November 8

Up-coming Dates:

  • Friday, November 9–Popcorn Day
  • Tuesday, November 13–Kindness Day
  • Monday-Saturday, November 19-24–International Week
  • Friday, November 23–International Parade–WEAR NATIONAL DRESS
  • Friday, November 23–EARLY RELEASE–Dismissal is at 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 24–International Winter Bazar–Boxes of Hope DUE
  • Wednesday and Thursday, November 28-29–Kids’ Life the Musical 5:00 p.m. in the SPAH

What have we been studying?

With the overall central idea being “Investigations allow for a deeper understanding of our world,” here is how we have been learning this throughout all of our subjects:

We are finishing up our math unit on multiplication. The test is tomorrow. Task cards for review are on Teams. Next week we will start investigating what division means. As we go into our division unit, please DO NOT teach your child the standard algorithm. Fifth grade is the final year to really solidify the CONCEPT of division, especially as we start to divide decimals. Our goal is to understand WHAT division is and be able to record it in a way that makes sense based on CONCRETE examples. The standard algorithm has it’s place, but not until AFTER the conceptual understanding is firmly in place. Thank you for your support in this.

Please read the Unit 3 Newsletter for ways to help your child develop the concept of division.

In reading, we have been investigating the text structures of nonfiction. We are now comparing and contrasting two different texts based on their topics and text structures. Next week we will be working on finding the main idea and details of a text in order to write a summary. As your child reads at home, please ask them what the main idea is. This should be stated in a sentence form. (“How dogs eat” is a title, not a main idea. “Dogs are messy eaters.” is a main idea.)

In writing, we have drafted the three body paragraphs for our investigator research booklets. Each student picked an investigator and found out what was investigated, why they investigated, and what the consequences of the investigation were. Next week we finish drafting the booklet and start revising.

In science, we just finished a week long investigation into the Case of the Missing Millionaire. (see below) We’re now getting back into investigating the properties of matter, discovering whether heating or cooling an object changes its mass or properties, and whether mixing two substances together creates a new substance.

Shenzhen Museum

As a final tie-in to our previous Unit of Inquiry, grade 5 students visited the Shenzhen Museum to find evidence of different human-made systems in Shenzhen and how they have changed over time. Students were asked to find photographic evidence of such systems as money and trade, art and architecture, agriculture, religion, and communication. Then students had to work in their groups to evaluate and select the most meaningful photos for each system. Besides being educational, it was just a really fun experience for all!

The Case of the Missing Millionaire

As part of our PYP Unit of Inquiry on investigation, students got the opportunity to pretend to be forensic scientists and use evidence to determine the answer to what could be a murder mystery!

We began by examining the crime scene up on Level 5. Students then collected the evidence and carefully recorded information about each piece they found.

We began setting up a clue board and then went back to the evidence to conduct some crime labs or forensic tests to give us more information.

On Monday, students conducted 5 different crime labs:

1. Brown Stain test = Students did a simple chromatography test to determine if the stain on a paper towel was from a felt pen or food coloring.

2. Cola test = Students used pH (or litmus) paper to determine if anything had been added to the victim, Felix’s, cola.

3. Fingerprint test = Students examined fingerprints on Alfredo’s and Felix’s cups.

4. Smell test = Students smelled the colognes/perfumes of four of the suspects to determine which was the one they found on the torn towel at the crime scene.

5. Thread test = Students burned both cotton and wool threads and examined how they burned in order to identify mystery threads found at the crime scene.

On Tuesday, students conducted the 5 remaining crime labs:

6. DNA testing = Student examined the DNA of all the suspects and the victim to determine whose hair was in the comb at the crime scene.

7. Ice cube test = Students used the pH paper again to determine if anything had been added to the melted ice cubes found at the crime scene.

8. Secret Note = Students had to piece together a torn up note and then identify the writer based on handwriting samples.

9. Powder study = Students added drops of iodine to 5 different powders to identify the powder found on the shoes of two of the suspects.

10. Tape lift test = Students did a tape lift on all of the suspects’ clothes to find evidence such as grass, human hair, dog hair, wool, and cotton thread. Does the evidence match with what they said they had been doing?

Students then had to look at all of the evidence and decide what happened to Felix. Who did it? Ask your child to find out.

