June 3

Stories from the heart !!!!


We managed to briefly touch on Modern China and learn all about the changes China has undergone since the last dynasty. We were able to learn a little bit about the effects of the cultural revolution. How has the immediate economic growth, and changes in education and government effected the average Chinese person.  Connecting with our elder community was the best way to understand the past.  Thank you to those parents who came out to help. Enjoy the slideshow 🙂




May 27

Last weekly reflection for 2015-16!!!


Well I can’t believe it is that time of the year already….

I must begin by saying, what a wonderful year it has been teaching your children.  I have learned so much from them.  I feel blessed to have had this opportunity.  Every year, it gets harder and harder to say good bye to these wonderful gems that walk through the door as little ones and walk out more mature than they walked in.  They have another year worth of life’s experience under their belt.  You should be very proud.

So here is what we did this week.  

Writer’s Workshop:  Students worked and finished two persuasive essay’s so make sure you check it out on their blog pages. Their goal was to give a claim and to support their reasons with evidence.  

Readers Workshop:  We worked on reading non-fiction text to find evidences to support our claims.  To inform ourselves with facts and to know how and where to use them.  

Math:  Fractions!  We learned how to decompose fractions, how to add and subtract them in the tenths and hundredths place value.  Have your children share their reasoning.  It is always fun to show our thinking in more than one way.  One mindset we are working on in math is, it is always better to do solve one problem in 5 ways rather than to solve 5 problems in one way.  

Science:  Students were introduced to the topic of energy and how energy can be transferred.  Where and how?  Students were asked to share their experiments, thinking and findings on their blog pages.  Make sure you check it out and ask them about it.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to go to Middle school this week to see what they are doing in Science.  

Important Events coming up in our last 8 days of school:

June 2- Senior Visit ( Elders from a senior home will be visiting us to share stories about the past to help                                           us connect with our modern China ) 

June 6 – Field Day 

June 7 – Class party ( more details please contact our room parent, Cindy)

June 8 – half day and SCHOOL’S OUT FOR THE SUMMER 🙂  

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May 20

Weekly reflection May 16-20

We had a wonderful week of sharing our learning and our school.

Math: Students began to share their thinking when decomposing fractions.  We are learning to discuss and look critically at the how’s and why’s of fractions.  It is very important that when students are looking at questions about fractions, where they are adding them or decomposing them that they are able to explain their thinking and show through words and pictures.  For example:

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I have posted some questions under our ‘thinking math tab’ for students to work on if they would like to practice.  

Writers workshop:  Students have chosen their own topics and students will continue to write their persuasive essays next week.  

Readers workshop: after looking at our MAP scores as well as our reading logs, students will spend next week in setting goals for themselves for the upcoming summer and see which areas in reading they would like to work on more.  I have updated the summer reading list so go ahead and have a look with your child to see which books they would like to read.  

We ended this week by welcoming about 350, 3rd and 4th grade students from Xuanqiao Migrant school.  I hope that you are able to ask your child and read about what they enjoyed about their day.

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May 13

Weekly Reflection May 9-13th

Field Trip to the Aquarium, Soccer Day, and more….No dull moment here in 4NI!

Our trip to the Aquarium helped our students see all the different kinds of sea animals and how their structures and functions all differ from one another.  Students asked good questions and made meaningful connections to our unit of understanding living things.  

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Students did an amazing job is showing what they have walked away with in their learning of structures and functions of plants and animals.  They integrated their writing skills in writing a persuasive piece of how and why certain plants and animals need each other for growth, survival and reproduction.  Please make sure you visit your child’s blog page to check it out.  

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Math- We modeled our understanding by looking all around us to find angles and shapes.  To look for lines of symmetry and to apply our understanding into real life learning. 


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Lastly, what a beautiful day to spend outside.  Sunny and excellent air quality.  Finding things to be grateful for was something we talked about a lot this week.

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May 6

Weekly Reflection May 3- 6

Well with 22.5 days of school days left…there are a lot of mixed emotions in 4NI.  We are excited about summer holidays being around the corner but we are also sad about this year coming to an end.  

Here is what happened in 4NI this week…

Writers Workshop:  we are learning how to  form opinions. We are learning to take our strong feelings and review matters that are close to our hearts and share them with an audience.  We will be wrapping up our persuasive essays and we will working on how to give a speeches on matters that are close to our hearts. I do hope that you have had the chance talk about many different issues happening around the world and how we can make a change or difference in our world. 

Readers workshop:  Students have wrapped up our mystery unit.  We had the opportunity to work in our book clubs for two rounds and we will have the opportunity to continue reading mystery books as well as continue to read non-fiction books for us to build our knowledge to make connections in our science unit. 

Math:  We are learning about lines, circles and angles.  We are using the world around us to make sense of these.  I encourage you to ask your children questions about what they are learning and what does it make them think of when thinking about angles, lines and circles.

Science:  your children have loved having all these animals in our classroom.  They have been very hands on in helping create an environment that is loving and nurturing, all the while meeting their needs.  

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Please make note of our May calendar from my previous post.  We have many things going on this month.  If you have any questions please do let me know.  

Here are some pictures from last week and this week 🙂 

Enjoy and thank you to everyone for their love and kindness for teacher’s appreciation week!

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April 22

Weekly Reflection and more….

Earth Week came just in time to support our understanding of identifying and explaining the external and internal structures of plants, so to know the functions which help it to support survival, growth and reproduction. 

