‘Refreshing’ math inquiry

This is how a week of math inquiry begun in Grade 3 (click here):



And this is how it ended up in class:


As a class of mathematicians, we came up with a list of questions we wanted to answer. These included:

How much money did Mr. Justin put in the machine?

How many drinks are inside the vending machine when its full?

What is the perimeter/area of the vending machine?

What is the circumference of the Pocari bottle?

What is the volume of the Pocari bottle?

We divided our questions into low, medium and high complexity. Students chose to work individually or in groups to answer questions that challenged them personally.


The first step is always to consider what information you need in order to work on your question. Then, how could you gather that information.

I saw the vending machine being measured. I saw different groups figure out how to measure the circular bottle or to measure how much liquid it fit inside. I saw different students arriving at the same answer in different ways. I saw new questions come up.

It was an exciting week of math.


Place value with large numbers

This is a completed place value puzzle:



We can use a puzzles like this to inquire into the place values in bigger numbers and develop our number sense.

This is because we don’t really need to start at the beginning. We don’t need to find the smallest number and build the puzzle in order. We just need to look for the pattern and find the numbers/pieces that fit together.




We needed to draw on a lot of the skills we learned previously in order to create our own unique puzzle. Then we had a chance to build other student’s puzzles.




What patterns do you notice? Going backwards? Up? Down? Diagonally?


Investigating eco-systems

In our unit on Sharing the Planet, Grade 3 have begun to explore eco-systems.

We took a trip to the Biotope at the Nadahama Science Square to look for connections in the cultivated eco-system.


Our students did good science – asking questions, making observations, collecting data, sharing and analyzing information and then coming up with even more questions.


We also made time to visit the Oji Koen zoo and learn about some larger animals who form part of other eco-systems.


Of course, real scientists aren’t able to conduct all their research in structured environments and so we headed out to an estuarine habitat in Minami Uozaki to do further field work…



Back at school, Mr. White helped us set a Wormery / Compost box – a mini ecosystem we will be able to cultivate and document as it thrives in our own classroom.




So far its been a very exciting unit!

Rumis! Making a board game using our knowledge of measurement and area.

Rumis is a German board game introduced to us by Ms. Rost! We all enjoyed playing it. Fortunately, we have been learning about making accurate measurements and about how to use area (in math) and scale (in our mapping unit). We were able to put all these skills to good use and create our own version of the game.

Rumis is played with 3D blocks in 4 different colors. Each color has 11 oddly shaped blocks.

We glue gunned 2 x 2 x 2cm wooden cubes together to create our own blocks, using the original Rumis pieces as a template.

Then it was time to paint!


Once we had our game pieces, it was time to start work on the game boards.



Creating the different grids on which the game is played required students to puzzle through some challenging calculations like:

How many squares were needed? Given the size of the blocks, how big should their grids be drawn?



It was all worth it in the end though, as we now have a new classroom game we can play together!

Grade 3 is full of ENERGY!

We have been studying energy production and its effects on the environment.


We have had the opportunity to conduct some exciting experiments and develop our data recording skills.

Here is the result of an inquiry project where groups of students built a vehicle using any form of energy those chose; and entered it into a race down the corridor!


We have also had the opportunity to develop our research skills during this unit. This is a combined Grade 3 & 4 electronic poster-board with some examples of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. The learning doesn’t end when the bell rings so please enjoy following these links at home too.

Made with Padlet


To show off their understanding of what they have learned, students have now been tasked to design their own experiment which demonstrates the transfer of energy from one form to another.

Sharing about ART

In our art unit we have been looking at POP ART.

Grade 3 students researched artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Parvis Tanavoli – developing their concept of what defines pop art and what makes each artist’s contribution unique.

Many students saw a connection between our study of pop art and an artist they had learned about in Grade 2 – Yayoi Kusama. During our Bring & Share time this week the topic is art and some students chose to share their Kusama-inspired paintings from last year.

We love it when learning connects and continues across units and across grades.

Bring & Share is an excellent opportunity for students to practice their presentation and communication skills. As we share our own personal interests or aspects of ourselves, this also grows our community.


Field Trip to the Kobe Harbour.

On Thursday we took a boat tour around the Kobe Harbour on the Kobe ‘Fantasy’ Sea Bus.

We asked our students to look what structures and/or features they saw on the tour and to consider why Kobe has these. We are beginning #TuningIn to our unit on #HowWeOrganiseOurselves which promises to be an exciting one!

After our boat trip we enjoyed lunch in Meriken Park.



Thanks to our Intern Ms. Marieke Tornus for the photographs!