Weekly News, June 12, 2017

UOI and Literacy

This week we have spent time finishing off and presenting our Inventions. We used the Maker Space to finish off the last few final adjustments for our fabulous new inventions. Some of our inventions include: The Plastic Shirt, The Carboat, and The Electric Shower.

We will finish publishing our books this week!!! This has been such a great Unit of Inquiry and we have enjoyed being creative inventors!


This week we have focused on repeated addition. We created cube towers and multiplied the number of towers by the number of cubes in each one.

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Here are some math stories we created with play dough. Some of us made arrays, while others made groups.

End of year party:

On Thursday, June 15th, Grade One students will enjoy a party together to celebrate our wonderful Grade One journey. We will play some games together before we have some party food. Please send in some nut free food with your children, so we can share it together before snack on Thursday. We would like to share some healthy snacks, and perhaps some treats as well. This party will be for students only. Thank you for your understanding.


Tuesday 13th – Dress Rehearsal for End of year concert
Wednesday 14th – End of year concert in the theatre 11:00am
Thursday 15th – Grade One end of year party for students
Thursday 15th – last day of Grade One! (school finishes at 12pm) FREE DRESS DAY!

Weekly News June 6, 2017

We only had three days last week, but we packed a whole lot into it! Can you believe we have less than 2 weeks remaining in Grade One?  How did our year pass so quickly?  Here’s what we have been doing:

Rachele’s mom helped us celebrate Rachele’s birthday with pizza (YUM!) and cake! We think her dad should open a restaurant! Look at the beautiful cake!

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Grade Ones had lots of ideas for designing inventions! Some were inspired by problems while others were just for fun! Here are photos as students were creating!


Our non-fiction writing is being extended as we explain a problem, form and function of inventions including our own, while also referring to change that it made over time and to us in our daily life.  This informational writing will inform others about inventions we have identified and help us to explain our own inventions to our audience.
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We have been exploring repeated addition. We have seen that this is multiplication. We used play dough to create groups and arrays that tell a math story. For example, I have three rows of apples in my tree and there are four apples in each, I can see that there are 12 in all.

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We are having lots of fun exploring multiplication!

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This is the best way to understand multiplication with a picture in our mind and using concrete materials so that those multiplication facts become conceptually understood rather than rote learning.

Next week the Grade 9s will have a little sale. Please send some money on Wednesday 7 June as explained in the email below:

Dear Parents,
During their Business and Ethics unit, G9 Humanities students have been busy creating product ideas and working in teams to turn these ideas into high quality products. On Wednesday, 7 June, the SSIS community will have a chance to buy the students’ products at the annual Product Sale. The G9 students will sell their products from stalls located in the foyer for 10:30am to 2:05pm. Products will include crafts, stickers, snacks and drinks, and product prices will typically be less than 10 RMB. There will be no products containing nuts or caffeine for sale.

A portion of the profit generated from the Product Sale will be used to buy prizes for the students with the most successful products. The remainder of the profit will be donated to SSIS-designated charities.

Elementary students will have the opportunity to buy the products during the snack and lunch break.  If you would like to support this then please send some money to school with your child on the 7th June.

SSIS Elementary Concert comes to you from the fine work our our Music Department this year on Wednesday 14 June at 11.00am in the Theatre.  Come along to enjoy the entertainment and celebrate the amazing year that was!  Please send a colorful shirt and trousers/skirt to school on the Monday so that we may wear it for our Dress Rehearsal on Tuesday and then again on the Wednesday.  costume letter

Thursday 15 June is Free Dress Day and only half a day! Holidays begin!

Weekly News, May 26, 2017

It’s hard to believe that there are only a few weeks of school left! Time flies when you’re having fun learning!!!

Spelling Inquiry

This week we explored patterns for Long /o/ and searched for them in our books. We also reflected on the spelling strategies we have been using all year. We know its important to think about what a word means when we spell it as this will give us some clues about the spelling.

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We also know to consider how long the word is as this will give us clues about the vowel letters. We also think about how to pronounce the word and what sounds we feel and hear when we speak.


We have been discussing positional words and direction words. We explored how to describe where things are located in a grid map. We practiced using directions on a compass. We can remember North, South, East and West by thinking, “Never Eat Slimy Worms!”

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.40.21 PMIt was finding coordinates on a grid using a treasure map! We even created our own grid maps!

This week we have reviewed fractions. We will continue to review concepts over the next few weeks, as well as explore more addition and subtractions concepts.

Unit of inquiry

We have continued our inquiry into how inventions change the way we live. We shared our ideas through a “See, Think, Wonder” routine using photos of interesting, and some odd, inventions.

