O U R Y E A R I N R E V I E W
What an amazing first year I’ve had at SAS Pudong! And I owe most of that to 15 incredible students who made teaching a joy for me this year: Henry, Jonathan, Rachel, Maksym, Daniel, Irene, Shen, Olyvia, LinHan, Angelina, Stephen, Rex, Tina, Ophir, and Noah (and also Santiago who left SAS in December).
I can’t tell you how many times this year other teachers have told me how much they enjoy working with this group of kids. They use words like polite, creative, focused, and excited about learning. They are a bright bunch too, challenging me with complex questions, going the extra mile on projects, and all of them scoring above the norm grade level on the MAP reading, math, AND language usage tests! Phenomenal!
I am going to greatly miss their humor, their many talents, and their willingness to step outside of their comfort zone to try brand new approaches to learning, like tableau and analyzing paintings. I can say with confidence that these students are well prepared to meet the challenges of Grade 5!
Our 2015 – 2016 class by the numbers:
- went on 4 field trips
- spoke 5 languages
- came from 7 countries
- read 8 class novels (nearly 1100 pages of text)
- completed 10 chapter tests in math
- read an average of 15 novels each
- conducted 25 science experiments
- learned over 130 new vocabulary words
- spent 1,260 hours in school (if no absences)
- read an average of 5,400 minutes each for Read to Succeed
- wrote an average of 5,600 words of essays
B O O K S T O E A T
The Grade 4 and 5 “Books to Eat” event was last Monday, and our class enjoyed looking at, and then later eating, the many creative entries. Congratulations to Maksym and Angie who represented our class with two fantastic (and delicious) designs.
S U M M E R S I Z Z L E R
It was a rare sunny day with blue skies last Thursday, giving us the perfect day for our annual Summer Sizzler. Groups of students moved through a series of 14 activities, from slip-n-slides to gaga ball to “dog” sled racing. It was a great way to cap off the year!
R E A D I N G
While we finished our “Historical Fiction Book Club” unit, students continued reading their final book club novel. I am impressed with both the quantity and the quality of reading they did throughout this unit.
Reading historical fiction is a complex task, but they certainly met the challenge by reading up to five historical fiction novels, the text are some of them above grade level. Their skills at analyzing have improved so much–they are easily determining the meaning of symbols, deciphering the meaning of a character’s actions, determining the themes in a novel, and more.
I highly encourage students to continue reading for at least 20 minutes per day over the summer. Some studies show that over the summer students can lose up to two months of reading skills (the “summer slide”). Daily reading will prevent this, and will make them prepared for Grade 5.
W R I T I N G
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 advertising campaigns on a quality of life issue. Their articles, posters, comic books, scripts, and question & answer games 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.
They also completed their writing obligations related to our historical fiction reading unit. Aside from writing their daily reflections for their final book club novel, they wrote about an important lesson they learned from one of their book club selections and shared this with the class.
This year students learned many real life math skills and activities that solidified their basic math facts necessary for Grade 5. If they don’t want to get rusty this summer, encourage your child to use the IXL website occasionally to practice math skills.
Thank you parents for your time in helping your child with math this year. Your child learned many brand new, but well-researched approaches to math problem solving, so we appreciate your assistance with this!
S O C I A L S T U D I E S
This past week we completed our final social studies unit, Take Me to Your Leader. Throughout this Project Based Learning (PBL) unit, students worked in groups to answer the driving questions – 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 in a grade-wide showcase.
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 issue that they were passionate about. Here are some of the amazing things our class did.
- The “Save Trees” team (Maksym, Irene, Noah) created a Save Trees app. Within the app is a stop-action movie, video game, tip sheet, checklist, article, and donation tab. They have sent their app to a number of ecology-focused organizations to see if they will include it on their websites.
- The “Girls’ Education” team (Ophir, Angelina, Olyvia) created six t-shirt designs related to the sad state of education for girls around the world, and sold them around school to raise funds they will donate to the Malala fund. They also sent their designs to several organizations, offering them at no cost.
- The “Syrian Refugee” team (Henry, Shen, Daniel) created a comic book to teach people about the refugee crisis in Syria, and to persuade people to donate to an organization that builds underground schools in Syria. They also sold copies of their comic to raise funds to donate as well.
- The “End Child Slavery” team (Rex, Tina, Stephen) created an iMovie and a video game to teach people about child slavery across the world, and to convince them to donate to several organizations that fight this terrible practice.
- The “Animal-Free Fashion” group (Rachel, LinHan, Jonathan) created a stop-action Public Service Announcement (PSA) on why people shouldn’t wear animal products, and teaching them about alternatives. They urged people to donate to several organizations that promote animal-friendly fashion, and also sent their PSA to several animal rights organization hoping that it is posted on their websites.
Students should be proud of all they accomplished and learned during this exciting unit.
A critique earlier this past week:
C O M I N G S O O N
- 8 June, Wednesday: Last Day of School: school out @ 11:30 a.m.
Report Cards go live on PowerSchool @ 3:00 p.m.
Paper copies of report cards will be sent home