0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 2, 2016

The character trait of the week is hope and goes to Sophia. She expects the best in the future and works to achieve it. She believes that a good future is something that can be worked at.

img_5161

 

Sharing our opinion essays with a reading partner.

img_5135 img_5136 img_5137 img_5138 img_5140 img_5142

Researching about extreme weather.

As part of our reading/science unit students picked an extreme weather that they were interested in researching. They got into groups and decided which sub-topics they wanted to research and present to the class. They have used multiple texts to synthesize and take notes on their sub-topic. Next week the groups will present their findings to the class.

img_5143 img_5144 img_5145

 

Measurement unit in math. Students have been learning about customary and metric units of measurement for volume, mass and length. We have been measuring around the school – exploring and using what we have learned in a practical way.

 

Here is a link to a math fluency brochure.

grade4_fluency_brochure1-1

 

Here is the parent letter for unit 2.

tips_g4_u3Tips for parents – unit 2 measurement


img_5153
img_5154
img_5156 img_5157 img_5158 img_5159

The End is Near

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 3, 2016

Dear 4JA parents and students,

This will be my final blog post this year. It has been such a great year and I’m proud of each and every student for their growth and accomplishments. Students – thank you for your risk taking, perseverance, self-control, energy, hope, curiosity, creativity and love of learning this year – you have inspired me. It has truly been my pleasure getting to know you. In the future please keep in touch (here is my personal email address jamesanderson.his@gmail.com) and I wish you all the best.

James Anderson

IMG_2306

JUNE

  • 6 June, Monday: Moving up day – 4th grade students will go to the 5th grade from 8:00-9:00 to see what life will be like next school year.
  • 7 June, Tuesday: 4JA class party – students may bring in snacks to share
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; Dismissal is at 11:30am. 

Social Studies 

Throughout this Project Based Learning Unit the students worked in groups to answer the driving question – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? How can you help? This week we wrapped up the unit and on Friday the entire fourth grade shared what they have been working on with each other. 

The students not only studied various quality of life issues but researched and presented leaders who were improving this quality of life and the traits they had. The most meaningful part of the unit was when they chose a quality of life issue that was important to them and they became a leader in trying to help. 

Each group helped to improve a quality of life that they were passionate about.   Here are some of the amazing things the groups did. 

  • The air pollution group made an informative brochure to be kept in the elementary office to inform new families about the effects of air pollution, what the AQI numbers mean and ways to reduce exposure to air pollution. 
  • The endangered animal group organized a fund raiser to sell cookies to raise money to send to an organization that helps protect the Amur Leopards and raised over 150usd (enough to buy a radio transmitter so that rangers can communicate better in the field).
  • The women’s rights group got over 20 people to write a letter to a congressperson to urge him to set aside funding so that everyone can get an education in places where women do not have the same rights as men. Then they sent all the letters to him. 
  • The endangered animal group got an interview from Gary Stokes  who works on the Sea Shepard and made a video to raise awareness about whaling and what you can do to prevent it. 
  • The pollution group made an advertising campaign called “Think Twice” that they posted on printers throughout the school to get students and teachers to think twice before printing.  

Students should be proud of all they accomplished and learned during this exciting unit. 

Math

The students have completed units 11 & 12 and they should have enjoyed this unit with the many hands-on activities of measurement. Tests will go home next week. 

This year we have assisted students in many real life skills and activities that will solidify the basic math facts that they should know as they approach fifth grade.

They may use our IXL site this summer to review skills or learn new ones.  

Thank you parents, for all your time in helping your child complete and return their math menu completed, checking to see if your child went on IXL and have tried some  of our time to do our, “ Home Connections.”

Writing

Last week we again integrated writing into other subject areas, primarily social studies and reading.

Students wrapped up the writing related to our social studies unit, “Take Me to Your Leader” as they completed their project on a quality of life issue. Their work went through final edits and revisions and were published in a variety of ways. They also honed their letter writing skills as they contacted various organizations they hope will post their products.

Presenting our Social Studies projects

IMG_2309 IMG_2308 IMG_2304 IMG_2302 IMG_2300 IMG_2298 IMG_2297 IMG_2296 IMG_2295 IMG_2294 IMG_2293 IMG_2292 IMG_2291 IMG_2290 IMG_2288 IMG_2287 IMG_2286 IMG_2283 IMG_2282

May 23rd to June 3rd in 4JA

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 27, 2016

IMG_2257

A lovely buzz of great conversations.

What a great week in 4JA, capped off by a field trip to the Pearl Tower. Next week is our last full week of school. We will be taking the final Math test, finishing our read-a-loud and book clubs and wrapping up our social studies projects on leaders. In the middle of all that is summer sizzler on Wednesday.  Next week the students will start bringing home some of their work they have done throughout the year.

MAY

  • 30 May, Monday: “Books to Eat”  The 4th and 5th grades will have their books to eat day on Monday.  This event is such a fun creative craft to do with your kids.  They can pick any book out and you can help them create an edible snack that goes with the book.  It seems that the common snack is something sweet, but it certainly is not limited to being a sweet.  Some ideas that I noticed from the other grades were cookies, with a cookie book, some jello cups with a book that talked about jello, and generally the snack is made to look like the cover of the book, but any interpretation of the book, can be created.  Please protect your snack, while it is enroute to the school, and have your child deliver the snack and the book to the ES library first thing.   Have fun making your books to eat, and hope you make lots of good memories.

