Prep | Year 3 News

What an excellent start to Year 3! The boys have started the year off by inquiring into who we are as learners. As part of this, we have considered what our responsibilities are at school, how we can manage ourselves as learners, and how to put what we value into action in the classroom. All of this has culminated in us creating our Essential Agreements in class and forming respectful relationships with our peers and teachers. This will continue to be a reflective process throughout the year as we grow and learn.

UOI

This week marks the beginning of our new Unit of Inquiry (UOI): Sharing the Planet. We will be inquiring into:

Central Idea: Human behaviour can influence the survival of species

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Living things (form)
  • Interdependence of ecosystems (connection) 
  • Human impact on living things (change)

The words in brackets indicate the broader concept we will be considering during our learning. Consider it as a type of ‘lens’ through which we will explore these issues.

English

Were your holidays the best or worst? Should you have to play a musical instrument? What is the best pet? Which Learner Profile attribute is the most important to have? These are all examples of claims our students have been and will be considering as we explore persuasive texts.

The boys are learning about the key features, the structure, and the language used when creating persuasive texts. Our latest inquiries have centred around using high modality language (e.g. using words like ‘must’, ‘definitely’, ‘always’, ‘never’ etc) to convince the reader that our opinion is the right one.

As a home experiment to support your son, model some ‘persuasive’ language by convincing him to eat his vegetables!

Maths

Our enthusiastic Year 3 mathematicians have been learning about Whole Number during the first few weeks of the term. They have been working mathematically to solve “problematised situations”. These open-ended problems (as well as the strategy and skills lessons that accompany them) allow them to apply their understanding of place value, greater than and less than, partitioning, largest and smallest numbers and rounding. Over the next few weeks, the boys will be learning about mental and written addition and subtraction strategies.

 Some questions you could ask your son may include: 

What strategy could you use to add/subtract — and —?  What is the best strategy to add — and —? Why? Could you do it another way?

Maths is always best learnt when it is relevant and meaningful. Try finding maths problems to do with your son that affect daily life for him and your family.

Music

In Music this term, we have been collaborating with the UOI topic: Sharing the Planet. The boys have enjoyed discussing how our behaviour can influence the survival of frogs and other animals in our natural environment. The Year 3 boys have suggested ways in which they can care for their own environment at school and at home. They have enjoyed exploring how frogs move and have sung songs and created compositions using percussion instruments to reflect the lives of frogs. 

Throughout all these activities, the boys have used their listening and thinking skills to interpret and exchange information. They have explored ways to manipulate tuned and untuned percussion instruments creatively and with technical proficiency. The boys have also begun to record their ideas by writing solfa notation and rhythms on the stave. (Nicole Smeulders).

Mandarin

Welcome back boys! We had a really positive start this term. In the first couple of weeks boys discussed and shared in groups the 10 learner profiles and what they would look like in Mandarin class. Based on the written record in discussions, the class Essential Agreements were made as boys’ joint effort. Then boys looked into themselves as language and culture learners, analysed their strengths, something for improvement, and established goals for Term 1 and planned out actions for reaching the goals. Towards the end of this term, boys will be invited to come back to the set-up goals and reflect on what has been achieved, what hasn’t been achieved yet and more importantly, what is next. 

Starting from Week 3, class activities will be divided into 2 types: teacher-student small group learning (I am hoping to have a face-to-face session with every boy once a week) and independent learning. We will be collaborating with the UOI topic: Sharing the Planet–Living Things & Non-living Things, with the focus on Asian animals. Meanwhile, Education Perfect (an online learning platform) activities will be assigned to boys to practise basic vocabulary, grammar, listening, reading and writing in Chinese language.

I am also very excited to share that a lion dance performance will be held at school this Thursday (11th February) as our special way to celebrate Chinese New Year together. Please discuss with your sons what they like about the whole school celebration at the end of Week 3.


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