3rd Grade Back to School Night Presentations

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 3rd Grade

Back to schoolDear Parents,

Thank you so much to all of the parents who were able to join us for Back to School Night this past Thursday. It is always such a pleasure to have such a strong outpouring of support from our parent community.

As promised, we are posting the slides from presentations that took place Thursday evening. We invite you to explore the Blogosphere to access this information and read more about all the learning taking place on campus.

Below are all of the Back to School Presentations related to 3rd Grade.  Enjoy!

3rd Grade Classroom Teachers

Castellano, Spanish as an Additional Language, Català, and Spanish-Catalan Studies

Specialists – Art, Library, Music, and PE

Support Services – English as an Additional Language, Learning Support, and Counseling

Math Module 1 – Properties of Multiplication and Division and Solving Problems with Units of 2–5 and 10

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 3rd Grade

Module 1 Overview

This 25-day module begins the year by building on students’ fluency with addition and knowledge of arrays.  Topic A initially uses repeated addition to find the total from a number of equal groups (2.OA.4).   As students notice patterns, they let go of longer addition sentences in favor of more efficient multiplication facts (3.OA.1, 3.OA.9).  Lessons in Topic A move students toward understanding familiar repeated addition from Grade 2 in the form of array models, which become a cornerstone of the module.   Students use the language of multiplication as they understand what factors are and differentiate between the size of groups and the number of groups within a given context.  In this module the factors 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 provide an entry point for moving into more difficult factors in later modules.

Study of factors links Topics A and B; Topic B extends the study to division.  Students understand division as an unknown factor problem, and relate the meaning of unknown factors to either the number or the size of groups (3.OA.2, 3.OA.6).  By the end of Topic B students are aware of a fundamental connection between multiplication and division that sets the foundation for the rest of the module.

In Topic C, students use the array model and familiar skip-counting strategies to solidify their understanding of multiplication and practice related facts of 2 and 3.  They become fluent enough with arithmetic patterns to “add” or “subtract” groups from known products to solve more complex multiplication problems (3.OA.1, 3.OA.9).  They apply their skills to word problems using drawings and equations with a symbol to find the Distributive Propertyunknown factor (3.OA.3).  This culminates in students using arrays to model the distributive property as they decompose units to multiply (3.OA.5).

In Topic D students model, write and solve partitive and measurement division problems with 2 and 3 (3.OA.2).  Consistent skip-counting strategies and the continued use of array models are pathways for students to naturally relate multiplication and division.  Modeling advances as students use tape diagrams to represent multiplication and division.   A final lesson in this topic solidifies a growing understanding of the relationship between operations (3.OA.7). 

Topic E shifts students from simple understanding to analyzing the relationship between multiplication and division.  Practice of both operations is combined—this time using units of 4—and a lesson is explicitly dedicated to modeling the connection between them (3.OA.7).  Skip-counting, the distributive property, arrays, number bonds and tape diagrams are tools for both operations (3.OA.1, 3.OA.2, 3.OA.9).  A final lesson invites students to explore their work with arrays and related facts through the lens of the commutative property as it relates to multiplication (3.OA.5).

Commutative PropertyTopic F introduces the factors 5 and 10, familiar from skip-counting in Grade 2.  Students apply the multiplication and division strategies they have used to mixed practice with all of the factors included in Module 1 (3.OA.1, 3.OA.2, 3.OA.3).  Students model relationships between factors, analyzing the arithmetic patterns that emerge to compose and decompose numbers as they further explore the relationship between multiplication and division (3.OA.3, 3.OA.5, 3.OA.7, 3.OA.9). 

In the final lesson of the module, students apply the tools, representations, and concepts they have learned to problem-solving with multi-step word problems using all four operations (3.OA.3, 3.OA.8).  They demonstrate the flexibility of their thinking as they assess the reasonableness of their answers for a variety of problem types.


New or Recently Introduced Terms

  • Array (a set of numbers or objects that follow a specific pattern, a matrix)
  • Column (e.g., in an array)
  • Commutative Property/Commutative (e.g., rotate a rectangular array 90 degrees to demonstrate that factors in a multiplication sentence can switch places)
  • Equal groups (with reference to multiplication and division; one factor is the number of objects in a group and the other is a multiplier that indicates the number of groups)
  • Equation (a statement that 2 expressions are equal.  E.g., 3  4 = 12)
  • Distribute (with reference to the Distributive Property; e.g. In 12  3 = (10   3) + (2  3) the 3 is multiplier for each part of the decomposition)
  • Divide/division (partitioning a total into equal groups to show how many equal groups add up to a specific number.  E.g., 15 ÷ 5 = 3)
  • Fact (used to refer to multiplication facts, e.g., 3  2)
  • Factors (i.e., numbers that are multiplied to obtain a product)
  • Multiplication/multiply (an operation showing how many times a number is added to itself e.g., 5  3 =15)
  • Number of groups (factor in a multiplication problem that refers to the total equal groups)
  • Parentheses (e.g., (  ) used around a fact or numbers within an equation)
  • Quotient (the answer when one number is divided by another)
  • Rotate (turn, used with reference to turning arrays 90 degrees)
  • Row/column (in reference to rectangular arrays)
  • Size of groups (factor in a multiplication problem that refers to how many in a group)
  • Unit (i.e., one segment of a partitioned tape diagram)
  • Unknown (i.e., the “missing” factor or quantity in multiplication or division)

