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.