Grade 3

December/January Blog Here are a few of the activities the Grade 3’s did since December!   We studied Ukraine in Social Studies and were thrilled to have Ukrainian Mrs. Nataliya Matskevich as our guest speaker!  Mrs. Matskevich is Artur and Tymur’s mother! Mrs. Matskevich gave an exciting and informative talk about her home country and its history.  She generously brought in and served homemade Borsch soup, along with Ukranian Garlic Bread, Pampushky, that is served at every meal.  The culminating activity for our Ukraine unit was to make 3 magical ornaments, each encapsulating a different aspect of Ukranian culture. We had an active December and January in Gym!  One of the games we focused on was Netball, which is an Australian game.  It is a wonderful sport that promotes athleticism and working as a cohesive team.  The game is played on a full-sized court.  Another game we played was basketball.  Students were taught how to dribble, pass, and do layups before we ventured into game play.  Right now, we are learning how to hone our skills playing volleyball, another excellent team sport! Language Arts saw us dissecting and retelling fairy tales, complete with illustrations!  We mounted the student’s wonderful work on the castle walls outside of our classrooms.  We continue to work on Fractured Fairy Tales, and are currently rehearsing our puppet plays based on a fractured version of Robert Muench’s ‘The Paper Bag Princess!’  A school-wide community- building event occurred when we went downtown to view ‘The Jungle Book’ at ATP.  In Science, Mrs. Milligan and Ms. Vicki are exploring two separate units.  Ms. Vicki’s crew is learning about Building Structures, while Mrs. Milligan’s troupe are studying Hearing and Sound.  We are going on a field trip to Studio Bell The National Music Centre on February 21 to learn how music and the media arts are inexplicably intertwined. Math is a subject much loved by many students.  Presently we are working on 2 and 3- digit addition and subtraction using the algorithm method.  We also introduced the students to a variety of addition and subtraction strategies that prove there are many ways to solve a problem!  We played many games to solidify our learning in this crucial aspect of mathematics. Other topics we studies were: double digit word problems; we made bar graphs of our Soup and Cereal Food Bank Drive; place value to 100,000; and Time. The next unit of study for us will be multiplication, which our students can’t wait for! For Hannukah, we had Rabbi Ilana Krygier Lapides visit to share with us fascinating information about the Jewish religion.  She awarded all the students with dreidels at the end of her presentation, and the students had tons of fun playing The Dreidel Game.  The Grade 3’s send gigantic thank you to Rabbi Ilana! Just recently we celebrated Chinese New Year!  We snacked on Pocky’s and Senbei Rice Crackers while doing an assortment of activities. Mrs. Yu and Ms. Vicki led the Grade 3’s in the making of an origami Lucky Chinese Lantern.  As well, students made Dragon Fortune Tellers while learning about the Chinese calendar and the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs.   We look forward to sharing our next adventures with you all in the following months! Ms. Vicki and Ms. M.

September/October 2022

Grade 3 has been a whirlwind of activity since we began back on September 1st!  We dived into Literacy, Math, Health and Science so far this year.   

Mrs. Milligan’s class dove into Shape and Space, where they created a wonderful, large castle that now resides for all to see in the Learning Commons.  They utilized a variety of handmade 3-D objects in order to construct their castle.  Then in their Science unit, they studied bridges.  After learning about different types of bridges, they broke into four groups and built small replicas of four bridges out of found objects.  These were then placed inside the castle grounds!  The students tested the strength of their bridges by placing standard weights on them.  The results were fun and telling!   

Ms. Vicki’s class studied Hearing and Sound.  They watched fascinating films related to this topic, and learned about vibration and how it is caused.  The students studied Chladni vibrations and the phenomena of sound.  They experienced how unique vibrational patterns are created when music is played.  Here is the link for you to enjoy and be amazed by the children’s favorite video by Nigel Stanford called Cymatics: Science vs. Music! 

After learning about the nature of sound and vibration, the children then began to examine the human ear.  The culminating activity for this study was to create a 3-D plasticine model of the ear.  ‘Sound’s like lots of fun!  For the months of November and December Ms. Milligan’s and Ms. Vicki’s classes will swap these Science topics and activities.   

