Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Jolly CHRISTMAS postman!

Christmas is in the air and we have started a project based on the award winning books by Janet and Allan Ahlberg The Jolly Postman and the Jolly Christmas Postman. 


Students are going to create their own books with the theme of Christmas in another country as their setting, and take on the roles of researcher, author, illustrator and publisher. 

We have started step 1 where students are busily ( and excitedly) researching their chosen country. We have learned so many new facts about international Christmas celebrations!





Stay tuned for updates and watch our stories take shape!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Understanding the Metric System! Measuring the world around us...

In our mathematics exploration, we began discussing the metric system that Canada (and most of the world) uses to measure distances and lengths. 

The students were asked to measure at least 5 different objects around the classroom and hallway to the nearest cm. 

Through this exploration students discovered convenient ways of measuring objects that were somewhat more difficult to measure (if you didn't have a wooden metre stick to use!) 

For example: measuring the height of a classmate became much easier if they lay down on the carpet.. instead of standing upright. 

We continue to explore measurement with distance, time, and temperature this week!






Guest Speaker: Signing with Grade 3s


Our grade 3 students had the pleasure of learning more about sign language from one of our monthly visits from a parent volunteer! 

We learned about how Aboriginal people in North America would sign with other Aboriginal people when they were trading with each other and trying to communicate with people that didn't speak their same language. 

We even began to recognize that all of us have different ways of communicating with others with hand signs -- waving, peace sign, thumbs up, etc.

It was a great day of learning! We strengthened the important understanding of the many different gifts and unique qualities that God blesses each of us with. We developed a greater understanding of various community members and are so excited to try some new ways of communicating.

Check out our classes practicing newly learned sign language...




We also watched a video of someone signing the song by Katy Perry, "Fireworks". It is amazing how much you can communicate without using one spoken word!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Kortright Centre for Conservation! Aboriginal Day in the Woods

This week, we traveled to the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan where the Huron people actually lived! It was so much fun exploring the lands and artifacts that taught us more about the original peoples in Ontario.

What a wonderful experience it was on a nice crisp fall day. 

Take a look at our learning adventure:

Students drank some of this evergreen tea found outside in the forest! Did you know it was used to help the Aboriginal people stay healthy since it is rich in Vitamin C. Yummy...

Cheers to drinking fresh tea.


Students also engaged in a scavenger hunt in the beautiful forest. We found the breathtaking water that was an important part of Aboriginal life. We learned that the water was used in many different ways: drinking, cooking, traveling, finding food, etc.


Underneath all of those colourful leaves is the moss that was used for baby diapers! That absorbent plant along with hide is a great way to make diapers for the Aboriginal babies.


Our journey in the woods continued as we searched for: mushrooms (that were eaten by Aboriginal people), maple trees (for sap), wood used for longhouses, evergreen trees for tea, squirrels/deer/rabbit (for meat), water, etc.




We also had a chance to try some of the activities that the Aboriginal people did 500 years ago. Some of these activities were for fun and other activities were an important part of everyday life.



Take a look at the artifact room! We had a chance to explore all of these artifacts and learn what they were made from as well.

Aboriginal people sure were creative and innovative!!








Can you guess what this artifact is?







Overall, the grade 3s had a spectacular learning experience and have discovered so much more about the Aboriginal people that first settled in Ontario.




Lines Exploration Continued: Body Lines!

As we continue to explore lines in visual arts, we decided to use our bodies to create all of the different types of lines we are discovering.

Take a look at some of our lines...

Curved Lines...





Horizontal straight lines...



Diagonal straight lines...



As we deepen our understanding of lines, we can now move toward creating visual art pieces that utilize various types of lines.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A 500 year ago Thanksgiving Celebration with our School Family!


On Thursday, we had our Aboriginal Thanksgiving Day Celebration!!
This year we spent the whole day celebrating life as an Aboriginal family. 


Since STORYTELLING was such a significant part of Aboriginal and First Nations life, we began our day with a Cree Story about the Granddaughter that was Eaten by a Big Fish!
Not only are these stories entertaining to listen to, they are also a great learning tool for First Nations people. The elders, traditionally, shared these stories to teach children important lessons.

Following the storytelling, we had the opportunity to experience some authentic Aboriginal music. We got up and began to move our bodies in the ways that felt natural to the beats of the sounds.

Take a look below:






All of the students were so engaged in the sound of the drums and the beat of all the fascinating instruments! Following recess, a few of the Grade 3 students had a discovery to share with the classes. They found objects from outside (during recess), and came together in a group of 5 people to create their own version of Aboriginal music.

They bravely came forward in the class and shared their creative rendition of Aboriginal music using the objects that they found outside in our school yard!





After all of the dancing and storytelling, we had our feast. We ate the traditional Three Sisters foods: beans, corn, and squash alongside our rabbit meat! It was a delicious feast and we were all so thankful for the chance to eat together with our class community.

Students experienced eating this scrumptious food using only a stick -- this was to experience how Aboriginal people ate their food with limited utensils and homemade forks!




What a perfect way to celebrate a community of faith and being thankful! It was a great day remembering our ancestors who respected our land and were the start of this amazing country.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Curriculum Night and Classroom Tour!









For those of you who missed our curriculum night, here is a peak at what was set up for the night...

Some of the Resources Used:

TEXTBOOK RESOURCES: Below are some of the resources (texts) that we use to support the Grade 3 curriculum. Alongside these resources, Ms. Meehan and Ms. Marra are always searching and discovering the most current information and interactive ways to engage with the curriculum. 

WEB RESOURCES: We also use Ontario Education Resource Bank Online, Learn 360, Smarttech Exchange, Nelson Mathematics Online, and other online resources that are constantly being updates with new information.

APPLICATION RESOURCES: Some of the apps that we use on the iPads are as follows: Pearson e-text, Gizmos, Explain Everything, Google Maps, Blogger, Prezi, Raz Kids, etc.





Our classrooms are set up with various comfortable spaces for students to explore their learning and work collaboratively. Students in our class often get to choose where they would like to learn. Some of these areas include:
- Carpet area (with pillows)
- Couch area (with pillows)
- Small group work tables
- Independent work tables
- Beside the class library nook
- On the yoga ball seats
- Outside on the benches in the hall







Thank you for all of the families that came out on curriculum night! It was a pleasure and we are happy to share this post for all of the families that weren't able to make it... !

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Collaborative Instruction Writing Activity!




After a few activities with instructions, students felt ready to begin writing their own instructions with a partner. Collaboratively, the students wrote instructions on how to draw a picture of their choice. After they completed their instructions, they went to another pair of students and had them follow their instructions.



If the students following the instructions were able to follow each step carefully and have a final picture similar to the original design, the instructions would prove to be well written. If there were areas that were unclear, students were able to give each other feedback as to different ways that they could improve their instructions.





After practicing with a partner, students have gained even more confidence about writing their own instructions. Next step....writing instructions independently!

Our grade 3s have gotten so good at writing detailed instructions!

Well done! :)