Unit of Inquiry Sharing the Planet
Central Idea: The consumption of Earth’s resources requires innovative solutions for sustainability.

Lines of Inquiry:
– Earth’s resources and how people use them
– The impact of people’s use of Earth’s resources
– Innovations and solutions for sustaining Earth’s resources

We are well on our way with learning engagements for this unit of inquiry. You may have noticed third-graders digging through the trash at home to check for food waste, tallying the non-organic waste items they have on a daily basis, or maybe even checking out items in the kitchen cupboard to see the journey these items had to make to arrive in the cupboard at home. A trip to the school’s recycling center is also a learning engagement many of the class huddles have had already to see where all the non-organic waste goes in our school, not to mention how much is produced! This is all in an effort to help the students understand what Earth’s resources are and the impact of our use of these resources on our environment.

Ask your third-grader what impact they feel they have on the environment as a result of the things they consume. What action could they take to have a smaller impact? For example, using reusable containers for snack and lunch instead of plastic bags or containers that they throw away. What about as a family? How could you reduce food waste? Do you use a lot of bottled water? What change could you make to produce fewer plastic water bottles? How could you save electricity or water?

We welcome anyone as a guest speaker who can talk about recycling and/or how we affect the environment as consumers.

ELA (Writing and Reading): In writing, third-graders are working on persuasive/opinion writing. They are seeing it isn’t easy to convincingly express their opinion or persuade others to agree with them or take their side. Persuasive texts have been the focus in reading.

How can parents and caregivers help at home? If your third-grader really wants something such as more screen time, staying up later, having a playdate, a pet, something new (i.e. video game, clothes, anything they “just have to have”) have him/her give some good reasons and state why those reasons are valid. For example, if your third-grader wants to stay up later and gives the reason that it would allow more time to read, which is a good reason, then have him/her convince you why staying up late to have more time to read would be helpful.

We are working on not only coming up with strong reasons to support their opinion but strong evidence or details to support the reasons.

Please encourage your third-grader to read aloud to you for part or all of their 20 minutes of reading each night, then discuss the reading. We are working with students on getting beyond simply retelling a story and being able to discuss what they have read (practice making connections, observations, inferences, questioning, predictions, etc.) with their peers and teachers. It is also important for students to read books that are ‘just-right’ for them to read on their own and not something they are reading just because their friends are reading it. Please keep in mind, while many children can read the words in a book well, they may not be understanding what they have read.

Math: We are working our way through Unit 2. We encourage families to make real-world connections in this unit by having their third-graders get involved in weighing things at home and/or at the market as well as noticing the measurements (amounts) listed on package and bottle labels. Our focus has been on metric units (grams/kilograms, milliliters/liters, centimeters/meters). It would also be helpful to practice rounding measurements to the nearest 10. Telling time on an analog clock, especially elapsed time, is a difficult concept for some students. Parents can help at home by having their third-grader keep track of the starting and ending time for an activity or daily task, then calculate how much time has passed from start to finish. Number lines are a helpful tool for calculating the number of minutes that have passed.

Note: All of the G3 Math Resources for supporting home learning can be accessed from the menu bar above.

Important Dates:

November 26 & 27 – Three-Way Conferences (Parent-Student-Teacher)

December 17 – Last day of school before the winter break

December 18 to January 8 – Winter break

January 11 – School resumes with Distance Learning from January 11 to 22