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 (vox.com). 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 (Wallethub.com) 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.(Vox.com). 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.