Third Grade Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: November, 2013


Third grade artists have been sewing up a storm in the art room! Their hard work, patience and dedication has resulted in beautiful and unique calaveras, traditional figures used in the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. We will continue to sew and stuff our very special pieces into November. Eventually we will add details that make these special pieces even more unique! Once we finish, students will continue to work with fiber and needle techniques as we investigate off loom weaving and the contemporary materials and techniques of African bowls and baskets. I know these artists are up for the challenge!


In the library third grade will learn the ten Dewey Decimal categories. We will begin a unit about cyclical books, and read about Thanksgiving.


The third graders are doing a great job with their musical. I am so proud of them! As we move into November, we will be starting a new unit on Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet”. We will study the story, the main elements of ballet, Tchaikovsky himself and the instruments and motifs used in the Suite. We will also begin to prepare a song for the Holiday MFW.


In Lower School PE we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength with a focus on core. The class will learn an activity call Team Handball that involves the skills of throwing, catching, dribbling and shooting. The class will participate in large group cooperative activities like “Ro-Sham-Bo, which is a group version of Rock/Paper/Scissors. Other games include Castle Ball and Power Ball that develop skill, teamwork and cardiovascular endurance.


Students finish their leaf study with a day of enjoying the fall weather and finding leaves based on their characteristics. Students will also spend a day recording the final fall changes they observe in their tree. Then we’ll put our life cycle unit on hold and start our unit on magnets. We start by predicting and testing different materials to find out what is magnetic and what isn’t. We’ll compare notes and find the common trait to all the things that are magnetic. Then we’ll go around the room for a magnet scavenger hunt to test our theories, to see if our predictions are accurate, and to explore. After discussing our results and coming up with a conclusion, we’ll move on to learning about magnetic force and its strength through objects.


In November third grade will begin to learn personal description. This will involve being able to describe basic aspects of their appearance and personality and will be a natural continuation/extension of the conversational language we learned in our dialogues. In November, Maria Feinman, Spanish grades 4 – 8, and I hope to have the third and fourth grades meet. Fourth grade has written small books that they would like to share with third grade. To that end, I have decided to teach personal description now so third grade will be better able to understand the books. One of the benefits of working at a small school where teachers are allowed freedom to innovate with their curriculum is that plans can be amended as we learn new things. In consultation with Maria, we realized our students don’t know the alphabet in Spanish as well as we would like! Therefore this month we will be working on learning the alphabet in Spanish. Be prepared for lots of singing at home! We are constantly evaluating and adjusting the Spanish curriculum in an attempt to ensure that when students leave our program in 8th grade they have exceptional speaking, reading and listening skills.