Chinese New Year – School Closure Home Learning

Hi 4Caribbean Cool Cats and Parents  –

I hope you are all enjoying these unexpected days off! Here’s a link to a grid with some activities you can complete during the days you were scheduled to be at school until Chinese New Year. These activities are optional, but strongly encouraged. Happy Chinese New Year – I’m excited to see you all back at school on Tuesday, February 27.

Parent Home Learning : Don’t forget to register your child for camp – for classroom and camp group enter 4C. You can register online here. You can bring your money and permission forms back to school after the CNY Holiday!

Here are some pictures from the week! We had a blast running our mock Fire Drill to help us better understand how people and organizations prepare for and respond to disasters. We also shared our informative posters for our mini research projects and received peer feedback.


Important Camp Info – Please Read!

Hi parents! We’ve got exciting news – G4 camp is coming up soon! Here is a link to the official letter or just scroll down to view the content of the letter in this post. I’ll be sending out the permission forms this week and they’re due back to school on Friday, February 9.

February 1st, 2018

Grade 4 Camp 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The Grade 4 students will be attending camp at the end of March. We will depart from school on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 and return to school on Friday, March 16th, 2018 in time for the 2:20pm buses. The camp will be directed by the Treasure Island Group (TIG), a leading outdoor education camp provider.  We will be camping in tents at Pui O Beach, Lantau Island on a secured campground for 2 nights and 3 days.

Students will engage in supervised recreational and educational activities that complement our Sharing the Planet Unit of Inquiry into how human behaviour affects the balance of ecosystems. Students will be encouraged to be risk-takers, inquirers and to be open-minded.  Camp is an integral part of the Grade 4 curriculum and is required for all students.

The cost of the camp is $2550 and includes qualified camp instructors, accommodation, meals and transportation. TIG has provided a comprehensive packing list for students. We ask that students NOT bring money, food, electronic equipment (iPods, mobile phones, etc) or anything excessively valuable. If desired, you may purchase camping equipment for the camp from TIG through their online store.  Deadline for camp equipment purchases: 7th of March 2018.

The safety of your child is of utmost importance to us.  There will be several CPR-trained camp personnel, night security, the Grade 4 teaching team, and six additional CDNIS staff supervising the students.  If you need to contact your child in case of an emergency, you may contact TIG on 2984-8711 or the CDNIS school office on 2525-7088 to pass a message to the appropriate homeroom teacher.

For further information, please refer to the TIG website’s FAQ page.  We also invite you to attend a parent information session to be held on Wednesday, February 28th from 8am to 9am in the CDNIS library.  Representatives from TIG will be present and happy to answer your questions.   

Registration – Medical & Dietary info
In order to provide an excellent camp for every student and ensure that your child’s needs are met, parents are required to complete a TIG online school camp registration form for each child. Online registration is accessed on the TIG website. Please also remember to enter the Classroom name/number (ie 4A, 4B, 4C, 4B or 4E) and their Western name for the register.
Deadline for registration: 7th of March 2018

Timeline of important dates :

Friday, February 9th:  

Deadline to return attached permission slip and cash or cheque of $2550 payable to CDNIS.  It is also the last day to RSVP for the Camp Parent Information Morning (see camp permission form).

Wednesday, February 28th

Parent Information Morning from 8 am to 9 am in the CDNIS Library Pit on the 10th floor.

Wednesday, March 7th

Deadline for parents to complete online registration for their child including complete medical, dietary, individual information/needs and swimming ability. If you choose to order camping equipment via the TIG online store, this is also the last day to submit your orders.

Wednesday,  March 14th

First day of camp.  We will depart from school and students are to report to school at the usual time.

Friday, March 16th

Last day of camp.  We will return to school in time for regular dismissal time from school. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your homeroom teacher.  We look forward to a memorable camp experience with your child!

Warmest regards,

The Grade 4 Team

Upcoming Reminders 

  • February 12 – 14: DDD for CNY
  • February 13 : CNY Flower Fair (Swimming Cancelled – makeup session TBA)
  • February 13 : CNY Class Celebration 11:40 – 12:40
  • February 15 – 26 : CNY Holiday – No School for Students


January 26

This week we were very lucky to have 3 guest speakers share their authentic experiences about preparing for and responding to disasters with our Grade 4 students. Mr. Still, a retired police officer in Hong Kong, spoke to us about responding to floods, fires and typhoons locally. A parent from our CDNIS community and students from upper school spoke to us about providing response and relief aid in Nepal after the devastating earthquake that hit in 2015.

There is a lot going on in the news this week with a tsunami warning issued for the west coast of the U.S. and Canada following an earthquake in Alaska and an avalanche happened in Japan after a volcano eruption. We try to stay current with events going on in the news in 4C and these are authentic opportunities to explore how communities, organizations and individuals respond to and prepare for disasters.

For more math practice with measurement, we created containers using grid paper and ordered them from greatest to least capacity. You can check out our blog post on this to find out more.

We visited with our Grade 1 learning buddies this week. We helped them inquire into their unit on exploration by discovering new places around the school. We documented our findings by helping them create posters on their blogs.

