Year 3 & 4 Update
It is hard to believe, but here we are at the end of Term 1. After the year that was 2020, we feel grateful to have an (almost) uninterrupted term of learning on-site at school. This term has seen us come together as a 3/4 learning community, broaden friendship circles and deepen old bonds. It has been a joy to hear students contributing their voices to how they would like their learning community to look this year, culminating in our Learning Community Essential Agreement, as seen below.
Literacy and Language
Over the past few weeks, students have been engaged in analysing narratives, looking at how descriptive language is used to enhance both characters and settings. Students have learnt to use figurative language, such as similes and metaphors, to create strong descriptions, and have used their writer's notebooks to help develop characters with depth. Additionally, we have looked at narratives across a range of media forms – picture storybooks, short films, and longer-form narratives (in the form of class books) – and how they generally follow a consistent structure. To demonstrate their learning, they have undertaken a project to create their masterpieces, an opportunity to display their creative flair and their burgeoning strengths as writers. It is an absolute pleasure to see the diversity of writing within the learning community and each child's voice shining through.
Our numeracy program includes challenges and activities that incorporate multiple streams of mathematics. We make links between our unit of inquiry and numeracy tasks linked to our fundamental concept. Over the past few weeks, we have also focused on specific skills related to:
- place value; we have continued to reinforce and build integral place value skills that majorly influences the students' ability to access other branches of mathematics
- practical application of addition and subtraction to real-life scenarios and as part of investigations in the unit of inquiry
- measurement; using standard and non-standard units of measurement
- using mathematical reasoning and vocabulary to explain and justify solutions to problems
What do hot dogs, symmetrical trees, and bouncing basketballs have in common? They are all provocations that are helping our students dive deeper into the power of numbers. Our students love mathematics, and it is never more evident than when we are completing "3-Act" problem-solving challenges. The creative questions have been outstanding as students formulate inquiries that take their mathematics to the high-school level and beyond. Accessible at their ability level, every student develops their learning goals and excitedly dived into real-world maths. Keep it up, team!
Unit of Inquiry
The central idea of our new Unit of Inquiry, Where We Are In Place and Time, is that significant events and people impact individual's and communities' lives. To begin our unit, we invited students to bring artefacts that helped them tell the story of influential people and events in their lives. It opened a rich discussion around the concept of significance and how things can be significant to different people for different reasons.
From this, we broadened our lens and looked at two picture books – 'This is Captain Cook' by Tania McCartney and 'The Rabbits' by John Marsden & Shaun Tan. It gave different perspectives on a significant event in Australia's history; the arrival of the first fleet to Australian shores. Our students displayed the ability to see different perspectives and held rich discussions about this event's significance to First Nations people and others. It naturally led us to explore further people and events that had importance to different groups in Australia, such as Vincent Lingiari and the Wave Hill walk-off, popularised through Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody's song, 'From Little Things, Big Things Grow.' We are excited to continue this unit of inquiry at the beginning of next term. We focus on developing personal learning skills, research skills and deepening our understanding of the central idea.
Minimbah Kitchen, Garden, Explore
Over the past few weeks, the Kitchen, Garden, Explore program has taken off, with children engaged in such fantastic learning opportunities across a broad range of activities. Students have been developing their knife skills in the kitchen and taking risks, trying new and delectable recipes that may not be a part of their usual repertoire! Pumpkin risotto, salsa verde delicious!
Out in the garden, students have been learning about the needs of different plants. How to raise plants from seeds and honing their powers of observation by engaging in thinking routines such as 'see, think, wonder,' have led to some beautiful hypotheses and ideas about what might be happening out there. We've been inundated with both aphids and yellow ladybirds. We lead to a revisitation of the concept of 'harmony' from our first unit of inquiry. We are eagerly observing tadpoles that we hope will eventually populate our frog bog.
In Explore, students have been familiarising themselves with new robotic friends – the Dashbots! They have jumped at the opportunity to develop their coding skills and solve challenges, such as making their Dashbots dance in harmony with a partner. Alongside learning a new coding language, students have been developing persistence, resilience, and, crucially, their communication skills as they seek and offer support to others around them.
Congratulations to the Minimbah Athletics Team 2021, who competed at the Bayside District Track Athletics Championships. Please join us in celebrating our own Year 3 & 4 representatives:
- Henry P
- Eadie R
- Dallas T
- Jarrah J
- Olivia M
- Kevin N
Our team of champions had an incredibly successful day at Ballam Park Athletics Centre and should be very proud of their achievements and how they represented the school.
CRAIG KENNER & JAMES CLAPHAM
Year 3 & Year 4 Classroom Teachers