The Eagles Fly The Coop!

Today was an exciting, and yet emotional, day for some of us as we said goodbye to our friends, teachers and the comforts of the Eagle Nest. It really has been a great learning environment for us over the past 10 months and oh, how much we’ve grown!

Yesterday’s all-day BEACH PARTY was so much fun. Thanks to all the parents who supported us and helped out with food, supervision and clean-up. It wouldn’t have been possible without you. The 5E Eagles made Ms. Cahusac very proud by being the first class back up the hill (5km from the beach to school) without complaining.

IMG_2681Way to go hikers!

Today we signed yearbooks, exchanged gifts, finalized our Grade 5 Portfolios with our last learning report and enjoyed the freedoms of the last day of being Grade 5 students. We had our very last Class Community Circle where we opened our origami time capsules that we made at the start of the year and some of us realized how much has changed over this year. We also did a great job of cleaning up the classroom and leaving everything respectfully in its proper place for the Grade 4s who will graduate into Grade 5 next year.

You are now Grade 6 students. Amazing! The summer will be a great stretch of relaxing fun before a challenging year to begin in August. Next year the Eagles will be faced with outstanding learning experiences – things like the Market Place, the Exhibition, and even a longer Grade level trip! I’m so excited for you all and wish all the best.

I will miss you, Eagles! Thanks for a great year 🙂

Ms. Cahusac

Only 3 School Days Left!

Good afternoon parents of 5E students,
A few end-of-the-year updates/reminders:
– Macbooks will be sent home tomorrow, June 11th if your child has a proper case with them. Students have known about this for quite some time and most of the have their cases here in the classroom already. I have also suggested that some of them bring a suitcase or large bag to take home various things tomorrow afternoon.
– On Monday, June 14th they will also have the opportunity to take items home, but they have their BEACH PARTY things with them.
– On Tuesday, June 15th students will be taking home their Chinese folders, Yearbooks and Portfolios with end of the year reports in them. This will be heavy and we are hoping that almost everything will be alreayd home before this date! Please help us out with this.
– Friday, June 11th  will NOT be a dress down day as originally thought. There will be a dress down day on Tuesday, June 15th and the theme (funnily enough) is BEACH DAY 🙂
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions regarding the end-of-the-year stuff!
A huge thank you to Vivian Fung for organizing our 5E Eagle nest parting dinner on Monday, June 14th! I’m very much looking forward to it 🙂 If you haven’t recieved an invitation please let me know and I can forward it to you.

A few end-of-the-year updates/reminders:

– Macbooks will be sent home tomorrow, June 11th if your child has a proper case with them. Students have known about this for quite some time and most of them have their cases here in the classroom already. I have also suggested that some students bring a suitcase or large bag to take home various things tomorrow afternoon.

– On Monday, June 14th they will also have the opportunity to take items home, but they will have their BEACH PARTY things with them too.

– On Tuesday, June 15th students will be taking home their Chinese folders, Yearbooks and Portfolios with end of the year reports in them. This will be heavy and we are hoping that almost everything will be already home before this date! Please help us out with this.

– Friday, June 11th will NOT be a dress down day as originally thought. There will be a dress down day on Tuesday, June 15th and the theme (funnily enough) is BEACH DAY 🙂

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions regarding the end-of-the-year stuff!

A huge thank you to Vivian Fung for organizing our 5E Eagle nest parting dinner on Monday, June 14th! I’m very much looking forward to it. If you haven’t received an invitation please let me know and I can forward it to you.

Ms. Cahusac

The Eagle Nest Gets A BLOG AWARD!

blog-award1-122x150For the 5E Eagles, this year has been an amazing journey of becoming bloggers. We were recently sent an award from our friend in Australia, Ms. Wyatt. Her blog was given an award as an outstanding example of a blog used in education and we agree! Her award came with an added responsibility – she had to pass on the award to 10 other blogs that she considered to be excellent examples and we’ve received one of her votes!

We are truly honored to know that Ms. Wyatt thinks highly of our class and student blogging skills!

