Friday, 25 September 2020

The Rights of Children

 The majority of this week was spent inquiring into the Children's Rights as laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Students were assigned one of the first 18 points (out of the first 42) to research and explain to the rest of the class. The first activity was to look at the icon for a given number and to predict what it might be about. After thinking and writing down their own ideas, the students got together in small groups of 2 - 3 to share their ideas with others. The titles for the rights were then passed out to the groups and the members had to sort out which title went with which image.

The second main activity was to then gather more information about each right by reading a child-friendly version. While reading the descriptions students identified and looked up the meaning of any unknown words to help them clarify the meaning for themselves and others. They recorded their notes on a 3rd post-it note and then wrote down why they thought the right was important on a 4th post-it note. 

Finally, each student was responsible for explaining the right to the rest of the class and also explained why they thought that was an important right.

Real-life Data Handling: Student Council Election Results

In math this week we continued working with data and tallied the votes from our student council class representative election that was held last Friday.

We used a line plot to plot our results. We used a weighted points system in which the voters assigned 3 points to the person that they thought should win the most, 2 points for their second candidate and one point for their third choice. When all was said and done, Lucas and Ellie were elected as our class reps for the year. To demonstrate that the set up for an election is quite important and that the results could have been different, we also plotted votes on an unweighted line plot. The results of plotting it this way showed that had we done it this way, then there would have been a tie between the 2nd and 3rd place vote-getters, the top vote-getter would also have been different.

Later on in the week, students engaged in a number talk to demonstrate different ways of calculating the total number of letters in the Grade 3 students' names. Some used addition strategies, while others used a combination of multiplication and addition strategies. We will be focussing on multiplication and division skills later on in the year.

One new math term that the students learned this week was how to find the mode of a data set.

Writing Strong Thesis Statements

In language time, we continued working on persuasive writing. Our focus this week was on the importance of writing strong, bold thesis statements. We wrote about people who were important or noteworthy to us and learnt the importance of adding a strong opinion that we would then need to prove to our topic sentence.

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Scholastic Book Order Deadline

If you are planning to order any English books from the Scholastic Book Order that was sent home last week please be aware that the deadline is next Friday, October 2nd.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens

This week our focus was on the rights and responsibilities (also known as duties or obligations) of citizens. After watching a couple of short videos on BrainPOP Jr. about Human Rights and Responsibilities students chose different countries to research. Their goal was to compare the rights and responsibilities of citizens in one country with those of a citizen in another country. They took their findings and put them in  Venn Diagrams to clearly show the similarities and differences.

We also spent some time discussing the different rights and responsibilities in class and watched another short BrainPOP Jr. video on Government and the democratic process. Although the video focussed on the American system of government, it was still quite relevant especially as the successor to the Japanese Prime Minister Abe was just announced as Yoshihide Suga. We also used the momentum from the unit to focus on our own election here in class for our Student Council Representatives.


Six students figuratively threw their hats in the ring to become candidates. Non-candidates chose a candidate to work with as a campaign manager or aide. Working side-by-side (at a meter's distance!) candidates and their teams put together persuasive speeches and attractive campaign posters for the candidates.

After hearing each of the candidate's speeches, the students were given the responsibility to participate in the class election by casting ballots. On Monday, we will tally the votes during our math time to see who our two class representatives for the student council will be!

More Persuasive Speech and Opinion Writing

Earlier in the week, the students were able to present the speeches that they had written last week to Mr. Waite. Several students voiced their opinions that the outdoor area needed more equipment and options for the students to play with. Some of their arguments were quite convincing so we hope that Mr. Waite will take them into consideration when ordering new equipment.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Opinions... Everyone's Got One!

A transdisciplinary theme that currently runs through all of our subjects is that we all have our own opinions about things. 

In math, the students created survey questions to ask their classmates. We discussed some of the problems with voting by a show of hands such as how we may change our opinions based on what our friends or others say, or complications such as trying to keep track of who has voted and who hasn't, or those who have voted more than once. With this in mind, we came to the conclusion that the best way to get an honest answer was by asking each classmate individually. To do this, students went one-by-one around the room to ask their classmates (all while staying at least 1 meter away) they even asked and answered Yeonjae questions via Google Meet.

Our writing this week also focussed on giving arguments to support our opinions as the students worked on writing speeches to convince Mr. Waite that they need more equipment to play with during outside playtime. Next Monday morning, they will have the chance to give their speech to Mr. Waite! Let's see if they are able to convince him!

