End of Grade 4 (June Calendar)

Hello Parents!

Normally this time of year teachers are saying goodbye and wrapping up with a class of students. This year is different because I will be looping up with this wonderful group of almost fifth graders. We’ve been focusing on Learner Profile Attributes and Approaches to Learning and paying close attention to the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition occurring right down the hall. There is a lot to keep straight as we finish up the year but 4A has been handling it easily. Don’t forget that there will be a poetry cafe in 4A on June 12th where students will share some of the great poetry they have been writing. We are still busy studying energy, writing poetry and staying focused in learning!

Thank you again,


Benjamin Banner


Student Led Conferences

This week we will have our student led conferences at SIS. This is an annual presentation of learning from the students. It is their opportunity to tell you who they are as a learner and show off some of their learning from the school year. The conference will be entirely hosted by the student. It will be a digital presentation they have created. I have been encouraging them to reflect on their Keynote presentations and ask if their slides explain “who they are” as learners, rather than “what they did.” This is an attempt for them to evaluate the year and look at the ups and downs. Some students will outline struggles they faced, while others will focus on success stories. Either way, you can expect an overview of your child’s year at SIS and how they feel about it. One thing that is necessary is your participation. The students will greatly benefit from you asking them questions and prompting their responses during the presentation. Below I will attach a document with some suggestions for you to ask them. Please take a look and maybe download the .pdf to keep on hand during the conference. They are excited to show you what they’ve been doing in school!

Reflection Tools

Earth Week and May Madness

We’re just finishing up Earth Week at SIS and have had some fun activities to remind us to take care of the beautiful planet we are lucky enough to live on. We’ve had bingo games, scavenger hunts, and lots of conversations about conservation. Single use plastics have been a big focus as we try and rely more on products we can use more than one time. Durable water bottles are highly encouraged as they can replace a single use plastic bottle that takes thousands of years to biodegrade. As our unit of inquiry focuses on economics we have also been inquiring into the systems of waste management that countries have and where the money to support them comes from. Charity and donation are always good, however, it has been interesting to hear the students ideas about taxation and management of infrastructure!

In other news, we’re coming to that time of year where things start to move very quickly. Sometimes it is called May Madness as summer vacations are being planned by students and families while teachers are getting busy with end of year assessments report cards and always the daily activities. We will have our student led conferences in May, there will be a field trip, a pool party, and couple other events that will sneak their way in. As the calendar fills up I’d like to remind everyone to keep lines of communication open. Please email me if you have any questions or need any help with planning. I will let everyone know the dates of the upcoming events with the release of the May calendar next week.

As always I appreciate your support and trust!

In partnership,

Benjamin Banner

Time Flies!

Hello Parents!

It’s already April and the year is moving quickly! Although time is short there is still a lot to do in grade 4 before the end of the year. Students are working hard in all areas and it’s so amazing to see them grow into more responsible and independent students. The quality of work they produce and the skills they demonstrate every day are far beyond what they could do back in August when the school year began.

We’ve recently started a new focus on Literary Analysis. This process has students reading their chapter books with more awareness of character’s motivations, changing traits, and relationships in books. They are looking at how characters change in response to their experiences in stories and forming opinions about characters’ actions and traits. It’s an exciting time to watch our young readers and writers dive into some higher level thinking skills and display meta-cognitive awareness.

Our new PYP unit is focused around economics on a micro and macro scale. This unit has our learners inquiring into topics that seemed too advanced for them only six short months ago. The central idea “Economies rely on resources and choices to sustain societies.” provokes inquiry into how and why economies develop and that regulation is sometimes needed to sustain them. We will begin by reading historical accounts of trade as far back as the Silk Road. We will then explore how economic interdependence is developed through trade over time. This leads the class into the discussion of business, resource management, and many other interesting a relevant lines of questioning.

Beyond 4A there’s always something happening at SIS! With our third session ASAs just beginning, we have students involved in Track and Field, Choir, Cricket and a variety of other great activities. Also the Talent Show auditions are in full force with dedicated staff and our wonderful PSA fully supporting.

So, as always, please email me if you have any questions and have a wonderful day!