October 12

Hello parents,
As next week quickly approaches, I just wanted to remind you of three great events that will also be taking place.
  • “SIS Stories” Podcast Global Event on October 17 all day – from the convenience of your own home or workplace; just click HERE on that date
  • Annual Bayside Halloween Haunted House on October 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – at SIS Bayside Campus; 20 RMB for students, 10 RMB for accompanying adults
  • 2018-2019 PSA Family Movie Night on October 20 starting at 5:30 p.m. for food stalls and 6:30 p.m. for movie – at SIS Jingshan Sports Field
  • NO SCHOOL for students-PL Day for teachers on October 26
Looking for a way to study key vocabulary words in preparation for our science unit on matter, mixtures, and solutions? Here are two great Quizlets shared by Mrs. Gibson to help your student in their endeavors:
In mathematics, we have begun investigating the order of operations and numerical expressions. If you would like to review some of these concepts so far instructed, here are a few resources to assist:

If you would like to get a head start on upcoming lessons, here are some videos to watch:

As we complete our “Who We Are” unit of inquiry, we are also wrapping up our reading interpretative book clubs and narrative writings. We are now crossing over to our second unit of inquiry, “How the World Works” where we will be delving deeper into nonfiction text and research essay writing. Please keep a look out for our big wrap up at the end of the next unit where students will showcase their mastery learning from each topic / unit.

October 8

Welcome back! I hope you all had a restful break.

This week in math we are starting our unit 2 on multiplying decimal numbers. The big thing is to understand the concept of what multiplying decimals means, not just being able to follow some steps. Please read over the newsletter for tips on what you can do to help at home. Unit 2 Newsletter

In reading we are working on finding the THEME of a book. The theme should be a statement that shows what lesson or message the author wants us to learn. Some examples of themes are: “Don’t judge people on their outward appearances.” “Stay loyal to your friends.” “Hard times can make you strong.”

Students will be asked to state the theme, and then give EVIDENCE from the book from MULTIPLE places. As your child reads at home, please ask them what they think the theme is and HOW THEY KNOW. Make them quote from the book.

In writing we are finishing up our narratives. We will work on adding advanced transitions and clear endings.

This week we will also be starting our unit in science. We are delving deep into what it means to be investigators. We’ll be investigating matter to begin with.

September 20

Important Dates

  • Friday, Sept. 21–PL day for teachers–No school for students
  • Monday, Sept. 24–Mid Autumn Festival–No school for students
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25–Math Test
  • Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27-28, 11:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m–Civilization Presentations
  • October 1-5–October Break–NO SCHOOL

This week…

What a crazy short week! I hope everyone stayed safe over the typhoon days.

It was great meeting with everyone on Wednesday. Thank you so much for all of the books! The kids will love them.

The main things we focused on for the two days we had this week were

  • finishing up the math unit and reviewing for the test that will be on Tuesday.
  • working on the presentations in social studies that will be on Thursday and Friday.
  • working on identifying story elements and quoting from the text in book clubs.

As I said, the math test is this coming Tuesday, September 25. The students started on the review questions today in class and they need to finish it over the long weekend. They should also watch the educreation videos (see the Instructional Videos page of this blog) to review anything they had problems with on the review. Here are the questions and answers.

Unit 1 Math Review Task Cards

Unit 1 Review Answer Key

Next Thursday and Friday are the Civilization Presentations. The students should be spending time over the long weekend on the Keynote presentation. They do not have to have it finished, but the more they can get done, the better. Here’s the information on it.

Civilization Presentation

Civilization Presentation Rubric

Presentation Guidelines

The presentations will be from 11:30 a.m. -12:40 p.m. Parents are invited to attend. If you are able to come, please plan to stay for the entire time so as to not disturb the presenters. Also, please plan for traffic delays due to the on-going tree clean-up around town.

Thursday, September 27, 11:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

  • Elise
  • Klara
  • Otto
  • Emily
  • Tracy
  • Isabelle
  • Jason
  • Sunghoon
  • Chris

Friday, September 28, 11:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

  • Amara
  • Helena
  • Haoning
  • Lee
  • Isa
  • Joanne
  • Lawrence
  • Catherine
  • Aarav


September 11

Important Dates

  • Week of Sept. 10–T1 ASAs begin
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19–Parent Teacher Conferences–No school for students
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19–PSA Book Sale
  • Friday, Sept. 21–PL day for teachers–No school for students
  • Monday, Sept. 24–Mid Autumn Festival–No school for students

This week…

In math we are continuing our decimal numbers unit. We worked on converting between all three number forms (standard form, word form, and expanded form) yesterday. We will use number lines to compare and round decimals. We will also be modeling how to add and subtract decimals.

