Wrapping Up Our Reports

It has been a Literacy-heavy week this week as we finish publishing our information reports. The kids have done such an amazing job with these and all the adults have been commenting on their independence, maturity and the quality of the writing. When compared to their first reports at the start of the year, the progress is staggering.

We’ve also found some time to do some inquiring into grouping and . have . been thinking flexibly to represent multiplication, factors, grouping in many different ways. A few key ideas are that arrays represent multiplication, that we can switch the order, and . the connections between the concrete (counters etc), the abstract (arrays and number lines) and the symbolic (equations).

Next week we’ll be finishing off the unit by thinking hard about conservation and our own responsibilities as we think about how we can take action based on what we have learned. After that, a well-deserved break! As always, please do let us know if you have any wonderings, suggestions or concerns.

 

Sorting Out and Reporting Back

This week in 3C we’ve been finalising our research, organising our notes and drafting our non-fiction reports. The kids have working with great independence to colour-code their notes and start to write out their paragraphs. As we continue with the process and think about what we know, we identify gaps and may need to go back and do some more focused research to find out more

We had time for an inquiry into affixes we know or think we know. This aligns our thinking, breathes life into our display board and puts us in great shape for future inquiries into those exciting, uncertain areas.

In Math we’ve been playing and creating multiplication games. We also visited our buddies and had fun re-imagining what a stick could be!

Next week we hope to finish our reports and launch into some great mathematical investigations into groups. As always, please get in touch if you have any wonderings, suggestions or concerns.

Parents, Data, Research & BEARS

What a brilliant week in 3C. It has been exciting and satisfying to start our independent research into the animals we chose. We started off with a stack of library books and with the help of a few great online reading resources, we have collected tons of facts about our animals. Next we’ll dig into some video resources to add to our notes, before organising these and writing them up in a report.

It was lovely to have so many parents visiting us on Tuesday- we hope you learned a bit about how we learn Math and what our time in class is like in 3C. We continued the data project for a few more lessons and we were very happy with how much the kids learned about visualising data. Hopefully we can make links to grouping as we launch into our multiplication unit.

The highlight of our week, though, was of course our trip to see the bears at Tam Dao National Park. Please chat to your kids about what they learned and the connections they made to the UoI and their own research. Photos of the day can be found here.

Next week is a relatively normal one with a new ASA season beginning. As always, if you have questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know.

Adapting to Biomes

A short but very productive week in 3C. We finished off learning about different biomes (savannah, polar, ocean and rainforest) which will be key information for when we start to think about our animal of choice and the dangers to its existence. We also finished off some interesting lessons on animal adaptations and learned about some fascinating eyes, ears, noses and feet that help different species to thrive in their environments.

In our writing we’re continuing with information reports and learning how to use graphic organisers to plan through research- more on this coming soon. We began an inquiry into doubling consonants when certain suffixes are added to base words and are still trying to figure out why that is. In Math we wrapped up our unit on mental strategies and it is great to see the kids adding 99 efficiently and using doubles, tricks for making ten and using knowledge of numbers to switch around the digits/numbers to make their calculations more manageable.

Laced throughout all of this was the theme of kindness and it was so lovely to hear this morning the kids’ plans to be kinder people- watch out for random/deliberate acts of kindness happening near you soon!

 

Thanks for all the contributions to support our UoI and to UnDam who helped us with reading this week. Please let us know if you’d like to be involved or if you have any comments, suggestions or wonderings.

 

Getting Stuck In

Another busy week in 3C as we dig deeper into our UoI. Rotating around the 3rd Grade teachers is teaching us about different biomes and getting us thinking about plant and animal adaptations. We took to the immediate environment on Thursday to join in with Outdoor Learning Day and hunt down wildlife in their natural habitat. Some great shots are included in the shared folder– perhaps we have some budding wildlife photographers in our class!

We’ve been digging deeper into informational report-writing and are now ready to start producing our own We got a bit sidetracked by creating poems which we will put to music (with the guidance of the specialists!) later in the unit.

In Math we’ve finished collecting mental strategies and many kids are using more flexible and efficient strategies. We have tried to collect these in a handy booklet- ask your kids to explain. Through our morning meetings we’ve also been digging deeper into causes and triggers of conflict to empower the kids to solve and manage their own problems.

An important reminder that there is no school on Monday, and a heads-up that we have an excursion planned for Friday 22nd November to go and visit the Moon Bear Sanctuary. More info in the letter coming home on Tuesday:

Thanks to all the parent’s who’ve been in to help us with reading- we hope to have more in soon! As always, please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or wonderings.

Catching Up

 

This has been a week of catching up- after a few weeks which were weighted towards finishing the unit of inquiry, it was nice to get back to routines of Literacy Groups, Word Inquiry, and Math Talks. We’ve also been digging a little deeper into animal adaptations, human impact on the environment and conservation.

We were struck by the Google Earth Timelapse animations and have been reflecting on some powerful graphs and videos showing how urgent some of these global issues are.

Our Literacy Groups enable small group instruction while enabling the students time to work on their writing, read around our units and inquire into word structure.  We learned about the prefix ‘en’ (endangered) which we then discovered can also be a suffix (threaten), and we also started looking into when and why some words change their spellings when suffixes are added (chat -> chat + t + ing).

In Math we’ve been finding patterns in trickier ‘choral counting’ as well as experimenting with different ways to show our mathematical thinking. We are pausing our non-fiction writing unit to prepare some poetic lines to support the next music project- more info coming soon!

We’re still looking for some reading volunteers (see Christin’s email) and hoping that some animal lovers step up to help us find out more about our unit of inquiry. As always, if you have any comments, suggestions or wonderings, please get in touch.