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. This will be a fun day where the elementary students will participate in many activities to help celebrate what a fantastic school we have.  The upper elementary students will have their Summer Sizzler in the afternoon from 12:20 to 2:45. Students will need to bring:
    • Clothes that can get wet and their House Shirt
    • Proper shoes to run and play in
    • A change of clothes
    • Sunscreen, hat, and maybe even a coat in case it is cool out
    • A positive attitude and ready to have some fun
  • 2 June, Thursday: Math test on unit 11-12
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

Social Studies 

This week in Social Studies we continued with our Project Based Learning Unit on Leaders. Based on our driving questions “What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? How can you help?” students are off and running in their groups, answering the second part of the question – How can you help? 

This week I’ve seen some amazing problem solving, excellent teamwork, and highly motivated students taking actions to improve a specific quality of life. Next week we will wrap up this unit and share out with the other 4th grade classes what each group did to help improve the quality of life. 

Home-connection:  Talk to your child about what their group has done and what still needs to be done before the deadline next Friday. 

READING

 This week of Historical Fiction Book Clubs, we continued our class read aloud and our book club novels. Next week we will focus our attention on the endings in our books, and the class read aloud, Number the Stars.

This unit of study has been a most thought provoking and rewarding one for our class…the students are certainly encouraged to take their newfound skills into their independent reading lives!

Writing

Over the past week writing was again integrated into social studies and reading lessons.

Students continued working on their final projects for our social studies unit, “Take Me to Your Leader,” creating a campaign to convince an audience to support a quality of life issue. Each team of students is working on different products, so there is a wide variety of writing including:

  • nonfiction pamphlets
  • scripts for short movies
  • nonfiction information in an order form
  • advertising campaign

Students were able to draw on all of the writing lessons over the year as they applied them to this exciting project.

In our historical fiction reading unit, students also engaged in a number of writing-related activities. They continued writing their reflection for their current (and final) book club novel, took notes as they read, and practiced writing notes about their book without overgeneralizing.

During the week students also engaged in other word work, including “What Do You Notice.” For this technique they analyzed short passages from Number the Stars to identify specific uses of grammar, figurative language, and vocabulary.

Math 

Skills your child should know before they take their  unit 11 & 12 assessment next week.

  •  The students have learned ways to convert units of measure between ounces, pounds and tons. 
  •     They will also record measurement of equivalents from liters to milliliters. For example 3.25 L = 3,250 ML
  • They should notice when you convert from a smaller unit to a larger unit ( such as from ML to L )? That you need to divide to find the equivalent measure.
  •   The students have an understanding of grams and ounces as units of weight and mass.
  • They should know the relative sizes of similar units and to be able to make reasonable estimates.
  •   Be able to find equivalent measurement conversations in the US Customary System, including those with fractions and those in number stories.
  •  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the Metric System, including those with decimals and those with number stories.
  •   Be able to apply the formula for calculating the volume of rectangular prisms and other rectangular based solids. 
  • Be able to work on clear explanations of processes in open ended responses.

Home Connection: Please challenge your child to find units of measurements in everyday items. Ask them what the abbreviation means (g=grams) and convert it to another unit (2 pounds = 32 oz). 

Field Trip to the Pearl Tower

20160527_134954 20160527_124002 20160527_122949 20160527_113223 20160527_105235 20160527_103412

IMG_2275 IMG_2274 IMG_2272 IMG_2271 IMG_2270

Vocabulary Review

IMG_2269 IMG_2267 IMG_2266 IMG_2265 IMG_2263

 

Making a Difference

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 20, 2016

IMG_2223

This week the character strength goes to Ivan for his perseverance in his social studies project. He never gave up and kept trying to make his poster the best it could be. Way to go!

IMG_2194

Last week the character strength went to William for his bravery. William does not shrink from threat or challenge. He speaks up for his opinion even if there is opposition.

MAY

  • 27 May, Friday: Grade 4 Pearl Tower field trip. Parent volunteers thank you! Parents if you plan to go with your group up to the observatory please bring in 85 yaun as this is an extra cost (cost of the museum is covered by the school).  

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.18.10 AM

  • 30 May, Monday: Grade 4 & 5 “Books to Eat”  

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

Social Studies

Students are off and running with their groups to make a difference. Last week the students were put into groups based on similar interests and starting thinking about how they can help make a difference in that area. The students had lots of great ideas and they were tasked to ask themselves two questions before moving ahead with their ideas.

  1. How is what you want to do going to make a difference?
  2. How is your group going to complete this before the end of the year? 

