Grade 5 Camp Update

I am excited to tell you that the Grade 5 camp has been approved!

Please be advised that a deposit for the camp will be required by the end of February. Mr. Roma is in contact with Insight, the Camp coordinating company, in regard to the deposit amount, however the company appears to have gone on holidays already, so we are not able to clarify this deposit amount at this time unfortunately. Apologies for this. I will let you know ASAP when the owner replies back to us. The cost of the camp is 2350rmb and the deposit could be half of this amount (1175rmb).

I am aware that there isn’t much time between now and when the deposit is due, and that many of you are traveling and spending money during CNY. I do apologize for the quick turnaround. Mr. Roma has made the owner of Insight aware of this, so if you experience difficulty with getting the deposit, please let me know so that we can advise Insight and we can work out an alternative plan for you.

I know this may not be news you were looking forward to on vacation, but we are working on a short time line and I wanted to give you information as soon as possible. 

Swimming Starts February 1

Note from Mr. Barrs:

Dear Parents,

Swimming for Mr. Barrs’ PE Classes will start on Thursday, February 1st and continue through Wednesday, February 14th. The swimming classes will take place on their normally scheduled Physical Education days. The lessons will focus on water safety and swimming stroke development. This will be in a safe environment with three instructors per class and a dedicated lifeguard on duty at all times.

Our annual Swim Fest will take place after Chinese New Year on:
1. Tuesday, March 13th for grades 2 and 4
2. Wednesday, March 14th for grades 3 and 5.

Swimming is a key part of the Physical Education program offered by the combined PE and Swimming Staff at SCIS. Parents may watch the classes from the viewing area by the windows but are not permitted on the pool deck or in the change rooms. Our staff do a great job of supervising the pool and change room areas. If you have special concerns, please let the homeroom teacher know what they are.

It is important that your child brings the following each PE day during the swimming unit:

swim cap (impermeable latex is best)
flip-flops or sandals
plastic bag for wet suits
*** Please be sure to label all belongings with the student’s name in permanent marker.

If there is cold weather, students will wait in the indoor heated pool area before and after changing into their swimsuits. They will only be exposed to the cold outside during transition between the aquatics center and the main building.

This will be our third of four swimming units for the year.

Go Dragons!

January 22

Congratulations to all our Class Presidential hopefuls, they did an amazing job in writing their speeches, presenting to the class and creating colorful, persuasive posters!  Charlie was chosen as the Class President and will be perfecting his speech this week to perform to the entire school on Friday at the Assembly. 

We are finishing up the last few post assessments for Government and onto our next unit of Conflict.  In the Transdisciplinary Theme, How We Organize Ourselves, we will look at how Conflict revels needs and values.  We will focus on perspective, connection and causation within conflicts. 

Students have been assigned books to read for this unit that have some different types of conflict within them.  We will look at the different types of conflict and how they are represented in reading.  Student groups will determine how much they will read and each individual is expected to keep up with group decisions.  This way they can have conversations about the book without giving away information from reading ahead. 

Our next writing piece will be an opinion based essay, working to include reasons and strong supporting evidence.  

I am going to show the Academy Award winning movie “Hidden Figures” as part of the unit. This movie examines racism issues in America in the 1960’s when segregation was common; women’s rights, when women were considered greatly inferior to men; and also women taking part in Mathematics, which was highly uncommon.

There is mild language used throughout the movie, namely “hell” and “damn”. I would like to play the movie through without having to constantly mute the language out. If there are any objections, I will mute the language out, so please let me know if you’re not okay with your child listening to that language.

Upcoming events

January 26 Lower School Assembly 2pm


January 15

Week of January 15
*ASAs begin this week
*Tuesday Math MAP- last test for us

Math – continue to work on fractions using as many real world examples as possible.  Practice as home with multiples (4-4,8,12,16,20) and factors (4-1,2,4).  This will help with finding common denominators when adding and subtracting and simplifying fractions. 

Unit of Inquiry- we will finish up Government this week with our speeches for class president and writing our Discussion paper.  We will work on focusing on how governments have shaped societies now that we are so strong in our understanding of the types of governments that exist. 

Reading- after our MAP tests on last week I compiled a bit of data to show the class.  With 14 pieces of data to use, complete with pre and post data, 11/14 students made growth in their reading this year!  2 students have not yet completed the tests and and 2 do not have pre test data to compare.  I am very excited and proud of our students for making such growth!  Keep on reading!


26-LS Assembly


week of 12th- No ASAs

14 Chinese New Year Celebrations

15 Chinese New Year Holiday

26 Return to School after holiday


19 last week of ASAs

January 8

Welcome Back!

