Thank you for an AWESOME year!

Appreciation, gratitude and celebration have been a focus of our final weeks of school in our year 4 classes.

We started with students, teachers and many parents enjoying a delicious feast of snacks generously prepared by our parents to celebrate the end of our school year.

We attended the Year 6 Exhibition presentations.  Our year 4 students were an engaging audience listening attentively, asking relevant questions and offering feedback to confident and knowledgeable year 6 presenters.  Many students came away from the exhibition making connections to inquiry and discussing the issues and the actions taken by the year 6 students (with some also thinking aloud about what they will do for their Year 6 Exhibition).

We also made Math games, students worked in small groups and used their math knowledge and skills to create games.  The focus was on players having to use math strategies and concepts while playing their games.  Students integrated language by writing instructions for their games, using the procedural framework that they had learned earlier in the semester.  After trialling and fine-tuning our games we had a game exchange with other classes and had more fun applying our math skills.

In our Sharing the Planet unit we worked on our summative assessments.  Our students made connections between food security and/or food insecurity and the concepts of availability, accessibility, utilization and stability.  Students chose a way of making their knowledge visible and presented their learning in a variety of ways.

Year 4 also celebrated the outcome of our own recent ACTION.  Many students did chores at home in exchange for money and/or food, which we then donated for a local orphanage.  The food and money were handed over to Ms Jasmine and Ms Andrea to organize the delivery of the food to the orphanage.  The action taken by our children is a win-win situation.  Through their own work and effort they were able to make connections and gained a sense of their own possibilities in providing for the well-being of others in our local community. 

We appreciate and celebrate all of your support and care in contributing to making this a successful year for our students, teachers and families.   

We wish you all safe and happy holidays.

Shapes in 4.4

Our students brought home letters this past week explaining how they are taking action to help provide food to a local orphanage. Students will do chores at home and the money they make will be contributed to the budget used for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables for the children at the orphanage.  Our students also decided to collect the following dried food items to donate to the orphanage (rice, beans, milk powder, oil and flour).  Thank you for supporting the children in their action. 

In class this past week we have been learning about shapes.  Students worked in small groups, asking questions and researching these related topics –  polygons-regular and irregular shapes, triangles and quadrilaterals, lines and angles, 2 D shapes and 3D shapes. 

Next, they prepared a lesson, created and used various resources  and practiced a presentation to show their understanding of their topic.  Then the students taught the rest of the class what they had learnt in their small research groups.

Here are some of their reflections…

“I learned that there are different types of triangles, an equilateral, an isosceles, a right angle triangle, a scalene triangle, an acute triangle and an obtuse triangle.”

“I learned the names of the quadrilateral shapes, also that ‘quadri’ means 4 in the Greek language.”

“It was hard to find an obtuse and reflex angle in the class but some of us managed to find them. Angles, lines and shapes can be found everywhere.”

“I learned about parallel and perpendicular lines.”

“The games and the quiz questions were good for us to show what we learned.”

“Sometimes it was hard to agree what to do and we had to decide on just one or two things for the activity.”

“If you don’t use your team’s plan then you can have quite a few problems.”

“You have to work together and everybody has to have a job.”


Action in Year 4

There are 5 essential elements in the Primary Years Programme, Action, Skills, Attitudes, Concepts and Knowledge. Students learn and connect these elements.

Year 4 students are currently thinking about the action they will take as part of our current unit, Sharing the Planet. The students have learnt a lot about food security and what it means. They are showing great empathy and thinking about what they can do to help those who are less fortunate. Ms. Jasmine and Ms. Andrea came to talk to us about the children in a local orphanage. We were saddened to hear of the poor conditions they live in and especially the lack of good, nutritious food they get. The children at the orphanage are food insecure. They do not get the right nutrients to stay healthy and do not always have enough money to buy fruit and vegetables.

As a result, the students have decided they would like to donate some of their pocket money to the orphanage to help buy fruits and vegetables.

You should expect a letter from your child this week asking you to give them some money for the orphanage in exchange for doing chores or jobs around the house. Please make sure they do these jobs!! See the image below to give more ideas of jobs they could do around the house.

Students will also be collecting the following dried food items to donate to the orphanage (rice, beans, milk powder, oil and flour). 

 Many thanks for your support of your child’s action.

