One Unit Ends, Another Begins

Hello Grade 3 Fans,

Thank you to all who were able to attend last week’s Fabulous Friday! The students successfully led the elementary school through a celebration of the International Day of Peace. Please enjoy some photos and a short clip of the hilarious Adventures of Captain Andrew Pants.

[photos coming soon]

We have since begun unpacking our new inquiry into how a writer’s voice can communicate cultures, ideas, feelings, and values. Students began with reading/listening to “The Jabberwocky” as a provocation into how language can tell a story, even with nonsense words. Then, we explored several stories and poems that portray different cultures. We had to investigate each one, looking for clues that the authors give to tell the reader what culture(s) should be represented.

At the same time, we have begun the process of writing our own stories! We brainstormed what all “good” books have, and explored the organizational features of story exemplars. After looking into different character traits and plot “story mountains,” students have begun independently drafting. We hope to have our stories published by the end of the UOI.

We have begun our second stand-alone math inquiry into how by understanding the properties of numbers, we can choose suitable strategies to solve problems.  We began this unit by investigating odd and even numbers, with the question below. After wrestling through several possibilities, they came to the conclusion that it was impossible – but why? This started a week-long inquiry into odd/even numbers, rules surrounding them, and new “hypotheses” around adding, subtracting, and multiplying with odd and even numbers. Understanding these properties will help us with checking our answers, and for recognizing other patterns in numbers.

For the next few weeks, students will continue to make connections between the different operations, with the hope of developing more strategies to test the effectiveness of their answers. For more details on our Unit of Inquiry and our stand-alone math inquiries, please review our unit overview: How We Express Ourselves G3 Overview.

That’s all for now! As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.


Wrapping Up Who We Are

Hello Grade 3 Fans,

We are wrapping up our first Unit of Inquiry into Who We Are. Students have successfully investigated cultural and religious traditions, and made connections to their identity and communities around the world (including Bandung). They also started to develop their own understandings of what it means to be internationally minded, and continue to initiate discussions on our responsibility to be open-minded. They wrote their own short skit to demonstrate what it means to be open-minded to different religions, and in one day! I am quite impressed with these young empathetic global citizens!

Putting our ideas together to make a script

Now it’s time to practice!

As closure for this inquiry, students will use their understanding of international-mindedness to lead all of elementary in activities that celebrate the International Day of Peace. We will be doing this for Fabulous Friday next week, but the time is changing. Please continue to check your emails to learn more details on the new time/place. We look forward to seeing you there!

Writing to Recount

To support our inquiry and develop our literacy skills, we wrote recounts for our first writing products of the year. Students chose a cultural or religious holiday that they celebrated in the past, and they used the writing process to create their own recounts. First, we brainstormed examples of holidays that we could recount in detail. After making their choices, they started to flesh out their drafts. I led mini-lessons on past tense, adding details, the importance of transition words, and how to self- and peer edit effectively. After several drafts, the students were finally ready to publish!

Please find copies of their final products below. It’s important to note that I did not fix every mistake they made, but encouraged them to try and recognize their own errors. Some were pointed out and some were left in, so we have an authentic product by the students. Please enjoy!

Joshua        Keanu        Oliver        Seo Yeon        Texas         Ethan        Andrew

Spelling Program

On Monday, we incorporated spelling into our G3 literacy program. After combing through their recount drafts, I noted spelling errors that students are making consistently. Then I added a few more examples of words that follow a similar spelling pattern, and asked students to complete the list following that pattern. For example, if a student was consistently struggling with the -ure ending, their list is full of words with -ure, including the word they misspelled. This means each student’s spelling list is different, aimed at individual spelling needs. I will keep track of the students’ lists and their progress, and hopefully we will see those common errors become a thing of the past!

Students will build new lists every two weeks or so, depending on the school schedule and their progress. During the Daily 5 Literacy Hour, students will visit Word Work to practice their spelling words through a series of activity choices. They will also complete activities for homework. Below is a list of their spelling activities for your information.

