Week 19: January 13-17

Greetings 5C Community,

This week students played video games! Even cooler, they made their own controllers! It was all part of our exploration into energy, where some students recognized that we can make electricity by spinning a copper wire around a magnet. But how and why does it work? Ask Jesse. She looked it up.

In literacy, students learned to “skim, synthesis and scan” explanation text, to find specific information without having to read the entire article. After using this method to read an article about turning urine into electricity using a microbial fuel cell (MFC), students were challenged to draw a diagram based on the description. Below are a few examples.

In math, students are learning to explain decimals as fractions. Instead of saying “point forty-seven” like most adults, we say “forty-seven hundredths.” We also learned to place decimals on a number line. Still, half the class thought that four tenths (.4) was less than eight hundredths (.08). We also explored area and perimeter by solving the Unicorn Problem, where students had to find the largest area possible using 30 meters of fence. See the pictures below.

In addition to all our formal learning, students developed their social and communication skills through activities with the counselor and their G1 buddies. The counselor taught students when and how to report inappropriate behavior to an adult. During buddies, students shared their love of learning and play.

Save the Date:

Wednesday, 22nd January: Student/Parent/Teacher conferences
ES will be hosting Parent, Student and Teacher Conferences from 8am-4pm. We will talk about your child’s report card and review the goals that your child made earlier in the school year. Please note that conferences will only be held with your child. Siblings will be asked to wait outside our classroom. Also, it is optional to see specialist teachers for this conference. 

Thursday, 23rd January: Tet Assembly
Friday, January 24: First day of Tet holiday break
Monday, February 3: First day back at school after Tet holiday break
Wednesday, February 5th: SCO movie night
Friday, February 28th: Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon and PYPx parent information morning.

Week 17: Dec 9-13

Dear 5C Community,

The week before break was full of excitement for the holidays and exhaustion from all of the end-of-semester assessments.

Of course, the highlight of the week was the migration museum. Students displayed their communication skills, as they impersonated migrants with clear voices, facial expressions and body language. They demonstrated their research and thinking skills through reflections.

In math, students demonstrated their ability to solve authentic problems using estimation, multiplication and division. The also showed their ability to communicate using the claim, evidence and reasoning approach. Below is an exemplary example of their work. When we return in the new year we will begin to focus on fractions and geometry. 

In literacy, students completed their book club novels and wrote their own narratives, which will be teacher assessed. Book club groups were given new books to complete over the break. When we return, students will discuss the possible social messages in their books.

Despite all the work, students still found time to celebrate their learning. First, the G5 took action to perform holiday carols on their instruments for the entire elementary school. They read for pleasure, played chess and organized a variety of group games during our indoor recess.

Happy holidays!

Save the Date
Monday, January 6: First day back at school after Winter Break
Friday, January 24: First day of TET holiday break
Monday February 3: First day back at school after TET holiday break

Week 16: December 2-6

Greetings 5C Community,

Here students are practicing “being on our knees in despair.”

This week in UOI, we’ve been super busy learning to orally present our migration stories. With help from Mr. Brewster and the 5D students, we have placed a lot of emphasis on gestures, facial expressions and emotions, with the aim of making our presentations rich and engaging for audiences. In the pictures below, you can see us practicing. We look forward to showcasing our work at the Migration Museum on Wednesday.

In math this week, students worked in pairs to solve the “fidget spinner problem” and creating exemplary posters that clearly showed their claim, evidence and reasoning for a problem involving division (2160 / 8). Next week, students will complete a summative assessment task involving multiplication and division, before we move into fractions when we return from winter break.

In literacy this week, students completed their narrative drafts for the migration stories. Most book club groups also completed the novels they were reading and discussed the social messages in the book. We also discovered why some letters, such as the “p” in shop, are doubled when we add certain suffixes, like -ing to make shopping. 

Migration Museum

Dinner Time Talk

  • How can I help you prepare for your migration museum?
  • What is CER (claim, evidence and reasoning)?
  • What is the social message in your book club book?

Save the Date
Wednesday, December 11: Migration Museum, 1-2pm
Friday, December 13: Last day of school before Winter Break
Monday, January 6: First day back at school after Winter Break
Friday, January 24: First day of TET holiday break
Monday February 3: First day back at school after TET holiday break

Week 15: Nov 25-29

Greetings 5C Community,

In UOI this week, we’ve been busy constructing migration monologues based on the narrative story planner. During Monday’s Toolbox session, we were treated to four migration stories from members of our teaching community here at UNIS. Ms Barbara from the Middle School talked to us about the history of migration in Cyprus; Mr Ole told us the story of his great grandmother who lived as Jew in Denmark during the Second World War; Ms Nguyen told us about her experience moving from the Vietnamese countryside to Hanoi, and how this example of urban migration changed her life entirely; and Ms Linh shared her experience of moving from Hanoi to Russia as a young child and how she was forced to move around the country following her father’s postings. Next week we will put the finishing touches on the monologues, before rehearsing and preparing for the Migration Museum on December 11.

