# Winter is coming

Happy November everyone, and welcome to the start of winter in Shenzhen! As the seasons start to change we always notice a rise in students falling ill with colds and fevers. Just a reminder to make sure that the kids are washing their hands with soap and warm water often, especially if they are sick, and also please remember the school policy that states if a child is sick they must be fever free for 24 hours before they should come back to school to reduce the chance of passing the germs onto others.

Ok, so what are we up to these days? We have been moving along with our new unit, learning about the scientific process and how it helps scientists organize their investigations. Students have been working on writing out more and more of the scientific process on their own, and inquiring into how procedures could be created, and what additional materials might be needed to conduct an experiment. They have also been working on using their procedural writing skills to make sure that their procedure sections are detailed enough that anyone else could be able to read their lab report and re-create their experiment. This week the kids are coming up with their own experiments that they are going to test, and by the end of next week they should all have completed their very own experiments with lab reports to show their work.

In math we have started learning about measurement. We are starting off by reviewing the different math tools that we have in the classroom, and how they should be used properly to get accurate measurements. We have been learning to estimate and measure in inches and feet so far, and will be switching over to centimetres and metres as this week moves along.

In reading we are continuing to work on comprehension as we read. Stopping to think about details that we have learned about characters in the story, what we know about the setting, and retelling the important details. We have also been reading a lot of non-fiction books the last few weeks which will help prepare us for our next unit where the focus will be on learning about history of people and places (more on this coming soon).

As an added bonus, we have also been introducing coding to the students. We were lucky enough to borrow some Dot robots from Mrs. Livingston at the library and the students were challenged to complete 10 levels of coding which would teach them many of the features that the Dot robots are capable of. So far we have 4 students who have completed all 10 levels, and most of the rest are only a couple of levels away! We motivated them by going to watch the 5th graders who were learning to code with Dash, who we have said is Dot’s older sibling. Dash has wheels and the ability to drive, so we told the kids that if they were able to complete all 10 Dot challenge levels, we would upgrade and get the Dash bots next. Looks like we will have a rolling army of adorable robots in our room soon!

Coding with the Dot robots has been a great time, but challenging as well! Teamwork was required to overcome the challenges that the kids faced.

Coding with the Dot robots has been a great time, but challenging as well! Teamwork was required to overcome the challenges that the kids faced.

In an effort to build our community, SIS is partnering with Yucai 4 elementary school this year to develop friendships with students. Our class was asked to participate in a pen pal program with a group of 3rd graders. Here we are, about to send our reply letters back to them!

Our first groups of Coding Champions had to persevere through the Dot challenges. There were many times where we heard “I need help, this is too hard” but after leaving them alone to problem solve for a few minutes we were always rewarded with a cheer of “We got it!!!!!!”

Our first groups of Coding Champions had to persevere through the Dot challenges. There were many times where we heard “I need help, this is too hard” but after leaving them alone to problem solve for a few minutes we were always rewarded with a cheer of “We got it!!!!!!”