The third graders are reading Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. As we read the book, the students are figuring out what the characters are thinking. To help them organize their thoughts, the students are using 'Get inside their heads' worksheets. As we read the book, the students write down the characters' thoughts on simple black outlines of the main characters' heads. Sometimes these insights are taken directly from the text, and sometimes the readers must imagine what the characters would be wondering about or worrying about. I am so impressed with the way the third graders immediately embraced this new way of taking notes while reading a novel. Each student has already written original ideas on the story and we've only read three chapters so far! I wonder what else will be inside their heads soon...
The fourth grade scientists are busy learning about seeds, parts of plants, and how plants grow. After looking at samples of different seeds we are learning what are the best growing conditions for them. In order to do this, we set up different situations to test how the seeds grow. This week, we learned about VARIABLES, with the help of Mrs. Barbach and Mr. P (Mr. Padva - our favorite volunteer and resident grandfather). A VARIABLE, or something that we can change when conducting an experiment, may affect the outcome or the result. The students have learned that when conducting an experiment, it is important to change only ONE variable at a time, so that we can compare results. For our seed growing experiment, we discussed the many possible variables: type of seed, type of soil, amount of water, temperature and air conditions, season planted, and amount of sunlight. Our next step is planting our seeds. We'll keep you posted once our seeds have (or haven't) sprouted!
Our school would like to give a big Kol HaKavod to the fifth grade class on their Torah Service. Each and every fifth grade student was called to the Torah for an Aliyah and Torah portion as the class led the Torah Service for friends and family members.
It all started as an innocent art project. The third graders each creating a beautiful geode using paper mache and paint. After finishing their geodes, the students gathered facts about this beautiful mineral filled rock. One fact stated that the geode was the state rock of Iowa which started us wondering about the state rock of New Jersey. After a little research we discovered that our Garden State has no state rock, so we decided that something had to be done to choose one for New Jersey. Mrs. Barbach became involved, presenting a lesson on rock types and showing us the different rocks that can be found locally. Mrs.Glassberg joined in, explaining the lobbying and legislative process needed to promote our choice of rock. Mrs. Greenwald will soon be spearheading a letter writing campaign supporting our choice for state rock. Wow! We have a lot of work to do.
Tying in with this theme, last week the 3rd grade visited the Franklin Mineral Museum in Franklin, New Jersey. There we got up close and personal with rocks and minerals from around the world and New Jersey. We especially enjoyed spending time in the quarry collecting our own beautiful fluorescent specimens.
Please visit the Third Grade ABSEM ABSCAB Amazing Rock Museum located outside the art room. We hope to build our own short wave fluorescent light box to display the beauty of some of the very colorful rocks that we found at the museum quarry.
So what is the 3rd grade choice for New Jersey state rock? Stay tuned. The vote count is under way.