Camp Reminders

Dear 4A,

I hope you are having a great start to your evening and are super excited for camp tomorrow!  

 Just a couple of reminders:

We will not have PE in the morning as we are leaving at 8:30 am!  Please wear your PE uniform to school tomorrow still.

LEAVE your large bag on the 7th floor – we will come back down to pick it up at 8:25.

 Bring a rain jacket and a warm sweater in case of rain! There is definitely indoor shelter at Treasure Island Camp, but you will want to have some warm clothes just in case.

 BRING A LUNCH tomorrow ONLY.  You may also bring sealable snacks.

 Wear your PE uniform with your swimsuit underneath so you are ready to go!

 You can find the packing list on the G4 Camp 2017 Page of this blog for one last reminder!  Looking so forward to G4 Camp and some time outside with all of you fabulous people!

Miss Brown 


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March 24th Weekly Update

This gallery contains 2 photos.

4A Girls Playdate! This was SO sweet last week!  All of the girls were buzzing with excitement about their plans for a fun filled Friday afternoon together.  Amazing memories for them and it is so nice to see such a … Continue reading

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NEW! Google Classroom for Roots & Shoots

You can join our Google Classroom by entering this class code:


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Weekly Update – Friday, March 17 th

Students Taking Action! Way to go Anika and Caitlyn!  These girls have been working hard planning the creation and sale of the VERY popular “slime.”  They figured out the costs of all of the ingredients and decided on pricing for large ($20), medium ($10) and small ($5) slime containers.  Selling to friends in G4 they were able to make profits of approx. $250.00 HKD and plan to donate to the SPCA!  Amazing work girls!


Writing: reviewed different strategies for self editing and how to be an effective peer editor.  4A actually came up with the idea of reading the other person’s work out loud to them so that both partners can listen for mistakes (which was a great connection to self editing strategies).  

  • Finished first drafts
  • Self editing
  • Peer editing
  • Conference with teacher (Conferencing to look at grammar, sentence structure, word choice, clear area of focus in each paragraph and paragraph structure/organisation)

4A has come a long way in their ability to create clear, concise thesis statements.  Last week we spent a lot of time making our introductory paragraphs more interesting, humorous or thought provoking.  Today, I worked with those who were through their self and peer editing stages and it was great to see how well organised their pieces have become and their progress with using author’s secrets that we have been learning about (i.e. word choice, varying sentence lengths, grabbing the reader’s attention

Reading: In the News – looking at environmental news.  We are going to be working on news analysis, asking questions as a part of building our media literacy.

Math: Volume lesson plan!  4A created their own lesson plan that would teach someone else about volume (from the very basics up to how to apply the concept in real life).  These lessons used lots of visuals and tech skills (including images, examples, videos using QuickTime for voice overs and Khan Academy videos) and 4A was super into the process!

UOI: building knowledge about interconnection, beginning with a video by BBC called ‘Earth’s Great Feasts.’  This is on our Google Classroom if you are curious!  4A made great connections and it was a interesting way to understand more about our unit concepts and related concepts, such as ‘interconnection.’  It was also an incredible intro into our workshop about MICROBEADS in products.  4A had a solid understanding of the issues with plastic entering the ‘producer’ level of Earth’s oceans.  We even used an iPad app to connect to a microscope and check out how little the microbeads are in comparison with creatures as tiny as plankton!  Today, we looked at food webs and the different levels of interconnection.  