Place Value Wrap-Up

We have also wrapped up our first stand-alone math unit on Place Value. Students created their own assessment tasks by creating “testing games.” In small groups, they used the learning outcomes we are assessing and created question cards for board games. The questions had to ask students to demonstrate different levels of understanding for each outcome. For example, one group made a game where students had to model large numbers and decimals. One of their outcomes was to “model numbers to thousands or beyond,” so they wrote cards to challenge students at different levels, modeling numbers from hundreds to ten-thousands. That way, each student built in differentiation into their games – and more importantly, showed me what questions they are capable of creating.

While students “tested” their friends, I had several opportunities to observe what students know and still need to improve. And we all had so much fun!

Working hard to make their games


Peer assessing is valuable and fun!




We even got to share our games with the accreditation team!


In our next blog, I will share information on our next math, literacy, and unit of inquiry expectations, so stay tuned. I hope you all have a lovely 4-day weekend!

Who We Are: Sorting Out and Going Further

Hello Grade 3 Fans,

We have been busy in class, working towards understanding how cultural and religious traditions contribute to society and our identity. We visited a Hindu temple, a Catholic cathedral, and a Javanese Christian church to extend our understanding of religious symbolism, beliefs, and values. The students were surprised to see flares of the local culture at the Christian church, since the church uses Javanese instruments like the gamelan. It was such an authentic way to show how culture and religion are often intertwined!


Students have also been using a new website Epic Books to research different cultural and religious celebrations. They are developing their note-taking skills, and sharing interesting facts about different traditions. Their research continues to help them develop deeper questions, too! Next week, students will choose to research a religion and a culture that they have yet to study, and try to make connections between other religions/cultures.

Indonesian Studies by Ms Tina
In the Who We Are unit, G3 students have been learning about religious and Indonesian cultural traditions. Because Eid al-Adha is this week, the students learned about the Muslim Day of Sacrifice, and how many Muslims go for a pilgrimage at this time. The students created cards and sheep as the symbol of sacrifice.
Math: Place Value Inquiries

For the last four weeks, we have been conducting a stand-alone inquiry into numeracy. Students are investigating how the base 10 number system extends infinitely to help us solve problems. We started by looking at different ways numbers can be represented. Students started with standard, expanded, and word form, and eventually created pictorial representations, graphs, and even other languages to represent a single number!

We also used our understanding of place value to order and compare large numbers. That led us to rounding numbers to different place values, which then led to estimating sums and differences. We have used rounding and estimating to check the validity of our answers – an essential numeracy skill!

Next, we will investigate how to build and break apart numbers using the base 10 number system. We will see how both large numbers and decimals use the same pattern. Please find the learning outcomes for our place value unit listed below, and let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. I hope you all enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Conceptual Understandings

The base 10 place value system can be extended to represent magnitude

Learning Outcomes

When constructing meaning learners:

recognize, model and represent numbers to thousands or beyond.

using the base 10 place value system

model numbers to millions or beyond.

using the base 10 place value system

model integers in appropriate contexts.

recognise, represent and order numbers to at least tens of thousands.

model decimal fractions to hundredths.

When transferring meaning into symbols learners:

read, write, compare & order numbers to at least 10,000.

apply place value to partition, rearrange and regroup numbers with manipulatives to at least tens of thousands to assist calculations and solve problems.

use estimation and rounding to check the reasonableness of answers to calculations.

recognise that the place value system can be extended to tenths and hundredths

When applying with understanding learners:

use whole numbers up to 10,000 in real-life situations.

use strategies to evaluate the reasonableness of answers

A Full Start to Who We Are

Hello Grade 3 Families and Fans,

We have only been in school for two weeks, but what a busy start we have had! Grade 3 has already begun taking learning trips to support their understanding of how cultural and religious traditions impact society and our identity. Before we visited a Buddhist temple in Lembang and a mosque in Padalarang, we started collecting information on those religions. We used books and digital resources to gain a foundational understanding of each religion, which helped us develop questions and wonderings. For example, one student read that Muslims pray five times a day at specific times. His questions, then, were what times do they pray, why is it five times, and is each prayer different? We brought our freshly-acquired knowledge and questions to our trips to deepen our overall understanding.

