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May 10 — Celebrate Good Times!

General Studies with Hilary

Dear Third Grade Families,

Our first full week of May has gone by in a flash! We’ve had our first official rehearsal for our NYC Play, numerous math lessons, a strong focus on research writing (or information writing), book clubs and social studies. We had a wonderful time celebrating Israel yesterday, for Yom Ha’atzmaut!










In book clubs, students are somewhere between halfway through with their books to having finished their first spring book! Some groups have really risen in their abilities to independently discuss what was read. They ask one another questions, and are requiring text evidence as proof for ideas or opinions. So much growth in just a few weeks!

During these first ten days of May, each student took the time to read through the biography of his or her important person in history. Similar to our fall Lenape project, students took notes about their person (be it Steven Spielberg, Jane Goodall, Hank Aaron, or Eleanor Roosevelt). They placed those notes into at least categories that were offered to them, and the original title of some of these categories were: occupation; childhood; firsts/innovations; obstacles and what they stood for; home life; and what are they up to now?. These categories will become the chapter titles for the biography each student is writing, and the chapter titles are going to look different for each student. Some of their headings ideas — as of now — are:

  • Quotes He Said and Heard
  • How Much He Paid For Each Gig?
  • The Voyage Around the World
  • The Map
  • Life in the Army

There will be more chapter titles to come, as we move further along in  the project!

Before and after break, students worked on shapes and measurement. Before break, they were working on the difference between sides, vertices (a vortex is the point where two sides meet), and angles. They also worked on symmetry and flipping shapes. After break, we began talking about the differences between area and perimeter. Over the course of two days, we looked at the same seven objects from our classroom, such as the SMARTBoard, a piece of paper, our desks, and a notebook. On one day, we then had to find the perimeter, by measuring the outside of the rectangular shape and adding the four sides together. On the other day, we had to find the area of a rectangle, where we figured out that we only need to find TWO sides of it — two adjacent sides — and then we could multiply them together to find the area. If you look closely, finding the area is VERY similar to solving an array! This week, we started a ‘final project’ of creating a zoo in partnerships, trios, or solo. Within the zoo, the students have a few requirements of what needs to be seen inside the zoo (such as six exhibits, an aquarium OR a reptile house, bathrooms, one restaurant, etc), and they also need to find the area AND perimeter of each location. This project integrates into our second Social Studies unit, which included reading and drawing maps. These projects will be up for you to see by Kesher Day!






In Social Studies, we are learning about the immigration process from the old country (specifically Europe and Russia) to the United States during the third wave of immigration — from 1880 to 1920. We have been studying aspects of what immigrants experienced through two read alouds: Journey to Ellis Island: How My Father Came to America, by Carol Biermam; and When Jessie Came Across the Sea, by Amy Hest. In these books, we are exploring the push-pull factors for why the protagonists traveled to America, how they got across Europe, what the boat ride was like, the experiences at Ellis Island, and life in New York City. Through these conversations, we’ve explored what it means to be disabled, women’s rights during the turn of the century, and how people’s perspective has changed over the past century in terms of gender and abilities. These conversations will be continued as we talk about life in NYC at the turn of the century.

Conversation starters:

  • Biography: What is your important person most well known for?
  • Biography: What is a little known fact about your important person?
  • Social Studies: How was the immigration experience the same for the Dutch, in the 1600s, as it was for immigrants in the late 1800s? What were the differences?

Dates to remember:

  • Friday, May 17 → Kesher Day (special person day)
  • Monday, May 27 → Memorial Day (no school)
  • Wednesday, May 29 → Ellis Island Trip!!
  • Sunday, June 2 → Celebrate Israel Parade
  • Monday, June 10 → Shavuot (no school)

Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

Hebrew with Ilana Swisa

This week the third grade had quiz on the vocabulary for the story King David And the Frog. Also they had to complete their recording reading this week on this story. In my room, for Yom Ha’atzmaut, they learn some steps of different cultural dances from Yemen, Ethiopia, Morocco and Israel. It was very fun!
Shabbat Shalom

Judaic Studies with Aliza

This week in Judaics, third grade began learning the last part of our Chumash curriculum – Akeidat Yitzchak (the sacrifice of Isaac). We have begun our discussion of this difficult chapter, and what reasons there might have been to put Avraham and Yitzchak through such a harsh test. For Yom HaZikaron, we learned about the 1976 hostage rescue at Entebbe airport, and on Yom Ha’atzmaut enjoyed a visit from Michaella Granit’s family and heard her Safta’s amazing stories about being a police officer in Israel. Next week, students will begin volunteering in the gym during lunch, helping kids sort their trash and recycling into the correct bins. Shabbat Shalom!