Thank you,


Mr. Banner

Unit of Inquiry Share-Out

Hello Parents!

We’ve just completed our summative assessment of our current Unit of Inquiry! Our share-out today was successful and the students were confident and excited to share all their hard work. We used the Book Creator app to compose a digital book that chronicled our research into three different lines of inquiry. Our informational writing content had students organizing their writing with glossaries, works cited pages, tables of contents, and clear paragraph formatting with sub-headings. It’s been a long process and I don’t want any of you to miss out on seeing the excellent products your childrencreated so I am encouraging all the students present the book at home as well. The students can then show you the Flip-grid video reflections they have all been doing alongside written reflections in their PYP notebooks. Their PYP notebooks are a wonderful guide to the unit and what the students have done from the beginning they will bring them home as well to explain what they’ve been doing. From learning note-taking strategies to composing 20+ page books, they’ve been busy so please: Ask them about it!

Always Something Happening!

Hello 4A Parents!

This is a busy and exciting time at SIS. While we are continuing our studies of informational writing and reading, systems and structures of living things, and investigating fractions we are also getting busy in so many other ways. Our trip to Hong Kong for the overnight with Dragonfly was a smashing success with students having a blast and gaining a greater understanding of themselves and their grade 4 community. They reflected, using SeeSaw, on their learning in terms of the PYP Learner Profile. We’ve also just had our SIS 3-5 Field day event which brought the community together in another way. It prompted students to work in multi-grade level groups and collaborate to complete a variety of sports related challenges and games. Our brilliant PE faculty and supporting staff put on another awesome event. Later this week we have the G4 music performances as well. Mrs. Sheppard has put together a wonderful collection to be enjoyed by 4A parents in the Gecko Theater at 8:30 on March 14th. Finally, our trip to the Shenzhen Safari Park will occur on Friday! We will be extending our understanding of animal adaptations and survival by observing real animals in their simulated environments. This is a wonderful and productive time at SIS. We’ve got more coming with Book Week next week and the PSA Talent Show auditions. I think the students will be ready for the Spring holiday from March 23rd-31st.

As always, I greatly appreciate your trust and support in both myself and SIS,

Mr. Banner

Good Morning G4A Parents!

We’ve started our fraction unit in Math in 4A. This means some students are excited and others frustrated. Either way, take a look below for an overview of what we’ll be doing and some helpful tips for you as you support your learner. The pdf link is below as well.


Mr. Banner


Tips Fractions .pdf

(The site of the Grade 4 Overnight pictured above)

Hello parents! As always, there is a lot going on in Grade 4 and here’s an update. Our new PYP Unit of Inquiry is starting with the central idea that “Living things process and respond to information in different ways for survival.” Students are inquiring into the internal and external structures of animals and plants and how they help them survive. They will be using their non-fiction reading skills to do research as well as studying informational writing. Combining these literacy skills with the exploration of science content will make this a fun and interdisciplinary unit. As they progress through the lines of inquiry they will be composing multiple written pieces into a digital books they can share out in a gallery walk type presentation that you all will be invited to. The students will be focusing on their Communication skills, Research skills, Thinking skills, and building their knowledge as they ask questions and explore these concepts.

  4A is almost finishing with their study of geometry and nearing the start of our unit on fractions. It’s been a hands on unit with students learning to use protractors to measure, compose, and classify a variety of figures. We’ve moved from basic angle measurement to constructing triangles. (See today’s SeeSaw post) Later this week we will be classifying and constructing quadrilaterals based on their differing attributes. By the start of next week we will be launching a brand new unit about fractions. Stay tuned for more information regarding that unit.

We also have the G4 Overnight trip coming up on March 7th-8th. I hope to see many of you at the informational meeting with Dragonfly this evening at 4:20 (Feb 19th). They will be going over the details of the trip and answering any questions parents may have. The trip will be a wonderful community building event for grade 4 and will support our Learner Profile attributes such as being Risk-Takers, Open Minded, and being Well-Balanced. At the end of grade 4 the overnight is always a highlighted memory to the students. As always, the 4A classroom is an exciting and energetic place to be!


Mr. Banner