Thank you

Dear Parents,

I take the responsibility of teaching your children very seriously. I know how important your child’s education and emotional well being is to each of you.  I can see that you are each very dedicated parents and I was honored to be able to work with each of you to help your children progress this year.  They are wonderful children and they have each made so much progress. I know they will do well next year as well.

Dear 4D Students,

I am so proud of all that you have accomplished this year.  You have become responsible, committed learners who not only take responsibility for their own learning but you help each other to learn as well. I will never forget the sight of you high fiving each other as you accomplished your weekly goals or when I overheard Luca say “Its ok that you don’t know that.  It is just a chance to learn. We all have things we need to learn. We just help each other.”  That is the attitude you all have taken.  You learn from your mistakes and push yourselves to achieve greater and greater heights. I will miss all of you.  I know you will do great things in the future. Here is the poem that we created about our class.

We Are From 4D 

We are from the mysterious  disappearing pencils

from  spinning chairs and glue sticks laying on the ground

We are  from the book filled room

from the the cozy carpets

And the loud playground


We’re from Silent ball and Twenty One

from the fun games that we play

from magic scraps to  the smell of home baked cookies


The quiet clicks  of chromebooks to the deafening shout of laughter and joy

from the uncontrollable groans of girls to “Miss Mindy, Miss Mindy, Can you help me”

We are from the dripping of the AC to “Layla sit down”


We’re from Ms.Mindy and Ms.Thao

From exploding dots and number talks

To reading books and listening Harry Potter


We are from workshops led by us

From high fives and goals met

From the whiteboard with the golden time dots


From and “We go to UNIS in the Morning” and “Wherever I Go”

We’re from traditional clothes and nations gathered together.

We’re from everywhere

From friends and families, from different religions and places.

We are from peace and happiness.

We are from 4D

Here are a few photos from our class party yesterday.

Class Fort

Sponge Dodge Ball


Summer Reading Suggestions

For those of you looking for some book book ideas for summer reading  please read on.

Our class has voted on our top 10 book choices for the year.

4D’s Top Ten  Books from 2017-18

10. Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carrol

9. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

8. The House of Hades by Rick Riordon

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry

6. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordon

5. The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

4. Auggie and Me by R.J. Pollacio

3. The Trials of Apollo Series by Rick Riordon

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

For more information about these books as well as additional recommendations from 4D please see the suggestions below.

For even more suggestions please see  the UNIS recommended book list
Also here are some suggestions of books that are related  to what students will be learning next year in Grade 5.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Student Learning Presentations on Tuesday at 10:15-11:00 and the shared potluck lunch from 11:00 to 11:40. The students have been hard at work preparing for it. Here are some pictures from this week.

Reminders and Summer Resources for Math

Reminders and Announcements:

Tuesday June 12: Students Learning Presentations and Class Party

Friday June 1: Swim Relay Extravaganza. 

Our Week in Review:

Math: The students have been learning to identify geometric features in real world examples. They are working with 3D and 2D shapes as well as with lines and angles.

UOI: Students are working on finishing and improving their presentations.  They have identified what a good presentation for their presentation style looks like and they are working to meet those criteria.

Literacy: Students are finishing up the books for book club discussions. They have had some fantastic book discussions. In writing they are working on writing explanations of the process they went through to create their presentations. They are also practicing presenting to each other.

Some Math Resources for the Summer

Here are some suggestions…


There are many resources on the Grade 4 learning space. I will be working with the students this week to make sure they know how to access it.

Below are a few more resources that could be helpful.

May 20-25

Our week in Review:

Math: The students worked on a variety of geometric skills including:

  • Prefixes and suffixes of geometric terms
  • Identifying geometric shapes in the real world
  • identifying the 2D shapes needed to create 3D shapes
  • Calculating volume.

Literacy:  The students continued focusing on developing reading comprehension strategies and an enjoyment of reading through Book Clubs. They improved their research skills during their work for their UOI projects.  They also learned how to properly cite sources with Easybib and how to choose images in CC image search that they have permission to use.

UOI: The students attended workshops according to which skills and tools they are focusing on for their presentation. The workshops were designed to improve their presentation skills.  Some examples of workshops they attended are:

  • How to create a website.
  • How to take better quality photos.
  • How to use a storyboard to plan your movie.
  • How to use a green screen.
  • How to create stop motion animation.
  • How to write a song.
  • How to edit your movie.




May 14-18

Our Week in Review:

Literacy: The students have begun Book Clubs.  They have chosen a book they want to read in groups and then meet each week to discuss questions, reactions, predictions and comments to the section they have read for the week.  Some of the students have asked if they can take their book home and read it for their nightly reading which is fine. 
UOI: The students have begun our new unit. The central idea is “Understandings are expressed in many ways.” This week the students reflected back on all of the ways they have expressed their unedrstandings so far this year and they brainstormed new ways to experess their understanding. They also made a mind map of all of the learning they have done this year.  Next week we will begin working on learning new skills needed in order to present our understanding more effectively. That might mean learning to build a website, use stop motion animation or learning to write a rap song. The important thing is that the students will be pushing themselves to learn new skills of presenting.
Math: The students have continued to work on ordering, adding, subtracting and multiplying fractions and decimals.

May 7-11

The students are completing their final week of the 21 day challenge.  They have studied various lifestyle choices and the effects they could have on the body. Each student has prepared a presentation explaining the challenge they undertook and the science behind what happened.

