Week 2 of Online Classes (February 10th – 14th)

Dear Grade 4 Families:

Good Morning and Happy Monday! We hope you had a restful weekend! We have three important updates from our team for online learning moving forward, which will hopefully make life easier (or at least online learning easier).

FIRST IMPROVEMENT: We will be condensing grade 4 assignments starting this week. Therefore, you will notice that there won’t be as many tasks assigned. We still expect high-quality work and critical thinking at all times. For instance, on certain days, they may have to read an article, take notes on this article in their notebook, and then complete a math post. But, if they are putting forth the correct amount of effort and utilizing their thinking skills, that may (and should) still take 4 hours to complete.

If students finish early, the school day still continues. Students can always practice math on IXL (which should be used DAILY for practice), read a good choice book (which they should do for 20+ minutes EVERY DAY), and/or read using the EPIC app. If EPIC isn’t working for your student, please see Ms. Graff’s (primary librarian) message to all students through Seesaw about how they can read books on a different website. Check it out!

For those students that have a username / password to RAZ Kids from Ms. Kim: Please spend 15-20 minutes DAILY AT LEAST reading through this online program. This won’t be posted for daily assignments, but it is an expectation for students receiving EAL support.

SECOND IMPROVEMENT: Students should be keeping track of assignments as we post them on Microsoft Teams. This will still be the case. However, to stay more organized, we have added a channel each on the 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4D Class 2019-2020 Microsoft Teams called “Week 2 of Online Learning.” This channel is where we will post assignments for this week and where students will discuss assignments and post anything they need to on Microsoft Teams. Please remind students not to post on the General tab anymore during online learning. This will help both students and teachers in managing conversations and staying organized with assignments.

CONTACT US! Office Hours:

There will still be assignments on Seesaw but that will be clearly stated in the assignment posted in “Week 2 of Online Learning” in Microsoft Teams. Please make sure to remind students to submit posts on Seesaw and Microsoft Teams. Attendance will be taken again based on students completing work.

Here are the office hours of all teachers that will be monitoring grade 4 throughout the week of February 10-14:

Ms. Kim will be communicating through email (skim@sis.org.cn), through Microsoft Teams, or on class 4A’s Seesaw 8:00-10:00 Monday-Friday.

Ms. Deng will be communicating through email (sdeng@sis.org.cn), through Microsoft Teams, or on class 4A’s Seesaw 9:00-11:00 Monday-Friday.

Ms. Wallace will be communicating through email (rwallace@sis.org.cn), through her personal WeChat, through Microsoft Teams, or on class 4A’s Seesaw 8:00-10:30 Monday-Thursday.

Mr. Damroth will be communicating through email (pdamroth@sis.org.cn), through his personal WeChat, through Microsoft Teams, or on class 4B’s Seesaw 10:00-14:00 Monday-Thursday. He will be traveling this Friday.

Mr. Porter will be communicating through email (sporter@sis.org.cn), through his personal WeChat, through Microsoft Teams, or on class 4C’s Seesaw 8:00-10:00 Monday-Friday.

Ms. Middleton will be communicating through email (emiddleton@sis.org.cn), through Microsoft Teams, or on class 4D’s Seesaw 9:00-11:00 Monday-Friday.

Ms. Kim will be communicating through email (skim@sis.org.cn), through her personal WeChat, or through Microsoft Teams 8:00-10:00 Monday-Friday.

Ms. Gao will be communicating through email (sgao@sis.org.cn) or through Microsoft Teams 13:00-15:00 Monday-Friday.

Ms. Hou will be communicating through email (hou@sis.org.cn) 14:00-16:00 Monday-Friday.

*Again, all of these above times are based on Shenzhen‘s time zone.*

Happy week 2 of online learning! 

G4 Online Classes Begin!


Dear Parents,

Since the week before our Lunar New Year break was a short one and also one in which many of you attended our Restaurant Wars, I thought it made more sense to focus on our current week.

This week, we will begin online classes in G4, due to the current coronavirus situation in China. We hope that all of you in Shenzhen are staying healthy and wearing your masks when you go outdoors.