Check out photos from our workshop with Plastic Free Seas  here

Important Dates

For Parents:
NEW 4A ASSEMBLY DATE: MAY 12th (everyone who has auditioned to perform is still good to go for May 12th and there is no need to re-audition.)
SLLR’s on Friday, April 28th
Grade 4 Camp from March 29th-31st


Amnesty CDNIS: Gratitude Project – March 20th-24th
Camp Info Session for Grade 4 – Thursday, March 23rd at 8:30am in the library pit
Laurel Chor (Jane Goodall Foundation & Environmental Talk) on Tuesday, March 28th at 1:40pm in the librarypit
Grade 4 Camp from March 29th-31st


Thank you for your feedback about the weekly feature! Here are thoughts from this week…

I am reading, The Power of Habit, and it has some really interesting connections for educators, parents and learners.  One of the chapters discusses the success of a rigorous West Point cadet program depended nearly entirely on one factor, and that was, “Grit” which researchers defined as the “tendency to work “strenuously towards challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years, despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress.”

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This book is super interesting and all research and case study based.  Highly reccommend if you haven’t already read it!  In connection to this book, Lisa Kipfer posted this today for teachers:Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 4.54.13 pm

The complete article about building resilience in children can be found here.


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Weekly Update (March 6th-10th)

This Week in 4A…


Writing: Working on completing our first drafts of our persuasive writing pieces.  Focussing on jazzing up introductory paragraphs and using a variety of techniques such as BOLD statements, facts and questions.

Reading: checking out how professional authors make their introductory paragraphs exciting so that the reader is curious to continue reading.


How We Express Ourselves: Unit wrap up!  Finishing our commercials and public service announcements.  Next week we will watch our commercials and enjoy some popcorn to celebrate everyone’s hard work and collaboration!

Sharing the Planet: explored biomes and ecosystems, building knowledge and creating student questions to drive our unit forward.  Next week we will build on our understanding of ‘balance’ and ‘connection’ and explore the scientific side of ecosystems by looking at interdependence, food chains and webs and symbiosis.  

As some of you know, I had to have a small surgery at the end of February.  I am recovering well, but it is much slower than I had hoped!  I am so happy to be back with 4A and I really have missed their positive energy and excitement.  We have another teacher, Mr. Michael Jack supporting us next week as I may be only in for half days.  He was with 4A last week (which they were thrilled about! He is great with the G4s!) and did a fabulous job wrapping up some the main learning engagements from our last unit.  I was happy to see all that the Animals accomplished last week and we have many exciting things on the go this week, getting into our new unit, Sharing the Planet.  Thank you always for your continued support!

PLASTIC FREE SEAS is coming to work with Grade 4 about microbeads!  We will be learning more about how these affect ecosystems (and us!) and what we can do to help.

Digital Literacy: learned more about editing and collaborated with Ms. Makky Fung to hone our skills on iMovie!


Design project: students are at all different stages with their calculations.  Some have needed more one on one support to wrap their minds around the concepts of perimeter and area.  For those who are ready, they have moved on to volume calculations and some are further along, creating word problems based on their building floor plan/blue print design.




CISPA Guest Speaker!

Dear Lower School Families,

Diane Frankenstein, US based author of Reading Together:  Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read, will be talking to parents about how to have meaningful conversations with children, helping them develop their capacity for empathy, compassion, and perspective.  The workshop is on Monday, March 13th at 8:30am in the library pit.

More information can be found at:


“Are you washing your face with plastic?”

Next week, Grade 4 will participate in a workshop by Plastic Free Seas, a Hong Kong based environmental charity. They will facilitate a science experiment with the grade 4s to remove the microbeads from the soaps. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found in soaps and face scrubs that provide that exfoliating feeling. Unfortunately, when washed down the drain, they’re also extremely harmful to the environment. Students will be able to see how the use of these types of soaps damages ocean ecosystems, and with the removal of the microbeads to reuse the soap, experience a way we can have a positive impact on the balance of the ecosystem.

To do this, we need your help. If you have any of these soaps at home, we would appreciate if you could donate them. We are looking for products that contain microbeads. It should say this on the label or include polyethelene (see picture below). We will try to return the soap minus the microbeads.

