Kindness has always been an important part of my teaching and my life. I always try to show kindness each day and model it for my students. Teachers always look for ways to help their students show kindness to everyone.
I was lucky enough to attend the worldwide prayer service for Rabbi Bulka last month. It was a beautiful and moving service. The words Rabbi Bulka said about the blessing of kindness, caring, and friendship have stuck with me to this day. The words Rabbi Scher wrote in an email a week later have also stayed with me, ” All of us can do our part to spread kindness in the world”.
The Grade 3 classes are a kind group of students. The students have shown much kindness to their classmates and teachers this year. They have helped each other with work, cheered up those who have needed cheering up, and made each other laugh.
Yesterday we talked about kindness and all the ways we have shown it. We talked about Rabbi Bulka and all the ways he has shown kindness. We talked about the #RabbiBulkaKindnessProject and brainstormed ways that we can show kindness during covid. The children had lots of ideas! We even made an iMovie about kindness.
Morah Sigal and I also have lots of ideas the spread kindness all around. Your children have hopefully come home excited to spread kindness to their family and friends during the February Break. There will be more kindness to come in March.
We are so excited to announce that we have blogfolios. You will find them listed on the lower right side of this page if you are using a computer. If you are reading this post on a smartphone, the kids’ blog names appear at the very bottom of this blog post by scrolling to the very end.
Please enjoy the posts and leave a comment or two.
It has been wonderful to see the students so motivated and excited about their learning. I have seen such a big difference in the amount of writing produced since students started writing blog posts of their own. They are so engaged and the words just seem to flow. The students have told me how fun it is to write about topics they are passionate about.
The blogfolios will be a place where the students can document their learning. We hope they will receive comments on their posts and they can see that a larger audience, not just their teacher is reading their work. The students in turn will take greater care and put more effort into their work. I am so excited to be on this journey with the students. This is just the beginning of learning adventure in Grade 3. I even wrote two posts on my own blog about launching blogfolios in Grade 4 last year.
On Wednesday, Marina Milyavskaya, Noa P’s mom, came to talk about goal setting. Marina led an informative session on how to set goals for yourself. She discussed personal and academic goals and fielded many questions from the students. Everyone set a goal for themselves. We talked about obstacles that may arise and specific steps we could take in achieving our goals. We wrote our goals down and learned that this makes us more accountable. The students and I will be revisiting our goals throughout the rest of the school year. Stay tuned to see how we reach our goals.
This amazing workshop is all thanks to Twitter. I replied to a colleague’s Tweet and Marina replied to me. Twitter is wonderful for bringing people together!
3A and 3B enjoyed the special celebration of the Hebrew language and Tu B’Shevat activities on Thursday. Morah Sigal prepared many meaningful lessons and activities for the students to do throughout the day.
The students made posters, poems and worked on writing Hebrew sentences. Both classes came together to play a Hebrew Kahoot game as well. Monsieur P., the students, and I would like to thank Morah Sigal for planning such a terrific day filled with Ruach.
Here we are at the beginning of the fourth week on Remote Learning. Thank you so much for your cooperation and patience through this online experience. I have tried to make this experience as positive and interactive as possible for all of the students. Sigal and I are in our meets throughout the day to keep the students on track and motivated. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it has been to navigate work and the children’s school schedules. We can meet with your children 1:1 during the outdoor play period to help them with any work or assignments. Please send us a quick email, or have your child ask for help.
Each week I hope that this will be the last week, and each week I find myself back at the computer. Let’s hope the school reopens soon. I will be sending out a survey to gather feedback about our current schedule. Should we find ourselves in an extended period of remote learning, we welcome any feedback you may have.
We are about to launch our student blogfolios this week. I am as excited or possibly even more excited than the children. I know that the students will put more effort into their writing when they know more people will get a chance to read it. It is one thing to write a paragraph or story for the teacher. Writing somehow becomes more important when you share it with a greater audience. Grade 3 writing skills will improve! I have seen this happen with the class I worked with last year.
We are continuing our journey to becoming good digital citizens. We are practicing; in Google meets, Google Hangouts, and commenting on blog posts. I am happy to announce that the Grade 3 classes will be creating Public Service Announcements about digital citizenship.
Global Digcit Impactor Cohort
I am part of a global Digcit Impactor cohort. The purpose of this cohort is to bring educators from around the globe to learn and collaborate with the sole purpose of helping students become good digital citizens. It seems our Livestream presentation in the fall caught the attention of the founder of the Digital Citizenship Institute, Dr. Marialice Curran, and the CEO Belouga, Evin Schwartz. I met with Evin Schwartz in the fall, to talk about the wonderful things we were doing at OJCS.
Fast forward to the present day and I find myself a pilot project spearheaded by these inspiring individuals. For the past three weeks, I have been attending morning conferences and connecting with educators around the globe. We are sharing projects we want to do and ways we all collaborate. Dr. Marialice has been coaching me and she will come to coach our class one day soon on being good digital citizens. I am excited because even young students can become leaders and make a difference in the world. Our Public Service Announcements will hopefully include Hebrew, English, and French. These announcements will be seen by a worldwide audience. GO OJCS!
