Patterns and Fractions and Businesses – Oh My!

Good afternoon, Grade 3 Fans!

It has been a very busy few weeks in Grade 3! We finished our unit on Pattern and Function, and began a new stand-alone unit on Fractions and Decimals – all while leading Student-Led Conferences and preparing our class business. Photos of the descriptions below will be added later this week.

Student-Led Conferences

Thank you to all family members who were able to attend this year’s Student-Led Conferences. These are a wonderful opportunity for students to share their growth and understanding across the curriculum, and to do so in their own way. This year, students planned the entire process themselves. They collaborated to set up the classroom, and choose which activities would best highlight Math, English, and Units of Inquiry. After designing their conferences, students practiced together to build their confidence and make any necessary adjustments. Their hard work paid off, as each child successfully walked their families through their understanding and goals for improvement. Well done, Grade 3 students!

How We Organize Ourselves

For the past six weeks, students have been inquiring into how goods and services are exchanged to meet the needs and wants of the community. They surveyed the school through email and face-to-face questioning, and came to the conclusion that they should sell BIS water bottles, T-shirts, and/or hats with their designs.

Next came the decisions for what artwork should be chosen. After brainstorming and doodling for a little while, the students began to realize that their artwork may not be the best choice for their school spirit products. That “a-ha moment” led to a design contest for the entire school – the student with the best design will get a free product as a reward. We even had the opportunity to present this contest during Earth Day, linking our project to reducing disposable water bottles!

This week, we will choose our winning designs, calculate the budget needed for printing/purchasing, and come to a consensus on a charity to donate our profits. When all of this is finalized, we will make an “official” proposal to the school administration, to ask for a business loan. If approved, we will get to order our own products and sell them to the school community! Only a few more steps to go before we head into our final inquiry of the year. We will update you as we get closer!

Maths Update

For our Pattern and Function summative assessment task, students were asked to create their own number pattern using their multiplication and/or division skills. After creating their rule (e.g., x4, or x3+5), they were then tasked with making an Input-Output Table, a graph, and a pictorial representation of their pattern. We successfully demonstrated our understanding of our pattern and function learning outcomes!

Since completing our Pattern and Function unit, we have begun our new stand-alone unit on Fractions and Decimals – our last Number unit for Grade 3. We started with a series of fractions and decimals activities, to pre-assess different student readiness. Those who are ready for skills such as adding unlike denominators can work on individual puzzles to advance their skills. The rest of the students work with me on the Grade 3 objectives listed below. We have modeled decimals, connected them to fractions, and learned the function of numerators (the top numbers) and denominators (the bottom numbers).

Please find below a list of our Fractions and Decimals objectives. In a few week’s time, we will take our understanding of Fractions and Decimals, and apply them to our Shape and Space unit on the angles of shapes.

Conceptual Understandings
Fractions and decimals are ways of representing whole-part relationships.
Learning Outcomes

When constructing meaning learners:

count by quarters halves and thirds, including with mixed numerals
locate and represent these fractions on a number line
model addition and subtraction of fractions with the same denominators
model improper fractions and mixed numbers
simplify fractions using manipulatives
recognise and model problems involving purchases and the calculation of change.
When transferring meaning into symbols learners:
convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa
simplify fractions in mental and written form
investigate equivalent fractions used in contexts
make connections between fractions and decimal notation.
solve problems involving purchases and the calculation of change with and without digital technologies.
When applying with understanding learners:
use decimal fractions in real-life situations
add and subtract decimals in real-life situations, including money.


Writing to Persuade: Advertisements

Hello Grade 3 Families and Fans,

With our inquiry into How We Organize Ourselves, students are developing their understanding of how advertisements function to persuade communities. First, students explored different types of magazines, and compiled a list of techniques. We activated our prior knowledge of advertisements by sharing certain ads we remember and what has worked for us in the past. We are formulating questions into how particular advertisements work and what their target audiences are.

We have also been using the website Admongo to investigate how advertisements penetrate our daily lives. Admongo is a game-based site where students have to navigate a community and a house, in order to recognize that advertisements are everywhere. It’s educational, and a lot of fun!

Below are the language learning outcomes that support this inquiry. Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions. When we return from the spring break holiday, students will be practicing different advertising techniques to create ads for classroom objects. I hope you enjoy the holiday, and we are looking forward to seeing you all in April!


