March 26

WEEK 26 6th MARCH – 10th MARCH


We have been very busy developing ideas and looking for ways to explore issues that are relevant to us and important to our local community. Our approach is very much geared up to THINK GLOBAL – ACT LOCAL. We are very pleased to see that each student has been able to develop a line of inquiry and has tackled a local issue that is important to them.


Sustainable Cities and Communities


Climate Action


Zero Hunger



Inquiries into


  • How natural resources can be used differently to design more effective homes
  • People can use environmentally friendly resources to decorate their homes
  • Understanding the purpose of recycling and the effects in our environment
  • Positive and negative outcomes of recycling
  • How wasting food is a global problem that must be changed.
  • The long term effect of food wasting.
  1. Why do we need to use more environmentally friendly resources in our homes?(RESPONSIBILITY)
  1. How can we plan our homes more effectively and thinking about “space”?(CHANGE)
  1. How does recycling work? (function)
  1. What can I do to tell others about the importance of recycling (Connection)
  1. Why do we waste so much food and what can I do to change this (CAUSATION, RESPONSIBILITY)?
  1.   What effective ways can I use to use food more responsibly?



Good Health and Well Being


Life on Land


Climate Action



Inquiries into


  • The importance of exercising every day to maintain a healthy body and mind
  • The negative effects that lack of exercise can do to someone’s life
  • Animal extinction is not a threat – it is real
  • How Japan benefits from the Ivory trade
  • How plastic is destroying our oceans
  • How does rubbish affect the oceans.
  1. What exercises can I do to stay healthy?
  1. What negative effects the lack of exercise can have in my life?
  1. How is ivory used and for what purposes? (causation)
  1. Why we must take action to stop the killing of African elephants now? (Change)
  1. How do our oceans suffer because of trash? ( FUNCTION )
  1. Is there a better way to get rid of our trash? ( RESPONSIBILITY )


Life on Land


Life on Land


Climate Action



Inquiries into


  • Understanding the importance of keeping pets healthy
  • Long term effects of animal cruelty
  • Understanding how natural disasters can impact our lives
  • How communities react and overcome natural disasters
  • The effect of climate change to our environment
  • How can I make a difference
  1. What happens to animals that have been mistreated?
  1. Why do we need to take good care of domestic pets?
  1. What is the most effective way to be prepared for when a natural disaster strike?
  1. How can I teach others about the importance of being prepared for when a natural disaster takes place?
  1. Can I do anything about climate change – what, why and how?
  1. What is climate change?


Life on Land


Good Health and Well Being


Good Health and Well Being



Inquiries into


  • How animal shelters help to restore pets to a healthy life
  • People care about animals and their welfare
  • The importance of sleep in our health
  • Steps a person must take to develop a healthy lifestyle
  • Digital tools can have negative effect in our health
  • Computers are part of our lifestyle
  1. Why do we have animal shelters in Yokohama?
  1. What can we do to protect animals from cruelty?
  1. Do computers have a negative effect in our health? (Perspective)
  1. What are the steps to a positive and healthy lifestyle? (Form)
  1. What is the effect of the overuse of digital tools have on our health? (Form)
  1. What steps can I take to promote responsibility when using digital tools at home and school? (Responsibility)


Good Health and Well Being


Affordable and Clean Energy


Affordable and Clean Energy



Inquiries into


  • How a healthy diet can have a positive effect on us
  • The importance of choosing healthy products in our lives
  • The importance of using renewable sources of energy
  • Effects in our communities of using nonrenewable and renewable sources of energy
  • Solar energy is the most effective form of energy to use in the long term
  1. Why is important to promote healthy products?
  1. What are the long term effects of eating “junk” food?
  1. What is better – using non renewable or renewable sources of energy and how do we know? ( PERSPECTIVE)
  1. What can we do to be more responsible when using energy? (RESPONSIBLE)
  1. How do solar panels work? (FUNCTION)
  1. What positive steps I need to take to be more efficient when (CHANGE)


Clean Water and Sanitation


Quality Education


Decent work and economic Growth



Inquiries into


  • Understanding the importance of clean water for our health
  • How communities are affected when they have no access to clean water
  • The importance of learning new languages
  • Understanding what makes strong and stable economies
  • The effect that economic decisions can have in people’s’ lives
  1. Why is water important for our daily diet?
  1. How communities can work together to provide clean water for everyone?
  1. Why is it important to learn a new language?
  1. What is the most effective way to learn a new language?
  1. Can strong and stable economies have a positive effect in a community?
  1. Is the Japanese economy having an effect in the lives of poor people?


