Summer is coming

Hello everyone,

As you know, summer is (unfortunately) less than two weeks away. We have had such an amazing year with your children watching them grow not only as learners but as maturing members of our community.
With only 8 1/2 school days left this year we will be busy but trying our best to enjoy the rest of the time that we have.

Tomorrow, the Chinese language teachers have a Dragon Boat festival activity planned with the kids.

On Wednesday we will be going on a field trip to the Bank of China. Thank you to the parents who have already signed up to chaperone, the buses are full now. We will be back to school in time for lunch on Wednesday, and then we will get to go see the fifth grade PYP Exhibition presentations.

On Thursday Mrs. Sheppard is giving students who play the piano, violin, or cello outside of school an opportunity to showcase their hard work in a grade level recital. This is a student only event, but if your child asks to bring in some piano music, or a violin on Thursday that is ok.

Next Tuesday, June 11th (weather permitting) we will be having an end of year grade level pool party in the Jingshan Pool from 12:45-2:45. The lifeguards at Jingshan will be on duty, and all teachers will be present so as always safety is our number one concern. Please be sure to send the kids with the same swimming gear that they have been bringing for PE class, as well as some sun screen since we will be out there for the whole afternoon.

Next Thursday, June 13th we will be holding a movie and snack party day to celebrate the end of our unit on value, money, and the role of banks. Students have been working hard to earn and save money in order to buy movie tickets and treats for the afternoon. We will have 3 different movies for the kids to choose from so there should be something for everyone.

And finally, please remember that next Friday will be a half day for the last day of school. We will have an end of year assembly, followed by a last chance to spend some time together as a class before we part ways for the summer.

As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Thanks as always,


Hello everyone, we are in the final stretch now! We have a busy couple of weeks coming up, so please keep an eye on this space for updates.

We have started our final unit of inquiry for the year, learning about Value. Our Central Idea is: Value is determined in different ways and involves decision making. The lines of inquiry that we will be focusing on are:

  • How value is determined. (perspective)
  • The outcome of our choices. (reflection, causation)
  • The role of economic institutions (banks)

We have created a classroom economy where the students are able to earn money each day for different tasks and behaviours, but they must also pay for things like utilities (lights and water), renting classroom supplies, and misbehaviour. So far we have seen a lot of interest from the kids, and a huge improvement in their understanding of money, both in bills and coins, and with addition and subtraction that is required to keep their bank books up to date.

This week we are also starting our final round of MAP testing and DRA (reading) assessments. The kids have been working hard all year so we are excited to see their progress. However, just as a reminder these assessments are just one data point that we consider when looking at the growth that the kids have made this year. We see them working hard every day and know what they have been working hard to improve, and some areas where we can still help. Since all of the tests rely on a lot of reading, if you want to help out o get the kids ready please just take some time to read with them at home, and ask them to retell the details from what they have read and ask them some comprehension questions about what has happened in the story and why.

Next week on Thursday, May 23rd we will be holding our student led conferences. A signup genius email will be coming on this Thursday for sign up times. These conferences will be a chance for your child to show you some of the things that they have been working on this year, and to be able to show how much growth they have made. Miss Joy and I will be in the room to answer any questions that you might have, but the focus of these conferences is supposed to be on the children and what they want to show you.

Finally, we will have a special visitor coming to our class on Wednesday! Luke, the poodle will be joining us for the first time. He belongs to a 7th grade student at Bayside who is working on an AMPED project to train him as a helper and they have asked us to be a part of his training. We are very excited to have Luke join us tomorrow!


Finally, please take a look at some of the photos from our class trip to visit our Pen Pals at Yucai 3 last week. The kids had a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to continuing this tradition next year!

Updates for this week

Hello everyone, and happy Friday!
We have had a busy week in 2C! We are wrapping up our unit on landforms and how they change, and we have totally redesigned our classroom as a more flexible learning space! We will be finishing up this unit next week, then moving on to our final unit of the year which will be focused on value. We will be learning about money, the roles of banks in our society, and how value is determined in different ways.

As for the next few weeks, we have a lot going on.
This coming Tuesday the 3rd grade students from 3D are hosting an awareness fair for responsible elephant tourism. They have asked that classes try to fundraise 150 RMB in order to participate (we can go even if we don’t get the full amount). We are very close to our goal, but if anyone who has not yet donated wants to send in some money on Monday or Tuesday that would be fine. We told the students that as long as everyone brings in 10 RMB then we will have more than enough.

