Friday, December 9, 2016

Multiplication and Division Unit

In math the third graders have recently been exploring multiplication and division. Though many students already know their basic facts, we are focusing on a deeper understanding of multiplication and division and how to model both. The central idea for the unit is:

Multiplication and division can be modeled in a variety of ways to help us solve problems. 

Students started by modeling multiplication through skip counting, repeated addition, pictures, rectangles, arrays, and stories. Can you solve these problems?

Students also looked at how to model division with "equal shares" stories, and they have explored the relationship between multiplication and division as well. 

Students will continue to explore these ideas through the final week of school in 2016.

Where We Are In Place And Time - Inventions

We have now finished the 'Getting Started' phase of our current unit of inquiry and will continue to investigate, make connections and go further after the Christmas holidays. You can click on the link, below, to see the evidence of student understanding we will be looking for at each stage of the unit of inquiry.
The Inquiry process students engage with at Seisen Elementary School during their units of inquiry
Click here for the Grade 3 - Where We Are In Place And Time Learning Intentions (Central Idea - Inventions create change and can lead to new possibilities) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Shopping in Japanese Class #1

 Intermediate Japanese Class - Shopping Skit 

Group 1
As the current unit in PYP is market place, the intermediate class students learned how to greet people, shop, colors, how to count, how to speak polite Japanese in order to shop in public, using Japanese. The students also thought of the script themselves and enjoyed shopping in class. At the end of the unit, we are all planning to go on a field trip to go shopping outside the school🎀

Next week group 2 will be up so check up on that too💓
Good job everyone✨

Monday, November 14, 2016

Our Very Own Healthy Choices

Healthy choices?  Wow!  The Grade Three students had to make a lot of choices to create a "Healthy Choice Yoga Sequence."

Learning Objectives:
The goal of this unit was to explore a variety of movements that promote personal health.

Explanation of Learning Engagement:
Students learned some basics about yoga, including calming the body during yoga, names of yoga poses, and connecting poses. 

Students choosing poses for their yoga sequence.
To do these yoga poses, students looked at the different types of poses and how each pose helped them in a different way.

We do poses that are:

Bending forward
Bending backward
With a partner
Time in

Here are two examples of partner poses.


They learned how to do a simple "Sun Salutation" which uses a variety of poses and connecting movements. Then they applied what they knew about collaborating with a partner and creating dances to make a new type of yoga sequence.

Here is an example of a partner yoga sequence.  Click to play.

Do you feel relaxed after watching this?
Ask your daughter to teach you some of the poses she learned. Yoga poses can improve your health while you have fun doing something together.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Light Up The Life Of A Refugee Child Charity Concert

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, our Grade 3 students performed at the Light Up The Life Of A Refugee Child charity concert at St. Mary's International School. Their marvelous singing and dancing helped raise money for Refugees International Japan’s educational projects for displaced Syrian refugee children. In addition to their amazing artistic efforts, the Grade 3 girls demonstrated spectacular enthusiasm, confidence, and empathy.

Follow the link below to check out their fantastic performance:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Japanese Culture Day at Seisen

On Thursday, November 3rd, students at Seisen celebrated Japanese Culture Day through a variety of activities. Here's a quick look at the day:

After warming up in the gym with "radio exercise" and watching a taiko drum performance, the elementary students travelled around the school in their house teams to participate in tea ceremonies, kite making, and kendo. Students also saw performances of singing, koto, and shakuhachi.

A special thanks to the Japanese department for organizing a fantastic day!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Halloween Party Highlights

This past week was one of our busiest yet! One of the highlights of our week was the fantastic Halloween Parties organized by our fabulous parents. 

We would like to thank all the moms who worked so hard to make our classrooms spectacularly spooky, our tummies frighteningly full, and our minds eerily entertained. 

For more ghoulishly good Halloween treats, click on each of the pictures
below to watch 3A perform some freakishly fun Halloween jingles.
Image Map

Thursday, November 3, 2016

3A getting healthy in a hurry

In PE, 3A recently switched with 3B and started their Health Related Fitness unit, which is an integrated unit with the Healthy Choices unit of inquiry that they have been involved in during time in home class. The girls have been learning about a range of issues around health related fitness, such as:

- How exercise affects our body, both short term and long term;

"When I run too much my heart beats so fast and my legs start to hurt!" - Yuna
"I can feel the blood pumping around my body through my veins!" - Lia
"If I exercise a lot, I'll be stronger and healthier so I don't get a heart attack when I'm old!" - Ai

- How the choices we make will affect us now and in the future;

"If I eat too much junk, I'll get fat!" - Kaho
"We should take the stairs instead of the elevator." - Yuzuki

One of the many activities the girls have been enjoying is a game called Healthy in a Hurry, where they must collect a range of 'foods' from the 'shops' and sort them out into categories depending how healthy they perceive the foods to be. We had some interesting discussions about foods!

