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Third Grade serves as a transitional year as students progress from the development of basic skills to applying these skills in various content areas. The integration of content across several disciplines continues as students complete an increasing number of long-term projects. Highlights of 3rd Grade include mock Ellis Island and the Invention Fair.
Each year in the art studio builds off the previous one. Students continue to develop skills in drawing and perspective and move on to the next stage of developing small motor skills by working with sculpture; collage; paint and printmaking. During an in-depth study of Wassily Kandinsky, students learn about the symbolism in his work as well as his use of lines and shapes; they use this knowledge to create a painting that we call “Taking a Line for a Walk.” The project culminates with a trip to the Guggenheim to see the Kandinsky collection. Third graders love doing self-portraits and one very successful piece is creating a self-portrait in the style of Gustav Klimt which allows third graders to work in gold and to have the option of creating a shiny self -portrait. Students learn about proportion and value before they begin and then, once their faces are painted, they collage them into a gold background. Printmaking in Third Grade is usually some form of monoprinting. Whether it is a relief print that they build over several classes or a gel print that they create in thirty seconds, printmaking teaches organization and patience while building successful pieces of art. Though the medium changes from year to year, third graders also create sculptures that inspire out of clay, plastic bottles, and wood.
Students use a variety of resources including the Hebrew textbook series Chaverim B’Ivrit and HaKol Chadash, both published in Israel. Connections and contrasts among roots, word use, and even typeface show students that Hebrew is both an ancient and a living language. Through the course of the year, each student delivers a d’var Torah, his or her explication of a Torah portion, which includes an analysis of the Hebrew in the text. Students also continue to develop their reading fluency and written expression.
Third Grade focuses on Israel, both ancient and modern. There is significant crossover among Jewish Studies, Hebrew, and Social Studies that enriches the experience for students. They study the Israel of the Bible, using text and maps to aid them. They study modern Israel, with its various climatic regions and its thriving industry. Students complete an in-depth research project on Israel that culminates in a student created digital presentation. Students examine the meaning of prayers, learn their place in Tefillot, and practice finding them in Siddurim. In their d’vrei Torah, third graders respond to the weekly Torah portion and address the rest of the grade at Kabbalat Shabbat services.
The reading program provides students with many opportunities to expand the skills needed to process information and to think critically about reading content. Third graders read, discuss and write about literature in small groups and as a whole class. Students also read independently for personal enjoyment. In addition, students use content area texts to gain knowledge in specific subject areas while they learn strategies for reading non-fiction text. Reading skills emphasized throughout the year include identifying main ideas, recalling specific details, making connections to concepts outside the text, decoding accurately, reading fluently, using context clues to discern meaning, participating in discussions and supporting ideas with textual evidence.
The writing curriculum emphasizes basic skills as well as developing style and presentation. Students utilize opportunities to produce writing that is interesting and reflects critical thinking. Selections cover a variety of genres and personal and expository writing. Goals for the year include using correct sentence structure, expressing written ideas clearly, generating topics for writing, revising written work, and grasping basic grammar concepts including parts of speech and simple tenses.
Children study spelling and vocabulary words drawn from word banks of weekly assigned words and their own writing. Goals include learning spelling and vocabulary concepts, applying correct spelling outside of tests; demonstrating awareness of phonetic concepts, and applying spelling rules when writing unfamiliar words.
Students refine their print skills and learn cursive handwriting. Goals include writing neatly and legibly as well as spacing words and letters accurately and consistently.
Students learn about the Dewey decimal classification system and study which subjects are included. Students explore new nonfiction areas, which may spark new reading interests and expand their understanding. Information fluency skills include reading for multiple purposes, seeking information of personal interest, and understanding the organization of libraries. Librarians also teach media literacy, including the building blocks of good digital citizenship.
In Third Grade, students solidify their knowledge of addition and subtraction and they extend place value to the millions and hundredths places. Students understand multiplication by single digit numbers and by multiples of 10, carrying with multiplication, patterns in multiplication tables, the commutative property , and the multiplicative properties of the numbers one and zero. Students can divide by single digits, by 10s, and by regrouping. They can perform the long division algorithm without and with remainders. Students learn more advanced concepts regarding money including unit cost and a running balance. Students can regroup when telling time and are introduced to the concept of elapsed time. Students read, interpret and create bar graphs, pictographs, tables, charts, pictographs, arrays, line graphs, rows, and columns. Students learn geometric principles of two- and three-dimensional figures including: their parts (face, vertex, angle), classifications (polygons), manipulation (symmetry, congruence, flips, turns, slides), location (points), and linear relationships (perpendicular, parallel, intersecting). Students investigate how fractions relate to each other including the ideas of equivalence and ordering. Students also learn how to reduce fractions, to work with mixed numbers, and to find a common denominator. Students continue to hone their problem solving skills. In addition to solving pre-algebraic equations for missing numbers, they encounter spinner, dice, and coin toss probability problems. Throughout the year, the skills of estimating, predicting, and rounding are reinforced.
The program continues to develop competence established in previous grades. The curriculum also includes an introduction to recorders, differentiation between chest voice and head voice, in-depth study of treble clef notation, and basic theory. Music and Jewish Studies continue to be integrated as seen in the Third Grade production of “Music Makers.” Individual students may choose to take advantage of options such as instrumental lessons, ensembles, elementary choir, and after-school music activities.
Developing general movement skills, foundational game and sports concepts and social awareness through group activities make up the core of the program. Specific goals include building upon games and concepts learned in lower grades, extending cooperative activities, playing introductory games for more complex sports, practicing increasingly team-oriented and competitive games, learning beginning sports and beginning cardiovascular endurance work as well as continuing fitness activities.
Life, physical and earth science are each incorporated in the foundation of the curriculum. Students use the inquiry process and structured guidance to direct the course of their study. Students ask questions and define their own understanding of the scientific world through guided activities, experiment and observations. Topics include states of matter, surface tension, oil spills, habitats and ecosystems, and plate tectonics.
The Third Grade curriculum begins with a review and extension of mapping and geographical knowledge. Students are exposed to the five major geographical themes with a particular focus on the themes of movement and human-environment interaction. They study the Haudenosaunee people who settled New York State as well as European Exploration of the Americas. Their immigration unit focuses on the push pull factors that led people to leave Europe for America and on the myriad cultural influences immigrants bring to the United States. Specific emphasis is paid to Jewish immigration to New York City. During the latter half of the year, students examine some basic economic principles and gear up for their invention project where they research historical inventions and create their own inventions that solve specific needs. Relevant field trips including a voyage on The Pioneer sailing ship and visits to the Eldridge Street Synagogue and the Tenement Museum round out the course of study.
Located in New York City, Rodeph Sholom School is a coeducational nursery through eighth grade Reform Jewish independent school.
10 West 84th Street and 168 West 79th Street · New York, NY 10024