Also next week, we will not have school on Wednesday, May 1st. I know a few people will be travelling next week during school days as well, so if you are planning to travel and haven’t yet told us that your child will miss any days of school please let us know as soon as possible.

Wednesday is normally one of our P.E. days so we will miss that class. However, next Friday and onwards until May 17th the kids will be in the pool for P.E. class. Please see the email from Mr. Elliott for more information about this, but please be sure to send your child with all of the required swimming equipment on those days.

Finally (for now) we will be taking a field trip on Thursday, May 9th to visit our Pen Pals at Yucai 3. We have been sending letters back and forth all year, and they came to visit us before the winter holiday so now they want us to visit their school. More details will be coming on this, along with permission forms, next week.

That should do it for now. As we get closer to summer vacation things tend to speed up pretty quickly so we hope to be able to enjoy the rest of the time that we have left together! We will be starting MAP testing for the third and final time this year on May 13th, so we will be working to prepare for those but also trying to make sure to have some fun.

As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Have a great weekend,

Dan Fredericks2C June Calendar-1t13g0d 2C May Calendar-1dtdvd5

Weekly updates! We have a big week next week!

Hello everyone, and happy Friday!

Next week we have a lot going on at SIS, and especially in 2C so please read carefully.

First of all, next Wednesday, March 20th we would like to invite you all to come to our class and see what the kids have been working on. We have been learning a lot about non fiction reading and writing, and have written our own books that we want to share! We will also have some models that show seed dispersal and/or pollination that we made ourselves and we can show you our plant experiment in person!

Also, on Tuesday, Mr. Chris O’Connor (Garrison’s dad) will be coming to our class to film a couple of scenes for his film that he is making for this year’s Bayside Film Festival. He is hoping that some of the kids would like to be filmed as well, but if you would prefer that they are not part of this project just let us know and we will make sure that they are not in the camera range.

Next Tuesday the 3rd graders will be holding a bake sale to raise money for endangered animals. They will be selling their baked goods for 10 RMB during our recess time, so if your child would like to buy some treats to support saving endangered animals, please make sure they bring 10 RMB on Tuesday.

Finally, next week is reading week at SIS! We will be reading every day, and on Friday, March 22nd we will have a Book Character spirit day! Students are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character, but of course, this is not required.

Ok, that about sums it up for this week. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Hav a great weekend,


Weekly updates

Hi everyone,

First of all, thank you for coming to the assembly on Friday. The kids had a blast (even though there were some nerves before they got on stage), and are already asking if they can do another one! We will be holding another event for you to come in and see their latest work on Wednesday, March 20th. Students will be showing off their non fiction books that we will be continuing to work on.

This week on Friday we will be holding our annual field day! Please see the attached poster with the details. We will be celebrating in the afternoon from 1:00-2:30. As we have done in the past the teams will be set by colors and students will be encouraged to wear clothes that match their team colors. The school will be providing headbands like they did last year in the team colors as well. The teams will be mixed with students from KG, Grade 1, and Grade 2 so it is a great opportunity for our students to show their leadership skills as they will be the eldest in their groups. We will send home a notice tomorrow to let you know which team your child has been placed on by the P.E. teachers.

As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

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The big week is here!

Hello everyone,

It is here! This Friday at 8:15 2C will be hosting the assembly in the SPAH! Of course, you are all invited to join us to see the kids on stage teaching the other grades about what we are learning these days in our class. The kids came up with some great ideas that they want to share today, so from tomorrow we will be figuring out what we will say, and practicing for Friday’s big share out.
Personally, I am a big fan of the kids getting up on stage and sharing at least a little bit in person. We will have a couple of videos as well so that those friends who realllllllllyyyyyyy don’t want to speak too much on stage will still be able to be a part of the show. As we get our speaking parts written (hopefully tomorrow) we will send home a copy so that the kids can practice a bit more if they think they need to.

We are going to have a big talk about how feelings and nerves are a real thing to plan for in a performance like this so mistakes are not problems, they are expectations. This is supposed to be a fun time for the kids to share what they are learning, so while we expect that they will try their best we know that some lines may be forgotten, and that is fine. We will try our best to be ready, and prepare ourselves to have fun if we have any problems.

Finally, as Mrs. Kim mentioned in her email yesterday we will be having a spirit day at SIS tomorrow, February 26th. The theme is “Dream Job Day” where the kids can come dressed as what they think they might like to be in 20 years when they are running the world 😉 As always if the kids don’t want to dress up they can come in their normal clothes (non uniform is fine).

As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
Thanks as always,


Weekly updates: New class photo, field trip, and upcoming assembly performance!

Hello everyone, and happy Friday!

Three quick housekeeping items that I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of.
1. On Monday we will be holding a make up photo shoot for students who were absent when the Top Photo photographers were here the first time, or for students who are new to the school. We have also been asked to retake our class photo, so please make sure that your child comes to school on Monday wearing their school uniform. This is the class photo that will be going in the yearbook so it is very important that everyone wears their SIS uniform.

2. Next Thursday we will be going on a field trip to Evergreen Park to explore a natural habitat in order to better understand our current unit of inquiry. A permission form was sent home with the kids today so please check their backpacks this weekend. I will attach a copy to this email as well.

3. Two weeks from today, March 1st, our class will be performing during the Friday assembly. Mark your calendars as we would love to see all of your smiling faces in the audience! We will be working on our plan and presentation for the next couple of weeks, so if your child comes home with some sentences to memorize we would greatly appreciate any help to get them stage ready.

That’s it for now. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask away.
Have a great weekend!

Dan Fredericks

Weekly updates in 2C

Hello everyone,
Now that MAP tests have finished, we can finally relax! Just kidding, we have a lot going on in the next 2 weeks before the Chinese New Year holiday so I wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of all of the exciting events!
This week the students will be practicing each morning for their music showcase which is happening on Thursday (Mrs. Shephard’s poster is attached). If your child has a speaking part please help them to memorize their lines so that hey can focus on having fun during the performance.
This week a permission form should be coming home for a Chinese Language field trip which will take place next Tuesday, January 29th. Please make sure that it is signed and returned as soon as possible so the teachers know how many students will attend.
Next Wednesday, January 30th we will be holding our three way conferences to showcase your children’s successes so far this year. An email with a signup genius link will be sent this Wednesday for you to select a conference time. If for any reason you won’t be able to attend the conferences next week please make sure to let me know so we can schedule a conference for another time.
This Friday our semester one report cards will be available for parents to see! The kids have been working hard and showing progress all year. The report cards this year have been updated so don’t be alarmed if they look different from what you are used to seeing in the past.
Finally, we do have something fun planned for this week! Wednesday is going to be a STUCO Spirit Day at SIS! This month the theme is Disco Day. Students are allowed to “dress down” as it is a non-uniform day so they can wear whatever they want (though please keep in mind that we have P.E. that day so if they need to bring a change of clothes or shoes for class please make sure they are prepared). The plan is to have music playing on the sports field during recess times so the kids can get their groove on!
That should about do it for the next couple of weeks leading up to the break. Sorry for the long email but with so many things going on we wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of all of the activities.

Thanks as always, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.



Welcome back to 2019!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to the second half of the school year! I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to let you know what is happening in the next week at school, and touch base with you for the new year.

As the first half of the year is coming to an end we are working on report cards to show student progress thus far. There will soon be an email coming out with a link to a signup genius account for 3 way conferences which will be taking place on January 30th. These will be similar to the conferences that we had at the beginning of the year, except that the students are also expected to be present this time to help talk about the work that they have done so far. If for some reason you won’t be available on January 30th, not a problem. Please just let me know and we can arrange another time to meet after school once the report cards are available to look over your child’s work and progress that they have made so far this year.

Next week, we will be taking the MAP tests once again to check in on student progress. As we did before, we will administer 3 tests (math, reading, and language) to see how students are progressing. The tests will take place next Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each student has their own goal for each test from the beginning of the year to help give them a target to aim for, and this will help us see how they are progressing towards that target. Because this test assesses the children’s knowledge of the whole year’s expectations they may still see some questions that they are not sure how to answer yet but that is ok. We still have plenty of time left to make sure that they learn these skills before the end of the year. This should not be a stressful experience, we are just checking in to see how the kids are progressing thus far. If you are looking for a resource where the kids can practice for this test, is a great website that asks questions which are very similar to the MAP test, but by no means is this a necessity.

Otherwise, things are running as usual in class. we will be wrapping up our current unit comparing the past and the present in the next couple of weeks (thanks to al of you who helped answer the interview questions over the break), and coming up is my favourite unit of the year where the students will be learning about ecosystems and the importance of biodiversity!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about anything please don’t hesitate to let us know. We are looking forward to a busy second half of they year, but one that should still continue to be lots of fun!

Thanks as always,
Dan Fredericks

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!!!!!!”