Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Addition? Multiplication?

We are beginning to explore the relationship between addition and multiplication.  We used the app "Draw and Tell."  Mrs. Betts gave us an addition equation and we had to use stickers to show the meaning of the equation.  We wrote the addition equation under the picture.  Then we had to circle the groups and write a multiplication equation underneath the addition equation.  We learned that 2x3 means 2 groups of 3.  We started to see the connection between addition and multiplication.  We were excited to finally be multiplying.  Here are some pictures of our learning!

What are you learning in math right now?

Oh the Places We Go. . . .

On Monday our learning took us on a detour!  If you have been following our blog you know that the Grade 3s have been learning about structures. We began the lesson by exploring a new book that Mrs. Betts had borrowed from another teacher (thank you Ms. Coumont!) and we noticed some information on skyscrapers that caught our attention so . . . . of course we had to read it and find out something about skyscrapers.

As we were reading we noticed that there was a sidebar called "Skyscraper Challenge."  Since we are always up for a challenge we decided to read it and find out what it was all about. Once we read the challenge we decided to give it a try (with a few modifications)  We started brainstorming for how we could have our own skyscraper challenge!

Our challenge:  To create the tallest most stable structure we can using up to 10 cardboard boxes. The boxes can be no bigger than a cereal or shoe box and we can not tape our skyscraper to the floor!  The buzz in the classroom was incredible.   . . . . kids began planning, explaining, sharing and thinking right away! Once our skyscrapers are done we plan to test how stable our structures are by using a fan to see if they can withstand a force (because that's what skyscrapers can do!).  We have learned about using a good foundation and what shapes make strong, stable structures.   We were so excited that when the bell rang everybody continued talking and planning.  I wonder what our skyscrapers will look like?  Check back soon to see what we design!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Questions, questions and more questions!

Have you ever thought what life would be like without questions?  During our buddy time we have been learning about questions.  We started off by reading the book "Why" by Richard Torrey and a section of the book "The Philosopher's Club. 

These books started our thinking about questions.  After reading the books we made a list of all the question words we could think of.

Once we had our list of question words we were given the challenge to come up with as many questions about a basketball as we could. 
There was lots of conversation going on!  How many questions can you think of about a basketball?

The next time we met with our buddies Kyle and Jamie introduced us to the idea of red light and green light questions.   

Check out the chart they made for us. . . .

Once we knew what a red light and green light question was we were given another challenge.  This time we had to sort our questions about the basketball into red light, green light and trash questions (questions that weren't relevant to our topic or that didn't make sense). 

Here are some examples of our thinking. . . . .

When we met this week we worked in groups of 4 and looked at our decisions.  Our task was to share our thinking of why we put our questions where we did. We were allowed to change our thinking after we had heard our partner's thinking. Many of us did change our thinking after hearing what our partners had to say.

At the end of our working time today Mrs. Betts left us with . . . . . a QUESTION!. . . . Here is what she asked us "What question words stimulate red light thinking and what question words stimulate green light thinking?"  I wonder what we'll do next week with questions? 

Money. . .money. . .money

We are learning about money!  We have learned the names of the coins and what they are worth.  We also learned how to make a different amounts of money in more than one way.  Then we practiced these skills by playing a game.  We had so much fun!

To play the game you need some dice, some markers and some money.  The object of the game is to get to the end of the board with the most money.  Each person starts with 50 cents.  As you roll the dice you move your man the number of spaces and then you have to follow what it says.

 Sometimes we were unlucky and had to pay 2 cents, sometimes we were lucky and earned money.  Sometimes we had to pay our partner a nickel!  We learned how to
trade coins for equal values of money.  It was a fun way to learn about money.

What do you know about money? Have you ever played any games using money?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Starting off with a Bang!

To celebrate the start of a new year and new term we made an art picture that used a variety of techniques and tools.  We started off by sponging orange and pink on a purple background.  Next we added some purple buildings. We tried to make our buildings different sizes by using different sized sponges.  When that dried we took a white chalk pastel and made small circles and then rubbed them with a cotton ball - this made it look like smoke.  Finally, we took a toothbrush and spattered some red and yellow over the top half of our picture.  This made our picture look like there were fireworks going off.  We loved doing this project and our proud of our final product.  How do you celebrate the start of a new year?  Do you set off fireworks?  Have you ever seen fireworks in the sky?

We also did some goal setting.  We brainstormed for all the things we do really well and also some of the areas where we want to improve.  We wrote our goals down and added them to our pictures.

Did you make any New Year's resolutions?  Do you set goals for yourself?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Are YOU a Good Digital Citizen?

We continue to talk about what it means to be a good digital citizen and how to stay safe while using technology.  Last week we reviewed how to stay safe on the internet.

We remembered the acronym YAPPY and what it meant ~ when on line you shouldn't give out your full name, your address, your phone number, your passwords, or talk about  your plans.

 Then we talked about the purpose of using technology in the classroom and what our responsibility is when accessing information.

 Sometimes when we are accessing information inappropriate sites "pop" up.  We talked about what to do when this happens.  Some of us have had this happen before and they shared what they did.  We decided you needed to tell your parents right away and then close the site.

Finally, we talked about "cyberbullying."  Some of us had never heard of that term before.  We related it to bullying on the playground and what our responsibility is when we see it happening.  We talked about what to do when people write unkind words about someone else.  It is our job to tell them it isn't appropriate and to also tell an adult. 

Are YOU a good digital citizen?  Do you think about YOUR digital footprint?  What kind of digital footprint are you leaving?

Thank you to Sandy Karas Liptak from Cedar Park, Texas for sharing the graphics and words with others. Collaborating with other teachers makes us better!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Strong, Stronger, Strongest. . . . Engineers at work

Today we worked in partners and explored which shape is more stable for building - a triangle or a square.   Our task was to make two, two level structures with toothpicks and marshmallows.  The first structure had to be made with only squares.  The second one with only triangles.  After making our creations we had to decide which was stronger - the one made with triangles or the one made with squares. As we began building many of us discovered the triangle made a structure stronger and more stable.  Some of us combined both shapes to make a very stable structure.
 Here are some pictures of our creations!   

 These builders decided to use a combination of squares and triangles.  It was a fairly sturdy structure!

I think we should add this here~

This isn't very stable. . . .
 Look what we made!

Look!  Its standing all by itself!

This is a bit wobbly!

These two engineers made a foundation before they started their structure ~ future architects?

Do you think the architects of today started out by building with marshmallows and toothpicks?

A Strong Structure . . . . . A Natural Habitat

The Grade 3s continue to learn about natural structures . . . just before the break we looked closely at the honeycomb.  We started by watching a short video clip about bees.  We noticed the shape of the honeycomb.  We learned that the honeycomb is a bunch of hexagon shaped cells put together.  This makes it a very strong, stable, light and efficient structure.  The hexagon is an ideal shape to use for building.  We even learned that some jets use this shape.  After we were finished watching the video we made our own honeycombs using pattern blocks.  Then we took a picture using our iPads.  Some of us imported our picture to Draw and Tell to add some bees while others used Skitch to do some writing.  Here is a sample of some of our work.

While the Grade 3s were busy learning about structures the Grade 2s were busy using the iPads to research how animals adapt to their habitats.  Once they had done their research they made a page with the information.  They plan to put it together to make a book.  Check out their work!