Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Summer Writing

The 23 AMAZING writers in our classroom have asked for some ideas for just-for-fun summer writing! Here are a few 'Pick-a-Prompt' ideas to inspire our brains over the summer!

Summer Writing Ideas

1. Imagine you have turned into the character of a popular video game. Write an adventure story describing what you do and where you go.

2. Imagine that you’ve realized that your friends have gone missing. Write a mystery narrative about how you find them. 

3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Write a paragraph explaining your choice.

4. What do you want to be when you grow up? Write a paragraph describing your choice. Explain.

5. Imagine you have turned into a Disney character. Write an adventure story about what you do and where you go.

6. Imagine you are training for a mission to Mars. Write an adventure story about how you prepare for your trip. Or, write an adventure story explaining what happens when you land on the planet.

Monday, 22 June 2015

This Week at School - June 22nd Update

Quote of the Week: "It seems like yesterday that this school year just started!" - Taelyn

Looking around our classroom today, it was hard for me to believe that we have only a few days left of the school year.  As Taelyn put it, time really does fly by when you're having fun. :) I hope families can have some time to relax, reflect on the last ten months, and enjoy the final week of school. Our class has had a successful year filled with learning and many happy memories.

With that said, we have a busy week ahead!

Upcoming Events

- Today students took home their Grade Placement letter. This lets families know which grade students will be entering next year.

- Tomorrow students will take their Portfolios home for parents to sign. They do not need to be returned.

- Our final year-end clean up will be on Wednesday. Everyone will go through desks, reading boxes, etc. and bring the work from the year home. There is a large volume of items (binders, books, pencil cases, etc.), and so today we began taking a few folders and notebooks home.

- Thursday is the last day of school. It's a full day! In the morning, we'll have our final Pride Assembly. Families are always welcome to attend!

- We are celebrating our successes from the year on Thursday at 12:30 pm with a picnic party! We'll be heading outside to eat lunches. Students are welcome to bring (healthy) treats, but they aren't necessary. Bringing a blanket or towel to sit on will help make the picnic extra special.


During our Reader's Workshop, we'll spend the week reading new texts about structures. We'll read both fiction and non-fiction texts to help build a 'strong foundation' about structures (pun intended)! To help refine our reading skills for next year, we're reviewing fluent reading skills.

At home, discuss how pacing, pausing, pitch/tone, volume, and emphasis can help you to read fluently and with expression.

During our Writer's Workshop, we'll take some time tomorrow to share our absolutely amazing non-fiction magazines!

We'll also do some just-for-fun writing by picking some new and student-created Pick-a-Prompt writing topics!


Memorizing multiplication tables will be our goal this week. Many students have their 'times tables' from 1-12 memorized. Knowing up to 7 x 7 = 49 is a good goal for Grade 3 students. In Grade 4, students learn how to do long multiplication and division (e.g., 34 x 7). Knowing 'times tables' off by heart makes learning these concepts much easier!


Today we began learning about and constructing beam bridges! We'll continue this tomorrow. On Wednesday, we'll begin a design challenge that will definitely be a lot of fun. With any extra time, we'll try out some cool new hands-on building materials and build some really neat things!


Our 'Silly Story' dramatic presentations are tomorrow. These should be a hoot!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tornado Collages

Here our the final masterpieces! At home, try explaining how texture and space are two elements of design that help to create beautiful pictures!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

This Week at School - June 16th Update

Upcoming Events

We have an INCREDIBLY busy (but FUN!) week ahead of us!

- Our school is celebrating Asian Heritage month tomorrow! We'll be participating in a number of exciting activities, games, and events to help us learn more about Asian culture and its importance!

- Frozen Yogurt is on sale on Friday!

- The Hansen Palooza is Friday! Our games are under construction and look AMAZING!

- Please remember to sign and return Portfolios!


During our Reader's Workshop, we're studying one of the most challenging poems we'll read this year: Enchantment. It's filled with metaphors, interesting vocabulary, and gives us many opportunities to make inferences. We'll review this important reading comprehension skill this week.

Our non-fiction magazines look FANTASTIC! Thursday and Friday Literacy time will be our final chance to edit, revise, and 'jazz up' our articles!

