Thursday, 29 September 2016

Sharing the Planet Shared Learning

Thank you to everyone who came to our grade 5 and 6 shared learning session.
Here are a few pictures from the afternoon.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Global Wordles

Last week Seisen celebrated Global Mindedness Day. During Grade 5s time in the library this week students reflected on what we believe are the important attributes and attitudes of a globally minded person. We also read some of the statements found in the Seisen student and teacher profile titled Global Minded Men and Women, which is found in the student agenda book. 

Each student listed 10 words including the word global. After these were collected the following Wordles were created. There are similarities and differences. The Wordle helps us see which words were most common, as the word increases in size when as is used by more students.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

September is coming to an end as we approach one more week of the month. Grade 5 is aiming to complete our 1st Unit of Inquiry Peace and Conflict by next Friday. We will move on to our next unit of Global Food Production the following week. Please refer to Seisen Website to view the details of our Unit of Inquiries.

Unit 1 - Unit of Inquiry

Sharing the Planet

Peace and Conflict

Central Idea: Reaching a resolution during or moments of conflict is influenced by the actions and reactions of all involved.

Lines of Inquiry:
  • Causes of conflict (personal, local, and global) 
  • Consequences of actions/strategies 
  • Strategies to resolve conflicts 

Unit 2 - Unit of Inquiry

How We Organize Ourselves

Global Food Production

Central Idea: People have developed systems for producing and distributing food around the world

Lines of Inquiry:

Varying diets around the world

Food production and distribution

Sustainable practices in food production

We would like to thank all Grade 5A parents for participating Parents Day. The students were excited to come in the following day and see their parents’ work and messages. They are thrilled to have their parents support their learning.

Global-Mindness Day

The students had such a splendid day as they participated in activities to expand their knowledge and understanding on what it means to be a global citizen and be globally minded. The Phase 4 Team (Grade 5 and 6) organized three activities for House groups.

Yarn Web Connection - Each students shared information about themselves to their house group. Another student would raise her hand if she shared the same interest and catch the ball of yarn from the student. What a web we weaved!

Elmer the Elephant - Students either read or watched the story of Elmer the color-patch elephant who is different from the other elephants. Groups brainstormed how a globally-minded elephant and a non-globally-minded elephant would respond to Elmer.

We played a bit of Heads Up with our worldly knowledge.

Unit of Inquiry

Learning Intention:

Identify the multiple causes of conflict and support with facts

Causation, Perspective

Students worked with their Book Club groups to research using Seisen Media Center resources to compare and contrast the Pearl Harbor events and 9/11 events. Students are making connections between the past and present. Each student was not only to find facts about the events but also develop an understanding of the reasons behind the actions and decisions that were made. We are building up understanding the Syrian and Refugee Crisis.

Home Learning Assignment - Family Table Talk Activity

1) Share a story of a family member or family friend who experienced a global conflict (examples: World War II, World War 1, Korean War, civil war, revolution war, etc).

2) Share your knowledge about global conflicts with each other historical and modern. I recommend visiting museums this weekend such as the Edo Museum has a historical display of historical conflicts. If not, watch historical documentaries or movies related to global conflicts. (Family Movie Night!!!) You may also read the current news together. discuss what the causes of conflict were, consequences of actions/strategies, and strategies to resolve conflict.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Parents' Day 2016

We would like to thanks everybody who attended our annual Parents' Day on Monday 19th September.  Below are the slides from 5A.

You can also download all the learning outcomes for Grade 5's first semester by visiting the curriculum page of our school website here.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A Window into the Writer's Workshop

Students in grade 5 have been eagerly participating in Writer’s Workshop each morning. The beginning of the year has students writing personal narratives, focusing on small, but significant moments in the writer’s life. Each session starts off with the writers gathering on the carpet to learn and discuss a new strategy for generating writing topics and tips to help raise the level of their writing. 
Here, students are brainstorming writing topics by thinking about important people in their life and jotting down small moments connected to that person. Of course, Mom was at the top of the list.
After a short brainstorming session or introduction of a writing strategy, students move on to their desks where they write “fast and furious” to get their story on paper. As you can see, all eyes are on the pages, pencils are moving, and ideas are flowing freely onto the paper. The only pause comes as students take a moment to stretch out their fingers and massage their sore hands.
Students use their brainstorms from the carpet to write a flash draft of their story. Writing long and strong is one of the goals during this session.

After wrapping up a week of drafting their rough ideas, students were introduced to the checklist they will use to assess their own writing and set goals for the coming weeks. Through discussions and a quick assessment of one of their drafts, most students decided they needed to focus on strengthening the heart of the story- the moment when a character realized something important, or learned something about themselves. 

For homework, students reviewed the checklist and set a few goals and reminders for themselves. Students keep this in mind as they take one idea and develop it into an engaging, small moment story.  
Most writers agree, stretching out the heart of story is a worthy goal to keep in mind.

Students spent another session looking more closely at one of their drafts and asking themselves, "What is this story really about?" Students learned that sometimes, revising means starting over and approaching the story from a different angle. Perhaps the story starts at an earlier moment, or a later, or it includes flashbacks to help the writer get the BIG IDEA onto the page. 

As a way to help with this, the writers reflected on the emotional arc of their story. They started with the ending, thinking about the emotion, thoughts or message that should remain with the reader long after the pages have been put down. Then they worked backwards, thinking about the emotions necessary to help lead the reader to that emotionally satisfying conclusion. After that, they set about writing their story, keeping the arc in mind the whole time.

Have a look at a pair of examples.
The first character starts off nervous about the climb, is almost ready to give up, but then.....
The second writer tells a story of wanting to give up, persevering, and feeling proud at the end.