In music, the students gave their opinions to collaboratively answered the question, "What is Music?" by using Google's online whiteboard called Jamboard and then wrote their own definition of what music is.

In unit time with the Grade 4 students, we established the classroom Roles and Responsibilities and started to examine what responsibilities and rights we have as citizens. We watched a short video on human rights in class today, and during lunchtime, we have been watching a documentary called He Named Me Malala about Malala Yousafzai who is a Pakistani child activist who spoke out against the Taliban for the right for girls to be educated.

As our unit content was a bit heavy, we enjoyed a lighter topic during art as the students created their own bookmarks by following instructional videos on YouTube.

Homework Grid

From today, the Grade 3 students will be receiving a Homework Grid to be completed every 2 weeks. This year they are asked to complete at least 3 lines of activities from the grid over the course of two weeks. Activities with a star must be completed. 

PTA Representatives for Grade 3

I am thrilled to announce that after much deliberation and threats of just picking someone randomly that Simran's mother, Roshi Mohinani and Yua's mom, Saori Tamura will be the PTA representatives for our class this year! Thank you both, for volunteering your time this year, and thank you to Aita's mom, Nao and Roshi for all of their hard work on the PTA last year.

Library on Monday

Please remind your children to pack their library books on Mondays so that they can get a new selection of books that interest them each week. During arrival time each morning, the students spend about 20 minutes reading quietly to themselves in order to practice the skills and develop their understanding and language ability so it is extremely important that they have a selection of books to read from. We often use the book that they are reading to focus on literary skills during the week. For example, this week we looked at the setting in their books and focused on finding both literal and inferred details that tell about the setting.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Unit 1: Citizens Impact on Society

 Our first unit of inquiry, under the transdisciplinary theme of How We Organize Ourselves is well underway. Here are the details about it:

Central Idea:

 Citizens impact societies of which they are a part

Lines of Inquiry:

- meaning of citizenship - rights and responsibilities of citizens

- the obligation of citizens towards society

Key Concepts:

Form, responsibility, causation

Related Concepts:

Organization, Government, Community

Approaches to Learning:

Self-management, Social Skills

Learner Profiles:

Principled, Caring

Learning Goals and Success Criteria:

- Identify some of the ways people can impact society 

- Explain how decisions are made within a society

- Demonstrate responsibility with chosen or assigned roles


Decide on a set of classroom agreements

Propose, vote upon and modify classroom roles and responsibilities (Job Titles and Responsibilities)

How to Support Your Child at Home:

- Discuss any roles you may have in your community/ society.
- Discuss any news about people who are making a difference in their society
- Discuss how cities or countries make decisions for the citizens and how citizens can have a say

This week we discussed our own roles and responsibilities as teachers and students before going into more detail as we worked together to establish classroom helper roles and responsibilities.

To give the students more agency and say in the direction that the unit takes, I opened up a discussion on the Central Idea, by asking them the questions, "So what!?!" What does it mean to you if we learn about How citizens impact societies of which they are a part. Why are we learning about this topic? What does it mean to you? How is this unit relevant to your life?

The ensuing discussion, in particular, the questions from Aruto and Yoshika about how we can help or improve society and questions about what government is helped us expand our understanding of the unit. As did a separate discussion on how our parents or other adults can take an active role in society. 

We will continue to inquire into these themes in more detail in the coming weeks.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Back into the Routine

The first full week back at school is over already. This week saw the 3rd and 4th Grade students getting back into the regular school routine (with some special arrangements to help protect us from the Coronavirus in place, which the students have quickly picked up on and have started to become second nature for them.)

We start the day with some quiet reading and then move onto language and math. This week we began looking at the difference between Literal and Inferred information, by trying to read between the lines as we made connections between what we could literally SEE, and then made INFERENCES or came to a conclusion based on the details that we saw.

In math, we started off with a bit of review by looking at what the students remembered about how to use different addition and subtraction strategies. We also began our first math unit, which is about Data Handling, which is where we left off last year. This will tie in nicely with our writing focus over the next few weeks as we will be looking at how to write strong opinion pieces.

Our first unit of inquiry has also begun as we inquire into how citizens impact the societies of which they are a part. We looked at our class as a society, and began to define the classroom agreements. We also worked on making some new Learner Profile posters for the classroom.

