About the class:

Third grade is all about the origins of the Jewish People. Your child will learn the history and mythology of Jewish origins. We will read and explore stories from the first two books of the Torah, Genesis & Exodus, starting with the creation myth, to Noah and the flood, Abraham & Sarah and the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and ending with Moses and the Hebrews as slaves in Egypt and the Exodus.
 
We'll spend time learning about myths, and how to think critically about these stories and how they can be applied to our modern lives. This is especially important given that beliefs like creationism and intelligent design have become an accepted part of American life for many. We will also explore creation myths from many cultures, ancient and modern. The class will learn about the way people lived during the era when the Jewish people emerged in Canaan during the Iron Age (around 1200 b.c.e.). They will learn to use time lines. This will include a class trip to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology.
 
As an introduction to origins, the class will explore their own origins and family tree. Third grade is an important year for the kids and families at Folkshul to start connecting socially. I look forward to our potluck and other opportunities to build relationships that will grow as families move through the school and community.
 
Teacher: Larry Polsky
My name is Larry Polsky, and I will be your child's Gimel (third grade) teacher this year. I've been a Folkshul teacher for many years. Mostly with 3rd grade, but also as the 8th grade teacher.
 
Sample Class Notes:
 

It was so good to meet you and your children this past Sunday. I felt it was an excellent first class! We began with introductions and everyone had the chance to tell the class about themselves. I schooled them on my preferences and we did a welcome to Folkshul crossword puzzle which included some of those facts. I didn't expect them to know who Frank Sinatra was. But was relieved when everyone nodded in agreement regarding the Beatles!

 We had a fun music class together with the 4th graders led by Art Miron. 

After the all important snack and recess we started talking about what the year had in store for us. I read a book to the class about the origins of life on earth as a factual counterpoint to the creation myths we will begin discussing this week. 

 I also handed out a small family tree chart for the kids to fill in to the best of their ability, with instructions to show it to parents for help completing it. I hope they showed you!  I'm looking forward to an enlightening and fun year with your children.

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Hi Folkshul Parents!

Its been a fun and productive last few classes. Your children have recently been learning about the Tower of Babel and how it attempts to explain the diversity of languages among people. We then examined how time and relative isolation is the likely reason for languages changing over time.

 Last week we read the story of Noah's ark. A story strangely popular with children for many generations. You know... the happy tale of how an angry God killed all the wicked people and animals on the world he created only a few dozen generations before. The class was really engaged in the concepts here and we will continue discussing it at our next regular class.  

 Which brings us to this Sunday and our Hanukkah program and Party. 

Your children will be performing a song at the assembly!  

We are also having a Hurricane Relief Drive for much needed items for those who have lost everything in Dominica