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Weekly Feature: Media Literacy & Awareness

Parents!  I am always on the lookout for new ways to improve learning here in 4A and would like to share ways you can join in at home.  I would like to have a ‘Weekly Feature’ in each of my posts with something interesting to share with you. Let me know what you think and if you have any feedback!  Common Sense Media is an excellent resource for parents and teachers with findings from academic studies about an enormous range of 21st century learning skills, trends and technologies. Check out their latest research about the ‘fake news’ phenomenon below and how we can help our kids.


Common Sense Media: Kids & News? Fake News? Can Our Kids Tell?

Really worthwhile read about the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and how our kids access the news today.  

Our Latest Research: Kids and the News

Common Sense’s research explores kids’ relationship to the news and how adults can help kids thrive as 21st-century citizens. Learn more

Excerpt for parents & teachers:

These findings speak to the importance of supporting tweens’ and teens’ media-literacy skills — the critical thinking needed to judge the value of information. In the short term, that means that when kids come across a suspicious news story on Facebook, they need to know how to interpret the information and whether it’s worth sharing. In the long term, that means teaching them to question what they see, hear, and interact with to become not only good citizens but good digital citizens. Common Sense has a number of resources to help families develop the tools they need to thrive as 21st-century citizens. And since the No. 1 place kids hear about news is from the adults in their lives, we need to model how to consume news, encourage kids to think critically about sources, and discuss the news with the children in our lives.” – Michael Robb, Common Sense Media

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Excellent resources for teaching about ‘Fake News’ and being critical media consumers

4A became really awesome ‘critical consumers’ as a part of our last unit ‘People can create messages to target and influence specific audiences.’  I would like to continue to build on their ability to recognise ‘intended audience,’ ‘bias’ and to question what they are exposed to.


“Media literacy is critical for kids and teens whose exposure to fake news, political satire, and scary news is greater than ever. With Common Sense Media’s digital literacy resources, parents can help kids fact-check the news, determine reliable sources, and learn to separate fact from fiction. Learn the how’s and why’s of explaining the news to kids, the impact of social media on the news, and even how to decode online advertising. These information-literacy skills will help kids think critically, resist advertising pressure, and become smart consumers.”

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Weekly Update February 20-24

This Week in 4A!

Math: Design project! 4A is really enjoying creating their blue print drawings that they will use to then calculate the area, perimeter and volume of seven different spaces.  When they finish all of these, they will eventually get to hop onto Minecraftedu and BUILD their creations!

UOI: Wrapped up looking at advertising with analysing public service announcements from governments, charities and organisations.  4A has become really good at analysing the message, target audience and techniques used.  They are quite good at being critical of media messages as well!  Really amazing to see how far they have come since the start of this unit.  Next week, they are working on creating commercials or public service announcements.  They will create storyboards to block out how their commercial should look, what their characters will be saying.

IT Skills: 4A has been working with Makky Fung on filming techniques, camera angles, and how to compile shots from iPads onto iMovie to create films complete with transitions, even sound effects and background music.

Literacy: focussed on persuasive writing (turning questions into statements and turning statements into proper thesis statements).  We also began our graphic organizers for persuasive writing.  Next week we will be into full persuasive writing swing!

Reading: 4A collected books that will stay in our classroom so that they can practice our reading strategies in an authentic text.  I will pull students one by one to do reading conferences on their books.

Upcoming Dates:

Camp Forms, Cheques and online registration:  Please make sure to get these all in ASAP.  Our assistant Wahid is collecting everything for us to keep cheques safe and accounted for.  The online registration is also important and needs to be done as soon as possible as well.  Please double check the information we have sent you (and also posted on this blog under the ‘CAMP’ tab) for more information about important upcoming dates.

Sports Day: Tuesday February 28th

Please make sure your child brings a lunch on this day as Maxims will not be providing school lunches to kids on this day.  Also, sports clothes, a hat and a water bottle will be needed!  


We need cardboard and plastic egg cartons for future gardening projects on the Green Roof! Could you help us to collect these from home and drop them off to the art room (Room 1428). Thank you!


