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December 6th

Hebrew with Rimma and Tomer

In Hebrew we practiced verbal skills by introducing places that are familiar. We studied how to introduce the places and the people in our neighborhoods and discussed what is special in our neighborhood and what makes it so nice to live in.

We recombined learned vocabulary creatively into a short paragraph by using verbs in the present tense and paying a lot of attention to some differences between Hebrew and English. Now we know that in Hebrew we say “people nice “or “neighborhood  beautiful“ instead of  nice people “ and “beautiful neighborhood “. We have been hard at work writing and drawing to our publishing party and we are even more excited about our Hebrew play which is just around the corner.

Judaic Studies with Ariana

We have been working hard for the publishing party. This Wednesday we showcased all that we have learned about the Ethiopian Jews-Beta Israel.

3rd Grade learned about the history, journey and customs of the “Beta Israel”.

We also learned about the Jewish Ethiopian holiday called Sigd

Every year, 50 days after Yom Kippur, the Beta Israel make a journey to Jerusalem where they pray and dance with umbrellas. 

This is a tradition they have been doing for centuries that originated in their ancestral land of Ethiopia. There they used to climb a mountain and pray for their return to the Land of Israel.

The third grade students decorated umbrellas as these are typically used to celebrate this holiday.

The students also created a beautiful Ethiopian tapestry featuring different Bible stories.Our work was inspired by the crafts created by female Jewish Ethiopian artisans.

The children also had a chance to taste authentic Ethiopian food prepared by the 5th grade to enrich the learning experience.

General Studies with Hilary

Dear Third Grade Families,

How wonderful and amazing were the Third Graders today? Seeing the number of smiling faces before, during and after the publishing party was such a sight to see!

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it yesterday. We hope you learned at least one new piece of information. Starting on Monday, the twelve posters will be put up on our bulletin boards, both in the hallway and the classroom. If you were unable to attend, or if you have family who you would like to share the information with, attached to this blog post you can find a Publishing Party Video. If you would like some individual shots, please let Hilary know and she will pass them along to you.

Social Studies:

On Wednesday, we started a short study of explorers and encounters, which turned into a focus on Henry Hudson. We observed paintings that represent six different encounters between the explorers/Europeans and the Native group, and students discussed what they saw and what they think it means. This conversation about explorers will be a larger focus in the fall of Fourth Grade. Next week, the third grade will be asked to use all the gained knowledge about the Lenape to investigate and infer how life changed with the arrival of Europeans — specifically the Dutch.


A few weeks ago, in Math, we started our exploration of subtraction. We began by discussing the definition of subtraction and how it compares to addition. Children mentioned that subtraction is the process of taking away, and that it is the opposite of addition. We discussed how a subtraction equation can be written in different ways. For example, 324 – 123 = __ can be written 324 – __ = 123 and 123 + __ = 324. All three equations lead to the same answer, but are solved in different ways. This is also called a “fact family,” which is a term commonly used for our math fact equations from 0-20. Students also reviewed how to use stacking when solving  four-digit subtraction problems, expanding their knowledge from Second Grade. We have practiced regrouping in the thousands, hundreds, tens and ones places. This week, we also discussed how to proceed when you subtract with a zero in the bigger number.

This week, we have moved onto word problems, for addition and subtraction. Word problems integrate literacy with math and are connections, for students, between school and the real world. To visualize the concepts in a word problem, students can use the bar model method as a strategy to help solve equations. This method is a way to represent a word problem situation, usually using rectangles. The process starts by using real world, tangible representations, before moving onto showing the problem using a pictorial diagrams before then introducing the abstract algorithms and notations. Bar models are able to be used for all four math operations — addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 

The particular power of the bar modelling pictorial approach is that it is applicable across a large number of topics. Once students have the basics of the approach secured, they can easily extend it across many topics. It is important to remember that bar models don’t give you an answer – it gives you an understanding of what to do to get to the answer. The “what to do” part is where students can use one of the four operations to solve the word problem.

Topics to talk about with your student:

  • What are the “Three Gs” for explorers?
  • Where did John Smith think he would go if he kept traveling up the river or over the mountain?
  • What was Henry Hudson’s life goal?
  • How would you describe a character in the book you are reading at home? What do they do or say in the book that makes you think that?

Important Dates:

  • Friday, December 20 — The Lion King at 9am in the Gym
  • Monday, December 23 to Wednesday, January 1 — NO SCHOOL
  • Thursday, January 2 — 1st day back at school

Shabbat Shalom,