Classes will continue as usual, albeit online. It is necessary that students are able to use a device with access to the internet. Platforms that we are using will include Seesaw, TEAMs, Flipgrid, and Padlet. Students should notice that their specialist teachers (Chinese, PE, Music) have also posted assignments on Seesaw for them to complete.

Students will be asked to complete assignments in the subject areas of reading, writing, math, and social studies. We are beginning our new Unit of Inquiry on migration with an initial review of topics that we have previously covered (poetry, multiplication, division). It is very important that students submit assignments daily, as that is how their teachers will be taking attendance. In the event that assignments cannot be submitted, it is the student or parent’s responsibility to inform the classroom teacher.

A Quizlet link with the vocabulary for our new unit should have been shared with each of you via WeChat. Since this is the beginning of the unit, it would help your child to review the vocabulary for 5-10 minutes on a daily basis.

All of the teachers on the G4 team have office hours when they will be available to answer questions online in real time. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us if you have any questions or concerns.

Ms. Wallace will be communicating through email (rwallace@sis.org.cn), through her personal WeChat, or on class 4A’s Seesaw 8:00am -10:00am Monday-Friday.

Mr. Damroth will be communicating through email (pdamroth@sis.org.cn), through his personal WeChat, or on class 4B’s Seesaw 11:00am – 2:00pm Monday-Friday.

Mr. Porter will be communicating through email (sporter@sis.org.cn), through his personal WeChat, or on class 4C’s Seesaw 8:00am-10:00am Monday-Friday.

Ms. Middleton will be communicating through email (emiddleton@sis.org.cn), through her personal WeChat, or on class 4D’s Seesaw 10:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday.

Ms. Kim will be communicating through email (skim@sis.org.cn) or on Seesaw 8:00am-10:00am Monday-Friday.

Ms. Deng will be communicating through email (sdeng@sis.org.cn) or on Seesaw 9:00am-11:00am Monday-Friday.

Ms. Hou will be communicating through email (hou@sis.org.cn) or on Seesaw 14:00pm-16:00pm Monday-Friday.

*Again, all of these above times are based on Shenzhen‘s time zone.*

Also, please be sure to allow your children breaks between study periods. They are used to two 20 minutes recess breaks a day (9:45 and 1:10); research shows that rest periods actually allow the brain to focus and function more productively. This will also help to counteract the effect of the increased screen time your child will be exposed to.

We are all working hard to make sure that your children receive the quality education that they are used to, even in these challenging circumstances. We thank you in advance for the extra attention and assistance that you are giving at home to make sure that your child is able to pursue his/her learning even from a distance.

Stay safe and healthy!


Weekly Wrap Up (January 13 – January 17)

Dear Parents,

We are into our last week before the Chinese New Year break and your children are busier than ever! Last week they experienced a very successful “soft launch” of their Restaurant Wars project for our current Unit of Inquiry on economics. Using that data, students adjusted prices, menus, and made predictions on how much they thought they would earn.

Today, students in 4B and 4C experienced the “grand opening” of their restaurants: B&E and ILC for 4B and Gecko Flavor for 4C! Tomorrow 4A and 4D will be doing the same for their restaurants, “International Kitchen” and “Dynamite Kitchen”, respectively.

At the same time, students have been working on their poetry as well as multi-digit multiplication and division. Stay tuned for an invitation from your child’s class for a potential poetry slam where you may get to hear your child recite his/her favorite poems aloud!

Just a reminder that this week will be a short one!

  • Three-Way Conferences = Wednesday, January 22nd will not be a regular school day for G4 students as there will be conferences on this day. However, G4 students are expected to attend and lead their own conferences!
  • Chinese assembly and Lion Dance = Thursday, January 23rd, will be an assembly day hosted by the Chinese language teachers. They will perform a special dance that they have practiced for this day! This will be followed by a Lion Dance on the sports field. Students are encouraged to wear traditional Chinese dress on this day if they have it.
  • No School = Friday, January 24th, will be a No School Day as it is the first day of the Lunar New Year! Happy Year of the Metal Rat everyone! We will return to school on Monday, February 3rd!