In literacy this week, students met in their book club groups to discuss character development and identify examples of emotive language. Based on the modeling of professional writers, students attempted to include emotive “show, don’t tell” language into their own narratives and monologues.

In math, we reflecting on the division skills we’ve acquired over the past couple of weeks. Students put together a ‘how to’ video detailing the steps involved when completing a division problem with an area model. 

As part of our social/emotional learning, students worked with the counselor to discuss the issue of “consent.”

Save the Dates
Wednesday 11th December – Migration Museum
Thursday December 12 – Winter Service Fair (5 – 7pm)
Friday 13th December – Last day of school before Winter Break

Dinner Time Talk
What are you reading for Book Club?
Introduce us to your migration character
Can you show me how to solve division problems using an open area model?

Week 12: November 4-8

Greetings 5C Community,

To introduce our unit on migration, the G5 teachers turned the students into refugees when an imaginary disaster forced everyone to share resources in one small classroom (refugee camp). Eventually, students emigrated to various other classrooms ruled by teacher dictators. Students faced visa issues, corruption and prejudice, which will give them empathy as they spend the next week gathering migration stories from around the world. Over the weekend, students are encouraged to learn about their own family migration stories.

In conjunction with migration, during literacy students have been grouped into book clubs, where they are reading and reacting to migration novels. By Tuesday, students are expected to have read and post four “find-its,” including an analysis of a character. Students also wrote their own narrative stories that we will revise over the next two weeks.

Reading migration stories

In math, students are learning to solve division problems with remainders using various models. They also played a couple of math games to improve their ability to identify factors and multiples. Ask your child to play “buzz/fizz” with you!

Making connections between models and algorithms

Save the Dates

Monday 11th November – Professional Development Day – No School
Tuesday 19th November – Open Classrooms
Friday 14th December – First day of winter break – No School

Open Classrooms (Nov 19)
A reminder that Open Classrooms are designed as a structure that allows us to promote understanding of our program and to strengthen relationships with our parent community. Parents are invited to see what learning looks like in 5C.

Specialist classes:

    • 9:25 am World Language
    • 1:10 am Art


    • 8:30 am Math (division and/or factors)
    • 2:20 pm Literacy (book clubs)

Greetings 5C Community,

A heartfelt thank you to everyone, especially our class parents, who organized and provided food for the UN Day lunch! It is always such a treat to taste dishes from other countries. It is a source of pride for students when they can share their favourite foods with their friends. 

This week, students analyzed several example texts and completed drafts for their own discussion essays. Next week, students will peer review, revise and edit their drafts to include complex sentences, modality (opinions) and grammar. 

Students have continued to develop their understanding of multiplication and have been using estimation strategies to solve real-world problems such as how many students attend UNIS and how long would you have to wait in line at a concert

Students created several flowcharts to represent thier understanding of the governing structures at home, in our class and at UNIS. Afterwards, Jane McGee, the UNIS Head of School, spoke with the class to explain how things really work. Students were most surprised to learn that Ms. MCGee has a boss, the Board of Directors, which includes six parents. As one student put it, “She gets bossed around by the parents.” Next week, students will prepare for their end of unit assessment, where they will be creating an effective governance system for an organization of their choice. 

Save the Dates
Monday 11th November – Professional Development Day – No School
Friday 14th December – First day of winter break – No School

Week 9: October 14-18

Greetings 5C Community!

“Life is not perfect, and that’s okay.” This is the message that Anesu articulated after we completed our first read-aloud, Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper, about a 5th Grade girl who can’t walk or talk. Please ask your child about the interesting conclusion and the writer’s technique of beginning and ending the book with the exact same chapter. Next week we will begin our second novel, A Bridge Home, about two young runaways from Chennai, India.

This week, we built upon our understanding of place value and base 10 to solve a word problem, the Donut Warehouse. Students created models to clearly communicated their answers. We then used our understanding of the “power of 10” to build and solve area models for multiplication. We made up an area model game that your children can show you if you have graph paper. Next week, we will use our understanding of area models to solve division problems.

We continued to learn more about what makes a good discussion essay by looking at the structure of this genre and considering its different elements. Students developed their own topics/issues – should students get paid for doing chores and is plastic good or bad – and developed arguments for and against their issues. They created a “scaffold” for their ideas, which they will develop into an essay next week.

As part of our preparations for next week’s UN day on Monday, we celebrated SDG week. Students were given an SDG to study in a small group and will be using what they discover to put towards a 5th Grade publication about the SDGs and good news stories associated with them. This is likely to be a year long project, but the students made good headway and we had the opportunity to talk about some non-fiction reading skills while we were at it! 

Enjoy the weekend!

Week 6: Sept 16-20

Greetings 5C Community,

All hail, Queen Hanbee!

