Tag Archives: LA Themes

Our Jan Brett Clay Models

As we finished up our Jan Brett literature theme, the kids were asked to pick a favourite story and show the main idea via a clay representation.  Here’s a look at the fun we had making our models, which are on display in our hallway.   Stop by and check them out when you get a chance.

Jan Brett Clay Models_1213.

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Happy New Year

It is only January 7th and yet we are on day 4 of the new year together!  It was great to see so many smiling faces back in class last week.  This week we are wrapping up our Jan Brett author study.  We read many of her books in December and I’m so happy to see that the kids are still interested in her books after the break.  In this theme we have been focusing on story elements (setting, characters, problem, solution) and on comparing and contrasting stories.  The students love to find out that Jan Brett gains inspiration for many of her stories from books she read as a child.  It helps us as young writers to know that we can take a published book and change some elements to create an entirely new story that is all our own!  Here is a link to a Wallwisher we worked on before Christmas telling about our favourite Jan Brett books:

Jan Brett Wallwisher

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Feb. 3 Weekly Update

This week marked the official half-way point in our school year. How can that be? I am so pleased with how well we are doing as a class, and with how far we have come as learners. This group makes it so enjoyable to come to work each day. 🙂

This week we researched a few specific details about the Middle Ages. We drew and labelled the parts of a castle (do you know what a crenel is?), we learned the names of a variety of medieval weapons (apparently that is “totally awesome”), and we found out the steps involved in becoming a knight. We made our musical instruments in science and recorded information about the process and the final product in a mini-book. We still need some time to share our instruments in class next week, but then they are ready to come home for your enjoyment. We learned about online safety and what makes a website a “green light site”. We also learned how to bookmark favourite sites (such as our Kidblog site). As bloggers, we focused on how to effectively write a post (title, detailed topic, ask a question), and had the chance to read and respond to our friends’ posts with appropriate comments. Please click on the Kidblog tab above to access our Kidblog site. Students (and parents) are more than welcome to post from home!

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Jan. 27 Weekly Update

Another great week in B 20! This week in our Hearing & Sound unit we found out ways to amplify sound and some methods of soundproofing. We discussed the importance of sound and explored ways we can communicate without the use of it. We also began planning our culminating project – the construction of a musical instrument! Your children have written letters to you detailing their plans and the materials they would like to gather from home over the weekend in order to make their projects in class next week. In math we continued our work with fractions, and we also reviewed the many ways to show a 3-digit number (pictures, numbers, words, blocks, pictures). We built upon our strategies for 2-digit addition to help us make the transition to adding 3-digit numbers. Very exciting was the introduction of our latest language arts theme, a nonfiction study of the Middle Ages. We are reading many books and sharing all of our background knowledge about medieval times to get us ready for our research reports and upcoming novel study.

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Jan. 20 Weekly Update

Brrr! What a chilly week! We worked hard to stay warm this week by keeping busy in the classroom. We wrapped up our poetry mini-unit by writing a few more original pieces. We learned about the difference between volume and pitch in science, and even played a round of sound charades. This led to a discussion of what makes some sounds pleasant while others may be considered unpleasant. We continued to look at fractions as equal parts of a whole and began naming different kinds of fractions (halves, thirds, fourths, etc.) Students have been practicng effective organization techniques with their writing topics and have become very good at writing “bold beginnings”, “mighty middles” and “excellent endings”. They have also enjoyed sharing their pieces with a partner to get some peer feedback.

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Jan. 6 Weekly Update

Happy New Year! New year = new things to learn about! This week we began several new units of study including our second poetry mini-unit in language arts, a unit on fractions in math, and a science unit on “Hearing and Sound”. We also reviewed our anchor charts in Daily 5 literacy so that we could exercise our “muscle memories” and recall the correct ways to work independently in reading, writing, and word work activities. 14 new words were posted on the word wall over the break, and we practiced spelling them and relating them to many other words that use their spelling patterns. We were especially excited to welcome our inline skating instructor to our gym classes this week, and we look forward to having another skate time with Kenny next week. Thank you to all the families who came out to enjoy our “Family Inline Skate Night” on Friday!

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Dec. 16 Weekly Update

What a busy week we had!  We continued our study of author/illustrator Jan Brett’s work by looking at how she comes up with her story ideas.  As writers, we learned that we can retell folktales and fairy tales, we can model a new story from one that another author has written, or we can carry on in a new book the story of a favourite character we previously wrote about.  It is great to see the children realize that “real authors” go through the same stages of the writing process as we do here in our classroom.  In math, we used our knowledge of estimating sums to help us add 2-digit numbers and rationalize whether or not our answer is reasonable based on our estimates.  We are currently using a 100’s chart to add, but this leads into the mental addition outcome of our grade 3 curriculum.  It’s amazing to see how quickly the students are able to make this shift into mental calculations!  In social studies, we explored our traditions and celebrations as Canadian citizens, and compared them to those of the four focus children we are studying from communities around the world.  Of course, one favourite JS McCormick tradition is our annual Christmas concert, and what a splendid job our grade 3 classes did this week at ours.  I know that none of us will get “Nuttin’ for Christmas” because we have all been so very good this year!  Three more days of fun and learning at school, and then it is time to enjoy some of our favourite family traditions at home during the holiday season.

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