Now, it is our turn. We get to pass on the award to 10 more blogs that we love to follow. Here is our list of award winners in no particular order:

  1. Room 227 – Helped us get started with blog contracts and initial set-up. Thanks for the inspiration and guidance.
  2. Room 231 – Helped us get started with blog contracts and initial set-up. Thanks for the inspiration and guidance.
  3. IST – Grade 2 – Another great blog that helped up get started by showing how classroom blogging can be done well!
  4. Community of Learners – Another great blog that helped up get started by showing how classroom blogging can be done well!
  5. Mr. B’s Box – A great example of classroom blogging. We’ve learned so much from these student bloggers.
  6. 41 Weeks with 5/6C – Mrs. Cliff and her class always keep up interested with great writing.
  7. Miss T’s Classroom – What a great class blog! We learned so much in our journey by checking in on this class.
  8. 5B Battlers – Our blogging buddies who have accomplished so much in their first year of blogging!
  9. 5D Information Station – Our blogging buddies who have accomplished so much in their first year of blogging!
  10. Grade 5A @CDNIS – As new bloggers, these guys have accomplished so much in their first year of blogging!

For those classrooms listed above, it’s time for you to pass it on. Here are a few rules to follow:

1- Copy and display the picture of the award given to you;

2- Link back to the blog that nominated you;

3- Nominate 10 different blogs yourself;

4- Inform the people you nominated, so they can in turn, continue the chain and spread the word about other great blogs out there.

Next week we will say our goodbyes as the Eagles will fly the coup. Enjoy a well-deserved restful and playful summer before becoming the 6th Grade “Leaders of Lower School” in August! I am so proud of your accomplishments and I wish you all the best in everything you do 🙂

End of the Year BEACH PARTY

Thanks to all the support and help from parents, it looks like this year’s end-of-the-year BEACH PARTY is going to be a swimming success!

To celebrate our amazing and wonderful year in Grade 5 we are planning to have a BEACH DAY on Monday, June 14th 2010. Activities will include swimming, eating, beach games, and social time for students, teachers & ; parents!
Since Monday is a school day, we will meet at school as normal to make sure that everyone is prepared for the day. The students can wear beach clothes to school (no uniforms). We will leave school together at 9:00am (all grade 5 classes) and walk down the Nam Long Shan Rd. hill, across the Ocean Park parking lot, along the Shore Rd. to the boardwalk to Deep Water Bay Beach. After our awesome fun day at the beach, we will pack up and walk back to school at 1:30pm. Students will take buses home or attend ECAs as they normally would.
Students will need:
– day pack
– water bottle
– walking shoes
– towel & bathing suit
– sunscreen
– hat
Parents are encouraged to come along of you are available and asked to please help us by bringing food/drinks/supplies. The grade 5 teachers have established a Google Doc. that allows you to enter the items you can contribute (either in person or by sending them in with your child on that day) as well as signing up to attend as a participant. If you would like to come we ask that you meet us at the beach at 10:00am.
You do not need an account to write on the Google Doc. You can access it by clicking here [ ]
There is an example already entered in case you are one of the first people to enter information. Please remember to write: your name, your child’s name, your child’s class and the item you are ca n bring or send.

To celebrate our amazing and wonderful year in Grade 5 we are planning to have a BEACH DAY on Monday, June 14th 2010. Activities will include swimming, eating, beach games, and social time for students, teachers & parents!

Since Monday is a school day, we will meet at school as normal to make sure that everyone is prepared for the day. The students can wear beach clothes to school (no uniforms). We will leave school together at 9:00am (all grade 5 classes) and walk down the Nam Long Shan Rd. hill, across the Ocean Park parking lot, along the Shore Rd. to the boardwalk to Deep Water Bay Beach. After our awesome fun day at the beach, we will pack up and walk back to school at 1:30pm. Students will take buses home or attend ECAs as they normally would.

Students will need:
– day pack
– water bottle
– walking shoes
– towel & bathing suit
– sunscreen
– hat

Parents are encouraged to come along of you are available and asked to please help us by bringing food/drinks/supplies. The grade 5 teachers have established a Google Document that allows you to enter the items you can contribute (either in person or by sending them in with your child on that day) as well as signing up to attend as a participant. If you would like to come we ask that you meet us at the beach at 10:00am. If you have any questions at all, please email me.