A busy week in 4.4

This has been another busy week in year 4 with students constructing the meaning of probability and chance, working on a ‘feel good book’ for our buddies and working on a new set of burning questions connected to our inquiries into food security.



In math students have been constructing their knowledge of chance and probability.  We looked at the vocabulary statements of situations that could be “possible” or “probable” and used the mathematical language of Impossible, Unlikely, Even Chance, Likely and Certain to describe the chances of these situations occurring. Students listed different scenarios and working in teams categorized them under these new mathematical terms.

Students also played various probability games with dice, spinners, coins and two colored counters to deepen their understanding of probability and chance.


We read the FEEL GOOD BOOK by Todd Parr and were inspired to create a Year 4.4 Feel Good Book.  We practiced the steps of the writing process by planning, drafting, revising, editing then publishing pages of what made us feel good.  We also worked on some pages with our Prep 3.1 buddies.  We decided to donate our book to our Buddy class.

Unit of Inquiry

In our Sharing the Planet unit, we continued inquiring into factors that affect food security.

This time looking at a local perspective – Ms. Jasmine came in to share the work that she and a group of people do at an orphanage in Viana – providing fresh fruit and vegetables to supplement the children’s’ diet and that the orphanage can become more sustainable and have regular access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

This presentation inspired a series of new questions from the children…

“How much food does each child get daily? “

“Is it food from all the food groups?” 

“Do the children get enough nutrients?” 

Why don’t they have access to more food? 

Why don’t they have access to water? “

“How can we help the children there?” 

““Can people get better once they are malnourished?”

“Do the children get sick from not eating enough food?”

“Do they have money for malaria medicine?”


Ms Andrea who also helps the orphanage access fresh fruit and vegetables came in to help the students answer some of their burning questions.


We are working on connecting our burning questions to our unit of inquiry concepts – how we access food, how we utilize food, how we ensure our food resources are stable and how much food is available.

We will continue our research next week and begin thinking about how we can show our learning across the unit.



Year 4 assembly walk-through

Dear parents and friends,

Thank you for attending our walk-through assembly this week.  We were very excited to have you with us for part of the day and the children were looking forward to sharing their learning with you all.  We appreciated your active engagement and feedback and we hope that you gained some insight to how much the children have grown as learners and as people.

My favorite part was showing the year fives the math problem and then they had to solve it. João

My favorite part was that I got to present my work to so many different people. Abi

I liked it when they asked lots of questions about the hunger map and I could answer the questions. Victoria

I enjoyed it when we were showing lots of people our presentation at the same time. Zoë

My favorite part was when we had to explain Donkii’s problem about not having enough food to eat because we had a lot of knowledge about her situation in Mali. Grace

My favorite part was when Zoe, Abi and I planned and practiced what we were going to present in the assembly. We planned and worked together and we understood what we learned and that’s why we did so well. Jagriti

I enjoyed it when Mutiara and I showed year five and our parents about bees because we have been learning about it so much and we knew a lot. Kanya

My favorite part was when I presented my book creator showing my work about fractions, because the parents thought it was a challenge. Enzo

My favorite part is when we were explaining our math to our parents and sharing our learning. Gihon

My favourite part was when I used the i-Pad to show year fives and the parents my book creator fraction work. Then, I used the shapes to show them what I learned about fractions. Glenda

I liked using my i-Pad to show the parents and the year fives my book creator about fraction problems. I liked sharing the work that I have been doing in year four. Cassia

My favourite part was when we told the parents about cubing in math because it is easy to explain and I know it really well. Mutiara

My favorite part was when the parents and the year 5 students had to solve the math we made. Ayrton

My favorite part was when I told so many people about Donkii and how she is worried about not having enough food to eat because it has not rained for a long time. Mila

My favorite part was when I presented my work and I spoke clearly and loudly for my audience – Tisya


Sharing The Planet – update

Busy times in Year 4…

Students’ continued fraction exploration and deepened their understanding of part-whole relationships.  E.g. the WHOLE of Year 4.1 has 18 people. What is half of that, a sixth, a ninth, a third?  Students also looked at ways to make a half.  We started exploring analog, digital and elapsed time.

Continuing our inquiries into the interconnected factors that affect food security, we had a guest speaker, Ms. Maria from World Vision, who shared information about food insecurity, the factors that contribute to it and the consequences.

Students also looked at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO)’s Map of World Hunger.) and discussed  what factors contribute to the food instability. For example: drought, other natural disasters or environmental factors, political situation, war, famine, food shortages, etc.

