown to you at conferences, which are Thursday November 8 and Monday November 12.

Over the past two weeks, in Social Studies, we have worked on mapping and thinking about what our world is, as well as investigating the Hudson River. You might have seen our concentric circle “bullseyes” on the bulletin board. This shows the six levels that students live in.The first, inner, level is our address. Next is the city we live in. Following that, in the third circle, is the county we live in. In the fourth circle is that state we are from. After, in the fifth circle, is the country we live in. Finally, the outside circle is the continent we live in. The inner circle represents ourselves and our family — the inner workings to each of our lives. When we go out into the city or state that we live in, we are thinking about our fellow citizens — those that we are voting with or hoping to represent us as a city, county and state. As we get into the circle about our country, it is thinking about ourselves in relation to our country as a hole, and way to support it. Here, too, we are hoping that those in government are representing our needs. The final circle (or circles for those that included planets and galaxies) represents mankind as a whole.


We then began our exploration of the Hudson River. We learned that it starts on Mount Marcy (the tallest mountain in New York State), at Lake Tear of the Clouds, and it travels ALL the way down to the New York Harbor. The river can be divided into four different sections → the upper, middle, lower and bottom. We found that the upper and lower areas have more forests and landforms surrounding the river. The upper level is VERY rural, while the middle and lower river are suburban, and the bottom of the river is VERY urban. An interesting fact about the Hudson River, specifically the section of the river that is below Troy, is that it flows both ways based on the tide. Since it mixes the salt water of the Atlantic with the freshwater from Lake Tear of the Clouds, the bottom two-thirds of the river is an estuary.

Conversation Starters:

    • How would you add 793 + 958?
    • How can you alter the following introduction, to better hook and entice your audience?


    • To get to school, I take the subway. It was hot in there.


      • What are some differences between the upper, middle, lower and bottom sections of the Hudson River?

      Dates to be aware of:

      • Monday, October 29 — Spirit Day: wear your orange, white or gray!
      • Thursday, November 8 — Conferences from 4:00-6:30
      • Monday, November 12 — Conferences from 8:00am-6:30pm
      • Thursday November 22-Friday November 23 — school closed for Thanksgiving weekend
      • Friday, November 30 — 3rd Grade Publishing Party @ 9:00am

      Shabbat Shalom!


      Hebrew with Ilana Swisa

      This week the third grade worked on vocabulary and comprehension of the song ANI Ohev. Also we worked on verbs and vocabulary from the work book and they had quiz. We practiced Yoga and Hebrew games related on the subject in social emotional – following directions.

      Shabat Shalom