Third Grade

In third grade, our students discover that their words and actions have the power to change the world around them for the better.

As they explore fiction and nonfiction, persuasive and informative writing, fractions and multiplication, and more, they find creative ways to solve the problems they encounter and develop a strong sense of identity and community.

In their Judaic Studies, third graders dive further into Bereshit and begin their study of the commentaries of Rashi, learning to read the words and find meaning in the timeless lessons. Their written and spoken Hebrew vocabulary grows, and their grammar expands to present and past tense. Students eagerly bring their studies home with them to discover something wonderful – when their families gather for Shabbat, they are able to understand and participate in scholarly discussions alongside their older siblings, parents, and extended family.

General Studies


Reading is an exciting, rewarding activity in our third-grade classrooms.

While students continue to strengthen the skills they’ve developed in previous years, like fluency and accuracy of reading, they now turn their focus to building their reading comprehension skills, working to develop an in-depth understanding of the fiction and nonfiction text they read.

While reading fiction, third graders learn to study a character’s actions to analyze their thoughts and feelings, make inferences, and draw conclusions. In nonfiction texts, students learn to identify the topic, main idea, and supporting details of the piece. The mystery unit is the perennial third grade favorite – students learn to closely analyze and make inferences while uncovering suspects, clues, and red herrings!

We continue to measure each student’s progress and guide our instruction by administering the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment several times a year. This helps us to carefully monitor student growth over time, making changes to instruction and groupings as needed. Our third graders also benefit from NSHA’s excellent learning lab and reading specialists as well.


Third grade students continue to build their skills, fluency, and confidence in mathematics during engaging and immersive lessons.

Our students learn to understand and solve multiplication and division problems, grasp the properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division, identify and explain patterns in arithmetic, and solve problems that use the four operations.

Students are also introduced to the concepts of area as it relates to multiplication and addition, develop an understanding of fractions as numbers, and reason with shapes and their attributes. Throughout the year, students solve problems by relating what they understand about multiplication and division to geometric measurement, fractions, and data.


The written word can improve the world. In third grade, students learn how they, too, can effect positive change.

Each student works to develop a strong personal voice as they write narrative, informational, and opinion pieces. Thoughtful, attentive teachers provide meaningful feedback and guidance on spelling, grammar, and punctuation usage that strengthen each student’s craft.

Our third grade students begin the year by learning how to generate ideas for personal narratives before selecting their strongest idea that will carry them through the writing process. Next, students pivot to informational writing and craft “expert books” on a topic with which they are very familiar. Following this unit, students move to persuasive writing, where they learn that they have the power to change the world through writing. Students research, conduct interviews and polls, and craft speeches about ideas they have to make our school and the world a better place. Students finish the year by returning to informational writing – this time by researching a famous person, writing an informational essay about this person, and finally dressing up as this person and presenting what they’ve learned during our annual Third Grade Wax Museum.

The third grade writing curriculum uses the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Writing Curriculum.

Judaic Studies


As our third graders’ English reading and writing skills grow, so does their confidence and fluency in Hebrew.

Students build out their vocabulary and expand their fluency in Hebrew using both the iTalam interactive platform and supplementary multimedia materials that help deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Hebrew grammar. They learn to distinguish between the past and present tenses (עבר and הווה) and begin conjugating more complex verbs.

When possible, students study in small groups tailored to their fluency level, with those showing greater Hebrew fluency working together and those needing some English translation working in groups with more structured support. Teachers from our Hebrew Learning Lab work with small groups of students who want and need additional support.

Chumash and Parashat HaShavua

As they study the Torah, third graders deepen their understanding of the many complexities of Torah thought and learn from the teachings of Judaism’s greatest thinkers.

Using a variety of materials, students continue their study of the parashayot of Sefer Bereshit, focusing on Vayera, Chayei Sarah, Toldot, Vayetze and Vayishlach. Students begin their study of the commentary of Rashi in earnest, learning to read the Rashi script and understand his approach to explaining the text. Students review the weekly parasha using materials including iTalam. Each Shabbat, our students are eager to bring their new knowledge of the parasha home from school, to contribute to scholarly discussions, and to learn even more from those around them.

Shabbat & Chagim

Students utilize materials from iTalam and elsewhere to learn the various customs and laws associated with Shabbat and holidays. Students learn about each chag in advance of the holiday through hands-on activities facilitated by our program department and our Bnei Akiva Shlichot. Our students share their own varied minhagim with their classmates, contributing to the unique and beautiful blend of Jewish traditions practiced by our students and their families.


Students explore the many wonders of Israel, its people, and its customs through iTalam’s virtual tours. Our Bnei Akiva Shlichot add to the students’ experience and appreciation of Medinat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael through a variety of informal activities throughout the year.  Our love for Israel culminates each year with a full day celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut typically led by our Shlichot and has included events such as visits to different cities in Israel, a NSHA shuk, IDF bootcamp relay races, chagigot, daglanut, special performances, BBQ and more.

Third Grade Celebration

Biographical Wax Museum

During this exciting and educational event for students and their families, students go above and beyond to present on a famous person or historical figure of their choice! In class, students learn how to research independently and write an informational essay about the person they’ve chosen. During the event, they dress up as their chosen person, take their place in our “museum,” and present what they’ve learned, including their chosen figure’s lasting message to the world.