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Welcome to Middle School

Posted by: jima | April 4, 2017 | No Comment |

Dear Grade 5 Students and Parents,

It’s that time of the year when we prepare to meet the students who are moving up from our Elementary  school to our  Middle school. It is an exciting time for all of us. We look forward to meeting our new students and their families, and we hope you are excited about joining our Middle school.

We would like to thank you for promptly registering for your courses in 2017-2018.   

We are actively organizing a number of activities that will help us get to know you, as you prepare to enter the Middle school. Middle School Student Ambassadors will be visiting the 5th grade classrooms to share the wonderful things we do in Middle school, and to answer any questions you might have. The Middle School Counselors will be meeting with your 5th grade teachers, so we are knowledgeable about your learning style, your interests and talents,  and of course, your sense of humor.  Lastly, we are preparing “Bridge Day” activities.  “Bridge Day” will be on June 1st . This day provides students with the opportunity to come to the Middle school and meet the teachers and experience aspects of our learning program. During the day, our Grade 6 students will welcome you, and explain how things are done in the Middle school. They will be happy  to answer questions you may have about Middle school.

We would also  like to invite all Grade 5 students and their parents  to a “ Welcome to Middle School” information evening. You will meet the Principal and the Deans and hear about our Middle School Program.  This evening will be on April 26th at 6.30pm in the Chevron Building.   We hope to see you all there.

If you need further information, clarification, or you have any concerns,  please contact the Middle School Counselors who will be working with the Grade 5 students transitioning to

Grade 6 – Karen Kinsella and Carmel Kean (karenk@isb.ac.th  or  carmelk@isb.ac.th).  We are happy to assist.

Parents & Students……..SEE YOU ON THE 26TH APRIL!

Warm  Regards,

Carmel Kean and Karen Kinsella

ISB Middle School Counselors

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Dear Families,

I enjoyed watching parents and children talking about learning at the recent student-led conferences.  Post conferences, the 5th graders have plunged back into learning more about fractions with the concept of area and volume being presented. We will continue with area and volume learning for three more weeks. Having just completed our end-of-unit past assessment for multiplication and division of fractions, look for those to migrate home in this week’s Friday Folders.  

In the past two weeks the 5th graders have completed their non-fiction research writing and published their newspaper stories. They should have (might have) brought their team’s newspaper home for you to read. Since then, they have chosen an independent writing project from three categories after a class survey to determine interest. The genres selected are science fiction, graphic novels and blogging.  Students have been working on their own version of the genre, meeting with one of the writing teachers every other day for mini-lessons on the craft of writing. Upcoming writing genres include Historical Fiction and Poetry to end the year.

We recently completed individual reading assessments for all students, and it has been great to see students moving forward in the reading skills. All 5th graders should know their new level and should be choosing social issues books in the instructional range. Parents might want to try this application tool for determining reading levels for books at home, in libraries and at book stores: book wizard  They offer smart phone applications as well if you google the name.

We are getting close to wrapping up our stream table studies as part of the FOSS science program, and will soon move to creating topographical maps and learning about the wide variety and uses for maps in the world. 

Upcoming Event:

Mar. 22

Grade 5 Music Celebration of Learning 8:00 am (Chevron)

Parents are invited to join us this Wednesday for our Music Celebration of Learning in the Chevron Theater.
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February 23 News

Posted by: jima | February 23, 2017 | No Comment |

Dear Families,

Since our field trip to the mangroves we have been busy learning about salt water environments, multiplying fractions, learning to read and write non-fiction research materials, and focusing on behaviors that will make learning successful this year and on into middle school. Students will be publishing their group newspapers this week, and in science we finished our studies of brine shrimp and goldfish and how they live in differing environments. We just finished an individual reading assessment called the Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment.
Upcoming fields of study include multiplying and dividing fractions, reading about social issues via book clubs and novels, and choosing an independent writing project and learning about a new genre as kids publish in an area of interest.
The International Schools Assessment (ISA) will be given in 5th grade on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28 in the mornings. There are a series of reading, math and writing norm referenced assessments that the students will engage in. Although we have been taking a few practice tests to understand the test formats, we cannot study for these kind of assessments. Please make sure that students are well rested and get a solid breakfast on those days. Data results from these tests are returned in May/June and shared with families.
On March 9-10 students will lead parents through student-led conference where they will dialogue about challenges, contributions, celebrations and changes in their 5th grade learning. I will meet briefly with all parents during these conferences, which typically involve about three families in the room simultaneously, working with their own children and interacting with several curriculum stations that the students and teacher have organized. Pick a time conferences will be made available in the near future so that families can sign up for a convenient time.
The 5th grade book sale and the Moving on Ceremony are in the distant future, so more later about those two important events that happen towards the end of the year.
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Last Stop on Market Street

Posted by: jima | February 9, 2017 | No Comment |

Answer these question about Matt De La Pena’s award winning book on your own blog:

Why did the author write this book?

What social themes did the author focus on?

How did the illustrations help to tell the story?

Now, You think of a question to ask Matt de la Pena when he comes to Bangkok.


Here is the link to his special bus trip:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4irkUDbaIA

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Adding fractions with the money model

Posted by: jima | November 23, 2016 | 2 Comments |

Use the money model we learned in class the two days to add these fractions.  Tomorrow we learn a clock model method! Copy these problems to your own blog and post your answers there.

1/2 + 1/20=

3/20 + 1/4 =

2/5 + 7/10 =

6/5 + 11/10 =

1 7/20 + 2 5/4 =

10 4/5 + 9 5/4

The last 2 problems are mixed numbers, and sometimes difficult to read on the blog format, so I bolded the whole number part of the problem.  Good luck!

