Monday, May 30, 2016

4th Grade End of the Year Reflections

Dear Fourth Graders,

We hope you had a great time in fourth grade. Although we look forward to summer vacation as eagerly as you do, we love teaching and will miss it. We'll miss all of you too!

Keep reading! Keep inquiring! Everything, including summer vacation, is better when mixed with learning.

Ms. McAllister and Mr. Peto

Here are questions for a final reflection. Please write your response to one of them in the comment section. Please include your name and the question. Remember to self-edit before posting and have a great summer!

1. How has your knowledge of genres and yourself changed?
2. After studying explorers (Where We are in Time and Place), what makes an explorer successful?
3. How can mathematical landmarks help someone make sense of a set of data?
4. Which attributes of objects are hardest to measure? Why?
5. How does pattern help you compare fractions?
6. How can the elements of art and the principles of design help you create better visual text?
7. After the How We Organise Ourselves unit, which one is more important and why: rules, rights, or responsibilities?
8. How did concepts (function, perspective and reflection) help you think about our How We Express Ourselves unit?
9. After studying resources (Sharing the Planet), do you think it is bad to use resources? Why or why not?
10. How have your thoughts/ideas changed about energy (How the World Works)?
11. How is Shape and Space connected to Measurement?
12. What are some ways fractions and decimals are connected?
13. How have your understandings of the metacognitive strategies for reading changed?
14. How has a specialist class improved your skills (social, research, thinking, communication, self-management)?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Honey Bees!

The fourth grade is currently in their Earth's Resources unit of inquiry. We have been learning about renewable and non-renewable resources locally and globally. Honey bees have become a hot topic in conversations about renewable vs. nonrenewable resources, and the impact that humans have on bees.

We met with beekeeper, George McAllister, in North Carolina, USA to learn about honey bees, beekeeping, and the importance of honey bees as a natural resource.

Mr. McAllister was kind enough to give us a tour of his hives while teaching us everything from the various roles of bees, to how they produce honey. One of his videos is above.

A week later, we got to Skype live with Mr. McAllister. He showed us how he extracts the honey from the hives, and answered some of our burning questions. Afterwards, we tasted some of his delicious bees' honey. Check out his website at for excellent links, fun trivia, and more.  

Honey Bee Trivia: Comment below if you think you know the answer. 

1. How many eggs can a queen bee lay in one day?
2. How many bees can live in one hive?
3. What was the first bubble gum made from? 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Parent-Daughter Breakfast on April 29th

April 29th is a public holiday in Japan called Showa Day, in honor of the late emperor. Although Seisen does not celebrate the holiday by cancelling school, many 4th Grade parents are off from work. They come to school to join their daughters for a Parent-Daughter Breakfast. It is a great opportunity for parents who are not often able to visit the school to drop by and have a relaxing conversation with their daughters and each other.

The 4th Graders prepare a placemat for their special guest, who in many cases is their father, but not necessarily. The placemat includes an ode and photos. In the photos, you can see the laminated placements on the tables and parents checking out their daughter's messages of appreciation.

This year, as the breakfast came to an end, parents and daughters lined up to pose at a photo booth. It was a great addition to the Parent-Daughter Breakfast. Who knows? Maybe it will be a new tradition.

We want to express our gratitude to the parents who organised the breakfast. They provided us with a large variety of tasty foods and a wonderful place to relax! Thank you very much!