Weekly Wrap Up (January 6 – January 10)

Dear Parents,

Welcome back! We hope that you and your children had a relaxing winter holiday! The students are furiously preparing for the soft launch of their restaurants this Wednesday, January 15th! They are busy shopping for ingredients, setting menu prices, practicing their serving skills, and figuring out the logistics for the big day! Our big launch on L5 will take place on Monday, January 20th. We hope that you come to support us on both days! 

We have a series of important dates to communicate to you as well:

  • Wednesday, January 15th“Soft launch” of the G4 restaurants: Students will be paid their 25rmb salaries, and get to dine at one of the other restaurants. This salary amount will be enough to buy at least one item off any of the menus. Students are also welcome to bring up to 50rmb of their own pocket money from home – this is optional.
  • Thursday, January 16thParent speakers coming to talk about entrepreneurship
  • Friday, January 17thReport cards will be published on Schoolbase. Please download your child’s report card and read it before conferences.
  • Monday, January 20th and Tuesday, January 21stOfficial opening of the G4 restaurants: We will have our “grand” opening for families (parents, siblings, grandparents, etc) and other special guests. More details will be shared next week, but please be sure to mark your calendar.
  • Wednesday, January 22ndThree Way Conferences: Grade 4 students are expected to attend their conference with their parents and reflect upon their learning so far this year.
  • Thursday, January 23rdChinese assembly and Lion Dance
  • Friday, January 24thNo School 
  • Monday, February 3rdSchool Resumes! 

Weekly Wrap Up (December 2 – December 6)

Dear Parents,

Last week was also eventful as we prepare for our Restaurant Wars in our current Unit of Inquiry on economics.

Students have been hard at work applying for jobs, designing logos, deciding on dishes to add to the menu, and budgeting for how much everything will cost! They had to decide on dishes based on price of ingredients, popularity, ease of preparation, and expectation of profit! All of these required real-life application of economics concepts that many adults use everyday. Many students already had some prior experience with their own small businesses, which included selling used items or running a lemonade stand. They were also cooking and testing recipes, as well as asking for loans to start up their restaurants.

Designing a restaurant logo

On Friday, December 6th, a panel of restaurant experts from the Shekou community came in to share their knowledge with Grade 4. Students were divided into groups and asked questions they had prepared in advance about the logistics of running a business, with a focus on restaurants in particular. Our experts emphasized the importance of keeping the customer happy, tasting your food as you cook it, and staying clean and organized at all times! Many of our students expressed their thanks in letters delivered to our guests!

Deciding which logo to choose with Manuela (front of house expert)

Chef Martin from the Grand Hyatt Hotel

Chef Thomas from Bakerei Thomas

Just a reminder also that this Friday, December 13th, is an early dismissal day. It will also be a Spirit Day called Books N’ Cocoa. Students are encouraged to wear a cozy pair of pajamas, bring a reusable mug, and a favorite book for the event. STUCO will come around to serve hot cocoa to all the classrooms.

Grade 4 will also be having a holiday potluck this Friday. Please see the signup genius link sent by Mr. Damroth so that you know what to bring.

Thank you as always for all your support and Happy Holidays!

Weekly Wrap Up (November 25 – November 29)

Parents, you were heavily involved with school this past week as quite a number of you came in to share your cultures with the children. Every day saw new visitors enter the classroom, teaching us about new foods, songs, games, and traditions. All of this culminated in our International Parade on Friday, which included middle school students from our Bayside campus as well. On Saturday, many of you also came to attend or work at the Winter Bazaar, which included booths featuring foods from many of our distinctive cultures represented here at SIS! 

Many of you may also have attended the “Pirates” musical this past Wednesday and Thursday! Many of our fourth graders worked tirelessly since August to put together a wonderful show full of song and dance for our SIS community. I think everyone will agree that the results were worth all of their hard work!

Students this week are hard at work completing their reading and writing units. They are completing their essays on their sustainable development goals (SDGs), as well as finishing up our nonfiction reading unit. MAP testing also finishes this week, with students taking tests in the areas of reading, math, and language usage.

Next week will be the last week of school before going away for Winter Break. Friday, December 13th, will be a half-day, with dismissal taking place at 11:30. We will also be celebrating our Spirit Day for December, called Books N’ Cocoa. Students are encouraged to attend school in their favorite pair of comfy pajamas and bringing their favorite book (any language) and a mug. We will be drinking cocoa, watching, a holiday movie, and enjoying a communal breakfast before leaving for the holiday. Please remember to sign up via the signup genius link (send by Mr. Damroth) for what to bring!

Weekly Wrap Up (November 18 – November 21)

This past week was short but packed with events!

Students in 4A and 4B displayed their learning to their parents in a class share-out last Thursday and Friday. Students were eager to teach and their parents were eager to learn what their children have been doing in school!

We began our third Unit of Inquiry, dealing with economies and how “resources influence systems of exchange”. Ms. Kim came in to do a vocabulary activity to familiarize students with some of the terms students will need to be familiar with in order to begin thinking about the major project for this unit, how to run your own business! (Please keep this a secret until your children find out from their own teachers!) Students also completed the pre-assessment and have been delving into the vocabulary for our next math unit on geometry.

Students have been planning and researching evidence for an SDG (sustainable development goal) of their choice. They will be using this information to write a final essay for the writing unit.

Ms. Graff, our school librarian, has also been doing lessons about how to search effectively using the right search terms and key words when doing research.MAP testing also begins this week and eye testing continues.

The ES Drama Club is also putting on a preview of the “Pirates” musical for elementary students and staff on Wednesday morning. STUCO has also been busy selling tickets for the evening shows this Wednesday and Thursday! Please come if you are able as many of our fourth grade students are part of the cast!

International Week also starts today! Parents have already come in to do presentations about their home language and culture!






Eye testing

Weekly Wrap Up (November 11 – November 15th)

This past week was a busy one! Students have been working on completing their summative assessments for our Unit of Inquiry on patterns of the Earth. Parents also came to visit 4D to learn about what they are doing in science, math, reading, and writing during their share out on Friday. 4A, 4B, and 4C will be doing their share out with their parents this Wednesday, November 20th and Thursday, November 21st. Students also took their math assessment on metric measurement and area and perimeter. Our next math unit will focus on geometry. Students can use the Quizlet link mentioned below to preview the math vocabulary that will be taught in this unit.

Students are still working on their reading and writing units which deal with reading nonfiction for research purposes and writing research essays. They will be applying their skills to begin drafting essays focusing on one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This week we will launch our next Unit of Inquiry, which will focus on the topic of economies and how “resources influence systems of exchange”. In preparation, students should preview the vocabulary for the unit by using the Quizlet link that was sent out today. Students should also try to think back to what they learned about goods and services in second grade (if they were here at SIS at that time).

Sustainable Development Goals

4D share out last Friday, November 15th


Weekly Wrap Up (November 4th – November 8th)

Last week we spent a lot of time working on our natural disaster persuasive writing, practicing area and perimeter, and continuing to read and research our topics.

We are now reaching the end of our current Unit of Inquiry. This week, students are working on showing their learning in a summative task that they co-created with their teachers! Students and teachers reflected together on the learning engagements that they had completed during this unit, and thought about which learning objective they best fit under. The students can now select the activity that they feel best shows their learning for each objective! Please ask your children about this at home. At the same time, they are preparing for a math assessment on metric measurement and area and perimeter.

Students will be sharing out the learning that they have done so far this year either on November 15th (for 4D) or November 21st. Please come if you are able! Hope to see you there!

Below is an example of the summative assessment from 4B. Each class’s summative assessment will look slightly different since the teachers and students created it together.


Weekly Wrap Up (October 28 – November 1)

This past week was a busy one as well! Grade 4 students reflected upon their takeaways from the Week Without Walls field trip and continued with their studies for our current unit. This week students thought like scientists by observing rock layers and drawing conclusions based on the fossils that can be found in each separate layer. Students also moved into a study of area and perimeter with a review of arrays and their connection to multiplication and division. The week was also capped off with a very successful Halloween event organized by the PSA! Students enjoyed a haunted maze, Halloween-themed sensory and gross motor stations, and a parade to show off all the different Halloween costumes!