Quality Education


Gender Equality



Inquiries into


  • The importance of education in people’s lives
  • Education can change people’s lives for the better
  • Girls have the same rights as boys
  • How gender inequality happens in some communities
  1. How can education improve someone’s life? (Change, Causation)
  1. Can we be successful without education? (Causation)
  1. What is gender inequality? (Form)


  1. How can we promote gender equality in my community effectively? (Connection)


March 5

WEEK 25 3rd MARCH – 7th MARCH


We have started a very exciting EXHIBITION 2017, every student in 5S is very keen to get going, we are looking at HOW WE ORGANISE OURSELVES, our theme relates well to goes around us and what impact we can have in our local communities. We look forward to the process of learning new things and learn about ourselves as we go along.


On Monday we kicked off with an introduction to exhibition with photos from the previous year – ‘starting with the end in mind’

On Tuesday we looked at the Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Organise Ourselves and what this entails. We also had a visit from the grade 6 students who worked through the exhibition process last year. Our question session with grade 6 students focussed on:

  • HOW you chose what you wanted to inquire into?
  • WHY you chose it?
  • WHAT you did as part of your Exhibition – where you went, what resources you used, who you spoke to etc.

Some further conversation had us reflecting on when we viewed the Grade 10 ‘Personal Project’ Exhibition. Our conversation focussed on

  • What impressed us? What topics or projects most interested us?
  • WHY? What did the student DO to help us to understand their issue?
  • What resources did the student use? Think about people they talked to, places they went, online resources, library resources and others
  • What did we think could have been done better?

As the students were so engrossed listening to the grade 6 students we followed up on this on Wednesday. We talked about what ‘stuck with us’, what we could use to help us in our own inquiries in the coming weeks.

On Thursday we looked at the ‘Sphere of Influence’.  A Circle of Influence encompasses those concerns that we can do something about. They are concerns that we have some control over. As opposed to A Circle of Concern, the wide range of concerns we have, such as our health, our children, problems at work, the amount of government borrowing, or the threat of war.

And finally Friday.  Today we started thinking about the possibilities. Students had the opportunity to collect great ideas by looking at ideas generated through class Padlets 2016.

In relation to making decisions regarding making a decision, we are encouraging the students to ‘keep it in mind, and keep open minded to all possibilities!’ We have all next week to explore before making a final decision.

Phew… what a productive week!




February 27

WEEK 24 20th FEBRUARY – 24th February


We had a fantastic week, we were involved in a number of great activities, we have learnt many new things and we had a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our learning for a number of subjects. It has been very pleasant to see how far we have come with our Persuasive Essays, the published pieces are just “fantastic”, well crafted and full of wonderful ideas. We have completed our first novel for our Literary Circles work. We are now working on our second novel and looking forward to using our READING STRATEGIES to strengthening our skills. We have had lots of time to reflect on our HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES unit and students have been very effective at describing their new learning, their new thinking and have looked at ways how to take action.


We have completed our study on learning about Capacity and how liquids can fit in a container. We have used a number of tools to measure in practical ways how to measure liquids and use different measurement systems to record these.

We have started our new unit based on Numbers (Integers and Order of Operations). Some of the new concepts have been difficult to acquire but we have been working with different online tools to develop our ideas. By the end of the week, students were able feeling more positive about working with negative numbers when using the four basic operations. A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT!!!!!

