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3rd Blog – 1/13

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a wonderful break!

After reviewing school rules and routines, we dove right back into learning. In reading, we started a new read aloud! We’ll be reading Because of Winn Dixie and focusing on the characters in this story. We also got our book club groups, so that we can use the comprehension skills we learn during our read aloud on our independent books. Ask your child what book they’re reading.

In writing we began our opinion writing unit. These kids sure do have strong opinions! At first we simply brainstormed different ideas. We thought about changes we would make at school, at home, and in the world, a person that deserves praise, and some of our favorite things. We chose our seed and created a strong statement. 

In social studies, we focused on the Civil Rights Movement, in anticipation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We learned that any group of people who are considered “other” have been discriminated against. For Black Americans, it began after they were freed from being slaves. A man named Plessy rode the train in a white section and was arrested. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and in Plessy v. Furegeson, the Court ruled that “separate but equal” was constitutional. This led to laws called “Jim Crow” laws where everything from schools, restaurants, and transportation was separated by race. We then focused on the action taken in the face of injustice. We researched the Selma march, Greensboro sit-in, Freedom Riders, Montgomery bus boycott, Brown v. Board of Education, and the importance of journalism. Each group then presented what they learned at our Tekes on Friday.


In Music class, Third Graders have learned the C and C7 chords on the ukulele, so they can now play the first part of my song, My Dog has Fleas! Our ukulele players have also been learning how to read music and play it on the ukulele. This week, we focused on the D pitch, so students can now read C, D, E, G and A – and they have a better sense of how these pitches fit together with the rest of the pitches on the treble clef staff. 


In art, students are having fun making collagraph prints. These are collages that become printing plates with screen printing ink. We can’t wait for you to see the final results soon!


In math, we have begun our more serious multiplication unit, focusing on multiplying 2-digit and 3-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers. Before we learn the standard algorithm, we get to learn the “break it up” method – for example, 18 x 9 would be 10 x 9 plus 8 x 9, because 18 is 10 plus 8, and we multiply both by 9. We have rooted this exploration in drawings of grids and arrays to convince ourselves of what is really the distributive property of multiplication, and have also laid the foundations for learning area and perimeter later on.


Hebrew with Rimma

The students have been busy learning a new unit “Friends’ ‘.They continue to explore the stories about Tamar and her friends. What does it mean to be a friend? What activity do we do with a friend? We’ve been learning related vocabulary in order to describe friends, their hobbies and after school activities together.

In short stories about Tamar and her friends we learned how to understand the main idea by answering questions: Who?, What?, When? and Where? 

Our next mini project is how to describe yourself in a few sentences using antonyms like in the song אני נשאר אני https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwSCm-bcVwQ  that we learned this week.


Judaics with Shira

Third graders jumped back into learning in 2023! First, we got back into the swing of school with a lesson on New Year’s Celebrations in different cultures. In New York, people might stay up late and watch the ball drop on December 31st. In Judaism, we celebrate the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashannah in the fall on the first of Tishrei. We saw how these customs compare with New Year’s celebrations in Latin America, Asia, and in Islam.

We then jumped back into learning Chumash, continuing the story of Avram, Sarai, and Lot and their journey to Cana’an. Students practiced identifying singular and plural verbs. By paying close to attention to who was doing each action, we were able to have meaningful discussions about which people in the story had more or less agency in deciding whether to take the journey. Students enjoyed dramatizing the scene, and giving voice to peripheral characters that we do not hear from in the Torah, such as Sarai, Lot, Avram’s servants, and Avram’s animals.

These past few days we took a break from Chumash to learn about the relationship between Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. We read the book, “As Good as Anybody” and learned about how Rabbi Heschel became involved in the civil rights movement after fleeing Poland during World War Two. He had heard that America was a place where people were treated fairly, but he soon saw that that was not completely true.