ISY Elementary Blog

Is The Season to be Jolly!!!

Sandy Sheppard , Elementary School Principal

9th December, 2022

Dear all,

This blog is very full today, so make sure you read it right to the end; it is a mix of information, both new and old, and also celebration. Along with an important teacher news announcement.

We have a fun holiday assembly planned for Friday. This includes the annual teachers’ dance, along with a visit from Santa and Christmas song singing, so bring your best voices and dance moves!!

Thanks to Beth and Patty for organizing the five days of snacks, it is the season for treats, so I am sure these will be enjoyed.

Thank you all for the planning meetings, which have now been completed; this is something we will plan to do towards the end of each quarter as an opportunity to support you with planning and documentation.

Some questions to focus on going forward into 2023:

How is guided reading going in my class?

How am I using read-aloud in my class, and is this benefiting children (see article below)?

Do I need support with planning?

How are my Math groups?

Do I need support with inclusive practices?

Would Math enrichment activities benefit my students (see below for more information)?

I have added a focus on learning section to the blog, where things related to these questions will be shared.

I will see you all at the staff party tomorrow!



Teacher Quote Gift - Etsy


See below; you are encouraged to read these ‘focus on learning’ short write-ups each week. Feel free to share things you think your colleagues might be interested in. In particular, anything to do with our year-long focus areas:

  • Guided Reading
  • Inclusive Practices
  • Sustainable Development Goal


A report developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) and funded by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) tells teachers to “Read aloud daily to your students.” Reading to children, the report says, “increases their knowledge of the world, their vocabulary, their familiarity with written language (‘book language’), and their interest in reading.

From – Education World Article

Reading aloud is a good modeling opportunity, but remember, it does not substitute good guided reading practices.

Some suggested activities for read-aloud:

  • Make sure the text is understandable and relatable
  • Expose students to good literature by reading aloud for short times, e.g., reading aloud a short poem or a short story
  • Demonstrate fluent reading by reading aloud yourself from the guided reading text.
  • Have students read aloud their writing. 
  • Read aloud from Science or Social Studies text. These are perfect opportunities to introduce students to expository texts and to teach comprehension strategies. 
  • Consider reading aloud from articles or newspapers 
  • Start the day or end the day by reading aloud for 10-15 minutes. Never make the time too long, as it may lose its purpose, and make sure the majority of students will be able to follow the reading choice.
  • Ensure engagement; otherwise, there is no purpose.
  •  Make the books read aloud available in the classroom library to encourage them to read on their own as well.



Grade two has been learning about two-digit addition. To practice these skills and to show their understanding, they were asked to inquire into a provocation based on the Yangon Animal Shelter.  Not only is this relatable to students and engaging, but it also ties in with service learning.

This not only enriches learning but can be easily differentiated. Here is a link to Dan’s Google Slides with ideas on how to differentiate the task for leveled math groups.

When using a performance task like this, students will be able to think more creatively when faced with real-world math problems. Using a model like GRASPS to help create these assessments provide opportunities for students to actively apply what they have learned and create a product to demonstrate mastery aligned with standards.

Jay McTighe describes performance tasks as follows: A performance task is any learning activity or assessment that asks students to perform to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and proficiency. Performance tasks yield a tangible product or performance that serves as evidence of learning. Unlike a selected-response item (e.g., multiple-choice or matching) that asks students to select from given alternatives, a performance task presents a situation that calls for learners to apply their learning in context.

During planning meetings, we can reflect on assessments and look at ways to integrate authentic contexts like the SDGs and Service learning. If you are interested in observing Dan, please let us know, and we can arrange cover. 



Ian Nixon – 16th December

Enjoy your special day!



If there is lightning students are asked to leave the playing areas until 15 minutes have passed since the last sign of lightning


December is Computer Science Education month and one of the most popular activities to celebrate this is with the international Hour of Code.  At ISY we would like to encourage you to celebrate by having students participate in student-led coding activities.  The Hour of Code website has many tutorials for all levels of ability and interest.  Students just need to be provided the link and they can choose their own activities.  This could be posted on your Google Classroom, SeeSaw, etc.

 These activities could take place in math rotations or any other times when you use centres. You may want to introduce the concept to your class by showing one of the following original launch videos- one minute version, five minute version. This is a great way to foster our ISY Learner Attribute of Creativity. Please feel free to give some of the tutorials a try yourself!

 If you need support, see Stacey or Lindsey.


Grade 5 students have been planning an event to raise money for service learning groups.

The students have arranged the selling of Christmas items, e.g., cards, ornaments, etc.

Grade 5 will be performing some music on the xylophones.

There will also be donations collected by Grade 4 of flip flops, children’s clothing, and bedding for Care for the Least.

The book sale will also continue at this event. Your students are welcome to come over and collect a bag full of books for 10,000 kyats; they just need a reusable bag.

The bazaar is a parent event, and all parents are welcome. The Parent Association is providing tea and coffee.

