Weekly update, February 26th-March 2nd

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a great break and are well rested.

First things first, we have a big week ahead of us since our class will be featured in this Friday’s assembly. The kids have been working hard to write up their own scripts to show off what we have been learning in class, and are excited to get up on stage and tell you all about it!  Please make sure that everyone arrives on time Friday morning since we will probably go to the SPAH as soon as the kids come in at 7:50 so we can get ready.

In reading this week we will continue working on fluency, specifically looking at how authors use interesting and creative words to make stories more interesting.

In writing we will continue to work on writing opinion letters. We will also cycle back to comparing and contrasting as we will be starting some small research projects to compare and contrast children’s lives, schools, and transportation from the past and how they are now in the present.

In math we will continue with our data collection and graphing, and also cycle back to some addition and subtraction skill practice.

In our unit of inquiry, students are working on developing their own research questions to learn more about children’s lives, schools, and transportation in the past. Using resources provided in class, they are going to search out their answers, and compare these facts from the past with facts of how things have changed in the present. This will help prepare them for their final assignment in our unit that they will be working on next week.

That should cover things for this week, please don’t forget to mark it down on your calendars to come to the assembly this Friday at 8:15.


Thanks as always,


Weekly update February 5-9th

Hello everyone, I hope you’re keeping warm!  I keep hearing that winter will end soon, but I’m starting to have my doubts.

Quick announcements first of allL I posted a video to each student’s Seesaw account yesterday. It is the latest traveling tale that we helped to write along with students from International schools in Saudi Arabia, Belgium, U.S.A., and Cambodia. Check out the problem that our kiddos created! Please don’t forget that photo retakes are going on this Friday. We will be retaking the whole class photo, as well as any students who were absent the first time that the photographers were here.

On to the academic side of things.

We are continuing to work on our fluency in reading. Students will be starting to bring books home from school everyday again this week so that they will be able to practice reading aloud at home. Things that we are focusing on (aside from reading the words correctly) are things like character voices, noticing punctuation, and speed. Students should be changing their voices depending on the situation in the story.

We continue to work on writing opinion letters during writers workshop. Students are focusing on not just thinking of their opinion on a subject, but also backing up their opinion with at LEAST three reasons to support it. If you would like to help them work on this (and annoy them a bit) keep asking them my favourite question whenever they tell you their opinion: “Why?” If you ask them this at least three times to help them think of reasons to support their opinion, they will really be reinforcing what we are teaching in class.

In our Unit of Inquiry we will be taking what we learned from our field trip last week and going further by looking at cities in the past and the present to think about how, and why they changed. We will also continue to look at Shenzhen as our main focus to help the students notice the changes in their own environment a little more closely.

In math we are going to wrap up our data collection and graphing unit. Students will be working on collecting their own data, and then analyzing and interpreting it to compare and contrast their information. Learning some strategies about how to make sure that the students collect data from everyone has been helpful to make sure that we all end up with the same number of data points. The kids had some great ideas about how to make sure they didn’t miss anyone while collecting their data!

That’s it for this week! As always, any questions or comments you may have are always welcome!

Weekly updates, January 29-February 2

Hello everyone, I hope that you’re all keeping warm! As I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s very cold out this week so please make sure that the kids are dressed appropriately for the weather. Unless it is raining outside it is fair to assume that recess will be outdoors, so make sure that the kids have hats a mittens/gloves if you think they might need them.

This is a big week!  We have started rehearsing for next week’s music concert, and it looks amazing! We hope that we will see you all next Thursday, February 8th. Don’t forget that the concert starts at 8:30, so please try to arrive a few minutes early. We also have parent/teacher conferences this week. If you have already signed up, thank you! If you haven’t had a chance to yet please look for my email from last Friday (there might have been a couple of emails actually, the server was a bit overloaded), in the email is the link for signup genius. Finally, on Friday we will be going on our field trip to Shenzhen Museum in Futian. The plan is to leave SIS just after 11:00, so please remember to send a packed lunch to school that day as WE WILL NOT BE EATING LUNCH AT THE GECKO GRILL that day. We will eat in class just before leaving for the museum.

Ok, as for the academic side of things this week. In reading we are continuing to focus on fluency, reading with different voices depending on which characters are speaking, and how they are feeling. We are also still working on going back and re-reading when we come across a word or sentence that gave us a bit of trouble.

In writing this week, we are continuing to  work on opinion writing. Students are learning how to introduce their opinion on a topic, and then giving reasons and examples of why they believe that their opinion is correct.

In math we are continuing to work on our data unit, learning how to take data from a table, creating a bar graph to show that data, and then analyzing the data to answer questions. If you stop by the school, be sure to check out our “Which continent were you born in” display in the hallway outside of our class!