In language students are reading and viewing various sources which are developing their understanding of how the related concepts of accessibility, availability, stability and utilisation are related to food security.

We continue revising the writing process – this time students are working on reading and writing procedural texts.

Fraction Action!

Y4 students have recently begun tuning in to a stand-alone maths unit on fractions. After the initial pre assessment to ascertain where the students were in their understanding of the concepts and vocabulary associated with fractions the inquiry began with the students exploring part-whole relationships using pattern blocks. Students were given a yellow hexagon as the ‘whole’ and used triangles, trapezoids (trapeziums) and rhombuses to explore the different fractions that could be made. For example, 2 trapezoids fit into the hexagon so 1 trapezoid is half of the whole. Students then transferred their thinking into book creator. They took pictures of the different pattern blocks and their related fractions and wrote their explanations. 

As we continue working through this unit, students have been learning how to identify the symbols for halves, quarters, thirds, fifths and tenths, they will order fractions with the same denominator and find unit fractions of sets and regions (⅓, ¼, ⅕, 1/10). Students who are more confident may move onto more complex fraction exploration using their understanding of multiplication and division to solve problems.

 Below is a slide-show of our children exploring and building their understanding of fractions.

Sharing the Planet – Getting started and tuning in.

This week year 4 students began tuning-in to our  final  unit, Sharing the Planet –  Food security depends on interconnected factors – An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Students have been looking at images from  HUNGRY PLANET

and sharing what they notice, connections they make and wonderings they have:

 Tuning In:

Students began tuning into this new unit with a gallery walk of picture provocations found on the Hungry Planet website. Each photo showed a family from a different country with the amount of food they consume in a given week. The conversations and deep thinking shown by the students was impressive. It was interesting to see how different families have different priorities when it comes to the food they consume. It was also interesting to see the differences in the amounts and types of food consumed in different countries. Please see a slideshow of images below.

Key concepts

  • Responsibility (What is our responsibility?)
  • Causation (Why is it like it is?)
  • Connection (How is it connected to other things?)


Related concepts: utilisation, availability, accessibility, stability

Lines of inquiry:

  • The natural and and human made factors contributing to food  security.
  • The factors that food security is dependent on over time.
  • The consequences of food insecurity.

 The approaches to learning/skills the students will develop during this unit are:

  •  Research: organizing and interpreting data
  •  Thinking: comprehension
  •  Self management: healthy lifestyles

Learner profile attributes:

  • Caring
  • Principled


  • Empathy
  • Tolerance

 Transdisciplinary Connections

 Social Studies skills:

Assess the accuracy, validity and possible bias of sources

Use and analyze evidence from a variety societal sources

Learning outcomes (Students will be able to):

Identify and explain the factors contributing to food security (utilization, availability, accessibility, stability)

Identify the increasingly complex cause and effects (hunger and food insecurity)

Our language teaching will include – reading and watching various secondary sources to develop their understanding of food insecurity. In writing we will revisit instructional texts and continue working on the writing process.

In Mathematics we will revisit data handling through looking at infographics from the World Food Programme.  We will also be doing a stand-alone unit on fractions (more on this in an upcoming post)

If you have, or know of anyone who has some expertise connected to our STP unit, please let us know! We would love to have more guest speakers to share their knowledge, skills, learning and experiences with our students.

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







Science – How the world works.

Before the Spring break, students in year 4 were busy building balloon powered cars to support our inquiry into how forces affect motion. The students followed a set of instructions to build their vehicle using a range of materials kindly donated by parents and friends. Some of the students adapted their designs to improve the movement of their cars.

After building the cars we were lucky enough to spend a morning with Ms Sutton, the Diploma Programme Physics teacher. She helped us understand the different forces that were acting on our cars (friction and gravity) and we tested how far they could travel when using 5 puffs to blow up our balloon. We used our mathematics measuring skills to estimate and then measure the distance the cars travelled and recorded the information on a table of results.

The next step was to modify and improve our vehicles to see if we could make them go further. We used the design cycle and revamped our cars, re-testing them to see if they went further! Some did and some didn’t, but we learned that commitment and reflection were an important part of the design cycle.

We learned that we had to blow the balloon with same number of puffs each time to keep our test “fair” scientifically and wrote our reports up just like real scientists would!

See below for a slide show of our building and experiments.