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3rd Grade October Newsletter

 

Third Grade is the year children begin to discover what it means to live fully on the earth, acting as its steward and providing necessities for oneself and others. We began the year with an exploration of the Hebrew story of the creation of the world, painting watercolors of each day, building from the primary colors to arrive on the sixth day with the addition of the human form in the world. We discussed the idea of the power of words, both written and spoken, to create and manifest. Since words are made up of letters, we spent the first week of school practicing form drawing in the style of script handwriting. After returning from summer break it is helpful for the students to reacquaint themselves with the routine of school life by taking up the grounding, centering study of form drawing. We began to understand the forms of the script letters first through movement (inching along the ‘I’, jumping along the ‘J’) or forming them in space with buttons or yarn, before practicing on paper.

 

 

We also took our first foray into the world of clay modeling, a medium we will be using often this year. We were lucky to receive guidance from Anne Cavallaro, the high school art teacher. She led the students in exploring the properties of clay and finished with having them create a snake that connected all the way around the communal table. Each student fashioned a spherical “world” from which animals were created on another day.

 

mouse and rabbit
with carrot

 

 

crouching

tiger

 

Our first Language Arts block was our Play Block this year. Before we dove headfirst into play preparations, we continued our introduction of grammar from last year, focusing this past month on adjectives and adverbs. The students received their spelling dictionaries as we prepare to undertake the study of the social convention of spelling standards. For writing compositions, the students are still writing as a group guided by me, but we have begun free form writing in response to prompts. They generate drafts, which are then corrected before they are put into their main lesson books.

 

The rest of the block was taken up with our class play production. This year the students presented Rudyard Kipling’s tale, The Cat that Walked by Himself, the story of the first humans taming the wild animals. This was the first year they each had their own speaking parts assigned and had to pay attention to cues, focusing on speaking their lines with expression. This was also the first year we were able to be on the stage in Bonner Hall, as well as backstage. The students were very respectful of the space and took up, with great enthusiasm, the task of creating settings and props. They worked in small groups to bring the detailed elements of the play to life.

 

 

We just began our first math block. Our math curriculum this year focuses on measurement – time, linear, liquid/dry, weight, and money – a very practical activity in everyday life. We have started with time and are in the process of making a sundial as well as a water clock.

 

November will find us in our first Living on the Earth block – Shelters. The kids have been asking for this since the first day of school. We have such an exciting year ahead of us!