aThis week we were doing a lot of finishing off work. Literacy and Unit of Inquiry work became merged in the production of design process slideshows and non-fiction booklets about forces.
.The students have been practising how to describe and explain what happens to the marble as it travels through their marble run. It has been a good opportunity to consolidate and sort out their understanding about forces and to develop and practise new vocabulary items and sentences structures.
In mathematics, we revisited adding and subtracting money, focussing on 'missing number' word problems. We also looked at different equations with missing numbers on both sides and thought about an equation as being like a set of scales that needs to be balanced. For example, 9+ ?+ 4 = 8+ ? + 4.
The students also practised multiplying by multiples of ten, for example 23x10, 23x1000 etc. We reviewed how the commas in big numbers help us to read them.
This week, we practised identifying the character traits of characters in books we have read and provided evidence, for example "Harry Potter is brave because in the stories he faces Voldemort and takes risks to save his friends". The students learnt some new adjectives to describe people. The students did a lot of writing this week for their Unit of Inquiry, writing reflections and making a booklet about forces.
We continued with work on 3D shapes this week, with students creating boxes to fit different numbers of cubes. They had to work out the base of the box and the number of 'layers' the box would have. These activities build a conceptual understanding that will lead into the concept of volume later in the curriculum.
Unit of Inquiry
The students worked on understanding Newton's Third Law of Motion this week through watching rocket launches and finding out how to make a balloon car. They started reviewing and 'sorting out' all the ideas we've studied so far by making a non-fiction book about forces. Meanwhile, the marble runs are nearing completion. The students have been testing their designs and reflecting on their process of plan-build-test-evaluate.
This week, we focused on how to write explanations. We read some example pages from an book called 'How does it work?' and identified the features of the text. The students then wrote their own explanations of how a toy or game works. We reviewed the writing process and what students should be doing at each stage in their independent writing. We started to think about how can describe characters from our reading and use evidence from the text to support our ideas.
The students built polyhedra from written descriptions using tooth picks and modelling clay. They also found different ways of making open boxes for a cube, then two cubes, and some students went on to make nets of different shapes and sizes for a triangular pyramid. In problem-solving, we solved a problem where students had to make a table and look for a pattern:
Amit is growing a special tree in his garden. It blossoms once a year, for one month (30 days). On the first day, there is one flower. On the second day, there are two flowers, on the third day there are four flowers and on the fourth day there are eight flowers. How many flowers have blossomed after fifteen days?
Unit of Inquiry
This week, the students learnt about Newton's First and Second Laws of Motion. We thought about how seat belts and head rests in cars demonstrate the Law of Inertia and how throwing different weights of shot put illustrates Newton's Second Law. The students practised using the words force, mass and acceleration and applying explanation sentence structures to help share their thinking.
They also began building their marble runs in the Design Centre in teams of three.
This week we continued with our usual routines and focused on editing and improving narrative writing. We looked at good and bad examples of a story and worked out what made them good and not so good.
The students have been working on 3D shapes this week; identifying polyhedra and classifying them into prisms and pyramids. They have worked on building, drawing and describing the shapes by their attributes, for example how many faces, edges and vertices they have. The students enjoyed playing a 'guess my shape' game which encouraged them to use reasoning and visualisation.
Unit of Inquiry
This week the students reviewed what they know about magnetism and gravity and did written explanations of friction. They read some non fiction books about forces to generate questions and we discussed the Marble Run which we will be starting next week. The students will work in teams in the Design Centre to design a marble run that will let a marble run through it as as slowly as possible. They will need to be able to explain the forces acting on the marble as it travels through the run.
We did lots of fun activities on camp, where the focus was on team work and problem-solving. Sleeping altogether in a dormitory was fun but pretty noisy! Here are a few slideshows.
Building sandcastles in teams:
Flying our kites:
This week, we reviewed the importance of choosing 'good fit' books so that we can finish them. We looked at how to write a book review as a way of using the reading strategies we've worked on over the year such as summarising and identifying the author's purpose. We looked at complex sentences that use the connectives 'when', 'if', 'because', and 'although'. The students will need to use these to explain their thinking in our unit work. The students continued to work on box plans for their writing.
