Tag Archives: social studies

Tech Time in Social Studies

We used an app on the iPads called “Show Me”. Students took photos of the maps they made and then drew paths on them while they dictated their directions to the treasure. So much fun!


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Happy Spring Break!

The calendar says it is spring, our spring break has arrived, and now we just need the weather to catch up! I hope everyone has a wonderful break and we return in April to a much drier playground. 🙂

It was great to see all of you at our portfolio walks earlier this month. You can see firsthand just how much your child has grown academically over the past few months. We are now into our final term of Grade 3, and looking forward to starting some new units after the break.

Since our last update we have:

– practiced the reading comprehension strategies of self-questioning and summarizing, as well as the fluency skill of reading in phrases with pauses at the punctuation marks
– explored the use of descriptive verbs, adverbs, and adjectives in our writing
– learned about the different environments of Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine, and India
– brainstormed ways that people are influenced by their environment and how they affect their environment
– created and compared increasing patterns
– read a medieval times novel and completed a novel study unit

Enjoy your final week of March!

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Holiday Update

Happy holidays!  I hope that you are all enjoying your time at home with your family and friends.  I am spending a quiet holiday season at home with my family, and catching up on some sleep (and movies)!  Thank you for all of the wonderful gifts and cards your little ones brought in over the last week or two of school.  Your thoughfulness is much appreciated.  🙂

Speaking of the last week of school, even though it was a short one, we still kept busy with some fun-filled activities.  We concluded our author study of Jan Brett by reading her delightful Christmas stories and doing some special activities to coincide with them.  We made a batch of gingerbread cookies, painted with watercolor paints and crayons, made clay models, and texture-painted gingerbread men.  We wrapped up our social studies unit on traditions and quality of life in communities around the world, and we practiced our addition strategies in math.

Please check out our two new videos showcasing some of our December activities.  Happy New Year!

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Dec. 2 Weekly Update

It has been a few weeks since our last weekly update. Flu bugs (even for me) and portfolio preparations have taken up a bit of my blogging time, but we have continued to be very busy in our classroom! Following our November break we dug into our research on dinosaurs and wrote some fact-filled reports. Students used a variety of media and print sources for their research: online websites, nonfiction books, and our classroom bulletin board display. We then transitioned into our first novel study by reading the first two books in the Dinosaur Cove series and doing a novel study booklet for the second book. We tied this into our Daily 5 work on “schema”, which is accessing all of our background knowledge to make connections to new text. The next time you sit down to read a new book with your child, please ask what his or her schema is for the book. As writers, we have learned how to focus on one main idea and add supporting details, and we are now focusing on effectively organizing those ideas and details. In math, we have been building up our skills with number concepts through the use of base-ten blocks. We reviewed 2-digit numbers and we are now transferring that knowledge to 3-digit place value. We are also working on pre-algebra skills by finding the “mystery number” in a variety of equations, again with the use of manipulatives to help us visualize our thinking. We wrapped up our mapping unit in social studies (check out your child’s wonderful treasure map in the portfolio!), and we are now exploring the lives of four children from different communities around the world.

Thank you to all of the parents who came in to chat about your child’s progress and to celebrate their achievements in their portfolio. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of you in the week ahead.

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Nov. 4 Weekly Update

We started the week off with a fun day of Halloween activities.  I don’t know about the kids, but I had to have a nap before I went out trick-or-treating in the evening!

On Tuesday, we were right back into our usual routines.  This week we began our new language arts theme on dinosaurs.  We will spend a couple of weeks reading nonfiction books and doing some research on dinosaurs.  In math, we looked at the attributes of cylinders, cones, and spheres, and made some comparisons between them and the prisms and pyramids we previously explored.  We learned about map legends, and practiced using them on a map of Canada and on our very own student-made maps of our bedrooms and our communities.  Great fun!

Enjoy a restful and rejuvenating week off with your little ones.  We’ll see everyone back at school on Monday the 14th!

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Our Diwali e-Card

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Free ecard generated with Smilebox

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Oct. 21 Weekly Update

This week in math we continued our work on geometry. We know all about polygons (2D shapes), so that is helping us to explore 3D solids. We also made “fact family triangles” to examine the relationship between adding and subtracting. Try rolling two dice or flipping two cards and then have your child show you the two addition and two subtraction sentences that can be made from your numbers.

We added two new elements to our Daily 5 literacy program: “Word Work” (a word wall spelling practice task), and “sticker stories” (a writing format). Both of these were met with a lot of enthusiasm, so be sure to ask your child for details!

Now that we have wrapped up our science unit, we have moved on to a unit in social studies. For the next few weeks we will be learning all about mapping. Students will be introduced to the parts of a map, understanding relative location, hemispheres on the globe, and the continents and oceans. This will prepare us for our study of communities around the world.

A special activity this week was our presentation on Friday for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. A speaker from Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) spoke to all of the grade 3 classes and showed a slideshow about Diwali celebrations in India. Your child can tell you all about making diyas, coloring rangolis, and the significance of henna tattoos. The actual date of Diwali this year is on October 26th, so check back next week for a new Smilebox showcasing some of our fun with Diwali celebrations.

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