A Fabulous Friday!

What an amazing day we’ve had at school today!

To celebrate World Oceans Day (June 8th 2010) we had a couple presentations today concerning taking care of our oceans.

First we were lucky enough to have Jim Kok from Project Kaisei, a non-profit organization raising awareness and conducting research on plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean. We learned about photo-degredation and the harmful effects of permanent plastics in ocean ecosystems and in our food chain. Project Kaisei operates out of San Francisco and Hong Kong and conducts month-long voyages to the Great Pacific Gyre where ocean currents have created a swirling accumulation of disposed plastics.

The video above explains how Project Kaisei has been recognized as a Google Earth Hero after designing an iPhone app. which allows the public to follow their voyages and see their research as it happens!

One of the things that made this early morning presentation so meaningful for us, was that the entire thing was organized and promoted by a group of 3 Grade 6 students who did their exhibition project on Saving our Oceans. What a great way to take action!

After recess we went to the L.L.A.C. to see another presentation organized by CISPA’s very own Naci Lobo and EcoVision Asia. They brought Canadian Rob Stewart, a film maker, oceanographer and passionate shark-lover to debut his incredible movie SHARKWATER to us, his very first Asian audience. After the show, Rob told us stories about his 5 years making this documentary, how he faced life-threatening challenges and political road-blocks, and he shared with us his enthusiastic spirit and dedication to the plight of sharks in today’s shark-fin market. What a masterpiece!

This movie will be shown in UA theaters in Hong Kong starting this week. Go see it!

Session 2 ECA Showcase

Session 2 ECA Showcase Wednesday June 9th, 2010
Time:  3:00pm-4:30pm
Where:  LLAC Theatre
Our Session 2 ECA students are hitting the stage to close out the year!  Please come join us in an afternoon of dance, music, drama, gymnastics, martial art and literature.  Students from Grade Prep to 6 will be on stage to show you what they have been doing all session long.  Everyone is welcome to come watch the show.   See you there!!!   (Please do not hesitate to contact Quan McGough at if you require further information).
Ms. Quan McGough
ECA Coordinator – Athletics Dept.
Office: 852 2525 7088 Ext. 302
Canadian International School of H.K.

Date: Wednesday June 9th, 2010

Time:  3:00pm-4:30pm

Where:  LLAC Theatre

Our Session 2 ECA students are hitting the stage to close out the year!  Please come join us in an afternoon of dance, music, drama, gymnastics, martial art and literature.  Students from Grade Prep to 6 will be on stage to show you what they have been doing all session long.  Everyone is welcome to come watch the show.   See you there!!!   (Please do not hesitate to contact Quan McGough at if you require further information).

Ms. Quan McGough

ECA Coordinator – Athletics Dept.

Office: 852 2525 7088 Ext. 302

New Unit of Inquiry – Who We Are

We are fully into our new unit of inquiry about the Human body and changes during puberty and adolescence. Parents can see the Unit Plan by clicking on the UOI tab above and then clicking on the Who We Are” UOI.

Students have been busy filling out a Human Body Book which will become their study guide as they prepare for an end-of-the-year EXAM on June 9th 2010.

In this unit we will be extensively practicing our study skills and our test-taking skills in preparation for Grade 6. We will learn about the systems of the Human body and the changes that occur to our bodies during our lives.

One awesome place to practice learning the muscular and skeletal system is Anatomy Arcade. We especially dig Whack-A-Bone and Poke-A-Muscle.

Anatomy Arcade

Click here to see a special PARENT LETTER regarding this unit.

Getting Ready for CAMP!

We depart for Grade 5 camp on Cheung Chau Island on Wednesday, May 12th at 8:30am from school. The excitement is in the air! There are a few things you might need as you get ready for this exciting adventure. Some documents are available here by clicking on the appropriate name: G5 Packing List 2010 for Cheung Chau Island Dragonfly Camp, CAMP ITINERARY and the Expectations for our camp trip on Cheung Chau Island.

Also, you can visit the DragonFly website to find out more about their programs and facilitators.


