Intrepid Y3 Explorers discover new species!

Posted by kimward

Unit of Inquiry

This week, we have launched into our third Unit of Inquiry of the year: ‘Where we are in place and time’.

The central idea of the unit is: Through exploration, people and discover and learn about themselves and the world around them. 

We will be inquiring into the characteristics of explorers, how people explore (and have explored) and what motivates people to explore. There will be a strong emphasis on developing research skills the students will be given the opportunity to find out about a particular explorer that they show an interest in. After the December break, they will be working towards producing an information report about their chosen explorer.

Our provocation to get the students ‘hooked’ on the idea of exploration was to hide some interesting and unusual creatures in Siena Park. Initially, we got them all fired up by saying something ‘strange’ had been spotted in the park and Y3 had been asked to go and investigate. We all went out and the students excitedly searched in the bushes and trees to locate the ‘animals’. When we came back inside, they quickly realised that they had no evidence of what they had seen and that, quite possibly, no-one would believe them, so we set about going out again and this time ready to gather some proof. They teamed up into small groups and went back, armed with iPads, note paper and clip boards.

This provocation prompted discussions about what are the character traits of explorers? Why DO people explore and what might they need in order to explore successfully? So much fun and some powerful thinking to start off our new unit.

Maths Learning – Patterning into Multiplication and Division

As we move from Pattern and Function into Multiplication and Division, we have be practising skip counting patterns used in the multiplication tables. The students will be learning the 2, 3, 5 and 10 times tables this year as a minimum, and we have noticed that the pattern unit has set them up really well so far for these early tables. “Skip counting is something you can do anywhere!”, I told my class today. “As you walk along the street, you can practise counting forwards and backwards in 2s, 5s and 10s with your steps”. If you practise at home with your child, bear in mind that they do not only need to be able to memorise and ‘recite’ 2,4,6,8 etc… They also need to know all related number facts, in any order.

For example: 8×2=16, 2×8=16, 16 divided by 8 is 2 and 16 divided by 2 is 8.

Y3 Talent Show

Students have been busily getting together during break and lunch times to prepare their acts for this year’s Y3 Talent Show. For those students who wish to participate (it is completely optional), the ‘heats’ will take place in our classes on Monday 11th December. From there, the children will vote on the top 2 acts from each of the 4 classes and those 8 acts will perform in the ‘Live Final’ in the Theatre on Thursday 14th December. As mentioned in the diary note already sent out, there will be no parents at this event, but it will be videoed and put on the Blog later for your viewing pleasure. For the ‘heat’ rounds, no need to provide costumes, but if your child’s act is chosen (they will be told on Monday 11th) then if they wish to wear special clothes on Thursday, they can.

The Year 3 Team

Another maths strategy, teamwork challenges and becoming responsible Digital Citizens!

Posted by kimward

Another Mighty Mental Maths strategy…

Following on from an earlier piece about some of the mental calculation strategies we have been teaching the students, we would like to share another one, as feedback from some parents was extremely positive and many remarked on how useful it was to see how the students have been shown how to solve questions.

Bridging is another strategy that has been shown to the students as a way of solving addition and subtraction. To use this strategy, the students MUST know and be confident with their number bonds to 10, and to ‘ten’ numbers.

It involves making a ‘ten’ number, then adding or subtracting the remainder to find the final answer. See examples in the photos below:

 

Team work challenges

This being the penultimate week of our current unit of inquiry “How we organise ourselves”, we have been getting down to some design challenges to further strengthen the students’ ability to participate, co-operate, communicate and encourage their peers. Over the past 2 weeks, the students, within their teams, were encouraged to follow the design process to research, design and build the tallest newspaper tower and the widest newspaper bridge they could with only one newspaper and a roll of masking tape. This proved to be a great exercise in trial and error and strategy, as well as building upon the character strengths and skills that this unit of inquiry has been focussing on. On 27th November, we will begin our third unit of inquiry: “Where we are in place and time”. This will be a History focus, as we will inquire into explorers and their motivations and achievements.