We also continued with our realistic fiction narratives in literacy as we worked on our character development this week. We discussed how we could “show, not tell” what our main characters are like.

A note from our swim coaches

Dear Parents,

As you know Grade 4, 5 and 6 will be starting swimming next week as part of their PE Programme. 
Please note the following:
Swim Hat Uniform

The Aquatic department and PE Department are introducing a PE swimming Hat Uniform. Students must wear a swim hat at the pool.  Swim Hats are available from Aquatics office  for only $20. Each hat is a high quality silicon hat with CDNIS and an animal printed on each side. All students are expected to have their Swimming Hats by week 2 of swimming
This block of swimming finishes on 28th March. As swimming is an important part of their PE Programme and a life long skill that all students should have, students are expected to attend each class. Students will only be excused for medical reasons. Swim staff are aware that some students may be nervous or anxious about swimming and will prepare to make the learning environment safe, fun and pleasant at all times. 
Make up
If a class group misses a lesson, there will be make up lessons available. The Homeroom Teacher and Aquatics Department will arrange another suitable time and date. Note, there will be limited time allocations and days available. 

Class Instagram Account

Are you on instagram? Want to see what we’re up to daily? I’m in the process of launching a class instagram account. Find us at the username : ms.costner


  • January 29 : Swimming Begins
  • February 1 : Field Trip with Chinese Department
  • February 9 : Makeup Swimming Session
  • February 12 – 14: DDD for CNY
  • February 13 : CNY Flower Fair (Swimming Cancelled)
  • February 13 : CNY class celebration 11:40 – 12:40
  • February 15 – 26 : CNY Holiday – No school for students


January 19

I’ve very much enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with you all this week to discuss your child’s growth and development in Grade 4 this year. These learning conversations are an excellent opportunity for us to engage in an open dialogue about how we can best support your child’s learning both at school and at home. Thank you all again for showing your ongoing commitment and support to your child’s learning this week (and every week!).

This week we started our inquiry into How We Organize Ourselves with an exciting provocation. Students visited each Grade 4 classroom and looked at images and videos of different natural disasters and how we respond and prepare for them. On a class Google Doc, students shared their prior knowledge on how we prepare and respond to natural disasters as well as the effects caused by natural disasters.

In math, we continued with our rotations on measurement this week. This week in our classroom, we explored how we measure math. We also inquired into the question – is mass the same thing as weight. Ask your child to find out!

We’re continuing our narrative writing in literacy. We listened to a story – we identified and plotted the key elements of the story on our own story ‘volcano’. We’ll continue to look at different stories as examples to guide our narrative writing in the upcoming weeks.


  • January 24 : Dental Appointments – bring toothbrushes and Student Dental Care Services handbook if you have one!
  • January 25 : Sports Day – bring a packed lunch, full water bottle, hat, sunscreen, jacket, PE uniform
  • January 26 : DDD – Favorite Animal Theme
  • January 30 : Swimming sessions begin

January 10

We’ve had a fun full week back at school. We’ve wrapped up our inquiry into How The World Works and we’ll be starting our new unit, How We Organize Ourselves next week. I love how these two units really compliment each other. It allows us to make even deeper connections to our central ideas.

In math this week, we explored how to create graphs using Google Sheets and Kid’s Zone. We reviewed a list of success criteria about what makes a good graph and created our own graphs using our preferred method. We also participated in a math rotation this week that we’ll be continuing over the next few weeks. We’re visiting each of the other Grade 4 teacher’s classes and learning about a different objective for measurement.

In literacy, we explored and wrote our own interesting leads or hooks for starting a story. We also thought of ideas for our realistic fiction narratives we’ll be writing in this unit. We came up with different kinds of leads that we thought made an interesting start to a story – dialogue, sound effects, action, snapshots, questions, flashbacks and suspense. If you want to build some fun writing practice into your routines at home, you could try shared story writing using interesting leads. See who can write the best lead and take turns sharing!  

Backstage Crew Applications for Seussical Jr.
Applications are now open to be a part of the Backstage Crew for Seussical Jr.! The Backstage Crew has many jobs ranging from technical support, heavy lifting of sets or keeping materials and people organized behind the scenes. For more information on this opportunity and how to apply check out the LS Musical blog here.

Learning Conversations

Make sure that you have signed up for a 15 minute time slot on January 18 or 19 for your child’s January Learning Conversation. I’ve sent home their Grade 4 booklets with a form inside that needs to be filled out together with your child. Please review their goals and their progress report with them while filling out the form. Please return it to school completed by Wednesday, January 17 as this will guide our learning conversation.  


  • January 18-19 : Learning Reviews
  • January 24 : Dental Appointments
  • January 25 : Sports Day

January 5

It’s wonderful to be back in the classroom this week! We’re looking forward to having everyone back next week. It’s been so great seeing everyone and hearing all about the winter holiday fun.

This week in literacy, we continued exploring narratives. We’ve been looking at samples as well as participating in read alouds to create our own success criteria for what makes a good story. We’re going to be composing our own realistic fiction narratives that showcase our unit knowledge.

