Week 10 News

Hi all,

I hope you had a good weekend.

This week we are going to begin our summative assessment for this quarter.  It is called Future Forecast.  In Social Studies, students will be introduced to the project, formed into teams, and they will begin to research a problem that each group wants to solve.  They will be using a research method called MISO.  It stands for Media, Interview, Survey, and Observation. These four areas will allow groups the opportunity to research using a variety of avenues and, hopefully, their understanding of the topic will be more completely developed.  The MISO method may involve your student asking you some questions related to your position.  This is the Interview portion and each group of 4 will do one.

In English, we are going to spend the week watching advertisements and analyzing them using the 6 brain frames.  Brain frames are great information organization tools and they will help students to understand how the ads are structured and what their purposes are.  Eventually, students will use this knowledge to help them, in their teams, to create their own advertisement for the product they create to solve the problem mentioned above.

This whole project will take several weeks and it will extend into the fourth quarter by 2 weeks.

Next week, Student Led Conferences are taking place and you should be receiving information from the MS Office about how they are structured. Any questions though, feel free to get in touch!

Week 9 Update

I hope that everyone had a restful long weekend!

MAP Testing takes place this week. Students already know the following dates, (and that they cannot revise for these tests,) but just for your information:

Beck HB
Language: Monday – Block 4
Reading: Wednesday – Block 3

Vergel HB
Language: Monday – Block 5
Reading: Wednesday – Block 1

In English this week, students will submit their Short Story Scene on Tuesday (Beck HB) and Thursday (Vergel HB).  We will continue to have time to read from our Genre Wheel collections.  I encourage you to ask questions about what your child is reading and what new genres they have enjoyed.

In Social Studies, students will have one period to continue to work on their presentation and practice presenting.  Their Otzi presentations will be on Thursday (Beck) and Friday (Vergel). I’m really looking forward to watching them and hearing their theories!

Have a great week.

Week 8 News

We have a very short week this week with a PD day on Thursday and a holiday on Friday.  This week students will continue with their Otzi project.  Students are working alone, in pairs, or in groups of three to develop a presentation that outlines their theory on how Otzi the Iceman died.  They will have this week to finish their presentation and begin practicing.  Presentations are taking place in the first week of March.

In English, we will continue working with our short story scenes.  The focus is on editing this week, and the students will work through a variety of activities in order to make sure their work is the best it can be.  Depending on progress this week, the scene is due week beginning Monday Feb. 29.

ISM is lucky to have Dr. Bonnie Singer at the school this entire week.  She is working mainly with Middle School teachers (English, Social Studies, LS, and ESL).  She and her partners have developed systems for idea organization (Brain Frames) that we use in class.  To that end, there will be a substitute in for me during Block 5 on Monday and Block 3 on Tuesday.

Thanks and have a great week!


CWW Photos

We had a fantastic week at CWW. I was very impressed with how much the children got involved with all the activities – some of which were quite challenging! It definitely pushed a lot of them out of their comfort zone, but hopefully was a week to remember and an eye opening experience as to how many people in the Philippines live. Their behaviour was generally very good and they were a real credit to the school. Here are some pictures from our week – they are mainly of my advisory group as I spent most of my time with them, so I am sure if you contact your child’s advisory teacher they will have more photos of them!

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Week 6 News

Hi all,

I hope you had a great long weekend. Happy Lunar New Year! I went to Singapore and enjoyed the celebrations there. It was great fun!

Next week is CWW. You should already have had an email from Wayne Hamaguchi outlining the schedule and equipment needed on each day. This week, we will be collecting recyclable materials to take on our CWW trip to Tzu Chi. Please encourage your children to bring in as much as possible, every little helps! Here is the list of items:

1.  Plastic Bottles
2.  Paper – All Types
3.  Glass Bottles
4.  Old toys, electronics, clothes, books

In English this week, students will have time to revise their short story scenes.  They are working to add in a good mix of introspection, action, description, and dialogue.  Students are also still continuing with the Genre wheel project.  On Wednesdays, we always go to the library to read and check out books for Genre Wheel reading. I’ve been really impressed by the book choices the children have been making. Please chat with your child about what they are reading!

Also on Wednesday this week, students will write their Nonfiction Reading Quiz.  They had practice reading and analyzing nonfiction texts last week and now they will demonstrate their ability to do so with 2 new texts.