Ms. Campbell and Ms. Brown


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Weekly Update (Feb13-17)

Literacy: Analysed the Paper Bag Princess and found word choice that helped to develop voice.  Discussed what impact this has on our writing and worked to add these strategies into their own writing.  Next week we will be looking at word choice used in news articles and magazines.  We are going to be focussing on how to be more critical as consumers and citizens as well as analysing public service announcements.

Commercials! 4A will be storyboarding for their commercials next week.  We are aiming to begin filming at the end of next week!  Super fun and a highlight to G4, bringing together skills learned through our UOI as well as techniques used by writers.

Writing: Practiced writing from another character’s perspective, twisting the story or an alternative ending to the Paper Bag Princess.  4A focussed on using more precise word choice to develop character traits and their author’s voice.

UOI:  Analysed print ads, learned about ethos, pathos and logos as advertising strategies and to be able to be more critical of the messages being conveyed in advertising.

Math: Introduction to area, what is a square unit? How do we use square units?  What does a square meter look like? Estimating the area of various spaces, writing visual notes about area, how to find it and what it means, watched videos on Khan Academy and followed up with activities to practice.  Students who were feeling confident and comfortable continued on to play some area games that provided new challenges.


We jumped into our design project this week! Another highlight of Grade 4.  Students have taken home their rough drafts of their blueprint drawings (mostly to add the inside and outside dimensions of walls) if they did not finish in the two periods this week.  Next week will will draw out the good copies on massive papers and begin the process of calculating area, perimeter and volume of at least 7 rooms/areas in their designs.  

A note from Trenton Dean about G4 Sports Day!

Hi Everyone,

The Grade 3 and 4 Sports Day is one of my favourite days of the year. Buses will leave from the 7th floor at 8:15.  From there they will be taken to the Stanley Ho Sports Ground which is at Sandy Bay.   The activities are fun and focus on participation and cooperation with some allowing students to earn points for their house.

Students will need to bring their own lunch. Maxims will not prepare food for students who normally order their lunch. Their lunch order for the day has already been cancelled.

To celebrate the day we will hold an assembly (this will be during your regular assembly time) on the 3rd of March where a trophy will be presented to the house that accumulated the most points on the day.

We are also mixing up the grades and classes. Closer to the date l will share a list with the name of each student and their group.  Please share this with your students on the morning of the sports day. I would encourage all students to write the number of their group (a small number)  on their hand. This will help when we organise the students into their groups at the sports field.

Information you need to know.

Parent Letter 2017 Sports Day (Tuesday February 24th)

The PE team.

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Feb 6th-10th Weekly Update

Dear Families,

Kung Hei Fat Choi!  Wishing everyone a happy start to the new year!  It was so nice to see all of 4A again this week.  Their positivity and energy is so wonderful to be around!  We have an amazing group of 4A Animals!

This week in 4A:

Literacy: Looking at print ads and commercials, 4A practiced Inferencing, synthesizing and understanding target audiences.  Moving forward we will be looking at public service announcements, their purpose and how they may try to persuade and influence various audiences using different persuasive techniques.  4A is becoming quite skilled with understanding the messages behind all kinds of advertising.  After this, we can think about being critical consumers and being critical/aware of different messages we may be exposed to.


Math: This week we focussed on perimeter and understanding when and how we can use it. Next week we will be learning about Area and doing some inquiries into area in small group work.  We are also working with shape and space through Math Gym, online Mathletics practice and will be putting our knowledge to the test next week with a shape inquiry in small groups.  Coming soon as well, MINECRAFT EDU.  Stay tuned as this is one of the highlights of the Grade 4 year!


UOI:  Building an awareness of messages, intended audience and advertisers purposes, we have analysed print ads as well as commercials.  4A has enthusiastically been building on their knowledge of media and advertising and will be applying their new understanding and skills to creating their own commercials. Ms. Makky Fung came in on Thursday to share filming techniques with us and we had fun practicing these in small groups!  This was a great lead into our literacy focus (persuasive arguments) where students are filming a persuasive argument role play learning engagement.

