Ms. Ashley’s Grade 3 Class (May 2019)
Making of a Story
The Grade 3 classes have been having fun using our imagination to write a three paragraph story. We talked about the different aspects of writing a story. Each story should have a good beginning, middle, and ending.
We also discussed that a story includes the following elements: characters, setting, when it takes place, a problem, solution, and conclusion. The table groups worked together to develop their own three paragraph story. Each table came up and presented their story to the class.
Students then wrote their own three paragraph story. The writing process includes planning, a first draft, editing/proofreading, and making a final published piece. Student planned and wrote their stories. When completed with their draft, the students had to edit their work.
After editing their stories on their own, each student sat with the teacher to do a final edit. Once their stories were edited, the students published their story and drew three pictures. After the students finished publishing their stories they presented their stories to the class. Both classes did a wonderful job on their stories and are becoming great writers.
Miss Nield’s Class: Grade 3 (Oct 2016)
Guided Reading plays an important roll in our English classes. Students have the opportunity to work on reading with the teacher in small groups. They also get to meet with the TA and reread the story. Students read stories that are at their level and answer questions that help them understand their reading.
Through different levels student practice their fluency in reading English text. They have the opportunity to read at their specific level and reread to gain more understanding and fluency. There are different types of texts we can use and we did a Readers Theater to help with our reading fluency this week.
Each group received a story and a part to read that was at their level. Students first read it aloud together, getting their first practice. Students then practiced their own individual parts 10 times each. They needed to practice their lines so that they can read them without error. After practicing their parts alone, students got back together with their group and read the play all together again. This time students found they could understand and enjoy the play, since all students could read it fluently.
Once students practiced the play a few times together, they had the opportunity to share their play with the class. Students were also able to share their play with another 3rd grade class. This type of guided reading activity was a success because students enjoyed practicing, and presenting their play to others. They felt confident in their individual parts, and could correctly say all of the English words.
Mr. T’s Class: Grade 3 (Oct 2016)
We began the month of October with a Halloween theme. The first thing I did was discuss fall and the month of October pointing out Halloween was October 31st and we would celebrate Halloween in school. Then I read the students a Halloween story as part of our weekly story reading/listening activity. The story was called Pumpkin Pumpkin. The book is in the teachers’ resource library in the big book section. It was a good choice because not only did it introduce our new theme“ Halloween” it also reviewed the plant vocabulary we had already learned and introduced.
The next activity we did was to write out Halloween vocabulary on word strips and have the students say and read these new words. The students then worked on word searches and cross word puzzles to familiarize themselves with these Halloween terms. They colored pictures of witches, pumpkins, black cats and haunted houses to display in our classroom. As part of the guided reading activity during October, the teacher and TA, have used six poems that all the students have read in a small group setting. The six poems are Black Cat, Five Little Pumpkins, There was an Old Witch, Trick or Treat, Scare Crows and Halloween Warning. During the guided reading process, I pointed out the rhyming words used in the poem and the students learned new vocabulary and practiced reading with expression and fluency.
The next step in our writing process was for the students to write a Halloween story, poem, or rhyme using the information learned while studying our Halloween theme. As a culminating activity the students went to the other Grade 3 classes to recite the Halloween poems they have learned in class during the month of October.
Mr. Charlie’s Class: Grade 3 (Oct 2016)
Learning about Nouns
In our class we have been learning about nouns for three weeks. Nouns are an important part of the English language. Nouns tell us the person, place, thing, or animal a sentence is about. To reintroduce the students to nouns we played many PowerPoint games as a class. First, we named pictures of Common Nouns and decided if the noun was a person, place, thing, or animal. Then, we expanded our learning and played games to remember Proper Nouns (nouns with a name) and Plural Nouns (more than one nouns).
After all of the students had a good understanding of the types of nouns we went on a Noun Word Hunt in our classroom library books. The students read through our classroom library books and identified all the nouns they could find. Then the students wrote all the nouns they found, being careful to identify the nouns as a person, place, thing, or animal.
In the final step of our nouns unit, the students worked in small groups to create posters about Common Nouns, Proper Nouns, Plural Nouns, and Irregular Plural Nouns for us to hang in the classroom. Each small group was given one type of noun. The students worked together to write the name and draw big, colorful pictures of examples of their type of noun. During this activity I heard all of the students speaking English and talking about nouns. The students worked very hard, learned a lot, and had fun creating Noun Posters for us to hang in class!