These two questions helped guide their ideas and actions this week. Here are some of the ways the fourth graders in 4JA are going to try and make a difference.  The air pollution group is going to make a brochure to be kept in the elementary office to inform new families about the effects of air pollution, what the AQI numbers mean and ways to reduce exposure to air pollution. The endangered animal group is going to sell cookies to raise money to send to an organization that helps protect the Amur Leopards. The women’s rights group is getting signatures to send to a congressperson to urge fair treatment of women. The endangered animal group is interviewing a person who works on the Sea Shepard and is going to use that interview to make a video to raise awareness about whaling and what you can do to prevent it. The pollution group is going to make an advertising campaign called “Think Twice” that they will post on printers throughout the school to get students and teachers to think twice before printing. 

Students are in full production mode and it’s wonderful to see their excitement and commitment to making a positive impact for others.  

Home-connection: Talk to your child about their project. What has been the most challenging part so far? What have they been most excited about? How are they making a difference? 

Writing

 During the week students once again engaged in writing that was integrated into their social studies and reading activities.

In social studies, students continued work on their Challenge 2 project. They began writing portions of their script, brochure or order form, combining facts they researched with persuasive writing—all trying to convince others to help with a certain quality of life issue.

They also did much writing during their historical fiction reading unit, including daily reflection writing on their current book club novel and note-taking.

During the week students also engaged in other word work, including using the Words Their Way program, exploring the use of a variety of sentence lengths to make writing more exciting, and vocabulary practice (words in context, antonyms, synonyms, vocabulary tableau) through new words introduced in our class novel, Number the Stars.

READING

In reading this week we continued on with our read aloud- Number the Stars, and our historical fiction book clubs. Through our class read aloud students learned that readers of historical fiction not only shift between reading fiction and reading related non-fiction, but they also shift between reading their historical fiction as one reads a story, and reading it as one reads an informational text! We can learn many historical facts from reading historical fiction! 

Our class also revisited character perspectives this week, and students were made aware of how one person’s perspective is not everyone’s perspective, that readers need to be careful about making generalizations! For example, what you learn about Jews in Denmark in Number the Stars will not be true for the Jews in the US.

Math

This week the students have looked at items we use in our everyday lives to help them to estimate measurement, volume and capacity.

The students learned to convert units of measure between ounces, pounds and tons. For example 1 ft = 12 inches. They recorded measurement of equivalents from liters to milliliters. For example 3.25 L = 3,250 ML

They should notice when you convert from a smaller unit to a larger unit

( such as from ML to L )? That you need to divide to find the equivalent measure.

Home Connection: Please see if you child can find equivalents in measurement. Challenge them to go from metric to US Customary and see if they can do it!

Students in pairs created a graphic to organize visually the different units of measurements. Then we took a field trip around the school looking for everyday items using the unit of measurement we have been learning about. We will take these pictures and create a Pic Collage to post on the student blogs. Stay tuned.

 

Math measurement charts and relationship to one another

IMG_2235 IMG_2234 IMG_2233 IMG_2232 IMG_2231 IMG_2230 IMG_2229 IMG_2228 IMG_2227 IMG_2226 IMG_2225 IMG_2224

May 9-20 in 4JA

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 13, 2016

MAY

  • Forms for the yearbook were sent home on Wednesday. Please return ASAP along with 270rmb. There is a limited amount, so please turn in as soon as you can! 
  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day. Students should bring a water bottle, snacks, tennis/sport shoes (no cleats) and weather appropriate clothes. A pizza lunch will be provided by the parents. Thank you parents! 
  • 19 May, Thursday: ES/MS Choir & Orchestra Concert (Grades 4-8)
  • 20 May, Friday: Swimming starts for 4JA – see details below.
  • 27 May, Friday: Grade 4 Pearl Tower field trip. Thank you to parents who have volunteered. Schedule, groups and details will be posted on next weeks blog. 
  • 30 May, Monday: 4th/5th Grade Books to Eat
IMG_2127

Books to Eat

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

Social Studies 

This week in Social Studies we continued with our Project Based Learning Unit on Leaders. Based on our driving questions “What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? How can you help?” students are now answering the second part of the question – How can you help? We formed groups based on what the students were most interested in helping with. Once in their groups they got together and decided on a specific area to make a difference in. The specific area the groups decided on are: endangered whales, factory pollution awareness, equal rights for woman, endangered leopards,  and the health effects of air pollution. The students excitingly got to work, trying to answer the question of “How they can help?”.  We will spend the next 3 weeks taking action and trying to help improve the quality of life. 

Home-connection:  Talk to your child about the issue they chose. Why is that issue important to them? Ask them what they are planning on doing to make a difference. 

Writing

This past week students engaged in a number of writing based activities. During their social studies Leaders unit they began another project, this one researching a current quality of life issue. This required summarizing and recording nonfiction text, a task that involves determining which information is pertinent, and recording it in a quick and simple way that they can interpret later. In the coming weeks they will use their summaries to create a variety of pieces for an advertising campaign—from mini movies to websites to songs.

In our historical fiction reading unit, students continued their daily reflection writing on their current book club novel. Their reflections had a number of formats, including simple summaries, symbol interpretations, a who-what-when-where-why explanation, predictions, and character analyses. Since each format requires a different type of writing, they pulled from many techniques they’ve learned throughout the year.

In addition students engaged in other word work, including word sorting and classification using the Words Their Way program, figurative language study through an exploration of imagery, and vocabulary practice (words in context, antonyms, synonyms, vocabulary tableau) through new words introduced in our class novel, Number the Stars.