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Math Strings

Posted by: jima | November 21, 2016 | 1 Comment |

Try these problems, and post the answers on your own blog. You can copy and paste the questions from the class blog to your own.

What is more, a 1/2 of a pizza or 1/4 of a pizza?

Why would students in Mr. A’s class want a quarter of one pizza more than a half of a different pizza?

Why would they say this?



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Check out the blog sites

Posted by: jima | September 28, 2016 | No Comment |


Scholastic Reviews ~ https://news.scholastic.com/reviewsbyyou/
Spaghetti Book Club
Dogo Books
Guys read ~ https://guysread.com/books/month/
Good Reads ~ https://www.goodreads.com/genres/childrens?original_shelf=children-s
Amazon –  EXAMPLE of The Golden Compass: https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Lights-His-Dark-Materials-ebook/dp/0375838309/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474333856&sr=1-6&keywords=book+reviews
Kirkus Review ~ https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/childrens-books/
Horn Book Review ~ https://www.hbook.com/category/choosing-books/review-of-the-week/
Gr. 3 blurb? https://guysread.com/books/title/hatchet
Gr. 4 blurb? https://news.scholastic.com/reviewsbyyou/
Gr. 5 review?


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Newsletter-September 11, 2016

Posted by: jima | September 11, 2016 | No Comment |
We had a great learning week with our understanding of capacity as it relates to lifeboats and variables in Room 226. We graphed the relationship between the capacity of a boat and that boats ability to hold passengers. Even though we had some confusion with our Seesaw video reflections, students are starting to show their learning using iPad photos and voice-overs less the video components.
We are continuing our study of decimals during maths time, and are now adding and subtracting decimals into the thousandths place value. Several students are working in smaller groups using Algeblocks or Hands on Equations algebra materials, while others are engaged in a variety of challenges using the Eureka materials. Students just completed the MAP assessment in math, and those early year results will be compared to end of year assessments in April. Overall, our class is strong in math compared to international results of 5th graders in schools around the world.
We have started our Partner Reading of character books in the realistic fiction genre. Students discuss books with their partners using our Thinkmarks and our thinking stems two to three times a week. Along with regular lessons and conferring, it provides great opportunity to think about, talk about and write about their reading within our workshop model. Students have done a pretty consistent job of filling out their reading logs, and those that have been consistent with this have only one more week of using these logging tools. We will move to a less cumbersome system in the next few weeks for those who do not need the scaffolding for their learning.
We are in our revision and final editing stage for our writing memoirs. We hope to publish them by Wednesday, and perhaps get them onto our blogs and Seesaw as well.  I have been pleased with the willingness of our young writers to flash draft and work on their sentences and paragraphs to craft a memorable reflection of some point in their lives. We have had the pleasure to work the past two weeks with writing coach Tammy Westrick, who has helped the children with their craft and been a great model for me.
We have been very busy thinking and learning in room 226! No school this Thursday and Friday for a teacher professional development day and a vacation day.
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Week One Newsletter

Posted by: jima | August 19, 2016 | 1 Comment |

Dear Families,

We have had a great 1st week of learning here in Room 226 at ISB.  The students have been getting into the routines of agendas, home learning, and our classroom norms.  They have been working on our big three ideas each day: Being Kind, Being Safe, and Learning.  We are asking every student to read for 30 minutes at home and 30 minutes at school every day.  We are also asking that you help to encourage them in this endeavor, and that you sign their agenda each night after they do their school work at home.

We just changed learning groups yesterday, after watching the class interact for three days of learning. Each of the groups or teams has 5 or 6 students participating.  We will be working on collaboration, learning atmosphere, and completing our assignments. Students will also be in a variety of math groups, reading groups, and will be working in partnerships this first trimester. We have had Annual Sub Lianne Taruc and our instructional Assistant Khun Yui lending a hand in class each day, and that has been an nice addition to our classroom. Dellisa Williams, our 5th grade support teacher, has also been working with the 5th graders during math and reading this past week.

Next week, we have our ISB Elementary School Open House, also known as Back to School Night.  I hope that you can join us at 6:30 pm on Thursday for this informative evening.  More details will be forthcoming from the school about the specific schedule options.

Lastly, could you please send me your best email address for communications. If you want two different addresses, that would be fine.  My email address at school is: jima@isb.ac.th
Regards, Jim Armitage

under: Newsletters

Middle School News

Posted by: jima | June 8, 2016 | No Comment |

Dear Grade 5 Students and Parents,

Students, we hope you all enjoyed Middle School Bridge Day. We were excited to meet you and to show you all the wonderful opportunities that Middle School can provide. We look forward to seeing you again tn the new school year.

The first day of school is August 15th. You will need to come to the Middle School quad area (this is the area outside and next to our brand new office building which will be completed over the break) at about 7.10 am.  Ambassadors will be there to assist you.

Wear your green Middle School t-shirt and school pants, bring some money for lunch and a notepad and pen.  You will be placed in an advisory group and this teacher will assist you to settle into Middle School. You will get your ID and schedule on this first day in Advisory.  Your Advisor will explain how everything works.  You don’t need to worry about anything as we will take care of you, there will be no academic classes on this first day.

We will even make sure you meet some new friends and have a fun day!

If you have any questions please send an email to me.

Have a fun and safe holiday . See you on August 15th for the start of a great new school year.

Warm Regards,

Carmel Kean

MS Gr 6 School Counselor

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