Y3 & 4 Update
The countdown is on! With only a few short weeks until we’re back together full time, it is a great time to reflect on the fantastic things our students have accomplished through their time engaging in remote learning.
Throughout our time engaging in the Continuous Learning Plan, student wellbeing has been at the forefront of our minds. We understand there have been broad and unexpected challenges for every child through this time. Our focus on wellbeing has been multi-faceted and has taken many forms, from slight changes to timetables to best support feelings of connection to the whole unit that focuses on understanding wellbeing. Some other examples include:
- Light-hearted daily check-ins, focusing on fun, laughter and friendship
- An online modified version of ‘circle time’, in which students have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe space.
- Fostering student agency and feelings of empowerment through learning engagements such as wellbeing workshops.
- Utilising collaborative tools such as Google Jamboard and break-out rooms enables students to talk with their friends and collaborate in ways similar to their regular classroom experience.
- Off-screen learning engagements such as the ‘square metre’ maths inquiry, giving our students much needed screen-free time.
- Taking the time to spotlight students’ interests and passions in many different ways, such as through ‘talent time’.
Speaking of wellbeing, to finish the last term, our students were inspired to write poems of gratitude, a culmination of their learning in poetry and their ever-increasing understanding of strategies to enhance our wellbeing through practising gratitude. The students grasp of complex literary devices such as rhyme, rhythm, similes, metaphors, and personification was awe-inspiring.
This term, we will be deep diving into imaginative texts, learning about how authors craft engaging and exciting narratives and how we can create our own.
Unit of Inquiry
Our current unit of inquiry is coming to a close, and what a unit it has been! Our focus has been on the central idea that investigating the properties of materials enables people to solve problems, create and innovate.
This unit has been filled with hands-on experiences, as students have experimented and designed their way to a deep understanding of materials. To finish this exciting unit, we have been investigating the plight of refugees worldwide and the extraordinary journeys they take on foot, which began with a discussion around the photojournalism art project, ‘The Long Walk’. It has led our students to use their understanding of the properties of materials to design shoes from repurposed materials that could be of use to refugees who have lost their possessions. This project reflects our commitment at Woodleigh to experiential learning grounded in social justice and a central tenet of the PYP; taking action.
This term, we are beginning by investigating fractions. To help students develop their conceptual understanding of fractions, we are utilising concrete materials, real-world examples and lots of visual representation.
Remote learning throws many obstacles in our way. Still, the amazing tools we have access to on our iPads, such as BrainingCamp, offer such excellent and easy to use visual tools that these obstacles are easily overcome. In some ways, tools like this make it easier; there is no mess to clean up, and we can’t lose any of the pieces! Throughout this unit, we will be exploring:
- different representations of fractions
- how fractions can represent part of a whole or part of a collection
- how to compare and order fractions
- equivalent fractions
- connections between fractions and decimals
- counting by fractions and placing fractions on number lines
JAMES CLAPHAM & CRAIG KENNER
Year 3 & 4 Classroom Teachers