Finally, tonight is our Virtual Parents' Night so I look forward to seeing everyone on Google Meet tonight at 18:00.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

First Days in Grade 3

Our first two days back at school came and went in a whirlwind as we met new classmates and also said hello via Google Meet to a couple classmates who aren't able to join us quite yet. To get to know each other better, we had fun playing a game called Two Truths and a Lie. Students took turns telling three things about themselves, with one of the things being a lie. Then the other students and I voted on which one we thought was the lie. Lucas emerged as the champion as he was able to fool everyone, even me with his lie!

We also spent some time talking and writing about our summer holidays and began working on creating self-portraits in art.

Although the new routines and social distancing protocol does take a bit of getting used to, the students have been really cooperative.

Important Notice: Nut Free Classroom

As we have a student that is highly allergic to peanuts in our class, I have declared our classroom a NUT FREE room. As a precaution, I would like to request that students refrain from bringing anything containing nuts with them for lunch or snack! Thank you all for your cooperation in advance. As someone who regularly has peanut butter and jam sandwiches, I will also be making a sacrifice, but that is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of the students.

Swimming on Monday

The Grade 3 and 4 classes will have their first swimming lesson of the term this Monday, August 24th in the afternoon. Please refer to the letter from the PE teacher, Mr. Waite for details.

PTA Representative

If anyone is interested in being our Class Representative and Deputy Representative for the PTA please let me know before this Friday, otherwise we will have to draw names lottery-style during our parent night session! The Class Representative is the liaison between our classroom and the PTA and would attend the 1-hour, monthly meetings. If they were not able to attend a meeting, they would then call on the Deputy Representative to fill-in.

Class Schedule

The class schedule was sent home this week and I have also updated the link on this site.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Welcome to Grade 3

The start of the new school year is already less than a week away! I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer holidays and is ready for a new start back in school. Things will be a bit different this year as we deal with the Corona Virus Pandemic, but for those who were here last year, many things will remain the same. Hopefully, this will create a nice balance between familiar and new. 

For starters, I will be the same but will be teaching new grades! So this will be very exciting for me, as I will get to teach new units of inquiry for the first time! Speaking of our unit time, the Grade 4 students will be joining together with Grade 3 for our unit and specialist lesson times but will have their language and math lessons together with Ms. Ramani. 

Although a couple of our close friends left us over the summer, we also have a few new members joining our class in addition to the Grade 4 students. I am looking forward to our existing class members who are very familiar with the school and each other to help make the new members feel welcome in our class and at our school.

Our room will also be new, as we have moved to the room next door but many of the procedures that were introduced last year, particularly those that dealt with the social distances and health and safety will remain pretty much the same. Don't worry if you've forgotten what to do or if you weren't here, as we will spend some time going over procedures during the first few days.

Morning Arrival

Speaking of procedures, the first procedure that you'll need to know is about morning arrival. Students in Grades 3-6 will be entering through the main entrance at 8:45. Before entering through the gates, students will line up outside the entrance with a meter of social distance between students. Students MUST wear MASKS and will have their temperature taken. Students with a temperature of 37.5 C will not be allowed to enter the school grounds. In order to maintain social distancing and limit student interaction before entering the school please make arrangements for your child to arrive at school as close as possible to 8:45.

School Supplies

In order to minimize the chances of spreading any germs, students will not be sharing a class supply of stationary so each child will need to bring their own supplies. Most of the following are mentioned in the Parent Handbook, but I've added it here for easy reference. For the start of the school year please supply your child with the following:

- a pencil case

- a few writing pencils (3 - 5)

- an eraser 

- colouring pencils

- markers

- scissors

- glue (stick type preferred)

- ruler

- pencil sharpener

Also, students should bring the following supplies on a daily basis or as needed:

- a full water bottle daily

- lunch utensils

- a hat for outdoor play

- a towel and change of clothes to change into after sweating during the hot summer months

- a box of tissues for their own personal use


Grade 3 and 4 will have swimming in the first term and will also need to bring their swimming things on Mondays:

- a bag to carry swim gear

- swimsuit

- towel

- goggles

Virtual Parent Night on Friday, August 28th at 18:00

Our parent night meeting will be held via Google Meet this year. I'm looking forward to meeting the new families and those that I'm already very familiar with as well! See you online!

As always, should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me anytime!

I also have a bit of a new look this year!