*Tuesday Day 3 Music (wear Blue)

*MAP testing Wednesday-Reading, Friday- Language, Math-following Tuesday

*Class Photo Thursday 9:00am Makeups on Friday, bring blue shirt if photo is needed.

*ASAs begin January 15

*Next two weeks we will finish Government- speech, poster and discussion paper and begin Fractions using all math operations

If you have not yet downloaded the APP Seesaw, please do and scan your child’s QR code.  We will be transitioning to Seesaw for information sharing. 

December 11 Last post here! Seesaw next…

4.5 days to go! Excited for vacation but so many things happening this week!

We’ve started our Government leadership projects. Students will be working to become leader of the class. They will each write a speech and make a poster to work to get elected as class leader. The leader of each Grade 5 class will then campaign and speak at the assembly in January to be elected as school student leader. We are looking for students to determine which type of government they think would work best for our class and school, giving specific evidence as to how they would make it work, persuade an audience, and work on presentation skills in both the speech and poster. This will mostly be done in class and may continue when we return from break. Discussion at home about how you have seen speeches and propaganda posters would be helpful and encourage students. Some students have indicated they are not interested in being the leader of the class. This is okay, but these students will still work individually to complete the projects and preform the speech in from of the class.

There are some specific areas in which student will be working for the next week in math. We will review topics in which students have shown a weakness and push-in a bit of measurement.

Our writing will not only be the speech, but also the Discussion in which students will discuss two forms of government giving advantages and disadvantages to both.

All students are reading an assigned book with an alternate government theme. As some finish, they will be allowed to choose new books. We are working through the Six Thinking Hats while doing reflections on the reading. Ask your child what the Six Hats of thinking are and how we can apply them to any subject.

New expectations: Signed assessments and reflection sheets and SeeSaw
As parents have indicated they wish to see more of their child’s work, we (Grade 5) are now sending home summative assessments to be signed and returned as well as reflection sheets that students will complete on Fridays, again to be reviewed by parents, signed and returned. I have encouraged students to take home any regularly completed work or put in their portfolio for our Student Led Conference. Signed assessments and reflections will be handed back to students to put in portfolios or return home again.

See Saw is a new “facebook-like” website that I will begin using to provide information and updates. Students are signed in, can post items and like or comment on one another’s items. As the teacher and administrator of our classroom, I must review all content before it is posted. The content as of now will be strictly academic. I will allow the “likeing” of posts but not comments, unless it is specifically assigned. Students can see one another’s posts but as a parent you can only see your child’s work. I can message students and parents on this format and will use this format to inform parents of updates rather than this teacher webpage. Your child should have given you a QR code to get started. Please let me know if you need another copy. Each QR code is specific to your child.

Updates for the rest of the YEAR!

Tuesday December 12 Winter Music concert- Dress up clothes- suits, dresses, dress shirts, trousers, skirts, etc. no logos or jeans please. One or two winter items like hat, gloves, scarf. Students should be in our homeroom by 6:15- no earlier, no supervision before this time. Concert begins at 6:30. You may pick up your child after the concert in our room, after I make eye contact with you.

Wednesday December 13 ASA signup for Grade 5 beginning at 9am. ASA begins January 15.

Thursday December 14 Dress Up Day- same attire as Music Concert (great opportunity for pictures to be taken for our Propaganda posters for government!) Lower School Assembly 2:00

Friday December 15 ½ day-dismissal at 11:30 Classroom Holiday Party 10:40-11:30

Tuesday January 9 -Term 3 Welcome back!

December 4

The students did a great job last week working hard to pull the assembly skit together, working to build props, practice lines and using good presentation skills.  Many people commented how creative and entertaining it was!  Bravo!

We are digging deep into our Unit of Inquiry on Government.  Most students have a general idea of a few different types of governments.  We will do an activity to give  bit more information on how some basic types of government run, but it seems there is confusion about “people who have been leaders” and “types of governments”. We will work to straighten this out.  It is important for students to know, we may define “types of governments” one way but in real life they may function a bit differently.  Students will be assigned to inquire into two different types of governments, be able to compare and contrast the governments, and determine which they think is best. I will encourage them to look into their home country governments and perhaps how the form of government may have changed over time or compare it to another in current time. 

Our writing piece for this unit follows our inquiry with a discussion.  Students will look for advantages and disadvantages of two types of government and chose one they believe to be best.  This is not persuasive or opinion based, but fact based evidence with their opinion given in the conclusion.  Based on the last two pieces, a heavy focus will need to be on finding credible sources with precise information, and giving credit to sources.  We are writing a practice piece about cats and dogs, using the same plan, outline and looking for evidence. 

