Capacity Challenge

This week in Mathematics we’ve been focusing on CAPACITY.

Learning outcomes: We can…

  • Estimate capacity
  • Measure capacity – milliliters – liters
  • Order items by capacity
  • Convert imperial to metric (or vice-versa) – use decimal notation


One of the learning engagements was to make our own measuring container

The equipment we used…

  • 500 ml plastic bottles
  • Standard containers to test
  • coloured water
  • tape, markers, funnels

Check out some photos of us at work – clip 

We also watched two great clips about capacity and displacement

  • TedEd Archimedes principle (video 3 min)
  • TedEd The Real Story of Archimedes


Persuasive Writing

We have been working on persuasive writing.  This may be a text type that the students might choose to use for their presentation during the exhibition for more serious topics.  

An argument usually consists of the following:

INTRODUCTION – a statement of position at the beginning


  • a logical sequence of arguments – a series of
  • A logical sequence of arguments – a series of points  backed up with evidence
  • a good argument shows cause and effect. This is the connection between an action and what leads to it, eg. The fish died as a result of pollution in the water.

CONCLUSION – a summing up or restating of position at the end

Some of the students have selected their favourite piece and posted it below as a comment. You can see how they went.  Some are serious, some are quite entertaining.

Mindful Awareness

In a week of ISA testing, it was good to be mindful about how we respond when things get difficult.

Let’s say… what you’re learning about is really hard, almost too hard… you might experience one of these… Is your response (or reaction) fight, flight or freeze?

  • Fight – irritability, loss of temper or defensiveness
  • Flight – avoidance, anxiety or fear
  • Freeze – numbing, detachment or giving up easily


AND What happens in your brain?

SENSORY INPUT (hard work) –> amygdala prefrontal cortex =  fight, flight, freeze!

SENSORY INPUT (hard work) –> amygdala –> prefrontal cortex = conscious response


Mindful or Unmindful? what do you think?  

We talked about some everyday situations – mindful or unmindful??? (of course, some might see both sides!

  1. Paying such close attention to what someone is saying that you can repeat or explain it to someone else
  2. Deciding not to speak to someone because he or she has not spoken to you
  3. Choosing a style of shirt you don’t like because your friend says you should wear it
  4. Practising a new skill during sports practice or music lesson until you feel your body improving
  5. Listening to a friends favourite new song all the way through before making a judgement on it
  6. Being willing to try a new food that you’ve never tasted before, even though it looks different from anything you’ve eaten
  7. Rejecting a new food because it’s unfamiliar to you
  8. Daydreaming or ‘tuning out’ what is happening around you without really noticing and hearing what is going on
  9. Intentionally ignoring a classmate who seems eager to join your game or group
  10. Helping someone in need, someone with physical challenges, someone whose needs are different from your own
  11. Listening attentively when someone is speaking and not reacting until the person is finished


Thanks Google for the images

History of Japan

History of Japan

Yesterday we began inquiring into the periods of Japanese history.  We have selected one period the look at thoroughly.  We decided that the things we might research include:

  • Relevant dates
  • How and why it transitioned from the previous period (causation)
  • What changed? (connection)
  • Significant events – what happened?
  • Leader(s)
  • Lifestyle

It will be interesting to see the connections to the units’ key concepts – causation, connection and perspective AND to the Line of Inquiry – How a culture’s historical events contribute to its aesthetic expression


Elementary School Art Exhibition

Many of our Elementary School students will have their artwork exhibited in the annual Yamate Art Show from February 11-19 at The British House here on the bluff. This venue is the large gated house across the street from the main entrance to YIS (formerly the British Ambassador’s residence).

This art show is part of the Yokohama Yamate Art Festival (which showcases the artwork of students from several schools in houses in the Yamate area). The exhibition hours are 9:30-17:00 daily.

Please come visit the YIS art gallery and see the energy, efforts, and two- & three-dimensional creativity of our Kindergarten through Grade 5 artists!

The Mathematics of Paper Planes

Check us out… LINK TO VIDEO 

Learning outcomes…

  • Select appropriate tools and units of measurements to determine length mm, cm, m, km
  • Measure length using decimal notation
  • Carry out unit conversions – metric to imperial

Before beginning the lesson, we brainstormed the learning we thought might take place, which led us to possibilities for further inquiry.

As we began the investigation – testing and measuring we realised that we had had questions and had to consider other factors…

  • Which direction the wind was blowing?
  • If the weather app reads wind: N 5m/s does that mean it’s coming from the north or blowing towards the north?
  • We used a compass to find out where north is in relation to where we are, therefore, which direction will we aim our planes?
  • We applied our learning about the Scientific process (from our unit How the World Works)

Possibilities for further inquiry

Aerodynamic design

  • airplane that has balance of lift, thrust, gravity, and drag will fly longer whereas a plane that with little or no balance will have shorter flights or may possibly nose dive straight to the floor (planes which are longer and balanced will fly longer, but those that are shorter and heavier in the front will barely fly at all).

Various forces can easily affect the distance and length of the flight

Exploring countries that use metric / imperial units of measure

Week 20 Semester 2

What a busy week!


Tuning into beauty.  We used these photos to categorise (freestyle to begin with) into three categories – 1. What is beauty 2. what is not 3. where we were unsure.

(photo right)


Grade 10 Personal Project – grade 5 went along (with an exhibition headset) to check out what the senior students had achieved and how it might help them for their own presentations in the future.  It was outstanding.

Kathryn Claire ran a songwriting workshop.  The only problem was… the time went too quickly!


We started thinking about persuasive writing.  Our lead in read aloud was a book called ‘I Wanna Iguana’. We then went on to discuss the for and against reasons for having a monkey as a pet!



An outing to visit the house of  Shoichi and Colleen.  What amazing things these two artists have done with gomi.  We also had a walk to take photographs of what we could find in nature that appealed to us as ‘beautiful’.




Tech Day – I wish I had more photos to share.  Here’s a few from the ‘truss bridge’ building in the auditorium.