Conceptual Understandings
Spoken language varies according to the purpose and audience.
Learning Outcomes
listen attentively and speak appropriately in group interactions

report briefly to the class on a group discussion or activity, e.g. present agreed ideas

attempt to persuade others with reasons

conduct brief interviews to obtain information about an issue, e.g. about school roles

listen for words that signal fact or opinion

reflect on speaking and listening tasks in order to improve communication

use a variety of processes and strategies when speaking, e.g. justify statements

use a variety of processes and strategies when listening, e.g. seek confirmation

Conceptual Understandings
Selecting the most suitable forms of visual presentation enhances our ability to express ideas and images.
Learning Outcomes
recognise and name familiar visual texts, e.g. adverts, logos

ask relevant questions and discuss possible meaning after viewing visual information

with guidance, use the internet to access relevant information

use actions and body language to reinforce and add meaning to oral presentations

begin to adjust viewing strategies for different texts and different purposes


Conceptual Understandings
Different types of texts serve different purposes.
Learning Outcomes
read and demonstrate comprehension of texts by: recalling key information; identifying the main idea; selecting events to retell a text; linking explicit ideas in a text, e.g. comparing a character at different points in the text

discuss some information implicit in a text

discuss the author’s purpose in writing a text and ask questions to try to understand the author’s message

recognise the relationship signaled by simple conjunctions, e.g. ‘because’ signals a reason

generate key words for a specific purpose from a text

Conceptual Understandings
We write in different ways for different purposes.
Learning Outcomes
demonstrate knowledge of differences in organisation, structure and language features of a range of texts

experiment with the use of devices, e.g. repetition of words or phrases

vary vocabulary to add interest

use a small range of appropriate conjunctions, e.g. but, because, so, if

write legibly, and in a consistent style

plan for and create a published text that reflects the purpose and audience

use a dictionary, a thesaurus and word banks to extend their use of language


How We Organize Ourselves

Hello Grade 3 Families and Fans,

This week, we began our inquiry into How We Organize Ourselves. The students will investigate through the central idea of: goods and services are exchanged to meet the needs and wants of a community. This is a huge unit for Grade 3! Through the inquiry, they will get hands-on experience for establishing a business.


Our first step is creating a survey the wants and needs of teachers, students, and parents. This data will give them ideas for their business plans. Students will choose to work as a whole class or in small groups, and they will be mentored by Grade 11 Economics students and other teachers. Please find the unit overview attached below:

How We Organize Ourselves Overview

Today, the Grade 11 class came to introduce us to different economics concepts: supply and demand, scarcity, and the difference between wants and needs. We had a wonderful time interacting with the high school students, and we learned a lot in the process!

Math: Data Handling, Pattern and Function

Thank you to those of you who attended our PYP Maths Morning! I hope you enjoyed observing our review lesson on input/output tables. Please note that this is only one snapshot out of a year of math lessons – at times, we mix ability levels, and at other times, we work on what challenges the individual students. Providing a variety of tasks can help target different objectives and learning needs.

Please find below a list of our math objectives for the next few weeks. Data handling will naturally integrate with our current Unit of Inquiry, as we have already started surveying the school community and are finding ways to represent our data.

For our stand-alone math, we will have  a mini-unit (about 3 weeks) on pattern and function. Students will continue to build their multiplication skills, while recognizing how multiplication can create and extend patterns. This week, we have been working on growth patterns – how a number can grow by the same amount over time. After this mini-unit, we will move into a stand-alone unit on fractions and decimals through Shape and Space, which we will continue through the remainder of the school year.

Next week, I’ll post details on our literacy focus and updates on our inquiry into marketplaces, so stay tuned!

Conceptual Understandings
Data can be collected, organized, displayed and analysed in different ways. Functions are relationships or rules that uniquely associate members of one set with members of another set.
Different graph forms highlight different aspects of data more efficiently. By analysing patterns and identifying rules for patterns it is possible to make predictions.
Learning Outcomes

When constructing meaning learners:

identify questions or issues for categorical variables. understand that patterns can be generalized by a rule


  understand that patterns can be represented using tables, graphs and words.
When transferring meaning into symbols learners:
select and trial methods for data collection, including survey questions and recording sheets analyse pattern and function using words, tables and graphs.


collect and display data, with and without the use of digital technologies, in circle graphs (pie charts) and line graphs from given or collected data explore and describe number patterns resulting from performing multiplication.


include tables, column graphs and picture graphs where one picture can represent many data values solve word problems by using number sentences involving multiplication or division where there is no remainder.
evaluate the effectiveness of different displays in illustrating data features including variability.
When applying with understanding learners:
design a survey and systematically collect, record, organize and display the data in a bar graph, line graph use functions to solve problems.
interpret range and scale on graphs.

