Elephant Awareness Fair

3D is hosting an Elephant Awareness Fair, and any class that donates 150 RMB or more to support their chosen Elephant sanctuary is invited to attend their fair on April 30th.

Earth Week Excitement

Reminder: Optional Writing Competition entries due April 26

Learning Update

This week we will take a look at balanced and unbalanced forces. Students will continue to explore using hands on activities where they are using the qualities of a scientist and engineer. Students will also dig a bit deeper using text to learn more about forces and motion. 

Mathematicians will learn that different shapes (e.g., squares, rectangles, and rhombuses) have shared attributes that can fall within a larger category (parallelograms, quadrilaterals, and trapezoids). The will also look for shared attributes and learn to recognize polygons with sides that are equal. Finally, mathematicians will draw quadrilaterals that do not fit any subcategories. 

This week, writers will continue writing their own adapted fairy tales. Students will revise as they draft. We will focus on the usage of dialogue, descriptive language (verbs and adjectives), and language structures in compound and complex sentences. 

This week, readers will be continuing with reading fairy tales, focusing on the  traits of characters. They will learn that characters have internal traits and external features/characteristics. Readers will learn to use these traits by applying them to the heroes and villains in their own fairy tales. If you are supporting your child with this work at home, then this anchor chart contains the type of vocabulary that we will be using:

Learning in Action

Learning in Action Gallery Link


Learning Update

Mathematicians will wrap up their work with generating and analyzing different types of data by drawing scaled picture graphs and scaled bar graphs. Then, students will get intensive practice with word problems, as well as hands-on investigation experiences with geometry and perimeter. Students will solve word problems, classify shapes based on their attributes, learn what a tessellation is, study perimeter and area, and end with a review of Grade 3 fundamental skills. 

Readers will begin this week by categorizing the fairy tale stories that they are reading by identifying elements of a fairy tale (use of magic, types of characters, etc.). They will continue by studying the sequence that fairy tales often follow (opening > introduce the setting > introduce the characters > the problem > the solution > the ending > the lesson) and by then ‘mapping’ out the most important parts of the story.

As writers last week, we immersed ourselves in Fairy Tales, becoming more familiar with their commonalities.  As we move forward this week, we will choose a Fairy Tale to adapt, by putting our own creative spin on a story already familiar to us.  We will story tell and act out as we draft! 

This week, students will discover qualities of a scientist by doing two different simple investigations. Students will make observations and or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.  The investigations will include creating a paper/recyclable airplane and measuring how far it flies, and also having a balloon travel across the classroom using a straw and string. It should be a fun week. Ask your kids what the qualities of a scientist are! 

Learning in Action Gallery


Learning Update

This week mathematicians will measure different items and create a line plot. They will also have to analyze the data given and answer questions about the information provided.

We are launching a new literacy unit this week! Readers will begin immersing themselves in fairy tales as well as “fractured” fairy tales, which are twists on our classical tales.  Readers will read many familiar and new fairy tales and discuss the story elements specific to fairy tales. We will have guest readers, including Mrs. Kummerlin and Mr. Sheppard read us their favorite fairy tales.

Writers will use their knowledge and understanding about Fairy Tales to write adapted versions. This week they will explore many Fairy Tales and inquire into the specific writing elements of Fairy Tales. We encourage you to share with your child your knowledge about Fairy Tales in your own culture.

This week is an exciting one! Students will design a model to support an egg being dropped off the building. We will focus on the design process and thinking like an engineer. Students will use qualities such as observing, collecting data, making predictions and testing prototypes. It’s great fun and the kids learn a lot through the process.

Writing Celebration

This Wednesday all four third grade classrooms will celebrate our writing.  3A will showcase their Narrative Nonfiction work & their individual Persuasive Writing.  Please join us to celebrate your child’s hard work and to celebrate the work of all SIS third grade students.


Enjoy a look at our learning in action album!

