Place Value

In Math Year 4  have started a unit on place value. The central idea  is:  An understanding place value helps develop good number sense.

We are exploring this through:

  • Modelling numbers using the base 10 value system (form)
  • Reading, writing, comparing and ordering numbers (function and connection)
  • The use of place value in everyday life (connection)

We are learning about…

During the last few weeks students have been developing their thinking and research skills.

 Thinking skills  (acquisition of knowledge and comprehension): 

Students viewed a few videos on the digestive system.  In small groups they discussed the parts/organs of the digestive system and how they all work together to digest a meal.  Then they drew and labelled their thinking.

After that, students worked in pairs  reading an example of an explanatory text – How does the digestive system work?

 Next they highlighted words in the text that needed further explanation – we used library books and dictionaries to clarify those words.

Then as a whole class we analysed the features and language  of the text and together  came up with  a checklist for explanation writing (there will be more about writing to explain in a future post).

In Math we worked on another learning engagement from  Pictures below. 

Peaceful Buddies

Inspired by Todd Parr’s  “The Peace Book,” Year 4.1 and Year 1.3  thought and talked about what their ideas of peace were.  Then together they wrote it down, with the Year 4 students helping the Year 1 students to scribe their thoughts.    For Peace Day next week, the artwork from last week and the peace day thoughts from this week are being combined to make a display.

PEACE is helping the Earth.              

PEACE is sharing.    

PEACE is watching the stars.

PEACE is helping people.   

PEACE is taking turns.      

PEACE is having fun.

PEACE is love.                    

PEACE is playing together.              

PEACE is reading a book.

PEACE is hugging people.

PEACE is mindfulness.

PEACE is being with my family.              

PEACE is trying new things.

PEACE is making new friends .        

PEACE is singing.

PEACE is sharing food.                    

PEACE is being nice.

PEACE is watching whales.

PEACE is the sound of rain.

PEACE is giving a hug.       

PEACE is  travelling.

PEACE is watering plants.              

PEACE is sleeping.

PEACE is speaking new languages.        

PEACE is eating pizza.

PEACE is rainbows.            

PEACE is building Lego.

PEACE is being healthy.

Visual Arts Stand Alone: Adinkra

In visual arts class this unit, Y4 students are learning about adinkra symbols and textiles made in Ghana. Students are learning about the traditional process of creating adinkra textiles using natural materials to create the stamps, ink, and fabric.

They are inquiring into the central idea: traditional art helps us understand our culture. 

Students discussed adinkra symbols and their cultural purpose. They found the differences between signs, symbols, and logos. Students went on a Symbol Search around school to find and sketch symbols. They found that symbols are simple to draw, difficult to understand, have limited colors, and rarely have words.

Students are in the process of sketching symbols that represent their culture. They will choose their best symbols, draw them on foam, and cut them out to create a stamp. Students will experiment with stamping using different mediums and inks. As a summative assessment, students will be creating adinkra textiles using cloth, ink, and their stamps.

This week is Year 4….


There are FIVE essential elements in the Primary Years Programme curriculum:

 Attitudes, Knowledge, Key Concepts, Skills, and Action.

 This week we introduced our students to the essential element of Action.  We talked about how their learning and understandings will lead them to making connections and taking action.

 Authentic and meaningful action needs nurturing and like all the essential elements, action is ongoing and takes time to develop and grow. Action captures the children’s interest and provides opportunities for ongoing learning.

 Some thoughts shared by the students about what action means to them were:

 ….to do something

….to move

… to change something

… to be kind and caring

….to decide

….to share

… to speak

….to listen

….to help someone

….to think about something

Learning about taking responsible, thoughtful and meaningful action is all about who we are.  We look forward to the children developing their understanding of what responsible action looks like for them and how they will transfer their understanding to taking action in school, at home and in the wider community.


In Math this week, children from all three classes in Year 4 came together for a collaborative lesson. Their goal was to create 2-D geometrical shapes by cutting them out of a folded piece of paper with just one cut. It began with an inspiring video, Brains Grow and Change, whose message was that there is no such thing as a math brain or a math person! Anyone can learn any level of math with hard work and effort!



Unit Of Inquiry – Reading and Writing

In the unit this week students began finding out about their questions (wonderings) from last week.  Students are using library books and charts to do their research.   We unpacked the features of a non fiction text:

  • Captions: help you better understand a picture or photograph
  • Glossary: helps you define words that are in the book
  • Graphics:  are used to help you understand what the author is trying to tell you
  • Illustrations/Photographs: help you to know exactly what something looks like
  • Index: this is an alphabetical list of ideas/keywords that are in the book. It tells you what page the idea is on.
  • Labels: these help you identify a picture or a photograph and its parts.
  • Maps: help you to understand where places are in the world
  • Special print: when a word is bold, in italics, or underlined, it is an important word for you to know
  • Subtitles: these headings help you to know what the next section will be about
  • Table of Contents: helps you identify key topics in the book in the order they are presented

Welcome to Year 4.1

Dear Parents, Carers and Students of Year 4.1,

Welcome back to our returning families and welcome to our new families! My name is Arishana Riek and I’m very excited to start a new academic year with you all. This is my fifth year here at LIS, Angola and before that I taught in Azerbaijan and Cambodia. I have been teaching in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for over 10 years. I have also worked as a librarian and as a teacher of adults who were learning English.  I am from Durban in South Africa.

Please be aware that our class blog will be the main source of information this academic year. The purpose of our blog  will be to communicate, share and inform you all of the learning that will be happening in Year 4.1. Either myself or the students will be posting photos and explanations of our learning and we welcome you to comment and engage with our class. We will also share recent articles and items of interest about learning, and some ideas of how best to support your child’s learning at home. Please subscribe to the blog  and you will receive a weekly update every Friday with all the posts from the week.

Here is the 4.1 timetable. I will also send home a hard copy today.

Our first unit of inquiry will be under the transdisciplinary theme of Who We Are. Further details and information about this will be posted later this week.

We look forward to our first Parent Connection Meeting on Friday 1st September and our Year level ‘Back to school’ evening presentation, on Tuesday 5th September.  Further information of these events will be communicated in due course.

Ms.  Annabelle Ngulube is the teacher in Year 4.2 and Ms. Whetu Wilson is the teacher in Year 4.3.  The teaching assistant in all the Year 4 classes is Ms Vera Antonio.  If you have any questions or queries about anything please email me: 

I’m looking forward to a fantastic year of learning,

Ms Arishana