3C – Community Building

Here at UNIS we value the following:

  • That our social curriculum is as important as our academic curriculum.
  • The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need to develop their social and self-management skills

One change that was made in the schedule this year was to make time in the morning (15 minutes) and in the afternoon (25 minutes) for us to work on developing these skills in our students. Over the course of the year, we have used the time to research idoms, practice projecting our voice while playing “Lego Oracy“, read and discuss good books, practice communicating while playing math games or counting off in a circle to practice skip counting.

Recently I taught the students a fun way to greet each other. “Boomerang” allows us to learn new dance moves and be silly in front of everyone. In my experience, the more comfortable students are around each other the more learning occurs. When we feel like we can do a silly dance in front of each other without fear of being mocked or teased, then we will most likely feel comfortable making a mistake in our learning too. This is how the magic happens.

3C Happenings – 13th February 2018 – Visit with a Mathematics expert!

Things to discuss with your child:

  • Virtual reality
  • New Math games
  • The order of planets
  • Being accountable for the thinking we do when we read

New Math Games

I just completed four days of professional development training in maths training. I learned a lot and am very excited to incorporate a lot of what I learned into our math lessons. With many of our classmates leaving early for our TET Holiday, I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach the class how to play a new game: Quick Draw Multiples. This way the the students can become experts and teach it to the others once we return from holiday.

This is a great game to practice our skip counting of multiples or by tens off the decuple (i.e. 46, 56, 76…). To teach the basic game, we simply used a deck of cards and either added one more or one less number to the cards in play. We soon learned this was a fantastic opportunity to quickly recognize numbers using pattern recognition too, using subitizing cards.

Please come to a learning session with Mathematics expert, Dr. James Tanton at 7pm on March 5th in the theatre. This is a great opportunity to learn more information about great mathematics education.

Where We Are in Place and Time

Ae are into our second and third week of this new unit on our ‘ever changing solar system’. Students began to ask questions and work out how they could find answers. We are encouraging each of them to be space scientists and complete mini missions by researching into various areas of space exploration. Students are encouraged to be curious, ask questions and follow appropriate research protocols to complete the missions. Their enthusiasm and desire to try new presentation ideas to display their findings is really exciting.


3C Happenings – 1 February 2018

Parent Conferences

Thank you to all the parents who I met with today. It was great to reconnect and focus on learning. It was a great chance to explore the progress report and develop a shared understanding of the direction we will take for the remainder of the year. I encourage you to speak with your child about what we discussed and let them know that we are all in this together and for their benefit.

Art auction

Our school is hosting an Amazing Arts Auction which will launch on Tuesday, February 6 at 18:00 in the Centre for the Arts. Don’t miss this event which will open with the world premiere of the School’s new anthem for the 30th Birthday, “Gathered Here From Every Place” performed by a symphonic orchestra and choir of 156 students!

The Art Auction features original artworks donated by our students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni and will be on show from February 6 to 14 and open for bidding in our secret, silent auction.

Unit of Inquiry

  • How We Organize Ourselves

We just finished our last unit and the students had the opportunity to share their research and message with each other. We saw a lot of passionate students and we hope the action to make a difference in our world does not stop as we are about to embark on our new unit. Please ask your child what changes they want to see made in their world (i.e. in their household, school and surrounding neighborhood).

  • Where We Are In Place And Time

Our new unit of inquiry is extremely exciting. Here is the video we watched to inspire some questions (Please click on the picture below):

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3C Updates -25 January

Find out about:

  • New Students to 3C
  • Making Inferences with Riddles
  • Multiplication Battle and Bingo
  • Blog Post Comment of the Week

New Students to 3C

I would like to introduce the newest members of our Room 3C community, Elina and Dean.








We played a lot of games and had sharing activities during Morning Meeting that we played at the beginning of the year so we can get to know Dean and Elina and so they can get to know us. Welcome to UNIS!

Making Inferences with Riddles

We are really having fun with making inferences in our reading. Every other day or so I am introducing a new riddle to the students. When they give their response they must back up their inference with either clues, or evidence, from the riddle, and/or evidence from their personal experiences. This BrainPopJr. video helps explain more what an inference is. Be sure to check out the Library Digital Resource Page, in order to access BrainpopJr. with the school’s username and password.

Multiplication Battle and Bingo

This week we really got into our games and activities for multiplication. The connections and strategies the students were coming up with were pretty impressive.

Array Bingo, above, has the students trying to find the selected product with the arrays they have in front of them. They are not allowed to count any of the dots by one and they may be able to use more than one array to make the product. So 40 could be made with an array of 4 x 10, 10 x 4, 8 x 5 or 5 x 8. It also can be made with a 5 x 1 and a 5 x7. It all depends on what cards the kids have.

Number Battle with array cards, we discovered, can be played in many ways but the students agreed on some rules. The winner of both cards is the player who can name their array and the product (the number of dots). For example, Sam can call out, “3 X 3 is nine! He must then justify, or explain, his reasoning, in order to collect both cards. The rules can change as the game evolves but it is the discussion and sharing of how they know they are correct that makes this game so valuable.

Today in our Number Talk, the students made some very good connections. If you do not understand what the strategies written on the board mean, ask your child to explain it for you.

Blog Post Comment of the Week

This week’s Comment of the Week went to Amelie’s 2 Stars and 1 Wish comment on Ayaan’s blogpost about his Unit of Inquiry presentation.

Be sure to check out all the students’ blog posts and comments at our Easyblog site. They love giving and receiving feedback about the learning they are doing here at school.

