Mr. Lee’s Grade 5 Class (April 2019)
This week our students in our Grade Five class have been learning about Habitats and Communities for science. They learnt different English vocabulary and concepts related to Habitats and Communities. Students wrote the information in their notebooks. The teacher would guide and explain the context of each vocabulary and concept to the students. Students did an activity where they learnt about animals and insects that created their own light to protect themselves and catch predators known as bioluminescence. As a follow up activity students created their own glowing sand jars to demonstrate the concept of bioluminescence. Students also learnt about different biomes around the world. The teacher gave a project where students created puppet theaters. Students wrote their own scripts, created their own puppets and backgrounds for their presentations. Later students did a lesson about how pollution affects biomes, particularly water pollution. To demonstrate the concept of water pollution, students did a science experiment using skittles and water to demonstrate how easily it is pollution can affect the quality of water. To learn about animal adaptations, students learnt about how animals create slime as a way to deter predators, maintain hydration and even use slime to catch their prey. Students wrote notes as part of the lesson. Later students did another activity where they created their own slime as part of a fun science experiment.
Mr. A's Grade 5 Class (October 2019)
Good, Better, and Best – How to write the perfect sentence
Many students when learning a new language begin with the basic words in the language. Some learn to say hello, while others learn to ask “what is your name?” Eventually anyone, that is interested in developing their language skills further, end up writing their new words down in a form using proper sentence structure. In our lesson we started asking, “What’s the difference between a good, better and best sentence?”
Much like painting a picture, words can be bland and boring, or exceptionally beautiful and colorful with varying degrees of descriptive savory taste that leave the reader with a detailed picture in their mind from the author. Students practiced taking a boring simple sentence (ex “I like cat” or the word “Sushi”) and try to make it the best and most descriptive sentence possible by adding adjectives, adverbs, and details such as “who, what, when, where, why and how?” In this activity, students were given a good sentence and then were asked to draw a picture of it, and then go a step further by adding adjectives and adverbs to describe the key elements in that sentence.
For their final task, they were asked to add details that supported their original sentences to make the BEST possible sentence using pictures that other students drew. By adding in minor details that supported their original sentence, such as the “who, what, when, where, why, and how”, the students were able to organize the picture in their head to create a stronger and more descriptive sentence. Now the reader can understand, in great detail, what the author was trying to describe without seeing the picture themselves.
Miss M’s Grade 5 Class (October 2019)
During the school year our class works on learning new vocabulary and expanding our knowledge of prefixes and suffixes which help us decode unfamiliar words. Each week students learn about a new prefix and words that uses them. They have Word Study activities every day during the week. First, they write the words and their definitions in their journals. We discuss the words and the teacher gives example sentences showing the students how to use them correctly. In the second lesson, students are given time in class to think and draw pictures to go along with their words to help them visualize their meaning.
Next, the students have to write sentences of their own using the words. They are allowed, and encouraged, to look up the words in dictionaries to see the example sentences that are provided. Also, during listening and speaking lessons, students, in their table groups, create skits using the word study words that they have learned that week to help their ability to communicate and use those words. The students perform the skits in front of the class. Several students enjoy coming up with silly, funny, or sad skits. The following day, they work as a table to figure out synonyms and antonyms for the words.
Lastly, students get to play a game. It is a matching game where students have to find the three cards that all mean the same so that they can take the cards and work to win the game. Students are introduced to new words on Monday and over the week learn about them and use them in multiple ways.
Mrs Lorey’s Grade 5 Class (October 2019)
The Magical World of Geometry
Math is an important part of the Clifford Bilingual School curriculum. In grade five we began more advanced concepts of math, including Geometry and geometric terms. Geometry can be found all around us and in this unit, the students had a fun and an informative time learning about the different vocabulary and shapes that make up the world around us. The students began by taking notes and learning the vocabulary related to the different shapes and their characteristics.
Next, the students were asked to think about the shapes around them and using a complete sentence went and located the shape telling us the characteristics and some of the uses for that shape. “This is a cylinder it has three faces and two edges, it doesn’t have any points. It can be used as a pencil holder.” “This is a Square it has four edges that are the same size and one face. We use it to play our games”” This is a cylinder, it is a very important shapes because, we use it as a water bottle” This is a rectangular prism. It has 6 faces, eight points, and 12 edges. In the classroom it is used as a printer.”
The students were then asked to construct, in a three dimensional fashion, 6 different shapes and identify their names, faces, points and edges. Once the students completed making their shapes, they then chose their favorite shape and wrote a story with the student representing the shape. “I am a square pyramid…” These stories will be displayed both outside and inside the classroom for the next few weeks”. The students had fun, learnt a lot of new English words, as well as the characteristics of three dimensional shapes.
Mr. Paul's Grade 5 Class (October 2019)
The Best Grammar in the World
When most people hear “grammar class,” they feel energy and excitement leave their body, but not in Mr. Paul’s Grade 5 class. This month we studied how to use comparative and superlative adjectives to discuss the most marvelous places around the world. First, we learned the rules about how to create the best sentences using comparative and superlative adjectives. Then we learned how to identify and correct sentences that used these adjectives incorrectly.
After we learned how to identify and use these adjectives correctly, we needed to practice. Before we practice using these adjectives to describe the world, let’s start small and use them to describe what was around us. We practiced with surveys and a drill called “3’s a crowd.” At each table, three students stood up. One student sitting flipped over a card revealing an adjective. The first student to raise their hand and use that adjective in a comparative and superlative sentence to describe the people around them got one point.
Now that we have mastered talking about ourselves, and the people around us, we moved to our theme class which is learning about the different biomes and ecosystems. In some biomes there are spectacular places. We learned and practiced how to talk about them. Then each team was given three special places. The teams had to work together to understand these places because afterwards they would have to teach them. Half of the students stood on the outside of the classroom. They would be the teachers, while the other half would have to ask them questions to learn the name of the place, and why they were special. By the end we learned about fifteen of the most amazing places around the world.
Grammar is the best!
Miss Shelly’s Grade 5 Class (May 2019)
"Masters of Statistics"
Math is considered a universal language, and in Grade 5 we are engaging in a variety of new activities that expand our understanding of data collection and statistics. In this activity, we began by taking notes about the nature of gathering information and the reasons to why we do. Sometimes collecting data can have a rather fun spin as with the “four corners” voting game. Students choose their favorite ice cream flavor and moved to the corner of the room that was assigned that flavor. It was interesting to watch the different levels of interest for the survey questions such as best after-school snack and funniest movie character.
Students then were able to find out how far they could jump standing from a static position and jumping forward. This data was also recorded in their notes along with how tall they are, what they ate for breakfast and how many pets they had. Once all the data was gathering and recorded. Students were then able to learn about, and create, different types of graphs that would best display the information. Students built class bar graphs showing what they ate for breakfast that morning on the front whiteboard.
Now that the students could see how the information was organized in an easy to read graph, they applied this understanding to working with other bar graphs. They could then study what has happening in the graph and answer important questions. At the conclusion of the lesson, students were then able to make decisions based on the findings that were discovered in the graphs. Looking for the mean, median, mode, and range help our students to make information choices about anything. Collecting and displaying data is fun and we can learn a lot about many different things.
Mr. Paul's Grade 5 Class (April 2019)
Simple Creative English
The goal of writing is to show others what you see in your mind. In English we use adjectives, adverbs and details to make the picture in our head more beautiful. In our class, we work on making each sentence, paragraph and story the best. We started with the simplest thing, which is a sentence.
What makes the difference between a good, better or best sentence? Students practiced taking a boring simple sentence and making it a strong interesting sentence. Here are some examples of how adding adjectives, and details about who, what, where, when, why and how, can make sentences more interesting.
In this activity students were given a good sentence and asked to draw a picture. Next a better sentence with an adjective and adverb. Finally, the best sentence, gives details that answers who, what, where, when, why and how. Next, we learned about what makes the best paragraphs. Having a strong main idea with supporting details makes the best paragraphs. Here we are matching a main idea with details that support the main idea. This will help us to organize our thoughts and make a strong main idea.
Finally, we learned what makes the best stories. The best stories have characters, settings, beginnings, endings, problems and solutions. We practiced planning out our story so that the picture in the reader’s head would be clearly visualized. We did this by creating outlines with the best sentences, strong main ideas and details that support them. We have used these methods to create stories about our summer and winter holidays, Halloween, ecosystems, fairy tales, plays, and our futures.
Mrs. Lorey's Grade 5 Class (April 2019)
Throwing Great Grammar
Having good grammar is an important part of our school curriculum. However grammar is not just a reading or writing skill. It is also an excellent listening and speaking aspect of English. Throwing Great Grammar is a game that is played to build upon the students existing grammar abilities, which also include writing, listening, speaking, and building team work strategies.
Students are given specific grammar points that must be found within their final sentence. This grammar point can be, but are not limited to, Interjections, Prepositions of Placement, and correct verb tense. Students are also encouraged to create best sentences, using colorful adjectives. As a table group, students next choose three different key roles, while all students must participate, these three roles, (which rotate as the games is played more) are key to the students earning the points. These roles are: writer of the groups’ sentence, reader of the groups’ sentence and thrower of balls. Students create colorful sentences as a team, they have one minute to write down the sentence and are encouraged to use a thesaurus to build stronger vocabulary. Next the student table group is called upon to read. This is another student within the table group’s job.
Table groups are then evaluated on the strength of their sentence created. Have they used all of the grammar points required? Have they included adjectives to build a stronger sentence? Lastly have they developed a sentence that is grammatically correct, using correct verb tense pronouns, plural nouns, etc? If a sentence is missing one component from the list they are awarded just one ball to throw. If the sentence has both required grammar points, but is a basic sentence the table is awarded 2 balls. If the sentence uses all components and adds colorful vocabulary the table earns three balls. The last Aspect of the grammar game is to throw the balls and try and make a basket. When a table makes a basket a point is awarded to that table and each student at the winning table then receives tickets to be used at the class store.
Miss M’s Grade 5 Class (April 2019)
Word Study – Antonyms
The students of Miss M’s Grade Five class have been learning about Antonyms; revising the ones they learnt before and learning some new pairs. Antonyms are words that have the opposite meanings. To begin with, the students write the words and definitions in their Word Study journal and then they watch a PowerPoint that gives them a picture representation of the new words they are learning. The students take turns reading the definitions aloud and as a class they practice pronouncing the words correctly. After that, there is a discussion about what synonyms may be substituted for each of the words, and how some have a stronger meaning than others.
We talked about what kind of sentences the words could be used in, and how we could act out some of the words. Then, each student used a whiteboard to do the next activity, which was to come up with their own picture for at least two words and then have their classmates guess which word they had drawn The students had a lot of fun with this activity. The students learned 10 pairs of antonyms over the course of two weeks and during their second week they played a game called charades where they had to act out one of the words while their classmates had to guess which word they were acting out. In all, the students have done well in learning about antonyms and their new vocabulary.
Mr. Lee’s Grade 5 Class (April 2019)
Wizards of Light and Shadow
This week the students in Mr. Lee’s Grade Five class have been learning about Light and Shadows for Science. They learnt different English vocabulary and concepts related to Light and Shadows. Students wrote the information in their notebooks. The teacher would guide and explain the context of vocabulary and the concepts to the students. Students did an activity where they drew and cut out different shapes from cardboard and used a flashlight to project a shadow. They then had a partner draw the shadow on a paper. Students then learnt about how different animals can produce their own light through bioluminescence. To help students understand the concept of bioluminescence, the teacher did a science experiment where the teacher mixed two different liquids together that made them glow in the dark and produce different colors.
Another fun activity students did was to create glowing sand jars to demonstrate how bioluminescence worked. They were able to take the jars home once they were finished. Once the experiment was finished students recorded this science experiment into their notebooks and wrote what they observed. The teacher introduced to them shadow theater puppets, where students were divided into groups and each group had to write their own story outline and script. Once students had handed in their outline and script to the teacher for revision, students could create their own theater backgrounds and puppets to present to the class later. A key part of their shadow theater involves using only flashlights to illuminate the presentation and then turn off the flashlights to make the backgrounds glow in the dark, to further enhance the story-telling sequence. The students learnt a lot about Light and Shadows as well as having fun and also using lots of English language to write and present their stories!
Mr. Tucker's Grade 5 Class (June 2018)
Although our theme of The Pearl River is over, our class did an experiment and activity to recreate a miniature example of the water cycle. We had to wait until it got sunny, and hot enough, for the project to work. First, the students went over again from the theme’s PowerPoint what the water cycle is and how it works in the real world.
The water cycle noun : the natural cycle through which water passes from water vapor in the air to being dropped (as by rain or snow) on earth's surface and finally back into the air especially as a result of evaporation Water Cycle - a Natural Cycle:
Each student received a zip lock bag to color using permanent markers to represent the sky and the ground if they chose. They were shown an example of a finished one, how it works and if they wanted to color it to look like the sky. Once they colored their bag, they received a paper towel and they needed to wet it. Not too much. Not too little. They wrapped the wet paper towel and put it at the bottom of the bag and then sealed it. Once sealed, they showed their finished product of a miniature water cycle and it was taped to the window. We waited for the hot sun to shine on everyone’s mini water cycle.
When the hot sun hits the zip lock bag, the water in the paper towel evaporates and forms at the top. When the condensed water collects and is heavy enough, droplets run back down into the paper towel. This demonstration showed the students how the water cycle works and where the rain comes from. It was fun too!
Mr. A's Grade 5 Class (May 2018)
Creating a Superhero
This week the students in my class participated in a “creative thinking skills” activity associated with creating their very own superhero. The students were taught different words and characteristics to help them with the creative process of making their own superhero.
The students started the activity by getting into groups of 5. They would first play a fun game conceiving a superhero on the whiteboard in their group to get them excited about the project. Each student in the group was assigned a number. Each number was correlated to a different part of the superhero; body, head, face, hair, and cape. The students then got into a line in the order of what part of the superhero they would draw.
The next part of this activity the students were given a work sheet where they could draw their superhero. They were encouraged to be original and come up with their own ideas. They would also accompany their drawing with a list of the super powers their superhero would have. Lastly they would write a brief description of their superhero including traits, name, and things they do to fight crime.
Lastly the students all came up to present their superhero to the class. The superhero was displayed on the board with the student giving the name, the super powers, and the description of their hero. This was a great activity to help them learn how to be creative whilst inventively making a new character. It was also a great activity for creative writing and practicing their English speaking skills.
Ms. Lisa's Grade 5 Class (May 2018)
Mapping out The Five Cities of the Pearl River Delta
As a culminating event for the Pearl River Delta theme, students were asked to work in teams tracing a map of the Pearl River Delta region, including the cities of Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Macau, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Students previously had lengthy discussion regarding the industries each city was known for and how it affected global trade from that city. Students were asked to stay mindful of the importance of each cities’ industry while designing their maps and preparing for their individual presentations.
Firstly students gathered in table teams to come to the white board and trace out their map together. Secondly, students spoke to each other about what their strategy was for labeling, designing and decorating their map. Next students began labeling the cities and creating a legend expressing the key features learned in the unit, such as what cities have: factories, airlines, trains, ships and technology components such as computers. Then students finished decorating the map in preparation for their upcoming one-minute speech.
Finally, students were given 15 minutes to plan for their one-minute speech, specifically referring to what features on their map were important and why. Students then came up to the front of the class with their team to present their map for their graded speech. The students have really learned a lot about this very important part of China, mapping and presentation skills, as well as working together in a team.
Miss M's Grade 5 Class (May 2018)
Light and Shadow
For the past few weeks students have been learning about light and shadow. We first started by learning the vocabulary and writing down their definitions in their journals. They can now give examples of transparent and opaque objects. To help learn their new vocabulary, we have played a game where they have to take turns and try to remember the word for a definition that the teacher reads to them. The students love the game and it can become very exciting when one table’s points gets ahead of the others.
Another activity we did was to make a stained glass to help the students remember translucent objects. The students had fun looking at real examples on the projector and then they spent some time coming up with their own designs on scratch paper. Using sharpies and white paper to draw on, they have created their stained glass. After that, the teacher helped them with spraying on a little bit of oil and then putting their paper in plastic to avoid smearing the oil everywhere. Then they had a lot of fun experimenting with holding their stained glass up to the sunlight and seeing how much they could see through it and how the light changed the colors when passing through it. This is our Grade 5 Science project for this semester, and the students learnt a lot about the topic, as well as a lot of new English vocabulary!
This week we looked at the use of adjectives when describing ourselves and other people. Grade 5 learners often have problems in distinguishing the appropriate use of language (question) for eliciting a basic description of a person’s character. The logical staging for this speaking lesson was that the learners had to distinguish the difference between the four sentences below:
The learners had been pre-taught a group of words (vocabulary bank) that included several words from their word study activities. By pre-teaching the words, this allowed more time to focus on the difference between the target questions, speaking and not the meanings of the vocabulary.
An invaluable technique that aided the success of the students was the use of clear modeling. The explicit modeling of the language expectations assisted in the students understanding and led to multiple language opportunities. Some of the effective modeling strategies included:
The materials used in this lesson included laminated photos of popular Chinese cultural personalities, animated characters (Sponge Bob, Doraemon) and Mr. Bean. The use of popular characters within this lesson allowed the students to make connections to their own lives and prior learning. Each student was given the opportunity to demonstrate their language skills by describing one of the characters, their own personality and that of a fellow class member. The lesson was a great success and the students did extremely well, including lots of great pronunciation and enunciation. I am looking forward to seeing their hard work improve their overall English ability in the future!
Mr. Toll’s Class: Grade 5 (Nov 2016)
Animal Research Project & Student Presentations
This week the students looked more closely into animals and their habitats. We have been exploring the types of adaptations animals have adopted to help them survive in their specific environments, including their appearance and their diet. We have focused on the categorization of each animal according to their food sources. Each student has learnt how to categorize animals as herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. Furthermore, our grade five students have learnt to identify animals as either predators or prey. We have expanded our knowledge of how the different food chains and webs work in different biomes of the planet by looking at individual animals and researching how they fit into their biome and interact with the other living creatures.
Each student has undertaken a research project this week on any chosen animal. Each student was required to use the internet and the library to find out as much information as they could about their animal. This information included the animal’s categorization, where it lives in the world, what it eats and where it fits in the predominant food web of its biome. Once our students had gathered enough information they were tasked with designing a poster that showcased all of the information. Each student then had the chance to present their animal to the rest of the class in the form of a one minute speech.
Ms. M’s Class: Grade 5 (Nov 2016)
This month, we have been researching and learning about different animals and their habitats along side food chains and food webs. We have learned about rainforests, deserts, grasslands, the tundra, wetlands, and several more habitats that they researched and wrote in their habitat booklet. Recently, I had each student pick an animal that they wanted to learn more in depth and had them research that animal’s habitat, diet, appearance, and enemies. Using that information, we have recently started making our habitat project which is a diorama of the habitat for the animal each student picked.
We started by folding the large paper and cutting one side to make it 3-dimensional. Then students either began decorating and creating their habitats or they started adding their research on their animals to the paper. Many have created trees that stand up and animals that look like they are hunting for food. They need to use their knowledge of that habitat to make it believable. Are there mountains, ice, water, trees, bushes and so forth in their habitat? What do they eat and where will they find their desired food? All of this information, and more, must be used to create their individual unique diorama. This project is still on going and will be finished later this month!
Ms. Lisa’s Class: Grade 5 (Nov 2016)
Food Chains and Food Webs
As the fifth grade continues to learn more about animal habitats, the focus this week has been on food chains and food webs. Our class has taken the last two weeks to review habitat-specific vocabulary such as producers, consumers, predators, prey, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, food chain and food webs. We demonstrated that food chains start with the sun, moving down the chain to include producers, consumers, herbivores and carnivores. Specifically, during this lesson we refocused our efforts on understanding that in real life food chains don’t work in neat order, but are part of a larger habitat structure called a food web.
The students were asked to take their favorite food chain, which they showed the greatest understanding within the last two weeks, and create a logical food web in which this food chain would belong to. On one side of the poster students previewed their favorite food chain. When they had their favorite food chain represented fully on one side of the poster, the students then chose the pictures that would match their desired habitat. Students then created their artistic representation of their food web on the opposite side of the poster. Students finalized their project with a renewed understanding of how food chains and food webs are connected. So far, the students have learnt a lot about animal habitats, and they have had fun demonstrating their leaning in pictorial form!
Mr. Tucker’s Class: Grade 5 (Nov 2016)
During this time of the school year, the Grade 5 classes will usually do three major projects for our theme of Habitats. The first is an activity to demonstrate vocabulary knowledge of producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, predator and prey by constructing a poster for simple food chains with webs on one side and a more sophisticated food web. Now, we are into the second of three projects. The students are constructing a booklet with seven of the biomes we are learning; taiga, rainforest, temperate forest, desert, tundra, grasslands and wetlands.
The students could choose from a variety of animals to color and paste on the front page with some students putting one on the back page as well, depending on their time. Each table group had information cards to read and to record information on their biome page. Inside the book is a separate page for each biome. Each biome page covers the information for temperature, precipitation, soil, plants, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, endangered species and their adaptations. A separate card is read to fill the correct information. The students really enjoy these habitat projects!