Adding and Subtracting Integers I think that this game was very helpful for me to develop a couple more integers strategies that work when adding and subtracting them. This integers game gave me some ways to develop a new understanding of integers.
Adding Integers This integers game has really helped me to add integers under pressure. It has probably pushed my memory further as well to remember all of these equations. And it has probably made me faster as well.



Students have worked on reviewing some important aspects of their novels. They have focussed on a number of Reading Strategies. Great reading thinking. Well done.


As we move on to our second persuasive essay we were able to change the format of our work and this time around we have focussed on developing a theme by using a common topic and working in groups of five students. Each student was allocated to a specific part of the essay (i.e. introduction or argument 2). The collaborating process was fantastic and students were able to develop ideas together. GREAT WORK 5S

Why the United States of America should look for a different election system

The United states of America uses a presidential election system called the electoral college. This system gives each state an amount of points called  “electors”. The amount of “electors” each state gets depends on how many people of the congress are in the state. The candidate that gets two hundred seventy  “electors” first will become the new president. That president can choose his new vice president. One person may only be president for eight years maximum however if a president wants to be president for eight years he has to be elected as president twice. There are many disadvantages and reasons why the electoral college system is a bad way for a country (United States of America) to choose their president. Further in this piece of writing it will say the three most important reasons why the electoral college system should go away from the United States of America.  The writer strongly believes that the United States of America should change the electoral college system to another fairer presidential election system.

It is unfair because a president can have more votes than the other that president and can still lose the election, making the election system unfair. The writer strongly believes that this system should change so that whoever has the most votes wins the election. Electoral votes should not be used anymore in the United States of America elections. Electoral votes are unfair because as it says in the Washington post one elector in California represents 712,000 people and in Wyoming one elector represents 195,000 people. The writer did a survey on 33 people in the Grade 5 of YIS, 5 of them were not sure if it was fair or not, 25 people thought that the US election system was unfair and out of 33 people, only 3 thought the US election system was fair.

Another reason why the United States should change their election system, is because of the age of the voting is from about 18 years old in all states… The government should let younger kids vote. This is because more than 80 million people in the US don’t vote on election day ( Maybe the kids can notice something about the president, that the adults did not. I think that it is very unfair that only adults can vote because they think that kids don’t understand… People should also let kids vote because then kids can learn more about the government, and they can also learn to make better life decisions. They can also learn how to express themselves, and to be independent.

Lastly, Another reason the Electoral College system is unfair is that some states have a bigger impact on the electoral college because for example Arizona has the most powerful voters even though it does not have the most voters ( but all the states choose their representatives in the electoral college and they technically choose the candidate to be the future president which means that the popular votes don’t have that much impact on the electoral college system.( The writer strongly believes that the electoral college should not be used and the candidate with the most popular votes should be picked as the president.

To conclude this piece, the writers have given lots of opinions and evidence. Starting off with the introduction, the first writer stated about what the rest of the essay was going to about saying that everyone will be writing against the US electoral college. In the first argument, the second writer states about how the candidate who gets more votes doesn’t automatically win the election. There is evidence supporting these details which make their facts and evidence truly. Overall, this group thinks that the US electoral college is unfair and should be changed. There are simple solutions to each one of these problems. The first argument, is simply that the US election system is completely unfair. The second argument, kids(above 12) should be able to vote, is a good and fair solution. This is good because kids can learn about the US government system. Also, it will help kids learn how to be independent and make choices that will help them to learn how to become a grownup. The third argument, different states get a different amount of points, is wrong. People may say that since the population is bigger, it will be fair because more people live in that state. But we say that it would be better if all states got the same amount because it would make the US electoral college voting system easier for the president and the election systems. This would make the USA more relaxed and be better for elections that are to come.


Niels, Daan, Kano, Truitt and Zhansaya







February 19

WEEK 23 13th FEBRUARY – 17th February


This week we were able to do some really interesting things. We completed out ISA tests, we had a visiting artist, we worked on our persuasive essays and we also celebrated choosing Maite as the student of the week and we helped once again with collecting fruit for the Chiku Center. We were busy working on developing ideas to measure distance and capacity. We started our second novel for our Literary Circles unit. We are very excited to complete our persuasive essays and look forward to sharing them with Grade 4 students next week.


