Mr. John Grade Three Class (December 2019)
Learning About Present Simple Tense
In Grade Three we have been learning about the Present Simple tense for two weeks. We use the Present Simple tense when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly. We first looked at a few clips on YouTube/ Brainpop, these short clips are specifically made with English Second Language Learners in mind.
We checked for understanding by having a classroom discussion. The students were asked to give example sentences using random words selected from both verb cards and subject/pronoun cards. We further consolidated this learning by constructing and writing down a ‘Present Simple Tense table’, that included affirmative, negative and question forms.
In the second period we played a refresher ‘jeopardy’ game, which tested all forms of Present Simple Tense and got the students excited as it involved team points and rewards. We then did a reading, recognizing and writing activity. The students read through our classroom library books and identified six examples of sentences that were using the Present Simple Tense form. They then finalized their learning by independently writing two sentences in each form (affirmative, negative and question) in this tense. This work was completed on separate lined paper and illustrated with drawings about their sentences and then displayed in the classroom. The students worked very hard, learned a lot, and had fun doing their creative writing in the present simple tense!
Mr. Jeff’s Grade Three (December 2019)
Am, Is, Are
In Grade Three we have been learning about the helping verbs are, is, am, was, and were for two
weeks. Helping verbs are important in grammar because it helps tell others what someone is doing at that moment. We use these helping verbs every day in our vocabulary, but sometimes get confused
and use them incorrectly. So, to reintroduce the students to these helping verbs I showed the students how to form a sentence using subject and predicate. First, I gave the students ideas of what
a subject of a sentence is. It is a person, place or thing. Then, I asked the students to name nouns for me to begin the sentence.
Next, we moved to our helping verbs. The students chose what helping verbs to use in the sentence depending on what the subject was. The students then finished the sentence with the predicate. The predicate of the sentence always has a verb. The students were able to make up the sentence with whatever verb they wanted to add to the sentence.
In the final step the students wrote a story using the helping verbs. The students made up a story using the all the students names at their table. First, they had to write a rough draft of the story. Once the rough draft was perfect, they then wrote their story onto color paper as nicely as they could. The students had a fun time making up their make-believe stories and working as a group to finish this assignment. The students came up with some very creative stories!
Mrs. Marit Grade Three (November 2019)
This week the students learned about what it means to be “thankful”. First, the students were briefly presented with information about Thanksgiving in the U.S.A, which falls annually on the fourth Thursday of November. During this time each group took turns reading examples of what it means to be “thankful”, and also looked at pictures to help with understanding. Next, the students watched a short video clip of a third grade class in the United States telling about what they are thankful for.
After the video, the students were asked what the students in the video were thankful for. Following the video, students were asked to brainstorm what they are thankful for, so we drew a word web on the board with a few examples. Then, the children worked in groups to come up with their own word web about what they are thankful for. Each group had 5 minutes to brainstorm on their whiteboards. After the 5 minutes were up, each group presented and spoke about what they are thankful for.
Our next activity was writing about what they are thankful for. First, we reviewed the work sheet categories: people, places and things. Next, the students used a lined worksheet titled, “What I am thankful for”, and had to use their neat handwriting to write, “I am thankful for ______because________. During our “Being Thankful” activities, students learned the meaning of the word “thankful”. They also learned how to use “thankful” while speaking and writing.
Mrs. Ashley's Grade 3 Class (November 2019)
Grade 3 classes have been learning about measurement, centimeters, meters, and kilometers. The students learned that centimeter is used to measure smaller objects such as pencils and books, while meter is used to measure bigger objects such as a door, and the classroom floor. Kilometers are used to measure distance. For example, the distance from Guangzhou to Shanghai is 1,434 kilometers. We played a game where the students looked at a picture and had to shout out whether we would measure with centimeters, meters, or kilometers.
The second part of the lesson was more hands on. The students worked with a partner. Using a sheet of paper, they made a chart labeling centimeters, meters and kilometers. The students measured four items using centimeters, two to four items using meters, and then picked two places for kilometers. Drawing and labeling pictures of the items measured in centimeters and meters. They also drew pictures of cities for kilometers. Students chose one item and wrote a sentence. For example one group measured a finger, drew a picture of the finger, labeling and write a sentence. “The finger is 5cm.”