It all starts with understanding the anatomy of the seed and how it develops into a plant!

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Understanding Angles and degrees ! 

Students are exploring angles using the protractor, by having students create their own circular protractor, they are better able to understand a 1-degree angle as 1/360 of a turn.  Have your child look around and find examples of angles and share with you their estimation of what would be the degree and reasoning of that angle.  

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Readers Workshop: 

4NI had the opportunity to be guided in readers workshop not only by 1 teacher this week but by many! Our staff developer Gary Petersen from Columbia University helped our teachers dive deep with our new mystery unit and helped facilitate our students with their thinking skills while reading.  It truly was a learning opportunity for us all.  I want to thank our students for being so cooperative and flexible with the changes that was required this week.  Some of our students were kind enough to offer to work with Gary and the other teachers in front of a big group of other teachers, which I am sure took a lot of courage!  Thanks go out to Julian, Sally, Hye seon and Ian.

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We learn to use strategies from listening in our Read Alouds.  We share and discuss with our peers what strategies we should be using when reading.


Through small group discussions, we learn to use skills like synthesizing, summarizing, and making inferences. 

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Relay for Life

Thank you to everyone who participated, contributed and shared their thought, prayers and positive attitude in helping make a change.  Your contributions will go a long way in helping find the cure for our dear friends and family who are suffering or who have lost their lives to cancer.



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April 15

Weekly Reflection and reminders…

We have managed to start many of our units:

Readers Workshop:  Students have began to learn all the elements of reading mysteries and they are loving it.  They should be wrapping up their first mystery books this week.  We will be starting our book clubs next week and we will also be having a guest in our classroom from Columbia University – Gary Peterson, who will guiding our teachers and facilitating some of our lessons.  

Writers Workshop:  As I am sure you have already heard from your children, having strong feelings or opinions is something they already have. We are learning how to back up our opinions and provide evidence to persuade our audience. So be ready for some real interesting conversations to be had at home.  

Math: we have started learning about  lines, line segments, rays and angles and how to recognize them in various contexts and familiar figures.  

Science:  We will continue to use our reading skills of non fiction and apply those skills when researching and learning about structures and functions of living things.  As part of our learning, we will be learning to observe how living things grow and change over time.  Plants and animals, yes, animals.  We will be collecting tadpoles, crayfish and fish.  The kids are very excited about having these new friends in class.  

We had the opportunity this week to hear another visiting author, Margaret Peterson.  She has even recommended some mystery books that will help us with learning about mystery reading.  



Coming up Next week: 




4NI Swimming Dates are:

1. Tue. Apr. 19, 9:40-10:15 2. Thur Apr21, 9:40-10:15 3. Tue, Apr 26, 9:40-10:15 4. Thur Apr 28 9:40-10:15
5. Tue, May 3, 9:40-10:15 6. Fri, May 6, 9:40-10:15 7. Tue, May 10, 9:40-10:15  

Relay for Life:


Students were given luminary bags yesterday, please consider giving for a good cause and come out and walk the track with your child next Friday.   

April 11

Curriculum Update – April 11-15

Here is what is coming up in 4NI this week:

Readers workshop:  Ingredients of a Mystery


Students will be introduced to the mystery genre and will explore the vocabulary, characters, and plot structure they are likely to encounter when reading a mystery. They will also learn to keep suspect lists and complete a mystery story map. 

As your child is reading in the evenings, feel free to ask them the following:

Step 1:  “What is a mystery?” 

Step 2: What are some new vocabulary that you have learned from your  Detective’s Dictionary Handout

Step 3: Encourage your child to share with you what inferences they are making along the way and to explain their thinking. Make sure they are ready to share in class the next day. 

They should aim to finish their book by the end of this week, so we can jump into our book clubs by next week.  

Writers Workshop:  Persuasive / Opinion Writing

Students will learn how to write an opinion piece on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

  •  They will introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  • They will provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  • They will link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
  • Lastly, they will need to provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. 

Math: Lines, Segments, Rays, Angles

Students will learn how to:

  • Identify and draw points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles and recognize them in various contexts and familiar figures.
  • Use right angles to determine whether angles are equal to, greater than, or less than right angles. Draw right, obtuse, and acute angles.
  • Use a circular protractor to understand a 1-degree angle as 1/360 of a turn. Explore benchmark angles using the protractor.

Science: Structures and Functions of Living Things.

Students will learn to:

  • Identify internal and external structures of plants and animals that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • Explain how internal and external structures of plants and animals that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Important Dates at a Glance:

April 11 – Sign Up for After School Activities via PowerSchool

April 11 – ES Student Information for 2016-17 Class Placement Forms Available

April 11 – 15 Grade 4 Spring MAP Testing

April 13 – ES Principal’s Coffee Talk @ 8:10AM, Grade 1/2 Project Area

April 18 – Season III of After School Activities Begin

April 18 – Return the Relay for Life Luminary Bags to ES Office

April 18 – EARTH WEEK

April 20 – PTSA General Meeting, Cafeteria

April 20 – PTSA Spring Bazar and Passion for Fashion

April 22 – Relay for Life

April 29 – Last Day to Submit ES Student Info for 2016-17 Class Placement Form to ES Office

May 5 – Mathematics at SAS Parent Sessions @ 10AM & 5:30PM, PAC