Letter to Future grade sixth grader

Dear future sixth grader,

Hi. My name is Dana and I’m going to talk to you about being in sixth grade. Sixth grade is a magical experience. The best learning experiences in my opinion are peak and house gatherings. The reason these things are super awesome is because they teach you so much that you didn’t know. Peak taught me about Chinese culture and their normal lifestyles. I found that super cool because I went to the places in Beijing that tourists normally don’t go, and I learned about people that didn’t live in the city, and people that had hard lives. That taught me that sometimes you need to open your eyes and realize whats going on around you. The house gatherings give you time to come together and sometimes speakers come in and teach you about whats going on in our world. The most challenging experiences for me as a sixth grader was getting used to this school and the way the teachers taught you. When I came to middle school, we had a different math program. Instead of Everyday Math, we use CPM books, and they include a lot more problem solving and different sorts of problems. Also, adapting to the homework change was difficult. There is a lot more homework here and I had to learn to adapt to it. The easiest experiences for me as a sixth grader was connecting to my teachers so I could have a good time in class. Last year I didn’t have a close bond with my teacher, making it hard for me to concentrate and have a good time in class. This year I really like my teachers and I think that they are really nice. I enjoy the way they teach and how their teaching effected me as a learner. Since I like my teachers so much, I enjoy going to class and learning new things. My top tips for success are stay organized and don’t let work overwhelm you. In sixth grade you get a lot more work and you have to work a lot harder. To stay on top of things, you have to do your homework right as you get home and you have to manage your time wisely. You also get a lot more busy with all the after school activities. You have to learn to organize your time and take care of things quickly. It was different from what I expected. I expected a lot of homework and mean teachers. But my thoughts changed completely when I came. My teachers are awesome and I really enjoy working with them. I also enjoy their classes so much, that I like doing homework. They give you enough that you don’t overwork yourself, but it pushes your thinking a bit. Don’t think that middle school is hard, because it is the best experience of our lives. If I could change one thing for the Grade 5 student coming in, I would give more time and more experiences for kids to develop friendships and connect as a community. It’s a good thing that peak is in the fall next year because it gives time for kids to develop a community. I feel that the teachers should give more activities and projects to make kids work with people they have never worked with before so they can connect with one another.  Middle school is an amazing experience and I think that you will have a ton of fun.

Sincerely yours,


Self reflection- CYOA

In class my partner, Kate, and I wrote a greek choose your own adventure story. I think that our cyoa should get graded an ME because we worked really hard on it and it came together very nicely in the end. The reason I think that our cyoa should get an ME was because we spent a lot of time on it, and we worked really hard on it. The final product was very good and I think that I did a lot better this time than I did last time. Kate and I normally aren’t a very good partnership and we slack off a lot, but this time we really worked hard and we tried our best. The story was about the olympics and a boy from Sparta. So what we did was we researched about those two things. Kate and I did a lot of research and we made sure we added some of the research into our story. Our story was based on a boy who lived in Sparta and he wanted to compete in the olympics, he had the choice of doing a pentathlon or running and it traveled along from that. If I had to improve something, I would improve having more information. Even though my story had tons of information, I feel that it could have been more powerful. Overall I was very satisfied with our story and I think that it should get an ME.

Link: https://sites.google.com/a/hkis.edu.hk/choose-your-own-adventure-story–kate-and-dana/ 

temple building reflection

Yesterday it was Greek and Roman day.

In class we built temples, and I was in a group with Kate and Austin. We built a temple for Poseidon. In that temple we used Doric columns, we also had Poseidon holding a trident as our pediment. Underneath our pediment, we drew waves to represent the ocean. The materials we used was cardboard, paper and tape. But all the paper we used was blue to show that we were representing a temple for Poseidon. We didn’t have anything inside the temple because we didn’t have time to make a statue of Poseidon himself. We had tridents on the top of our temple for decorations. We had lots of time to build our temple because we started planning sooner and came up with an idea before other groups did, which meant that we started constructing before other groups. Something that was also good was that my name was picked out of a hat, so our group was given a cardboard roof from Mr. Banaszewski, that was really handy because that meant that we didn’t have to go get one, unlike other groups. We were also given a base because we were almost done and he offeren us one.