Students have been assigned a reading book that may be bit above their reading level, but for most should be high interest and has themes of government control, Animal Farm written by George Orwell and Among the Hidden written by Margaret Haddix.  We will be looking at making comparisons between characters, making inferences and providing evidence for our thinking. 

Mid week we will take the final assessment for Decimals.  I am impressed with the progress students have made in this area.  You are able to see the work your child has done on Khan Academy and IXL in these areas if you have your child log in and check their progress.  Our next math concept works with operations using fractions. 

UNIFORMS- please remember as stated in the handbook, students should be wearing either blue polo shirt and navy blue slacks or red PE shirt and navy blue sweatpant.  Outerwear such as sweater and sweatshirts are to be SCIS gear (sold in the Uniform shop) and no hoods or hats allowed to be worn in the building. 

Please inform me by email if you plan to leave early for Winter Vacation! 

UpComing Events


6  PAFA Coffee Morning about social media and your child

12  Lower School Music Concert – Grades 4 & 5 Dress UP- Skirts, dresses, suits, dress pants and one or two “winter” items like scarf, hats, mittens

13 ASA sign up for Grade 5

14 Lower School Assembly 2:00  Dress up Day at school – same attire as Music Concert

15 December – Last day of school- half day, Class party 10:40-11:30,  finish at 11:30am


9- (Tuesday) first day return to school



November 20

How We Organize Ourselves- The form of government can shape a society.

  • How government systems function
  • Impact of leadership on society
  • Citizens role in governmental change

This will be the unit we begin this next week and hopefully finish up before the winter break.  Students will dive into what it takes to become the leader of a country.   Our inquiry should lead us into how societies are shaped by different governments.  We will work to stay neutral in our discussions and learn about past and present day forms of government.  Part of this unit we will read the book, The Kid Who Became President, which is a very simple example of how a person can become president in the United States.  We will use this as a jumping off point to discuss other ways and how some may be better or worse.  You are encouraged, as parents, to share you experiences and knowledge of government around the world.  We highly encourage you to talk about your home countries and personal experiences with government. 

The students will be working on a discussion paper as part of this unit.  Discussion papers give both sides to an argument and describe, in the conclusion, on which side of the argument the author stands.  The form of government will be the discussion but arguments will focus on the function of each government. 

We will continue multiplying decimals using models not just procedures, but by the end of the week move into dividing decimals.  The morning work students complete is a spiral review, which continues practice on topics already learned.  Division is still an area students need practice.  Creating a few random division problems each night could be helpful for your child.  He/She should NOT be using remainders, but create a fraction with the “leftovers”.

Swimming Starts MONDAY! 

From Mr. Barrs: Swimming for Mr. Barrs’ PE Classes will start on Monday, November 20th and continue through Monday, December 4th. The swimming classes will take place on their normally scheduled Physical Education days. The lessons will focus on water safety and swimming stroke development. This will be in a safe environment with three instructors per class and a dedicated lifeguard on duty at all times.

It is important that your child brings the following each PE day during the swimming unit:

swim cap
flip-flops or sandals
plastic bag for wet suits
*** Please be sure to label all belongings with the student’s name in permanent marker.

If there is cold weather, students will wait in the indoor heated pool area before and after changing into their swimsuits. They will only be exposed to the cold outside during transition between the aquatics center and the main building.

This will be our second of four swimming units for the year.

Go Dragons!

Dress Up Days

Student Council would like to announce the November and December Dress up days!

**November: Thursday, November 23rd: Animal Day.

December: Thursday, December 14th: Winter/Holiday Dress. We hope all students join us!

Music Concert information

From Ms. Stacy: 4th and 5th grade:  Mark the Date! The 4th and 5th grade winter concert will be held on Tuesday, December 12th 2017 in the SCIS theater.


Please have the kids wear nice clothes.

Girls: Dresses, skirts or nice pants

Boys: suits, ties, and/or nice pants and a collared shirt

Boys and Girls: Please no bluejeans or shirts with writing on them.

In addition, please have the students choose one winter accessory to wear (Gloves or mittens, a scarf, or a hat- keep in mind that our concert will be inside and we don’t want them to get overheated!).


20 Monday- Swimming, Visiting Author 2pm

23 Thursday- Animal Dress Up Day

24 Friday – No school for students

25 Winter Carnival 11am-4pm


1- Grade 5 Assembly 2pm (Kirwin, Roma and Cote are “hosting”, many of our students will be part of this assembly)

November 13

Finishing up the Unit of Inquiry!

This past week students were pushed to create a final narrative using a natural disaster to describe a story.  They were to use a story plan, add dialog and work to build characters through actions in the story.  Most students turned in a completed paper on Friday.  This week, we will work through revisions and edits to be sure we have met the expectations and work to improve these papers.  I will assess on the effort students make on improvements and revisions on paper. 