1 - 7 1 - 8 1 - 9We wrote about what the thought the invention was for and how it worked (function). We also thought about why it was invented and how it could change people’s lives (change).1 - 10 1 - 11 1 - 12 1 - 13We began thinking of our own inventions as well. We considered common problems and pondered possible solutions. We also thought of “fun” inventions, things people may enjoy.

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We drafted designs and began to write about our inventions during Writing Workshop. Our next book will be an informational piece explaining our inventions.

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As readers, we have explored how questioning is an effective strategy for improving our comprehension. We have a song that we like to sing that reminds us to ask ourselves questions about the text before, during and after we read a book. Reading is active thinking!

1 - 19We enjoyed reading, Papa’s Mechanical Fish, which we will finish next week! It’s a story about a father who loves to invent things. We used the “Note your Thinking” strategy to help ourselves remember and check our questions. We know it’s important to go back to your questions to confirm or correct your thinking. We made and confirmed many predictions as well! Here are some notes we wrote together:

1 - 18 We got our own thinking notepads and pens to keep in our book boxes. Now we can “note our thinking” whenever we read!

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Please send in materials that we may use in the maker space to create models of our inventions! We NEED cardboard, wire, plastics, string, fabric, anything recyclable! Please help us! Maybe you can collect items to ring in after the long weekend!!!???

Final Library check out: Wednesday, May 31st due to due this long weekend holiday. The library will begin taking inventory after June 1st.
Final swim lesson: Thursday, June 1st
School is closed on Monday and Tuesday for Dragon Boat Festival.
There will be no homework this week due to the short week.
Next Wednesday will be our last visit to the library – the week after we need to return all books for the summer.
Semester 2 reports will be available online on Thursday, 15th June.
School ends for the summer break at 12pm on Thursday, 15th June.

Weekly News, May 13, 2017

It has been another jam packed week in 1 KL! I can’t believe we are only five weeks from the end of the school year!


We are loving our new Where We Are In Place And Time Unit. Our Central Idea is ‘Inventions change the way we live.’ During this unit we will be exploring how inventions have altered through the years and what impact these inventions have on both humans and the environment.

Our ‘Tuning In’ activity caused great excitement as a time machine appeared in the Maker Space Room. Waiting to greet us was Professor Von Glockensproken who had created it. The Professor explained to us how she had invented the time machine and why. She then took us on a journey back in time where we saw people from as far back as 1831! One lady was scrubbing clothes over an old bowl, another was struggling to carry a very heavy suitcase, a third lady was trying to read by candle light and the last lady was talking on a very large, incredibly heavy phone. This phone was connected to a wire and she couldn’t move from where it was plugged in!

Unfortunately Professor Von Glockensproken had not pressed the buttons for ‘speak in the past’ and ‘hear in the past’ so we were not able to talk to the ladies and find out what life was like for them.

We decided that the ladies looked like they were really working hard, but we thought reading by candle light, washing clothes in a bowl, carrying our cases and not being able to move when we spoke to our friends was not a good idea so the Professor set the time machine to bring us back to 2017 where we met four more ladies showing us a washing machine, a mobile telephone, an electric light bulb and a suitcase that could be pulled on wheels. Luckily this time Professor Von Glockensproken remembered to press the speech and hearing buttons and we were able to talk to the ladies. All of them claimed to have the greatest invention ever invented!

Once back in our classrooms we were able to discuss what life would have been like many years ago when people didn’t have some of the inventions that we now take for granted.

During the coming week we will investigate these and other inventions in more detail. We are looking forward to finding out more about how inventions change our lives!


Since publishing our narratives, we spent this week participating in free-choice writing and exploring contractions. We learned that certain words can combine from two into one! We learned about the apostrophe, a punctuation mark. It is used to form contractions. We played a fun game, called contraction toss, and discussed common contractions that we everyday when we speak in English.

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We also explored ways to spell long i. As we searched for words in our good-fit books, we discovered that there are many patterns and letter teams that represent this sound.

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This week we concluded our work on probability. We made our own probability foldable flap books using the words certain, likely, possible, unlikely and impossible. We had lots of fun creating sentences to fit in with each heading. Some of our sentences were very funny – we decided it was impossible that we would turn into frogs or marry a princess, however, it was likely that it would rain during the week and certain that we would eat lunch and go home at the end of the day!

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Harmony Day

Today we had a lovely day celebrating our diversities and similarities. We decided that even though we come from different countries, have different hair colours, eye colours and skin colours we are all great friends are love being a class! We have begun to make a display to show how we are all unique but together we make a team!
We enjoyed singing ‘one song’ during the afternoon assembly and loved the fashion show!


Library is on Monday – please ensure that your child brings their book back each Wednesday to change.
Swimming is on Thursday – please ensure all items are labelled to avoid getting lost.
International Family Day is next Saturday (20th May), we are looking forward to seeing you in your National Costume or something to reflect your home country to further celebrate how truly international SSIS is!

