Welcome to third grade! Check out the images and captions below for an inside look at a typical Monday for a third-grade student in the TASIS Elementary School.
Students in the third grade are separated into two homerooms—one led by Ms. Laura Fox and the other by Ms. Kenzie Kaper—located in beautiful Aurora, a spacious six-classroom building located in the upper section of the main TASIS campus. All students, regardless of whether they are in the American Section or the Italian Section, spend the majority of their days with their homeroom teacher. Each day they also split off for Italian class with one of the grade’s three Italian teachers—Ms. Milena Sidona, Ms. Cecilia Origoni, and Ms. Susanna Zangheratti—and students in the Italian Section also study History & Geography with this teacher.
Core academics are complemented by a strong co-curricular program that includes instruction, depending on which day of the week it is, from highly trained specialist teachers in Visual Arts, Music, and Physical Education.
On this particular day, we focused on Ms. Fox’s homeroom, a class composed of 12 students from around the world. These students speak more than eight languages and have a variety of interests ranging from horseback riding and baseball to puppies and arcade games.
At 8:00 on Monday, January 11, Ms. Fox greeted her students and began the day with a morning meeting. Students shared what they did over the weekend and launched into their first activity of the day.
Ms. Fox then reinforced an earlier English Language Arts lesson about contractions—shortened forms of a group of words that omit certain letters or sounds—by having students cut out and sort a list of common contractions.
When they were done sorting, students shared their findings with the class.
At 8:30, Ms. Fox led her class across campus to Giardinetto for a 45-minute Science lesson with Mr. Laurent Carsana.
In Mr. Laurent’s class, the third grade began a unit on the solar system by learning about and sketching our extremely powerful sun.
On the way to Music class, Mr. Laurent stopped and encouraged his students to feel the heat produced by the sun more than 147 million kilometers away.
In Music class, the group sang “good morning” in a number of different languages and worked on their “New Year’s Resolution” improvisations on xylophones, marimbas, and glockenspiels.
Music class is taught by Ms. Melody Tibbits Zanecchia, a student favorite and recent recipient of the Khan-Page Master Teacher Award.
Ms. Melody concluded the class with a short music history lesson on composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Next, Ms. Fox’s students met up with Ms. Kenzie’s class for recess on the outdoor basketball court. Many students enjoyed a spirited game of four square while others swung on the swings or played basketball.
After recess, students headed across the street to Hadsall and split up to attend Italian class based on their level of language proficiency. In Ms. Milena Sindona’s class, students continued to study the different eras of life on Earth, from the arrival of proterozoic bacteria to the rise of humans.
Ms. Sindona concluded class with a short story in Italian. Students who did not know any Italian a few years ago discussed the story with ease.
For their final recess of the day, students enjoyed 30 minutes of unbridled fun on the Hadsall playground while soaking in its beautiful views.
For lunch, students dined on gnocchi with tomato sauce and cheese, salad, grilled vegetables, soup, fruit, and apple cake for dessert.
After spending most of the morning on the lower part of campus, the third grade returned to Aurora for an afternoon of lessons.
First, Ms. Fox taught multi-digit multiplication.
Then some students solved problems in their Singapore Math booklets…
…while others battled each other in “Multiplication War.”
It was clear from the speed and accuracy of the group why the entire class had been named “Multiplication Stars.”
During the 45-minute History & Geography block, the class split up into American and Italian Sections. Ms. Kenzie and Ms. Fox teamed up to teach Roman Numerals to the American Section students.
The fun lesson that augmented the Core Knowledge History series was met with much enthusiasm.
The class’s final subject of the day was English Language Arts. Using The Diamond Mystery as an example, the class learned about setting, suspects, motives, and clues.
Then students split into groups of two to play detective in their own novels, working together using reading comprehension tools to solve their book’s mystery.
In the final moments before dismissal, students used their school-issued iPads to practice spelling.
At 15:45, some students met their parents to go home while others stayed on campus to participate in an After-School Program activity. Several students in Ms. Fox’s class attended ES Musical, where they began rehearsing for this year’s spring musical, The Parable of Pizza.
Other After-School Program activities offered this semester include ballet, modern dance, tip tap, choir, AC Milan soccer, ice skating, baseball, mini-basketball, mini-athletics, bug club, and cooking club.