Synthesis Thinking Skills – Making Beds and Maths


Dear Parents,

In our current unit of inquiry the children have been developing their thinking skill of Synthesis. In order to develop this skill they have been exploring in their maths lesson how they can continually improve, change and build upon a piece of knowledge or a system which solves a problem.

They were set the task of building a bed for the King or Queen. They were only allowed 15 pillows to build the bed which they placed into 5 different columns. However, the bed had to slope downwards as nobody enjoys a lumpy bed or sleeps with their head pointed down. To start with they were playing against partners where they each placed a single pillow at a time onto the bed (in one of the 5 columns). The winner was the person whose bed sloped properly towards the floor and who had the more pillows in more of the columns than their partner. So a bed which was setup with 4,4,4,2,1 would beat a bed which would have the pillow combination of 6,5,3,1.

They were then given the task of improving on their bed designs. On one side of the paper they had their previous best design which they would use to build a better design on the other side of the page. Once it was improved the old bed design was thrown out and a new design was developed.


Coding – Solving Problems

Dear Parents,

The children have been learning that coding has a purpose that solves problems and fulfills a need or a want. Linking in with our traditional tales writing focus they were all given a large A3 sized sheet or map divided into regions. One of these regions was designated as home while the rest had different events taking place. For example in some were mountains and in some there were rivers etc.

They were then asked to develop their own processes so that they could successfully move their avatar around the map to complete certain tasks. For example pickup treasure, find a horse, meet a lion and more. They then had to test their code(s) and then also have a partner test them to make sure they were communicated properly.

Finally, they were given the opportunity to be creative and introduce their own events into the map and solve or complete their own problems and tasks.

Pajama Day this Friday, May 26!

Dear families, 

On Friday, May 26, the PYP Student Council has organized a Pajama Day. Students from Prep 3-Year 6 are invited to come to school wearing their pajamas. Please ensure your child is wearing safe and school appropriate clothing and shoes.  

Student council members created a promotional video: 

Thank you,

PYP Student Council and Ms. H (

Queridas famílias,

 Na sexta-feira, 26 de maio, o Conselho Estudantil do PYP organizou um Dia do Pajama. Os alunos dos anos 1-6 são convidados a vir para a escola vestindo seus pijamas. Por favor, certifique-se de que seu filho esteja usando roupas e sapatos seguros e escolares.

 Os membros do conselho estudantil criaram um vídeo promocional que foi mostrado às classes Y1-6:


 Conselho Estudantil do PYP e Sra. H ( )

Snake Eating – Learning Fractions

Dear Parents,

The children have been investigating fractions by eating snakes. They were given a line of different colours which looked mixed up. They then had to cut the snake into thirds (2 cuts) so they could better eat the snake. However, they could only eat the snake if the thirds that they cut their snake into contained a least half of the same colour. For example they would be correct it they cut their snake into a thirds that had 4 colors, two of which were yellow and the other two blue and black.


They were then given a sheet that had 6 different snakes already ready for them. They had to find where to cut the snakes. However, one of the snakes was impossible to cut equally into thirds that had half the colors in each piece the same. They had to try to find the impossible snake while at the same time problem solving which were possible and where to cut them.

Finally they had to create their own snakes that could be cut equally into thirds.

Everyone enjoyed eating his or her pieces of snake at the end of the lesson. Please be reassured that no animals were harmed in the making of this lesson.


Coding has a purpose line of inquiry

Dear Parents,

The children have been following their line of inquiry that coding is intentional and has a purpose. They were given the task of creating a code that would move them from a start position to an end position. At first they had to create a simple list of instructions which they then turned into processes to save time. Next they added problems along the path (for example they had to avoid a monster) to the end square that they had to create processes to solve. Finally they had to test their code to make sure it solved the problem and then have a fired from the class to also test the code and provide them with feedback.

Action help needed

Dear Parents, 

A request below for your help from some year 6 students taking action action for their exhibition. 

Hi, Year 6 has started exhibition and three students are working on pollution. Three students are working together for action and this is what they need you to do.

We would like you to bring plastic grocery bags which will allow us to take action and raise awareness. Please bring them to your homeroom and we will come by twice a week to get them.

Thank you so much

Sincerely : Jude, Marco, Leandro

Candando Field Trip Visit

Dear Parents,

Linked to our unit How We Organize Ourselves. We visited Candando supermarket to observe and learn more about the global context and inquire into the interconnectedness of human-made systems.

We had a blast making bread in the bakery, choosing our pizza topping, visiting the fruit, fish and hamburger stations and experiencing the sub-zero temperature in the freezer. At the end of it all we were got the opportunity to eat lunch at the staff cafeteria and posed for a photo with the Candando bus!

To help your child make connections with what they learned on their field trip here are a few questions you can ask:

What human-made systems did you see in Candando?
How were the workers in Candando using technology?
How were the workers in Candando make the supermarket work effectively?

We’d like to thank Miguel Osorio, Mário Santos, and the team at Candando (Telma, Joana, César, Céu, Simba, João Pedro and many others) for organizing and sharing their time with us.

Coding and Systems Learning

Dear Parents,

The children continue to explore processes through coding that enable us to solve problems needs and wants. They have been learning that coding is a system that sets a specific set of instructions ahead of time.

Here they were given the task of developing a set of code that would guide another student from the classroom to the entrance of the multipurpose gym. While on a smaller scale they developed (through error and correction) a line of code which included process to get from one side of a game board to another. Later they had to create their own with possible events, like being attacked by a monster, that they had to deal with in their line of code.

Maybe you can develop your own code at home with your children? How to clean their room? Wash the dishes? If your really brave perhaps even prepare and cook dinner?

Under supervision of course.

Happy exploring!