We worked with great enthusiasm to understand how to measure distance in practical ways. Students build paper planes and then tested the total distance a paper plane can travel. Students measured the distance for 10 different flights and then converted into larger and smaller units (mm, m, and km).


This week we focussed on developing our understanding of our first book and we were able to write some creative book reviews. Each student was able to express their ideas with great clarity and accuracy. Great work.


Reading Strategy:

Main Character – describe
Story: brief outline but in the right order.
Plot – what happens, is it believable or exciting.
Characters – do you like or dislike them?

Do they seem real?

Language – did the words do their job well?
Are the events in the story well described? Explain.


We were incredibly busy working on our persuasive essays. What a wonderful effort, we are so impressed with the quality of ideas, creative topics and wonderful writing. WELL DONE EVERYONE

Are Paintings the Best type of Art for someone to express themselves?

Paintings are one of the best ways that somebody can express themselves. Painters think that painting is the best way to express yourself. Other people think that that is not true and think other types of art are better, for example, they think music and theatre are the best types of art to express yourself. People who believe that paintings are the best type of art to express yourself are those that can share their ideas, moods and feelings through painting. There are many ways you can express yourself through paintings, for example, somebody can express themselves through the organic or geometric abstract. Is it a good idea for someone to express themselves through paintings? The answer is an absolute yes.

First of all, it is easy to express emotions through paintings. Many colours have been known to represent an emotion, for example, blue means sad and bright colours mean happy. You can use colours to express yourself in almost every type of painting. Many famous artists, for example, Van Gogh used and use this strategy. Many of Van Gogh’s self-portraits had blue in the background to express himself which probably means he is sad or is feeling a negative emotion (Nation Gallery of Art). Using colours to represent emotions makes painting a good way for people to express themselves.

Secondly painting something realistically allows someone to express themselves easily, for example, painting a picture of a facial expression to express emotions or painting a picture of a culture to express a culture. Yamato-e is a type of Japanese art which use paintings to express stories. Yamato-e paintings are a realistic type of art(met museum). The strategy of painting stories was also used in ancient Rome and ancient Greece(Ducksters). Painting realistically has been used a long time for people to express themselves. People can paint almost anything realistically to express themselves.

Some people may argue that paintings are not the best way for someone to express themselves is that it can be hard to understand what the artist is expressing if it is not painted realistically. It can also be confusing if the author is not expressing himself through colours and it may take a long time for someone to figure out if the author is expressing himself through colours. If the artist uses a wide variety of colours it may be hard for the audience to understand which emotions the artist is expressing. Music is an easier way for the audience to understand what the musician is expressing because when somebody signs they use language to express themselves and almost everyone understands the language if it is a language they understand.

In conclusion, paintings are the best way for somebody to express themselves. It is absolutely amazing for someone to use colours to express their emotions, feelings, ideas and special memories and someone does not even have to be able to paint realistically to express themselves through paintings. If someone can paint realistically they can paint their culture, traditions, hobbies, beliefs and values to express themselves. It can be hard for an audience to understand what an artist is expressing or if the artist is expressing something however painting still remains the best way for someone to express themselves.

Daan V



  1. Remember to bring your P.E. uniform to your sports lessons next week.
  2. ONE piece of fruit per person makes a wonderful difference each week to our friends from the Chiku Centre. Keep it up!!!
  3. Maite was chosen our STUDENT OF THE WEEK!!! – She is someone who is always willing to help others and tries her very best always. Great Work – Well Done


We visited The Grand Hotel of Yokohama. Dr D’Amato was very informative and he showed us many of the historical landmarks in Motomachi, we looked at these from the perspective of architecture and beauty. We learned a great deal about local influences and western influences in the buildings of the area. THANK YOU, Dr D’AMATO

February 8

WEEK 22 5th FEBRUARY – 9th February


This has been a very short but immensely productive week, students have finished their final assessments for mathematics, reading and are very busy working with their study in how we express ourselves. We have also started our rice drive for the Chiku Centre.