In assigned groups, students were given the task to build a RAFT project, where they determined their role, audience, format and topic, to share knowledge they learned in this unit. Working on enthusiasm, cooperation and time management are part of the skills and attitudes I will look at in the next few days as students share their projects. 

Students practiced adding and subtracting decimals the last couple days of the week.  Most students showed to be fairly successful in lining up place value rather than digits in earlier work with this concept.  Students who are showing some weakness in this area tend to be weak due to misunderstandings about subtraction not necessarily with decimals numbers.  This should be an area to continue to practice in as students see they are making mistakes on practice problems.  Most misunderstandings occur because students are reverse subtracting because “the bigger digit is on the bottom” or are not “borrowing” correctly.  We will be reviewing a bit more, take a final assessment, then move to multiplication and division of decimal numbers. 

Students are paired with another reader working on reading fluently allowed, pulling evidence of character traits and figurative language from an I Survived book.  Most groups are doing a great job of being good listeners to their partners, offering good feedback, pulling evidence and examples from their books.   I will continue to group students in a variety of ways so they can work on cooperation and communication skills with different individuals along with the reading skills associated with reading aloud. If your child is struggling with his/her partner, ask what kind of strategies can they use to solve the issues or how can they show respect to one another to be sure each person continues to learn in the situation. 

Our next Unit of Inquiry is How We Organize Ourselves with a focus on government.  Students will have more focused homework in this unit to build knowledge to be applied in class.  Students may be asking you about your knowledge and understanding of government.  Looking at who leaders are of different countries, how they became leaders, how laws are made, what services governments “offer” their countries and most importantly how governments can shape a society. 

Upcoming Events

Wellness week is next week!  There will be a variety of activities students will be participating in to building knowledge and understanding of wellness for the mind, body and soul.  Parents may join at lunch 11:40-12 for a whole group activity on the field during recess each day this week.  Also Olivia’s place will offer and parent talk from 12:30-1:30 on Friday. 


17,18 Annie!  the musical performance  doors open at 6:30, close at 6:55

17 Lower School Assembly

24 No School for Students

25 Winter Carnival 11am-4pm


1- Lower School Assembly (Our class will be a big part of this one!)

7- Grade 4/5 Music Concert

14 Lower School Assembly

15 1/2 day 11:30 dismissal, holiday begins!



November 6

We continue our work on natural disasters, reviewing and getting a more scientific understanding for the forces that are involved in creating the disaster and how the disaster transforms the earth and human societies.  Early in the week, students will be quizzed on their knowledge on different disasters that they have worked for about 2 weeks collecting information.  Students will then be placed in groups to work on collaboration skills and taking on different roles within groups to create a RAFT project showing knowledge of two specific natural disasters.  

Our technology focus on iMovie will provide an opportunity for students to share their favorite books by creating a Book Trailer iMovie.  We will review some examples and students will work to create their own creative movie.

Students have been paired up to read an I Survived book and work on looking for evidence of character traits, figurative language, setting and plot.  We will use these examples to help us write our own narratives about surviving a natural disaster. 

Our math focus continues on decimals.  Students have done a great job improving their knowledge of place value, powers of ten, written and expanded forms of decimals.  We will work more on adding and subtracting and move into multiplication. 

I will be out of the classroom but still on campus for a WIDA conference on Thursday and Friday.  Mrs. Krigsman will be substituting on these days.  Please remind your child to make good choices and be working towards completion of work and positive engagement. 

Thursday is Market Day!  Vendors will be available during lunch recess. 

Annie! The lower school will get a sneak peak of the performance on Friday morning.  The performance will run November 16 and 17.  Lower school students who are part of the production will have practices everyday after school this week until 4:30- see email from Mr. Roma. 

No ASAs for the remainder of this year.  They will begin again January 15. 

**It has come to my attention that some students were rather rude and disrespectful to the Mandarin teachers about the 50RMB cost for the activity in the cafeteria.  I have spoken with our class about the extra time and effort their Mandarin teachers are putting in to make this special event possible and showing respect for their teachers and efforts they make to create meaningful lessons.  Please reinforce respectful behaviors with all teachers and adults. 


6- Giving Tree Bags are due! (Lower School Front Office)

8 -PAFA meeting 11:30am

9- Market Day 11:30-2

11- SCIS family fun day (basketball game)

13-17 Wellness Week

17 Lower School Assembly

24- No School for students

25- Holiday Market


1- Lower School Assembly

7- Grade 4/5 Music Concert

14 Lower School Assembly

15 1/2 day 11:30 dismissal, holiday begins!