Thursday, 14 January 2021

Happy New Year! Factors that Influence the Weather and a New Student

 Happy 2021 to all of the Third Grade families! After the long winter holiday, I was certainly ready to be back in school with this wonderful class of kids. 

Our Grade 3 class also grew as a new German student, Marie joined our class. So we were happy to welcome her this week.

With regards to our unit of inquiry, we continued right from where we had left off and learnt about the 4 factors that cause weather: temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and air pressure. In learning about temperature, we sorted out the difference between weather and climate and learnt about the 5 main climates on the Earth: Tropical, Polar, Temperate, Mild (Sub-Tropical) and Desert.

We also took a closer look at the water cycle and the states of matter, as they both play important roles in how weather occurs. We drew detailed diagrams and wrote notes explaining both and also discussed the role of air pressure. To further the students' understanding we also watched a couple videos on the topics on BrainPop and an episode of Magic Schoolbus during lunchtime.

Next week we will be getting into the thick of things as students will be doing research projects on different types of Extreme Weather. I'm looking forward to being blown away by some of their work!

Friday, 18 December 2020

Evaporation, Condensation, Storm Clouds, a Song and Santa Claus

 What a busy end to 2020 it has been! 

Before looking into what causes extreme weather, we thought it would be wise to understand what causes normal weather. Early in the week we conducted an experiment to see which conditions would lead to more condensation and rain. To figure this out, we first made some models using cups. Each group had 2 cups with warm water, and two others with cold water to represent the warm and cold ocean conditions. Students then made predictions on which situation would lead to the most condensation and 'rain.' To test their predictions, they placed see-through plastic cups over the 'ocean' cup to cover the ocean cups to create an atmosphere. Then finally, they placed another bottle with either warm or cold water in it to simulate warm or cold conditions in the atmosphere. 

Once they were all setup, they spent a few minutes observing the models to see which once had the most condensation, and then they tapped the top of the cups and made it 'rain' as some drips dropped back into the 'ocean' cups!

We also had a lesson on clouds, to help us understand which ones were harmless and those that might bring a storm!

On Wednesday, Grade 3 had another guest storyteller, as Ms. Faye's daughter Clara from Grade 6 shared her personal narrative about Zip-lining with us! And we focused on the skill of using a map to help our own writers gain inspiration for writing their own personal narratives.

On Friday, as luck would have it, a special visitor came while Mr. Brabant was out and brought wonderful presents for all of the good boys and girls!

Finally, all of the hard work and practicing that the Grade 3s and 4s have been doing over the past few weeks to learn how to sing or play the song Welcome Christmas finally paid off! This might even be been better than their Carol of the Bells from last year! Please enjoy and share the video below.

I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy end to the year. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good rest! See you in 2021!


Friday, 11 December 2020

Stories, Storms and Water Cycle

 This week we started working on writing personal narratives during language time. On Friday, Ellie's sister Keira joined us as a guest storyteller to read her own personal narrative book, "The Worst Beach Ever" to us. Grade 3 also started practicing how to write their own short personal narratives about a small moment with someone that matters to them.

In unit time, we stormed into our 3rd unit of the year on how societies prepare for extreme weather phenomena. By chance a large container ship that was damaged in a storm at sea was docked here on Rokko Island, so we went for a walk down to the waterfront to take a look and to discuss this current event that has been on the news all week. 

Students also shared what they felt they knew about the topic, and we sorted out which natural disasters were weather-related and those that were not. The water cycle is at the heart of all the weather on the Earth so we began to look into what the students know about it and we will be doing some science experiments on the water cycle and different states of matter next week.

Upcoming Events Next Week

There's only one week left until the Winter Holidays but it is sure to be a busy one as we will continue with the unit, have a farewell party for Stella and Aruto in Grade 4 as Stella will be returning to Germany during the holidays and Aruto will be leaving DSK at the end of January and will celebrate Christmas with Santa next Friday. For the farewell party, at the end of the day on Tuesday, December 15, students in Grade 3 and 4 will play some games and have some snacks at a small farewell for two of their 4th Grade friends. Ms. Ramani and I will prepare a couple snacks for the students, but you can also pack your child with a small snack to eat in the afternoon. If they would like to bring something to share with others, please ensure that it is something that is individually wrapped.