The month of November sped by this year. We were so busy learning and developing good work habits that time just flew. Our social studies projects were finished and recorded for our friends in Taiwan and Israel. We hoped they liked learning all about Ontario.
Four students recited the poem, I Dream a World, by Langston Hughes. This video was part of the Remembrance Day Assembly.
The classes also spent Remembrance Day talking about Peace and what it means to them. They wrote peace similes and put all of their work together into an iMovie.
Multiplication was introduced and students loved learning how to multiply through equal groups, arrays, skip counting, and repeated addition. The children who already knew multiplication were challenged with some problem-solving activities.
3B also had fun connecting with a grade 4 class in Tennessee, and playing a mystery number game. 3B taught the game to 3A and had fun with the game during one of our Friday community meets. 3A will be connecting with the same class from Tennessee for a future mystery number game.
Thanks for helping us connect and practice our number sense today @MrsBennett92 ❣️ We enjoyed our game of #mysterynumber on @zoom using @Classkick to keep track of our clues. #iteachmath #oakrams #oesrams #interactiveclass pic.twitter.com/DvOni5JWfQ
— Heidi Samuelson (@swampfrogfirst) November 13, 2020
In Language Arts, we have been reading the novel Mr. Popper’s Penguins. The classic novel by Richard and Florence Atwater is lots of fun to read and is exposing the students to rich vocabulary.
The students have also been working on their first blog post. It is amazing to see how much the students can write when given the freedom to write about a subject they love. All the students have been engaged and excited to write this way. One boy said, “This is so much fun to write this way”. The topics range from animals to cars, the human body to covid-19. I am so excited to see the students so motivated to write each day. I cannot wait for them to publish their work.
Our plants grew beautifully in class. We only had a few incidents of overwatering and moldy beans. The class took part in a STEM challenge last week to design and build a device that could water the plants. The classes were filled with 8-year-old engineers building and testing their devices. I manned the hot glue gun and made holes with scissors. The students learned to persevere, be patient, adapt their designs, so the watering devices ultimately succeeded. Yes, we had some water on the floor, but the joy on the students’ faces was well worth it!
This week we will be taking part in the Chanukah Door Decorating Challenge, and recording our song for the Chanukah Family Program. We are taking part in a special CBB Ruach experience this Thursday morning.
Your child will be bringing home a permission letter for Blogfolios in their backpack. I have attached the signed permission slips from last year to allow for changes before the blogfolios appear on the class blog.
Today we took a look at blogfolios from different grades, and we even started our first post on a google doc. It will take some time to complete it. The students are beyond excited and have asked if they can work on it at home tonight. I said yes 🙂 We will work on this post over the next week at school as well. I have also put some suggested skills for multiplication work on IXL.
Work on your blog post (Don’t stay up until midnight )
Work on multiplication skills on IXL
If you have any questions or concerns please reach out.
This week’s homework is to work on the IXL math website for 10-15 minutes a day. The students should still be working in the diagnostic area at this point. IXl username and password information is in front of the homework duo-tang.
The students will also work on writing a paragraph. The paragraphs should be 5-8 sentences long. You will find a graphic organizer and lined paper to plan and write the paragraph. Students can choose any topic they wish. If writer’s block should occur, there are some prompts below.
Paragraph writing prompts
1.Explain how you feel after you just won something. (game, prize, etc.)
2. Tell what your favorite TV show is and why.
3. Explain what your favorite thing to do is.
4. What do you like or dislike about school most?
5. Tell how to make________________.
6. Describe your favorite teacher, person, relative.
7. Write about your least favorite or favorite school subject.
8. Write about your favorite story character.
9. Write about a funny thing that happened to you.
10. Write about an embarrassing thing that happened
Class Representative Elections
This past Friday was Election Day in Grade Three. Students who wanted to run for class representative made posters to announce their candidacy. They also shared their reasons for why they wanted to be class rep with their peers. Some of the candidates wanted to get candy to their class or help their peers earn extra free periods. The real reason six students from 3A and eight students from 3B ran was to make a difference and help their classmates have a great school year. Congratulations to Jonah from 3A and Coby from 3B, our new class representatives for the 2020-2021 school year. I know they will do their best to make this year a great one for Grade Three.
I am so proud of all the students who ran for class rep. Many children would like to have leadership opportunities this year. I get to make sure they all have the chance to be leaders this year. I am already excited about the year we will have together.
IXL Math Website
IXL is a new Math website the students will be using this year. The Grade Three students will start using the diagnostic area of this website to determine their level for working and practicing their math skills this year. Once the students have done some diagnostic tasks I will be able to assign specific tasks to each student.
Each student has their IXL information card inside the front cover of their homework duo-tang. If your child does not have their information card in their homework duo-tang please let me know and I will give you the information. You can learn more about this website on Mrs. Cleveland’s Math Blog.
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.