You may also wish to see your child’s Camp Sleeping Groups and day-time Activity Groups.

Exceptional Achievements in 5E

Eagle 02 [ ]
Eagle 12 [ ]
Eagle 13 [ ]
Eagle 14 [ ]
Eagle 23 [ ]
Eagle 25 [ ]


26 [ ]

Congratulations to ALL 5E Eagles who demonstrate amazing blog skills! Every Eagle in the Eagle Nest has a blog to be very proud of and you have done amazing things to help others, both in our school and around the world, become better bloggers. I hope that you have enjoyed your very first year as blogging students and I know that you will take these acquired skills with you in your future educational and personal endeavors.  Remember to always be a BETTER BLOGGER!

I’d like to acknowledge a few Eagles who have been doing really cool new things with their blogs lately. Your creativity and curiosity has shown through and we love keeping up with your new and fun ideas!

Thanks for sharing 🙂

Monthly blog stars

Student-Led Learning Reviews!

We’ve been busy preparing and the hallways are a-buzzzzz with electric excitement! Are you ready, parents?

Here are a couple reminders:

1. Students must wear the official school uniform. Photographers and videographers may want you as their principle subject!

2. Please arrive on time and, as much as possible, do not extend into the next session time.

3. Don’t forget about the specialists stations in the hallways and in the small gymnasium.

4. Let the children do all the leading. Your only role is to be encouraging and positive and enjoy yourself.

5. Watch this video to help you understand the purpose and process of the SLLR.


Parent as Coach

Parent as Coach – 8 hour workshop for parents of children in the pre-teen stage.
There is an information session about the course on April 28th from 6:00 to 7:30 in the library.
Otherwise, here is the flyer for parents interested. It was well received by the parents who took the course in October.
Can you please post the details with your info to parents. Please have them RSVP to if interested as I have to organize the space and set up etc.
Thank you, thank you.
Parent as Coach is an 8 hour workshop for parents of children in the pre-teen stage. There is an information session about the course on April 28th from 6:00 to 7:30 in the library. Otherwise, here is the flyer for parents interested. It was well received by the parents who took the course in October. Please  RSVP to <> if interested as I have to organize the space and set up etc.


Thank you,
Leslie Stitt

Gr. 5 CAMP – Information Night for Parents

Grade 5 Parents,
Please join the Grade 5 teachers and the DragonFly Leadership team on Thursday, April 29th at 7pm in the CDNIS Library for an Information Session about the upcomming Grade 5 Camp on Cheng Chau Island, “The Amazing Race”.
Bus service will be provided from Admirlaltiy leaving at 6:30pm to CDNIS and then returning to Admiralty from CDNIS at 8pm.
We really hope to see you there 🙂

Grade 5 Parents,

Please join the Grade 5 teachers and the DragonFly Leadership team on Thursday, April 29th at 7pm in the CDNIS Library for an Information Session about the upcoming Grade 5 Camp on Cheng Chau Island, “The Amazing Race”.

Bus service will be provided from Admiralty leaving at 6:30pm to CDNIS and then returning to Admiralty from CDNIS at 8pm.

We really hope to see you there 🙂

Lower School – Festival of the Arts

The Lower School Festival of the Arts from Monday, May 3rd to Friday, May 7th is a week-long celebration of the arts in its various forms.  The purpose is to create an environment infused with art for students to enjoy and extend their learning about the arts.  Parents, other schools and the community are invited to be a part of our celebration.  Please visit the school website for details and schedules for this special week.

Marvelous May Madness

The rest of the school year is shaping up to be a terrific in Grade 5! There is a lot going on and I wanted to give you some updates/reminders about dates (between now and the end of the school year) so that you can plan ahead accordingly. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about these dates and events.

