In our teacher-led writing lesson this week, we continued working on narrative writing. We thought about how to describe a setting and how changing the adjectives can change the feel or atmosphere of our writing.
In Daily Five, we focussed on 'making a picture or mental image' when we read. We tried drawing sketches of what was happening in the opening of Beast Quest. We linked this to creating a mental image for readers when we write. Students continue to work on their individual reading and writing goals.
We continued with data handling this week, with students practising sorting data and also deciding how they could represent their data with charts.
Students continued to practise games that require estimation, rounding and counting up mentally, and addition combinations where necessary.
In our problem-solving lesson, we tried the 'guess-check-improve' strategy using rugby scores. Here is an example problem:
In rugby, you get 5 points for a ‘try’ and 2 for a ‘conversion’. The score in the Olympic final was Fiji 43- GB 7. How many tries and conversions did each team score?
In the slideshow, you can see students's first 'guess'; they all went back and adjusted their answers, using the check and improve method.
Unit of Inquiry
Students worked with Google Maps to plan routes from their home addresses to Li's party and also paper MRT maps to plan and describe routes around Singapore. They are now planning Google slideshows on behalf of the Ministry of Transport to persuade newly arrived foreigners to use public transport. They need to identify what they already know and what they need to find out to present this information.
In Daily Five this week, we introduced the fourth choice; 'read to someone'. The students focused on checking for understanding when their buddy is reading. We also introduced the choice check in at the beginning of each round. Each day students have to choose 'read to self' and 'work on writing' and one other. They can choose the order in which they do these activities. Next week we will add 'listen to reading' and then the Daily Five rounds are complete.
Students are slowly adding their goals to the Cafe Menu and Six Traits display boards.
In our teacher led writing session, we began to look at the features of narrative writing. Students looked at settings, story openers and played games where they identified characters and plots.
We thought a bit more about adjectives and have been playing a game where we change parts of speech in a sentence.
We recorded the rest of the poems this week, which you can see below.
We began a new unit in Mathematics this week. The central idea is:
We can organise data in different ways to answer questions.
We did some pre-assessment activities and then began by collecting answers to the question 'Where do you like to eat?' The students thought about different ways to classify the data and what questions these data arrangements might be answering. This was quite difficult, conceptually. We came up with classifications that answered questions like, 'Do people prefer to eat inside or outside?' and 'Do people prefer to eat at home or in restaurants?'
A few students are very interested in big numbers and are challenging themselves to read big numbers. I'm not sure I could read this one...
Unit of Inquiry
We began our new unit this week by 'tuning in' to what students already know about transport, communication and sanitation systems. The students were told that the the school buses were cancelled and we had to figure out how to get the bus students home. Students worked in groups and presented their plans to the class. Most students worked out how to use Google Maps to help. They also did a sorting activity with different transport maps from around the world to look for features and characteristics. They had to use a diagram to show their current understanding of 'where does your poo go when you flush?' and looked at some addresses to see how they work.
The rain gave us a nice, fresh start to Sports Day even if it was a little muddy! Thanks to everyone who came to volunteer or support the students. I wasn't able to capture everything, but here is a selection of today's action...
This week, we finished setting up the spelling groups. Everyone now has word lists and has accessed the Spelling City website and found their words. We are continuing to practise our Phoneme Fingers every day where we count out the sounds in words and identify the long and short vowels. We also listen for syllables.
The syllables helped us when we reviewed haiku poems in our teacher-led writing session. Students read through some haiku and identified the features, then we all began a shared haiku together which students finished in pairs. Some students are writing lots of different poems independently in the Daily Five writing time. We have recorded about half the poems for two voices, which you can see here. The rest will be uploaded next week.
Students have been practising the addition combinations they identified last week.
We learnt a new game this week called Close to 100. Students choose six digit cards from a deck and have to make two two digit numbers that total 100. Their score for each round is the difference between their total and 100. The winner is the one with the lowest score after four rounds. This game helps build estimation skills and encourages students to apply what they know about tens and units. Students were encouraged to find their own level of challenge. Many chose to play 'Close to 1000' or Close to 10,000'.
Unit of Inquiry
Our focus this week was a short activity that allowed students to show their understanding of the connection between rights and responsibilities. They chose two articles from the Convention on The Rights of the Child and wrote about who was responsible for upholding those rights and whether children had any responsibilities in respect of those rights. They also watched some short films from UNICEF illustrating some of the rights and did another matching activity. We also did our first reflection on the electronic portfolios.
Next week we will begin our next unit: How We Organise Ourselves. The central idea is 'Successful cities must support the needs of individuals and societies'.
In Literacy this week, two groups began their spelling sort lists and the rest of the class worked on their personal word lists. Next week, the other three groups will get their sorts and this week's groups will work on their personal lists. As a whole class we have been practising identifying the phonemes in a word and long and short vowel sounds, as well as revising syllables.
In Daily Five, we reviewed some strategies for reading to a partner and how you can offer 'coach or time' if your partner can't read a word.
We looked at the new display board for the 'traits of writing' in preparation for identifying personal writing goals. For some students, their first goal will be in the area of 'conventions' - checking for full stops.
The students all wrote poems for two voices this week. They were very engaged and we did a spontaneous 'poetry slam' at the end of the session where everyone shared their poems. I hope to record them all reading these poems and upload them over the next two weeks.
This week, we did some individual review of skills and knowledge we've covered so far in this math unit. Then students began identifying which addition combinations up to 10+10 they know automatically and which ones they need to work on. We began by cutting up sets of cards and sorting them into categories; within 10, doubles, near doubles, 10+, 9+ and oddballs. Students are now ready to sort into 'know' or 'don't yet know'. They can then set personal goals.
Computational fluency is important as number operations become more complex. However, it is at this stage that students often become fearful of mathematics. We want to make sure students become fluent but without the anxiety associated with timed, public testing. This method allows students to identify what they need to work on, devise strategies to help themselves and work privately on their goals.
In problem-solving, we are still working on drawing a picture. Here is a sample question from this week's lesson:
A thick dowel stick has to be cut into eight pieces. Each cut takes you 30 seconds. How long will it take to cut the dowel stick into pieces?
This week, we also carried out some assessment on Mathletics.
Unit of Inquiry
This week our big focus was on creating a class charter of rights and responsibilities. Students spent some time looking through all the articles from the UN Convention on The Rights of The Child in groups to develop their understanding. They then selected and agreed on a core group of articles that could apply to our classroom. From there they identified, in pairs, students' responsibilities tied to those rights and created drama skits to illustrate them. Finally, they worked in different pairs on different rights to make posters for a shared class charter. All students had to agree to each article and sign to ratify the charter.
We also thought about the right to express ourselves in a bit more depth in relation to how we comment online. We discussed the mean comment we found on our blog and how we need to take responsibility for our words.
Finally, we talked about conflict resolution using The Conflict Corner routine and created some role plays of how we could use it in different situations in the classroom or playground.
This week, the whole school visited the new Design Centre class by class for a taster session. The students had to work in groups to build a tower that could support a tennis ball. They were given 50 drinking straws, a roll of tape and a pair of scissors. They had to plan then build. The groups all cooperated well, sharing ideas and listening to each other. The structures were pretty successful too!
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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