Classroom Highlights (Learning in Action!)

Ms. Doty's Grade 4 Class (January 2020)


Water Cycle


In our Water Cycle Unit we cover many aspects of our English communication skills. First, we discuss the water cycle steps through an interactive power point with the students going over the vocabulary. This is where the students can get a grasp on the vocabulary and apply it to the fun activities ahead.


Next, we will apply our vocabulary to a fun activity and make a water cycle diorama. The students draw the steps of the water cycle; transpiration, evaporation, condensation and precipitation. To help the students understand the process of the water cycle we use an experiment with evaporation. We observed a cup of water for about a week and monitored every two days how much water the sun evaporated. We discussed the difference and how much lower the water was the first day and second day.


Some students noticed that on some days the sun was more intense than others and the water evaporated more. Now, that they have some experience with the water cycle and showing their knowledge of each step of the water cycle in order, we are ready to give a presentation of the water cycle. The students created a poster of the water cycle and shared with the class the importance of keeping a clean water cycle. They all did a great job sharing how a dirty water cycle can affect individual’s lives, animal’s lives and the air around us. Keep it clean!

Mr. Mark's ELS Class (January 2020)


Word Study Fun!


Learning new vocabulary is important for ELS students. We give the students 15 word study words each week to learn and use in the classroom. We like to have students use word study words in their writing, weekly talks, small groups, break times and have fun while using the words.


Firstly on Monday students write the word study words in their books and use the words to make sentences. Secondly we play a word study game called Pacman. In this game students spread out in the classroom. The teacher says a word study word, the student with a hand up says a sentence with the word study word in the sentence. The student can then step towards another student. The goal is to tap the other student out of the game. The last student standing wins! The students like this game!


We then play word study circle. We throw the ball to each other while saying the words and making sentences with the words. In addition students play various games on the carpet with word study cards and with a ball. Next, students say word study words during their break time. If they make a good sentence they will receive a word study card. 10 cards = 1 candy. Students can also use the word study words during class time to receive a card. As well, on Monday the students will do writing and on Friday they will have a weekly talk where they are expected to use the words in their writing books and during their talks. Finally it’s a pleasure to see the students build up their English vocabulary while having fun in the classroom!


Mr. Nathan’s Grade 4 (January 2020)


Story Cubes


Story Cubes are dice with pictures on every side. We use them in the class to practice vocabulary and to inspire creative stories using the vocabulary that the children already know.


 Day 1: We roll the dice on the overhead and review the words associated with each picture, not just what the picture is. So a picture of a turtle can also mean slow, or a picture of lightning can mean fast or electricity. The most creative of the students will tell a short story using the pictures that are available. Day 2: Today the students will not only tell a story but also need to act it out. We got into groups of 6 or 7 students and each person made one sentence of the story and acted out their part. The students all had a lot of fun and came up with creative ideas. Day 3: The students picked six pictures, words that they knew, and then made a story using at least those six pictures. This was a rough draft that the teacher checked and would make necessary corrections. Day 4: The students received their final paper and wrote their final version which was laminated and placed on the display board.


This paper has a place for the six pictures at the top and room for the story below. Feel free to come by and see our holiday display board and read all of the interesting stories!


Mr. Little Grade 4 (December 2019)


Speaking With Confidence


Speaking is one of the last and most difficult steps of language learning. After a student has built a foundation of vocabulary and a basic scaffolding of grammar, they must exercise their breathing, mouth, tongue, cheeks and vocal cords to form words and sentences in unfamiliar ways. Once all that is under control, there is the fear of making mistakes and feeling foolish, maybe even being laughed at or scolded. In grade four, we are really developing the speaking stage. To that end, we have something called, “round table.”


The round table is a place and time for discussion. All of the students gather around a big island of tables, and take turns sharing their thoughts about whatever the topic of the week is. The topic of this week is “Good Citizenship.” Students are rewarded for sharing, commenting or asking questions. The teacher noticed that there wasn’t much time for everybody to share, and the girls were especially quiet, which wasn’t ideal.


To help with this, each round table was split into two round tables, one for the boys, and one for the girls. There was an immediate difference in the participation level of the girls! They dropped their shyness and began to share their ideas enthusiastically. They speak louder and more confidently. The boys and girls now have all the opportunities to practice speaking that they could want, and they all confidently share without shyness. They love it.


Special Events

Craig Smith (Author/Songwriter) Visit - May 19, 2016

On Thursday, Craig Smith, a children’s author and songwriter from New Zealand, came to visit Clifford Elementary Bilingual's Grade 2 and 3 students. Around 600 students went to the auditorium for the performance. Craig sang many of his famous books for us. He sang “Wonky Donkey”, “My Daddy Ate an Apple”, “Willie Bee the Bumble Bee” and others. The two favorites among the students were “Wonkey Donkey” and “My Daddy Ate an Apple”. Craig is famous for his funny stories, puppets and songs, as well as making funny noises, like his “drip, drip, drip” sound. The students sang, danced and had a terrific time. We hope many other famous overseas authors and songwriters can visit us in the future!