Friday, April 23rdDiG DaY @ South Bay Beach

Monday, April 26thPerformance: Oliver Twist (parents invited)

Friday, April 30thStudent-Led Learning Reviews: All Day

May 3rd-7thLower School Festival of the Arts

May 12th-14thGrade 5 Adventure Camp @ Cheung Chau Island

Friday, May 21st Buddha’s Birthday: No School

May 20th-24thGrade 5 China Trip to Guizhou Province

Tuesday, June 15thLast Day of School

Introducing Adora Svitak

I’m pleased to introduce to you to Adora Svitak, a young poet, writer and humanitarian. To learn more about her, please visit her website. If you’d like to read more from Adora and give her comments, then check her blog. Adora is an inspiring and creative child with so much passion and enthusiasm for reading and writing. She is a great role model for all students!

Social Networking Online

Social networking online: Strategies for parents and CDNIS expectations
Why is online bullying becoming so prevalent and how is it different from traditional schoolyard bullying? What strategies can parents use to monitor behaviour and protect their children? What are CDNIS’s expectations of student behaviour? CDNIS and CISPA highly recommend parents with children 13 years and younger to attend one of these sessions. RSVP to [ ]Priya Bharwani.
Monday, 19 April, 8:30-10 am (venue to be confirmed)
Tuesday, 20 April, 6:30-8 pm (10/F Library)

Strategies for parents and CDNIS expectations

Why is online bullying becoming so prevalent and how is it different from traditional schoolyard bullying? What strategies can parents use to monitor behaviour and protect their children? What are CDNIS’s expectations of student behaviour? CDNIS and CISPA highly recommend parents with children 13 years and younger to attend one of these sessions. RSVP to <> Priya Bharwani.

Monday, 19 April, 8:30-10 am (venue to be confirmed)

Tuesday, 20 April, 6:30-8 pm (10/F Library)

Multiple Intelligences

For the M.O.L.E. (morning opening learning exercise) this morning in the Eagle Nest, we learned a little about 9 types of intelligence. After briefly discussing the attributes of each and reflecting on the ways we learn, everyone wrote down their ideas. We each listed what we thought were our top 4 strengths, in terms learning style. We also decided to set one goal for the type of intelligence that we wanted to be better at in the future. We folded up our guesses + goal and then took an online test to see if we were accurate in our predictions.

My predictions were:

1. Visual Spatial
2. Naturalist
3. Math Logical
4. Interpersonal
Goal: Musical/Rhythmic

My results were:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Some Eagles wanted to share their results on their individual blogs and some others chose not to. If you want to see what the Eagles predictions and/or results were, then click on the Blog Roll links to the right 🙂

If you want to take this test yourself, then visit

the personality info website.

A Great Start to the Day!

Today was off to a wonderful start when Eagle 6 asked if she could share something very special with the class during 1st period. If you visit this website you can see a live Eagle Cam positioned over an Eagle nest in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The family of Bald Eagles can been seen flying in/out of the nest and feeding their newly hatched chick, which is just 2 days old! This is such a cool perspective, a real window inside the life of these magical birds.

Thanks again Eagle 6 for sharing this amazing site.

CC – Blogging Challenge # 5

Last week’s blogging challenge was about creating Creative Commons Licenses for our blogs. This was a fantastic challenge for everyone, because we learned so much together and it is obvious that this is a really important thing to understand as regular blog users/media creators. To learn more about CC licenses please visit their website. Also, check out our class blog license to the right 🙂

Student-Led Learning Reviews (SLLR)

Dear Parents:

You should have already received an email from the School summarizing the purpose, format and scheduling details for Student Led Learning Reviews (SLLR) on April 30th.

The first appointments will begin at 8:00am and the last will be at 2:00pm. If you need to schedule an appointment later than 2:00pm then please contact me by email.  Each SLLR appointment has been allotted 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 students with their parents will be in the room at one time.  Time has been built into the schedule to allow for transit time.

Please reply by using the survey form below with your top 3 appointment choices. If you have other children at the school, I am aware that my system for sign-up is slightly different than other teachers (I am conducting a technological tool experiment). Please put an asterisk (*) beside your child’s name in the form below so that I will give you priority first choice. Hopefully there will be no conflicts created by this, but if there are, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by email. Please refer to the email I sent to you for the password to access the survey.

I will finalize the schedule and publish it by email on April 26th.

Happy Easter Break!