Next week, we will continue to research about Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, and Hinduism – with visits to places of worship of all three!

Viewing the story of Buddha
Enjoying the view 🙂

What a beautiful mosque!

We were also fortunate to celebrate an important cultural celebration – Indonesian Independence Day! In our Indonesian Studies and Indonesian Language classes, we learned about different ways people celebrate this holiday. And during Fabulous Friday this week, we had the chance to participate in some of these activities.  What a perfect connection to our current Unit of Inquiry!

Singing traditional Indonesian songs
Nice teamwork, G3!

The eel is escaping!


For details on our current Unit of Inquiry, please read the attached Who We Are G3 Overview.

Daily 5

We have started working on our independent reading and writing skills by using the Daily 5 routines. Starting with Read to Self, students learned how to choose a “good fit book,” and borrowed a few books that fit their interests and abilities. Work on Writing came next, where we brainstormed a HUGE list of topics we could choose from to write. And they continue to demonstrate behaviors that show independence and commitment: working the whole time, working quietly, staying in one spot, and checking for understanding. Given the freedom to choose what they read/write has boosted their motivation for building their literacy skills, and they are so eager to continue with the Daily 5 each day. I am so lucky to teach such enthusiastic learners!

We love Read to Self!

Work on Writing is fun, too!

Next week, I will post photos of our upcoming field trips, as well as an update on our inquiry into the place values of numbers. It will be another busy week – starting with the Parent Information Session on Monday. I hope to see you there!

Welcome to Grade 3!

Hello everyone, and welcome to Grade 3! This will be a busy and exciting year, full of critical thinking and deep inquiries. We are looking forward to getting to know you all over the course of the year.

I will be updating the blog a few times each month. Here, I will include updates on our curriculum, copies of student work, and photos of our learning journeys. I will respect the confidentiality of students, and only use photos of students who have given permission to do so.

Please find the G3 Schedule below. More updates are coming soon!

Where We Are in Place & Time

Hi-ya Grade 3 Fans,

Our fourth Unit of Inquiry is well under way, and we have already deepened our understanding so much! Here is a summary of the last few weeks’ learning activities.

Tuning In

We started our unit with a few delicious activities that helped us start to think about plate tectonics. The first is a food model of the layers of the Earth: a chocolate shell “crust,” a gooey, thick marshmallow “mantle,” and a solid candy “core.”  On the next day, we used peanut butter and biscuits to demonstrate how tectonics plates move around on the mantle. When they pull apart, we have underwater ridges. When they crash together, we have mountains. And when one plate goes on top of another, a deep trench creates volcanic islands. After eating our models, we created a more permanent one on paper.

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Finding Out/Sorting Out

After looking into what plate tectonics are, we were frontloaded with information on how tectonics, weathering, and erosion create and impact landforms. We made models of mountains and volcanoes, and we went on a “Weathering Hunt” around school. Luckily, we live in a place where it is easy to visit different landforms, so we were able to visit a Stone Garden full of limestone and marble, as well as the Goa Pawon Caves. What a great learning opportunity to see first-hand how weathering, erosion, and plate tectonics affect the local landscape!

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An aspiring geologist
An aspiring geologist
Trip highlight: befriending a cat :)
Trip highlight: befriending a cat 🙂

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"Ms. Katie, can we take these home?"
“Ms. Katie, can we take these home?”

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Looking at real fossils!
Looking at real fossils!


As we continue sorting out information, students will be doing individual research projects on a landform found on Earth. They will use Writing to Describe to explain how their landform was made (e.g., plate tectonics, weathering/erosion), and then plan a settlement on their landform. Their information report will then be turned into a visual presentation, using a tool like PowerPoint. They will use their understanding of area and perimeter, as well as their map-reading skills (e.g., compass, legend) to create a map of their settlement. So stay tuned!