Grade 3 classes have been busy learning and having fun in school. We took an up-close look at worms and discovered how great they are for the soil. We had no idea they worked so hard for us to make the soil healthy. Worms are amazing! We even discovered worm castings (worm poop) all over the fields.
One rainy day a few weeks ago, the students and I ventured out to the schoolyard to see if we could find worms. In a matter of minutes, our containers were full of soil and worms. In the classroom, we observed the worms and held them. I am proud to say that with encouragement from the students, I handled three worms without fainting.
In class, we read a story about worm composting, and we were inspired to try worm composting for ourselves. We have big plans to compost some of our lunch waste and use the compost for Morah Ada’s plants and some plants we hope to grow over the winter. Wish us luck!
We are also learning about plants and how they grow. We have experimented with kidney beans, and some plants have started growing. It seems many of the students do have green thumbs after all.
In Math, we have focused on adding and subtracting two and three-digit numbers with regrouping. Some students have even challenged themselves with four-digit numbers. Subtraction is causing some frustration at the moment. I always love a challenge! I will find a way to have the students loving subtraction this year. Right now, we are looking at adding and subtracting money and making the connection to the work we did with regrouping. Multiplication and division will be our focus for the next few weeks. Many students have been asking to do multiplication and division since the beginning of the year.
We have been reading all kinds of fiction and non-fiction material in class each day. The students seem to be very interested in non-fiction material about anything science-related. They loved learning as much as they could on soil and plants; I sometimes even found them reading more on soil and worms in their free time (this is a teacher’s dream). The students have completed their first Star Reading assessment of the year. These assessments will allow me to personalize instruction for each student and even further improve their reading skills this year. The students are working on their writing skills through the use of journals, paragraph writing, and creative writing. Everyone is trying their best to use proper punctuation.
The Grade Three classes have been connecting some global connections over the last few weeks. We have met with students in Tel Aviv to talk about life in Israel and Canada. We talked about how we are learning in school with masks, and how they are at home doing distance learning once again. This week we will meet with them again to see some of the students’ favourite places in Israel; we will share our favourite places in Canada. We really hope to continue the connection with our Israeli friends throughout the school year.
We took part in the Digcit Summit 2020 and talked about digital citizenship. The students shared how they worked on being good citizens in Grade Two and plans to continue the work in Grade Three. They did a great job presenting during the live stream event despite an initial technical glitch. We hope we inspired other students around the world to become good digital citizens as well. Who knows, this could be the start of their public speaking careers.
We also took part in Global Maker Day this past week. The children took on the STEM challenge of building a functional object with recyclable materials. The students were so excited to design and build. There was a buzz in the class; no one seemed to mind that the challenge needed to be independent due to covid. I overheard some students talking about how they want to be inventors when they grow up. They took the challenge seriously and were so proud to share their objects with the class. There were water bottle holders, robots that held school supplies, and even a greiger for Purim. We just wished there were more hours in the school day so we could have taken part in some more challenges.
Social Studies Research Workshop
The students were so happy to see Brigitte, our librarian, for a virtual research workshop this past week. For Social Studies, the students will be researching a city in Ontario. Brigitte taught us how to find information using books and the internet. The students remembered all they had learned with Brigitte last year with regards to using keywords to search for information.
This year we went to step further and learned to use indexes and tables of contents in books and how to find specific information on the internet as well. The fun part of this project is that the students will be writing a news report about their Ontario city. We hope to become real reporters and film a news show all about Ontario. Brigitte gave us some pointers on how to be kid reporters as well.