We have been busy constructing a timeline for the major periods in the Japanese history. Each student has been given a period of time and research about the main events and artistic introductions for their particular period.



Period Yayoi
Approximate dates 300BC – 300AD
Significant Facts
  • Arts

In the Yayoi period, people expressed themselves through arts by making pots out of coiling clay. The surface of the pot would most likely be smooth In the Yayoi period the also made things out of stone, bronze and iron which were mostly weapons. The pots and weapons had a lot of different forms.

  • Beliefs

In the ceremonies, the Yayoi people used bronze items such as mirrors, bells and weapons specially made for the ceremonies. They split the graves between the important people and the public people. The important people got ceremonial goods with them in their graves.

  • Culture

In the Yayoi culture, the people lived in a village where they would live for the rest of their lives. The houses were made out of thatch. It was part of the culture for the women to make the pots. Rice farming was the best way to become wealthy. Rice farming is part of the Yayoi culture.

  • History

The people in the Yayoi period were really good at making metal, iron and bronze. It was a tradition to celebrate the celebrations about their gods with bronze items such as mirrors and bells. The Yayoi period is known best for its pottery and rice farming. They introduced a new type of pottery.

  • Values

The people in the Yayoi period valued their pottery and arts that they made. The people in the Yayoi period also valued their beliefs and ceremonies for their gods a lot because to them their gods are really special. They also valued rice farming because it was one of their biggest sources of food and it was part of their culture.



February 3



This week we have been looking at many of the issues and problems happening in the world today and how we can deal with them. The effect that these issues may have on us can be negative and it is important for us all to be aware and know how to respond to them. Our discussions have focussed on how to be aware of the world around us, our impact in our local communities and the how we can change things one at the time.


We have concluded our work on VOLUME and our summative assessment has been based on creating solids that can hold certain space. The students worked in pairs and they created three solids (rectangular solids, cones, cylinders). The students choose the measurements and they created the shapes. They also worked out the conversions to smaller and larger units of measurement. They have been able to reflect and look at their learning from a very practical perspective. They have been able to use different manipulatives to record their thinking. we look forward to next week when they share their final findings and describe and explain these to the class.


Students have continued to work with different reading strategies and their final work is looking very impressive and they have provided some great insightful ideas and recording to their reading. Great work. We are almost ready to move to our next novel and we will continue to work in groups to promote conversations, discussions and written responses from their reading.



We are really immersed in learning how persuasive writing takes shape and learning about what is needed to make someone to agree with our point of view, how we can convince someone to follow our thinking and how we can make someone to believe in our perspective.


What a fantastic week we just had. We were able to travel to Kamakura and learn first hand how people can use materials and the local surroundings to create art and appreciate things from a different perspective. We are developing sound understandings about the notion of “BEAUTY” and how this can be represented in some many different ways.



  1. Next week is a very short week only school from Monday to Wednesday
  2. Thank you to each one of you for being so committed to helping our friends from the Chiku Center. Remember to start thinking about your job for the month of February.
January 28

WEEK 20th 23rd JANUARY – 27th JANUARY


We have had a fantastic and fruitful week. We have been working on completing some units of work for our inquiry learning as well as mathematics. The connections made, the new learning that has taken place has provided each student with a great sense of accomplishment. We are very excited about our new unit of inquiry. we will be looking at how we express ourselves, and what forms we use to do this. Our focus will be on Japan and will be looking at our own cultural background and look for similarities, differences, understanding of “beauty” and so on….


We have introduced the concept of “volume”, this has been done by working on developing strategies of how to calculate the volume of a specific rectangular prism or solid. Students developed strategies such as “repeated addition and measuring sides and then working out specific formulas as well.



Next week we will be working on developing a summative assessment based on converting unit of measurement (mm, cm and m), using strategies to calculate/ estimate and measure the volume of different solids (prisms, cones, cylinders) and measuring the volume of different solids.


