Celebrating Tu B’Shevat one fruit at a time ……

Posted in Jewish Studies יהדות | Leave a comment

General Studies Update 2-10-17

Good afternoon! What a perfect Shabbat afternoon – blue skies and cool temperatures. Here are a few updates about things going on in third grade general studies.

First, we had a terrific field trip to Tree Hill Farm, and the photos of your children are on this blog post. They learned about animal adaptation, camouflage, and other ways of deterring predators. They touched the tail of a snake, an alligator, and the shell of a turtle. The listened for birds and saw the markings of a variety of woodpeckers, and learned that poison ivy looks like any other tree limb when it has no leaves in the winter. The students really enjoyed the trip!

You (hopefully) have heard your child talk about their passion project. Each student has selected a topic they would like to learn more about and they are using the i-pads to research in class . They have looked at Worldbook on-line and used the search engine Kiddle.co. Next week they will work in small groups with Mrs. Gutterman to add another dimension to their learning, and each student will create something unique for their project. I would like each student to find an expert to interview, if at all possible. For example, Sam is learning about tea. Mrs. Hallett suggested that he could interview someone at Teavana. He wrote questions in class and went to the mall and learned a great deal! I will e-mail parents with ideas I have about possibilities, though you may certainly select someone you already know. Our signature event is at 8:30am on March 22nd in the library. Please mark your calendars for this important event!

Continuing our journey, students will begin to learn about light, heat, and energy in class and in the science lab next week. Mrs. Jaffa and I talked about what would be most beneficial for students, and she has some terrific “hands on” projects planned.

Our math will be focused on multi-step problem solving (which we have been doing in class) in the beginning of the week. Toward the end of the week we will start to learn how to interpret data from graphs and tables. Please keep reinforcing those multiplication facts at home!

I will finish reading the book I Survived the Joplin Tornado this week. Students were very excited to listen to that, and we talked about weather patterns in the mid-west, which coordinated with the social studies topic about geography.

Have a fabulous weekend, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

General Studies Update 1-15-17

Good evening! I hope you have had a terrific weekend and are going to enjoy an extra day off tomorrow. I read students an award winning picture book about Dr. Martin Luther King on Friday called Martin’s Big Words. Students were very interested in learning about Dr. King and about the inequities that African American people faced at that time. Their discussion led to our morning meeting, and they talked about how important it is to treat all people kindly and respectfully. Remy commented that Dr. King did not give up and that it took many years for him and his supporters to make changes in the laws.

In the coming week we will continue to learn about maps and regions in the U.S. Students will learn about the physical features of the regions as well as natural and man-made landmarks. They are using the FL weekly studies reading and will bring that home this week.

Division has been a little challenging! This week I will be reinforcing those skills and continuing their multiplication tables. Homework will be two sheets to practice the skills. Please practice multiplication with your child any chance you have.  There are many apps, games, flash cards etc. available.  You can even do a little bit when you’re in the car!

Students are finishing up their writing about teaching someone how to do something. My goal is to have their work posted on their blog this week.

Beginning on Tuesday, students will bring home a planner! I am thinking about how to prepare them for fourth grade, and building organizational skills and responsibility is definitely a priority. We’ll see how this goes, but please look for their planner and sign each day.

Guess what Tuesday is…pajama day! Students have been working hard to listen to directions, be respectful to each other and to me, and get to work right away. The class voted on having a pajama day, and Rabbi Rogozen approved. Please send your child to school on Tuesday in school appropriate PJs!   It appears the weather will cooperate, and the high temperature is 79 and mostly sunny. They have PE on Tuesday, so sneakers are a must.

Have a relaxing day tomorrow, and I’ll see your sweethearts on Tuesday,

Mrs. Ross

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to 2017! General Studies News

Hello and welcome back from winter break! It didn’t feel too much like winter, but it was really great to spend time with family and friends and celebrate Hanukkah. Here is what’s happening for the next couple of weeks in general studies for third grade:

Math – Students will continue to build multiplication fluency with the times tables that are more challenging – 3, 6,7,8, & 9. They will do word problems and begin division with two and three digit dividends. They will learn about remainders and the math vocabulary that corresponds to division and multiplication. You will see two homework sheets for Mon – Thurs. One is the concept we worked on that day, and the other is to practice fact fluency.

