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3rd Blog- 12/16

It was so nice seeing all of you for our Lenape celebration! 

Last week we started all new units! In reading, we started reading mysteries! First we looked at the blurb and tried to figure out what the mystery was and who would solve it. In our read aloud, The Absent Author, Dink’s favorite author goes missing and Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose were going to solve it.  As we read together, we tried to solve the mystery before the characters, so we collected clues, identified suspects and their motive and opportunity. We summarized the mystery and shared our own mysteries with other “detectives” in our class. The ending of our read aloud was very surprising! We made a list of how mysteries usually go and read another mystery story to see if we were right. We also talked about what a red herring is, and how to identify it in mysteries. Finally, we saw that we can use some of these comprehension strategies for mysteries on fiction books too!

In writing, we looked at sentences and sentence structure. We focused in on the subject and the predicate. The subject is who or what the sentence is about and the predicate is what the subject is doing. We also learned that a compound subject is more than one subject and a compound predicate is more than one predicate. We also looked at ending punctuation and made sure all the sentences we are writing have ending punctuation.

In social studies, we fast forwarded a few hundred years to the Age of Exploration! We learned that people began exploring because they wanted goods from other countries. Initially those in Europe used the Silk Road to get to Asia for their silks and spices. When that road was closed, people started looking to find a water route. One of those explorers was Henry Hudson. He was a British explorer who twice sailed for the British trying to find a route to Asia. He went too far north and was stopped by ice. On this third try, he sailed for the Dutch and sailed to the Americas. He was the first explorer to sail north on what is now the Hudson River. He claimed all the land around the river for the Dutch. He also interacted with the Lenape and traded with them. Not all of their interactions were peaceful as the Lenape were wary of the Europeans and Eurpoeans were wary of the Natives. Our trip to the Staten Island Museum had us aboard an 1880’s cargo ship! We were able to see what it was like to live and work on the ship. We also saw the captain’s quarters and decided if we were to live on a ship, we’d want to be the captain!  



In older news, 3rd graders finished their subtraction unit, which mainly focused on practicing regrouping (which you may have learned as “borrowing”), interpreting word problems, and identifying when a problem was 2-step or 1-step. We also wrote our own word problems and traded word problems with classmates. We took our subtraction assessment last Thursday and then moved right on to….multiplication! 

These last two weeks, we have focused on 1-2 numbers each day, practiced our facts up to 12 for those numbers, and then played recall/review games for those multiplication facts. We should have our 5s, 9s, 10s, and 11s in the “know it within 6 seconds” zone, for those inclined to gamify things at home!



It was great to see everyone at the publishing event last week! I hope you enjoyed the students’ “Formatting Forrest” which showed off all the text formatting skills they have learned in Google Docs. What seems like second nature to us actually requires a lot of memorization of the toolbar, memorization of the keyboard, and skilled use of a trackpad to select words. The 3rd graders have really worked so practice these skills and their thirst for more knowledge is endless!

 The next skill we learned was how to find images via the “search the web” function in Google Docs, insert images, change the position of images among text, and resize images. You can ask your student to see their “Seasons of the Year” work on Google Classroom and I will also print these out for students to take home when we clean out our folders after break.

Up next for the 3rd graders is how to cut, copy, and paste. We will learn both how to do that from the toolbar and the shortcuts. Again, this is a skill that seems so second nature to us but takes physical skill with a trackpad and memorization of the shortcuts.



Third graders are making their own versions of oil lamps, hanukiyot and other objects referencing light as part of a study of festivals of light across cultures. Before molding their sculptures in clay, students viewed diyas for observing Diwali, a Kwanzaa kinara and a Christmas Christingle (stacked fruit with a candle inserted), plus light-emitting ritualistic objects from other cultures. We also watched a video about an ancient Hanukkah oil lamp discovered in Israel. Students then created their own designs, making a sketch and translating the sketch into clay with some help from their art teacher and videos on how to slip and score separate pieces of clay together. Students can’t wait to take these home this week!


Judaics with Shira

Third graders continued studying Parshat Lech Lecha  in Chumash class last week. After looking at the Hebrew text closely, students had the chance to dramatize Avram and Sarai’s story of home for an unknown land. They walked around the classroom from Ur Kasdim to Charan, while looking at Cna’an from a distance. Since the torah does not tell us how the characters think or feel about this experience, students were challenged to imagine and and gave voice to the various characters and they came up with a variety of perspectives.

This week we studied all about Chanukkah- the rituals, customs, and story. We also started to learn about other winter holidays during this time of year, like Christmas and Kwanzaa. We saw how these holidays each have unique origins and customs, even as they are all winter holidays relating to light. Third graders have been practicing reciting the blessings and singing chanukkah songs such as Maoz Tsur and Mi Y’mallel, so that they can participate in your family celebrations at home. They will also be playing dreidel with their 7th grade buddies and leading the whole school in our candle lighting on Monday!