I think that our group did incredibly well because in the end, our temple turned out amazing! I think that we all contributed our own parts and we all did really well. I think that if we built a statue of Poseidon, it may have made it prettier, but I think that even without the statue it looked amazing. I think that overall, our group did the best at coming together and getting our work done. I am really proud of our temple and I wouldn’t change anything about it. At first I thought that our group might get off topic and not get our work done, but in the end, our temple was the first completed and we worked really hard and never got off task(Well, maybe once). If our temple was graded, I think that it would get an ME or EE because the result of it was very good. If we got graded for our teamwork, I think that it would get an EE because we worked really well together and our final piece was fantastic!

End of the Year Reflections

Language arts and history:

1. In what ways have you changed as a reader this year? Refer to specific pieces of work to show this.

I have changed as a reader a lot this year. I have changed because I used to get through books really slowly and not pay a lot of attention to them. But I feel that this year I have really created a strong bond with my books, I have really spent time to understand the book and step into the characters shoes, it not only makes me like books a lot more, but it also helps me get through the book faster because I feel that I understand everything better so I don’t need to go back and read the chapter again.

2. In what ways have you changed as a writer this year? Refer to specific pieces of work to show this.

I have changed as a writer because I have learned so many more skills from my teachers. I am really proud of my memoir I wrote this year. I am really proud of it because I feel like I put a lot of effort into it, and when my teacher taught us a new strategy to put in our writing, I tried to do a good job to add it in, I put my best effort in and did the best I could, and in the end, I got a really good grade that I’m happy with.

3.What is the pattern that you noticed in the history topics we have studied this year?

I feel that in history this year, we are learning about ancient civilisations and how they effected life today. I feel that I have learned a tremendous amount of knowledge about ancient times and how people lived back then. We have learned about ancient Egypt, China, India, Greece, part of Rome, and hunters and gatherers. I feel that Ancient Greece really interests me. The way I learn so much about these topics is that I read the chapter however many times I need, then I take the reading test to really see if I know about the topic.

4.What are the patterns that you have noticed in how you have approached history this year?

I feel that every unit we do, I go into that unit feeling like its going to be really boring, and I’m not going to have fun at all. But after the unit is over, I feel that I want to do more because I learned so much and had so much fun learning that. Something I could do for the rest of the year is that I shouldn’t judge the unit we’re going t0 do before actually doing it.


1. How have you improved or increased your understanding in math this year?

I have learned so much this year, I feel that my math understandings went from a 5/10 to a 10/10 from the beginning of the year to the end. I feel that it wasn’t only me that learnt a lot, it was everyone else in the class. In class I think I get through the problems pretty well, and if I don’t understand something, I can ask my teacher and she does a really good job explaining it to me to make sure I understand.

2. How do you think you are as a mathematical thinker? Do you make connections across different concepts, check the reasonableness of your answer and show your process?

I think that I am an okay mathematical thinker.

3. How do you think you have grown with the following practices:

  • Problem solving and persevering to understand what the problem is asking
  • Precision in your work
  • Modeling of your work

I think that I have gotten a lot better at problem solving because i have learned so many more skills on how to solve problems and i have gotten better at understanding them. I have also gotten better at precision because I have learned to read the problems more carefully. But I think most of al, I have gotten better at modeling my work because overall I think that I made huge progress this year.


1. How have you increased your Scientific knowledge this year?

I have increased my science knowledge this year because this year I have developed a very big liking for science this year and when I like a subject, I tend to pay more attention in that class and do lots of research because it fascinates me.

2. Do you feel that you are making connections across the units that we have done this year? Explain using some examples.

I feel that I have been making connections to other units this year because I take the time to get to know it. The only problem for me is that I don’t connect my topics as much as I am hoping too. So something I could do for the rest of the year and all of next year is that I could connect my topics to other units I do.

3. Do you feel that you have increased your scientific skills this year? For example measuring, observing, re-testing, precision and focus in the lab….If so, explain how using an example(s).

I do feel that I have increased my scientific knowledge and precision in the lab. The reason I think this is because at the beginning of the year, I used to not pay attention and act appropriately in the lab. But when I actually payed attention, I realised that science is actually super interesting, so I started paying more attention.

Work Habits: This applies to ALL classes. (Engagement in Class (Productive, Interactions, Contributions), Organization, Working Independently, Reflecting on Work, Meeting Deadlines, Punctual, Social Responsibility(respecting) )

1. What do you feel are your strongest work habits? Give examples of how you have shown this.

I think that meets deadlines and engages in class are my strongest work habits because most of the time I get consistently in those areas. I also feel that I have made huge progress in those categories.