Happy Birthday Nadia! As well as a few snapshots of 4A excitedly filming! They were so cute, organising themselves into one camera person, a director and various actor/actress roles!

Happy Birthday Nadia!
As well as a few snapshots of 4A excitedly filming! They were so cute, organising themselves into one camera person, a director and various actor/actress roles!

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January 16-20 Update

Dear Families,
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week!  We have been busy and having a great time in 4A…so great and so busy, that I happily handed out ISA results on Thursday instead of Friday!  Sorry for this and I hope it didn’t cause too much confusion with parents in other classes!

Snapshot of this Week:

4A has been learning about ‘Author’s Voice.’  We have been reading Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits,’ and they are finding this hilarious.  It has been a great example and 4A has been able to make lots of great connections to other Roald Dahl stories that they are familiar with.  Here is how we got started:

  • Brainstormed about author’s voice (What is it? How does it work? What examples of books/authors can you think of who use a strong voice or have a unique author’s voice?)
  • Created a visual note about author’s voice in literacy notebooks
  • Used the “gross stories” from the book for inspiration to write about their own “gross story” or funny experience or pet peeve (we learned about Roald Dahl as an author and found out that he often used life experiences to inspire his writing)
  • Used one of the tricks (a frog from the garden in Mrs. Twit’s bed) Mr. Twit pulls on Mrs. Twit as inspiration to try their own piece with voice

Writing Genre: Persuasive Writing
Starting next week, 4A will be looking at:
– making a clear and persuasive argument
– thinking of supporting reasons
– ‘Four and Against’ persuasive discussion (in teams of 4, one for and one against a topic e.g. uniforms vs no uniforms or the no hat no play rule/topics 4A comes up with that are closest to their hearts!)


  • What is advertising?
  • Brainstormed what makes an effective advertisement? What are some of the techniques used? (logos, slogans, colour, humour, celebrities, colour, attention grabbing images)
  • Watched ‘Why Ads Work’ and learned about Invisible Words, Puffery, ‘Water is Wet’ Claims/obvious claims used to impress consumers, and finally Buzzwords

Congratulations to Anika and Desmond who ran some fantastic morning meetings this week.  They incorporated what we have been learning in our UOI about advertising techniques and had groups of 4-5 Animals come up with an advertisement for an assigned product in just 2 minutes!  They really got into this and used quite a few persuasive/effective techniques.


  • Finished up our division math menu
  • As an early finisher from the division Math Menu, some people in 4A learned about the game FARKLE and will run seminars next week to teach others
  • Introduction to 3Act Math (a differentiated inquiry approach using videos and word problems)
  • Many people in 4A decided to use 3Act Math for their blog post this week (some are still finishing up their posts in WIN time (whatever I need/practice/finishing up work)

CNY Dates
You can view a list of the CNY events here

CNY Celebration with our Reading Buddies!
On Thursday morning at 8:00am we are popping down to the 10th floor to celebrate with our reading buddies.  Some people in 4A have offered to bring in a few snacks to compliment what our buddies are bringing as well.  Here is our list so far:

Sweet Treats

Cookies – Ella
Cookies – Leah
(Ella and Leah were excited to make their famous cookies and agreed to just make 20 or so each to share with our buddies)


Healthy & Savoury
Carrots & cucumber – Nadia
Popcorn – DY

Healthy & Sweet
Fruit – Desmond

Crafting/Activity Committee

  • Anna
  • Calvin
  • Dl
  • Leah
  • Anika
  • PatrickIf anyone would like to bring in more healthy fruit or savoury options that would be great!  4A was excited about treats and it was a bit hard to get them pumped up about bringing veggies!  Please let me know if you would like to contribute something else and I will add it to our list.