Math in Ms. Vicki’s class was all about numbers!  The students focused on several aspects of Number, but were excited and extremely successful when it came to reading, speaking, and writing really BIG numbers past 100 000!  Then they delved into Place Value, often using games to augment their learning of thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones.  Their next venture is double digit adding.  Ms. Milligan’s students have worked on Place Value, and are continuing with Number, focusing on double digit addition.   

Sharing Circles have become an important aspect of Grade 3 life.  In them we discuss issues that pop up throughout the day, as well as how to experience and manage feelings that can be overwhelming.  We looked at responsibilities at school and at home, and had a Chair Pair Share session to discuss the chores each of us do at home.   Me In a Bag sharing has also been a hit with the kids. We have learned a great deal about each other and have really enjoyed the community building experience.

 On Orange Shirt Day (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) we introduced our children to the student generated book that was completed last year by the Grade 3’s entitled, ‘Virtues that Acknowledge the Land’. It was based on, ‘The Giving Tree’ by Leah Dorion.  This Acknowledgement to the Land encompasses the following virtues: Respect, Courage, Patience, Kindness, Caring, Honesty, Wellness and Sharing.  We took these virtues and applied them as a written response in direct correlation with the novel, ‘This is How I Know’ by Brittany Luby.  Ms. Luby wrote her bilingual story-poem from memories she created with the Indigenous Knowledge Keepers on Treaty 3 land in NW Ontario.  We will be following these same virtues this year, discussing and exploring them in our Sharing Circles, as well as in our general milieu.



To coincide with our school Residency with Calgary Opera we have chosen to envelop the theme of Fairytales for our Language Arts focus this year. We even painted the outside of our classrooms to create our castle enterance. We have read, discussed and dissected traditional fairytales and have been comparing them to fractured fairytales. The students are writing their own fractured fairytale paragraphs and stories with a focus on the conventions of adjectives, sensory words, dialogue (quotation marks), varying sentences and editing using C.O.P.S. (capitalization, organization, punctuation, spelling).

As a connection to our Science unit - Building with a variety of Materials, Ms. Milligan's class built the Three Little Pigs houses using toothpicks for the straw, popsicles for the stick houses and lego for the brick houses. To test the strength of each phase in this building process we introduced the houses to Big Bad Brad (Ms. Vicki's hairdryer). Sadly the old wolf didn't have enough Puff to succeed in even blowing down the straw houses. So we brought in The Terminator! The force of this (leaf blower) blew the straw houses to smithereens, knocked the stick houses off their foundations but couldn't budge the brick houses. In the end our student engineers learned the importance of sturdy building materials, strong foundations, good design and collaborative group work.

Ms. Milligan's class created fairytale characters of themselves for art. Can you guess which fairytale they are from and which portrait depicts your child?

Grade 3 February/March 2022 News   

     As Winter blew into the beginning of Spring, the Grade 3 students were busy at work!  ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ by Kate DiCamillo, is the novel we have been studying in Literacy.  Ms. Vicki has been filmed reading the novel and performing all of the character voices for the children’s enjoyment!  The kids read along with Ms. Vicki, as we have a class set of novels for them to use.  Excellent discussions have ensued over a variety of topics related to the novel.  We are doing vocabulary studies related to the novel, as well as different activities that focus on literary conventions.  Extensive narrative writing has also been done, where students write their own stories based on a quote from the book.  Or right at a particularly exciting moment in the story, the students were asked to pretend THEY were the novelist!  Their job was to continue on with the story, but NOT as a prediction of what they think will happen next that DiCamillo penned.  Instead, the children had to arrive at an original idea(s) that could possibly happen to the band of merry characters in the novel!  Graphic Organizers were at the children’s disposal so they could successfully plan their writing like real authors do!   

     Math has been an interesting and challenging endeavor for our students.  We have focused on Adding and Subtracting Numbers to 1000, with and without regrouping.  We examined the algorithm and learned about stacking math.  Then the children were exposed to a variety of different addition and subtraction strategies that they could utilize when working on math problems.  These strategies became invaluable to the students when we began practicing mental math!  Students are also looking at repeated addition and subtraction expressions and equations as a precursor to multiplication and division!   