Please communicate this event to your parents through your parent communication avenues.

Thanks, Grade 5, for all your hard work.

Quarter 2 Reports Timeline & Instructions 2022-2023

We will work to basically the same timeline as we did for Quarter 1 reports. 

However, we will peer review our comments, and I will check them before they are entered on Powerschool. Therefore we will write our comments on a Google Document which will be shared with peer reviewers.

Monday, January 16

  • Subject blurbs to be entered on Grade Level documents
  • documents here

    Monday, January 23, by 8am

    • All comments (Subject Blurb + Personalized Comment = 800 characters max) are to be written on a Google Document and shared with the peer reviewer and Sandy.
    • Monday afternoon is set aside for peer-reviewing report comments.

    Tuesday, January 25, by 5pm

    • Sandy will let teachers know comments are ok to be entered into Powerschool.

    Wednesday, January 25, by 5pm

    • All comments and grades are to be entered into Powerschool. Copy and paste comments from Google Documents to Powerschool


    Reports can be found here



    G2 and 3 Winners:
    Rice (Julian and Nyan kyi)
    Runners up:
    Kickball (Annalena and Aindrea)
    Grade 4 and 5 Winners:
    Korean Fried Chicken (MPK and Wonny)
    Runners up:
    Rich People (Rich and TaeWook)


    Kindergarten students are learning about the importance of solar power. They were able to go upstairs and see our solar panels this week. This was a wonderful opportunity for them to see the SDGs in action at ISY and the difference we are making. The opportunity to visit our solar panels is open to all grades. A great starting point for learning more about the SDGs is first learning about what we are doing on campus. Grade 4 are also doing an excellent project around this, where they are interviewing staff members about initiatives such as solar panels, meatless campus, and environmental consciousness initiatives e.g., recycling.


    Frieda Makes a Difference

    shared reading resource found here


    Following on from Thursday’s SDG Workshop, here is a link to a very good free online course from EdX:

    Transforming Our World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

    • What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

    • How modern advancements and connectivity can help us achieve the goals

    • The importance of sustainable development

    • Why should you care about Sustainable Development Goals? Here are 4 Reasons to Teach the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Professional Growth Plans

    Everything can be found on our ISY Faculty Pages.

    Thank you all for completing your Professional Growth Plans. 

    Quarter 2 Colleague Observations / Assisted Reflections 

    For Quarter 2, please arrange for a colleague to observe you and help you reflect on your practice. It can be very effective to ask your colleague to provide feedback on your Professional Growth Plan focus.

    Just make another copy of the Assisted Reflection Form in your Professional Growth Folder. 

    Observers, please remember to also complete the ISY Inclusive Practices Checklist (UDL: Engagement) at the top of the Assisted Reflection Form. This is an anonymous form that gives good school-wide data about the inclusive practices we are using.



    9th December – Broadway Music Event – 5PM – These are secondary students performing along with our ES Choir; all are welcome.

    10th December – Staff Party starts at 4 PM

    14th December – Holiday Bazaar, Grade 5 service learning project – see information in this blog

    16th December – Quarter 1 & 2 curriculum maps and scope and sequence are updated.

    16th December – last day of school – this is a full day of learning at school. There will be an assembly at the end of the day; this is where we will celebrate the holiday. Santa will visit the assembly.

    Winter Holiday – December 19th – January 6th

    13th January – Assembly

    20th January – Annual Olympiad event 

    20th January – Quarter 2 ends

    20th January – 2nd peer observation completed

    3rd February – Compassion Conference (no school for students)


    Beginning in Quarter 3, there will be a shift in how we teach languages. We will be adding an additional Mandarin teacher. 

    We have students at all levels of language proficiency. The schedule change will allow for students in different grade levels to learn together based on their language proficiency levels and language learning needs. This will allow for students to receive more targeted language instruction at their proficiency level. 

    The change will be as follows:

    In Elementary School Grade, 2 and 3 and 4, and 5 will have languages at the same time. 

    There will need to be a change in scheduling for Quarter 3. New schedules will be shared after the break and will not come into effect until the 23rd of January. 

    • Don’t forget to update all your curriculum documents. I will send out reminders on Monday for anything that still needs updated. 


    Monday – Sabine Zarchi, Tuesday – Dan, May Zin, Wednesday – Laura, Snow, Thursday – Beth, Sandy, Friday – LuAnn, Htut Htut

    NOTE – when there are no ASA’s afternoon duty can finish earlier.


    GRADE 2

    30 + 80 + 10 + 20 = 140

    GRADE 3

    722 + 183 = 905

    GRADE 4

    2001 + 2002 + 2003 + 2004 = 2010

    GRADE 5

    How many days in 10 weeks?


    GRADE 2


    Please encourage your students to use the wonderful sand is banned unit in the playground.

    Check out the learning story Here


    Thanks, Grade 2, for helping keep the sand out of our classrooms.


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