It was a short, but fun, week on the 8th floor with some exciting events. We were lucky enough to have the pleasure of Jane Kurtz as a visiting author on Monday, followed by the awesome presentation of the Imaginators on Tuesday. Wednesday was business as usual, although we ended the day with the first quarter of the movie, National Treasure which definitely was a treat. It’s a movie about artifacts with historical importance.


Now it’s off for the holidays! I hope you have a great time with family and loved ones. Take good care and be safe

(especially online!).

I will be back with an update just before school starts again on April 12th with any reminders or need-to-know stuff for you


Update from EARCOS Teacher’s Conference in Manila, Philippines

Hello everyone from sunny and warm Manila 🙂 I’ve been having an amazing time learning with over 1,000 other teachers from all over Eastern Asia. I’ve been to many different and interesting workshops about things as diverse as poetry, VoiceThread,  teaching with technology in the 1:1 classroom, understanding gifted learners, analyzing text, learning how search engines really work, creativity, teaching responsibly with the internet, multiple intelligences, etc. My brain is brimming with new ideas and great thoughts and I have been keeping very detailed notes to read, re-read and reflect on later.


Reminders for Next Week:

Thursday April 1st is a half day, and students will be dismissed at 11am

We will be having an author visit (Jane Kurtz) on Monday, and selected students from Grade 5 will be participating in a writer’s workshop with Jane Kurtz on Tuesday

Don’t forget to check the Flash for other important updates!

Weekly Update – Mar. 19th

March 22: Alan Dick memorial walk
March 23 & 25: Book Fair for Grade 5A
March 26: Dress Down Day
April 1: Dismissal at 11 am

Reminders & Updates

March 22nd : Alan Dick memorial walk all morning. Donations are being accepted by homeroom teachers. Parents are welcome to attend this event. Below is a note from the organizer, Mr. Balo.

To All Parents,

A reminder Monday, March 22nd is the Alan Dick Memorial Walk.  It is an exciting day for CDNIS and we hope you will be part of it. A few important reminders:

1. Your children need to wear their PE uniforms with proper running shoes (the more comfortable the better)

2. Remember to have your children wear hats and sun screen

3. Dress for the weather

4. Lunch will be served to all children free of charge.  It will consist of a hot dog, Alan Dick Cookie (chocolate chip), a banana and a drink.  If your child cannot eat the lunch provided please send in a packed lunch for them.

5. All parents should meet their children at the Aberdeen Sports Ground.  As space is limited no parents will be permitted to ride on the school bus *Please note Pre Reception to G. 3 will be riding buses from CDNIS to Aberdeen Sports Ground.

Thanks and we hope to see you all at Aberdeen next Monday.

Michael Balo

March 24th & 26th : Book Fair for Grade 5E. Students need to remember to bring $ if they want to purchase books.

March 25th : Pajama Day. Students are encouraged to dress in pajamas and bring bedtime props, such as teddy bears, slippers, etc.

March 26th : Pay Dress Down Day

April 1st : Dismissal at 11 am

Grade 5 YouTube Account = Success!

Our new Grade 5 YouTube Account was created to allow all Grade 5 students to watch their classmates’ recent projects, Public Service Announcements. We also wanted to Get Our Message Out to the world and hopefully share our leaning with others. By doing this we hope to encourage people to Take Action!Make A Difference! And it looks like it’s working!

YouTubeWith just less than 1 week on-air, look at our stats…. Amazing.

Please visit, comment on, celebrate and enjoy our successes with us!

Weekly Update – March 15th

Hello everyone!

Our unit, “Sharing the Planet” wrapped up last week. On Friday we viewed, peer-assessed, edited, finalized and then uploaded our Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to our new Grade 5 YouTube account.  The Eagles worked quite hard to prepare PSAs that highlight issues about children’s rights. I am very proud of them, the effort they put in, and the final results. You can check out the Eagles’ PSAs, as well as other PSAs from the other Grade 5 classes on our YouTube Channel by clicking HERE.

Excellent work Eagles!