We have continued to work on our Literary Circle activities and each group is busy at developing new ideas and understandings about the text. The conversations have been great, the recordings have been accurate and the decisions made in each group have been very positive.




We have concluded our Poetry work and we are pleased with everyone’s ideas and their sharing. The reading was well structured and putting ideas onto paper was a great way to show our thinking and caring nature toward expressing the needs of others.


We have completed our HOW THE WORLD WORK unit of inquiry. Each student was able to draw clear conclusions and hopefully, their action will be achieved for over a long period of time. We looked at how we can be more effective at saving energy in our own homes and at school. We wanted to promote a message about this. The students generated their own movies to present their experiments based on the transformation transport of energy in various forms. The final work was SUPERB!!!!




Another great week of great discussions – we focussed on “doing the right thing”, “telling the truth”. Our discussions were great and each student was able to share their experiences and ideas openly with the rest of the class.


  1. We have completed another Service Learning session and we were very pleased with out effort and outcome
  2. We continue to work well with our Fresh Fruit Friday lead – we collected nearly 300 pieces of fruit this week


  1. We have a trip on Thursday – please remember to have all your gear ready
  2. Work on collecting your items for your CURIOSITY BOX – we will talk about this in class during the week
January 22

WEEK 19th 16th JANUARY – 20th JANUARY


We have completed a successful week. We were able to finish a number of important things, we concluded the How the World Works (Science Focus unit of inquiry) study and the final presentations were excellent and students were able to show their understandings by using digital media. We also completed our measurement unit focussed on the connections between perimeter and area. The students completed a very different summative assessment where they were able to show their learning in a more creative way. We had a very special visit by C. Murdoch from Australia who was able to help us with developing effective and creative ways on how we approach Inquiry Learning in Grade 5. We celebrated Niels and Chaeyoon birthdays and had a lovely time sharing lovely food and lots of laughs.


We completed our study on what is perimeter and area and what is the relationship between the two of them by looking at similarities and differences. We were able to review formulas and practical ways of how to find the perimeter of regular and irregular 2d shapes. It was very pleasant to see how students were able to make clear connections and according to their final reflections it was

GRADE 5 – UNIT 5          Measurement – Perimeter and Area Summative Assessment

Name _______________________________                         Date: ______________

Reflecting on what I have learned, what still need to work on and what I am still not too sure about.

Learning Expectations Not Yet I am Confident Epic – ready for more
I can find the perimeter of a regular and an irregular shape
I can find the perimeter and area of specific shapes by using the correct procedure.
I can calculate perimeter and area of different shapes available in surroundings (farms, parks etc) for different purposes.
I understand the procedure for finding perimeter and area and the relationship between them.
I can solve word problems involving perimeter and area.

Describe a time in this unit when you felt challenged by a task or problem


What helped you work through it? How do you feel now?


Next Steps- After analyzing your pre-assessment and summative assessment, what are the next steps for your learning?


As we continue to work our Literary Circle Skills students have been working in groups and individually to draw new understandings from the text and beyond it. This week we have focussed on how to summarise important ideas by looking for specific clues from the text and drawing inferences from what is beyond the text. The students are developing great skills at conversing and discussing their stories

Preparing for Discussion
Adapted from Chapter 5
Getting Started with Literature Circles
Katherine L. Schlick Noe and Nancy J. Johnson
©1999 Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
Reprinted by Permission
The purpose for gathering information to share in the discussion is simple: Before you talk, you do some thinking about what you’ve read and what you want to talk about with others. Gathering information and keeping track of it involves several simple, yet effective, tools:

download form as pdf file)
Golden Lines
(download form as pdf file)
Interesting Words
(download form as pdf file)
Discussion Logs
(download form as pdf file)


We have continued to work with our Poetry entries, this week our focus has been on developing and empathising with the suffering of refugees around the world today. We have used some relevant information (digital and paper) to draw our ideas from ( Students were asked to use their writing process steps to collect ideas, select and choose a perspective for their writing.

Each student was able to focus on a particular focus for their poem. The results are wonderful and very moving. Each student was able to draw into their sympathy for these people.