To wrap up the week, but not the unit, students conferred with a partner to discuss their story ideas and share how the story has developed and changed over the past few days. Once again, students asked each other, "What is this story really about?" They offered each other tips and suggestions as to how best get the story's true meaning onto the page.

Stayed tuned for the published pieces next week. Be sure to ask your daughter to show her first draft compared to the final draft.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Japanese Summer Reading Challenge

Harumi, Judy and Someno are the Champions of the Japanese Summer Reading Challenge! They read the most Japanese books over the summer.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The month of September is rolling in as we approached to our 4th week of school. We began our Writer’s Workshop focusing on Personal Narrative Writing and Book Club focusing on developing reading strategies of monitor for meaning and create a mental image.

Writer’s Workshop

For the first week of Writer’s Workshop we focused on strategies for generating personal narrative.

Learning Intention 1: Think of first times, last times, or times you realized something, and then list stories you could tell about each and write one.

Learning Intention 2: Think about a place that matters, list small moments that occurred in that place and write one.

We shared our personal narrative of a place that matters to us with partners or a group.

Book Club

In our first week of Book Club, we focused on reading strategies of monitor for meaning and reading historical fiction genre that connects to our Peace and Conflict unit.

Learning Intention 1: Use monitor for meaning strategies when coming to an unknown word.

Learning Intention 2: Identify and describe historical fiction genre.

Natsuki: "I'm reading a book about World War I. I was finding out the definition of words I don't know. It helps me with my vocabulary skills and reading strategies. "

Miyabi: "We were reading about books that were connected to our unit of Peace and Conflict. I am reading a book called Ellie's War, and she has a hard time handling her conflicts. The book had British English words that I didn't know. I talked to my friends of what it could mean. If we both didn't know, we looked it up in a dictionary."

Unit of Inquiry

We continued the second week of Unit of Inquiry Peace and Conflict unit with our focus on personal conflicts and global conflicts.

After we worked within our groups to investigate the unit’s vocabulary words’ meaning, we viewed images related to the vocabulary words. For each image, we wrote down on sticky note of a vocabulary word that closely associates with the image.

Learning Intention: Identify and apply Peace and Conflict vocabulary words in writing and discussions.
  • conflict
  • ideology
  • intervention
  • dispute
  • negotiate
  • revolt
  • oppression
  • intimidation
  • lack of resource
  • democracy
  • corrpution
  • resolution
  • discrimination
  • dictatorship
  • treaty
  • prejudice

We focused on personal conflicts last week and this week. We come to an understanding that we will face personal conflicts throughout our lives. As 5th graders, we use various strategies to resolve conflicts.

Learning Intention 1: Causes of conflict (personal and local)

Learning Intention 2: Consequences of actions
Learning Intention 3: Strategies to resolve conflict

Our groups were given various real world scenarios that occur in a school environment.

You and your best friend have always played soccer together. You both try out for the school's team. You make it and your friend doesn't. At first your friend claims not to care, but you soon realize your friend is very angry. Your friend doesn't want to spend as much time together as you used to, and, of course, you have daily practices and games your friend doesn't attend.

Your friend tells you a secret. You don't really mean to, but you tell another friend. Soon the whole school seems to know what your friend's secret is. Your friend is really mad at you. Your other friends are also upset that you revealed the secret.

Scenario  3 (  
There is a girl in your class who you think is always mean to you. She always bumps you when she walks by. She laughs at you and calls you names. You don’t think you can take it anymore.

Scenario 4:
You and your group of three are assigned a team project. Two of your team members are only talking to each other to plan and work with you. You feel left out.

Scenario 5:  
You leave class to head to lunch. In the hallway, you noticed a group of girls speaking in another language, laughing, and they glanced at you while still laughing. You are wondering if the girls are talking about you.

Scenario 6:
You collected your lunch bag and make your way to the table. You see a group of classmates already seated and eating their lunch. You chose a spot next to your classmates and were about to take a seat when one of your classmates says, “you can’t sit here.”

Scenario 7:
You and your team of four are assigned a brainstorming activity. Your team members are actively sharing their ideas with each other while one team member is writing the ideas down on paper. In a few minutes, you shared your ideas with your team. Two of your teammates are busy sharing ideas with each other, and one of your teammates repeatedly turns your ideas down.

Scenario 8:
You are in the hallway to unpack your belongings from your bag. A friend approaches you looking angry and accuses you for telling others that you are no longer friends. However, you did did not tell anyone that you are not friends. In fact, you believe you two are still friends.

Scenario 9:
You and you friend have been together for three years and have done everything together. After one month of the beginning of the school year, you noticed that your friend is hanging out with another classmate. You wrote a letter to your friend that you no longer want to be friends.  

We analyzed the scenarios with a partner to identify the cause of the conflict, predict the consequences of the conflict, and develop strategies to resolve the conflict.

Kate: "So we were thinking about if the scenarios happened to us, what would we do. In some scenarios, if we hurt our friends, we would use the Kelso wheel or the Ladder of Success and think of the steps to resolve the conflict."

At home activities:

Activity Number 1: You can choose any of the above scenarios to act out with your family. Brainstorm strategies to resolve the conflicts.

Activity Number 2: Table Talk - At the family dinner table or in the living room during tea time, have a family discussion about historical global conflicts. You can discuss the causes of the conflicts, consequences of the conflicts. We will move on to learning about global conflicts and resolutions.

Please post a comment to share your family's activities that relate to our Peace and Conflict unit.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

5B PE-Learning success criteria on how to serve a volleyball!!

Success criteria to underhand serve:
1. Correct foot forward. Right handed-right foot forward. Left handed-left foot forward.
2. Big arm backswing. Make a fist with hand.
3. Keep your hand "ice cream cone" steady 
4. Step into your serve
5. Successful serve accomplished!