For the last part of our project, each pair of students presented their chart to the class, reading the sentences that they wrote. This project allowed the students to learn about different types of measurement, as well as incorporate writing and speaking into their project. It allowed the students to use rulers using centimeters and meter sticks to measure items in the class. The students enjoyed this project.
Mr. Matthew's Grade 3 Class (November 2019)
A Talkative Bunch
Every day in Grade 3, students participate in an activity called ‘daily talks. This activity requires students to stand in front of their peers and speak about topics in English for one minute. The purpose of daily talks is to develop each student’s ability to communicate in spoken English.
Every daily talk is a formative assessment, which allows the teacher to listen and identify strengths and areas of improvement for each student. The teacher will frequently model a daily talk, demonstrating positive body language, proper voice projection, well-sequenced ideas and correct sentence structure. This explicitly reinforces the daily talks’ success criteria for all students.
Students are allowed to use an English plan or a stimulus picture for their daily talk, or they can choose to have no assistance. The aim is to cater to each student’s individual ability without affecting their confidence. At the end of a daily talk, the teacher will ask questions to the class about the topic. This ensures all students are engaged in the activity, even if they are not talking. To finish the daily talks session, the teacher will praise all participants and discuss things that were positive and things that can be improved with the whole class.
Mr. Jeff's Grade 3 Class (June 2019)
In our Grade 3 classes we have been learning about Irregular verbs for the last two weeks. Irregular verbs are different than regular action verbs because when you use irregular verbs in the past tense form, the spelling changes. Irregular verbs are verbs you need to remember because they are not the same as the other normal verbs that end in “ed” when used in past tense form. To reinforce how to use irregular verbs we did many activities to help the students understand how and when they are used.
First, we put different nouns on the board in three different categories future, present and past tense. We did this so students can know how to use these verbs in a sentence using correct grammar. Next, the students searched in their guided reading books to find 10 irregular verbs. This was done so students can again see how to use the irregular verbs correctly in sentences using correct grammar. Then we had the students use the white boards so they can practice using irregular verbs in sentences.
In the final step of our irregular verbs unit the students worked in small groups to create posters about Irregular verbs for us to hang in the classroom. Each small group wrote a sentence and the group picked the best sentence. The students worked together to write the sentence and draw big, colorful pictures of examples of the sentence. During this activity I heard all of the students speaking English and using verb and irregular verbs. The students worked very hard, learned a lot, and had fun creating Irregular Verbs Posters for us to hang in class!
Mr. Charlie’s Grade 3 Class (May 2019)
Who Was? They Were?
Recently in our Grade 3 English classes we practiced how to properly use the words “was” and “were” in English sentences. When you have a singular noun you use the word “was,” and when your noun is plural you use the word “were.” But, there are some subtle tricks and exceptions, and the students did very well with them.
First, we looked at a PowerPoint together as a class and completed some simple fill in the blank sentences using “was” and “were.” After that, we made a T-chart on the whiteboard and gave examples of nouns that are paired with “was” or “were,” paying close attention to the more tricky examples. Following the T-chart we went on a word hunt in our classroom library books. Students looked for “was” and “were” sentences in the classroom books, and when the students found one they wrote it down to share with their table groups.
Next we shared our “was” and “were” sentences at our table groups. The students then used these examples to generate their own “was” or “were” sentence as a table group. After they generated their sentence the students they wrote it on poster paper and drew a big, colorful, detailed pictures to accompany the sentences they created. In the end, we had 12 wonderful “was” and “were” posters to hang in our class to help us remember our grammar work. Great job everyone!
Mr. Jon’s Grade 3 Class (May 2019)
In our class, we have been learning about prepositions. Prepositions are an important part of the English language. Prepositions tell us about movement, direction, location and time. To reintroduce the students to prepositions (in Grade 2 the students were taught the more simple prepositions such as ‘on, in, up, out’) we watched some educational child centered clips from the Internet and Brainpop.
