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3rd Blog – 2/17 – Have a wonderful break !



We continued, and finished, reading Because of Winn Dixie, analyzing how Opal reacts to problems that she faces. We’ve noticed that Opal faces them head-on, making her very brave. She asks the preacher about her mother, even though she is afraid to, and always talks back to the Dewberry boys. We then looked at different supportive characters, Gloria Dump, Miss Franny, and Amanda Wilkinson. We established that their roles are as advisor, friend, and challenger. These supporting characters help our main character move along their story mountain. Sometimes they make their journey easier, and sometimes they make it more difficult. We looked at the supporting characters in our own books and what their roles were in helping the main character.

At the end of the book, we noticed that the tension comes to a head at the top of the story mountain. Here, Winn Dixie goes missing and may be lost. We realized that Opal’s sadness runs deeper than Winn Dixie. She really misses her mama and blames the preacher for her leaving. After admitting this to the preacher, she “breaks his shell” and we learn the preacher missed her mama just as much. Through admitting their true feelings, they both can come to terms with the fact that she wouldn’t be coming back.  Thankfully, Winn Dixie was safe the whole time. Opal was finally able to let go of her mama and appreciate the relationships she has. 


We published our Opinion writing! I hope you enjoyed watching them on Flipgrid and leaving comments. Before moving on to our next writing unit, we returned to working on sentence structure including sentence fragments and run on sentences.

Social Studies:

After learning about daily life in New Amsterdam, we focused on the directors. While the land was under Dutch control, New Amsterdam had 7 directors. We researched four of the directors, Minuit, van Twiller, Kieft, and Stuyvesant. We were split into groups and given one of the directors to research. We read articles and took notes in our own words. Then we made posters. Enjoy watching the presentations!

Click Here to Watch

Math with Luis:
3rd graders are multiplication masters! We have spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks getting the standard algorithm for multiplication down, and understanding how to use multiplication on word problems, and reviewing the relationship between multiplication and division. We’ve also begun (and have done well on!) weekly multiplication facts quizzes. If there are any anxieties about grades, remember that all quizzes can be retaken 🙂 When we return, we’ll get right to work applying our new skills in all four operations to word problems.

Judaics with Shira

Third graders completed their next unit in Chumash, focusing on the promise that God makes to Avram that he will have descendants who will inherit him. We learned what the words inherit and descendants mean, and practiced looking for their roots in Hebrew in the text. We know by now that roots have three letters that always appear in the same order, but they can be tricky to find because sometimes other letters appear in between them, or small letters, like Yud, can disappear.

To conclude our unit we had a special visit from Yael Kanerak, founder of Beit Toratah. 

Yael spoke to us about her project which is a re-gendering of the Torah: male characters become female and vise versa. In our story, this means that Avram (meaning high father), becomes Emrama (high mother) and Sarai becomes Sar. Looking at the changed text in Hebrew was a great test of the text skills we have been studying all year, such as identifying male and female verbs. Thinking about the meaning of the text and reading it in English was an new and interesting way to engage and connect with the text. Students loved asking Yael questions and acting out the Toratah text, with goddess Tehovah speaking to Emrama, telling her that Elita’ezer would not be the one to inherit her, but her daughter would. Finally, Emrama looked up to the sky and counted the stars, imagining all her future descendants. I was so proud of all the students and how they welcomed Yael as a special guest to our classroom and their thoughtfulness around this mature topic!

Also check out pictures from the Tu B’shvat fair and sandwhich making from our Chips visit in the album!


STEAM with Sammi

In science, the 3rd graders have continued putting the scientific method into practice with various experiments. For our first experiment, our question was “How many drops of water fit on a penny?”. Students learned to use pipettes and discussed being reliable as possible by making slow drops they could accurately count. When doing the experiment, students were amazed at the domes of water that were able to form on a penny. This led us to a mini demonstration (ask your student to show you the cup, water, index card magic trick) and new knowledge that water molecules are sticky. They love to find each other and hold on tight! This led us to a new question to investigate- are other liquids just as “sticky”, less “sticky”, or more “sticky” than water? Students ran through the scientific method again testing lemonade, milk, and diet coke. The third graders have now moved onto their fourth experiment of this mini scientific method unit, the gummy bear experiment. A favorite among 3rd graders every year, we are seeing how different liquids affect the size and shape of gummy bears. This experiment will result in a book that comes home and will fulfill the last step of the scientific method, sharing what you learn.

In technology classes on Fridays, the 3rd graders have started to learn Book Creator. Book Creator is a website and app that helps students make digital books. The 3rd graders are learning to use many of its features, including adding text, shapes, pictures, videos, drawings, and voice recordings. They are allowed to choose the topic of their book as they practice and we have a wide range of topics from Star Wars to adorable animals to tacos. When we finish learning Book Creator, students will use the program in Shannon’s class to publish their biography writing. 


Hebrew with Rimma

For the past two weeks students have been learning about Tamar’s friends and the activities that they do together. They learned a new vocabulary related to this topic and applied it in their speaking and writing. One of the fun and exciting projects was to write their very own books and read it to the second graders. It motivated students to do their best and it was a thrilling experience for the second graders as well. 

For the listening assignments, students watched a video about different after school activities and did the interactive activities online. 

For the last week our focus was on the modal (auxiliary) verbs following by infinitives that helps to express necessity, ability or desire such as אוהב, צריך, יכול

Here some examples of the infinitives that we learned: