Apples to People

This morning, 5A had our first guidance class since the new year. Mr. Bywater and Mrs. Madonna both came in to do an activity with us.

The activity started off with Mr. Bywater handing out apples to groups. Without making any markings, they were to study their apples to get to know them as well as they could. Students started taking notes about what they noticed about their apples; bruises, cuts, colors, etc… After 3 minutes, Mr. Bywater collected the apples and mixed them up. The teams then were challenged to find the same apple they had before, and justify how they knew it was their apple. All the groups were able to identify their apple from their earlier observations.

Next, Mr. Bywater took the apples and went out of the classroom. He came back with one apple in his hand, that he had cut. He asked the students if they could identify if it was their apple. After some debate, we agreed that we could not identify the apple now.

Next, students were asked to compare how we are similar to apples, which led to the idea that while we are all different on the outside, we have similarities on the inside. For example, some students noted that we all have thoughts and feelings. This lead us to talking about how we can be aware of other’s feelings to help make them feel better. 

Field Trip Reminder

Tomorrow, Thursday, December 8th, the 5th grade students will be heading to Hong Kong to do a PE field trip. Below are some reminders:

  • Please be to the Jingshan sports field by 7:20AM.
  • We will arrive back to school around 5:00PM. We will send a message out when we are about 30 minutes away.
  • No electronics, we will be getting wet.
  • Wear SIS PE shirt
  • Please make sure to pack:
    • passport
    • immigration forms filled out
    • healthy snacks
    • refillable water bottle
    • hiking shoes
    • a change of shoes, socks and clothes
    • towel
    • hat
    • sunscreen
    • bug spray

See you all tomorrow!

Multiplying Decimals With Partial Products

Students have been hard at work deepening their understanding of multiplication and numbers by working on understanding the partial products algorithm and how it is tied to the area model. By being able to things of numbers as a representation of their actual value, students are having a better understanding of what happens when we multiply numbers by different values. For example, if we multiply 0.3 by 0.8, we are able to know that our answer will be in the hundredths. We can quickly then multiply 8×3 = 24, and we know that the product is 24 hundredths, or 0.24. Below are some pictures of the students walking their partners through the steps of how to find the exact product.

Math Olympiad Tournament

Thank you to AISG for hosting the 2nd annual Math Olympiad Tournament! All 24 5th grade students had a fabulous time working together to solve challenging math problems. All of the teams really put forth their best effort and we were honored to have two our teams place in the top 5. Congratulations to all who participated!

Meeting Our Reading Buddies

5A has started to meet with our reading buddies on every day 8. Reading buddies are a great way for us to help and learn with other members of the school, as well as remind us of the role that we play in school as the oldest members at Parkside.


Today, we were fortunate enough to meet with our buddies and celebrate their work on writing that they have been doing .Our buddies shared their published stories with us and we were able to give them compliments about what they did well.

Afterwards, we were able to read some books with them and talk with them about the reading.

Gallery Walk: Writing About our Reading

In reading, we have been working on a number of strategies and tools to deepen our understanding of our texts. The past week, we have been exploring how we can show evidence from our reading when we write. In order to help us continue to grow as readers, we did a gallery walk with our reading responses. Students put a reading response on their table, and had the opportunity to walk around reading others’ reading responses. This allowed us to not only see the different ways that we are all using evidence to support our ideas, but also to get compliments and feedback about how we can improve our ideas.


After the gallery walk, students had a chance to reflect about what they had read and the feedback they had received. They used this to set a goal for the next day about how to take their writing about reading to the next level.

Punctuation Police

Today, 5A turned into detectives, aimed at finding how commas are used in writing. Our goal was to find different ways that we can use commas in our writing, and to come up with rules that we can follow when using commas. Together, we explored what we noticed about the comma in the sentence below:

fullsizerender-20We noticed that it was separating two ideas. We realized that each idea could be a sentence, and that the ideas were connected by the word “and.” We wanted to find more examples of the pattern, so we went on a scavenger hunt to find more sentences where a comma connected two complete ideas. We ended up finding these examples:

img_1988img_1989img_1991From these examples, we realized we could also use “but” and “or” to separate the ideas.

Students then went off on their own to find patterns they noticed with commas. We will continue to put together our patterns, and create our rules we notice for using commas. These rules will help us as we deepen our understanding of how to make our ideas clear. Below are pictures of students looking for commas in different texts.