Our fabulous first 'Who We Are' unit has finished after a very exciting 6 weeks full of new ideas and lots of interesting inquries. The summative assessments challenged the children to create something that would help improve either how they (or other students) learn in class.
Pandora's box was opened (so to speak) and our classroom has been changed in many exciting and innovative ways (see photos below). Hopefully, these new ideas / features will improve the way in which we learn and inquire in 3C. It is always very satisfying at the end of a unit when children feel confident and empowered to implement some of the main concepts / ideas from their learning and take action.
NEW UNIT - How We Organise Ourselves
3C have started unpacking our amazing new 'How We Organise Ourselves' unit this week. We have been looking at how we will connect to the trandsciplinary theme and are starting to understanding what our focus will be over the next 6 weeks. We have also unscrambled our new central idea, looked at the key skills we will be exploring during the unit and come up with questions about time that we would like to inquire into.
As a provocation to give the children lots to think / reflect about we have introduced 'Fluid Time' to 3C this week. 'Fluid Time' is a fictitous concept that suggests that modern clocks and alarms are harming how our brains function. The idea is that the part of our brain connected to time management does no longer have to work so hard as clocks do all the logistical work for us. The aim of 'Fluid Time' is that the brain takes more control of how it organises time and relies on intuition and other sensory clues to tell the time.
So, in 3C we have not been using watches, clocks or alarms this week. We have been a little late / early to a few classes, but on the whole the class agrees that they are becoming better at judging lengths of time intuitively. We will have a class debate in the coming days to see if we will continue with this system or revert back to using convention time systems!
Our first line of inquiry is 'Origins of time'. This is a huge area to cover (going back over 4.5 billion years) so we thought that a great pre-assessment would be for the children to plot some of the key dates from the Earth's history onto a huge outdoor timeline.
The children have been thinking about 3 different times:
1) When dinosaurs became extinct.
2) When humans first lived on Earth.
3) When humans started recording their history.
As we learn more and inquire in more detail about the origins of Earth, the children can then ammend and modify their initial ideas. The related concept we are focusing on is perception so it really interesting to see so many different views and ideas at this stage of a unit.
G3 have been exploring several different strategies for when faced with difficult addition and subtraction problems. As well as practicing the different techniques required for each strategy, we have also been trying to come up with interesting / silly names for each one. This is to try and make the strategies more memorable and easier for the children to recall.
Peace Day was a wonderful success. The whole school community joined together in white to contemplate peace and what it means to us as individuals and a school collective.
As part of Peace Day, some students from 3C performed a small sketch in our assembly showing how we can find peaceful resolutions to problems by using the 'Thinking Hats'. Well done to those brave children for performing with such energy and determination.
Teacher Appreciation Day
Thank you for all your kind gifts today. Our classroom will now feel so much greener with all our potted plants and I think I definitely have enough coffee now to get me through the year! Thank you again.
Growth Mindset of the Week
This is a wonderful image that I always find very inspiring. The idea that we all have to take chances if we are to fulfill all of our potential and be all that we can be.
Have a wonderful weekend.
3C have been exploring our third line of inquiry - 'How an effective community can accomplish common goals' and inquiring into what the social skill of cooperation looks like in action.
We have been trying to solve many difficult team problems (photos below) and then reflecting on what attributes made for a successful community. We also reflected on the roles that we played within a group dynamic and how communication between each other is so important when coordinating a team.
Math Investigations - VARK
We have been exploring the different learning styles - V.A.R.K (Visual, Audio, Reading and Kinesthetic), by experimenting which style works best for each of us when faced with a tricky mathematical problem.
After the test we reflected (we reflect alot in Grade 3) and discussed which learning style worked best for us in this challenge and why. We have also been thinking about how we approach a challenge depends on what it is and what skills, attitude and mindset is needed to be successful.
If you would like to have a go at the 'Zombie Bridge' challenge then click on the video below, just remember to pause it before they give the answer.
Grade 3 have been working very hard the last week or so to improve their dictionary skills and be able to sort and order words into alphabetical order. Hopefully these skills, which we practiced through lots of fun games, will result in the children using a dictionary with much more confidence when writing independently.
De Bono's 'Thinking Hats'
Edward De Bono was born in Malta in 1933. He was a successful psychologist who published many books about thinking and, more importantly, the process of what happens when we think or are faced with a tough problem. In 1985 De Bono published 'Thinking Hats' and that is the area of his work we have focused on in class.
The Thinking Hats depict the different ways we can react to a problem. It allows us to think about which hat will solve each problem successfully. Does the problem require a green hat? (an innovative and creative answer) Or does it maybe require a white hat? (lots of analysis of facts and information) etc.
We have been analysing which hats we wear in different situations and if they are successful or not. The hats will be displayed in class throughout the year now and hopefully when the children come across an obstacle they will take a few moments to consider what hat may offer the most successful solution.
This week the children have been taking part in the MAP test. MAP stands for Measure of Academic Progress. As it was the first time the children had carried out this type of computerised testing it was a little strange for them at first, but by the end of the second test everyone was very relaxed and just trying their best (which is all they can do).
The data that I will receive back by the end of the month from MAP is very comprehensive and will help to break down each child's strengths, as well as highlighting (in detail) the skills and areas that each child needs to develop further.
Please note that MAP is just one of many different assessments that are performed throughout the year. The results from MAP will be shared with you after we have received them and there will then be a workshop for parents explaining about the data and how it is then used by the teachers to help your children progress.
Growth Mindset (Video) of the Week
This is one of my favourite videos of all time and is a great one to watch as a family (if you have time) over the weekend. So many prompts for discussions about what real happiness is, what small acts of kindness we can each offer and about the difference we can make to the lives of other people.
Thursday 21st September - Peace Day - everyone to try and dress in white.
Friday 22nd September - 3 Way Conferences - the schedule should have been sent out today to you. Please be on time, as if one person is late then there is a large knock on effect for everyone else. Also, prior to the conference Grade 3 will be sending you each a form to fill out with your child about creating an academic and social target. We will also be asking you what areas you wish to focus on during the conference.
Thank you for helping your children take photos of Flat Stanley in different parts of Tashkent. This is part of a project that we are helping an IB school in Milan do. The aim is to get photos of Flat Stanley in every country of the world, this is a huge challenge and one that 3C are trying to assist with by taking care of the Uzbekistan section. It links wonderfully to our current line of inquiry and shows what can happen when we work together to 'accomplish a common goal'.
Have an amazing weekend and please do sign up to follow 3C on Twitter, just click the 'Follow @grade3tis' image below. It just take a couple of minutes to set up a Twitter account and it really will give you a different perspective about all the amazing learning that your children are doing each day!
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