Familiar Terms and Symbols

  • Add 1 unit, subtract 1 unit (add or subtract a single unit of two, ten, etc.)
  • Number bond (shows part-part-whole relationship, shown at right)
  • Number sentence (similar to an equation, but not necessarily having equal sides.)
  • Ones, twos, threes, etc. (units of one, two, or three)
  • Repeated addition (adding equal groups together, e.g., 2 + 2 + 2 + 2)
  • Tape Diagram (a method for modeling problems)
  • Value (how much)

Suggested Tools and Representations
Number Bond

  • 18 counters per student
  • Tape diagram (a method for modeling problems)
  • Number bond (shown at right)
  • Array (a set of numbers or objects that follow a specific pattern, a matrix)

2014-2015 ES Program Focal Point: Math

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal, Kindergarten

il_570xN.432662223_87ruEvery year we identify a focal point of our educational program to further develop and enhance. In past years, these efforts have led to the creation of our Social-Emotional Learning program and the introduction of the Teachers College Units of Study that serve as the backbone of our Writing Workshop curriculum. This ongoing commitment to reflection and refinement is one of the most important characteristics of the BFIS faculty.

For the 2014-2015 year, we are really excited to share that our program focal point will be the subject of math. With mounting evidence supporting the need for schools to modify methods of instruction and refocus curricular objectives in this subject area, we feel it is essential to fully dedicate ourselves to ensuring that all of our students develop the mathematic understandings and skills necessary to be successful in any environment.

One key step we have already taken is to adopt the Common Core standards in math. These learning standards provide clear and necessary benchmarks for student achievement at every grade level. Additionally, the standards were developed through a process that included extensive analysis of educational benchmarks in high-performing nations around the world. Given the composition of the BFIS community, we felt it was essential to follow learning standards that align with international benchmarks.

In order to help parents stay informed of the math objectives for their child throughout the year, overviews of every module (unit of study) will be posted on grade level blogs. Our goal is for parents to be aware of the learning taking place at school and to support families by sharing information about the research related to effective instructional practices in mathematics.

For those who are interested to learn more about key aspects of the Common Core Standards in Mathematics, please view the following video. It provides an overview of six important instructional “shifts” to support learning.

For in-depth information about the Common Core Standards, please visit http://www.corestandards.org/.  We have also included a short video below that provides a brief overview.

Welcome to Third Grade!

Written by MeritxellL. Posted in 3rd Grade

Welcome to Third Grade! We have spent the first week of the school year building our community, setting up expectations, and establishing routines. Every day we know each other a bit better, which facilitates future team work and cooperation.

Here is a brief summary of the Third Grade curriculum. In Math we will be giving breadth and depth to addition and subtraction, but the stars of the year are undoubtedly multiplication, division, and fractions. Like the rest of elementary grades, we have also adopted EngageNY as our math program. In Science we will study the human body and sound, whereas in Social Studies we will discover Ancient Rome. In Writing we will work on a variety of genres, from personal narratives to poetry. Last but not least, in Reading we will be meeting with students in small groups and also in book clubs reading and discussing texts at their own instructional levels.

Attached you will find your child’s weekly schedule for both classes. In an effort to give all students an ample amount of time in Art and Music, we are trying out rotating schedules by-weekly this year. The first week is a blue week, then a white week, and so on. We will share more information at Open House on Sept. 18 and also here in our blog. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or doubts at shenak@bfischool.org, meritxelll@bfischool.org, and lindseya@bfischool.org.

Schedule Blue Week Shena & Lindsey

Schedule Blue Week Meritxell & Lindsey

Schedule White Week Shena & Lindsey

Schedule White Week Meritxell & Lindsey






A Visit to Bellesguard!

Written by Keelin Swalve. Posted in 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade

Last week, a small group of 2nd and 3rd grade students had the opportunity to discover a hidden gem in our school neighborhood. Bellesguard means “Beautiful View”. In the 14th century, King Martín I el Humano of Aragón made his summer home here, and centuries later, Gaudi built Bellesguard upon the ruins of the ancient castle. Bellesguard is now a private residence, and recently has opened its doors to the public, offering private, guided tours of the exterior and interior elements of this great Modernist work of art.

The students enjoyed learning all about Bellesguard, its history, and Gaudi from Fernando and Toni, who led a fantastic tour of the grounds. Later, the students participated in a trencadis workshop with Angelika from Mosaiccos! We had a lovely day at Bellesguard! If you haven´t already had a chance to visit Bellesguard, we highly recommend you stop by for a visit! For more information, click here!

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Day 2 – Castellar de n’Hug

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, ES Principal

“Another successful day!!  Dozens more trips down the zipline, fearless explorations into the cave, and skilled archers took the stage.  Then, to top it all off, we ended the night dancing with the kids!!
We were really fortunate to have another gorgeous day in the mountains.  It meant that we were able to spend almost the entire day in the great outdoors exploring the beautiful surroundings.
As expected, the kids fell asleep much more quickly the second night.  A full day of activities and excitement left everyone happily exhausted.
The time goes by so fast on these overnight trips and it’s hard to believe this journey is about to come to an end.  We can’t wait to share our stories with all of you when we get back!!”

castellar 2