Mr. Johnson's Grade 3 Classroom Blog


  • Asking Good Questions- The Wednesday Surprise
    We have been working on asking good questions about stories we have read. This week we read The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting

    Our big thinking question for the story was: What traits do you admire about the main characters Anna and her Grandmother? Why?

    We used a Q-chart to help generate questions. 

    Some of our questions were:
    Who are the main characters?
    What is the surprise?
    Who is the surprise for?
    How old is Anna?
    What is in the large lumpy bag they are carrying?
    Why are Anna and her Grandmother so nervous at her Dad's birthday party?
    Why is her Dad away so much? What is his job?
    Why did Anna's Grandmother never learn to read as a child? Why didn't she learn to read when she got older?

    After we read the story, we discussed each question: Was the answer in the text? Did the question really matter?

    The questions that generated the most discussion were the questions that were not answered directly in the text but still mattered to the story. For example:
    Why did Anna's Grandmother never learn to read as a child?
    -students inferred she might have grown up in a rural area and was not near (or did not have transportation) to a school
    -they thought that she might not have learned to read because she was needed to help out at home (or work a farm)

    Posted Dec 3, 2020, 4:14 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Beautiful Lines and Patterns

    Posted Nov 30, 2020, 3:33 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Right Angles
    The goal for this math lesson was for students to understand what a right angle is and to be able to identify right angles in shapes. 

    Step 1
    Students were shown items one at a time in a YES group and items in a NO group (concept attainment). Students were only told that the YES group had something all in common that the NO group did not have. They were also told that the sorting rule for the YES group had nothing to do with size or number of sides of shapes.

    Step 2
    Students were told to keep their predictions of the sorting rule to themselves. They were also told to be prepared to make new predictions if their sorting rule no longer fit the objects being shown.

    Step 3
    Students were asked to raise their hand if they had a prediction of what the sorting rule was. They were then asked to whisper their prediction to another student who did not have their hand up. Afterwards, I showed several more YES and NO examples.

    Step 4
    Finally students were shown a list of TESTERS. They voted using their thumbs (up or down) whether the object belonged in the YES or NO group.

    Students then had the opportunity to discuss and share their predictions with the class. Students were quick to realize that the NO group had mostly pointed corners and we discussed the YES group had SQUARE CORNERS (right angles).

    Posted Nov 27, 2020, 4:35 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Congruent Shapes
    This week students learned about congruent shapes. Shapes are said to be congruent if one shape can become another using reflections (flips), translations (slides) or rotations (turns). The shapes are the same size and the same shape.

    Step 1: Students played the Yes/No game (concept attainment) to try and figure out what the yes shapes had in common that made them different from the no shapes. Each pair of YES shapes were this math concept and each pair of the NO shapes were not that math concept.

    Step 2: Students used testers to see whether their prediction was correct.

    Step 3: After the testers, students made predictions of what math concept the YES pairs had.
    Some sample  responses:
    -Some of the shapes are reflections of each other
    -If you turned a shape, you can fit it over another shape
    -They were the same size and same shape.

    Finally, students made their own congruent shapes on geoboards:

    Posted Nov 25, 2020, 12:05 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Map of Good Memories
    We read this wonderful book in class. Afterwards, students drew their own map of good memories.
    "There are places that remind us of happy moments. Zoe, a little girl who has to flee from her city with her family because of a war, remembers them before she leaves. She uses them to draw a “map of good memories,” knowing that they will always be with her."-Map of Good Memories

    Our Map of Good Memories:

    Posted Nov 24, 2020, 4:57 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Graphing Symmetry

    Posted Nov 23, 2020, 5:07 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Book Fair

    Dear families,

    It’s here! Our school’s Scholastic Virtual Book Fair has begun! Our very own shopping site will be open from November 16 to November 27.

    Experience the joy of a Book Fair online by joining us at our Virtual Family Event! Make your favourite snacks, and come together as a family to view the fun, exciting and inspiring titles by clicking this link below it will highlight some of the amazing books offered at our fair. 

     Below is the most important link it connects you to our Maple Grove Book Fair.  Once you click on the link and start shopping, Maple Grove will benefit!

    Please share this link with Grandparents, too! Extended family can participate in the

    Virtual Book Fair from the comfort of home.

    Remember, all purchases benefit our school and earn Rewards that can be redeemed for books and Education Resources

    for our school’s classrooms and library.

    Thank you for participating in our

    Scholastic Virtual Book Fair!

    Happy reading!

    Posted Nov 17, 2020, 11:55 AM by Patrick Johnson
  • Fall Art!

    Posted Nov 8, 2020, 5:46 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Measuring Leaves and Leaf Piles!
    In our outdoor learning time, students measured (in centimetres) and sketched a variety of leaves. Later on, students were challenged to make the tallest leaf pile possible. Some of the leaf piles were almost a full metre tall! It took tremendous teamwork!

    Posted Nov 8, 2020, 5:45 PM by Patrick Johnson
  • Visualising Willy Wonka
    Today we continued with our reading comprehension strategy: The Power to Visualize. 

    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 3, 2020, 6:03 PM by Patrick Johnson
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