In our Unit of Inquiry this week we are working on comparing and contrasting old and new inventions. Students have been given photos of older versions of inventions (phones, tvs, cars, etc.) and current versions. They will be trying to find similarities in how the inventions work, but also thinking about how they have changed in appearance, function, accessibility, etc.

That’s it for this week, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday!

Where we are in place and time, Unit 4

Hello everyone!  Please take a minute to look at the newsletter regarding our new unit that we are starting this week.

Please remember that this Thursday, January 25th is Learning Comes Alive day at SIS. You are invited to jin us at 9:35 for our publishing party where the students will be able to show off their non-fiction ecosystem books that they have been working so hard on. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated. 

As we are starting a new unit, we will be focusing mostly on looking at how inventions have helped shape our present day lives this week. Students will be looking at old inventions, trying to identify them, and discussing their importance and how they may have changed over time.

In reading this week we are focusing on building fluency through student voice. Students will “Finally!” (their words, and mine) be getting back into fiction books and practicing re-reading to help improve how the stories are read. When they are reading at home this week please encourage them to read aloud, and with some excitement and expression. We are working on transitioning from the “learning to read” phase into the “reading to learn” phase.

In writing we are getting started on persuasive writing this week. We will be starting off by writing persuasive letters about characters that we love in our books, having the students really dig deep for details to support their writing.

In math we will be learning about collecting data, as well as, making and reading graphs. This should be very helpful with our new unit of inquiry so that students will be able to look at facts about changes in places around the world.

Learning Comes Alive round 2!

Hi everyone. Please save the date for Thursday, January 25th for our second “Learning Comes Alive”. You are invited to come in and see your child’s work where we will be hosting a publishing party for their non-fiction books that they are currently working on as a final project for our Ecosystems unit of Inquiry. We hope you can make it!

Weekly update for January 8-12

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a great break/vacation and that everyone is excited about what this year might bring!

First things first, thank you to everyone who has signed up on Seesaw and taken some time to look over the work that the kids have done so far. We are getting some new ipads in the very near future so expect that there will be a lot more posts coming soon!

Just before the break we worked in collaboration with some other schools from around the world to complete a Travelling Tale. These are stories that have become more and more popular lately where 5 schools from around the world team up and each one writes a different part to the story. In the end we get one final story that has students voices and cultures from all over the world. The story started at a school in India, then went to the United States, and then Tanzania before it came to us. Once we solved the problem in the story, it was sent to an International school in Saudi Arabia where the ending was written. The kids had a blast working on this, so please take a few minutes to check it out here: https://youtu.be/DcKWICH9Knk   Unfortunately it is a Youtube link, but hopefully it will be up on the website soon and people can access it there without any problems.

Ok, onto the fun stuff. With two weeks left in our current unit students will be getting started on their non-fiction “Tell all” books this week. Students will be choosing an ecosystem or habitat, researching the different living and non-living parts, and describing how they are interconnected and interdependent. We have done quite a bit of research about this topic already, so hopefully the writing part will go smoothly with a bit of additional research.

In math this week we are continuing to work on adding and subtracting numbers within 100. Students will be introduced to two step word problems, where they will need to take the answer that they find from the first question in the problem in order to solve the second part.

Reading and writing for the next two weeks will be focusing on research for the students’ tell all books, and making sure that they are including as many non-fiction text features as they can. Of course, there will still also be a focus on editing and revising, and making sure that they are considering their audiences when they write.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.



Weekly update, December 4-8

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! This week we will be having lots of fun as it is the Hour of Code week at school! On Thursday we will go up to Level 5 to explore some coding apps and programs such as Scratch jr. Swift Playground, and going to the www.code.org website. If you have these apps or websites available at home already and want to let the kids play around on them please encourage it!

In math this week we will continue working on addition and subtraction strategies, focusing on larger, 2-digit numbers. We will also be using our strategies to add 3 or 4 2-digit numbers together!

In reading we are continuing to read non-fiction books about habitats, animals, and ecosystems to build knowledge for our Unit of Inquiry.

In writing we are using the Information Writing Checklist to set personal goals that we can work on. As we write new informative stories, the students will be using these goals to improve their writing piece by piece.

In our Unit of Inquiry time this week we will be focusing more on how the plants and animals in different habitats are interconnected. The students are working in groups to gather information, and will be building food webs to show just how diverse the different habitats can be.

Next Monday, December 11th we will be having our class photos taken. As it will be day 4, we won’t have P.E.so feel free to send the students to school as dressed up as you want them to be.