Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dances from Around the World

Grade Three students are learning dances from all around the world.  Through dance they're exploring how dances are similar and different.  Here's a dance from Mexico called "Los Machetes" or the "Sword Dance."   Imagine that these sticks are the swords.  Why do you think people would do a dance like this?  How might we know that this dance is from Mexico?  Do we know any other dances with similar steps, formations, or props?

Keep checking in as students learn more dances from around the world.  Do you have a dance to share from your country?  Feel free to contact Ms. Kampa about sharing your dance.

Lights! Camera! Action! Learning to Act On Stage

How do we express ourselves on stage?  Grade Three students had a chance to learn some acting strategies from Christian Vilina, a recent acting graduate (and Ms. Kampa's son).

Students practiced some popular tongue twisters to work on their articulation. Speaking clearly is important in acting.

Knowing how to use the space is essential.  Students learned about stage directions, such as upstage, downstage, stage right, stage left, and center stage.  Christian also demonstrated some partner work with Catherine.

Actors need to use their imagination to be successful on stage.  

Good luck to the Grade Three students as they learn more about expressing themselves on stage.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Adapting music from around the world

Grade 3A have been exploring the songs they researched from around the world, adding instrument accompaniments, new dance movements or re-inventing the rules of the game. In the video below, you can hear the Seisen students change the African game song 'Owisana'. The students had to think of a new way to pass the lumi sticks and could re-interpret the song.

Click on this link to see the students in action.

SIS Elementary Picture Book Contest 2016

We would like to congratulate all the girls who submitted manuscripts (story writing and pictures) for this contest and announce the winners.

Grade 3 winner
Book Title: Treasure from the Sea
Blur sprang into action. He float-swam as fast as he could go, and gradually Speed became bigger and easier to see. 

 As soon as the books are published a copy will be available for checkout from the ES Media Centre.

Semester Two Learning Outcomes

As a whole Elementary School goal we are aiming to provide parents with more insight into the teaching and learning across different subject areas.  As well as keeping you informed on recent events and classroom learning engagements through regular updates on grade-level blogs, we would like parents to access the curriculum learning outcomes for all areas.  You can download these learning outcomes for Grade Three by clicking on the link below.  Alternatively, you can download the learning outcomes from all grade levels from our website here.

Grade 3 Semester 2 Learning Outcomes

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How We Express Ourselves

On Friday, February 5th, the 3rd grade kicked off their "How We Express Ourselves" unit of inquiry by watching some teacher and student performances. We spent the morning in the Drama Room to provoke students' thinking about their central idea - The performing arts are a tool for creativity, expression and enjoyment in different cultures.  

Some of the performances were:
  • Mr. Ed (storytelling)
  • Rosa from 4B (ballet)
  • Ms. Hashimoto (piano)
  • Ms. Yukawa and Ms. Kampa (Tai-chi)
  • Mr. O'Shea and Mr. Lewis (fiddle and guitar)
  • Christian (Ms. Kampa's son) (singing)
  • Ms. Kampa (tap dance)

Throughout the unit we will be using the SOLO Taxonomy with students to look for evidence of learning in relation to each line of inquiry.  As we inquire further, the students will track their own progress as they move to the deeper levels of understanding.

Click on the image, below, to enlarge.

After watching the opening performances students completed a pre-assessment during which they discussed a number of activities (see slideshow below) and decided which of them should be considered performing arts. Pre-assessment tasks such as this are important as they allow students to revisit their initial ideas later in the unit and reflect on how their thinking has changed. They also help to get students thinking about the central idea and start to formulate their own questions. 

What do you think?  Which activities from the slideshow do you not consider performing arts?  What is your criteria for what makes a performing art?  Leave a comment below and let us know! 

Monday, February 8, 2016


On Thursday, February 4th, the Seisen 3rd graders visited Nakamachi Elementary School as part of a neighborhood exchange. It was an exciting morning:

The students made chopstick holders, took a tour of the school, played traditional Japanese games, and sang songs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Production and Consumption dances

Making connections is an important part of our PYP program.  Students in Grade Three made pizzas in their homeroom to learn about production and consumption.  Then they expressed their knowledge of production and consumption through a dance--a pizza dance!  Students used their knowledge of dance concepts (axial/locomotor movements, energy concepts including delicate/powerful, smooth/tight, quick/unhurried) to share their knowledge through a new medium.

See if you can figure out the various steps in each pizza dance.