This week, we read some 'poems for two voices' and looked for patterns in what we could see and hear. We thought about rhythm, rhyme and how the lines are laid out on the page. Next week we will be writing our own poems for two voices.
We also thought more about 'tuning in to interesting words' when we are reading. Sometimes students identify interesting words that they don't know the meaning of. So we have been looking at how we can use clues from the context and our prior knowledge to work out the meaning of unknown words. We focused on adjectives and set up a display where we can collect new or interesting adjectives.
Next week there will be a spelling focus. Half the class will start their sorts from Words Their Way and half the class will work on their personal word lists.
The students have been writing a lot in Daily Five time and are always very keen to share what they've written with the class. It's important for them to have autonomy over their writing and feel there is a real purpose and audience for their it.
In math this week we solved some problems from the Capture Five game and looked at making and reading very big numbers, up to nine digits. We read 'How Big is A Million?', a picture book that seeks to give children some simple benchmarks for grasping the enormity of millions and billions.
We looked at Singapore currency and practised making different amounts with coins and notes/bills. We wondered how we could 'make' amounts that are not multiples of five or ten, for example $0.68. We realised we have to round these numbers and practised doing this.
We also all learnt to play a shopping board game and most students had a go at spending an imaginary $500 on the Toys R Us website, keeping track of their total and working out the change.
In our problem-solving lesson, we continued with the strategy of 'draw a picture'. Hers is the problem we all tried together to begin with:
The children built a log playhouse in a square shape. They used eight vertical posts on each side of the house. How many posts did they use altogether?
Unit of Inquiry
We have continued to work on the connection between rights and responsibilities, identifying which adults uphold children's rights. Students identified which rights are infringed upon by the haze, who is responsible for upholding those rights and how, and what we as individuals can do about the haze. Students made posters to show their understanding.
We collected some questions students have raised about rights and sorted them into groups. We thought about how to formulate good questions.
We read about Malala and the right of girls to get an education and about a child soldier in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We are now thinking about how children have the responsibility to respect other people's rights and what that might look like in our classroom. We will be building a class charter of rights and responsibilities and working on strategies for conflict resolution.
In Daily Five we launched Work on Writing so students are building their stamina to write independently; to generate ideas for writing and then to plan and write a draft.
We looked at the strategy 'Tune into interesting words' and the students have all begun small notebooks called Word Collectors. They can note any words they find interesting in their Read to Self time and use these words later in Word Work time. They can also choose to add these words to their spelling list, along with words from their writing.
We also established a routine for visiting the library to exchange books and logged into RAZ Kids to get ready for the Listen to Reading part of Daily Five.
In our problem-solving lesson this week we focused on the strategy of 'Draw a Picture'. Here is one of the problems we worked on together.
Cowboy Cleon is lost in the desert. He started out yesterday riding from Saddlesore to Sidekick, a distance of 100 kilometres. 15 km back, he passed a sign facing the other way that read “22 km to Saddlesore.” How far is he from Sidekick?
Students have been working on counting up from a 2 digit number to 100 or from a 3 digit number to 1000 mentally, using a number line as a visual prompt.
Students worked on word problems involving adding and subtraction mentally and we learnt two new games to practise adding and subtracting.
In Capture Five, students are dealt 5 addition/subtraction cards which they use to move around a 100 chart to capture counters. It involves strategy and negotiation. The other game was Collect 200, where students roll two dice, add the total and collect 'ones'. They need to exchange the ones for 'tens' as their collection grows.
Unit of Inquiry
In UOI this week, we have worked hard to define what rights are. We sorted things as needs or wants and then decided rights are things that everyone needs. Students worked in pairs to illustrate different children's rights and the rest of the class had to guess which right was illustrated.
We discussed what being responsible means and made lists of how we can show responsibility. We then began to think about who is responsible for upholding children's rights.
In Daily Five, students are working on embedding routines and behaviours. We are practising I-PICK (how to choose a good fit book) and building our stamina to read independently in our 'Read to Self' time. We have reviewed the reading strategies of 'check for understanding' and 'back up and reread', set up writing notebooks and word work notebooks. Students have begun identifying misspelt words from their own writing that they can practise in word work time and begun lists of ideas for independent writing.
In teacher-led writing, we have looked at the organisation of persuasive letters. Students need to identify what they want and why, then outline their reasons with supporting examples.
We have practised reading some poems aloud and I am reading the novel 'Frindle' by Andrew Clements to the class.
In mathematics, we are working on this central idea:
The base 10 place value system is used to represent numbers and number relationships.
The lines of inquiry are:
Students have thought about which strategies they use to add and subtract mentally. Together, we have been looking at the strategies of adding by place (first photo) and adding one number in parts (second photo). Both strategies require a secure understanding of place value. Students have also been solving some word problems.
Unit of Inquiry
We have begun our 'Who We Are' Unit of Inquiry. Our central idea is:
With rights come responsibilities.
As an initial provocation, I told the students that I would be cancelling all break and lunch times in order to get more work done. The students had to write a letter persuading me not to. Interestingly, no one said it was unfair or a violation of their rights! We then spent time looking at a gallery of photos of children from around the world. In some photos, the children were carrying weapons or working or clearly homeless. Students wrote questions and comments next to the photos. Next, we imagined that we were going on a space mission to live on a new planet and thought about what we might need to bring with us. Students sorted a set of cards into what they needed and what they didn't need. We will use this a way of talking about needs, wants and rights. From there, we will explore the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We are a Grade 3 class in Singapore. We hope you enjoy sharing our learning journey with us this year. Our class teacher is Ms. Vicky and our Teacher's Assistant is Ms. Noreen.
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