IXL Skills for Unit 11 (your goal is to get 90% in the topic)

Geometry

Measurement/Grade 4

  1. N.1Compare and convert customary units
  2. N.2Compare and convert metric units
  3. N.3Compare customary units by multiplying
  4. N.4Convert mixed customary units
  5. N.5Add and subtract mixed customary units
  6. N.6Convert between metric and customary units

Measurement/ Grade 5

  1. W.1Choose the appropriate customary unit of measure
  2. W.2Choose the appropriate metric unit of measure

READING

This week in our Historical Fiction book clubs we talked about turning to primary sources to better understand history, and to deepen our understanding. 

Reading historical fiction is challenging as students are asked to visualize stories that happened at times and in places they know little about or have no experience with. I wanted to draw their attention to how readers of historical fiction can turn to images (photos and illustrations) from the relevant time period, to help them understand their story better. 

 We then talked about how readers also gather resources as they read- texts that add background information, to be read alongside the novel, to deepen their understanding of the story. It is amazing how a map, a timeline or article can help us understand our novel better!

Field Trip

IMG_2089 IMG_2083 IMG_2090 IMG_2097

 

 

Vocabulary Review

IMG_2139 IMG_2142 IMG_2143 IMG_2144

 

Weight Measurement

IMG_2163 IMG_2164 IMG_2166 IMG_2169 IMG_2168 IMG_2167

IMG_2183 IMG_2182 IMG_2181 IMG_2180 IMG_2179 IMG_2178 IMG_2177 IMG_2176 IMG_2172 IMG_2171 IMG_2170 

SAS-Pudong Middle School Swimming Unit

Mr Hossack’s students will be starting their swimming unit on Friday May 20 until June 7th during their PE lessons. This is a great opportunity for students to improve their swimming and water safety skills, while having a safe and enjoyable experience. Please read the following guidelines below so as to make sure you are ready to begin the swimming program:

SWIM SUITS:

Girls should wear a one-piece swim suit. Boys may wear Speedos, trunks or knee length Lycra suits; however, they should not wear bathing suits that are below their knees. Please make sure the condition of your suit is suitable. T-Shirts are not allowed. To ensure that the children do not forget their swim suits, all students can leave their suits hanging in a designated place at the pool. When they arrive for their next lesson, the suits will be there, dry and waiting for them. Please write your name clearly on your bathing suit.

GOGGLES & CAPS:

Some students prefer to swim with goggles and some not. You can make do with basic, inexpensive goggles that are comfortable. Swimming Caps should be worn by all students with long hair as it makes swimming comfortable and is much more practical. At the very least, long hair should be tied back. Again, the students will leave their goggles here at the pool until the swimming unit is complete. Please clearly write your name on the cap and goggles.

TOWELS:

We are very fortunate on having clean towels for all our students. Students do not need to bring their towels. Towels are provided and we ask all students to put the towels in the bin provided after use.

SICKNESS:

It is our policy in the PE department that if a child is attending school, then they must participate in physical activity. If you are well enough to be at school, then you are expected to participate in swimming.

This is a great opportunity for your child to receive professional and high quality instruction from a qualified and experienced aquatic staff, who will endeavor to provide a safe and friendly learning environment. Swimming is a life skill!!

For inquiries regarding this unit, feel free to contact the     Aquatic Staff, George Carpouzis/Sandy Elder, or your PE Teacher.

George Carpouzis/Sandy Elder at ext. 3572 or

Email: george.carpouzis@saschina.org

sandy.elder@saschina.org

 

 

May Day May Day – Read all about it.

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 6, 2016

IMG_2081

4th Graders Relaxing After a Hard Day’s Work

What a nice field trip today!  Thank you to the parent volunteers and the Chinese Department for organizing.

MAY

  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day. More details to follow.
  • 19, May, Thursday: ES/MS Choir & Orchestra Concert (Grades 4-8)
  • 27 May, Friday: Grade 4 Pearl Tower field trip. Please email me if you would like to be a chaperone. More details to follow.

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

Reviewing for the Math Test with a team game.

IMG_2069 IMG_2068 IMG_2070 IMG_2072 IMG_2073 IMG_2074 IMG_2075 IMG_2076

This week the students completed the two units 9 & 10.

They will be bringing home their assessment next week to be signed.

Unit 11 has four main areas of focus/learning targets:

*   To review grams and ounces as units of weight and mass.

*   To know the relative sizes of similar units and to be able to make reasonable estimates.

*  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the US Customary System, including those with fractions and those in number stories.

*  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the Metric System, including those with decimals and those with number stories.

 

IXL Skills for Unit 11

Geometry

Measurement/Grade 4

  1. N.1Compare and convert customary units
  2. N.2Compare and convert metric units
  3. N.3Compare customary units by multiplying
  4. N.4Convert mixed customary units
  5. N.5Add and subtract mixed customary units
  6. N.6Convert between metric and customary units

Measurement/ Grade 5

  1. W.1Choose the appropriate customary unit of measure
  2. W.2Choose the appropriate metric unit of measure

 

Reading 

This week in reading we continued on with our historical fiction books clubs and the class read aloud- Number the Stars, and we continued to used the teaching points from this class novel to guide the conversations and activities of the individual book clubs. 