 

Digital Citizenship Training Commences

Over the next few weeks, all four of the Y3 classes will be taking part in a three part training programme taught by our Digital Literacies Coordinator, Joe Leithhead, and one of his assistants. He has devised a series of age appropriate lessons teaching the students how to be safe on-line, how to manage their digital footprint, and about the effects of cyber bullying. This is in preparation for releasing their school email addresses to them in the new year. There will be a parent information session in the theatre next term to explain how this will work, so watch this space for more news on that!

 

 

 

Camp Reflections…

Posted by kimward

This morning, during a class discussion, I mentioned to my students that exactly one week ago, they were all just going into the dining hall at camp to have their breakfast! It seems amazing that another whole week has passed. This week, the students and staff have been reflecting on the camp experience. The staff were so proud of all the students for their courage and willingness to be risk-takers as well as the excellent behaviour throughout the duration of camp. It was so satisfying to have all the children fast asleep in their beds on Thursday night in the confidence that they had had an exhausting but amazing first day. I’m sure you all enjoyed the photo gallery posted by Mr. Boon on the first evening.

Friday was also a wonderful day of exciting activities. Many children mentioned that ‘The Amazing Race’ was a huge highlight for them. They were practising their teamwork skills as they faced a number of challenges spread out around the campus. Before we knew it, it was time for lunch and then time to leave!

I would like to extend a special thanks to ALL parents and staff for their part in making the Year 3 Camp 2017 a huge success. To those of you who were not able to attend, thank you for preparing your children so well for the event both emotionally and in a practical sense (bed-making skills may need further practice!!). To the parents who did attend: Dane Warwick, Matthew Bentley, Lisa Tsang, Nancy Trueman, JoElle Scott, Mariana Grigorian, Adam Nichols and Steve Chitty, you were all a fantastic support for the staff and students and many of you performed well above and beyond the call of duty. To the staff who attended, Year 3 teachers and EAs and Mr. Jason Boon, along with Shann Anderson, Alice Bisley and Chris McLeay, thanks for your inspiration and your energy before, during and after camp. It is true that an immense amount of planning and preparation goes into this major event of the school year, but it totally paid off as the camp ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all! Enjoy these final photographs.

Kim Ward

 

Day 1 – Photos 2

Posted by jasonboon

 

Camp Photos – Day 1

Posted by jasonboon

What an amazing first day at camp! Perfect weather and wonderfully engaged and happy students.

Focus on Maths and getting ready for camp!

Posted by kimward

OUR MATHS LEARNING

At the beginning of the year, we have been focusing on place value. The students have been encouraged to explore numbers in different ways, for example ordering a group of numbers, looking at greater than and less than, rounding to the nearest ten, hundred and thousand, as well as using MAB blocks to model numbers. This has helped them to get a good sense of what numbers are ‘made up of’.

Recently, we have been investigating different mental strategies for addition. We have used ‘Number Talks’, which is a way of encouraging the students to think about their own methods of solving addition problems in their heads, then sharing their ideas with the class. This improves their number sense as they begin to manipulate numbers in different ways, deepening their understanding of the value of numbers and how to add them using the most ‘efficient’ strategy. So far, the classes have looked at ‘partitioning’ which means they separate the tens and the ones, add them separately and then add the two parts (which makes an easier calculation to do mentally).

PARTITIONING

e.g. 27+12

20+10= 30 (add the tens together)

7+2=9 (add the ones together)

so 30+9=39 (add the two totals together)

We have also looked at ‘friendly numbers’. This strategy is used when one of the numbers they need to add has a 9 or an 8 in the ones (units). They ROUND that number up to the nearest 10 to create an easier calculation (‘ten’ numbers are ‘friendly’ because they are easy to add), then subtract from the other number to balance the equation.

FRIENDLY NUMBERS

e.g. 39+17

39+1=40 (making a ‘friendly number’)

17-1=16 (subtract one from the 17, as we added one to the 39)

then 40+16= 56 (add the two totals)

 

We have most recently been teaching the JUMP STRATEGY, which involves the students using a number line to add numbers. The photographs below will show you how this works.

