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!
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.
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!
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.
NUMBER: FRACTIONS AND DECIMALS
Fractions and decimals are ways of representing whole-part relationships.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
ACER ISA Exams
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!
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.