A Nifty November

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Upcoming Events:

Dec. 8- Portfolio Day

Dec. 13- Third Grade Chanukah Games Tikkun Olam Fundraiser- (Throughout the day)

Dec. 15- VIP Day- Including Third Grade Chanukah Cookie Sale

Dec. 20-Jan. 2- Winter Break (No School)


The highlight of November was our Mystery Theater! AJA third graders performed short mystery skits which they collaboratively helped write. They also authored their own mysterious stories and read them in the dark to family members. See the photos below! Keep reading for a summary of what third grade has been up to during the month of November.

The Mystery Theater was our culminating event for the study of the mystery genre. The class then moved on to nonfiction reading. Students were taught strategies such as using headings, looking for vocabulary in bold, reading captions, and summarizing. To tie in with science, third graders read Pandas and Other Endangered Species. Students also read shorter nonfiction books aimed at building scientific knowledge and vocabulary. These books were about animal survival skills, adaptations, and endangered species. They practiced their strategies when answering comprehension questions. They further refined the skill of answering comprehension questions in complete sentences. Currently, the class is learning to put facts from research into their own words. As we continue to work with more informative reading and writing, this complicated, yet important skill will continually be emphasized.

In math, students continued to work on learning their multiplication facts. This month, the 7s, 8s, and 9s were emphasized. Third graders use catchy songs to help them skip count and memorize the facts. These songs are practiced as a class each morning as we begin math. The class also learned how to multiply a two digit number times a one digit number. Currently, students are learning the more challenging skill of multiplying a two digit times a two digit number. They are also learning about perimeter and area. Students know that to find the area you measure all sides of a shape and then add them together. In December, we will study the rest of the multiplication facts (10-12) and continue with perimeter and area.

In writing, students learned to complete expository papers. They learned that expository writing explains the process in which something was done, or tells the reader how to do something.  Using their landform project from art, students reflected on the process and composed papers explaining how the project was done. Parents will get to view these projects and hear the compositions during Portfolio Day on December 8th. Currently, third graders are learning about informational writing. This ties into their lessons during reading about forming research into your own words. After completing research and learning about informational writing, students used graphic organizers to map their thinking and site research. Then, using their newly acquired skill of rewording, students will begin to form an informational research paper. This is a very new skill to students and will be refined over the course of the year. This will begin to build the foundation for informational writing that will continue in 4th and 5th grades. As we have just begun this, we will still be working on this paper during the beginning of December.

Science has been a fun and exciting topic this month. Students completed a project on genetics in which they studied the inherited traits of various plants grown in class. As a culminating activity, students completed a genotype ‘simulation’ of sorts where they created a fictional plant. They drew cards at various stations to determine whether the ‘mother’ and ‘father’ plants would pass on dominant or recessive genes to their offspring. The results of this activity are on display outside our classroom on the bulletin board. Third grade is also completing a large unit on animals that includes an emphasis on endangered species. They have learned about animal adaptations, the food chain, levels of endangerment, animal threats, and what can be done to help. Currently, the class doing a tikkun olam project to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. In December, students will be completing chores around AJA and the JCC campus to earn money. In Jewish Studies, they are making Chanukah games and cookies that will be part of a fundraiser.