So when your child is telling you they solve things a different way to the one you expect, you now know what they are talking about!

 

GETTING READY FOR CAMP

In just two weeks we will be at camp and everyone is beginning to get excited about this major event in our school calendar! We are busy preparing the students in school by fostering teamwork as well as independence and we hope you are doing the same at home. NOW is the time, if you haven’t done so already, to organise those sleepovers and get your child used to the idea of sleeping away from you for one night. This will alleviate any fears they (or you) may have and make the camp experience much more enjoyable for all!

Today, a comprehensive letter has been sent home which details the equipment that they will need to bring and also the itinerary for the two days.

There are still a few families who still need to sign the e-notice on Gateway, and we also request that you ensure that any health or medical issues including food allergies are fully updated on Gateway.

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK…

We are looking forward to meeting most of you next week at the upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences, on Wednesday and Thursday. If you have not already done so, please visit Gateway and take this opportunity to make yourself an appointment with your child’s class teacher.

Some questions that you might want to think about to help you prepare for the Parent Teacher conferences include:

  • How do you feel your child has settled into their class?
  • Parents are their child’s first teacher –  what do you believe are your child’s strengths?
  • What do you believe are your child’s areas for further growth?
  • What motivates your child?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share which may be helpful in supporting your child’s learning? (previous history, likes, dislikes etc.)

Kind regards,

Year 3 Teachers

 

 

Home Reading

Posted by jasonboon

READING and BOOK BORROWING 

Some people have been sending in queries or seeking clarification about the new system for borrowing fluency books. This should help:

To grow as readers students need opportunities to build their confidence and practice. Fluency books provide a resource for students to practice reading independently, to reread and to share their reading success with family members.

Fluency books are ‘just right’ books based on teacher assessment. Students should be able to read them independently or read them confidently to someone at home.

Year 3 students will bring home TWO books on Monday to be returned on Thursdays and TWO books on Thursday to return the following Monday. Students will not be allowed to borrow more books until their previous books have been returned and scanned back into the system.

Books are placed in the return box in the classroom as part of morning routines. Students select and scan new fluency books during class time as part of their language learning. At home please sign the reading log Monday – Thursday to indicate that your child has been reading. Also use this space to communicate any important messages to the teacher regarding reading at home.

As students journey through Year 3 and become increasingly confident as readers they are encouraged and taught to make reading choices based on interest and appropriateness as a result, our Year 3 students can also take out FIVE library books.

Who we are

Posted by jasonboon

Unit of Inquiry: Analysing Data and Researching Well-being

As we are drawing near the the end of our first Unit of Inquiry: Who we are, with a focus on well-being, the students have been gathering data about themselves as individuals and as a whole class. They have been creating bar charts and then generating statements and questions about the data.

Mrs Agars (PYP Coordinator and Vice-Principal) has visited some of the classes to talk about the idea of ‘analysing’ data under the umbrella of ‘Thinking Skills’, which has taken the students deeper with their understanding. We have also been looking at what ‘the experts’ say about aspects of well-being and comparing that to our data. From this, next week, they will be working on individual action plans with the intention of making an improvement to one area of their well-being by taking real-life, relevant action.

Reading, Reading, Reading and well-being!

Posted by kimward

With just over a week until a well-earned half term break, the Year 3 students have really been gaining momentum in their learning. This week’s Blog post focusses on Reading and Unit of Inquiry.

READING and BOOK BORROWING 

Some people have been sending in queries or seeking clarification about the new system for borrowing fluency books. This should help:

To grow as readers students need opportunities to build their confidence and practice. Fluency books provide a resource for students to practice reading independently, to reread and to share their reading success with family members.

Fluency books are ‘just right’ books based on teacher assessment. Students should be able to read them independently or read them confidently to someone at home.

Year 3 students will bring home TWO books on Monday to be returned on Thursdays and TWO books on Thursday to return the following Monday. Students will not be allowed to borrow more books until their previous books have been returned and scanned back into the system.