For review, students have videos they can watch on their educreations app in the 5A classroom. These videos are also posted on the Instructional Video page of this blog. This unit’s videos go from “Comparing the Value of Numbers” to “Subtracting Decimals with Place Value Chart”.

In reading, we are starting book clubs! Students will be mixed with other students from all three classes. They will be applying the mini lessons from the week to their book club books. This week’s mini lessons focus on how one part of the story is related to the whole story. They will be identifying story elements (introduction of characters, introduction of setting, problem, character change, theme development, solution) and explaining how it fits with the rest of the story as a whole.


In writing, students are continuing with their narratives. We are working on constructing exciting leads, using descriptive phrases and vocabulary to SHOW not tell the story, and using dialogue correctly.

In social studies, we will be researching how the Incas developed systems based on their human experiences. Then, students will choose another civilization of their choice to research.

September 3

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, Sept. 5–MAP Test in the afternoon
  • Friday, Sept. 7–MAP Test first thing in the morning
  • Week of Sept. 10–T1 ASAs begin
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19–Parent Teacher Conferences–No school for students
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19–PSA Book Sale
  • Friday, Sept. 21–PL day for teachers–No school for students
  • Monday, Sept. 24–Mid Autumn Festival–No school for students

This week…

In math we are starting our Place Value and Decimal Fractions unit. Click here for information on how you can help your child at home. Unit 1 Newsletter This week we are working on describing patterns we see in multiplying decimal numbers by powers of 10. We are really focusing on explaining our thinking using words and pictures as this is a big part of the math practices.

In reading we are reviewing how readers are thinkers. Students are finding connections, recording reactions, having opinions, making prediction, questioning, visualizing, and writing summaries. After your child reads at home, ask them to do some of these things for you.

In writing we are planning narratives. The students can either write a personal narrative (something that actually happened to them) or a realistic fiction. The story should focus on a small moment where the character makes some kind of a transformation.

In social studies, we are learning about civilizations and how they had various factors in common when they formed. The students have generated a list of factors and will be analyzing them to determine which they think are the most important ones.

Throughout all of these classes, we are looking at the Central Idea of “Systems may evolve from human experiences” in the Who We Are unit. We’ll see how our experiences have changed the different systems there are in the world.

Welcome to 5A

My name is Kristin Terrell and I’m excited to be your child’s teacher this year!

Please take some time to look over the different tabs above, especially the important information page as it tells what the students need to bring to school.

I hope to see you all tomorrow, August 22 at the Back to School Night. Please choose to come to one session, either 4:00 or 4:30 p.m. We will meet in Mr. D’s room.

June 15

It’s the last day! Our 5th graders are now Middle Schoolers! It has been an amazing year full of wonderful memories. Thanks so much for being an integral part of your child’s schooling career and for all the support. Best wishes to all of 5B wherever they may go next year. I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Please don’t forget to download any pictures you’d like from this site before the start of next school year. Also, report cards are available via SchoolBase.

Enjoy these last pictures! Happy summer from all of Grade 5!



June 8

Important Dates
  • June 13: Parents are invited to attend the Grade 5 Promotion Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. in the SPAH
  • June 13: Grade 5 Promotion Celebration lunch for students in the Grade 5 classrooms–11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • June 13: Grades 4 and 5 pool party at Jingshan pool (weather permitting)
  • June 15: Half Day for Students–11:30 a.m. dismissal – Last Day of School

Can you believe that it’s the last week of school! This year has gone by so quickly!

This week we finished up our fantasy book clubs, memoirs, and science units. Thanks to those who braved the rain to attend the publishing party! See below for pictures.

Next week the students will be sharing with the fourth graders all they need to know about being in fifth grade. Those who want to take band next year will be heading to Bayside in the afternoon for the music placement. An email has gone out to all parents whose children said they wanted to take band. We’ll also have an extra PE class run by the Grade 6 PE teachers on Tuesday (weather permitting).

Wednesday is the big day! Since this is a special day, please have your child dress nicely–no jeans or track bottoms or SIS PE shirts, etc. Here’s a picture of the ASA Choir from last night (which sounded fabulous!). This is a great example of what the students should be wearing (minus the sunglasses).

Thanks to those who have already signed up to bring items for the celebration lunch for the kids. Here’s the link if you haven’t signed up already:

Please note that students need to bring swimming caps for the pool party on Wednesday or they can’t swim.

Lastly, if you know your child will be leaving early for vacation, please let me know as soon as possible so I can make sure they have all of their things.

Stay dry!