We played a game with a football, where two volunteers were told, where to place the balloon; (‘Place the football ON her head.’ etc.). Then, we played games to introduce new prepositions (used for time, movement etc.). The games included a class scavenger hunt, where students could help each other using prepositions to say where they found the cards. We also played Preposition Bingo, which was fun too! The students then filled in a table, by finding prepositions, from the ‘Pirate Card’ sentences projected on the screen, rewards were given as incentives.
Finally, the students worked in pairs to create posters about Prepositions for us to hang in the classroom. Each pair was asked to draw pictures showing an example from each of the four groups of prepositions (time, location, movement and direction). They then wrote a sentence to describe their drawings. As the students were not allowed to write the same sentence under each picture, this activity elicited lots of spoken English, talking about different ways to use prepositions in sentences. The students worked very hard, learned a lot, and had fun creating the posters!
Ms. Katie’s Grade 3 Class (May 2019)
Delivering Daily Talks
Our classes have been doing daily talks most of the year. This enables every student to talk in front of the class at least once a week. There is a process we use to help the students to be able to speak freely and fluently.
The students are first taught how to greet a group of people by introducing themselves and saying a greeting. eg. Good Morning or Good Afternoon. The teacher uses a video to show them how it should be done. It shows Charlie Brown very nervous and despondent then at the end he is very happy with himself after he is guided how to talk in front of the class. The students are taught to have eye contact with their audience and just use their notes as a reference and not read sentences.
Grade 3 parents would be aware that this is part of their homework every week, which has an area for the topic, where, when, how, what and why. These notes are used if they are applicable to the topic they are talking about. When the students are talking, the teacher assesses them on: volume, clarity of speech, if they stay on topic and their fluency, for the appropriate time which is 1 minute. The students also get gentle feedback on their talk to help them improve.
As the students advance and gain more confidence in standing up and delivering a talk to the class, we start brainstorming adjectives and adverbs to make their talk or story more interesting. Another activity is when a 4 panel colored story is shown on the screen and the students have to come out to the front of the class and tell the story and try their best to add adjectives and adverbs. As a result over the year, many of the students have gained more confidence as well as extending their sentences during the speaking process. Well done to them!
Mr. Jon's Grade 3 Class (Jan 2018)
In our class, we have been taking a layered approach to our weekly guided writing class. The process begins with a specially designed homework sheet which is taken home at the weekend. The idea of this sheet is that each student selects the topic they want to write about in class the next week, in the more relaxed and sometimes inspiring environment of their own homes. The student fills in the question word prompts with 1-3 word answers, and then having thought more on the topic, complete the key ideas or vocabulary reminder section. The students has now engaged with the idea of what they will be writing about and partly planned the outline as well. When asked to write a 80-100+ word piece, they are not only ready and willing, they also have a prompt sheet to assist them.
All our writing is done in the journals, along with these, we also use mini- boards and markers in the guided writing class. The white boards are another important part of the process. Students are not allowed to ask how to spell words in our class, they must try to invent the spelling first on their white boards. They then hold the boards above their heads, allowing the teacher or TA to acknowledge a correct spelling or move to write a correct spelling on the students white board.
This greatly increases the student’s phonic awareness and decreases the noise level during the writing exercise. It’s also something fun for the students to enjoy doing during what could be a mundane task. With the students using their prompt sheets, our minimum word expectation level has been set at 80, but most students are now comfortably writing 120-140 words. Normal reward systems are used, including tickets and table points, but also bonus ‘candies’ are given to the top 5 efforts of the week.
These encourage the students that don’t write so well, to always try as best they can. Finally it is important to point out another layer of this process to the guided writing class. The student’s homework sheet is designed to be used as both a prompt sheet for writing as well as a preparation and rehearsal sheet for each student’s weekly speech. These are done on an individual basis in 3.5 on the same topic the student is writing about. Our students are really becoming better writers by planning their writing before they start!
Mr. Charlie's Grade 3 Class (Jan 2018)
Partner Interviews: My Home & My Family
In our class we have been discussing and reviewing all of the members of our family and the proper English vocabulary for their names. One of the ways we did this was to interview each other with our English Family Survey. Every student was given an English Family Survey sheet with questions to ask our classmates. Some of the questions included “How many people are in your family?” and “What does your family like to do on the weekend?”