We have completed our HWW (How the World Work) unit based on scientific experiments and using the Scientific Methos in order to test a hypothesis and confirm observations and draw conclusions. It was very pleasant to see students work in groups and develop conclusions together. They used digital tools to produce their final products.


  1. Mr Matt came early in the week and explained to our students how to use different tools to create movies, we used Imovie apps and used their skills to develop some very interesting resources





2. Students worked in pairs or groups of three to show the process of their experiments and drawing conclusions.



This week we talked about saying and doing the right thing and the impact that our ACTIONS have. We had some great discussions and we look forward to next week and how we integrate the PSE program as well into our discussions and fun activities.

A BIG THANK YOU TO ZHANSAYA, TRUITT and KANO for leading the Assembly on Friday, it was well driven and you were enthusiastic and kept the audience engaged all the time. WELL DONE


  1. Next week we will be working on our Service Learning and Action activity – please make sure you have warm clothes and your gloves
  2. P.E. – please remember your gear for the days you have P.E.
  3. FRESH FRUIT FRIDAY – Remember to bring your fruit on Friday
  4. We have a field trip this week – Wednesday – we will talk about this on Tuesday
January 11

WEEK 18th 9th JANUARY – 13th JANUARY


This has been a wonderful week, we have been busy working on a number of new things. We have introduced our Poetry unit for writing and for reading we are focussing on Literacy Circles and Reading Strategies. We also worked on our final ideas about perimeter and area and concluded the week with our summative assessment. We are keen at getting on with this new term and discover many new things. We are very excited about our Grade 5 Exhibition and we will make sure each student is empowered to do their very best for this experience.


Our current unit is measurement and we have been learning many new concepts and mathematical understandings about perimeter and Area. Our work has been focussed on practical ways we can measure and determine the perimeter and area of places like zoo enclosures. We concluded the unit by working on a Summative Assessment. This time we have tried a different approach and our assessment has focused on definitions, examples, characteristics and non-examples.

We had our friends from Grade 6 to come and share their learning of Negative and Positive Numbers with us. They share a number of board games that challenged our students to think about equations and possible solutions to different word problems. It was very encouraging to see how 5S students were able to make clear connections about Integers.


We have started our new unit – LITERACY CIRCLES. This approach to reading will allow our students to use their acquired reading strategies previously taught throughout the year.  We have 5 reading groups and they are working on a specific novel and each student takes a role for the day. The conversations are very engaging and each student is well focussed on sharing with the rest of the group.

What Are Literature Circles?

In literature circles, small groups of students gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students’ response to what they have read. You may hear talk about events and characters in the book, the author’s craft, or personal experiences related to the story. Literature circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to books. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach. Students reshape and add onto their understanding as they construct meaning with other readers. Finally, literature circles guide students to deeper understanding of what they read through structured discussion and extended written and artistic response.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand what literature circles are is to examine what they are not.


Literature Circles are . . .
Literature Circles are not . . .
Reader response centered Teacher and text centered
Part of a balanced literacy program The entire reading curriculum
Groups formed by book choice Teacher-assigned groups formed solely by ability
Structured for student independence, responsibility, and ownership Unstructured, uncontrolled “talk time” without accountability
Guided primarily by student insights and questions Guided primarily by teacher- or curriculum-based questions
Intended as a context in which to applyreading and writing skills Intended as a place to do skills work
Flexible and fluid; never look the same twice Tied to a prescriptive “recipe”



This week as part of our Writer’s Workshop we have started looking at how we can express our emotions, personal experiences, hopes, feelings through POETRY. First, we look at questions related to poems









Where do poets get their ideas and inspiration?

We are using the Writing Process to collect ideas, select ideas, draft and then publish. Our first poem was based on our own experiences and it was called WHO AM I. The students shared their ideas and the results are very moving and creative too.



This week we have been working with a number of experiments so each student is able to fully understand the concept of TRANSFERING and TRANSFORMING ENERGY. We have used the Scientific Methos as a preparation for this and new week we will be looking at completing our Summative Assessment.