Books are placed in the return box in the classroom as part of morning routines. Students select and scan new fluency books during class time as part of their language learning. At home please sign the reading log Monday – Thursday to indicate that your child has been reading. Also use this space to communicate any important messages to the teacher regarding reading at home.

As students journey through Year 3 and become increasingly confident as readers they are encouraged and taught to make reading choices based on interest and appropriateness as a result, our Year 3 students can also take out FIVE library books.

Guided Reading

Each class has now begun our guided reading programme. At this time, the students are introduced to texts at an ‘instructional level’ (slightly harder than their fluency books). They sit in groups with a teacher and are ‘guided’ through the texts. The teacher monitors their comprehension throughout and asks pertinent questions related to an area of focus identified for that group.

Unit of Inquiry: Analysing Data and Researching Well-being

As we are drawing near the the end of our first Unit of Inquiry: Who we are, with a focus on well-being, the students have been gathering data about themselves as individuals and as a whole class. They have been creating bar charts and then generating statements and questions about the data.

Mrs Agars (PYP Coordinator and Vice-Principal) has visited some of the classes to talk about the idea of ‘analysing’ data under the umbrella of ‘Thinking Skills’, which has taken the students deeper with their understanding. We have also been looking at what ‘the experts’ say about aspects of well-being and comparing that to our data. From this, next week, they will be working on individual action plans with the intention of making an improvement to one area of their well-being by taking real-life, relevant action. Impressive stuff for the beginning of Year 3, I’m sure you’ll agree 😉

 

Year 3 Teachers.

 

 

Settling in and launching into EPIC time!

Posted by kimward

In the blink of an eye, another two weeks have passed and it seems timely to send you another update about how things are going for our Year 3 students.

The students, having now completed three school weeks, are beginning to settle in to their class routines and launch into their learning. It has been great to see them rise to early challenges and show us what they are capable of in response to learning engagements.

PARENT INFORMATION EVENING

It was so lovely to meet so many of our parents and carers yesterday at the Parent Information Evening, and what a pleasure it was to make those face-to-face connections and to take the opportunity to do some information sharing. This occasion is such an important one for establishing expectations and sharing understandings early on, so that we can all work together to support the learning and well-being of all members of the school community throughout the year.

Please click here for a copy of the slides we shared.

Please click here to access a copy of the Year 3 Programme of Inquiry

EPIC TIME

An exciting and significant event that has taken place this week for the Year 3 students has been the inaugural ‘EPIC time’ of the year. We intend to give regular opportunities for the students to choose from a wide range of learning engagements during ‘EPIC time’. The emphasis is on student choice and enjoyment, although this time also develops many skills and attitudes which feed into all areas of learning. We encourage the children to be courageous and open-minded; trying new things and developing new skills, as well as engaging in what they are passionate about and enjoy. This week the students chose from: line dancing, mini book making, arts and crafts, games/lego, fort building and cartooning. Have a look at the DC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/discoverycollege/ for more photos!

READING and BOOK BORROWING

To grow as readers students need opportunities to build their confidence and practice. Fluency books provide a resource for students to practice reading independently, to reread and to share their reading success with family members.

Fluency books are ‘just right’ books based on teacher assessment. Students should be able to read them independently or read them confidently to someone at home.

Year 3 students will bring home TWO books on Monday to be returned on Thursdays and TWO books on Thursday to return the following Monday.

Books are placed in the return box in the classroom as part of morning routines. Students select and scan new fluency books during class time as part of their language learning. At home please sign the reading log Mon – Thursday to indicate that your child has been reading. Also use this space to communicate any important messages to the teacher regarding reading at home.

As students journey through Year 3 and become increasingly confident as readers they are encouraged and taught to make reading choices based on interest appropriateness as a result, our Year 3 students can also take out FIVE library books.

Fluency books start coming home next Monday 4th September.

 

Upcoming Date to note

(for 3KWD Parents only): 3KWD class assembly – Tuesday 5th September @2:30 in the Theatre.