The ‘theme’ has to be a BIG idea that relates to the WHOLE story

The ‘theme’ has to be grounded in specific DETAILS from the story

The ‘theme’ is something that considers the CHOICES the author has made

Writing

This past week we continued to integrate our writing instruction and practice into our other subject areas. In our Social Studies unit, “Take Me To Your Leader,” students drafted and revised text for their leader poster. They had to be succinct and clear since the text was limited, only providing the information required in their checklist.

In our reading unit, “Historical Fiction Clubs,” students continued writing about their book club novels. This week they focused on writing about the perspectives of the minor characters. Students hypothesized in writing about how those alternative perspectives gave them new thoughts about the story.

Social Studies 

This week in Social Studies we wrapped up the first part of our unit. We have begun to answer our driving question, “What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of Life and how can we help?”. The students finished their posters on an issue and a leader. Each student chose an issue that was important to them, researched that issue and a leader who is making a difference then created a poster to showcase their findings. On Thursday the students went on a Gallery Walk leaving sticky notes on posters with their “take aways” (questions they had, something they liked, something they are interested in). This allowed students to reflect on other issues as well as get feedback on their own poster. This was the first part of our PBL unit and will lead into our main project to make an advertising campaign about what we can do to help with an issue. We will start the second part next week where the students will create a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme, and persuade the viewer to act.

I personality can’t wait to see how this turns out! Stay tuned. 

Student Posters on an issue and leader. 

IMG_2067 IMG_2066 IMG_2065 IMG_2064 IMG_2063 IMG_2062 IMG_2061 IMG_2060 IMG_2059 IMG_2058 IMG_2057 IMG_2056 IMG_2055 IMG_2054 IMG_2053 IMG_2052

The Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts are organizing a book swap for grades 1 – 5. A book swap is an opportunity for the students to exchange books that they have outgrown for books that are new to them. It is also a good example of “reusing” and “reducing”, which is good for our environment.

From Monday, May 9 – Wednesday May 11children in grades 1 – 5 can bring in gently used books for children of any age to their classroom teachers.

For each book your child brings in,  he or she will receive a token for the day of the swap. The Girl Scouts will collect, sort and organize the books. 

On Thursday May 12 the books will be displayed in the elementary cafeteria for the students to browse. The children can take one book for each token they have. 

We welcome you to drop off as may books as you would like for the swap, but there will be a limit of 10 books that a child can take.  Leftover books will be donated. If you have any questions, please contact Maureen Lyon at Maureen.a.lyon@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support and participation!

The SAS Pudong Girl Scouts 

Troop 5866

Field Trip Information for this Friday

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 4, 2016

Dear all,

Please see the field trip info below for this Friday.  Each student will be given a task booklet from their chaperone for them to finish during the field trip.

Itinerary

8:15 Leave school

9:30 Arrive destination

9:45– 11:20 Tour in Gu Yi Garden (including lunch)

11:30 Depart from the Gu Yi Garden to Nan Xiang Old Town

11:40 – 13:00 Tour in Nan Xiang Old Town

13:15 – Depart from Nan Xiang to SAS Pudong

Note:

Bring hand sanitizer;

Be respectful of different types of food;

Always follow your chaperone;

Prepare pocket money to buy snacks.

Bring tissue, lunch box.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.14.50 AM

4JA – April 25 – May 6

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 29, 2016

IMG_1997

The Character Trait of the Week is Forgiveness and goes to Han Bang. He forgives those who have done wrong, accepts the shortcomings of others and gives people a second chance.

MAY

  • 2 May, Monday: No School; May holiday
  • 5 May, Thursday: Math test on units 9 and 10
  • 6 May, Friday: China Alive Field Trip – Organized by the Chinese teachers. Students need a home lunch, snack, and money if they wish to purchase some treats and/or souvenirs. 
  • 6 May, Friday: May Dance Show: Grades 3-12. Reception begins at 5:30pm, show starts at 6:00pm at the PAC. Book tickets here: http://pudong-performing-arts.ticketleap.com/collage/.
  • 13 May, Friday: Movie Night (see info below, child has brought home permission slip)
  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day. More details to follow.

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.

 

Math Units 9 & 10 

We had a fun and busy week in math. We finished unit 9 and started unit 10, Reflections and Symmetry. The upcoming assessment is combined for units 9 and 10. We will have the test next Thursday on Units 9 and 10. This week we explored reflections of 2-dimensional figures, practiced identifying lines of reflections and discovered some basic properties of reflections. 

Next week in math we will continue with this unit of study and review for the test. 

Please remember to complete at least 40 minutes of IXL each week.

Money

Multiply decimals

Divide decimals

Patterns and sequences

Geometry

Decimals

IMG_1998

 

Social Studies

This week in Social Studies the students continued to gather data on an issue that was important to them and a leader who is making a difference in that area. Once the students were able to find enough information they started writing. The students created a checklist that helped them to organize their information that they were to search for and write about. We started thinking about how we wanted to convey the message though an informational poster. We looked at some various platforms to make our poster, some kids are creating their poster on Easly.com, others on ComicLife, some on a Word Doc and others are doing it by hand. However they choose to create their poster is it sure to artistically unique as well as informative on an important issue.  