Weekly News, May 2, 2017

April is over??  – No way!  The final Unit for Grade One starts this week – How could it be?  Yes…. Our last Unit of Grade Ones begins in this coming week on Thursday…  but we can’t go on without mentioning what amazing engaging storytellers are in Grade One!

Here we are at the most recent assembly, sharing stories through song!

1KL has also been busy in the classroom, not just on the stage! Finalizing our plans, gathering our props and resources, practicing (A LOT), receiving feedback, and improving our stories where we could! Some students have performed, and others will do so tomorrow. Puppets and drama were the ways we decided to make our stories come alive!  Stay tuned for our storytelling videos within the coming days and be prepared to be ENGAGED!    


You may have heard your child asking you about the probability of some event occurring?   We have had so much fun lately exploring PROBABILITY. Certain, impossible, likely, unlikely? How can we predict the likelihood of events?

We started off with a game… Can you guess the color of the animal you grab from the bag? There were 2 colors, red and blue.

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We didn’t tell you that were A LOT more blue animals than red, so we learned about which factors influence the probability of an outcome. We will explore more probability games this week to share with you on Student Led Conference Day!

Upcoming Events:

Student Led Conferences 6 May:   Please Wear School Uniforms  – Come and teach your family like they are in Grade One!

Grade 5 Exhibition:  5 & 6 May:  Please come and see what the years of learning and ACTION in the Primary Years leads to ….
PYP ExhibitionHarmony Day: May 12th. We will celebrate the diversity that makes SSIS such a dynamic place to learn! Students can wear the colors of their country on that Friday.
Student Council will visit each class to tell students about the Harmony Day Cultural Fashion Parade and hand out entry forms.

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We need your help:

Thanks to those who have already sent in a contribution, but our basket isn’t full yet!  The International Family Day asks each homeroom to provide a prize basket to be won by a lucky competitor in the maths competition, but our KIDS’ COOL COLLECTION isn’t ready!!!!   Anything cool for kids is appreciated!  Lets make our basket really COOL for KIDS…  books, games, fun stuff, stationary, crafts… Anything that kids love to use and/or play with. Please help…….

Weekly News, April 14, 2017

Here’s what we have been up to!

Last week we explored different ways to tel stories by visiting the maker space. We used puppets and enjoyed dressing up for drama.

In reading, we read MANY stories and found out more about the elements of a story and how different characters have their own perspectives, or ways of seeing something. We wrote “story maps”, or short summaries including these essential story elements.

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We love partner reading! We took turns sharing some of our favorite stories together.

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In writing workshop, we learned how authors often use onomatopoeia, or sound words to make their stories more engaging. We quickly noticed that onomatopoeia is found everywhere in the books that we read! Here YiYi and Sophie share two different examples with the class.

11 - 37We learned a fun song to help us understand what onomatopoeia is. It may be a big word, but we are thinkers who love to learn and use new vocabulary. Press play below to enjoy the onomatopoeia song!

 In math, we continued to share our thinking with number pathways. We like to solve problems in many ways. We are open-minded to listening to others and realize that we can learn so much from our classmates!

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We also continued to work on data handling. We gave surveys to other Grade 1 classes, asking them about their opinions on stories. Then we organized our data and began to graph it as a way to share it with others. We will share the results soon!

We also celebrated another birthday! Sophie and her mom shared a YUMMY chocolate cake! Thanks!!! Happy Birthday, Sophie!!!

11 - 22Look at all these reminders! Wow!


  • Swimming every Thursday
  • Wheels Day: Wednesday 19th April- Bring your helmet!
  • Grade 1 Assembly: Friday 21st April, 1:40pm in the theatre
  • Free Dress Day: Thursday 27th April
  • Student Free day: Friday 28th April
  • Labour Day holiday: Monday 1st May
  • Student Led Conferences: Saturday 6th May
  • International Day Homeroom Basket: donations due to teacher by 12th May
  • International Family Day: Saturday 20th May

Update, April 10, 2017

Now that we are back from our holiday, we are remembering some amazing learning activities we had before the break! During that last week of March, we found out many ways that storytellers tell their stories.   And even more excitingly… WE are the storytellers…..  Yes.. us .. Grade Ones are authors and storytellers and actors and puppeteers and we keep learning about –

What a great story is like;

How great stories are told;

How a great story engages their audience,

and we even dabbled in discussion about,

Whose views are shown in stories…. characters can have different perspectives..  we – as readers,  might have different views??  Ask each other about what you think about the stories. Which character can you relate to? Who is your favorite character?  Who is the evil character? Who is the main or popular character?  Why do you think this?

Kunqu – Traditional Chinese Opera

This high respected way of story telling took our breath away when we watched two stories:  The Peony Pavillon and Crossroads  on our very own SSIS Theatre stage when the Kunqu visited us on Wednesday.