3C Happenings – Multiplication…Yeah!!!!


We are beginning our multiplication unit and I would like you to take 6 minutes of your day to watch this important video. This is the Graham Fletcher Multiplication Progression video.  Some things he says that really stand out are the following:

“Once they have actually constructed that model, they draw a pictorial representation that matches that model.”  Drawing models and arrays is so important at this stage.  One thing we are doing is having the students derive basic facts.  So, if they choose 6 x 6 for example, well, that can be constructed with an array of 2 x 6 and 4 x 6 or 1 x 6 and 5 x 6.  Ask them to draw it.  See what they can do!

“We let students explain what their model represents.” This is so important and this is what my lesson tomorrow will be focused on (connecting multiplication and division).

“Connections are being made all around because students are exploring…Let’s not rush them!”

Making connections is the essential part to building foundational knowledge of multiplication. The more they notice and find out for themselves, the easier time they will have with multiplication. Just see all the connections the students are already making in our most recent Number Talks:

Here is a link to some flash cards that come from this 10 x 10 array of 100.

You can play matching and BINGO or just do sorting activities. Ask the students to find an array that makes 36? How many arrays make 36? How do you know? Prove it!

If you have any questions and would like to get a better understanding of how these cards work, don’t hesitate in contacting me. Trust me, this way of learning math is extremely different than the way we learned it when we were kids. It took me some time to understand what I could do with the cards too.


Mr. Aaron

11 January – 3C Happenings

Happy New Year 3C Students and Parents!

I hope everyone is as rested and excited for the rest of the school year as I am. We have a lot happening these next few weeks.

  • Math – Representations and modeling
  • Reading
    • Home Reading checklist
    • Digging Deeper for BIG Topics
  • Student Blogs – Comment of the week

Math – Representations and Modeling

One of the activities the students will be working on throughout the year follows Mathematical Practice #4 – Model with mathematics: I can use real objects, drawings, and numbers to show how I am thinking about the problem. One of our activities during math workshop is our Hands on Math. In this activity students are expected to use Base-10 Blocks to represent numbers in different ways. There are varying degrees of challenges but one of the purposes is after building their understanding, they then transfer that understanding onto paper (in their notebook) where the representations of their work help them share their thinking. Some of the questions you can ask them is:

  • How do you represent ______ (any number)?
  • What do you do to make sure your representation is organized and easily understood by others?


  • Home Reading checklist

     I believe the students of 3C have done a great job so far, being responsible for their reading. One way we have been doing this is by keeping a record of the books we read at home. Since we are beginning a new calendar year, I thought it would be good to motivate them some more. This is a team effort, so please help by reading with them, having them read to you, having them show you their reading list, and maybe, keep track and then make a graph of how many books they read each month.

  • Digging Deeper for BIG Topics

    We have a lot of great readers in 3C. The students are currently, with my help and results from recent assessments, pinpointing the Reading Skill Goals they can focus on for the rest of the year to become stronger readers. Ask your child if they have identified their reading goals yet.

As a class though, we are now ready to dig deeper and think about what the messages and themes are of the books and stories we are reading. Did you know that there are common themes found in children’s literature? Below is a poster I made that shows some. More importantly, the bottom of the Big Topics poster has a question and sentence frame you can use at home with your child as they are reading their books.

I think the topic could be _________ because_______…

Here’s to starting some DEEP dinner table conversations!!!!

Student Blogs – Comment of the Week

This week, our Comment of the Week, was written by Bao Tram. Please see Anh Thy’s blog post about Hands on Math to read her comment.

Our first Comment of the Week was during our last week of school in December. It was written by Anh Thy. Please see Ayaan’s blog post: Ayaan’s post about fair trade foot balls.

3C Happenings – 14 December

  • Exposition – Persuasive Writing
  • Non-fiction reading strategy
  • HWOO – exploring sustainability practices
  • Math – New Math Routine

Exposition – Persuasive Writing

We have begun our new writing unit this week by writing a persuasive argument to Ms. Megan about giving students 5-10 extra minutes of recess a day. To improve our original letters, we began using a planning sheet to organize our reasons.

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3C Happenings – December 7

How We Organize Ourselves

The students have been inspired by the story of Iqbal Masih. After reading the story The Carpet Boy’s Gift with Mr. Dylan, we looked into the real-life story about Iqbal, who took a stand against child labor during his short life. The students have been able to make a lot of connections about this story with our current unit, especially with our line of inquiry: Our power as consumers to effect change. Our goal is to help the students see that they have a voice and the power to evoke change in our economic system.

Here is a short documentary and article the students have watched and read to learn more about Iqbal:

We are using these phrases to guide their research findings:

  • Things I know about Iqbal:
  • Things I think about child labor:
  • Things I feel about this issue:

Some other “heroes” like Iqbal who students can learn about and form connections throughout this unit are Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. They both stood up for decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing. Maybe your children will find out about other individuals who also took a stand for what they believed in.

We have also started looking at the labels of products we buy and wear. You may find yourself discussing with your family why you purchase certain goods and services over others.

Paper Bag Experience

Today’s Paper Bag Experience was an extremely interactive roll play simulation that led the students to some very insightful conclusions. The students took on the roles of impoverished Kolkata families living in a cramped home and made their living making paper bags to sell to shopkeepers who use them to sell rice and spices. It really helped the students think deeply about our new UOI Central Idea:

Economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Some of 3C’s parents joined us in the simulation:

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