Ms. Ashley's Class: Grade 3 (Oct 2016)
Fun with Adjectives
Grade 3 classes have been having fun learning about adjectives. We have learned that adjectives describe nouns and have done some fun activities incorporating adjectives. The classes looked at what adjectives are by describing pictures from the Picture This PowerPoint. They had to tell how something looked, felt, smelled, and tasted. We learned that different colors can describe animals.
The students put together a fun book called Brown Bear, Brown Bear. They had to pick a color for each animal to describe it and then color the book. It was fun to see the different colors the students thought of for each animal. The students had to write in a color for each animal, they chose colors for animals as they already are or made up a color for them. In the end, the books were cut and stapled together. The students were so proud of their work.
Our class also learned that adjectives can help us to describe each other’s physical attributes as well as our personalities. The students were paired with another friend from our class. They had to discuss their different likes and dislikes and then each student wrote a short paragraph about their friend. Once their paragraphs were finished, they made a portrait of their friends incorporating the different adjectives they used to describe them. Lastly, each student had to share their paragraphs about their friend. The students enjoyed speaking about their friends and using English to describe their classmates.
Ms. Kat's Class: Grade 3 (Oct 2016)
Parts of a Plant and Life Cycles
In our class, we have had fun recently learning about the different parts of a plant and tree, as well as their life cycles. We have discussed photosynthesis briefly (how light energy is able to convert sugars into chemical energy and this is how we get oxygen in the air).
We went outside to look at the plants and to compare them. We discussed how a banana tree isn’t really a tree, but rather a plant, because it doesn’t have a trunk, it has a stem. We looked at different types of roots and how they grow. Some of these roots are amazing in how they intertwine with each other. We looked at a vine and discussed how they climb towards the sky. We were excited to find a hibiscus flower, which is a perfect flower to observe the stamen, petals, anther and pollen.
Coming back to class, the students made wonderful posters, depicting the parts of plants and trees and the life cycle. It’s become apparent that there are some very talented artists in my class!
The students also did a scavenger hunt. They worked in groups and had to find 18 different cards with different facts about the plants and trees. They had to match them with their worksheet, and then we reviewed the answers.
As a whole class, we watched a video of a sunflower seed sprouting and reaching maturity until the end of its life cycle. The children were fascinated at being able to observe this in fast motion and see the roots grow and the seed sprout.
Mr. Carl’s Class: Grade 3
We Are Great Writers
The students in my class have been using a specific writing process in order to develop their writing skills. The writing process uses 5 steps that the students follow: Brainstorming, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing. To practice this process, we used books that we have already read in class to stimulate the students’ imagination to enhance their narrative writing. For this week’s lesson, we have used the Australian books Possum Magic, Wombat Stew and Blossom Possum. It’s important to expose second language learners to English stories beyond traditional books from the U.S. and U.K..
The lesson starts with reading the selected books. The students discuss the characters and the story line, as well as, predict what is likely to happen next in the story. After discussing the story, the students then brainstorm ideas and a story line that they could use in their writing. The students work in small groups to talk about the things that could happen in their story.
After that, students begin writing their draft story. When they have completed their draft, the students are to revise their work by rereading the story and changing or adding words or sentences to enhance their writing. When they are satisfied with their writing, the student reads their work to other students who then offer suggestions for improvement. This is an excellent way for the teacher to add in some additional practice speaking and listening! Next, the student takes their revised story for a short conference with the teacher. During the conference, the teacher can ask questions to help improve the student’s draft story.
Once the conference is complete, the student can then publish their story by writing it neatly and drawing accompanying illustrations. Finally, the students share their writing with the rest of the class and the writing process is complete!
Mr. Charlie’s Class: Grade 3
One of the many ways we review grammar is by writing poems. Poems are simple, fun, and something different that the students enjoy! Creating poems are also a good review activity because you use handwriting, verbs, nouns, adjectives, question words, listening skills, and reading skills throughout the process.
We wrote four different poems; 5W poems, Diamante poems, Shape poems, and Acrostic poems. Many of the poems that the students are used to are simple rhyming poems, like you would find in children’s books, or the fun and crazy writings of Dr. Seuss. The students are exposed to many different kinds of poems and they are also able to write all of them. The student’s favorite is the 5W poem.