A Reflection of Where We Are in Place and Time

Hello Grade 3 Families and Fans,

Thank you to all who were able to join us yesterday for our celebration of our learning! We had a wonderful time sharing with you and the school community how we understand Where We Are in Place and Time. Portfolios will go home today to let you sit with your child and review their learning journey. Please find below your child’s PowerPoint presentations and some photos of yesterday’s celebration.

Amazon River Salman

Highgate Hills Rayya

Doyun Jirisan

Isla De La Guarda Mardian

Mount Everest Jungmin

Mount Kilauea Greg

Nevado pisco Denny

Lovatnet Lake Andrea

Amazon river Gina

G3 PE Videos

Hello Grade 3 Fans,

This week, we are finishing up our inquiry into Where We Are in Place and Time. On Thursday, we will be presenting our understanding of how landforms impact the development of settlements. Photos and copies of student presentations will be uploaded to our blog this Friday!

Until then, please find attached some videos of students building different skills through PE over the course of the year. Enjoy!


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!

A Unit Ends, Another Begins

Hello again Grade 3 Fans,

Happy New Year! 2017 has started with a bang in Grade 3, as we have wrapped up our inquiry into How the World Works, gone on a field trip, and started prepping for the upcoming ACER ISA exams.

Geology Museum Trip

This week, we visited the Geology Museum, to bridge our two science-focused units. We explored different types of rocks and minerals and an archeological history of Indonesia. As a provocation to our next inquiry, we viewed a lot of displays on plate tectonics, weathering, and erosion. The students were full of questions and excited to share their prior knowledge!

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Measuring with Multiplication

In math, we have been focusing on building our multiplication skills to apply to real-life contexts. Earlier in the unit, we solved problems involving elapsed time. We then used our understanding to plan a schedule for our field trip to the museum. Students calculated how long it would take to get there and how long we should spend at the museum, and coordinated the time with our school schedule.

Now, we are moving on to area and perimeter. This seems to be a new concept for all students, so we started out with a few introductory activities. One was creating different rectangles that have the same area. Already, students made the connection on their own that the sides of the rectangle can be multiplied together to get the area – a great start to understanding the concept of area! We will continue with calculating area during our next unit, before moving on to volume.

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Using area to think of reorganizing classroom cubbies
Using area to think of reorganizing classroom cubbies
Using area to think of reorganizing classroom cubbies
Using area to think of reorganizing classroom cubbies
Where We Are in Place and Time

Starting Monday, we will begin an investigation into how landforms impact the development of settlements. We will look into how landforms are created by plate tectonics, weathering, and erosion over time. Then we will research how people’s lives are impacted by their local landscape. For their summative assessment project, students will choose their own landform, plan a settlement, and present their findings to the school community.

Tuning in activities next week will include looking into the layers of the Earth, a Pangea puzzle, and peanut butter plate tectonics! For details on our unit objectives, please review our overview here: Place and Time Unit Overview


From February 20-24, Grades 3-10 will be taking the ACER ISA exams to help our school assess our students’ progress in relation to other international schools around the world.  The exam is computer-based and has three main components: Mathematical Literacy, Reading, and Writing. This is the first year students participate, so we are practicing well in advance to help prepare. In class, we are completing practice math and reading comprehension problems, from the samples on the ACER ISA website. In addition, we will do a practice writing test once a week to prepare students for the challenging task of planning and producing a final writing piece in 30 minutes, using only the computer (no written notes are permitted).

Please note that I will not sacrifice the PYP curriculum for the exam, but I will do my best to prepare the students to be successful. If you would like to help prepare your child at home, I recommend three main activities:

  • Mathematical Literacy: Practice mathematical vocabulary. Names of 2D and 3D shapes, graphs, mapping – these are the skills that can more easily confuse students. Simple equations are straightforward, but Data Handling and Shape and Space questions can be tricky – especially since we have not focused on these skill sets yet in Grade 3.
  • Reading: Using Raz-Kids helps enormously, as students have to read different texts and answer comprehension questions. Encourage your child to choose different types of texts on Raz-Kids, especially poetry and non-fiction, if possible. The more practice they have in responding to reading, the more prepared they will be.
  • Writing: Practice typing (BBC Typing is a free site) to give them more confidence in writing via a computer. Punctuation is a section that is graded, so encourage students to write freely in full sentences, with full stops and capital letters.