Every student was partnered up with a classmate at their table. First, “partner A” would ask all the survey questions to “partner B” in English. When “partner B” answered the questions using their English skills “partner A” would write down all of their answers in English. Next, the students switched roles and “partner B” asked the same set of questions to “partner A” and wrote down all of their answers.
After everyone finished interviewing four or five people, the class came back together so we could all learn more about each other. Some of the partners volunteered to come to the front of the class and tell us about each other. Again, “partner A” would tell us all about “partner B” using their best English, and then we would switch where “partner B” would tell the class all about “partner A” using their best English too.
The class did a great job listening carefully to their friends while they were speaking in front of the class, which gave them a great opportunity to understand more about each other!
Ms. Ashley's Grade 3 Class (Jan 2018)
Family Tree Fun
In our class, we have been having fun leaning about family and making family trees. We talked about the vocabulary words for each member of the family. Some of the words we discussed were mom, mother, mum, dad, father, grandfather, grandpa, grandma, grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, brother, and sister. We talked about how there are different ways to say different family members. We also looked at a video clip on whom and where you put family members on a family tree. The students then created their own family trees. They started by drawing lines and placing family members in order. After laying out their family tree in pencil and labeling each family member on their family tree, the students then had to draw pictures of and color in their family members. It was fun and interesting to see how well done the Family Trees turned out.
The second part of the project was for the students to write two paragraphs describing their family. The students were asked to describe the family members they live with. They also wrote about where they live. We discovered that some students live in apartments, while other students live in houses. Some students described the town or area where they live. Other students described their other homes that they have. The students did a great job writing about their families.
The last part of our project was for each student to present their family tree and read their essay about their families. The students loved hearing about each other’s families. This activity gives each student a glimpse into one another’s lives.
Mr. Katie's Grade 3 Class (Dec 2017)
Measurement in Our Lives
In our class we discussed and looked at how to measure things and distances. We learnt measurement terms in English vocabulary such as; centrimetre, metre and kilometre. We also learnt their abbreviations. eg. centimetre = cm, metre = m and kiolmetre = km.
We looked at which unit to measure in for distance, length and width. For example measuring large distances as in Shanghai to Chongqing, we would use kilometers (km). For smaller things we use metres and centimetres. The students also learnt how to measure distance on a map with a ruler using a scale. They measured the distances between Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin.
We played a game from a Power Point on which unit to choose for measuring. The students looked at the picture then had to whisper to their team which unit would be the best to use. Sometimes there was conflict, but most of the time they got the answers right.
We then did a worksheet where they had to measure different things in the classroom, such as books, doors, width of the classroom, pencils table and height of their team members. They used tape measures and metre rulers to help them. We also converted centimeters to metres. eg. If someone was 151cm we worked it out to be 1.51m. The students really enjoyed measuring things and each other in the classroom activity. They did a great job.
Mr. T's Grade 3 Class (Dec 2017)
How to Use Sequences
We often use the words: first, next, then, after that, before, finally, at last, and near the end without thinking about their context. These are important time order words that indicate the passage of time and a sequence of events. In our class, we read two stories to the students to teach how the passage of time and the sequence of events are important to a story or in writing a paragraph.
The first story we read was Henny Penny. Henny Penny thinks the sky is falling and then there is a familiar sequence of events that’s follows Henny Penny’s foolish idea. She meets Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey, Goosey Lucy and Foxy Locksie. Using the white boards and markers, we followed the sequence of events to the end of the story until finally the birds ended up in the stomach of Foxy Locksie. The student had fun writing sentences and the rhyming names of the characters from the story.
We read the second story The Three Billy Goats Gruff and looked at the sequence of events as the goats crossed the bridge to the other side of the river. We used the white boards to write sentences in the correct to show how the goats got by the troll under the bridge. Students wrote in their journals about these stories following a sequence of events. As a variation on the story some students wrote how the story would have been different if an apple fell on Henny Penny’s head or how the story would have turned out if she had met the king before she met Foxy Locksie. Other students wrote stories how the sequence of events would have change if Big Billy Goat went first and rammed the troll into the river. Students learned rhyming words, new vocabulary and gained some knowledge and understanding that every story has a time order and sequence of events.