3A Learning Update – Week of April 23


This week is the final week of our ‘Research Book Clubs’ unit. Students will continue to use all of the knowledge and skills they have learned in this topic to finish their final research product. After which, they will make a presentation to the class.


As we finish our informational writing books about natural disasters, students will have the choice to do research on any topic they are excited about teaching others about.


This week is wrapping up the unit of inquiry learning. Students will demonstrate their understanding for how communities support each other in times of need. A question you can ask your child at home is, “how do communities support each other and why is it important to support each other?” 


Our next unit begins with solving one- and two-step word problems based on a variety of topics studied throughout the year, using all four operations.  The lessons emphasize modeling and reasoning to develop solution paths.  They incorporate teacher facilitated problem solving, opportunities for students to independently make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, and time for students to share solutions and critique peer strategies.  

Learning Update – Week of April 16th


This week, students will become full time researchers. They will learn that life is full of real problems and that people work to fix them. Students will identify problems in the real world, think of solutions to them, and then begin to research these areas, using all of the skills they have learned in this unit.


Writers continue working on gathering facts, details, and relevant information to finalize their informational piece. This week, writers will identify non-fiction features to add to their work. Also, they will write an introduction, a conclusion, and add a glossary with topic specific vocabulary. Students are following the writing process, this week they will concentrate on revising and editing their work.  


Students will begin the week by learning how to respond to different disaster scenarios. They will then learn about PMI2.5, what it means and where it comes from, and how to respond to it. Finally, they will look at how different communities from around the world plan for natural disasters, such as by building houses on stilts in areas that are known to flood. If you wish to support your children with this work, you could look at the PMI2.5 charts and maps for China together: http://aqicn.org/city/shenzhen/guanlan/ 


Continue learning how to collect and display data in different ways.

Starting next week I will ask students to show what they know about the three and four times tables.  The big ideas is that we want every student to leave 3rd grade with a strong understanding of their multiplication facts.  You can support your child by discussing how they learn best and how they would like to practice their multiplication facts.  If they are still in the process of learning, I encourage you to make a game out of the process.  The best games have clear goals that allow us to celebrate when we make improvements.

Homework Due Thursday April 12th

Greetings Parents,

3A students have a quick homework assignment to create a disaster plan for school. Please encourage your kids to practice their responsibility and complete their homework. I expect this work to take 30 minutes or less.  Thanks!

Step 1 is picking one of the following natural disasters: Tsunami, Typhoon, Power Outage

Step 2 is to make a plan that includes the following:

  1. A basic Map
  2. Step by step directions of what to do
  3. Materials or supplies needed
  4. Meeting points
  5.  What Else?
  6.  What Else?



Learning Update – April 9th

Important Dates:

Monday, April 9th: After School Activities Start

Monday, April 9th: Lockdown drill (time will not be announced)

Friday, April 13: Assembly—Global Citizen ESLR Awards

Friday, April 13: Field Day 12:55-2:45

Reading: Research Clubs

This week, readers will develop their understanding of text structures. So far, they have learned about ‘boxes and bullets’ and ‘sequencing’. They will now learn about the ’cause and effect’, ‘problem and solution’ and ‘compare and contrast’ text structures. If you wish to support with this work at home, you could ask your child what structures their non-fication home reading books use.

Writing: Informational Writing

3A writers will continue to research topics they are interested in learning about. This week we will make connections between our lives and our research, students will decide on an audience to write for and a format to best address that particular audience.

Math: Data reveals patterns.

Students will have to measure different items and create a line plot. They will also have to analyze data given on a line plot and answer questions about it the information represented on the line plot.

Unit of Inquiry: Communities support each other in times of need.

This week, students will study how to make a disaster plan that would be enacted due to a natural disaster. After learning the key elements of a disaster plan (meeting locations both inside and outside the community, lists of necessary resources, etc.), students will make their own disaster plan. They will get to choose whether the plan will be for use at school or at home and they will also choose the type of disaster that it should be used for (perhaps one plan could be used for different types of disasters?) If you wish to support this work at home, the following video will give you more information about what should be included on the disaster plan: Prepare a Family Emergency Plan | Disasters

Lockdown Information:

Learning Update – April 2

Reading and Writing:  We will continue to develop our non-fiction research skills and informational writing skills. Students are in research clubs about natural disasters. In writing 3A writers will look to mentor authors and text to inquire how to write a powerful introduction. In reading 3A readers will learn about how to organize their research into subsections for a better flow.

Math: Data reveals patterns. Students will learn how representing data through maps makes it easier to reveal patterns and draw conclusions. Please see attachment below.

Unit of Inquiry: Communities support each other in times of need. Students will inquire about, ‘How do (natural events, earthquake, volcanic eruption) affect the environment?’ On Friday we will take a field trip to the park to observe communities and support structures in place in our own city. If you have not returned the permission slip please do so as soon as possible.

Last Minute Opportunity

Greetings Parents,

We have a last minute opportunity to add a few students to our Track team.

If you would like to sign your child up for Track, please send me an email by noon today, Tuesday, March 20th and I will have them added to the track ASA.

Teacher’s Name: Charles Denson

ASA Name: Track and Field

Description: Come Join SIS track and field, enjoy the sunshine and get in shape with your friends.  Learn to run, jump and throw and be a part of the team

 Day: Fridays

Grades: 3-5

Max Students: Open

Location:Jingshan track

Fees: None

Learning Update – March 19th

Upcoming Events: 

March 23: Elementary Assembly

March 26-30: Spring Break–No School

April 5: Holiday–No School  

What We’re Learning…

Reading: Research Clubs

We are starting a new unit, Research Clubs. Students will use their non-fiction reading strategies and skills to learn more about a natural disaster to connect with our unit of inquiry. Students will learn a guided procedure for identifying texts for research, how to ask questions, and how to use technical language.

Writing: Informational Writing

This unit integrates with our reading unit and our unit of inquiry. Students will use their research on natural disasters to apply informational writing strategies in their own texts. Our focus will be on organization in our writing, including transition words.

Unit of Inquiry:  “Communities and Natural Disasters.”

We have started our new unity of inquiry with the central idea being: COMMUNITIES support each other in TIMES of NEED. The question we will grapple with is: how are things connected? There are patterns in nature that are predictable and we will explore these. Thank you for your support at home. Some questions you can ask to generate conversation: what is a community? What are patterns in nature? What natural disaster are you interested in researching? What have you learned that surprised you?

Math: Fractions

This week we will conclude our unit on fractions. Students will review how to compare fractions and place them on a number line while labeling equivalent fractions. Students have demonstrated their understanding of fractions and this week will focus on reteach and enrichment activities to support their deep understanding of fractions.