Next week we will finish researching, writing and making the poster. On Thursday we will display the posters in the grade 4 project area. Then each class will have a museum style walk through – learning about issues and leaders that are important to other fourth graders. 

Home connection: Ask your child where they are at in this poster making process. What information do they still need/want to find? What will make their poster unique and remembered among their audience?

Writing

This past week we incorporated writing instruction and practice into our social studies unit “Take Me to Your Leader.” Students researched a leader who improved the quality of life in some way, taking notes from various sources (websites, articles, books, videos), then creating short paragraphs they will put onto a poster.

We also incorporated writing instruction and practice into our reading unit on historical fiction. Students wrote daily reflections as they read their historical fiction novels, touching on a tip they learned each day (theme, symbolism, character perspectives, etc.). Students also completed a “quick write,” jotting down ideas about how their ideas for the theme have changed as they read their novel.

READING

Another exciting week immersing ourselves in historical fiction and reading Number the Stars! Through our class read aloud we were able to explore new vocabulary words like distorted, tentative, dismay and specter, as well as reading thinking that help us dive deeper into stories.

There were two major areas of focus this week: determining themes and deepening interpretation through collaboration and close reading. Students learned to interpret the themes in a book by wearing that interpretation like a pair of glasses, examining the feasibility of a chosen theme by putting the book under those lenses. Through this process students could either make their initial idea more precise or broader, or decide to change their idea and try other possible themes altogether. No matter which outcome, we came to the realization that the theme has more power if we make it about the world and not just the book! 

It was wonderful to see the class engage in discussions about their book club books. Even as the teacher I was often taken to new ideas and thoughts because many students in the class came up with connections or reflections I had never thought about! And how that added more depth and enjoyment to our read aloud!

Spring Planting in the Nature Reserve (cucumbers and corn)
IMG_1995 IMG_1994 IMG_1993 IMG_1992

Vocabulary Review

IMG_1991 IMG_1989
IMG_1987 IMG_1986 IMG_1985 IMG_1983 IMG_1981

Movie Night At The SAS Auditorium

Part of our mission statement here at SAS is to inspire students to act with integrity and compassion.  Our 5th Grade Service Team wants to inspire you and your child to do just that.

Did you know that because of the recent civil war in Syria, at least 13.5 million people currently living there need humanitarian aid? At least 6 million of them are children.  Think about it.  Everyday, 6 million children go without proper nourishment in Syria.

Our 5th Grade Service Team has decided to take action. On Friday, May 13th we will host a Movie Night to raise funds to help feed hungry children in Syria. All proceeds will be donated to The World Food Program’s work in Syria. Please fill out the form below if you wish for your child to attend, and return this form with ticket money no later than Wednesday May 6 

Date: Friday May 13th 2016

Time: 3:00-4:30 pm

Tickets: RMB 20

Snacks (optional):  RMB 10-20

Spirit Week and Track and Field Day are Next Week

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 22, 2016

APRIL

  • 25 April-29 April: Spirit Week 
    • Monday – Pajama Day
    • Tuesday – School Colors Day or Eagle Wear
    • Wednesday – Worldly Wednesday (clothing or colors from your home country)
    • Thursday – Sports Day (Sporty clothes or favorite sports team)
    • Friday – House Shirts
  • 27 April, Wednesday: Grade 4 Track and Field Day.  Besides being Worldly Wednesday in Spirit Week the 4th grade also has their track and field day from 10:00-2:00. Parents are welcome to come and cheer on the kids. Students are required to bring a home lunch, sports shoes, water bottle, appropriate clothes for the weather. It’s a day for students to challenge themselves physically and to have fun. 

 

MAY

  • 2 May, Monday: No School; May Holiday. 
  • 6 May, Friday: China Alive Field Trip. More details to follow. 
  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day

 

 

Social Studies 

This week in Social Studies we continued with our Leaders unit. The students seek to answer our driving question – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life and how can you help? We broke this question up into two parts. First – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? Second – How can you help? 

This week we focused on the first part of this question. Each student chose an issue that was important to them and researched a leader that was making difference in this area. Students were able to use books from the library, the SAS data base, prior knowledge, interviews and/or “student friendly” search engines to gather information about the leader they chose. This week students mainly conducted research. Next week we will complete our research and will start to create a poster.  The poster will have information and other non-fiction text features to showcase the leader and the issue they chose. Once the posters are complete, the fourth grade will have a gallery walk where we can learn about issues that are important to us and who the leaders are that are making a difference in that area. After the gallery walk in two weeks time, we will begin to answer the second part of our driving question – How can you help? Stay tuned for more on this exciting project! 

Writing

For the final trimester, we are integrating writing into both our nonfiction reading unit as well as our Leader’s Social Studies Unit. 

Writing across the curriculum boosts critical thinking skills. The writing that students do in social studies is different than the writing they do in the reading unit, so students will learn valuable strategies to apply their writing in many different arenas.