It was an exciting week for students as they arrived to school each day wondering how their day would unfold. The first day they were ruled by a queen, the next day was anarchy, followed by dictatorship and democracy. All of this role playing into different government systems was part of a weeklong provocation into our new unit on governance. Stay tuned, as students are given the chance to design their own governing system for the class.

Literacy and Math
This week students completed their beginning of year math and writing assessments. These will be modified and marked to provide baseline data in order to plan for your child’s learning needs.  

Three-Way Conferences (Sept 30)
Speaking of your child’s learning needs and goals, his year we are requesting that students join the conferences with teachers and parents. It will be an opportunity for all of us, students included, to share our hopes and dreams for the year. You can sign up for a 15-minute meeting conference on Veracross between 10am and 6pm on Monday, September 30. (No School or ASAs for ES)

G5 Overnight Excursion (Sept 25-27)
By now you should have completed the permission and health forms on Veracross for the overnight excursion. Your child should have brought home their gear list of items they will need at camp. 

There are a couple of important notes that need to be shared:

  1. If your child takes daily medications, please ensure these are given to our school nurse before 8am on Wednesday 25th. These should be clearly named with instructions on how to and when to administer them. No medication from home will be administered without the above information and medication should not be kept in a students bag during the overnight excursion.
  2. Mobile phones are not permitted. Students will have access to a mobile phone should they need to phone home. In case you need to contact your child whilst they are away, you can call the ES office during school hours and our DP (Stephen Lush) after hours.
  3. Please label all your child’s belongings. It makes all our lives easier if we can return lost items to their owners.
  4. Parents will receive updates at the end of each day. The platform for this is yet to be decided. Either email or Seesaw. We will let you know as soon as a decision has been made.

An overview of what your child will be doing whilst away is linked here for you to view.

Save the Dates:

Wednesday 25th – 27th – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
Monday 30th –  Three-Way Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)

Monday 7th – 11th – Autumn Break
Monday 21st – UN Day

Dinner Time Talk
Which governing system did you feel was successful and why?
What excites you about the overnight camp and what concerns might you have?

Week 5: Sept 9-12

Greetings 5C Community,

Chúc Mừng Tet Trung Thu!

This week students wrote Where I’m From poems that expressed their more subtle identity traits. One student wrote, “I am from the big durian scented apartment in Keangnam.” Students also prepared presentations of their identity, which they will share with the class next week. 

In math, students explored geometry and reviewed mathematical terminology through a series of geometry challenges. 

During literacy, students examined the purpose of various affixes (prefixes and suffixes) while playing a game. We then started to create an affix chart, which will help students make sense of unfamiliar words.

On Tuesday, we will begin an exciting unit on government. Make sure to ask your child what happened each day!

Save the Date
Wed, 25th to 27th September – G5 Overnight Excursion

Week 4: September 3-6

Welcome 5C Community

I enjoyed meeting so many of you during Back to School Night! For those of you who missed it, you can find the presentation slides on my blog. As I mentioned, the best way to find out what is going on in the class is to read and comment on your child’s weekly reflections each week. 

We are still looking for someone to volunteer to be the 5C Class Parent, so please let me know if you are interested. 

This Week’s Shout outs
Thank you to Maika, Jesse, Fionn, Duc and any other student who spent one of their break times this week organising our class library. It is sorted into categories and is far more inviting and easy to use. Thank you again for taking the time to help make our classroom a better place. 

Thanks to Khin, May and Hanbee for their participation as SDG Guardians and for encouraging others to join the team.

5A Student Councillors
Congratulations to Alina and Duc who will be 5C’s student Councillors. It is great to know that the voices of our class community will be represented at a wider school level and we look forward to hearing how 5C can take part in wider community activities. 

Weekly Highlight
Most students would argue that Mr. Big C’s introduction to the makerspace room was their highlight of the week. Students learned the value of verbal communication, while trying to build with and without words. They also had fun with an electricity experiment.

Our 5C Mathematicians have continued to build up their knowledge and understanding of What Mathematicians Do and are starting to exhibit many of the characteristics of successful and efficient practitioners. 

Some of our discoveries include:

  • Mathematicians value depth over speed.
  • Mathematicians recognise the value of mistakes – in fact mistakes actually help our brains to grow!
  • Mathematicians engage in accountable talk, using precise mathematical language to communicate their thinking. 
  • Mathematicians enjoy challenging problems that they can really get their teeth into!

This week Ms. Angela introduced word inquiry to students, and we started an affix list of prefixes and suffixes. 

Units of Inquiry
Students received a description of the summative assessment for our identity unit. Basically, students are challenged to creatively present their identity to the class.

Save the Date
Wed, 11 September – ES Snack Sale
Fri, 13th September – No school for students – Professional Development Day
Wed, 25th to 27th September – G5 Overnight Excursion

Dinner time talk

  • What is the difference between a simile and a metaphor?
  • How many handshakes will it take five people to shake hands with everyone else?
  • What do you think will happen to Melody?