Mr. Johnson's Grade 3 Classroom Blog

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  • Spelling Task Cards.pdf   3748k - Oct 27, 2016, 9:24 AM by Patrick Johnson (v1)
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  • Staircases- Find, Describe and Extend Patterns
    Today students build a staircase with Cuisenaire Rods and extended the patterns they saw in order to find the number of white rods needed to build a staircase of a specific height.

    First, students were given the opportunity to explore and build with the rods.

    Students were then shown the value assigned to each of the rods.

    Next, students were challenged to build staircases out of the rods. Afterwards, we examined the staircases and discussed the number patterns.

    Students said this staircase was shrinking by 1s.
    Students said this staircase was shrinking by 3s starting at 30.
    Students said this staircase was growing by 1s then was shrinking by 1s and the pattern repeated.

    Finally, students were given the challenging math task below.

    Below are some of the solutions students came up with. Some students sketched the problem on grid paper where others made the staircase using the rods. Some groups added each column in their solution where others rearranged the rods into groups of 10.

    Posted by Patrick Johnson
  • Geometric and Organic Shapes

    In Visual Arts, students are learning about organic versus geometric shapes.

    Geometric Shapes: such as circles, triangles, orsquares have perfect, uniform measurements and don't often appear in nature. Organic Shapes: are associated with things from the natural world, like plants and animals (

    First, we examined organic versus geometric shapes using The Artist's Connected Toolkit website.

    Next, we read Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse and students identified organic and geometric shapes in the illustrations.

    Finally, students made their own geometric and organic art. Students made the same animal twice of out of shapes. One animal they cut out (giving a more geometric appearance like the wind up mouse) and the other animal they gently tore out of the paper (giving it a more organic look).

    Posted Dec 1, 2016, 11:30 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Coding Dash to Launch Projectiles
    Today students participated in another coding activity with our robot Dash. This time, a ball launcher was mounted on top of Dash. Dash and the launcher can both be coded on the iPad using the Blocky App. The goal was to code Dash to navigate around obstacles on a hundred's mat and then fire the launcher towards a stack of cups.

    Students were given the task below:

    Students were also given a grid to help plan out their code. They were told that each square corresponded to 20 cm of movement in the Blocky Coding App. Students then tested their code using Dash and the launcher. They were given up to 3 attempts to try their code. Between each attempt students modified their code based on their observations from the previous test. 

    Posted Dec 1, 2016, 11:17 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • QR Codes and Number Patterns
    Today students used iPads and QR codes to solve number pattern problems. Students were given an iPad and a recording sheet. There were 15 QR codes placed around the classroom and in the hallway. Every time students scanned a QR code, it presented a t-chart with a number pattern mystery that needed to be solved. Students wrote down the missing number from the t-chart and recorded the pattern rule. Students also had the use of a hundreds chart to help them solve the number pattern. Finally students checked their answers with an answer sheet.

    Try the QR code activity yourself! Download:

    Posted Nov 30, 2016, 5:27 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Growing Patterns using iPads and Nearpod App
    Last week, we explored growing patterns and t-charts using the iPads and Nearpod app.

    First, students use their math eyes to look for patterns in a 360 degree photo: 

    Afterwards, students created t-charts and determined the pattern rule for a variety of growing shape patterns. After each question, we discussed possible answers (all of the students' answers were posted at the front of the class using the projector).

    Posted Nov 27, 2016, 5:42 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Willy Wonka- Visualizing Characters
    Today we continued to work on our reading comprehension strategy: The Power to Visualize. Today we focused on visualizing characters from a chapter book. I read a couple of pages from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Specifically, the pages that describe Willy Wonka:

    And what an extraordinary little man he was! He had a black top hat on his head. He wore a tail coat made of a beautiful plum-coloured velvet. His trousers were bottle green. His gloves were pearly gray. And in one hand he carried a fine gold-topped walking cane.... (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Puffin Books 1964)

    Students visualized what Willy Wonka looked like (I didn't tell them the title of the book that I was reading the description from) and drew the character. Afterwards, students shared their drawings (and their visualizations of Willy Wonka) and we discussed the picture words the writer used in the book. Students then drew their own characters.

    Posted Nov 25, 2016, 9:16 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Joe the Emoji

    Posted Nov 22, 2016, 9:48 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Gilberto and the Wind-Using Your Senses

    Students have been learning how to visualize while they read (The Power to Visualize) to help them understand what they are reading. In this lesson, students were told that when we read, we can also use other senses such as hear sounds, taste tastes and feel objects. Students listened to the book Gilberto and the Wind without seeing the pictures. While listening to the book they recorded:
    -things they saw
    -sounds they heard
    -feelings they got
    -words that stuck

    Posted Nov 22, 2016, 4:52 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Growing Shape Patterns and Uploading using Google Forms
    Today students were learning about growing shape patterns and t-charts.

    First students were shown the pattern below and were asked what they observed about the pattern. 
    * They said they noticed the numbers on the bottom of the pattern as well as the pattern seemed to grow by 1 row or 3 shapes each time.

    Next we represented the growing pattern on a t-chart and wrote the pattern rule.

    Afterwards students made their own growing patterns and t-charts.

    Finally, students used the class iPads to upload a picture of their pattern using the file upload feature of Google Forms.

    Below is a photo of all the uploaded patterns. This made it easy to consolidate the lesson by discussing and comparing the growing patterns.

    Posted Nov 21, 2016, 3:58 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Rocking Some Art!!
    Today students used their senses to describe and draw a rock.

    First students were placed into groups of four. Each group of four formed a circle and faced towards the center with their hands behind their back. In each of their hands I placed a rock. 

    Then I guided students in examining their rock with their hands. They were asked:
    How big is your rock?
    Is your rock smooth or rough?
    What shape is your rock? Is it  round or flat? Does it have any edges?
    Can you feel any distinguishing features on your rock?
    Afterwards, I collected the rocks again from the group (without them seeing their rock) and randomly placed the rocks on a table. Students then needed to figure out what rock was theirs based on their observations from hold the rock.

    Finally students were asked to examine the rocks closely with their eyes and to sketch their rock. To accompany their sketch, they needed to include a description of their rock. I loved how students responded to this activity!

    Posted Nov 17, 2016, 5:05 PM by Patrick Johnson
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