This week in social studies students chose a quality of life issue, then researched a leader who has improved that issue. They began their research on this leader, requiring them to look at multiple sources (books, websites, articles, etc.) and write notes based on what they found. This type of writing involves summarizing just the important parts of the information they read.

In our historical fiction reading unit, students have been writing as a response to their reading, including:

  • describing the historical setting of their book club novel
  • making notes about the who, what, when, where, why of their novel
  • articulating the historical timeline events as well as the timeline of events related to the main character
  • describing the reasons the main character said/did certain things due to living in a time very different from our own

In addition, we are using the novel “Number the Stars” as a read aloud during the reading unit. As part of our daily reading, students have explored new vocabulary by using context clues, synonyms, antonyms, sketches, and tableaus to represent the definitions of each vocabulary word.

Book Clubs – Teaching Points

1) Monitoring for sense- When starting a book, the information comes quickly, so we need to “pin it to a mental bulletin board.” This bulletin board should include who, why, what, where, when and why of the book.

2) Thinking across timelines- In Historical Fiction there is often more than one timeline of events that intertwine. It is usually the timeline of the protagonist and the timeline of history. To understand anyone, we have to know how a person’s timeline intersects with the timeline of world events.

3) Characters’ perspectives are shaped by their roles- Characters’ feelings and decisions are influenced by the character’s world and their role in that world. When they respond differently than you would, it helps to ask, “Why?”

4) Making significance- Readers stay alert, notice parts that are worth pausing over, ask how it connects to other parts and ask, “What is this part really about?” 

Math 

Unit 9

This week we have been focusing on the link between fractions, decimals and percents names for numbers, with a special emphasis on percents. The students have been practicing converting among fractions, decimals, and percents. Students then use grid pictures, the multiplication rule for renaming fractions, and memorization of simple conversions. 

Unit 10

Next week in this unit, your child will take another look at geometry, with an emphasis on symmetry. many objects in nature are symmetrical: flowers, insects, and the human body, to name a few, Symmetry is all around- in buildings, furniture, clothing, and paintings.

The class will focus on reflectional symmetry, also called line symmetry or mirror symmetry, in which half of a figure is the mirror image of the other half. Encourage your child to look for symmetrical objects, and if possible, to collect pictures of symmetrical objects from magazines and newspapers. For example, the right half of the printed letter T is the mirror image of the left half. If you have a small hand mirror, have your child check letters, numbers, and other objects to see whether they have line symmetry. The class will use a device called a transparent mirror, seen below, to see and trace the mirror object of an object. 

Unit 10 has three main areas of focus:

*Students draw a reflection of an image across a line of symmetry.

*Students draw shapes with multiple lines of symmetry and draw lines of symmetry within a shape

*Students identify and continue patterns in both numbers and shapes and can explain their reasoning.

IXL Skills for Units 9 and 10

Money

Multiply decimals

Divide decimals

Patterns and sequences

Geometry

Decimals

Spring into New Units

0

Posted by James Anderson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 15, 2016

IMG_1882

The Character Trait of the week is Teamwork and goes to Ashley. She has worked well with her reading club team, being loyal to the group, doing her part and making sure all the questions are answered. Keep it up!

 

IMG_1858

Some great conversations going on in Math.

APRIL

  • 18 and 19 April, Monday and Tuesday: DRESS REHEARSALS MANDATORY for Hairspray
  • 18 April, Monday: Parent to Teacher survey opens on PowerSchool. Please take some time to give me some feedback so I may better understand how you have felt with me being your child’s teacher. Thank you in advance for your time to complete this.  
  • 19 April, Tuesday-21 April Thursday: MAP Testing. The order of the tests are as follows: Reading, Language Usage, Math
  • 19 April, Tuesday: Be a “tree hugger!” With any donation you can add your name, (or a friends) to a leaf on our tree in the Cafeteria and help SAS plant trees in Inner Mongolia
  • 20 April, Wednesday: Mini plants for sale during lunch; supplies are limited!
  • 21 and 22 AprilThursday and Friday: Hairspray Show Time! 7pm start. Students prep after school. 
  • 22 April, Friday: Date with Dad: 2:15 check-in for dads/meet up with child; 3:00-5:00 pm activities. “Dads” may also include uncles, grandfathers, older siblings, or family friends. Transportation provided at the end of the event back to Jinqiao and Gubei. For the perfect date, stay for the musical performance of Hairspray after Date with Dad! Register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DWD2016 
  • 27 April, Wednesday: Grade 4 Track and Field Day (more on this next week)

This has been a great full week back! We have started some exciting new units, including a Leaders unit in Social Studies and Book Club Unit in Reading Workshop (Historical Fiction). Next week there will not be any homework and we will be working on light projects so the students can be as rested and as stress-free as possible to take their MAP tests. The best thing the students can do to prepare for the test is to get a good night sleep, eat a healthy breakfast and carefully read and re-read the questions prior to answering them on the MAP test. There is no time limit – so take your time and read carefully to avoid careless errors.

