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 by 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.

Fold and one cut math challenge

 Year 4 came together on a collaborative mission. 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, with the main message being – anyone can learn any level of math with hard work and effort!

Students worked individually and then shared their ideas and strategies with each other.   There was a lot of trial and error, frustration and struggle with the fold and one cut math challenge.  Students were continuously encouraged to keep exploring and trying different ideas. This math challenge will be revisited with different triangles and quadrilateral shapes next week.



Who we are – Sorting and Finding out.

In the unit this week students began finding out about the questions (wonderings) from last week.  Students used 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.


Taking Action in year 4

A BIG shout out and thank you to classmates in 4.3, who presented themselves as candidates to represent our class on the Primary Student Council.  We appreciate the time, effort and care these children showed when they shared their reasons, ideas and special qualities in speeches to their classmates earlier in the week.   A special congratulations to Antonio who was voted by his peers to represent 4.3 on the student council.


There are FIVE essential elements to 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.

Tuning-in to ‘Who we are’.

Year 4 started the week as special guests in the Primary library! 

Our school librarian, Ms Anton, hosted all year 4 classes and gave us a much needed orientation session of the layout of the different sections and new locations of texts (fiction and non-fiction) in the library.

We reviewed the guiding number system chart and were introduced to the new picture symbols and colour codes used to help us find the books we would like to read.

We were reminded of some of the procedures and practices used when choosing and taking books from the library.  The children were then invited to take action and select a fiction and non-fiction text to check out for their own use.

The year 4 teachers checked out a collection of non-fiction texts, which focus on human body systems.  These books will be used to support the children’s inquiries and learning throughout our Who We Are unit.

We look forward to seeing the children become experts at using the library as a primary resource for their own learning, curiosities, adventures and enjoyment throughout the year.


The students began inquiring into our first unit, Who We Are.  So far, the students have engaged with a multitude of resources in all 3 classrooms, practicing the Visible Thinking routine –                        

 I see, I think, I wonder.  

Some of their wonderings are..

  • I wonder how the brain works?
  • How many bones does a skeleton have?
  • How does the heart work?
  • I wonder how the brain gets messages?
  • What does saliva do?
  • How many organs are in the body?
  • What are kidneys?


The children also shared their prior knowledge of body systems as you can see in the photos below as they responded to the questions –

What body parts do you know?

What body systems do you know?

How are they connected?




Our first unit of inquiry – WHO WE ARE.

This week students began inquiring into our first unit for the year.  You will find the learning outcomes for this unit here –  WHO WE ARE.

Here are some of our introduction and tuning-in engagements for this unit –


We hope the students will build upon their knowledge and understandings from the unit in Year 3, which looked at different types of health. We look forward to collaborating with Dr Nazneen to ensure the students develop an understanding of human biology.

Our language links will include writing explanatory reports about a chosen body system and learning how to present information in a variety of ways. Ms Anton in the library will be supporting the students’ research skills and helping them find the features of different explanatory texts.

Some of our mathematics will be taught through the unit, using Data Handling to collect and record information including heart rates, height, PE records of distances they can run and throw and timing themselves carrying out various physical activities. The PE department will be working closely with us on this unit.

If you have, or know of anyone who has some expertise in this area, please let us know! We would love to have more guest speakers to share ideas and information with the students.

We look forward to hearing about the action your children may take as a result of the learning in this unit.

Math in Year 4

Over the next few weeks students will be introduced to and practicing  a  range of  problem solving strategies.  These are geared towards building a growth mindset in Maths as well as laying the mathematical foundation for the rest of the year.

Here are some photos of Year 4  students collaborating  on THIS problem.


 All of the Year 4 teachers completed an online course ‘How to learn math’ from Stanford University. Some of you may know a little about Jo Boaler, who is a maths professor at Stanford and has completed many research projects on how students learn best.

Please follow  THIS LINK  to see a handout from Jo Boaler about the best ways to support your child with maths at home. As a school we are working hard to ensure your children receive the best possible maths learning.  Furthermore students are being registered with again.  User names and passwords will be distributed to students when the registration is completed.

Some math learning engagements shared this week –



Welcome to 4.3

Dear Parents, Carers and Students of Year 4.3,

Welcome back to our returning families and welcome to our new families! My name is Whetu Wilson and I am very excited to start a new academic year with you all. I have taught in New Zealand, London, China, Japan, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Norway and am now happily a part of this wonderfully diverse and vibrant LIS school community. I am from Mahia Beach Peninsula on the northern island of New Zealand.

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 4.3. 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 at and you will receive a weekly update every Friday with all the posts from the week.

Here is our specialist schedule Specialist subject schedule

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

A couple of things to share with you as we start our new year. You will receive a hard copy of our single subject timetable today, please support your child in being independent and prepared for his/her various lessons. 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 Arishana is teaching 4.1, Ms Annabelle is teaching 4.2 and our teaching assistant is Ms Vera. If you have any questions or queries about anything please email me:

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

Warmest regards,

Ms Whetu Wilson