Please note these are only suggestions, and I won’t be assigning practice questions as homework. But you are welcome to practice with your child at home if you like!



Goodbye, 2016!

Hello again Grade 3 fans,

Today is the last blog update of 2016 – can you believe it? We have been busy discovering chemical and physical changes, units of measurement, and our understanding of multiplication.

For chemical and physical changes, we used cooking. First, we made salsa to demonstrate how matter can be changed only physically. Then we cooked quesadillas to demonstrate both chemical and physical change – the melting and hardening of cheese (physical), and the grilled marks on a tortilla that create a new “burned” substance (chemical).

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The concept of dissolution was tricky for us to decide; if two substances dissolve, is it chemical or physical? We decided to test it to find out more, by creating salt water and boiling the water. The results of boiling were water vapor and excess salt, which showed us that dissolving is a physical change -we did not create a new substance, since we are still left with water and salt. In math, we have been building up our multiplication skills and using different standardized measurement tools. These will help us as we dig further into our next science unit, which will need us to calculate the area and perimeter of landforms.

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We took a field trip to Batik Komar as a local connection to our unit. We used physical and chemical changes to design our own batik handkerchief. It was a great way to have fun and use our understanding of matter!

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Yesterday was our first elementary-only Sports Day! Grades 1-5 were split into teams, and we participated in relays, a football match, and a dodgeball tournament. It was a tiring but exciting day, and a great way to end the year. See you all in 2017!

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Finding Out How the World Works

Hello again Grade 3 Fans,

Our next unit is well under way! Under the transdisciplinary theme of How the World Works, we are now investigating how: the universe is made of matter that behaves predictably and consistently. Students will be looking at different forms of matter, how we can predict changes in matter, and what elements support life. For details on the unit, please review the unit overview here:

How the World Works Overview

In class, we are using a cycle of scientific inquiry: prediction > experiment > observation > theory. We started our inquiry by investigating the properties of water, testing it with different experiments that highlight its “stickiness” (cohesion) and “strong skin” (surface tension).

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Next, we looked at solids, and collected data on how different powders react to different liquids. The students had to apply their data to predict a secret mixture of two of the powders. How can data help us understand new matter? What does that tell us about its predictability and consistency?

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Finally, we created Oobleck – a mixture of cornstarch and water. Students needed to apply their understanding of solids and liquids to try and define what Oobleck is. This is tricky, because it has properties of both solids and liquids. [Spoiler alert – it is actually a suspension called a non-Newtonian fluid!]


Next week, we will observe how matter can go through chemical and physical changes.

Measuring with Multiplication

In math, we are investigating how to use standardized tools to measure capacity and time. This is a direct link to our Unit of Inquiry, as we will need to measure capacity and elapsed time (how long something takes) to properly complete our experiments. Students are also practicing their multiplication tables to help them measure more effectively (e.g., applying x5’s to tell time).

Writing to Instruct

To support their understanding of this unit, students will be creating instructions based on their previous experiments. They will reflect on completed experiments, using their lab notes as guides. Students were given a set of language and organizational features that are expectations for our instruction pieces. Soon, they will use these to create an assessment tool for their final writing product!

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Our “Expressive” Fabulous Friday

Hello again Grade 3 Fans,

If you can believe it, our second Unit of Inquiry is wrapping up. Our students completed their process of finding their writer’s voice, and using it to communicate ideas, images, emotions, and values.

If you recall, students first decided to create their own play. They had to work cooperatively to take their brainstorm of story ideas, and transform it into a working script. After they drafted lines, they had to go through the writing process and edit and revise their work. Students had to ensure the central idea was communicated by “showing” instead of “telling,” using descriptive language and opportunities for non-verbal communication. Next, the students had to plan their costumes and props, and practice their stage presence. After every single practice, the students reflected on their strengths and areas to improve, which we used to influence the following practice session. For more details on our writing process, please review the following documents:



As you can imagine, this took a great deal of enthusiasm, independence, and commitment. But their hard work paid off, as you saw during our Fabulous Friday presentation! It’s easy to see why the students feel such pride for their work. Please find an edited version of the Fabulous Friday PPT below – please note that due to privacy reasons, the Indonesian language videos have been removed.


Next week, we will do our final reflections and assessments, before starting our third Unit of Inquiry. The unit overview and details will be posted next week, so stay tuned!

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