Saturday, September 27, 2014

Decoding Strategies

One of our big focuses in grade 3 so far has been on decoding strategies. Through a variety of activities over the past few weeks students have recalled decoding strategies that help them to sound out words when reading or writing. Students are being encouraged to use these strategies when reading unfamiliar words as well when writing independently. 

When students use decoding strategies, they are working to become more independent. The goal is to have students decode words without assistance. There are many strategies that we've learned in class that can help students decode words they are unfamiliar with. These strategies help us to make sense of what we read, while giving us confidence in our own abilities. These strategies also help us in our writing by guiding us to rely on learned strategies first before seeking assistance. Students are very familiar with these strategies and continue to use them each day. Ask your child how they use the strategies when reading our writing in class!

Our Raz Kids accounts are almost ready to go. This week some students had the opportunity to sign in and recall how to use the program to read books at their just-right level. Raz Kids is great as it provides students with an online library of books at the students just-right reading level.  Password information and parent-access will be sent home soon!

Greater Than Less Than

This week we continued to focus on quantity relationships in math. We played a variety of games and solved a variety of problems using strategies we learned in class. We continue to begin our math lessons by solving math problems related to the concepts we are learning in class. Students are reading math problems, becoming familiar with math terminology and learning strategies from their peers.

Students explored greater than and less than this week. We played math games and solved problems related to the symbols < > and =. 

Students are becoming familiar with math terms and brainstorming together alternate words so that we can better understand the concepts. For instance, another word for a number that is greater than is bigger. Another word for a number that is less than is smaller. Our math chats, and group problem solving is helping our students to better understand the quantity relationships. Ask your child to recall what they learned this week about greater than and less than!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Place Value Initials

We finished our Place Value Initials activity. Students identified their initials and determined what their initials were worth using base ten blocks. This was a fun activity that had students compose one and two digit numbers using our base ten blocks. We also had to determine what our initials were worth using expanded form. 

Our math work is showcased on our math walls in our classroom. We hope you can visit our room soon to check out our awesome work! We will continue to practice representing, composing and decomposing two and three digit numbers over the next while. Ask your child if they can recall how to represent their initials using the base ten blocks. Challenge them at home to recall how to represent their initials using standard form, base ten blocks or expanded form!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Our 3rd Week

Hard to believe that we enjoyed a 3rd week of school together already. Students are working very hard toward our on-going learning goals. We are learning more about each other and working hard to demonstrate cooperation and hard work.

This past week, we celebrated International Dot Day. We read the story The Dot By Peter Reynolds. An inspiring story that encouraged us to make our mark, persevere and keep trying! We began our visual art unit with this sweet story. Students were challenged to make their mark by starting with a small dot on their page and tasked to see where that dot might take them. Our class is pretty creative. We had some great ideas about where a little dot can take us. Our artwork is posted outside of our room. Have a look the next time you visit our school!

If you ask many of the students in our room what their favourite activity is outside...can you guess what it is? Soccer of course! Students in our class spend much of their recess playing soccer outside. So naturally, we will be working on our soccer skills for the next few weeks in gym class.

In soccer, it is important to learn some basic skills such as passing with the side of the foot, stopping the ball, how to pass to a target and how to control the ball. These are some of the skills that we worked on this week in our groups. Students are also working very hard to cooperate with one another. We are ensuring that everyone is getting an equal turn to practice. We are also working in our teams to demonstrate teamwork and patience. Kicking a ball around a target is a skill that students are learning to help them focus and how to guide the ball. Ask your child what they learned about playing soccer in gym class this week.

In math, students continue to work on number concepts and place value. We are representing numbers in a variety of ways. We are composing and decomposing numbers using many strategies while focusing on a number's place value. In grade 3, students work on 3 digit numbers up to 1000.

Our math blocks begin with a math problem on the board that we work on independently and then observe the strategies of a few volunteers. Students are learning from one another while identifying how to represent numbers. We are currently working on a place value activity that requires us to identify what our initials are worth using place value. Students are really enjoying this activity. Ask your child to recall how to represent their initials using standard form, number words or expanded form!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Wonder...

What do all of these words represent? We talked about this in religion today. We will refer to these qualities and characteristics for the next few weeks. 

Ask your child what these words represent!! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

We Belong

The religious theme for Grade 3 focuses on belonging. In our classroom, we will be sharing how we belong to a circle of friends as well as how we gather together with Jesus as our guide.

The Grade 3 symbol that we added to our Prayer Table this week is the Gathering Tent. Students discussed what it means to belong and how it makes them feel. Students used words such as comfortable, happy, nice, kind, beautiful, fluffy, good, relaxing and strong. We shared how the Gathering Tent is special place where we can come together and make it a home place where we can feel we all belong. We all traced our hands and wrote about how belonging makes us feel. Our tent is now hanging over our Prayer Table. It looks lovely!!

Another way we feel we belong is by welcoming all Grade 3 friends into our classroom. We have many new friends this year, as well as friends in Mr. Bob's class who learn with us fairly often. We all signed our Golden Rules and shared our friendship promises by creating a Friendship Tree!
Students signed the Golden Rules as a promise to try to follow them each day.
Students who would like to add more examples of belonging to our Padlet thinking can do so below!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thanks for Coming!

