Below is a copy of the letter that you received from Mrs. Kenwell regarding recorders. Thank you to those of you that have already sent in the money to purchase a recorder. The Grade 3′s are very excited to begin learning to play!
Here are the spelling words for next week:
It has been great to finally get some nice weather and be able to be outside after school. Hopefully this upcoming long weekend will be beautiful as well. I am hoping to get out golfing and spend some time at my families lake cabins.
This morning, students in Grade 3 all over Alberta wrote the Provincial Achievement Test for Writing. They had 100 minutes to complete a story based on a picture prompt. I am looking forward to reading all the fabulous stories! This now brings our story writing unit to a wrap. We will be spending our Language Arts time now focusing on preparing for the Reading portion of the PAT’s. Please stay tuned to the blog for more information on what that test entails.
We are nearing the end of our very short Geometry Unit. Students will write their unit test on Wednesday, May 22nd. This week we have been looking at the differences between prisms and pyramids. We have been exploring all sorts of 3D shapes and have learned how we name them (according to the shape of their base). Yesterday students learned some important vocabulary… faces, vertices, edges. Today we will continue practicing how to classify these objects according to those three terms.
This week, we will have a fabulous day learning science, science and more science on Friday! We will be spending the day at West Edmonton Mall’s Marine Life Education Center where students will:
- Tour the Sea Life Caverns (and even touch Stingrays!)
- Enjoy a Penguin Presentation
- Take a Behind the Scenes Tour and get to feed turtles
- Watch the Sea Lion Training Session
- Learn about animal classification
- Watch a frog presentation
This is by far my favourite field trip and I hope the kids will enjoy it as much as I do!
We are pleased to report that only 1 student out of 42 lost their pencil this week! Not only did we not pick up any pencils, we noticed a huge decrease in the amount of other supplies laying around since we started The Great Pencil Challenge. Yesterday at the pencil check in it was great to hear “the reason we didn’t leave our pencils laying around is because we knew we didn’t have more. We needed to take care of what little amount of pencils we have.” How true…!
Enjoy the rest of your week and have a fun long weekend!
Last week Kaelyn was our star. She gave an awesome presentation and shared her love of horses (real and Schleich!) Below is her blog post about herself, as well she would like to share a blog post she wrote with her friends Jamie in Grade 4 and Ashlyn in Grade 5 for Parkland School Divisions 184 Blog.
Hi, my name is Kaelyn and I am nine years old in Grade 3. I love the outdoors and being with nature, especially horses. Green, blue, and purple are my favourite colors and my favourite places are Laos, Costa Rica, Hawaii and Belize. Horses are amazing animals and I love paints, pintos, appaloosa, kanstrup, and quarter horses.
184 Project Blog
This year we have been involved in a project called Give a Shirt. This project started two years ago when Kaelyn’s family was traveling to Laos. Her mom showed her a video of an orphanage in Luang Prabang and this is what gave her the idea to collect clothing from the kids at Graminia School. They took 6 hockey bags full of clothing donations and handed them out to the Deak Kum Pa orphanage in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Jamie, Ashlyn and and Kaelyn have all been friends for a long time. Kaelyn’s family talked a lot about their experience in Laos. Jamie and Ashlyn’s families learned a lot about it and wanted to get involved. “I wanted to experience how other people live in different communities. I wanted to help the kids.” Ashlyn explains. “I wanted to have a new experience and help kids to make a difference,” Jamie says. So this year, Give a Shirt grew! We packed a twenty foot SeaCan full of clothing, blankets and shoes from many schools in Parkland School Division as well as schools around Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Over Spring Break, a group of fourteen people went to Laos and visited three orphanages and a village.
We learned a lot by visiting Laos. We learned how much we have and also how much we take for granted. We need to think more about how we can help the kids. Now when we want more of something or we want something bigger we always think again and think of the kids in Laos who have nothing. Before we used to think about what was happening at school and at home only, and now we think about what is going on around the world. When we were handing out the clothes, we were happy and sad at the same time. We were happy because we knew we were helping them and we could see how grateful they are even though they have so little. With us here in Canada we never seem to be happy and grateful even though we have so much stuff. We were sad because the conditions they live in are terrible and people shouldn’t have to live like that. Now that we have come back, we think twice about whether we really need something or if we just ‘want’ it.
When we were at the Num Buk orphanage we saw a dark, gloomy dorm with no electricity, the roof was caving in, and it was extremely hot. If it rains the kids get wet because there are huge holes in the roof. There are about 90 kids that live in one small dorm. They sleep on a piece of plywood and they are crammed in together and if they are very lucky they might have a blanket. We decided we need to rebuild this dorm for the kids in the orphanage. To raise money to make this happen, we are hada fundraiser at Woodbend Hall on May 11th. It was a dinner, dance with a DJ, a silent auction and we had many items for sale. We really hope that we can raise enough money for these kids because they desperately need it.
By: Kaelyn, Jamie and Ashlyn
As I am sure you have heard by now, yesterday we had a special visitor! Mr. Neumeier (Brooke in 3B’s Dad) who is part of the Edmonton Police Service SWAT team came in to show our students some of the equipment that he uses in his job. It was really awesome to see and hear about how his tools help him do his job. Here are some pictures from the morning.
Next week is spelling review week. As we have our field trip to WEM Marine Life Center on Friday, the test will be on THURSDAY, MAY 16th.
20 words will be chosen.
Well we had quite the scorcher yesterday and had a little preview of what June will surely bring… a bunch of hot, sweaty kids packed in a classroom… so we escaped for DPA outside at the end of the day!
We are only a week away from our first PAT, the writing portion of the Language Arts. We have been preparing for this all year with different styles of writing, lessons on sentences, paragraphs, detail, and editing. Our focus lately has been on story writing and the components that we need to see in a story. We have also had lessons on dialogue and how to use it effectively to help our readers understand more about who our characters are. The field test that was administered last week went really well and gave the students an idea of what to expect. From the stories that I was able to read before he left the school, we are doing really well.
There have been a lot of fun with elastics and geo boards happening in math. We are learning about different polygons, what they actually are, and how to name them. The students have been creating their own in all sorts of creative ways and then sharing with partners to see if they can decipher which polygon it is. We will be working with sorting polygons next.
One of my favorite units in science is underway and we started off with a little research on different types of animals. We looked at mammals, insects, amphibians, molluscs, spiders, fish, and birds. We learned about the differences between invertebrates, and vertebrates and what an exoskeleton vs endoskelton means. We will continue to look at the different types of animals and how we differentiate between them. Our butterflies should be arriving this week which will be really exciting!
In social we have been looking at the different geographical regions in the four countries that we are studying. We are trying to get the students to understand that different regions affect how people live, for example how people in the desert live is different than people on the coast. We will be diving into the different regions in lots of detail looking at how they use the land, how they adapt to the environments, and how they protect the environment.
We have also started a fun little project to continue on with our global citizenship unit, something very close to mine and Mr.W’s hearts. We feel this is the most important unit of the year and love to come up with new ideas to keep it going throughout the year. Knowing that we bought school supplies for the kids in Laos and that we were planning on doing something along those lines for a few months now, we started collecting pencils off the ground at the end of the day. Our purpose in doing this was to show the students just how much we take for granted and that when you have a lot it is easy to be wasteful. It was awesome to hear the kids tell us their reasons for leaving their belongings laying around (we have more, we can just go get a new one etc.) and demonstrate an understanding of the overabundance we have. Over the two months of collecting the picture below shows exactly how many pencils, markers, erasers, and glue sticks were just left on the ground (after me reminding them to put everything away at the end of each day). What we have decided to do is have “The Great Pencil Challenge”. We took away all the pencils that they had in their desks (some had over 30 pencils of various lengths) and gave them each one brand new pencil with a sticker on it. They put their names on the pencil as well. The challenge is to see who can go the longest without losing their pencil or leaving it on the ground. If they do lose it they come to us and we cross their name off the list for the week, and take a new pencil. It will be interesting to see what happens now that they are aware of exactly how much goes to waste. Stay tuned for updates!!!
Just a reminder next week is a short week with May 10th being a PD day. The spelling words for next week are:
As you all know, I traveled to Laos over Spring Break with the Give a Shirt team. When we visited the orphanages we were appalled and deeply saddened to see the living conditions of the children. They have have dirt floors and holes in the ceilings, translating to poor air quality, problems with rodents and the children getting wet and cold when it rains. The Give a Shirt team is hosting a celebration and fundraising event in the form of a dinner/silent auction/ dance with a DJ and entertainment on May 11th. Our goal is to raise enough money to rebuild a new dorm for the children in Num Buk orphanage.
Below is a link with more information about the event and how to purchase tickets. It would be great to see you there for a fun- filled evening!
I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with some of you who may not follow the Give a Shirt Facebook page, my reflections on Laos and my involvement in the Give a Shirt project. Many of you have been asking about my trip and so I felt that some of you may enjoy reading it. It is a personal reflection and really just a way for me to process what I experienced. If you feel inclined to read it, I certainly welcome you to do so…. it was truly an experience that changed my life.
Imagine…. by Jill Lienau
I have started this blog many different times in the past month and have finally realized that no matter how many different times I write it, I will never be satisfied or feel that I have done justice to my experience. It was only a just a few days ago as I heard John Lennon’s “Imagine” playing, that I felt the words run deeply through my veins and was able to add the final connection that would tie my writing all together.
After traveling to Laos with the rest of the Give a Shirt team in March 2013, I have been asked by so many people “How are you? How was your trip?” I find myself struggling to answer these questions sufficiently in terms of what people “expect” to hear… “I am good, and it was great.” This response is true but there is so much more that I can’t begin to explain in a concise answer. When I hear this question there is so much I want to share but where do I start? In a recent conversation with Deanna I told her, “I am doing good, but I still don’t feel back to normal” What is normal? As Deanna explained, “That’s because you have changed.” And how true that is…. I have changed. The person that left a month ago is certainly not the same person that I see when I look in the mirror. I feel different… I have a deeper understanding, and I am filled with passion and desire to live a more meaningful life.
I have been fighting and struggling against the materialistic culture that we are absorbed in. I find myself hyper sensitive to greed and ignorance. Everything from clothing, advertisements, and overabundance in every aspect possibly imaginable irritates me. What resonates with me is that as North Americans we believe we are living the best life possible and yet, having experienced poverty and corruption to an extent that is inconceivable, I truly believe we are doing something wrong. These kind hearted, gentle, gracious people who have so little in terms of material possessions, radiate nothing but pure joy and happiness from deep in their souls… unlike anyone I am yet to meet in North America. “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can? No need for greed or hunger…” If more is truly not better, then it is time to simplify and search deeply for what really matters.
Numerous times I have heard “we need to help people in Canada first. There is poverty here and we should not be helping other countries until every person in Canada is looked after.” And to this, I would respond with a belief that it is our responsibility to help others. What does an invisible border or religion represent? “Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do… nothing to kill or die for; and no religion too…”
I know that I was unable to leave what I saw in Laos and go on living the way I did before. I feel as though my brain is split in two… as I experience something here, I see on the other side the beautiful smiling faces of the kids in the orphanages and feel deep sadness as I try to process and connect the two experiences. “Imagine all the people sharing all the world…”
The powerful change that has occurred is one of intolerance. Intolerance for complaints of not having everything one wants, lack of appreciation and sense of entitlement. Not only intolerance of other people, but of myself as well. Self reflection has led to embarrassment of what I used to value and think was important. As an educator I struggle with finding a way to teach children appreciation, acceptance and global responsibility. I hope that by sharing my experience and passion I will spark at least some interest and inspire change.
As I re-live the day that we were loading up the truck at Deak Kum Pa orphanage with clothes to take to Num Buk, I remember the overwhelming sense of joy and happiness that I felt as I played Frisbee with Phon- a ten year old boy with a smile that could melt any heart. It is this feeling that I keep going back to when I struggle with not having the answers. What I do know is that Laos and Give a Shirt ignited a fire inside me that I know has led me down the path that I have been forever searching for. I wanted to go to Laos to help others, but what I didn’t know was that the people I met, the connections I made, and the experiences I had, have helped me more than I ever imagined.
I hear the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine” playing in the back of my mind…. “Imagine all the people living life in peace… you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you will join us, and the world will live as one.” We may not be able to solve all the problems but we will make a difference… One shirt at a time….
This week Dawson was our star. I remembered from teaching his older sister 2 years ago how much his family loves Nascar, so I was curious to see if he would include that in his presentation. Awesome job on your presentation, Dawson!
Have you ever heard of Nascar? It is a type of racing and I just love the final lap of the race. It is the best with all the adrenalin rush cheering on your best driver. My favourite driver is Carl Edwards No.99, the best driver in the world. I also love all the crashing if my driver isn’t in them but if he is I scream “no” because I want him to win. Sometimes if he doesn’t that’s ok because nobody wins all the time. Sometimes people win two times in a row but that doesn’t happen all the time. My family brags to each other when one of us wins and I normally say “Haha you lose and I win!” Last year Carl Edwards didn’t win once all year not once. Then when he won this year I screamed “Yes!” and I was so happy and I couldn’t stop talking about it. I was that happy to see my driver win again and I’m still talking about it. I screamed so, so loud about it I just about blew my lungs into pieces!