2. What work habits do you feel you are still needing to focus on for the end of this year and for Grade 7? How are you going to progress with these work habits. Give specific examples.

Not talking in class because I tend to interrupt the teacher a lot. I am going to pay more attention in class, and when we have choice seating, I will sit with people that will not distract me.

Overall Grade 6:

1. What has been the achievement that you are most proud of at school this year?

Being able to connect with people and become a strong community.

2. What has been the achievement that you are most proud of outside of school this year?

I am proud of how much progress I made in soccer, and I got the coaches award.

3. What has been the most challenging element of grade 6 for you? How did you work to overcome this challenge?

Not talking to my friends while the teacher is talking, and not to get distracted. I just sat at different tables to get my work done.

4. What are you most looking forward to in 7th grade?

I am looking forward to making new friends and having new experiences. Also, I am looking forward to trying to make a difference in the way I act in class, and I’m not going to stop trying. I am looking forward to working harder for projects and putting 150% into all the homework and classwork I do. But most of all, I am looking forward to improving even more and taking my learning to a whole new level. I can do this by taking my interests and learning more about them, making me even more interested. This will not only show my passion for that topic, but it will also show my dedication as a learner.


Academic Excellence

Something that I think is an important piece of work is my memoir. The reason I think it is important is because I wrote from my heart and I talked about something important to me, also, I got really good scores. Some positives about my work is that when I wrote, I found it really easy to write because I remember it very well because it was so important. Some difficulties I found while writing this is trying to put my emotions on paper without making it sound cheesy. I overcame them by changing the words around to make them sound less cheesy. Something new that I learned was that in my story I talked about my bunny, and I learned that I missed her way more than I thought I did. I brought out my emotions in the memoir and it made me feel better. A goal that I have is to show my emotions in my writing more because I feel that it really brings the reader in.

Weekly Reflection #3


– We learned about the densities of liquids, and how when you pour them all in a cup, they layer. We also did stations on plimsoll, practicing mass and volume and egg and salt stations.

– If I could tell someone that didn’t go to this school something, I would tell them that in hotter weather, particles spread and the water becomes less dense and can’t hold as much weight. That is why it is better if boats travel in winter.

– A question I have is that, doesn’t the water turn to ice in winter? So that means that the ships can’t get through?

– A goal I have is to get all my work done in class.


– We learned more about photoshop, and we started a new project on how to fill your name with pictures

– If I could tell someone that didn’t go to this school something, I would tell them how to use photoshop, and how to do a bunch of cool effects.

– A question I have is that, why do the amount of pixels in a new piece of work matter?

– A goal I have is to not talk while Ms. Law is talking.

Reflection post #2


– I had a lab on materials that sink or float. I learned that if a material has a mass

greater than the volume, it will sink, and if a material has a mass less than the volume,

it will float.

– If I could tell someone who didn’t go to this school something, I would tell them

if a material has a mass

greater than the volume, it will sink, and if a material has a mass less than the volume,

it will float.

– A question I have is that how could we make our answers more precise?

– A goal I have is to concentrate more during the labs, and not fool around.


– In PE we learned about challenge by choice. Challenge by choice is when if you don’t feel comfortable doing an activity, you have the choice not to do it.

– If I could tell someone who didn’t go to this school something, I would tell them that if you don’t feel comfortable at first about doing something, you have the choice to just watch.

– A question I have is that, what if you want to do it, but you don’t feel THAT comfortable?

– A goal I have is to get to my stretch zone. The stretch zone is when it is past your comfort zone, but before your panic zone.

Weekly reflection

Math and Science:

In math, we learned about how to draw diagrams to multiply fractions, and how to explain how to multiply fractions without using a diagram. If I could tell someone about my learning in math, I would explain that to multiply fractions without a diagram, you just need to multiply the numerators together and the denominators together. Some questions I have are about drawing diagrams. How would you explain how to draw a diagram and why we draw it? Goals I have this week is to not talk too much, and to listen more.


In SS, we learned about ancient India and ancient China. We learned what ancient China and ancient India had in common. If I had to tell someone about my learning in SS, I would explain what ancient China and ancient India had in common. Some questions I have is how come ancient China had four dynasties, but ancient India only had two? A goal for this week is to talk less and pay attention more.