3A running to the shops to pick up some groceries
The students will soon start new units of Striking & Fielding and Kicking Skills in PE lessons.

Mr Hawkins

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's Sakura season ... but it's winter?

The Sakura Medal program brings together students from the international schools across Japan each year to vote for their favourite books. Each year, librarians from various international schools meet and select 10-20 books in each of the Sakura Medal categories. Only students are eligible to vote for this prestigious award, but they need to read the minimum number of books to vote.


Our aim is not only to encourage students to read a variety of high quality books but to give a real life opportunity to set a meaningful goal.  The program will run from November to April. Students will decide how many books they realistically hope to read. This forms the basis of their Sakura reading goal.  An important part of goal setting is to think about how to achieve a goal. Students are required to write down two things that they can do to achieve this goal. They had some good ideas:

"Try not to buy new books." --Student in 4B

"I will stop by the library every morning before class and look for Sakura Medal books." --Student in 4A

Equally important is considering what 'road blocks' might get in the way of success. Students had many idea:

"I forget to take the books home to read."
" I don't check out Sakura books."
"I don't have time with all my other homework."
"Other people have the books I want to read."

Both homeroom teacher and parents must sign the goal setting sheet. Please look out for this over the next few days. Forms are already being returned. Once the form has been returned they will be able to start the exciting process of checking out the books and reading them to achieve their goal.

Here are some of the girls in Grade 4 setting their goals for this year. They have reflected on last years experience and are setting realistic and achievable goals.

Music Choices

The grade three students explored the concept of tone color in the Music Choices unit.  They interpreted pictorial symbols to come up with tone colours to match them using orff and percussion instruments.  They worked in a group of four, and one of them was a conductor to decide the tempo and dynamic levels. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

How We Organize Ourselves Provocation

The students in Grade 3 were recently introduced to the concepts of supply and demand through a fun and interesting marketplace simulation activity. 

This provocation activity had students buying, selling, and trading different coloured pencil crayons in order to become the first to finish colouring a series of four pictures.

Each student began the activity with $100 and the opportunity to purchase one pencil crayon at the opening auction. A range of strategies were employed at the opening auction with some students paying up to $95 for an in-demand pencil, and others holding on to their money until the end of the auction, where they were able to purchase a pencil for just $5.

Following the opening auction, students were given just one minute to use their purchased pencil. They were then given the chance to sell their coloured pencil to another student during a one minute trading period.

As students continued to alternate between one minute working and one minute trading periods, they found that some colours were easier to get than others.

All four pictures required the colour blue, but with just two blue pencils in circulation, many students had to pay a high price for the colour, and some were unable to buy it at all. On the other hand, only one picture required the colour orange, and there were several orange pencils in circulation, so many students struggled to sell the colour.

The activity continued until one student successfully completed all of their colouring.

Immediately after the simulation ended, students counted their money and discussed what they had learned from the activity. The top earners shared the strategies they used to make a profit, and the bankrupt and near bankrupt shared their shortcomings and mistakes.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Power of Peer Teaching

For their Who We Are summative assessment, the students in Grade 3 took on the task of teaching the second graders everything they know about healthy choices. The third graders spent several days reviewing and reflecting upon their learning, in order to select the material they would teach.

The third graders worked collaboratively in small groups to prepare presentations and learning activities that would not only demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, but also engage and educate their second grade peers.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable and educational for all. The third graders did an exceptional job teaching their peers, and the second graders learned some valuable information to help them make healthy choices.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Who We Are Presentations

The summative assessment of the Who We Are unit is the perfect opportunity to pull together the profile, attitudes, and skills that we've focused on the past several weeks. The third graders are working together in small groups to create presentations for the 2nd graders about food and exercise. We started by reviewing our profile and attitude foci and making agreements about how to work together:

We agree to…
  • be excited with positive attitudes (enthusiasm) 
  • work together with teamwork; help and care about each other (cooperation) 
  • work hard by ourselves (independence) 
  • share the work equally (balanced) 
  • reflect on our presentation and think about what we can do better (reflective)

The students then worked together in their groups to create scripts for their presentations.