     The students have partaken in many Sharing Circles over the past two months.  When issues arise within the milieu, or when we are looking specifically at Health and Wellness lessons, the students gather together to share their wisdom and feelings in the safety of the circle.  The most recent Sharing Circle saw all of the Grade 3 students gathered together for the first time!  We sat in a large circle in the Learning Commons, with Mr. Dyck as our special guest.  At that time, we discussed the current situation regarding our soccer play at recess, and how we could make it a friendlier, more organized experience.  As well as Sharing Circles, we have utilized the ‘Pair, Chair, Share’ method of expressing our feelings to each other.   

     We have now completed the research portion of our study of the 4 countries in Social Studies.  It is time to do comparisons between India, Peru, Tunisia, and Ukraine based on the information we have documented during our research.  Once this is finished, we will then compare the countries to our way of life here in Canada.  Terrific discussions are already beginning to occur as the students start to share their collective knowledge!   

     In Gym, we had a specialist come into the school to teach all of the students about the exciting game of Lacrosse!  The guest instructor had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with our students.  They were given the opportunity to handle the equipment that professional Lacrosse players utilize!  Great excitement buzzed about the gym during these lessons!  We are also learning the skills needed to play badminton.  The nets have been set up in the gym, and after many individualized lessons, the students are now having tons of fun playing games!       

     The school collectively has established a Peace Wall in our Learning Commons, as a way to express our desire for a peaceful world.  The children have made Sunflowers, which is the national flower of Ukraine, and they have hung up their work on the wall.  It is looking amazing, and is becoming full of their beautiful creations.   

     The last incredible piece of news to share with you all is that we had our first whole school assembly in two years!  It was unbelievable to feel the energy that was generated by all of us in the same room at the same time!  The singing of ‘Oh Canada’ had never sounded so sweet!   As we head into April we look forward to all that we will encounter, as well as the opportunity to share it all with you!   

 Ms. Vicki and Mrs. Milligan

December/January Blog 

In December we began our Science unit on Hearing and Sound, and have continued on with it into January.  One of the highlights was when we invited Teacher’s Pet in to do an in-school field trip. We thank you for your support in making this exciting activity possible!  Students learned about sound and vibration, high and low pitches, how loud music can damage your ears, and finally the parts of the ear.  The culminating activity was for the children to make a rain stick, which they decorated at another time.  In this unit at school, we took the information we had gathered during our field trip and made a plasticine representation of the parts of the ear.  Finally, the children took part in many science experiments that proved to be as educational as they were fun!  Students were placed in randomly mixed groupings, and as Scientists, had to document their findings using scientific terms.  They were asked to explain their thinking, as well as draw the results of each experiment.  We are concluding our Science Hearing and Sound unit this week.  Next week we will return to our studies of the four countries; Peru, India, Ukraine, and Tunisia.

This week we started writing another narrative based on a new picture prompt. Students got into partners and discussed their ideas together.  The next day they filled out their BOME graphic organizers.  They made jot notes of the Beginning, Obstacle, Middle, and End of their stories from the ideas they brainstormed the day before.  Then the serious writing began!  Students were encouraged to use their sensory word bank, adjective sheets, and their Words, Words, Words books to augment their narratives. Once the stories were complete and the teachers had conferenced with each child, the students went back to revise and edit their work.  

We also began a new unit in Math.  We are building number sense.  This week we are studying place value and addition, with a focus on regrouping.  We will be learning different addition strategies to provide alternative ways for children to access their answers.

For our Health studies, we read “But We’re Not Lions” by Karen Young.  Ms. Young also authored another book we studied called “Hey Warrior”.  “But We’re Not Lions” tells a story about resiliency and being able to surround ourselves in a protective force field to ward off negative words and energy. Students were given a plastic jar that they turned upside down.  Then they made a plasticine ‘mini me’ of themselves in a special place on the inside of the lid.  Once the plastic jar was screwed atop the lid, the children had a 3-D image of themselves with their own protective force field surrounding them!

Gym is a subject that many students love!  We have moved from floor hockey to volleyball for January’s lessons.  The children are learning how to serve the ball, and how to volley the ball by themselves.  Next up is volleying with a partner, and learning how to bump!  Soon we will be engaging in volleyball games!