Learning Update

We are starting  a new unit this week! The central idea is “Scientists plan investigations to understand the forces and interactions in the world.” Our tentative lines of inquiry are; 1) qualities of a scientist, 2) balanced and unbalanced forces, 3) observable and measurable patterns. Our first provocations will be on Wednesday, so please ask your child questions about their experience.  

In Module 6, we build on Grade 2 concepts about data, graphing, and line plots. We focus on generating and analyzing different types of data. By the end of the module, students are working with a mixture of scaled picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots to problem solve using categorical and measurement data.

This week Mathematicians begin with collecting data and creating a bar graph. They will learn how to understand a table and create a bar graph from that information. 

Readers this week will wrap up their current study with their research book clubs. They will practice reading like a non-fiction narrator, review non-fiction note taking and text structures as well as formulate questions with their partners and teams.  

Learning Update

Mystery Readers!

Last Minute Mystery Reader Opportunity for anytime this week!

In our classroom this week, we have the opportunity to participate in a student-favorite: Mystery Readers!

All week, we will host parents, grandparents, siblings, neighbors, etc. to bring in and read aloud a favorite picture book to the class. Students love when their family members are the Mystery Reader and all students benefit from an adult sharing their love of reading.

Because this is a mystery, all information must be kept TOP SECRET from your child, including the date you are coming and the picture book you will be reading.  To make it fun I will ask for five clues about yourself. These clues will be read to the class before your arrival to build suspense and keep the students guessing about who our Mystery Reader will be!

Please send me an email (cdenson@sis.org.cn) if you would like to schedule a time to come in and read to 3A this week.

Let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to seeing you in class this year!


Mr. Denson

Book Week!

All Week- Mystery Parent Readers! 

Monday: SIS will Drop Everything and Read!

Tuesday: Meet with Author Eric Rohmann

Wednesday: Mo Willems Celebration and Door Decoration

Thursday: Read with our KC Reading buddies and meet Eric Rohmann again!

Friday: Book Character Dress up and Books Come Alive activity sponsored by PSA.


Learning Update

Mathematicians will begin to understand the concept of greater than and less than when comparing fractions. As they study and compare different fractions, students continue to reason about their size. They develop the understanding that the numerator or number of copies of the fractional unit does not necessarily determine the size of the fraction.

As writers this week we will be continuing to move through the writing process within our Narrative Nonfiction books.  Our writing community is using so much creativity within this unit to both teach and entertain their reader!  We can’t wait to share these with you once back from Spring break!

Readers will be celebrating book week by focusing on the love of reading, all that reading teaches us and the connections reading allows us to make.  Reading will be mixed into every aspect of the day with special author visits, mystery readers, activities at recess and read alouds in class.

As inquires we will continue to explore ways to take action by sharing our learning with each other. We will have an in-house gallery walk where students can show off their hard work and enjoy the work of their friends in all of third grade.

3C is taking action by supporting WWF with a bake sale!


Learning Update

Reminder: Field trip on Wednesday. Please help your child pack a lunch, water bottle and snack in a light backpack. They can also bring bug spray (or you can help put it on in the morning) and a hat if it’s sunny.

Readers will continue to work Literary Non Fiction. After reading, readers will share facts about their topic and ask questions in order to have a deeper understanding of the topic. Finally, they will present what they’ve learned about the topic with the class.  

Writers are drafting and drawing within the writing process of their Literary Nonfiction books.  We have used mentor texts to guide our decisions in making a plan and choosing a topic we are passionate about. There has been high interest around this genre of combining fiction and nonfiction elements…ask your child about the decisions they have made as authors so far within their books.    

Mathematicians will continue to deepen their understanding that a fraction must be the same size but may not always have the same shape. Students will also demonstrated their knowledge of fractions including equivalent fractions by using number bonds, tape diagrams, a number line and physical models.

We continue to explore ways to take action for our current unit. Ask your child ways you can help at home and in your daily lives to support endangered animals.