Thursday, 25 February 2016

Language and Maths

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.” 

 Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Genre study : Science fiction
Focus : Setting

Task: Watch the video.
Using the 5 senses strategy and the words we gave collected, write a powerful setting...

This is a beautiful example of what a student came up with!

Her fingers curled around the rubble which was hovering in the grey, misty air. Pale, green veins wrapped around her quivering arm, like vines tangled around a tree. A chill spread through the young woman, as the ice-cold air tickled her skin. As the last piece of geometric rock fit into place, the structure burst, sending a cloud of dust sweeping over her. She stumbled backwards, the pungent stench of smoke reaching her nose. She winced. 
Suddenly the soft, crunching of approaching feet alerted her.

  "Perhaps something more simple is in order," a deep raspy voice informed her. 

 She peered up at the sky to see the familiar face of her teacher looming over her. He looked at her with piercing eyes and gently smiled. 
"If you are to understand your challenges, you must first understand the universe." 

As he uttered his last word, a cluster of sand, gravel, rock and fire  twisted and curled  with hypnotic grace and before her eyes, the planets were formed. The set of images flowed as smoothly as the words drifting from the man's mouth. Then, just as suddenly as it appeared, everything  collapsed. And then there was a deafening silence.


We are looking at percentages and ratios.

I gave the students a very simple problem. Well at least for most!
30 % of a number is 24.
It was with a great deal of joy that I saw a variety of strategies come up in class.
Let's hear what Jo Boaler has to say about this!

This provided me with the perfect opportunity to address the concept of "maths fluency", specially for students who think there is only one way of solving a sum.  
Carpe diem!

Weekly news update!

A lot has been happening in our classes.

It was a very fortunate coincidence to have Mrs. Makiyama, a member of the upper house of the Diet of Japan, to be part of our parent community. She was kind enough to take us right into the heart of the parliamentary building and let us experience a day in the life of a politician. Students got to see where laws are made and  how they are made.
They listened to Mrs. Makiyama recount a day in her life, right from her first steaming cup of coffee, her hectic schedules of meetings and guest appearances, till the end of her day which could be midnight.

An interesting snippet about Mrs Makiyama...she loves to wear green! See if you can spot her below.

 Future politicians in front of the Diet!

Upper house member of the Diet mingling with the students.

A day in the life of Mrs. Makiyama.

Let us zoom in a little bit. From the august, grandiose building, the Diet, to the teeming world of the unseen...

Microorganisms  are all around us. Zillions and trillions and millions( or maybe the other way round) are shimmering and slithering all around us. The students are determined to know as much about these littles things in order to vanquish the bad ones, once and for all!


Going Further with Mr Lee in the High School

In order to further their knowledge of microbes, we arranged a trip to the high school science lab. Mr. Lee was ready for us. It was a fun lesson as we were made to realise how germs transfer (with alarming rapidity) from one person to the next. We looked at microbes through the microscope, and saw a variety of protozoa. We also observed how yeast, one of the "good ones", needed warm water and sugar to come alive. They had much to froth about!

Lei discovers that she has been infected! Oh No!

Yejee peers into another world.

Mr. Lee is so funny. He kept us hooked right from the start.

Mr.Wilk and Sakura showed us how other microbes behave in a fun and interactive way. We watch how the balloon filled up with air within minutes of the yeast coming alive!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

SIS Elementary Picture Book Contest 2016

We would like to congratulate all the girls who submitted manuscripts (story writing and pictures) for this contest and announce the winners.

 Grade 6 winner
 Book Title: Fingerprints

She should have been devastated. But when it came time to read great Aunt Elinor’s will, Blue Littlewood felt no emotion. She and her family huddled around the official document. Her father read ahead and suddenly grabbed it. 

 As soon as the books are published a copy will be available for checkout from the ES Media Centre.

Semester Two Learning Outcomes

As a whole Elementary School goal we are aiming to provide parents with more insight into the teaching and learning across different subject areas.  As well as keeping you informed on recent events and classroom learning engagements through regular updates on grade-level blogs, we would like parents to access the curriculum learning outcomes for all areas.  You can download these learning outcomes for Grade Six by clicking on the link below.  Alternatively, you can download the learning outcomes from all grade levels from our website here.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Getting started on a new unit of inquiry!

Our new central idea is 'Understanding different microorganisms enables people to work to spread the control the spread of diseases'.  You can see the evidence of understanding we will be looking for throughout the unit below (click image to view larger size):

We started the unit by thinking about different scenarios and the possible consequences of these. Take a look at the scenarios in the slideshow and think about all the possible consequences of each one:

Students shared their ideas using a 'Silent Chalk Talk' then chose two to act out and see if their classmates could guess the chosen scenarios.


Below are the students' responses and initial conversations about the prompts (click the full screen icon to read the responses).  Pre-assessment tasks such as this are important as they allow us to revisit our initial ideas later in the unit to see how our thinking has changed.  Ms. Alo, Mr. Brigham and Ms. Molly also got involved, adding some questions and responses!

What do you think would happen in these scenarios?  Leave a comment to let us know!

Science Fiction- Getting Started

Grade Six students discuss the features of Science Fiction having explored some books in the library this week. It was exciting to write the first drafts of our own Science Fictions today!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Exhibition 2016 Introduction

Students in their final year of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Seisen International School (Grade 6) carry out an extended, in-depth, collaborative project, the Grade 6 PYP Exhibition. It is not only a celebration as students move from the PYP into the Middle School but where each student is required to demonstrate engagement with the essential elements of the PYP: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. Students engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Into the Future

Grade 6 students have been checking out so many Science Fiction books recently our shelves are becoming bare...

While discussing the features of this genre several books were challenged. Did they belong? Or were there better labels. Dystopian  fiction and Steampunk were introduced as  alternative genre.

Students are encouraged to challenge the shelving location of books they think are miss shelved. Ms Ingrid and I look forward to these literacy discussions.