December and January have been packed full of exciting times and activities!  We can’t wait to share with you what we have in store for your children in February!

Ms. Vicki and Mrs. Milligan

November 2021 News!


As the snow blows in, we hunker down and get to business in Grade 3!  We have begun our study of the four countries as stipulated in our curriculum.  The countries are as follows; Peru, Ukraine, India, and Tunisia.  We will be comparing these countries to Canada and the quality of life we have here, as well as looking at the Indigenous peoples of each land.  Students have learned about general topography, and are now applying their knowledge to the land forms of the countries we are studying.


Our Time, Calendar and Money units are completed, but we ask that you please help your child retain this important information.  Please practice telling time, and counting change and dollar bills with your child so they will have real life experiences in these areas.  As well, working with them on the days of the week and on the months of the year would also be beneficial.  We are now beginning to tackle number sense.  Students are examining Odd and Even numbers, numbers that occur before and after one another, and basic skip counting.  Looking at Patterns and Relationships is the final unit we will be visiting before Christmas.  We have been playing card and dice games to augment our study, much to the delight of the children!


In Literacy, we completed our study of ‘Charlotte’s Web’.  While reading, we focused on expanding our vocabulary.  Students examined new and different words, learned their definition’s, and used them in sentences. With art in mind, we did guided drawings of key characters.  As well, we wrote words that described these character’s traits and placed them around the sketches.  This blossomed into a study of our own character traits that we discussed during Health.  Once we looked into this aspect of our own personalities, we wrote 3 positive adjectives from our extensive Character Trait sheet about other students in our class. We will continue to use this list, adding it to the other lists of words that we utilize which include spooky words, sensory words, and transition words during our writing explorations.  We have recently started Guided Reading Groups.  Students of similar reading abilities chose a novel from the Learning Commons.  They are reading this novel out loud together while at the same time focusing on Comprehension, Fluency, Accuracy, and building greater vocabularies.  Presently, our Guided Reading writing tasks stem from the lists mentioned above.  Students were introduced to goal setting this month. They were required to examine current work they have produced in order to pick a goal that they could work towards in Reading and Writing


Floor Hockey is the game we are learning in Gym.  Students have had the opportunity to stick handle, pass to one another, and practice shooting at the nets.  The end result is breaking into teams and playing the game!


We look forward to the conversations we will share during the upcoming interviews.


Ms. Vicki and Mrs. Milligan     


October 2021 

In our School Development Plan, we have goals around Health/Wellness, with a focus on Growth Mindset, and in Indigenous Connections.  For the past two months, we have endeavored to concentrate on related activities around the Plan’s goals.  Our most recent mentor text we made connections to is Health/Wellness, and Indigenous Studies is The Giving Tree, by Leah Dorian.  This is an enticing Metis story that has inspired us to create our own Grade 3 Circle of Virtues and decision-making model. 


The Infinity sign is a prominent symbol in the Metis culture.  It signifies balance, harmony, and the continuous nature of life.  To capture the importance of these concepts, the students were asked to draw an infinity symbol with blue marker on a white background.  This is, in fact, the Metis flag.  The book The Giving Tree is chock full of dynamic, bold, colourful illustrations, also drawn by Leah Dorian.  We chose a 3-step art project to capture this Metis influenced art, and had our students draw the Giving Tree itself.  The morning sky and the evening sky are flanked on either side of the tree.  This was done to represent how the act of giving is a cyclical process that has no end.  The children drew an Infinity Symbol at the base of the tree to highlight this fact. 


Next, we studied the Red River Cart Wheel of 12 Teachings, which we then adapted to include 8 virtues that we all want to strive for.  We created definitions for each of the 8 virtues, and then designed our own ‘Circle of Virtues’.  The virtues we aspire to our courage, caring, sharing, respect, kindness, wellness, patience, and honesty.  After colouring our Circle of Virtues with bright markers, we cut them out and pasted them onto the back of our Giving Tree art pieces.  This Circle of Virtues is going to be the model we use and refer to throughout the year when we are studying and further developing our Growth Mindset work. 