 

Sharing the Planet

After a wonderful day celebrating our international diversity and wonderful community, it was back to work on Tuesday thinking about (SDG#12) responsible consumption and production. We dismantled our machines and sent about 80% of our materials back to the Maker Space to be reused. Of those that couldn’t be reused, all could be recycled. We were proud that we managed to do these builds sustainably. Inspired by the book Only One You, we also painted our stone fish and we look forward to the river being installed so the fish can swim freely and be admired.

It was exciting to start unwrapping our new unit of inquiry and start to see what the kids know abut endangered animals. We examined some startling before/after images to better understand some of the human impact on the world and begun our journey into our new writing unit; informational reports.

The G3 Team met this week for our first ‘Learning Retreat’ where we examine student data- among many interesting insights was a heavy over-reliance on partitioning or ‘split’ strategies, as well a tendency to ‘mentally perform written methods’ for addition/subtraction. We’ll be teaching some more flexible, efficient strategies over the coming weeks as well as adapting our groupings and schedules to best meet our students’ needs.

Next week we look forward to digging deeper, finalising our new classroom layout and getting back into some more structured routines. It was great to have Christin join us for a reading session. Slawa join us next week and we extend an invitation to all of our community to find a way to come and get involved with our learning. Do you know about endangered animals, human impact on environments, conservation etc? If you’re interested in helping us out, or if you have any comments, suggestions or wonderings, please get in touch!

Inventions Come To Life

What an amazing week! We’ve been planning, making, testing, re-designing, improving (repeat), reflecting and sharing our wonderfully innovative inventions. Whipping around the design cycle and building carefully with some tricky materials has been really rewarding and a lot of fun. Our understanding of simple machines, forces and design thinking has grown immensely and the Grade 3 Team are delighted with the learning and proud of the students. We’ve had to collaborate with limited resources and work through a whole host of problems that the design brief threw at us. No glue, no blue tac, no un-reusable plastic or tape and almost all the resources will be able to be reused. The enthusiasm at the sharing session was really quite inspiring: it is quite powerful when unfamiliar parents (or even those from other classes) are interested in your work and so a big thank you to everyone who came and got involved.

Check out our process (all creative credit goes to Mr Big C in the Maker Space):

 

There were a bunch of links to SDG Week and we had a number of proud moments discussing the children’s vision of the future. With UN Day around the corner, there is a positive and excited vibe around the school and we look forward to celebrating that with the community. We’ll spend a few days reflecting on and wrapping up the design unit before launching our next one: Sharing The Planet. The Central Idea is the struggle to share the environment impacts living things and we’ll be exploring how living things uniquely adapt for survival; the impact of changing environment; human perspectives on conservation and the effect on living things. Our integrated writing unit will be non-fiction reports and in math we’ll continue digging into place value, mental math strategies and addition/subtraction concepts.

If you have any interest/expertise with endangered animals, adaptation, conservation or something similar, or you know someone who does, we’d love to hear from you. Also, you can always fill out this form if you’d like to help us out in another way, or if you’d like to help out with reading (Tuesday mornings in Week A; Friday mornings in Week B), please get in touch with Christin.

As always, if you have comments, suggestions or wonderings, we’d love for you to get in touch.

Building Understanding

It’s been an exciting and interesting week in 3C with a lot going on. We had a wonderful session in the Maker’s Space learning about different ways to attach cardboard without using glue or tape. We’ll build on these skills next week, adding in what we learned about wheels and axels, helping us to find out about forces, materials, properties as well as starting to think about design cycles. Hopefully you saw the results on Seesaw (thanks for feedback on our posts- the attached poster show’s what we’re aiming for), but here are some photos of the kids in action.

Our current understanding of simple machines needs some refinement but it’s fueled some brilliant conversations about characteristics, opening up some fascinating insights and misconceptions (see attached). We’re still honoring these and as we explore, discuss and ‘discover’ more, our understanding will evolve. The journey continues!

Ms Megan visited and shared the opening of her favourite book, telling us some interesting facts about how listening to someone read aloud actually helps you to get better at reading. Food for thought indeed. Speak of Ms Megan, also attached is a note about the upcoming STP Conferences.

In Math we’ve been exploring open-ended questions, building with Base 10, thinking about how to represent our thinking, how to communicate our process and ways top represent different groups of number. On top of that we’ve been creatively celebrating Peace Day, connecting with our Buddies in KG1 and getting creative as well as digging a bit deeper into procedural writing.

Thanks to those who brought in headphones. We’re also collecting recycled bits and pieces what might be useful in our construction projects. As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments, suggestions or wonderings.

Moon Fest

We’ve had a busy week preparing for, learning about and enjoying the Moon Festival celebrations. It was so nice to see all the kids in their ao dais and we were treated to a wonderful assembly performance. Here are some photos of the day, taken by Ms Thuy.

We’ve been getting a bit deeper into the unit of inquiry, exploring moving parts and how they work through our mini-inquiry into wheels and axels. We saw a lot of progression as cars moved from wobbly, fragile things that slid down the ramp to robust, efficient vehicles. We also had a second attempt at the Marble Challenge and the kids vastly improved their designs (and collaborative skills!) demonstrating an encouraging growth of understanding in manipulating the forces at play.

We had our first attempt at ‘how to’ (or procedural) writing and there will be a lot of opportunities to learn more about writing explicit and detailed procedures as we record our process through the unit of inquiry.

Perhaps you have some interest or expertise in the area of forces, simple machines, the design process? Perhaps you’d like to join in with our learning as a parent reader (no matter your confidence level with English!)? Perhaps you’d like to help us in another way? Fill in the form to get involved! 

As always, please do get in touch if you have any comments, suggestions or wonderings.