Yesterday, we spent time comparing our writing to the Success Criteria we developed earlier in our unit. We set goals for improvement and conferred with Mrs. Howard to make sure we knew just what we needed to do. We noticed that a few of us were still working to engage our readers by adding more detail to our paragraphs. Today, during our Writer's Workshop, we reviewed how to organize our research/facts using a web or list. We then worked on using this organizational strategy to help write more detailed paragraphs.

Here are some of  the samples we have in our classroom to help us our on writing journey:

I also snapped a few photos while students were working! Take a look at some of the pages created by just a few of the wonderful writers in our classroom!


Probability, probability, probability! We're reviewing probability vocabulary this week to help us design our games for the Hansen Palooza! To help us understand how likely it is for someone to win a prize or ballot from our game, we used tree diagrams to count the number of possible outcomes. On Friday, we'll be setting our games up outdoors! If you have any questions about the Palooza and how the Grade 3 games will work, please don't hesitate to write a note, send me an email, etc. (aimee.howard@yrdsb.ca)


Many animals build structures! This week, we learned about termites, bees, beavers, and spiders. All of these creatures create strong, stable structures that have a clear purpose. During our Knowledge Building talk, we noticed something important: While a spider's web isn't strong or stable to us (it can easily be wiped or swept away by a human cleaning up in a basement), within the insect world, it's incredibly strong and stable. This helped us to understand that a structure's purpose really determines the materials that it should be made from.

Visual Art / Drama

We'll use our Visual Art and Drama time this week to make sure our Probability Games are ready for Friday's fair!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Amazing 3-D Cities!

To help us consolidate our learning of 3-D solids and figures, we became Urban Planners this week! We designed and built miniature models of cities! 

Here are a few snap shots of our projects:

Next week we will calculate the area and perimeter of various aspects of our city designs! 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

This Week at School - June 9th Update

Quote of the Week: "One thing I learned about Social Studies this year is that I LOVE Social Studies!" - Courtney

Upcoming Events

- Jump Rope for Heart is tomorrow! Remember to register online to receive a free skipping rope!

- Library books are now due back to the library! We'll be going to the library on Thursday to return our books. Please make sure all books are returned on this day! Thank you!

- Mr. Gardner has asked families to check our Lost and Found for missing sweaters, shoes, etc. There are MANY items that need to be taken home!

- Next week we'll be doing a special Math project. If anyone has a baking sheet at home they can lend us on Thursday, June 18th, we would greatly appreciate it!

- The Hansen Palooza is on June 19th! Students, please talk to your parents and RSVP as soon as possible!


Our magazine articles are looking AMAZING! Students are applying their knowledge of media to create fantastic pages. The articles we are writing are becoming more and more detailed! We'll continue to work on our current articles this week. Next week, we'll look at what we've written and set goals for a final article - something we'll research for and write next week.

As we've read more and more non-fiction articles/books/etc., we've also really started to notice the importance of word choice and precise vocabulary. Today we analyzed a text about structures. We were amazed - when we looked for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, almost every word was highlighted! Choosing words that carefully explain our ideas, facts, and information will help us develop engaging paragraphs for our magazines.


To help cement our learning about 3-D figures, 2-D shapes, area, and perimeter, we've become Urban Planners! We're designing and building miniature 3-D cities! The buzzing of 'math talk' in our room is amazing! "Let's use this rectangular prism for town homes!" or "I'm going to put this square pyramid on top of this cube to make a Baskin Robins!" makes learning fun for everyone!

On Friday, we are having our final Geometry test! Tomorrow everyone will take home some practice sheets to help review for the test.


Today we began our new and final Science unit for the year... Strong and Stable Structures! This is one of the most exciting units of study, so everyone was incredibly excited to get started! To begin, we'll review what we learned about structures from Scientists in the School and begin investigating human-made and animal-made structures! We'll also think back to our unit about forces and being to learn more about how they can impact structures.

Visual Art

On Thursday, we're going to learn more about the elements of design shape and form and texture. Once our pieces are complete, we'll post pictures!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Homework Update

Our class is having a blast creating non-fiction magazines! Yesterday we printed off the first draft of our first articles. Everyone received feedback about their strengths and ideas for improvement. At home, look over your feedback and discuss it with your family. What are you doing well? What can you do to improve future articles?