This week, we worked with patterns blocks (hexagons, trapezoids, rhombuses and triangles) as fraction models. The students found different ways of making one whole and writing corresponding equations, then how to find equivalents of a half, two thirds and five sixths. They played a game where they applied their developing understanding of equivalent fractions and reviewed finding fractions of a number.
Unit of Inquiry
We began our unit of inquiry on forces this week. We began with the question 'What makes things move, stay still, speed up or slow down?' We tried moving a student sitting on a chair and thought about the direction of our pushes and pulls. The students then carried out a series of five short activities in groups. They dropped a feather and a marble into water, dropped a 'parachute' and a small ball off the stage, moved things around with magnets, threw bean bags into a hoop and rolled balls across different surfaces. They wrote down their initial thoughts and observations on how and why the objects were moving. They recorded their thinking on video to look at later in the unit and see how their thinking has changed.
This week the students made bird houses in the Design Room with Mr Gallagher as part of thinking about Earth Day. It was a good opportunity to practise some transdisciplinary skills such as group work in a different context. And, of course, who doesn't like using a saw and glue gun?
We reviewed the box plan and the editing prompt in our writing work this week and continued with our usual routines and spelling sorts.
We continued with work on fractions this week. Students worked on finding fractions of a number. We played some games to reinforce the concepts covered so far and found ways to share seven brownies between four people. The students have been identifying multiplication facts they need to work on memorising and setting themselves goals.
Unit of Inquiry
This week we finished our 'sharing the planet' unit. We played a sharing game which mimicked the way countries have to share renewable resources like fish or rivers. The students did a lot of good thinking about how everyone could get what they need.
The students reviewed all the knowledge content from the unit so far and made slideshows with their water usage data from home.
We answered the last two big student questions from this unit: 'Where did water on Earth come from?' and 'What is the richest country in the world and what is their water access like?'
Next week we will begin our new unit; 'how the world works'. The central idea is:
Understanding forces helps us to use them.
The students continued with their usual routines, thought about how to make a persuasive poster and practised writing sentences again using speech punctuation and descriptive language.
The students continued with cutting up 'wholes' into different sets of fractions. They practised removing one piece of a set, stating the remaining fraction and writing it as a number sentence.
For example: 1 - 1/8=7/8
They then tried making a 'whole' in different ways and writing it as an addition sentence, e.g.
1/2 + 2/8 +1/4 = 1
You can see some examples in the photos.
Unit of Inquiry
This week the students focused on planning how to collect data about one aspect of water usage at home and also designed posters persuading people at school to save water.
Students continued with new spelling sorts and worked on their individual goals in reading and writing. We practised punctuating speech again and adding adverbs and adverbial phrases along with precise verbs to create a clear mental image for the reader. Students worked on the skill of finding the main idea and summarising using the 'headlines' routine in our Unit of Inquiry work. Miss Amin came and gave us a lesson on using the 'box plan' strategy to plan our writing and the students all practised by writing about their spring break.
We began a new unit on fractions this week. Our central idea is:
Fractions and decimals are ways of describing equal parts of a whole.
We did a pre-assessment to find out what students already knew and then began thinking about how to share out paper brownies between different numbers of people.
In problem-solving, we worked on describing a pattern using a diagram and a table and then trying to describe the rule for the pattern.
Unit of Inquiry
This week, we looked at our water usage and built a bar chart. We built a cubic metre out of metre sticks and tried to visualise how much water we are using, and began listing the ways we think we are using water. We will go on to estimate how much each thing (e.g. toilet, washing machine) uses.
We looked at four case studies of places where people do not have good access to clean water and why. The students had to use their group work skills to come up with a 'headline' describing the situation. You can see these below.
Newater Field Trip
Guest edited by Carmella and Tudor
Today our class went on a field trip to NEWater. We made rain plants, which was fun and we watched videos about saving water.We had fun and will always try to save water everyday!!!
We have learned a lot and have had fun there was a little game area to play water games and learn about water.
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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