Originally we planned to invite parents  to the presentations. However, our next unit will now be How We Express Ourselves. In this unit students will be able to present on anything they want. They can make a new improved presentation for any of their previous units or they can learn something new all together.  The important learning will not be the content but the presentation skills and the creativity.  They will be required to present using a new or improved skill from what they have done before such as podcasting, coding or stop motion animation. At the end of the unit we will have an open presentation day for parents to come in and see what they have created.  Because this is only a few weeks away and because some students will be presenting their  21 Day challenge on this event we decided not to invite parents to see the presentations this week.  Instead we will be sending out an invitation to our end of year presentations shortly.

Our Week in Review:


  • Use checklist to peer conference and improve our narrative writing.
  • Improve reading comprehension by completing a variety of reading tasks
  • Choose a book to read in book groups, read initial chapter and make predictions.


    • Add and subtract Fractions
    • multiply fractions
    • find equivalent fractions

Here is how to play the Game Fraction Tracks. It is good for having students add fractions and find equivalent fractions. If you would like to play at home you can use two dice and print the game board. 

UOI:   Prepare and present on  21 day challenges.



  • Next week students will be taking the MAPS test.
  • Our class is a contributing class for the Snack Sale next Wednesday May 16.

April 23-27

Our Week in Review:

Math:   We worked on adding fractions, converting into decimals and listening to the sound of fractions by coding the music into Scratch.  Students also continued to focus on their individual learning goals.

Here is an example of the students coding. You can see how they had to convert their fractions into decimals and how each bar had to add up to 1 whole.

You can listen to the song below. If you would like to see more of the students work please visit our class Scratch Studio. The students will all upload their songs by the end of the week.

Literacy:  The students have been editing and revising their narrative stories based on checklists and feedback. They have also been signing up for workshops in order to achieve their individual reading and writing goals.

UOI: The students have been researching about the different body systems related to their 21 day challenge and they are collecting data about their lifestyle choices.

Lastly, the students wanted to share a silly video we made last week about music being fractions.  Have a nice weekend.

Next week is Book Week.  Some important dates are listed below.

  • Wednesday 2nd May- ‘Wear a Word’ day- children will choose their favourite word, write it out and put it somewhere on their body. There will be reading and word conversations all day!
  • Thursday 3rd May- Character Dress up day For the ES book character dress up day Grade 4 are having a whole group theme! Please help your child dress up as a character from 101 Dalmations on THURSDAY MAY 3rd!If you are lost for ideas please send your child to school in black pants / leggings and a white t-shirt and we will do the rest (stick black dots on the t-shirt!). All grade 4 teachers will be part of the fun 🙂
  • Friday 4th May-PJs and cuddly toys – students can wear PJs to school and bring a cuddly toy to read to.

Student Led Conferences

Next Wednesday you are invited to come to the classroom as the students will lead you through a conference. They will show you what they have been learning and what their goals are.  There will be no school this day.  You should have received an e-mail from the school with instructions on how to sign up.  I will not be at school during Student Led Conferences.  I will be in Korea coaching the High School Girls Soccer Team at the APAC tournament.  The students will be sufficiently prepared to lead the conference without teacher assistance. Ms. Thao will be in the room in case you need anything.  If you would like to set up a teacher led conference at another please feel free to e-mail me.

Our Week in Review:

UOI: The students have begun to prepare for the 20 day challenge.  As part of our new unit.  They will be choosing one thing about their physiology such as their thinking speed or running endurance and will work for 20 days to improve it. They will create a plan for their 20 day challenge and collect data then analyze their results. They will need to research about what body system was effected and explain what happened. We will then invite you into the class in about four weeks for a presentation on their results.  This week the students have written a hypothesis and a draft plan. Next week they will begin their challenge.
Literacy: . We have been working on our narrative writing. This week students wrote an outline, problem, solution and introduction. They also worked on identifying the important part of the story so that they could add quality details and build suspense.

Math: We are working toward accomplishing our individual Math goals by attending student and teacher led workshops to review topics we have learned but need more time on.  We are also beginning to learn about equivalent fractions. Tomorrow I will post a video  in this blog post of a fraction game that we played this week.

March 26-30

Our Week in Review:

UOI: We have begun our new unit. The students will be inquiring into:

Our body systems are affected by our choices.

  • the different body systems (form)
  • how body systems work (function)
  • the affect our choices have on our body systems (causation)

Math: The students are finishing up the unit on multiplication and division. The students have done very well but still have some things they felt they needed to review. They each chose a learning goal to accomplish by the end of the week.  They needed to work on the goal in teacher led groups and individually and then they needed to prove at the end of the week that they accomplished their goal.  Some of the goals they chose were:

  • Use estimation to solve division problems acurately
  • Solve multiplication problems in more than one way
  • Identify prime numbers and perform prime factorization of whole numbers
  • memorize my (students choice) times table
  • Identify the least common multiples

Literacy: Students have chosen a story they want to write a non fiction narrative about.  They learned to first think of a complication and moral theme.  They are beginning to outline their story.

Recently I spent two days in a Word Inquiry workshop learning how to better help students develop their spelling skills and vocabulary.  4D has now begun to look at Spelling and vocabulary development in a whole new way.  Please see the video below to get an overview of how we will begin to understand spelling.  Last week the students began to sort word families using the word “play”. This week we looked into the word healthy.  We found several new affixes and learned that healthy comes from the word heal which originally meant to make whole.

Some of the spelling questions the students have asked and begun researching are “Why does the y change to i in beauty—beautiful and other words?”  and “Why do we add an extra consonant in big—bigger and other words like hop— hopping?”

Market Day


The kids had a very successful Market Day today.  Thank you for all of your support.  One student summed this unit up today by saying “I can’t believe how much I have learned over the past two weeks!”  Another student said today “I think this will probably be my favorite unit of my life.”  They certainly have learned a lot.  It is even more exciting because all of the profit they made today will go towards their charity of choice.  Below are some pictures from today.