The 5W poem consists of 5 question words: “Who? What? Where? When? Why?” First, the students chose an animal to write about in their poem. The students wrote a rough draft of their poem answering all 5 of the question words, being careful to add descriptive adjectives and adverbs.
Then, the teacher and TA helped them edit their poems, making sure all of their grammar and poem lines made sense. The students then rewrote their poems neatly on a new sheet of pictograph paper. Finally, the students checked their paper and began to draw a big, colorful and detailed picture of the animal they chose.
The students now have a wonderful poem they wrote by themselves, and they also reviewed many of the grammar and English concepts we have worked on this year. Good job everyone!
Mr. T’s Class: Grade 3
Guided Reading Activities
Here are some of the Guided Reading Activities we use in our classroom. The class is divided into three groups. The Teaching Assistant takes one group, of about ten students to read an appropriately-leveled book. The teacher stays with the other twenty students to work in the classroom. We have been using some of the teaching tools we were given earlier in the year. For example, we are using two activities: Education Press Informational Text and “I have….”, “Who has…?”.
In the Informational Text package there are forty reading cards with pictures on a variety of topics. The overhead projector is used to project the text and picture on the screen. Then the students quietly read the text to themselves. Students are then asked if there are words they don’t know. We discuss these words as a large group. Then all the students read the text out loud. There is one question on the information card and we answer the question. They are encouraged to ask and answer other questions using the text as well.
The second activity uses the “I have…” “Who has?” kit. These cards are used with the smaller group rather than the whole class and doing it this way has worked out a lot better. Students are closer together and more focused in small groups. With this activity, each student has two cards and they need to listen and read the information on their cards. The activity focuses on four areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
A third activity used is the overhead to project a story on the screen and have the class as a group or individually read the story. This way all the students are focused on the screen, on the text, and the pictures to read, listen to and discuss the story.
Ms. Katie’s Class: Grade 3
Science – Life Cycles
My class has had fun learning about life cycles of the butterfly and the frog; two creatures where metamorphosis occurs within their life cycle. They have learnt the meaning of metamorphosis and observed how the changes occur over a period of time.
We went outside looking for caterpillars and chrysalises and butterflies, hoping to see a butterfly bud from the chrysalis. Unfortunately we didn’t find any at this time of the year. We then went looking for tadpoles and to our amazement we found lots of them in an area near the garden and the big swimming pool at Clifford School.
The students were very excited, and we took them back to the classroom, where we are feeding them and waiting for them to transform into tadpoles with legs, then into froglets, then finally into an adult frog.
The students had great enjoyment making their own colourful butterflies. We also did a scavenger hunt where the students worked in groups and had to find 18 different cards with different facts about the frog and butterfly lifecycles. They had to match them with their worksheet, and then we reviewed the answers.
As a whole class we read the book, ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’. The children know this book from Grade 1, but still enjoy it. They rewrote the story in their own words and drew pictures depicting the metamorphosis of the butterfly.
We reviewed the lesson by doing interviews. Students interviewed each other asking different questions about the life cycles of the butterfly and the frog. What great fun we had learning about “Life Cycles”!
Mr. Strauch’s Class: Grade 3
The Value of Instructional Play
With instructional play, during break time or class time, we are encouraging the students to practice skills that will be used throughout their lives and academic careers. For example, a group of students may cooperate to construct a pyramid out of plastic cups. They may have a limited amount of time or a physical requirement in order to complete the task, but they use English to negotiate meaning and take part in cooperative play. In another example of instructional play, students use a 2-dimensional fractal design and then they try to use their knowledge to create a 3-dimensional fractal pyramid.
Through instructional play, students learn how to cooperate, take turns and communicate with each other in English. A great deal of research has shown that negotiating meaning by engaging in spontaneous language production leads to greater second language acquisition, in this case, English.
These language skills are very useful to settle arguments, communicate how to solve a problem or simply just how to get a project started. The students use critical thinking skills to accomplish or lead an activity. Through instructional and cooperative play, students practice creative design and patterning as they discover new ways to use objects or materials to achieve a goal. These skills are then applied to problem solving situations in an academic setting. The students who engage in these learning activities will strengthen their language confidence, social interactions and self-knowledge to compete in the 21st century.