We also had mISS Katy who is been helping us with Library skills to use in our inquiries. Her focus this week has been on citing sources of information and selecting the most important ideas within a primary and secondary source of information. This is greatly helping us with our preparation for our Exhibition later on the year.


A Special Guest

As part of her Personal Project, Lisa Ito, a year 10 student, visited grade 5 this morning to run a science-based workshop with all the girls.  The purpose of her visit was to encourage more young girls into STEM field studies.

We began the session be drawing a scientist.  Interestingly, most of us drew male scientists! There were a few ‘ahas’ around the room as we realized what we’d done!  POINT MADE!

Lisa introduced us to STEM research.

What is STEM? – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

She also presented:

  • Notable female figures in the STEM fields!
  • What problems might women in STEM face?
  • Why is it important to have more female scientists?

Lisa provided many interesting facts from her research…

  • Girls tend to lose interest in math and science at age 8.
  • Less then 25% of engineering degrees are awarded to women
  • (In the US) 45% of science related degrees are awarded to women, only 22% of these are engineers
  • (In the US) 24% of CEOs are women
  • Scientifically, girls are bad at science – FALSE
  • From 1990 to 2011 female engineers have decreased FALSE
  • Girls perform just as well as boys in school TRUE

We also looked at a collection of toys and identified which were more advertised for boys or girls?

We discussed – 

  • How we think the different values of these toys, set an expectation for boys and girls?
  • How we think this affects the interests of boys and girls?

The toys that are most likely to be educational and to develop childrens physical, cognitive, artistic, and other skills were typically categorized as neutral or moderately masculine.

We viewed and had many discussions after viewing related videos:

What were the videos were talking about?  How particular videos made us feel.  Any personal experiences, on being steered away from math and science?

  1. Inspire Her Mind – Verizon Commercial
  2. The Effects of Gender Roles on Women in STEM (0:44 – 1:58)
  3. A Mighty Girl
  4. Olivia Hallisey and Ann Makosinski

Well done and thank you to Lisa for a successful and informative session.  I’m sure the grade 5 girls would appreciate the opportunity to share their thought on this session with you.


  1. Next week we will be starting again with collecting fruit for the Chiku Center – please bring a fruit next week
  2. We are starting our new UOI unit – HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES (Focus: Japanese culture and our own)
  3. P.E. gear on P.E. days, please
  4. Service Day next Thursday – please bring your gloves


December 14

WEEK 17 12th December – 16th December



We have finished our first Semester and we all feel very proud of our wonderful efforts. We have worked very hard to achieve great things. We have learnt many new things and we have learnt about each other greatly. We are looking forward to our new Semester in 2017.


We have continued our work with Perimeter and Area. Our focus has been on developing understandings of how we can use different tools and ideas to work out the perimeter and area of regular shapes and irregular shapes. We have used a number of online tools and hard copy materials to develop new understandings.

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Students were able to describe what perimeter and area are, what they can do and what they look like. 

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Each student was asked to trace their names and then calculate the perimeter for each letter of their names. They have to use different strategies for each letter and share their new learning with someone in the class. The findings were very accurate and they were able to grasp very quickly the difference and similarity between perimeter and area.


On our final week, we focussed on personal reading choices. Students were asked to select their own books and read for enjoyment. As they completed their reading students were asked to complete different set of reading strategy activities related to their reading.





As part of our UOI, we have been working on the stage where students take the inquiry a bit further. In groups, the students have been working on how the SCIENTIFIC METHOD work. The students have been given a set of 3 experiments, they will record their findings and will discuss their new learning.

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Students were asked to investigate and share with the rest of the class a particular form of energy. It was very impressive to see how each person was able to gather the correct information and make connections to their learning.

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  • We all had a lovely time on Wednesday – Christmas Party – this great a great opportunity for us all to have a fun time and enjoy all the lovely food donated by everyone.
  • assembly-leading – please check your times for leading assembly



  • Have a wonderful holiday – and enjoy the rest.