Social studies – Students will work on map skills. They will label maps, use maps and charts to analyze information, review basic map vocabulary, identify the regions of the U.S., and identify natural and manmade landmarks in the U.S. Several students asked if they could bring in artifacts they have at home, like a small model of the white house etc. I’m glad they would like to share, so feel free to send in anything that relates to the topic. Students must be responsible for their belongings, so please don’t send anything valuable.

Science – Students completed their unit on the solar system and the field trip to the Orlando Science Center was fabulous. There are photos on the blog. Each student made a flip-book in class that contains information about our solar system, and they also made beautiful posters which are on display in the classroom.

Language Arts – Students are working on writing to teach someone how to do something. They will learn to group related information together in paragraphs, develop topics with facts, definitions and details. They are building their grammar knowledge, understanding about paragraphs, transition words, and connecting to the reader. They read in class every day and are working on paying attention to punctuation as they read aloud. Since we have been working on science content so heavily, students have focused on text features like highlighted words, table of contents, index, glossary, side-bars, and hyper-links.

Behavior – I am providing more structure for students and continuing to review expectations, rules and procedures. You will see that students brought home a sheet tonight that is a brief review of their day with me. Please initial under each day and sign at the bottom on Friday. We work on social skills throughout the day in both general studies and Jewish studies and are incorporating concepts from The Responsive Classroom. I am seeing progress already, which is fabulous. Please make sure your child arrives to school on time because we begin the day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with a morning meeting. This is a very important part of building positive relationships in school and responding kindly to one another.

Here are some photos from our field trip.

img_4243 img_4244 img_4245 img_4248 img_4254 img_4257 img_4260 img_4262 img_4263osc-gabe-dj-remy


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

General Studies news from the week ending December 9

Good evening! I hope everyone had a terrific weekend. Here is an update from the week and our plans for the coming week.

Last week students continued to practice multiplication facts and they learned how to multiply numbers with regrouping. They solved word problems as well. They are really enjoying learning about the solar system, and they added to our class chart. They created lovely pictures and wrote about the solar system on large white paper. This week they will do a flip book about the solar system and organize, synthesize, and compare planets.  I am preparing them for our field trip to The Orlando Science Center on Thursday. Reading and writing are going strong, and I finished reading Fantastic Mr. Fox to them.   I would love for students to continue reading books by Roald Dahl on their own.  Students are reading books they select and working with me individually and in small groups.

I am teaching students about the importance of looking for the positive traits in each other. This week my focus will be helping them to understand the difference between reacting and responding. I gave an example on Friday of being behind an elderly driver when I was in a hurry. If I reacted I might have gotten angry and honked my horn. If I responded I might have thought that the elderly person was doing the best he could. I could simply change lanes and wish him well on his trip. It would be very helpful if you could use similar language at home and encourage positivity and empathy.

I hope to see you at our Hanukkah STEAM program tomorrow night. Our teachers have been working hard to provide an entertaining and enriching program.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introduction to past tense in Hebrew עבר

In Kitah Alef and Bet the students are taught basic Hebrew vocabulary, mostly nouns and verbs in present tense.  They are exposed to past tense while learning Torah and Parashat HaShavua ( The Weekly Torah portion) but they don’t actively use it.

For the past few weeks the students have learned to recognize past tense verbs by highlighting them in their Parashat HaShavua workbooks.  On Friday they started using these verbs in sentences.

image image image image


Posted in Hebrew עברית | Leave a comment


3rd Grade general studies highlights from the week and looking ahead:

It’s been a busy week and third graders are learning academic and social skills. Our morning meeting is progressing nicely. Students are giving each other compliments and looking for the positives in each other. This week (beginning 12/5) I will teach them about empathy. Morah Liat and I are collaborating and each Friday students have a writing prompt based on the Parashat. This week students wrote about how they can create peace in their family and in the classroom. I am excited to see them incorporating what they know about using a strong lead, organizing their writing, and concluding their work with a closing sentence. The social skills they are learning are aligned with Jewish values and the responsive classroom program.

Our focus in math has been to continue to solve word problems using multiplication and build basic fact fluency. Last week they worked on solidifying their knowledge of how multiplication and division are related. This week they will continue to learn about multiplying a one digit number by a two digit number.

Students are learning about the solar system and using a graphic organizer to record information. We will have a large organizer posted in class this week. I am preparing them for our field trip to The Orlando Science Center on December 15. They are reading volumes of non-fiction and using kiddle.co and the NASA web-site for kids, and building their understanding of text features (headings, captions, words in bold…)

I am finishing up Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl, and students love the story. They are talking about the humor, character traits, and setting, problem, solution, and sequence of events.

It’s a pleasure to work with your children each day. They are enthusiastic and energetic.

Enjoy this gorgeous Sunday!






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About Me books in Hebrew

Each student in the class wrote and illustrated an About Me book in Hebrew.  Next, each student was video taped reading their books.  Today the students posted their videos on their blogs.  All of the students did a great job writing, illustrating and reading their books.  I am so proud of them!


The next step is to share their work with family & friends

Please watch your child’s video, write a comment on their blog AND share!

Posted in Hebrew עברית, Jewish Studies יהדות | Leave a comment

Master’s Project Complete!

Good afternoon!  I am writing this post with a sparkle in my eyes.  I finished my final Master’s project and am very excited.  I created a web-site which shows the work third grade students did in learning about the rainforest.  My project title is:  An Inquiry About Inquiry, and the question I addressed is:  What happens when students research a self-selected topic?  All students participated fully in the rainforest investigation and did their own research.  I selected Lily, Gabe, and Adrielle as students to focus on for my project.  If you look at the web-site you will see that I did not mention the name of our school, and that I used first names only in describing what happened in the classroom.  I was certain to comply with the technology release form parents signed in the beginning of the school year.  You are welcome to look at the web-site, and you can see the volume of scholarly academic research that is behind the educational approach that is used at our school.  I am also pleased to let you know that my work will be used as an example for future graduate students in the Master’s in reading program at University of Missouri.  I am so grateful to the team of wonderful teachers who contributed to this comprehensive rainforest investigation.  Your amazing children are the ones who really made this project come alive and I learned so much from all of them.  They bring a smile to my face every day!
Here is the link:  http://rossinquiry.weebly.com/
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s new in general studies?

What’s new in 3rd grade general studies?

It’s been a while (too long, I know) since I posted an update about what’s going on in our class. I’ve been working really hard writing up my Master’s thesis, and I’ll send you a separate update about that soon.

We finished the unit of study about the rainforest, and each student has the book they created on their blog. Please take a look at that, forward the link to family and friends and comment. Their work was truly amazing. I collaborated with each specialty area teacher to set goals and coordinate instruction. Karin Hallett, our media specialist planned the research and guided them through the technology. Here is a link to her blog which will give you a more in-depth picture of the scope of the project. Karianne Jaffa, our science lab teacher, worked with students to teach them about the water cycle and built a model of it, dissected and labeled a plant, and designed and built a terrarium. Shana Gutterman, our art teacher, taught the students about toucans, showed the students how to make and decorate a rain-stick, and then…they motorized it! Here is a link to her blog. Our PE teacher, Renea Dunn, had students move like rainforest animals too. Here is the link to her blog.  What a blessing to have all these incredible professionals contribute to students’ learning.

Our next exploration is the solar system and we have a field trip planned to The Orlando Science Center on December 15. I’ll send you an e-mail on Monday with the times we leave and come back. Students will need to bring a dairy lunch on that day, so please remember not to order lunch for your child on December 15. The field trip is for students in grades 3-5.

Our math instruction has been to learn multiplication tables and see how multiplication and division are closely related. Students demonstrated what they knew by drawing buildings with rows and columns of windows, and then wrote the multiplication problems. They also used Cheerios to show they understand that multiplying means equal groups of items.

Thanksgiving is coming up this week and students have been talking about what they are grateful for, which is fabulous. I am grateful for all the blessings in my life, and for your sweet children who keep me on my toes every day and make me smile.

Photos coming soon!!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment