Year 3 Newsletter – Term 2 Week 4

English

This week we continued exploring various strategies to expand our writing. We brainstormed a range of heroes, villains, settings and problems as a whole class. We have also used a thesaurus to find a wider and more diverse range of descriptive ‘wow’ words. Next week we will continue with various planning and writing strategies and move onto dynamic dialogue and use our ‘wow’ words in our writing. Ask your child about a wow word they have found and get them to put it in a descriptive sentence.

As part of our reading program, we have started to focus on inferencing. This is a very tough concept for students to grasp. We learn about some things by experiencing them first-hand, but we gain other knowledge by inference — the process of inferring things is based on what is already known. When you make an inference, you’re reading between the lines or looking carefully at the facts and coming to conclusions. Making inferences and drawing conclusions is a higher level complex skill that will develop over time. Our reading program helps students to develop their inferencing skills. The teachers are asking them questions, as the students are learning to unpack sentences and search for the inferred meaning. Their ability to really process and think about what the sentence is saying engages students in active reading and deepens their understanding of the text. We have learnt various terminology used in our reading sessions such as ‘roadblocks’, ‘parroting’ and ‘I think that means’. Ask your child to explain the meaning of these terms and why we use them.

Mathematics

This week the students will be learning about fractions. Our focus will be halves, thirds, quarters and fifths. We will participate in lots of hands-on and interactive activities to start thinking about fractions as a collection. Some concepts are tricky to master so if you have some time please try some of these activities.  Get the students to cut up any food into equal portions and then have them tell you what the fraction would be if you removed one or two pieces. Alternatively, pull out a collection of items i.e. 20 matchbox cars/Lego pieces/cards/books etc and get them to remove either a half or a third or a quarter.

Science

Our Science unit is called The Heat is On. Although ‘HEAT’ is implied in the title, we are actually investigating heat transfer and that includes cold temperatures. We have been exploring the use of thermometers to record the temperature. We are learning to predict, measure and record information. You can discuss this topic in the kitchen with your child. What are some sources of heat that they might find around the house? How does a fridge work?

Music

In Music, the Year 3 students have started a new topic called Music In Asia. This unit of work encourages students to embrace and learn more about Asian culture and music. We have been looking at instruments from countries such as China, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia and making comparisons with Western instruments. The students have also been singing Chinese folk songs, playing songs based on the pentatonic scale (melodies based on 5 notes) on xylophones. We have even had a go at improvising simple Chinese melodies. In choral class, we have been busy preparing for our Year 3 assembly performance in week 4.