Student Reflections: March 3rd.

Here are some thoughts from the class about the week, what skills and tools they used in their learning, and some questions and comments about next week.

Things I learned Skills I used Tools I used
  • How volcanoes work
  • Box Division
  • Short division an easy way
  • How the rock cycle works
  • How plate tectonics work
  • Improving at stop motion
  • How to make rock candy
  • How to play the ukulele
  • Subtracting skills
  • Make connections
  • Building skills (clay)
  • Estimating skills
  • Asking Questions
  • Taking notes
  • Collecting and recording information
  • Multiplication skills
  • Strumming and plucking
  • Acting skills
  • Memorizing
  • Cooperating
  • Books,
  • Computers
  • Ipads
  • Atlases
  • Ukulele
  • Camera
  • Markers, tables, erasers


Questions Comments
-What are we going to do with Grade 10 buddies?

-What is the next home learning going to be?

– What is the ballet, how long?

-Excited to continue working in the garden

-It is a big week, finishing up projects, garden, ballet, buddies.

-Excited to do more research.

4F March 3rd

Back to the garden

4F Feb 20-24As the weather starts to turn, there are some spots of green coming up in the garden. Students are excited to see the growth of long dormant seeds and are starting to plan what is to come next.  They have been further motivated by conversations with the canteen about selling them their produce at market value and brought some radishes to be included in the salad bar this week.

On the surface, this sounds kind of simple, but thinking about all the skills that could be integrated into gardening could make the student’s learning really bloom. (oh dear). Research skills to find out values and increase yields, measuring skills, communication with each other and the canteen, service learning to think about what to do with the profits all immediately jump to mind, not to mention the realization of our food supply and the amount of work to get it to our table.

Who knows what will happen between now and the end of the school year, but I think that it is safe to say that more Grade 4s will be going to the garden.

So many photos of the week are here for your viewing pleasure.  Furthermore, please remember to check out and comment your child’s Seesaw to see individual, small group, and whole class examples of learning.

What does a scientist do?

4F Jan 23-27 We began a new Unit of Inquiry this week under the theme of How the World Works. This unit will be an inquiry into how scientists investigate and help us to understand our changing planet with a focus on the form of the Earth and how it changes.  The students spent the week in a variety of provocations and pre-assessments to discover and think about what scientists do, how they do it, and how they share their findings as our writing focus will be on expository writing.

Additionally, we had a metacognitive focus this week about how we participate in class discussions and developed some strategies to continue developing in this area. We used viewing and talking about art every morning to practice this important skill. finally, we

Finally, we had a lovely visit from a local school as part of our service learning to develop community, and a visit from an artist to discover chaos, order, and tone in music.  Check out Seesaw for reflections, and the photo album below for lots of pictures.


A different side of leadership

This week saw an inquiry into leadership. The class reflected and worked together to come up with a list of traits that good leaders possess. Needless to say the list was exhaustive.  The students continued with this list to think about what they valued most, and created checklists to reflect on their own leadership qualities, and how they can improve.  This inquiry was followed by a visit from Mr. Coutts where the students had a chance to practice their questioning skills. There were a few surprises for the students about what it is like to lead a school, as well as a few surprises for Mr. Coutts in the form of unpredictable questions.

During the reflection that followed the interview some real surprises came out, mainly the connections to leadership qualities that they identified as having in common with their own checklists, and from Mr. Coutts. Caring, helpful, responsible, and honest all came up over and over again.  It was inspiring to see that the students value and recognize these characteristics in a leader over the traditional model that we think about when we hear the word. Does this represent a shift in how people lead and how systems are organized? At the very least it signifies a good start for YIS.



Wrapping it up

No, it is not Christmas here yet and we are not wrapping any present although there is certainly something in the air as charity drives are in full swing, people discuss holiday plans, and the air gets more chilly.  I was thinking more about this week in class, the final week of How We Express Ourselves, persuasive writing, and a lot of work in the math strands of data handling and measurement comes to a close.

The students were busy polishing their writing and presentation skills, and applying their understanding about graphs, measurement, and advertising in new unfamiliar settings.  As the class is aware of the summative / test like nature of these assignments, it was amazing to see how quickly, thoughtfully, and respectfully they got down to business.  Although tests are not usually the norm in class, they are still a part of life and it was great to see the students rise to the unfamiliar situation of working independently and quietly.  The thoughts, reflections, justifications for opinions and answers were staggering and a pleasure to read and view on paper and seesaw.

