Years 3-4 Group News
We hope you are all well and happy enough in the current circumstances. Like you, we were disappointed to begin a new term without being on campus with our students. However, the CLP is serving us well. The students are now well-versed in using Zoom and Seesaw. These technologies have fast become a way of life and learning.
We acknowledge that staring at a screen for an extended length of time is both physically and cognitively challenging. As such, we aim to provide a mix of stimulating activities that are fun while encouraging students to move about, sing, draw and create as they learn. Whether it is Katherine’s Morning Dance or Drama, Art with Janine, Indonesian with Prue, Pete’s PE class, Music with Esther, School Meeting, Maths, Literacy or Inquiry, we work hard to make the CLP as vibrant and motivating as possible.
Students can help maintain an energetic learning environment by following a few important steps:
- Eat regular meals, including snacks. Ensure junk food is kept to a minimum, and preferably not during the week. Fruit and vegetables aplenty!
- Sleep routine at this age is of paramount importance. Sleepfoundation.org recommends 9-11 hours of sleep per day for children 6-13 years. Regularity is also important. Aim for the same bedtime each night.
- Reduce screen time. Although there is a time and a place for relaxing with technology, try to limit time on screens. Board games and conversations with family members provide far more stimulation and long-lasting benefits for children, including a sense of connectedness and emotional well-being.
- Maintain a good level of exercise each day. Go for a walk, ride a bike or play with a ball. Get plenty of fresh air.
Harry Potter Theme Day
Year 3 enjoyed a Harry Potter Theme Day on Thursday last week. It was great to see students get into the theme by wearing costumes. Special thanks to Charlotte, Evie and Mavis for their support in creating activities for the day. Thanks to Katherine also for incorporating Harry Potter into her Drama session!
Unit of Inquiry
Year 3 are pursuing the PYP unit ‘Where we are in place and time’. This unit focuses on technology, taking into consideration not only the technology that is available to us now but also that which has come before and even technology which may be available to us in the future.
The students are continuing to broaden their understandings of what technology is, and they are aware that technology does not exclusively rely on electronics, wires and screens. Any tool that makes life better or easier is technology.
We have been using the thinking routine ‘Parts, perspectives, me’ to examine closely the parts of technology we use, and to consider the perspectives of people who are connected to the items, however far removed they may be from us. Perspectives may also consider animals who are inextricably impacted by how we use technology. The thinking routine helps to explore the complexity of objects and systems.
In Year 4 we have been exploring:
- Why a person or event becomes significant
- The impact of significant people and events on individuals and communities
- Our responsibility when acknowledging significant events and people
The children have enjoyed sharing who the significant people in their lives are, creating a personal timeline full of major events, and considering the different perspectives of what is considered significant.
Expanding outwards, we are beginning to look at important events and influential figures in Australian history, such as the First Fleet. The children love looking back at who and what has shaped our nation. In today’s climate, it’s been a positive experience learning about courageous and exciting moments in history.
In Year 3 we have been focusing on multiplication and associated concepts, including its relationship with addition and division. We have been learning about multiples, multiplying by 10s, and using arrays to identify factors of different numbered amounts. We have been expanding numbers to promote flexibility with multiplication strategies, and some students have been using the compensation strategy to multiply larger numbers (e.g: 29 x 5 can be solved by establishing 30 x 5, then taking one 5 to get our answer).
In Year 4 we have been developing multiplication and division operation sense, working with worded problems and applying our problem-solving skills, and developing fact fluency including learning times tables. We will be reading toward building strategies for solving multiplication and division involving large numbers using traditional calculation methods. The children have enjoyed the challenge of getting faster and more accurate at learning their times-tables and solving problems such as creating and calculating the number of lollies in total for guests at an imaginative party!
A current literacy focus in Year 3 is persuasive texts. Also linking to our Unit of Inquiry, students have been asked to consider ‘Which invention/technology is the most important?’. I will be interested to see what items students think are the most important, and what their supporting arguments will be!
Justin’s Year 3’s have been enjoying a class novel called ‘Stay: The Last Dog in Antarctica’, by Jesse Blackadder. This is based on the true story of a fiberglass, donation-collecting guide dog who was smuggled aboard the Aurora Australis to Antarctica in 1991, and is still having adventures there today. Each chapter is uploaded to Seesaw for students to listen to at their leisure, and optional learning tasks are supplied. These tasks link to our Unit of Inquiry.
In regards to writing, tasks are regularly set which requires students to handwrite their responses. This is intentional, as students need to practise and develop handwriting skills. At times, students respond with quickly typed responses that do not do justice to their abilities or development. Small, quality snippets of handwriting are always favoured over typed responses. It would be appreciated if parents could encourage handwriting, and ensure students have their school books and stationery readily available. Thank you for your support in this regard.
Year 4, have been learning how to engage readers by making our writing creative using adjectives and descriptive features. The children have enjoyed reading, viewing and writing poetry. It has been a lovely break from the realities of the work to dive into the beautiful imagery and stories of poetry.
We have been working hard during our small group spelling sessions learning: phonograms, spelling rules, and word families to assist us when we are writing. These sessions are also a time for children to work on their cursive handwriting. Correct formation of letters are studied, modeled and explored. It’s wonderful to see the skill and form of the group’s handwriting steadily progressing as the year goes on.
We will be beginning our reading groups in the next couple weeks which will focus on the children’s understanding of the text being read. We will explore different comprehension strategies along with small group discussions that focus on fostering a love for reading.
Thank you as always for your support and understanding during this tricky time. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.
JUSTIN & HANNAH