Academics

3-4 Kehillah

3-4 Kehillah

The 3-4 Kehillah builds upon the foundation of joyful learning established in the 1-2 Kehillah, bringing students to the next developmental and intellectual level with a strong overarching focus on our Core Value of Tikkun Olam (Improving the world). With the support of their teachers, third-and fourth-grade students begin to discuss complex real-world issues, through a solutions-oriented lens. Students employ research skills and learn how to intelligently, critically, and ethically use information to inform their opinions and choices. As they build upon concepts and strengthen skills introduced in earlier grades, the rich learning that engages our 3-4 Kehillah students prepares them to make the leap into the 5-6 Kehillah.
Learn More About the 3-4 Kehillah Curriculum

List of 5 items.

  • Judaic Studies and Hebrew Language

    In Judaic studies, third-grade students continue to build upon language skills learned in the first and second grades. Reinforcing reading and writing skills is emphasized as students continue to develop their vocabulary and begin to write more complex sentences, demonstrating their understanding of the conventions of the Hebrew language. Third-grade students participate in an in-depth study of Shabbat. Through a study of the sacred rituals and commandments of Shabbat, students learn about the beautiful diversity of traditions within each others’ families that help make this time personal and meaningful. Shabbat nigunim (melodies), passed from generation to generation, are shared giving students an opportunity to reflect upon what makes each of us unique, yet binds us together as a Kehillah. The unit culminates with a student-led Havdalah ceremony with our families, showcasing the Havdalah sets made by students in their art class.  

    In fourth grade, students expand upon the Hebrew and decoding skills they have acquired in order to make sense of the texts they are learning and to think and study them with a more critical lens. Text analysis skills are reinforced so that each student can make sense of the Torah texts studied and begin to discuss high-level questions in order to appreciate the texts' relevance to their life.

    Class conversations about how we care for others and welcoming people stem from the study of Parashat Va’yera and lead to discussions about the observance of mitzvot (commandments) and their sources. Having students recognize the source texts of our traditions helps them to appreciate that it is the Torah that informs our behavior, even today, and that they are a link in the chain of continuing our traditions.  

    To continue developing their Hebrew language skills, students in the fourth grade use the Haverim B’Ivrit curriculum. This program aims to progress the student’s reading, writing, auditory and expressive language skills. The curriculum is designed to share experiences of children growing up in Israel, providing our students with the opportunity to both improve their Hebrew and learn more about their peers in Israel, enriching the learning about Israel and the sense that Israel is ever present in our classrooms through the sharing of current events, music, dance, storytelling and more.
  • Language Arts

    In Writer’s Workshop, students focus on three main units of study: narrative, informational, and opinion writing. Third-grade students start the year with an exploration of their names, using mentor texts to help guide the writing of their own name stories which they take through the writing process of planning, drafting, revising and ultimately sharing with each other. Over the course of the year, students also become idiom experts, learning their usage, identifying them in the real world and implementing these expressions into original stories which are then published in a class book. Fourth-grade students additionally focus on poetry, exploring a multitude of poetic devices as they employ mindfulness to observe the world around them and translate these observations into their personal poetry notebooks, performing original poems. Students also work in Book Clubs to study a novel with classmates, looking at the author’s purpose, building their knowledge of character, and analyzing the author’s style as an example of excellent writing. Both third and fourth grade use the Words Their Way curriculum for grammar, usage, and mechanics of language. 
  • Math

    Real world application of concepts continues to be practiced daily as third graders expand their mathematical vocabulary into multiplication and fractions. Teachers cultivate a deep understanding of the meaning of these concepts as students fill bulletin boards with a “Multiplication City,'' composed of buildings made of multiplication arrays. Fourth-grade students stretch this knowledge as they learn to regroup in multiplication and understand long division. They compare decimals and fractions and reimagine real spaces using area and perimeter. Students learn to see and understand the purpose and value in the real world of the math they learn in class.
  • Science

    In science, students are empowered to take the lead in their learning through inquiry and hands-on activities. Third-grade students explore forces, astronomy, solar energy, and animal adaptations. Concepts are demonstrated through experiments that range from designing and improving parachutes to creating and testing models of Mars Rovers. Fourth-grade students gain a better understanding of the natural world by learning about machines, energy, human impact on climate change, geomorphology, and wetlands. The students explore these concepts through activities like designing and improving catapults, creating and testing rubber band powered cars, and eroding cornmeal plateaus into canyons.
  • Social Studies

    Through a study of Children’s Rights, third-grade students examine different ways that children from around the world live and the challenges they face. They are encouraged to use their voices and persuasive writing to advocate to decision-makers in every level of government to raise issues of inequity. Fourth-grade students continue to find their voices as they delve into the world of advocacy. Through an exploration of what it means to take social action, students work to create organizations, complete with their own mission statements, slogans and PSAs, with the goal of making a mark on their own community — ultimately showcasing these organizations in a grade-wide Social Action Fair. Fourth-grade students extend their understanding of Tikkun Olam by learning how they can take care of the physical world. They learn about human impact on climate change and the importance of how to reduce our carbon footprint.
"The Kehillah model provides us with an even greater opportunity to target each child’s learning and development. In this model, teacher teams of 4-5 educators work collaboratively to observe, guide, teach, and assess each child’s learning on an ongoing basis, allowing us to create flexible and fluid learning groups."

- Lauren Goldman-Brown, Director of the 1-8 Kehillot
275 McKinley Ave. | New Milford, NJ 07646 | Phone: 201-262-9898 | Fax: 201-262-3026 | info@ssdsbergen.org