Also a reminder for those students who bring their own instruments for music to continue to do so next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (maybe they can play the song for Santa!)

Friday, 4 December 2020

Body System Presentations and St. Nicholas

 This week the students had the chance to share what they learnt about the various organs and body systems. Each group shared their slide presentation and models with the class.

Simran and Junsu told us all about the Respiratory System and demonstrated how our lungs work with a great model they had made.

Aruto told us about how the Brain and Nervous System work together to control all that we do.

Aita, Brandon, Hirohito, Keiya, Kanna O., Rintaro and Sakura talked us through food's journey through our Digestive System and also demonstrated with a model.

Ellie, Stella and Yeonjae demonstrated how our kidneys and bladder form part of the Excretory / Urinary System and also did a great job building their working model.

Yoshika and Nanoka showed us their model of the heart and talked about the Circulatory System.

Kanna H. and Lucas presented the Integumentary System to the class and built a nice model of the skin and hair.

And finally, Yua and Tsukasa presented on 2 important parts of the Immune System: Bone Marrow and the Thymus. 

During our art time this week, the students used Paper Playdough to create ornaments to decorate the Christmas tree with. 

Then today, we enjoyed switching on the lights before listening to the school choir sing some carols and received gifts from the PTA to celebrate St. Nicholas. Even our body outlines were in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, 30 November 2020

Unit Updates, Xmas Plate Orders and Music

 Last week the student continued working on their Organs and Body Systems models and presentations and should be ready to show their finished work to the class this week.

On Thursday, Simran and Yua's mothers kindly joined the students in the class to guide them in a Christmas plate decorating activity. Thanks so much for joining the Grade 3 and 4 classes.

If you would like to order the plate that your child created you can do so online.


All proceeds from the sale of the plates will be donated.

Last week, we started to get in the Christmas spirit and did so by choosing a Christmas song to perform for Santa's visit on December 18th! This year we will be performing, "Welcome Christmas" from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." We will be practicing as much as possible on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays so I ask that any students who have chosen to bring their own instruments please remember to bring their instruments on those days. Our first couple of practices have gone really well, so look forward to hearing our version of the song in a few weeks.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Ready...Set...All Systems GO!!

 As we approach the end of this exciting unit on Body Systems, we really dove in deep this week as we tried to round out our knowledge of the different systems. 

Having spent the last couple of weeks looking closely at the Skeletal and Muscular Systems, we had a couple of opportunities to put them to use this week as we resumed our morning Wake Up Shake Up dance in the classrooms. 

Students also had the chance to feel how hard their hearts and Circulatory System works by learning how to check their pulse and heart rate.  We put our body systems to the test on Wednesday as we went to the greenfield for a unit-themed P.E. lesson where they played tag and participated in a couple sprint races.

We also explored the Nervous System and tested their reflexes by trying to catch rulers dropped by a partner. Students could measure how long it took for their eyes to send a message to their brain, and then for their brain to make a decision and then send a signal to their hand to catch the ruler! This was a really fun experiment that they can also try at home!

Towards the end of the week, we began working on our final project for this unit. Each student chose a random organ from inside a mystery bag. Once they had the organ they had to draw a picture of it, figure out what organ it was and which body system(s) it was a part of, as well as the organ's function, and how we can take care of it. They also had to figure out where it went in our anatomy model, Ms. B (aka Ms. Body).

When finished their individual research, students had to find the other members of their body system group and start comparing the similarities, differences and connections between the organs in their group's body system and put together a presentation using GoogleSlides or Seesaw. They were also tasked with creating models of their body systems to use in their presentations! Stay tuned next week to see what incredible projects they create!