September 13

Place Value up to the Thousands

Representing numbers is our main focus at the moment in Math. Mrs. Sullivan is asking us to show numbers in 4 different ways:

  • Draw a picture
  • Write the number in words
  • Expand the number
  • Write it in standard form

We use Base Ten blocks to model numbers. In the pictures below, you can see some of our students playing a game called Race to a Flat.

In Gr.3 we are expected to know up to the THOUSANDS place value but we know that numbers can be much larger, of course. We continue to practice how to read, write, and represent numbers up to this place. It can sometimes be tricky, especially when zeros are involved such as in the number 1045.

At home, students are encouraged to challenge themselves to represent numbers in different ways! Roll a dice 4 times and create a number–expand it, write it in words, draw it.

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June 7

Building, Writing, Rolling

What are we up to you ask? The learning never ends in Room 124. We are building catapults, writing poetry, and rolling dice while we learn about probability.

Below you can see that students are working in partners or trios to design and build a catapult that must launch a marshmallow over a ‘wall’. They’ve put their thinking caps on and are busy gluing, sticking, and testing their designs. Good luck! (Thanks to Mrs. Bernardo for the pictures).

I’ve been blown away by the level of creative thinking by many students in our poetry unit so far. The vocabulary and ‘thinking outside the box’ is outstanding. We will be sure to share with you several of our poems. The students LOVE to share their poems with the class and are eager to keep writing…even into lunch hour! Woah. You can see us below writing a poem in a small group based on a regular, every day object that Mrs. Sullivan gave to us. Some of the objects included scissors, an orange cone, and a clipboard.

We were off to the races today playing a Horse Race game involving rolling a pair of dice and moving our ‘horse’ one space if the dice showed our horse’s number. If we were horse #5, then whenever someone threw a 5, we were allowed to move forward one space. Whomever crossed the finish line first was the winner. Some of us thought our horses were ‘cursed’ or that it was unlucky for some strange reason. Tomorrow we will discuss why certain horses were winning more than others. I have a feeling math has something to do with it!

June 3

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Probability is all around us! On Friday, we discussed the common game Rock, Paper, Scissors and how it is linked with math. What are the chances your partner will throw a ROCK? What are the chances your partner will throw PAPER? What about SCISSORS?

After pairs of students played 20 rounds of the game and recorded each of the outcomes as a fraction, we analyzed the results. What did the results say about our partner?  There was some interesting sharing of information. For example, one student used “Rock” 18/20 times and admitted this was because he thought he had a better chance of winning if he used it.

We looked at the different ways you could win and discovered you actually had an EQUAL CHANCE of winning if you used ANY of the ‘symbols’ in the game. However, if you know your partner typically uses one type of symbol over the others, perhaps your chances of winning increase because you can use that against him or her.

Rock–paper covers it

Paper–scissors cut it

Scissors–rock crushes it


When you play Rock, Paper, Scissors, do you use the symbols randomly or do you typically use one or two symbols more than another?  Does it depend on who you’re playing with?

Parents–if you’re interested, here is an interesting article from the BBC about the psychology behind the game

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May 30

What’s the Chance?

What is probability, anyways? We brainstormed together on Monday and came up with a whole array of vocabulary and ways in which we use probability in our every day lives.

Here are some of our ideas:

  • chance
  • likelihood
  • risk
  • certain/impossible
  • likely/unlikely
  • equal chance (50/50)
  • weather forecast (What’s the chance it will rain today?)
  • gambling/playing the lottery

Can you think of more ideas where we see or use probability in our lives?

Probability is the chance of something happening. We’ve learned about what are events that are certain (100% chance they will happen) and events that are impossible (no chance it will happen) and events that fall in between (likely, unlikely, equal chance).

For instance, what’s the chance you will eat dinner tonight? What’s the chance that you will be in grade 4 next year? What’s the chance it will snow tomorrow? What’s the chance Mrs. Sullivan will come to school tomorrow with blue hair? (hmmm….)

