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Grade 3 Blossoming with Spring

By Baghael Kaur, Grade 3 Class Teacher

We have been gardening, playing our new recorders, practicing our math skills, and soon (!) learning all about money, as part of our final measurement block. This exploration will come in handy during our tomato plant sale at the May Fair. We will practice adding up different quantities of money, and of making change. This is perfect timing - as the children have become increasingly comfortable doing mental math, especially addition and subtraction.

Each child has also created their own schedule for completing their times tables from 2-12 before the end of the school year - of course, this exercise is only one step on the way to truly cementing the times tables, but it is an important confidence boosting exercise, and certainly helps to solidify their skills. Every week I write on the board the ones that each child is working on, so that they can easily reference their current goal, and practice whenever they have a bit of extra time. The children have been very motivated and excited about this challenge, getting into groups to practice together, and supporting each other with a big round of applause whenever a child completes one. The process has been truly heart-warming!

We have also begun learning how to read music - we are taking it very slow, and beginning one note at a time, each colour coded. Today was the first time they 'read' music - as they successfully played their first note five times, while reading it from the staff on the board. We will keep it very simple and focus on learning our new fingerings and the corresponding note names and position on the staff.

We were so blessed to welcome Caroline (Kahili's mom) into the class on Monday, when she shared the traditional Bagan dance from her homeland of Myanmar. The children were spellbound by her beautiful performance! Afterwards, the children were welcomed to join in (either as musicians, or dancers - according to their preference) as she taught them the gestures and movements, as well as the beats, for the dance.

Caroline shares the following about the dance and her experience with the Grade 3 class:

"Bagan dance is a traditional dance which originates from the time of the Pyu Kingdom (5th-10th century), and usually performed at the royal courts in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).  After the dance, I shared about the Myanmar culture and language. I told a story about how I learned the classical Burmese dance as a child and the journey of how I found my passion in learning different styles from classical, contemporary to tribal dances to perform at various festivals.  Together as a class we made music and danced a few steps of Candlelight dance. It was a delightful and heartfelt experience. The children were so attentive, engaging in listening and sharing their own stories, as well as trying something new."

At snack time, Maya and Beth shared matzah, jam, and grape juice in honour of Passover. With Eid, Passover, Easter, Vaisakhi, Spring Equinox, and more celebrations filling these past few weeks, and with all the time we've been able to spend in the garden, it truly feels like we've been able to fully honour the arrival of spring!

May the blessings of spring, and its promise of hope and new life, be felt by each of you and your family.

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