a busy week

Our door decoration for Book Week ended up being a giant cookie. We were inspired by one of our favourite books called, ‘Mmmm Cookies’ by Robert Munsch. It’s about a boy who makes play clay cookies and tricks his mom and dad into taking a bite. We had fun making it using clay, toys and shaving cream.Making ‘raisins’ for the door cookie

Writing the name of the book, the author and illustrator

Putting the ‘dough’ on the paper

Sprinkling it with sugar

The finished product

After using shaving cream on the cookie, we had fun playing with some too.

We were also on a mission to collect 100 points. A point was given if everyone was ‘silent’ after I gave them one of our hints.

After reaching our goal, we thought it would be fun to make cookies but not the kind in the book…we would make real cookies. We read a recipe and followed the instructions.Mixing the dough

On the same day we collected our 100 points, we also found our 100th compound word. The words took up so much room, we had to use some of our Inquiry space.

It was a topsy turvy week (ask your child what that means). And that’s not even highlighting the Book Week activities! Have a great holiday.

recycled materials needed

During our next Unit of Inquiry, we will need some recycled materials. I have already talked to the children about bringing in recyclable materials. I have also told them I would let you know so you can help them.

Here are some examples of recycled materials that would be useful in class:

-Shoe Boxes, Cereal Boxes, Tissue Boxes

-Bubble Wrap/Foam Packaging

-Paper Towel/Toilet Rolls

-Empty water bottles and caps

-Empty tin cans (washed thoroughly)

-Empty Plastic Containers (washed thoroughly)

-Old CD’s/DVD’s

Please send in anything you may have for us to use in our recycled inventions. The more recycled materials we have, the more possibilities we have. We can begin collecting now and continue for the next month or two.

Thanks for your help and support.

Quietly and Silently

According to the Cambridge English dictionary, quietly is defined as 1. without making much noise: 2. in a way that is not obvious to other people because you do not say much. Silently is defined as 1. without speaking, or only in the mind: 2. without any sound.

As the year progresses, students become more comfortable with each other and in the classroom. As a  result, they become more confident speaking in front of each other, speaking with me, and speaking more often. While this is great, it can sometimes pose a problem during teaching and learning times. So, I have introduced these 2 words that will help students better focus during their learning times. Sometimes, we do a few minutes of silent, independent work and sometimes we do a few minutes of quiet, independent work. Of course, we also have a lot of time where it is less quiet and silent… and that’s OK too.



Most students intuitively understand how ‘adding to’ and ‘subtracting from’ works. To enhance this knowledge, we have been doing a lot of work ‘composing’ and ‘decomposing’ numbers. Now, we are now introducing the ‘formal’ addition and subtraction concepts including writing equations (number sentences) and solving story problems. Today, your child is bringing home the manipulatives for the poem ‘5 Little Monkeys jumping on the Bed’ which uses subtraction. I’m sure they’d love to share the poem with you and show how the manipulatives work.

Be a guest reader during Book Week (March 18-22)

I would like to invite you to read one of your favorite children’s books to the children during Book Week. The book can be read in any language of your choice. If you are interested, please choose one of the times below and then email your choice to me.    scormack@sis.org.cn

Thanks for your support.


Available times:

Monday (18), Tuesday (19), Wednesday (20): 8:20

Monday (18), Tuesday (19), Wednesday (20), Thursday (21), Friday (22): 11:55


Research topics

We have been learning and researching about different events/extinct animals/people/inventions/ structures from the past. We are going to use some of this information to now write an information book on a topic of our choice. The students will come up with 4 questions they want to answer in their information book. Below is a list of the topics the children have chosen. Feel free to do some more research at home with them about their topic.

Great Wall of China: Alex, Alina, Gerard, Isabella, Lucy, Nathan, Theo, Vivian,  Rebecca

Beginning of  airplane flying: Christian, Richard

Origin of marbles: Coco

Discovery of dinosaurs: Han Han, Bobo, Basia, Anna, Aimee, Patricia

Astronauts on the moon: Victor, Spencer

Princesses of a long time ago: Yuhan

Old castles: Zoe









Probability and math

Today we played a game to reinforce the number sentences for 7 (0+1, 1+6, 2+5, 3+4). We used seven 2 sided counters (one side yellow, one side red). We then dropped the counters to see which number sentence happened the most. After many tries and using tally marks to count each time, we discovered 3+4 was the most popular. You will find a small sheet of paper in your child’s green bag with their results. Feel free to try this at home. Or try it using a different number to see which number sentence is the most popular (8= 8+0, 7+1, 6+2, 5+3, 4+4).  Coins will work if you don’t have 2 sided counters.

Where We Are in Place and Time

In our Unit of Inquiry called, “Where We Are in Place and Time”, we have been asking questions about the past using artifacts. “Why is it important to know about the past?” “Why do we keep things from the past?” “How do we know this artifact is from the past?” Here are some of our thoughts about these questions:

When you grow up, you might want to teach others about the past.

Children don’t know about things.

If you find something from the past, you’ll know how to use it.

So we can find out how things work.

To make things better.

It is interesting.

To learn.

So we have stories from the past.

It is old.

The students will now learn what it means to be a researcher and research a topic of their interest from the past. They will ask questions about their topic to find out more about it. Some of our interests are pyramids, transportation, machines, dinosaurs and  famous people.

After doing some research and learning more about a topic from the past, the students will make an informational book to teach others what they have learned.

Below: looking through informational books for topic ideas to learn about

How to…

For our Informational writing unit, the children are learning to write ‘How To…’ books. As a fun activity, I made my own ‘How to…’ book called, “How to Make Jello.” I read it to the children before the holiday and told them we would make jello after the holiday. When I read my book to them, I talked about ‘time’ words like first, after that, then, next, and finally.

Monday morning, the children helped make the jello by using the instructions in my book. First, we added hot water to the jello. Then we added cold water. After that, we put the jello in the fridge and waited 4 hours. We were excited to eat it in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the fridge was broken and the jello did not set. So, after moving the jello to a new fridge and waiting patiently until yesterday, the children were finally able to eat the jello.

Now the children are busy writing their own ‘How to Make Jello’ book. After they are finished this book, they can choose something they know how to do and make another ‘How to…’ book to teach others about their area of expertise.