Speaking of seesaw, I would urge you all to spend a minute or two to see the student presentations of their persuasive writing, even though I am not the biggest fan of Mario, Fifa 17, and dollhouses, I was convinced.  Please take a moment to view their speeches and leave a comment.

All that pent up energy was released Today at Cross Country.  A big thanks to the PE team for organizing this sunny morning in the park.  Picture album below.

4F Nov.14-18


This week we began looking at the second key concept in our Unit of Inquiry, perspective.  We spent the week unpacking the definition and using examples of how different people see things different ways.  Students had to think about their own perspectives on a variety of topics as well as others’.  We had time to look at the HSBC campaign to look at a variety of viewpoints and opinions and try to think about who see things in what ways.  Combined with the other key concept of function, students should gain a stronger understanding of how media, in particular advertising, works.  The concept of perspective also came up as we defined and analysed elements and examples of persuasive writing.  The class will continue to look at different perspectives as they develop their own persuasive writing pieces as they have to think of counter arguments as well. Just in time for Christmas!  Finally, as we construct graphs to try and sell our flying toys, and thinking about how others will read these graphs, perspective popped up one more time.  Take a minute this weekend to talk about perspective with your child, and don’t forget to keep looking at Seesaw and post comments.

Also, a warm welcome to Sakura who joins us from the UK.




This week we explored the concept of function through a range of experiences in a variety of subjects. In our unit of inquiry we investigated how advertisements work by looking at the tools and techniques that advertisers can use, and applied this to student advertisements for themselves.  In number students explored place value by investigating the function of a pattern to create new place value blocks with bigger numbers, for graphing we looked at the purpose of different graphs, and in reading we looked at function by asking questions about author’s purpose and speculating on multiple messages and functions of a book.  Conceptual learning is great for students to see the connection between subjects and material, and work towards an understanding of broader ideas. It is an important tool for learners to have to be able to view multiple phenomenon through different lenses.

Photos this week include our walk down Motomachi to look for examples of techniques, place value construction, and more.  Check it out!

4F October 11-14

End of the year reflection

This is one of the best school year ever! I was really Energetic all year because we were always doing fun things,learning, and doing great experiences such as PIC and spirit day. and all the other units. When we were doing Camp,sports day,Goverment week,PIC,Picnic and the unit HTWW I was overjoyed because we were supporting each other,learning more than ever, new experiences, and Spending a lot of time with each other. I am friends with everyone in our class and even  outside the class.

I have become more independent because I did more tasks by myself. Also I became better at division algorithm and Diaries because I practiced more and took information from my teacher and friends. One of my learning highlights were the stations because It Is a time when you get in a group and learn together so that was a highlight. Also PIC time was a highlight because  It is a really fun way to learn,create, and  work together.  One of the challenges were shapes and Diaries because I didn’t really like them but when I focused I became really good.

I really hope I get the same amount of fun and knowledge. I want to be better at algebra because It is really important and challenging plus I will probably need it for a lot of important jobs. I hope you all had a great year too and thank you for making this year so pleasing!

fantastic 4th grade

This year I learned a lot of things I researched and if you think that’s not enough for you we even experienced deeper into government systems! 4F was the most unique class I have ever been in! We were so creative and made so many models and inventions  and helpful to each other in PIC spots day and more we learned how to make something cool something to last and how to even make it work just Think Make Improve and go back to think and go on. We had goverment week and we could experience so much things. I have a lot of friends some closer than others.

I have grown in exponents, fractions, dividing decimals and algebra. Algebra is really important if you want to become an Animator,Industrial Engineer,Physicist, and Astronomers. Start studying if you want to work in one of those jobs. My highlight of this year is the camp because we learned how to play with nature, climb trees and build forts. And PIC because we made models. The challenge was how to make the masts steady.

My biggest hope is to stay in Japan and to stay in touch with friends. I want to get better at reading by reading more. Hope to stay in touch.

Chinatown visit

This week we went to Chinatown in motomachi. We went  in groups and each group separated. In Chinatown we looked for evidence of migration. On our way there and at Chinatown we saw many signs of migrations for example the food in the restaurants and the western style buildings. Our trip to Chinatown was very interesting because we saw a lots of foreign things. Migration impacted the community by bringing new cultures and new art style and temples.