May 21

Off to the Races!

PROBABILITY is the chance of something happening.  Recently, we played the game “4 Corners” where students have to respond to a question such as “What are the chances you will go out for dinner tonight?”. The students had to  move to one of the 4 corners in our classroom labeled “Likely” “Unlikely” “Certain” and “Impossible” and be able to justify why they were there.

Playing probability games is a fun way of exploring this notion of “chance”. One recent game involved a little bit of ‘horse play’. Students worked in teams to race across the gameboard by rolling 2 dice. First, they had to choose which horse they were going to be (from horse number 2 up to horse number 12).

Students were only allowed to move their horse (1 space) if they or another team member rolled their horse’s number! Students noticed that horse numbers 6,7,8 always seemed to be winning. How come? Was it luck? Magic?

After a discussion about the chances of rolling each number of a die, students quickly realized that there are more chances of rolling a 6, 7 or 8 which explained why those horses were winning more often! It wasn’t magic, afterall. 🙂

Here is a video explaining how we play Skunk in class. Note: when we roll snake eyes, we play the version where students would lose all points for the current round and PAST rounds too.

Where do YOU see probability around you?



April 24

Representing Fractions

What might 3/4 look like? Students were asked to draw pictures or use materials to show 3/4 in as many ways as possible.

Teams of students worked together to brainstorm and then represent their ideas on paper. Have a look at some of their work.

Can you think of other ways to show 3/4? Leave a comment and tell us what your ideas are.

April 16

Let’s Talk Fractions

A fraction is a part of a whole. If Mrs. Sullivan chops an apple into 4 equal pieces to share with her friends, each person will be 1/4 of the apple.

As we explore and understand fractions, as part of our warm up, I invite several students to volunteer and stand at the front of the room. I then proceed with a question about fractions.

Today’s question was, “With the students at the front, what am I thinking that shows the fraction 3/4?

There were many great guesses including…

  • 3/4 of the students are wearing blue tops.
  • 3/4 of the students have long sleeves

While those guesses are true, they weren’t the “rule” I was thinking of.

Can you guess my rule? Look carefully!

April 14

I have the BEST job!

Every day I am privileged to come to our school to greet 20 amazing, awesome, bright, funny, talented, intelligent, fun, exuberant, zany students.

Here’s just a sample of why I feel so blessed

Have a beautiful weekend!

The 3 amigos at the end of the day. Can you feel the joy?

How wonderful to have such terrific help when Mrs. Sullivan can’t stop coughing!


February 26

The Marvelous Metric System

When we began our measurement unit, students brainstormed many things that we can measure some of which included:


  • time
  • distance
  • speed
  • length
  • width
  • height
  • depth
  • mass
  • volume
  • temperature

What other things can we add to our list?

The metric system uses units such as meter, liter, and gram to measure length, liquid volume, and mass. The metric system is based on 10s, and some of the different measures for length include kilometer, meter, centimeter, and millimeter. Notice that the word “meter” is part of all of these units.

Did you know that there is only 3 countries in the world that have not adopted the metric system. These include the US, Myanmar, and Liberia.

Armed with rulers, meter sticks, and measuring tape, students were busy measuring various items around the class today. We even learned about something called circumference when we had to measure the distance around our heads!

Check out these busy bees!

Check out this video that we watched in class. You may find yourself singing along!

February 22

A Shopping Extravaganza

Math is all around us. Whenever we go to the grocery store, the mall, see gas prices, travel distances to go somewhere, check the time, share a pizza, make cookies, there is no denying that we’re applying math concepts. Over the last little while, our students have been busy applying math concepts in order to go shopping with $10.00. They also had to figure out what change they’d receive. Using flyers and play money is a fun way to learn!

February 5

Welcome to Mathletics!

If you’re unfamiliar with Mathletics, please allow me to introduce you to this great program. As a teacher, I’ve been using Mathletics for about 5 years or so. Just recently, our school board has made the program available to all students at our schools, at no cost to families.

Mathletics is used as part of our math learning in class and is an online math program that helps us practice our math facts, reinforces math concepts, and most importantly, makes math FUN! You will have 24 hour access to Mathletics which means that you can work at your own pace; anywhere, anytime. This online math tool helps us practice computation and improves our math fluency, especially when we use LIVE Mathletics. We love competing with one another and even with students from around the globe!

If you haven’t already, it is recommended that you spend a little time looking at the program with your child so that you can gain the greatest understanding of how Mathletics will benefit his or her learning.

Take a quick video tour by clicking here!

How do I earn certificates?

A certificate is awarded to a student once they have earned 1000 points in a single week. Only one certificate is awarded each week, to help encourage sustained study by the student. Points are awarded across Mathletics in a number of ways…

  • Live Mathletics – students earn one point per correct answer
  • Live Mathletics – students earn two points per correct answers on their bonus level (indicated by a gold star next to the level number)
  • Mathletics curriculum – 10 points per correct answer within individual activities
  • Mathletics curriculum – 20 points per correct answer within a “Test”


Students can also earn a coveted spot on the Mathletics Hall of Fame! Ask your child to show you the Hall of Fame at home. It’s pretty neat.

Keep working hard grade 3s!