In math, we’ve been exploring visual ways to show data including line graphs. We’ve looked at samples and created our own line graphs with our learning partners in class. Next week, we’ll be creating our own graphs to show what we’ve learned about data handling.

We explored a mystery science activity where we learned all about how and why there is sand at the beach. We even found out why some beaches are different colors – like the purple Pfeiffer Beach in California.

I discovered a new podcast over the holiday called story pirates that I was very excited to share with our class. It’s a podcast where students can submit their stories to be performed on the podcast. It’s really fun to listen to and can encourage creativity in writing! If you’re looking for something to listen to at home or in the car, check it out!  


On Friday, we discussed an extreme weather situation called a bomb cyclone that has effected the east coast of the United States over the past couple of days. I’m encouraging our class to explore this over the weekend and report back as it’s related to our current UOI. If you have time, please discuss and explore this with your kids at home!


  • January 12 : House Day
  • January 18-19 : Learning Reviews
  • January 25 : Sports Day

Happy Holidays!

A HUGE thank you to our entire classroom community for the thoughtful gifts and cards. It’s so nice to feel so appreciated and supported. I am one very lucky teacher and we are an extremely lucky classroom community. A special shout out to our Christmas Crew and class moms for all of their hard work in planning our holiday celebration this week.
I hope everyone enjoys the winter break and I look forward to being back at school with the 4Carribean Cool Cats on Tuesday, January 2

Here are some awesome photos from our Holiday Celebration! Enjoy!


December 8

What a fun filled week we’ve had in 4C! Thank you so much to the parent volunteers who helped out at the ice skating rink and on our community walk, your support ensures that our class has meaningful experiences that are connected to our units of inquiry and that allow us to build positive relationships.

We explored erosion and weathering through hands on experiments in class this week. We applied our understanding by identifying examples of weathering and erosion on a community walk. It was an authentic experience that allowed us to take our learning outside of the classroom. Check out our blog post reflections to find out more!

Another weekly highlight included helping our learning buddies decorate their classroom. We’re building strong relationships with our buddies that help us develop our communication skills and responsibility.

In math we looked at flocabulary and decided what makes a successful bar graph. We identified a list of success criteria. Our next steps include exploring different types of graphs, collecting data and expressing it in a visual way.


  • December 12 : 4C Holiday Celebration at 12:30 in our classroom
  • December 13 : Free DDD and Early Dismissal 11:00
  • December 14 – January 1 : Winter Holiday

Here are a few photos from our hike today! We had gorgeous weather, although it was a bit windy at the top of the mountain. This experience was too fun not to share!

December 1

What a week of hard work and excitement! Congratulations to our 4Caribbean Cool Cats for an AWESOME assembly! They put a lot of time and effort into their performances and I’m very proud of them! Assemblies are a great opportunity for us to showcase our classroom community and they help us build our confidence as well as our communication, organization and cooperation skills.

While we have been busy preparing for our assembly this week, we were still able to visit the Discovery Dome that was set up in the library pit on Thursday. This was a really memorable experience that allowed students to make connections and ask questions about our inquiry into How the World Works.

We also explored plate tectonics using oreos this week. We watched a brainpop video and learned about the different types of movements that change the Earth’s surface. We recreated those movements using delicious oreo cookies!

We continued to develop our fluency in math skills through a variety of games in the classroom. If you haven’t already played some of the games we play in class with your child at home the definitely ask them to teach you one this weekend! We also showed our current understanding of data handling as we prepare to move forward in a new unit.   

December 6 : Ice skating field trip to Megabox

December 12 : 4C Holiday Celebration at 12:30 in our classroom

December 13 : Free DDD and Early Dismissal 11:00

December 14 – January 1 : Winter Holiday

This week, we’ve been looking at photos of different types of landforms and recording what we see, think and wonder. We’ve started our landform investigation and when we find out interesting facts then we’ll add those facts to the images in our classroom.

We created short stories last week. This week we identified the elements of an awesome story and checked to see if our stories contained these elements with partners. We had the chance to edit and revise our work, then we shared with our Grade 1 learning buddies. We are even working on writing a story with them!

In math this week, we looked at open-ended tasks where students had to decide if given more than 70 markers and told to share them with their class – how many markers would each group have and how many groups would there be. Through this investigation, we learned more about how division works. We also explored the idea that if you know your 2’s and 5’s times tables then you know all you need to know. Ask your child if they agree with this – why or why not (lots of interesting and creative patterns and strategies!)

iTime Exhibition

Many of you have been asking about our iTime Exhibition this semester – it’s such an exciting time! We’ve decided that we haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to on these projects due to limited time so we’re going to share with other classes in school, and hold off until next semester to invite the parents in. Thank you all for your ongoing support of our iTime projects.  


  • November 27: Seussical Jr. Cast List Posting at 7:15am (LLAC Lobby)
  • November 30: Discovery Dome
  • December 1 : 4C Assembly in the forum at 1:40