Throughout the unit we have developed thinking and research skills, and with their finished scripts, the students can now start to concentrate on communication skills. To help them see their own growth, students can use a SOLO taxonomy as they prepare.

Looking ahead, our next unit is How We Organize Ourselves. The central idea of the unit is:

Marketplaces depend on the ability to produce goods 
and supply services that can be exchanged.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Field Trip to Heiwa No Mori Park

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the students in grade three went on a field trip to Heiwa No Mori Park, a large outdoor obstacle course in Ota-ku.

After weeks of learning about healthy choices, and the ways that exercise affects our body and mind, the third graders had a ton of fun testing their strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance on the park's 40 plus obstacles.

All of the climbing, crawling, swinging, traversing and leaping would not have been possible with the kind support of our parent chaperones. We would like to extend a huge thank-you to the ten mothers who gave up their time to help supervise our trip.

Please check out some of the highlights of our trip in the videos below.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Research Skills and 1:1 Chromebooks

For each Unit of Inquiry, students work to develop a specific set of trans-disciplinary skills. This week third graders focused on their thinking and research skills.

Students went through books, videos, and online resources, identified important information, and took notes on what they learned. 

To help with research, we have used the new Chromebook computers available to students. We are happy to announce that we now have one Chromebook for every student in 3rd grade!

Next week we will shift focus to communication skills as the students prepare "healthy choices" presentations for an audience of 2nd graders. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

3B PE-Learning about how different exercises can affect health and well being in the PE Classroom

Integrating the unit of injury in the PE classroom:

The central idea for this Who We Are unit of inquiry is: 

The choices people make can affect their health and well-being

The lines of inquiry which are being used to support this unit are:

● What it means to have a balanced diet

● How exercise can affect our body and mind

● Different sources of information to help us make choices

To learn about what it means to have a balanced diet, the students first learned about the different food groups and the nutrients they provide. 

The students are also learning about different categories of exercises (Strength, Endurance, Balance and Flexibility) and the various exercises you can do to have a positive affect on health and well being. 

Strength exercises: 
Flexibility exercises 
Endurance and strength exercises 
Stretching exercises 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Who We Are Unit of Inquiry

For their first unit of inquiry, the students in Grade 3 having been inquiring into healthy choices.

The central idea for this Who We Are unit of inquiry is:

The choices people make can affect their health and well-being

The lines of inquiry which are being used to support this unit are:

● What it means to have a balanced diet

● How exercise can affect our body and mind

● Different sources of information to help us make choices

To learn about what it means to have a balanced diet, the students first learned about the different food groups and the nutrients they provide.

Next they used everything they learned about the food groups to take part in an activity called Who Am I? For this activity, students were all secretly assigned a food item and asked to gather clues to figure out their assigned food item. 

Japanese Summer Reading Challenge

Alyssa is the Champion of the Japanese Summer Reading Challenge!
She read the most Japanese books over the summer.  がんばりましたね。

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Passwords are important...wherever you are

During library media centre lessons Grade 3 students have been learning about responsibility and the importance of having access at both home and school, or wherever they are, to the passwords that are necessary for our online books and research tools.

They created a reference page in their google docs, by selecting a google drawing where different shapes were allocated different usernames and passwords. long as they remember their google log in and password they will have access to many great sites for use with their schoolwork, homework or for leisure.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Data Collection and Graphing

Third graders started the year in mathematics by combining get-to-know-you activities with the strand of Data Handling.

Learning Intention: I understand information can be expressed as organized and structured data.

Success Criteria:
  • I can collect data and display it using simple graphs.
  • I can identify the minimum, maximum, range, mode, and median of a group of data.

First, students brainstormed math questions to ask their classmates, and after selecting their favorite question, they surveyed their classmates.

They followed this by making tally charts, graphing the data, and finding the minimum, median, maximum, mode, and range.

Later students viewed the finished graphs and commented on interesting information. Did you know the median number of siblings in third grade is one, or that the mode number of pets is zero? After creating their initial graphs, the third graders applied their communication and thinking skills to gather data connected to our Who We Are unit of inquiry.