Other Important Dates

SWIMMING Begins Wednesday January 25 periods 1&2 (8:00am – 9:20am) Continue reading

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Weekly Update (January 9th-13th)

Congratulations on your spotlight performance, 4A! The Ghost Busters theme was super fun and it was so neat to see all of you playing your part to play ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight.’  Well done!

UOI – Tuning in to our new unit, How we Express Ourselves.  We unpacked our new central idea, ‘ People can create messages to target and influence specific audiences.’  4A did a great job creating posters to try and influence an audience to listen to/believe in their messages.  There were three different messages they could choose from:

  1. Money raised is a puppy saved! (a book and toy ‘garage’ sale to raise money for the SPCA)
  2. VOTE for _____ for Student Council! Where they had to make a persuasive poster to influence other students to vote for someone
  3. NO MORE PLASTIC at the Flower Fair!  Students researched the negatives to added plastic and made convincing arguments about offering alternative prizes

After finishing the posters, groups had to make sure they recorded their 3 guiding questions that helped them plan their rough copy.  They recorded their answers on the back of the poster as well as a prediction as to how they felt audiences might react to their posters and how it might make them feel.

Next, we did a gallery walk where students gave each other feedback and recorded reactions to each of the posters.

Finally, we will finish off with a quick 2-3 minute presentation of the posters.  4A can then take pictures of their work and add this to a Blog post.  We will pop these posters up on the wall outside our room if you would like to take a look!


Math – Working on mental division strategies and patterns.  Practiced some simple long division to learn the pattern and will continue to challenge ourselves here.  For home learning it will be important for students to really test themselves and see how their mental addition skills are coming along.  Some are still quite rusty and I will be in touch shortly with some additional practice for those who need some extra time building these skills.


Literacy – Author’s voice! What does this mean?  How do we look for it and identify it?  We began reading Roald Dahl’s book, ‘The Twits’ and this is packed full of author’s voice and emotive, expressive writing.  4A is loving the antics that the characters are getting up to!  Next week, analysing persuasive texts, more mini-lessons on writing with voice and creative writing.

4A Important Dates


  • Our 4A Assembly is March 24th from 1:30-2:20
  • Swimming begins again the week of January 23rd (we have swimming Wednesday mornings P1-2)
  • Flower Fair
  • Jan 23 – 26 CNY celebration week  Dress in Chinese Style clothing
  • Jan 24  8am – 2pm–Visit CNY Flower Fair on the 11th floor

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As the Chinese New Year celebrations approach rapidly, this important note from Penny Pan:

Pre-order your child’s 2017 CNY Flower Fair Tokens online

Jan 6 – 19

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Online Token Reservation LINK

January 13: First LS House Day: casual dress with House shirt, students eat lunch in House groups

Jan 9 – 20 Visit CCC for G6 Students Beam Design exhibition, using Chinese Librarian’s iPad to vote for your favourite design.

January 23-26: CNY celebrations, see details below

Jan 23 – 26 CNY celebration week  Dress in Chinese Style clothing

Jan 24  8am – 2pm–Visit CNY Flower Fair on the 11th floor

Jan 24  10:55am – 1pm–Competing with G5 – G12 students for the Dumpling Eating Competition at Alan Dick Forum

You can find all the CNY events here.  Including CNY Flower Fair Class visit schedule and CNY concert schedules.  We wish you a prosperous Year of the Rooster.  Kung Hei Fat Choy (Gong Xi Fa Cai) CDNIS!!!!




A Message from Lower School Counsellor: Warning sign of Internet Addiction

Internet is a vital part of our world and an important tool in education. Research shows that, students are spending an average 44.5 hours per week online. Nearly 23% of youth report that they feel “addicted to video games”

Join us on 19th Jan 8:00am – 9:30 am for a talk by Dr. Gandolfi, the Executive Director for St. John’s Cathedral Counselling Service and learn more about warning sign of Internet-Addiction and the potential dangers of social media. Click here to sign up.

Many thanks in advance.



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