Once this was completed, we dove into the 3-Fold Metis Decision Making Model to guide us when making decisions.  After class discussions, we created our own Grade 3 Decision Making Model. The 3 categories we chose to focus on were: Problem – What is the problem? Progress – What action are we going to take to resolve the problem? Future Result – Where will this action take us? 

Finally, we viewed nature art by the renowned artist Andy Goldworthy, as nature and the environment are hugely prominent in the Metis way of life. 

Andy Goldworthy's Natural Leaf Art

We went outside into our forest and created beautiful images using only natural elements, such as leaves, sticks, pinecones, rocks, feathers, and moss.  The students loved working together to decide upon and then design the piece they collectively chose to do.  A Growth Mindset was extremely important and a necessary skill to work together as a community throughout this activity.     

 October has been a month full of rewarding and exciting activities! We can’t wait to embark on more throughout the rest of the year.   

 Ms. Vicki and Mrs. Milligan

October 1, 2021

Greetings Grade 3 Parents! 

This week was Indigenous Week at Nellie McClung School!  The students engaged in many Indigenous activities over the past three days.  Sharing Circles prompted excellent discussions as we explored Indigenous issues.  The week culminated with Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday, September 29th. The morning was spent watching Indigenous videos and engaging in deep conversations about other’s cultures, past and present.  During Math, we played the Blackfoot Bone Game.  The children decorated 5 popsicle sticks that represented the rib bones of a caribou.  The sticks were each allocated a particular number, and then tossed between the children. The students added the numbers together, and the highest score won.  Please ask your child to show you their decorated ‘bones’!  In the afternoon, we played several outdoor Indigenous games, much to our children’s delight!  


This is one of the references we used when planning our Indigenous Week activities. 


This map represents all of the geographical areas of the Indigenous Communities that the games we played are from. 



The Bone Game was a hit with everybody!


Tatanka Tatanka is a Dakota game that resembles British Bulldog.  Our students had a riotous time playing this game using pool noodles, to keep everyone Covid-safe!


Animal Muk saw our children replicating animal sounds to try and make each other laugh!  The student with the best poker face won!


Masks were donned for Shoe Shoe, a seated circle game where the goal was to keep the passing object hidden from the eyes of the person in the centre of the circle. 


Snowsnake is a hilarious game where the students used popsicle sticks to act as snakes.  Once the sticks were thrown, the student’s ‘snake’ who slithered the farthest across the floor won!


Our Sharing Circles are being incorporated into our weekly routine, as they are a terrific vehicle for students to share their thoughts about topics that are meaningful to them.


Our Indigenous Week was a solid success!  Whether immersed in discussions, or playing wildly in the sun, the children were engaged, and actively learning about Indigenous peoples and their ways.


Ms. Vicki and Mrs. Milligan

September 10, 2021

Hello Grade 3 Parents!

We have had a fantastic start to our 2021–2022 school year!  Each of our classes has come together nicely as we focused on Getting to Know You games our first 3 days back.  In accordance with our School Development Plan, we have plunged into Wellness by reading several books and doing activities directly related to this important topic.  We began with, ‘The Way I Feel’, which took us on a merry path through a gamut of emotions!  After discussing and relating personal stories to each emotion, we agreed that, “Feelings come and feelings go.  I never know what they’ll be.  Silly or angry, happy or sad – They’re all a part of me!”  Next, we read, ‘What Does It Mean to Be Present?’ which examined and gave examples of ways in which we can always stay in each moment that we experience.  We summed up our lesson by realizing, “Being present means living in the moment.  It means realizing that…yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift – That’s why we call it the present!”  Presently we are examining anger with the storybooks ‘Anh’s Anger’ and ‘Steps and Stones’.  The students are creating Anger Monsters from found materials that represent what their own anger looks like.  We just can’t wait to put them up on the wall! 

As a reminder, please return the School Demographic, Health Concerns, and Technology forms to the office.  Also, please be sure your child has a solid breakfast, sufficient snacks, and a good well-rounded lunch.  If your child has not had breakfast, please provide them with extra food that they may eat upon arrival. Please send headphones (not earbuds) to be kept at school for the year. Headphones purchased from the dollar store are sufficient. 

We are looking forward to learning more about your child from you, during our Meet the Teacher conversations. 

Ms. Vicki and Mrs. Milligan 

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