Grade 4 Gazette
SJI International Elementary School, Singapore
Celebrating an Amazing Christmas Term Aug - Dec 2014
Writer's Workshop this term has seen our children blossoming into real writers who think more thoughtfully about the purpose of their writing, their audience and the tools of their craft.
We wrote in a variety of genres in our first unit, Launching the Writer's Notebook.
Then we planned and wrote imaginative Fantasy Quests.
Most recently, we expressed our feelings as we delved into writing about a slice of our lives.
What do the children have to say about what they have learned about themselves as writers this term?
"I have learned that a story does not have to be long. It has to be quality not quantity."
"I can write proper sentences without support or help from a teacher. I am able to write in paragraphs now."
"I have learned that when I write, I don't mean to... but I express my feelings"
G4 students have been working extremely hard in Mathematics since the beginning of the academic year. They have learned many new skills and have acquired a vast amount of knowledge to build upon their prior learning and further embed their understanding of number.
So far this year G4 have covered the following mathematical topics:
- Whole Numbers
- Multiplication and Division of Whole Numbers
Here are a few things that some G4 students would like to share with you about their learning in Mathematics so far this year...
So far I have learned about adding fractions, multiplying by 2-digit number. I have found angles quite easy so far, but fractions were difficult, especially word problems! multiplying was fun and easy. I bet more fun things will come soon in maths. Gina G4 DPi
I enjoyed learning about fractions because you can add, subtract and multiply with fractions. I thought the Angles topic was a bit hard because I didn't like using a protractor. Saisha G4 DPi
we have learned about fractions such as how to add and subtract them. we learned all the times tables facts. we have also improved on 2-step word problems involving fractions. I enjoyed learning adding and subtracting fractions. Karin G4 DPi
I've learnt about multiplication, division, fractions, and angles. The topic I found the most difficult was multiplication. We have tests every Friday which are challenging! Kiven G4 DPi
Unit Of Work (IPC)
Grade Four IPC units this first term have been dominated with a range of both Science and Geography tasks, and a dash of internationalism, to further develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of our Grade Four children.
With Bronze to Bio-plastic (Grouping and Classifying Materials), the children participated in scientific investigations that included categorizing different metals and soils. We also had fun creating thermal insulators out of different materials and testing to see which material made the best insulator. The skills behind ensuring fair testing took place within the investigations. Different ways to record observations during and at the end of experiments were visited. We learnt that there is a rock cycle and researched and recorded a wide range of materials that are considered extremely valuable in our world.
For The Holiday Show, our biggest unit of the term, the children got to work collaboratively, in small groups, to plan a holiday to a given destination within a given budget. We had discussions about how a country's uniqueness attracts tourists from around the world and shared where we had been and where we wanted to go in the future. The children discovered that there are five geography themes (location, place, human-environment interaction, movement and region) and worked on activities that reinforced the concepts of these themes. We investigated how holiday destinations are marketed around the world and made appealing to potential customers. There was a field trip that involved visiting the Marina Bay area while pretending we worked for the Singapore Tourism Board. Advice on how to make this location more attractive for tourists was discussed and recorded. The children became skilled at reading different scaled maps of destinations and pinpointing locations using latitude and longitude lines. Tourist agencies offering 10 day packages to specific destinations around the world were created by every child and promoted to potential customers during an exit point event.
Existing, Endangered, Extinct was our final unit for this term and it allowed us to revisit scientific investigations and the concept of fair testing. The entry point for this unit was a field trip to Sentosa Nature Discovery where the children were well-informed by excellent guides about the direct and indirect impact humans have on the environment. The children learnt that living things can be grouped into two major groups (vertebrate and invertebrate) and then into many sub-groups after that. We learnt about biodiversity, eco-systems, food chains, food webs, animal adaptation, what 'producers' and 'consumers' mean in the animal kingdom, the difference been predators and prey, why organisms like mold and other decomposers are so important to life on this planet, the reasons why certain existing creatures have become endangered and how living creatures have become extinct. We concluded this unit by focusing on the positive difference we can make now and in the future to environments so that living creatures can survive and eco-systems remain stable.
Phew, what an effort! Ask your children about the knowledge, skills and understanding they have gained about each of our units this first term. Also, tell them to give their brains a bit of a rest because when they get back they are going to be very busy learning about how artists see the world in amazing ways, how fascinating the human body is and how weather and climate affect different locations and lifestyles around the world.
Specialist Subjects (Music, Art, PE, ICT, Chinese)
I have really enjoyed singing songs in Chinese because it helps me to remember the words.
In PE, I have really enjoyed learning how to play hockey. It is a skillful game and I had to practice a lot to get better.
In Art, I really enjoyed drawing zentangles. It was really calming and we got to use different patterns in one piece of art.
In ICT we have enjoyed augmented reality. It was great fun learn how to create an aura on Aurasma. We used enthusiasm, cooperation and purposefulness to do it.
Sofia & Imo 4SDa
In Music, we have really enjoyed learning about musicians and their instruments. It was interesting to learn how they first started and why they wanted to play their particular instrument.
Saesha & Kiera 4SDa
G4 students and staff have used and grown their virtues over the Christmas term making learning even more meaningful and relevant.
I had to show courage in Scottish dancing because we had to perform in front of the Singapore record people.
I showed perseverance in IPC by trying and trying to write neatly. I also used creativity by finding interesting facts.
I showed confidence and determination in music when I performed a piece in front of the whole class.
The G4 team would like to say a massive, heartfelt THANK YOU for your continued support and encouragement.
We really could not do what we do without you and are looking forward to developing even stronger home/school links during the Easter term and beyond.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.
Your Grade 4 Teaching Team
4SBa Sally Baines
4SDa and Head of Middle Years, Steve Dalgarno