 How We Tell Stories

Our teachers were also experts in different ways of story telling:  We learnt how to use different modes as below:


Ms Connie and Mrs Lomax were our Puppeteer experts.  WE found out that puppets can entertain us with many types of Puppets:  shadow, hand puppets, stick puppets and marionettes.  The joy of puppetry allows us to use voice,sound, hand made puppets and our storytelling skills to make a story come alive without seeing our face. This is a favorite of many students.

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Frau Seagritz showed us how to ACT using our Make-a-Story Space. WE have a stage and a curtain and many props and costumes to make a story come alive.

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Story Telling

Miss Melanie can make any story amazing just by using the most essential of elements…. OURSELVES! A story can make you feel and see and hear the story told by a passionate story teller through voice, facial expression, body language, sound effects, book and expression.  WE were all amazed by the sounds and lively stories coming from the 1MH classroom.. Now we  know that a story teller needs passion and love of stories to make it engaging.. thanks, Ms Melanie!

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Storytelling using ICT with the Green Screen App and Puppet Pals- Mrs. Bell and Ms. Ruth showed us how we can use technology to tell stories! Very cool!

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We have been enjoying our Math Talks! Lately, we have been sharing our thinking through Number Pathways. How many ways can we solve for a certain sum or difference. We will bring home our number pathways to share with you!

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 We have been exploring data by conducting our own surveys. It’s fun to ask your classmates what they prefer when given a choice survey. We are learning that data can be expressed through graphs. It can be challenging to set up a bar graph from scratch! We will inquire into other ways to share data; are there other kinds of graphs?

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We had a blast celebrating Jinny’s birthday! Thank you for the yummy cake and cool gift bags!

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 Student Led Conferences are coming:  6th May. We will invite you to come and let your child teach you about how we learn in Grade One.

Our Grade 5s are busily inquiring into their chosen pursuits for Grade 5 Exhibition… Here is a request from one of our groups. Can you help?

IMG_03061-225x300More ES News…… please read below.

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Weekly News, 25th March

Wow! What a wonderful week we had inquiring into stories! This week we were “finding out” about HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES through stories. Exploring the concept of FORM, we asked ourselves, what are the parts of a story? What makes a story great? We learned about some talented authors and what they do to craft engaging stories by participating in expert groups.

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Each teacher shared an author they admire: Anthony Browne, Mo Willems, Julia Donaldson, the Grimm Brothers, Keiko Kasza and Lauren Child. Teachers read some favorite stories and discussed the books’ outstanding features. Through many read aloud stories, we began to learn how to identify the elements of a story: characters, setting, and plot (problem and solution). Students even brought in some of their favorite stories from home!

In Writing Workshop, we began to tell and write our own stories. Connecting to our expert author sessions, we began brainstorming ideas and planning for our own original stories. In 1KL, we discussed the importance of creating characters. We all invented our own character to write a story about by considering what they were like, how they acted and what their interests could be. As we planned and began drafting, we thought about setting and plot. We will continue this piece and even more in the coming weeks!

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By far, the highlight of our week was the author visit from Neil Griffiths! Our time with him this past Wednesday was nothing short of magical! Through interactive storytelling, Mr. Griffiths had us all completely engaged!

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First, he shared his story, Itchy Bear. Poor Bear could not find a proper place to scratch his itch! We really enjoyed acting out parts of the story with him. Next, Mr. Griffiths read Winnie Wagtail, a lovely story about a puppy who’s having trouble learning to wag her tail. How funny it was to see the teachers become characters from the story! I think we all agreed that Grade One had a new favorite author, Neil Griffiths!!!
This week, we concluded our study of shape, which most recently included creating symmetrical designs and tessellating (paper) quilts. Students reflected on their learning of 2D and 3D shapes and their properties and how geometry occurs in the real world.

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We also shared a new way to solve problems, the Peace Rug. We can use the Peace Rug to be peaceful communicators and share our feelings when we have a problem with a friend.

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We practiced thinking about how to express ourselves when we are upset. We made up situations that may cause people to have a conflict and then we practiced what to say to resolve our problems. Using the Peace Rug helps us to be independent and empowered!

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Dates to remember:

Beijing Star Kids BOOK FAIR next week from Monday 27th – Friday 31st March. We will preview books on Monday, 27th March and revisit on Friday morning to make purchases!

Wednesday, March 29th, the Kunqu Opera Visit to SSIS. Students watch a performance!

Friday, 31st of March Kids for Kids Casual Dress Day

Spring Break from Monday the 3rd of April to Sunday 9th of April

Back to school on Monday 10th of April

Swimming classes for students will commence on Monday 10th April and continue until Monday 5th June.