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What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

Since returning from the break, the ESL students have been busily researching a natural disaster which links to their current unit of inquiry on ‘How We Organize Ourselves’.

Using resources such as books, articles and online databases, the students have been recording information on their planning sheet. This planning sheet will then be used to write an information report which will be displayed in poster form.  The students are also being principled learners by acknowledging their sources of information by using a reference list.

We would also like to welcome a number of new students to grade 4 ESL in the past few weeks. Min Young and Jessica (4JH), Ho Young (4NT), Jun Seo and Seo Jun (4AS) have all shown their enthusiasm and quickly adapted to the routine in our classroom. We are sure they will have a challenging, yet enjoyable semester ahead.

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

Today in ESL class, students were briefly introduced to some key vocabulary which they will encounter during their next unit on ‘How We Organize Ourselves’. The new unit is due to begin next Monday.

During the activity, students walked around the classroom and looked at key vocabulary cards stationed at different tables. Some of these words include: crisis, prepare, respond, organisation, cause, effect and natural disaster.

Students then wrote the following information that they either knew or could find about the word:

  1. Translation (to their native language)
  2. Meaning
  3. Example

The purpose of this activity is to help equip the ESL students with some of the key vocabulary prior to hearing and reading about these words in their homeroom class. This knowledge will help give them the confidence and understanding to fully engage in their learning during our unit of inquiry lessons.

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

ESL students in grade 4 have been busy learning about the features of a play script. We have identified the following features: Characters, props, stage directions and setting.

We practiced our speaking and reading skills by performing a play. We then began researching and sharing some of the folktales we know from our own culture. Jayden confidently shared a traditional Korean story with our ESL class that we all appreciated.

Our next step is to retell or write a play script about a traditional folktale of our choice.

Our vocabulary words for this unit are below. Please spend some time discussing the meaning of these words at home in your native language.

Mathematics: fraction, improper fraction, mixed number fraction, numerator, denominator, decimal

Writing: dialogue, props, scene, setting, stage, stage directions

Unit of Inquiry: cultural heritage, preserve, appreciation

Reading Activity (December 3 – 7)

Reading Activity (December 3 – 7)

Dear students,

For your independent activity during guided reading this week, you are going to listen to a story called ‘Wicked Uncle’s April Fool Mystery’.

Click here to listen.

When you finish the story, answer the questions below by writing a comment.


What do you think happened?

Was it Grandma’s gremlins who moved Dad’s car? Why did Dad start to lose things? And what was the little creature flitting around the bedroom in the morning?

Storybook Activity

Storybook Activity

Hi Grade 4 students,

This week in reading groups, you will listen to a folktale from Japan titled ‘The Old Woman Who Lost her Dumpling’. It’s a story that will make you laugh, featuring a funny old woman, a Jizo and some Oni with giant appetites.

Listen to the story….


When you have finished the story, write a comment to this blog post. You can answer the following questions:

  1. What was your favourite part of the story and why?
  2. Would you recommend this story to a friend? Why or why not?
  3. Do you know any stories (or folktales) from your own country? If not, how could you find out?
What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

Students have just begun the rough plan for their own persuasive writingPlease have a discussion at home with your child  in your native language about their chosen topic. Ask them to give you some arguments they will use to persuade the reader.  

We have also continued building our mathematics vocabulary to assist our understanding in the current geometry unit. This past week we have learned about the following angles: acute, obtuse, right-angle and reflex.

Today, we began learning about transformations. These include: translate (slide), rotate (turn) and reflect (flip). You can see out sorting activity results in the photo.

Finally, some students have been translating question cards for Chinese and Korean parents this visit our parent tea next Tuesday. The students are very excited to share their persuasive advertisements and we look forward to seeing you all there!


What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

We are working busily on our new ‘How Express Ourselves’ unit in grade 4. Please read on to see what ESL students have been focussing on in their language lessons. Please take some time to discuss these learnings with your child in your native language at home.

Writing: Students have begun learning about persuasive writing. We know the purpose of persuasive writing is to make the reader agree with our point of view. We have read different pieces of persuasive writing and identified the following features:

Structure: Title, introduction, arguments, conclusion

Language Features: nouns, sensing verbs (feel, think, know, want) & time connectives (Firstly, Secondly, Furthermore, Also, Finally, In conclusion etc.)

We have read many different forms of persuasive writing and written brief arguments on a range of topics. At the moment, we are working in pairs to jointly construct a persuasive piece of writing on the topic, ‘We should be allowed to have class pets’.

Reading: In their reading groups, students have been learning about the author’s purpose. We learnt the author’s purpose can be to either:

a) persuade

b) inform

C) entertain

When you are reading with your child at home, discuss whether the author’s purpose is to persuade, inform or entertain. Sometimes it could be a combination of two (or even three). Ask your child to find evidence in the book which tells them the author’s purpose.

Mathematics Language:

Angles: Students have been learning about these different types of angles: acute, right-angle, obtuse and reflex. They have also know that a protractor is used to measure angles and the unit of measurement is degree.

At home, discuss with your child these mathematics concepts in your mother tongue. This help boost their understanding when they come to the ESL classroom.




What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

It’s been a great start to the year in grade 4 ESL. It’s exciting to have 12 enthusiastic students who come to class each day eager to improve their English. Please read on to see what we have been working on in ESL class these past few weeks.

Writing: We have been learning how to write a personal response. This involves 3 parts; a context (What do you see? Who do you see? What is happening?), a personal connection (How does it make you fee?) and perspective (Is how you feel the same or different to how your classmates feel?).

Next we will use our knowledge of personal response structure to begin writing book reviews.

Grammar: Our focus has been on learning concrete nouns and abstract nouns. The concrete nouns we have been learning are to do with our classroom and home (desk, carpet, whiteboard, cupboard etc.). Whilst the abstract nouns are related to our learner attributes (balanced, principled, organized etc.).

We have also been learning when and how to use contractions, as well as reviewing basic punctuation such as the use of commas.

Reading: In guided reading groups, our learning focus is decoding and vocabulary. Decoding involves learning letter-sound relationships and letter patterns to correctly pronounce words. When we find new words we also add it to our vocabulary bank and work out is meaning, synonyms, translation and examples.

Vocabulary words: Each unit we have a set of vocabulary words that help us with our homeroom lessons in unit of inquiry and mathematics. This unit our vocabulary words are below.

Unit of Inquiry: co-operation, kindness, learning, health, honesty, fun, organised, principled, balanced.

Mathematics: odd, even, units, tens, hundreds, thousands, ascending, descending, multiply, divide, subtract.

For our vocabulary words, we translate them to our native language and look for synonyms and examples to help with our understanding. Please take the time to discuss these words with your child at home in your native language.


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