We looked at a number line and shared ideas of where different events would fall on the number line.

We love playing the game of SKUNK because we get to apply the game of chance and have fun at the same time! What? Math can be fun?

Have a look at us working hard today with spinners!

April 11

Measure Me This…Measure Me That

As we wrap up our unit on Measurement, it is interesting to be reminded of the fact that there seems to be only 3 countries in the world that have not adopted the metric system. These include the US, Myanmar, and Liberia.

I think it’s time these countries get on board. What do you think?

I’ve been very impressed with how far we’ve come as a class in terms of our confidence in telling the time (analog). Our grade 4s have been using number lines to also calculate elapsed time. Great job everyone! Perimeter (the distance around an object) and Area (the amount of 2D space occupied by an object) have also been topics we’ve been exploring using square tiles, geoboards, and grid paper. Below, you can see students busy putting their measurement knowledge into practice.

If you play this video to the very end, you increase your chances of never forgetting what perimeter is and how to find it!

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April 7

Way to Go Mathletes!

There are several students who are deserving of recognition this week. In no particular order…

Congratulations to Domenic for achieving our 2nd silver certificate in the class! Way to go! To earn his first silver, Domenic earned 5 bronze certificates.


Congratulations to Joseph for achieving a total of 4 certificates so far. He is one certificate away from earning his first silver. Wow!


Luca P. has also earned a total of 4 certificates and is one away from his first silver. Be very proud! Congratulations.


Cassie has earned a total of 4 bronze certificates and her next bronze bumps her up to a silver. Keep working hard, Cassie! Way to go!


Can you believe it? We have yet another student super close to earning her first silver…Ava Y! Fantastic job.


Who will earn our 3rd silver certificate?

Keep up the terrific work, everybody!



March 6

Mathlete of the Week

Ok…so this is a few days late, but today we give a special shout out to our very first silver certificate winner….

Elliott! She has earned the first silver certificate in the class by earning a total of 5 bronze certificates. Elliott works hard to practice regularly and earns points for every correct answer. Let’s giver her a round of applause!


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February 28

You Batter Believe It!

Today was Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Shrove Tuesday always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. It comes from the old custom of using up all the fattening ingredients such as eggs, milk and oil in the pantry so that people were ready to fast during Lent. So, why not make pancakes with those ingredients? All classes in our school today celebrated by either making pancakes or having them provided. Thanks to all the parents who helped make this happen for our students! They were scrumptious.

In multiplication, we are learning not only about single digit multiplication as in 8×5, but also double-digit by single digit such as 45 x 3.  We understand that multiplication is repeated addition and we’ve been learning how to represent the numbers using addition sentences as well as multiplication sentences.

5 x 4 = 20      or     4+4+4+4+4 = 20

In the pictures below we were building arrays using square tiles to represent a number, such as 20. We discovered that there are sometimes more than one way to build an array to represent a number.

For instance, we learned that 20 can be built in rows and columns as in:

1 x 20

2 x 10

4 x 5

Students will continue to build on this foundation in the upcoming grades as they learn about prime and composite numbers.

In our class, the students are asked to know their times tables up to the 9s…especially our grade 4s! However, I know many of our grade 3s are up for the challenge, too!


February 18

Mathletes of the Week

Congratulations to our superstar mathletes this week…

Gregory joined our class only recently and has already earned a Bronze certificate! Way to go!


Elliott has now earned a total of 4 Bronze certificates and is edging closer to her first Silver! She is called a Junior Giant in Level 2 Live Mathletics at 89% accuracy.

You should be proud of yourselves for all your hard work. Keep up the terrific work everyone!

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February 16

Introduction to Multiplication

Today we launched into our unit in multiplication. We began with a brainstorm of words we thought were associated with multiplication. Can you think of more she should add to our chart?

Here is a nice video showing how multiplication and addition are related. In our notebooks, we continued the pattern of stars in groups all the way up to 10 groups of 3. Have a look:


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