Marshmallow Challenge 2016

5W students had great fun this week doing the Marshmallow Challenge

Our winning group – with the only free standing structure actually standing after 18 minutes – included Dylon, Seidy, Tetsu and Hafren. Here they are:


We all learned about the value of:

listening to each other’s suggestions
the power of ‘prototyping’ – that is trying things early, adapting them and trying again (not waiting to the very end to put the marshmallow on top for the first time!)

I wonder if the students have learned this lesson!! We shall see very soon 🙂

Here are some other photos of students engaging with the Marshmallow Challenge. Please ask your child about it.

Sharing our invention article with our editing buddy

5W students finished their explanation (expository) essay on one of the top 50 inventions since the wheel last week. As part of the process, we read our essay to our editing buddy and reflected on:

was there any content that needed to be added (or deleted)?
was there any content that needed to be made clearer?
were there any spelling mistakes?
were there any grammar/punctuation mistakes?

After listening to our buddy’s advice and reflecting on it, the students made the changes s/he felt were necessary and then turned the article in. It is available in your child’s Google account as well as our new online portfolio service called Seesaw that will be available to parents soon.

Here are 5W students with their buddies.

A real holiday in the planning!

Hello parents,

I hope you don’t mind (!) – but we’ve been talking about places your child would like to travel too in the world one day – with you – as a family. Who knows… perhaps as a Grade 5/Elementary School graduation treat 🙂

You will hopefully have received an email something like the following today. Perhaps, in some way, you will be able to talk it over with your child sometime. S/he is super excited about the prospect 🙂

And if not – your child now has the skills to find your family both a GREAT price and a GREAT journey time flight – or a combination of the two.

Dear Mum and Dad,

Have I told you how much I LOVE you recently!!!!

Well, we’ve been talking about wonderful places to visit in the world in class – and the possibility of one day going on a family holiday to a place I could choose!! How about to celebrate the end of my Elementary School education at YIS? Spring and Summer 2017 holidays are not far away 🙂

So – my idea was to go from

HERE to HERE for a ****** (Spring/Summer/Winter) holiday

I have found some prices and journey time information for us using Skyscanner using dates sometime in:

Spring 2017 – March 11th to 26th
Summer 2017 – June 16th to August 19th
or another date/holiday in the future

I have chosen:
the cheapest flight I could find
the best journey time I could find
one more expensive flight that might be a bit more comfortable

Please see the attachments on this email. I’d LOVE to talk about this with you sometime soon. Just give me your credit card and I’ll do all the booking!!!! ?

Lots of love

Working out international times

Dear parents,

Here is a challenge for you from your child.

He or she will give you:

1. a departure airport
2. an arrival airport
3. a departure time and date
4. a flight time (hours and minutes)
5. the time difference between the 2 countries to the nearest 30 minutes

Your job is to work out the ARRIVAL time and date!! If you can’t your son or daughter should be able to help you 🙂

Good luck to you parents 🙂 Please check the comments section below for your child’s challenge to you.

5W students – please put your example in the comment box below. Make sure you know the answer and more importantly HOW you worked it out – in case your parents get stuck!!

What time will you arrive at your destination?

Looking at time, 24 hour timetables, world geography, elapsed time and time zones – all in this one maths assignment. We have used as many airports, cities and countries as possible from 5W students’ experiences so far. We shall do a few a day.

Task HERE – What time will I arrive?


Why not get your child to plan your next holiday’s flights? Perhaps they’ll beat you on price and time 🙂

Elapsed time and international time zones

Leaving from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) and flying off to some far away distant city – what time would you find yourself arriving – local time. This inquiry focussed our thinking on finding:

airport codes – and looking at the location of Tokyo’s 2 main airports in relation to Yokohama
time difference between Japan and our destination city
understanding what it means to be ‘ahead’ of Tokyo time or ‘behind’ Tokyo time
looking at flight times
understanding the relationship between flight times and time difference


Ask your child how s/he worked out the answers! We will write our own problems later in the week.

Personal Inquiry – 1

5W students have done an amazing job in class today presenting their inquiry process and product/information for their first personal inquiry of the year, which has come about as a result of a few weeks of personal inquiry time and some home learning.

Our process can be seen HERE

We reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of our presentations today so that we can do even better next time: