May 19

Jump Arena!

 

It’s raining cats and dogs at the moment in Ho Chi Minh, but we had a safe and dry field trip this afternoon to Jump Arena in Thao Dien. This new addition to the neighborhood is housed in a warehouse-style building and includes a large trampoline course, a dodge ball trampoline court, climbing walls, a padded block “swimming pool”, and a large inflatable bag to jump into. The students were so excited to go all week, and Friday couldn’t come soon enough. Before we were clear to go, however, we had a lot of academic ground to cover.

The week started with an assembly on Monday to announce the winner of the Heartbeat Vietnam fundraiser. The winning class was Grade 7, with an average of over 800,000/dong per student. Their prize was the chance to tape Mr. Matt Bailey to the wall. Our students didn’t get to witness this, but they did get to see Ms. Chelsea, Vice Principal of the MSHS, get a pie in the face. This was the prize for another one of the fundraiser events. In total, The American School raised over $7000 USD to fund at least 5 heart surgeries for children in need in Vietnam. We are so proud of our students for the hard work they put into our bubble tea stand and heart face painting.

 

Academically, students had a very dynamic week.

In ELA, students have wrapped up their opinion writing unit and will continue to read opinion pieces and other literature that ties in with our current science and social studies units. Their writing focused on the use of auxiliary verbs such as must, can, should, will, etc. Presently, we are working on identifying the correct prepositions to use to note time, place, and manner of doing something.

In Math, students were assessed on their ability with fractions, and have moved on to discovering reflections. We did some really fun activities to investigate how reflection works, and we’re excited to move on next week to more geometry.

In Science, students looked at how living things can change their environment, and how living things must compete for resources.  We tied this into our Social Studies unit, which deals with basic economics including the study of scarcity. Next week, we will look closer at renewable and nonrenewable resources in science, and we will tie this into our Social Studies economics unit as well.

We can’t believe that only a few weeks remain of school. It has been a wonderful year, and we plan to learn as much as we can and enjoy every last minute of our remaining time together.

Until next time…

Ms. Corie

April 5

Happy Spring Break!!

Another busy (partial) week is coming to an end here in TAS Class 4A. After an excellent trip to Dong Nai Province last Thursday and Friday, we’re embarking on another extended holiday for Spring Break.

What did we get up to this week in class?

ELA – Students continued working on their informational reports that they’ve built into Powerpoint “books”. Today, we learned how to use an online tool to create our bibliography citations quickly. Next week, we will finish proofreading and publish our final products.

Math – We’ve begun Unit 7 which deals with fractions and probability. Today we analyzed a deck of playing cards and figured out the probability of drawing different suits, face cards, colors, and numbers. Students got to learn that probability is just that; sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don’t. The odds do not always match the outcome.

Science – Students have been investigating what sound is and how it travels. We built telephones and compared different materials to see which ones conducted sound better.

When we return from Spring Break:

Earth Week – April 17th-21st 

Recyclable Art Competition- students have been instructed to collect recyclable materials to create upcycled art for a campus-wide contest being held throughout Earth Week. Please see my pinterest board to get some ideas.

 

Stuff Swap – In an effort to practice one of the “Three Rs” – “Reuse”, students are asked to bring gently used books, toys, or clothes to swap with each other and avoid throwing them out throughout the week of April 17-21st. All remaining items on Friday will be donated to charity.

That about wraps things up. Please enjoy a safe and pleasurable Spring Break!

-Ms. Corie

March 17

And the winner is….Mads – Purple Party!!

This week, our class synthesized the American presidential election experience in select our Fitness Friday policy supported by candidates. At the beginning of the week, students became familiar with their designated parties : Purple Party and Orange Party. Purple Party candidates were meant to value creativity, competition, and liberty. Orange Party candidates were meant to value equality and cooperation. Students ran for a primary election and voted for their favorite party candidate according to the values and policy they supported most. In the running for the Purple Party was Haylie Chong. The candidate selected for Orange Party was Mads Vikkelsoe. Students then created campaign materials such as press releases, tweets, bumper stickers, and t-shirts as seen below. 

Today, students reviewed and selected voting rules. They then cast their ballots with the freedom to choose whichever candidate represented them best. It was a tie vote, in the end, which was settled by a coin toss. Mads Vikkelsoe for Orange Party was declared the winner. Our new Fitness Friday policy will be a bit more democratic. Students will get to vote for their favorite of three options and then everyone will be required to participate. Not all were satisfied with the results, but I think they learned a valuable lesson on the value of democracy and also some of its pitfalls.

Next week, students will get a better idea of how the Vietnamese governments fits into what we’ve been learning.

In math, students will wrap up Unit 6. Please encourage your child to continue reviewing and practicing strategies for long division and angle measuring skills learned in this unit before the test on Thursday.

In ELA, students will continue researching for their informative text presentation/poster. Ask your child about their chosen topic. They have been asked to continue and supplement their in-class research with online research at home. I’ve also let students know that if they choose to make a poster rather than a powerpoint, they will need to supply their own paper. I’m hoping students can have an opportunity to work online for this assignment. If you have any issues or questions about this activity, please ask me.

Finally, in science, we will be solving another science mystery and learning how engineers decide on where and how to add hills to roller coasters.

Please be reminded that Friday the 24th of next week will be a teacher in-service day and there will be no  classes. We hope everyone enjoys a little break after working so hard these last few weeks.

Until next week! – Ms. Corie

February 25

Courage Assembly – Week 23

Welcome to the weekend! Before we begin another busy week, let me update you on all we did this past week in Class 4A

 

In ELA, students spent time developing pre-writing for an informational report on a topic of their expertise. This report allows them practice building a cohesive, non-fiction piece. We’re looking at it as a stepping stone to a more complex, research-based report on a topic of their choice beginning next week. We’re also working on proofreading for and preventing fragment and run-on sentences. With this, students have also had some practice working with conjunctions.

In Math, students completed, reviewed, and tested on Unit 5: Big Numbers and Estimation. Students also began working with multi-digit multiplication in this unit, and it’s clear that we have a lot more work to do in that skill area.

In Social Studies, our class finished up a timeline project that had been set aside for a while, and they also practiced for our monthly assembly on the ESLR of “Courage”. Two groups in our class were chosen by popular vote to perform their skit for a video recording that was then shown at our assembly on Friday morning. I’ve attached the Youtube links below. Please be assured that the videos are unlisted and will not come up in a public search.  The students were thrilled to watch their classmates on the big screen with the whole school as their audience. We’re very proud of their hard work and creativity!

Ryan, Mads, Jeremy, and Adrian’s Video – Click Here

Marry, Jenny, Haylie, and Linh’s Video – Click Here

 

Also announced at our February Assembly on Courage was our Student of the Month for 4A, Jenny Vuong. Jenny joined us in September of 2016 after returning to Vietnam from studying in the USA. Jenny has proven herself to be a model student for effort and behavior, but she also shows courage by sharing her ideas, even when she’s not sure. She also demonstrated courage by refusing to take part in a bullying incident at school. CONGRATULATIONS, JENNY!

 

Finally, in Science, students are plugging away at their Science Fair projects. The TAS Science Fair will be held on Friday, March 10th. An official invitation will be sent to parents before the event, but save the date for that morning if you’d like to see the results of the hard work our students have put into their experiments. Also, please be aware that students may be asking parents about obtaining materials from home. I apologize if any of this is confusing or raises questions. If you’re not sure about any aspect of these science projects, please contact me.

Until next week….. Ms. Corie

 

February 14

Science Fair Request

Good afternoon, parents! I’m happy to announce that TAS will be holding its annual science fair on March 10th. In our classroom, I’ve asked students to pair up and come up with a scientific question and experiment that they can accomplish here in the classroom. I mentioned that they might also find it advantageous to work together after hours in my classroom or at their partners’ houses if they need to do extra work. Therefore, do not be surprised if your child asks you for permission to go to their partner’s house.  In the end, however, we should have sufficient time to complete the tasks for each project if each group uses its time wisely.

The goal of the science fair is to encourage students to come up with a scientific question or problem about our current unit topic (energy) that they can then test using the scientific method.

Last night, I asked students to research experiments that they might try and be ready to share their ideas with their teammates today in class. However, only two students forwarded me the links to their projects. I told them that they can write down the name of the experiment or the URL, but none of them did.

The homework for tomorrow is to come with a proposal for an experiment and to have formulated a question for that experiment that will be the title and goal of their science fair project.

If your child is still confused with what to do, I’m hoping you can help them with this.

They should know which form of energy their team has chosen (thermal, sound, light, electrical, or potential/kinetic) and that their experiment must ask some question dealing with one of those types of energy.

For example, the one group that did this successfully in class asked, “Can you run a fan without batteries?”

 

These links could be helpful:

https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/categories/experiments/energy/

http://www.fizzicseducation.com.au/Free+experiments/electricity.html

 

Thank you for any help you might offer to your child!

February 11

UPDATE!!

Holy canoli! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated our class blog. Far too long. The holidays certainly muddied up the works, but that’s not to say that we didn’t get up to a lot of exciting and interesting things over the two weeks of class between Christmas and Tet New Year.

During that period, we continued working as usual in math with Unit 5 dealing with larger number estimation and multiplication. Students are learning different strategies for multiplying larger numbers. However, because the ability to do this is built upon a strong ability with basic facts, it’s important that students continue to drill and practice these using IXL or other online tools.

January 21st was our Annual International Day, and our students spent most of our science and social studies blocks working on researching information and learning about Denmark. Students chose 4 cultural aspects of Denmark to research, including: daily life, language, history, and art. They then worked in groups to find information, design a display, and create it for the school-wide event.

Mads and Jeremy work on constructing a model of a Viking ship made from recycled materials.

The Daily Life group prepare their display board. The teamwork was exceptional.

One representative from each group stayed to man the presentation for 30 minute increments. The rest of the time was theirs to fill their passports with stamps from all the other classes’ countries.

 

We’ve now just completed our first week back after the long holiday season, and we’ve definitely jumped right back in to a serious study routine. This week, we continued with Math Unit 5, and also began our next unit in ELA where students will be reading and writing non-fiction informational texts based on their research.

Starting next week, we will begin planning for our Science Fair scheduled for March 10th. Students in 4A will be assigned the task of evaluating or designing a device or machine that transfers energy.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us this second term, so stay tuned for more (and more frequent) updates on the tasks at hand and daily activities in the classroom!

Signing off,

Ms. Corie