Next week I’ll be taking my third and final week off for paternity leave. It’s a good week to take off as Mrs. Hossack will administer the MAP tests, we have a light load in our core subjects and we have multiple presentations by some exciting visiting authors. Mrs. Rosy will be filling in again and I’ve been getting her up to speed on what we started this week and what they should be working on for next week. She can be reached at giardo66@yahoo.it. Things are going great with Skylar and Hunter at home but I’m sure my wife is ready for an extra hand. I enjoy the time with my family but I can’t wait to return to all the exciting things going on in 4JA. Thank you for your understanding and support in this matter.

 

Social Studies 

This week in Social Studies we started our new unit on Leaders. We launched the unit by showing a video on Huang Ming who is trying to reduce the pollution in China through the use of solar energy. Then we introduced our driving question for the unit: What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life and how can you help?

The students came up with questions they had in order to help understand and answer the driving question. The students’ questions will help drive the instruction for this unit. For example; one of their questions was – What is quality of life? We looked at the definition of quality of life – the general well-being of a person in terms of health and happiness. We discussed some examples and the students got into groups and came up with a list of issues that impacts our quality of life. The students then chose one issue that is most important to them and next week will research a leader in that field. Another question they had was, What makes a leader and what qualities do leaders have. To help answer that question we did a jigsaw video activity. Each student watched a video on a leader noting down what qualities that leader has and what action they took to improve the quality of life of others. Then students presented to small groups about the qualities that their leader had.  

Next week will will continue to answer the students questions. They will choose a quality of life issue that is important to them, research a leader, and create a poster to share. This project base learning unit will provide lots of voice and choice into how the students want to best answer our driving  question – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life and how can you help? Stay tuned to see how it unfolds. 

Home connection: Ask your child what issue they chose and why it is important to them? What leader did they find to research and why did they choose that person?  

Math 

This week the students practiced converting numbers between fractions, decimals and percents. We looked at the following website http://www.visualpatterns.org/  and discussed the pattern of a shape. Then we reasoned what the pattern would look like in the 50th place. Then the students choose one number and practiced doing one on their own.

Home connection: Together choose a pattern  http://www.visualpatterns.org/ work out what the 100th place in the pattern would be.

Next week the students will incorporate art into our math unit by introducing the artist “Mondrain.” The students will use his concepts of abstract painting to produce their own piece of work. Once their creative piece is done, they will decipher the percent, fractional and decimal part of each color used in their piece. This is a fun way to learn about equivalencies among fractions, decimals, and percents.

READ below to find out more about the artist…..

 In the 1920s, Mondrian began to create the definitive abstract paintings for which he is best known. He limited his palette to white, black, gray, and the three primary colors, with the composition constructed from thick, black horizontal and vertical lines that delineated the outlines of the various rectangles of color or reserve. The simplification of the pictorial elements was essential for Mondrian’s creation of a new abstract art, distinct from Cubism and Futurism. The assorted blocks of color and lines of differing width create rhythms that ebb and flow across the surface of the canvas, echoing the varied rhythm of modern life. The composition is asymmetrical, as in all of his mature paintings, with one large dominant block of color, here red, balanced by distribution of the smaller blocks of yellow, blue gray, and white around it. This style has been quoted by many artists and designers in all aspects of culture since the 1920s.

IXL Skills for Units 9 and 10

Multiply decimals

Divide decimals

Patterns and sequences

Geometry

Decimals

 

IMG_1862 IMG_1860

 

 

Language Arts

The new reading unit is all about historical fiction…in book clubs! With this particular genre, students will be tackling more complicated texts and more interpretive reading work. Historical fiction will give them opportunities to enhance their reading skills with new and fascinating challenges, as the characters live in places in which they have not lived, in times they have not known. Needless to say, the reading work will be appropriately intense!

Furthermore, readers are often drawn to historical fiction because the stories are often ones of the struggle toward social justice…you’ll see your children, during this unit of study, realize that reading is really about learning how to live.

This reading of historical fiction supports a new social structure- book clubs. We want students to know the shared pleasure of reading with friends. We want them to know what it’s like to come to know someone through the books they read. And we want them to have the experience of building collective interpretations.

The first bend in this unit focuses on synthesizing perspectives- it teaches readers to read complex texts with deep comprehension, working with support from a book club to keep track of multiple plotlines, many characters, and shifts in time and place.

The second bend in this unit is all about interpretation and intertextuality- as the stories your children are reading become more complicated, one of the most important things they’ll learn is that their novels are not just about what is happening. The books are not just about the plots. Their novels are about ideas. Each book they read will be about more than one idea, and we will be teaching students that reading is about drafting and revising ideas. We will do this work with them first within one text and then across texts and then between texts and their lives. We’ll teach readers to grow nuanced ideas and be changed by the new worlds and characters they encounter.

Home connections: Ask your child about the book they are reading in their book club. Ask them what they wrote in their timeline about history of the genre they are studying.

 

IMG_1879 IMG_1878 IMG_1877

 

Vocabulary Word Review for our Book “Number the Stars”.

IMG_1876 IMG_1875 IMG_1874 IMG_1873

 

Book Club Discussions 
IMG_1871 IMG_1868 IMG_1867 IMG_1866 IMG_1865

Skip to toolbar