A huge thank you to all families who were able to join us this evening at our Open House. It was really nice to meet new families and catch up with familiar faces. 

The students were excited to show their parents around our room. We even participated in a QR code hunt. Special thanks to our resident QR Code experts who helped our friends to scan the codes. The code led us to a padlet where our families shared what they like about our room. Please feel free to add more to this Padlet if you didn't get the chance! I hope you also enjoyed the magnet :-).  
A few students also explored our Twitter account and sent out their own tweets with their families. Well done Grade 3. I look forward to the exciting year ahead!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Place Value

Our current Math focus has been to represent numbers in a variety of ways. Students came up with many different strategies that they recalled from last year. They have really great memories. Students will be working towards representing numbers in a variety of ways. We will use our Place Value chart to remind us of the ways to represent a number. At the start of all of our math lessons, students will work on a math problem and then observe the different ways their friends solved the same problem. Ask your child to recall how to represent a 3 digit number. There are many strategies that we went over this past week.

We are working towards understanding how to compose and represent numbers up to 1000. We will be using place value to help us compose numbers in a variety of ways. Today we practiced using base 10 blocks on the SmartBoard and on matts as we composed a variety of numbers.

Ask your child how they can represent a number using its place value!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Reading Strategies

This week one of our learning goals was to recall some previous reading strategies that we could remember from Grade 2. We remembered a few different strategies to help us decode unfamiliar words. We have great memories! These strategies are very helpful to us as we work to sound out, stretch out or decode unfamiliar words when we read. Students are encouraged to use these strategies to help them sound out words when reading and writing. Ask your child about the strategies that they can recall and how to use them!

We are practicing these strategies when we read a book together as a class. We are also using the strategies when we read to ourselves each morning when we start school. Additionally, students played a making words game. Our reading strategies really came in handy when playing this game. Students had to determine what words they could make from a list of letters (a e e c l r s). Students used the reading strategies to help them decode the letter sounds and create a number of words. Have a look at our list. I wonder if there are any other words you can come up with that we may have missed?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Grade 3 Golden Rules

For the past few days, students have been thinking about what kind of classroom we should have. We used our school motto "Take care of yourself, each other and this place" to determine what that looks like in our new Grade 3 classroom.
Yesterday, we read the story The Golden Rule By Ilene Cooper. It is a lovely story that taught us about a special golden rule: "Treat others the way you want to be treated". This story helped to shape our class Golden Rules and led us on a discussion about how we can play a big role in creating those important rules.

Students pair-shared with a partner today and came up with great ideas about how we can take care of our classroom together. After our discussion, students completed pages in our Golden Rules book. This book is now on our Prayer Table. Students can refer to it to see what their friends think are important golden rules in our classroom. 

After creating our Golden Rules, students signed it. We learned that we can make a promise when we sign our name. We were happy to create the Golden Rule together, and all promised to do our very best to follow our Golden Rules each day. Students had great ideas about what the rules should be. Have a look below!

Students were caught taking care of each other today - way to go friends!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Welcome to Grade 3

Hello to all and welcome to our class Blog page!

My name is Maria Ciampa and I have spent all of my life here in the city. I completed my undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. I have my Early Childhood Education degree from Algonquin College and my Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Ottawa. 
When I am not busy teaching, I have passion for cooking many italian dishes including pasta, pizza and a variety of soups. I enjoy watching many sporting events such as soccer, tennis and hockey. I have just started an interest in doing Yoga and love spending time with my family and friends. I have a passion for learning about how to mindfully implement technology into my classroom. I am excited to get to share my learning with my students and am enjoying watching them grow into technology experts!

I am very excited to have the opportunity to teach many of your children for the 2nd time this well as some other familiar faces. I look forward to growing and learning in Grade 3 with all of the students during this 2014-2015 academic year. 

We will continue sharing our learning, our wonders and our expertise online this year via this Blog and our class Twitter page @MrsCiampaClass! The Blog and Twitter permission form will be in your child's agenda on the first day of school. Please read and sign as soon as possible so students can get started on their journey.

There are many important notes in your child's agenda that should be read and signed as soon as possible. Class Newsletters, School Newsletters, verification forms, agenda payment information, etc. Please return them to school in a timely manner. September Scholastic order forms will be distributed during the first week as well. If you have any kleenex boxes, ziploc bags or headphones to donate to our classroom, please send them to school with your child. Many thanks in advance!

This year in Grade 3 students will prepare for EQAO! We will work on practice questions throughout the year to get ready. Students will be encouraged to continue using their agenda to keep organized and to demonstrate their responsibility by completing homework on a nightly basis. Homework books will be sent home soon.

Last year many of the students achieved expertise in a number of online tools (e.g. Twitter, Literably, etc) and iPad apps (e.g. AudioBoo, QR Codes, etc). This year students will continue to mindfully use technology within their Literacy Centers as well as in other parts of our learning day. We hope to use our expertise to teach more students how to use the apps and potentially become school-based experts as well!

I hope that you visit this Blog often to view our learning journey. Information on student blogs will be sent home in the coming weeks.  You will have the opportunity to visit our classroom with your child during our school's Open House BBQ taking place on Thursday September 11th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. I have a special class magnet that I can give you upon meeting you in our room! It will be wonderful to meet you or to see you again. 

Yours in Education, 

Mrs. Ciampa