In Social Studies, we will continue our analysis of Otzi the Iceman and his mysterious death over 5000 years ago.  Students will be able to work alone or in small groups to analyze the sources in order to develop what they think is the most likely scenario. Eventually, they will create a presentation to demonstrate their theory.  This is a fun project – and the students have already been engrossed in the subject!

Week 5 Latest

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well. The deadline for submission of English Honors forms was today so I hope you have submitted yours to the MS office if you were planning on doing so. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch with me ASAP!

In English this week, students will continue to develop their drafts for their short story scene. I have been really impressed by how they have all thrown themselves into this and there are some great stories developing! We will be focussing on dialogue and description and adding this into their stories. They will have plenty of class time to draft. Ideally, they will have finished their rough draft by Tuesday 9th February so that I can spend some time reading each piece and offering advice. On Wednesday, students will practice reading and comparing non fiction articles relating to our work in Social Studies.

Speaking of Social Studies, this week students will investigate the death of Otzi the Iceman.  Otzi is a 5,300 year old mummified man found in 1991.  To this day the mystery of how he died has not been definitively solved – that sounds like a job for our Grade 6 students!  For this mini unit, students are creating a hypothesis, reading nonfiction texts, and presenting their opinion on how Otzi died.  This should be a fun project and a great learning experience.

Week 4 News

Last week we had a great time in Social Studies learning about how different early humans have lived. We even created our own (non violent!) Hunger Games simulation to compare and contrast the differences in lifestyle between hunters and gathers and those who lived in agricultural villages. The students ransacked the classroom in an attempt to be the ultimate survivors! Congrats to Amanta and Ruitong who took home these crowns!

There will be a Hominid, Evolution and Early Human quiz on Thursday 28th January. The students will have time in class to revise this, but it is important they spend time at home practising these terms as some are quite tricky to grasp.

In English, we worked on the settings and plot for our short stories. This week we will begin to draft these stories and look at different ways to make them exciting.

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Latest News

I hope that everyone had a great week last week. We had a special week because author Alex London paid a visit to ISM.  Students were keen to listen to him speak about writing and the creative process during our special Grade 6 assembly.  He was also frequently found in the MSMC helping students find books, giving autographs, and just chatting about his life.

In English this week, we will continue developing the bones of our stories.  Students have finished their character posters, and now they will move onto creating their settings and planning out their plot.  Students will continue to have time dedicated to their Genre Wheel reading and recording.

In Social Studies, we are going to delve into the theory of evolution and natural selection.  Toward the middle and end of the week, students will participate in a couple of experiential learning activities.  For the second one, students will be paired up.  Each pair will need to bring in one full roll of toilet paper for the activity.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone had a relaxing and restful break. I went back to England – it was lovely to see my friends and family, although the cold weather was a bit of a shock!

This week in 6th grade, we are introducing students to our new unit, Discovery.  The big focus in English this week is on the new Genre Wheel project.  This project is a semester long one that will see students setting a goal and trying to read a variety of challenging books from many genres.  Students will have access to the project outline and rubric on Google Drive.

In Social Studies, we are developing our understanding of shallow, mid-range, and deep questions.  In this unit, students will explore hominids and how homo sapiens came to be.  It’s a really exciting unit and the students already seem very fired up about it!

Wishing you all a great week.

Week 5 News

Hi all,

I hope you have all enjoyed your weekend. With the holidays fast approaching, just a quick note. If you are planning on pulling your child out of school early to visit family, please can you let me know in advance. I have planned all the lessons for the next two weeks and there are still some important assessment tasks that the students will be undertaking. Due to the amount that we have to cover, we will be working as normal until Wednesday 9th December when the students will submit their final essays. Thank you for this.

This week is a short, but busy one. Students will write their cornerstone writing pieces (expository essays) on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. This piece of writing is totally independent and helps to give us a snapshot as to where the students are and what their targets need to be for the rest of the year.

The remainder of this week and will be spent working on their small elements of fiction tasks and editing and revising the cornerstone essay to submit it as the final part of their Novel Study on Wednesday 9th December.

It is a busy time of year, and I have already planned in some less stressful, more fun activities throughout the next two weeks to give the students some much needed downtime.

Thanks and have a great week!