We also completed our Math unit on Fractions and some final assessments of that will be coming home soon for parents to look at.  This was a long and involved unit, but some great connections were made and understandings were shown.  We’ll be starting a new unit next week: Measurement, Shape and Space.  The big idea we’ll be looking at is how we use the language of measurement and geometry to describe the world around us. Units, perimeter, area, 2D shapes, 3D shapes, tessellations, angles, polygons, and location (coordinates) are some of the topics that will be covered.  There will be a strong link to Art during this Math unit, as we use geometry to create and describe artworks.

Our next unit of inquiry, “Where We Are in Place and Time” began this week.  You’ll find the Unit Introduction attached in the UOI Page of this website.  A copy has also been sent home with your child today with specific instructions for your child to teach you about the Central Idea, Lines of Inquiry and Teacher Questions. Be sure to ask your child about this introduction letter that goes over what we’ll be looking at during this unit and ways that you can help your child make deeper connections.

A couple of important dates for this week:

– Spring into Reading continues… Read-a-Thon will be in its 2nd week… DEAR time each day at school…

– The Alan Dick Memorial Walk on Monday, March 22, 2010.

For more important dates and notes, please check out this week’s edition of The Flash.

Weekly Update – March 5th

What a busy week! We were all happy to be back at school and I was happy to see that all of the MacBooks made it back to school safely with all chargers and necessary pieces 🙂  This week was a serious work-week while we wrapped up our latest Unit of Inquiry. The pressure was definitely on to get everything done and I was very impressed with the hard work and concentration I witnessed during many periods of working on PSAs and Fictional Recounts. We still need a little time to polish our work early next week and then we will share our accomplishments with our classmates and other grade 5 students.

Well done Eagles! I’m very proud of you.

A few reminders for the upcoming week:

Monday, March 8th will be an early dismissal, at 11:00am.  Due to early dismissal, there will be no after school ECA’s on Monday, March 8th. Harry Wright Swim courses will run as scheduled as they are not part of our CDNIS ECA course.

Spring Into Reading officially starts next week.  Packets were sent home this past Monday. Be sure to talk with your child about the Read-a-Thon and get involved!

Tuesday, March 9th will be the Grade 5/6 Sports Day.  Please read Gr 5/6 Sports Day Information for Parents

There are other important notes in this week’s edition of the Flash

Workshop Brochure: Connecting with my Pre/Teen

Workshop Brochure: Parenting with Clarity

Enjoy the weekend!  Get lots of rest and we’ll see you soon!

Getting Ready For Monday

Hello everyone! I hope that you have all had a great holiday with family and friends and all the things that are dear to you. I had a wonderful break in Langkawi & Penang, Malaysia, filled with adventures – from scuba diving to kayaking to hiking to being lazy reading books in hammocks all day long. It was a great vacation for me. Langkawi means reddish brown eagle in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang – shortened is “lang”. Kawi means the colour reddish brown.P2210751

I am very excited about school starting up this coming Monday. For some reason it feels like we’ve been apart much longer than 2 weeks and I am so eager to spend time with everyone again. Also, we will be wrapping up our Unit of Inquiry about access to equal opportunities and children’s rights and jumping into a brand new Unit of Inquiry about how we interpret the past. This Unit will be filled with fun form field trips to group projects to storytelling and really neat investigations. And because it’s spring time the weather is warming up and it is always a really special time in the school year for me. The classes know each other quite well and work together effectively, some really amazing projects start up in the spring like Spring into Reading, we will being in plan Grade 5 camp and the Grade 5 China Trip, and overall, the excitement becomes contagious at this time of year.

A couple reminders as you prepare to come back to school:

– Bring your macbook and charger to school on Monday (make SURE it is fully charged

– Bring your Chinese folders for double Chinese class on Monday

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

It was a fun week in the Eagle Nest with lots of holiday themed activities and excitement. As the week wrapped up the Eagles took their MacBooks home for the first time, which made Ms. Cahusac very nervous but went off without a hitch. Congratulations to all the Eagles for being responsible and taking very good care of their computers. Please remember to bring them + the power adapter back to school on March 1st all charged up and ready for a day of school work. The CNY concert was spectacular and all the traditional clothes were amazing to see. I really love this holiday so much!

IMG_3242On Friday the Eagles took their learning portfolios home for the second time this year with a Progress Report from Ms. Cahusac and a learning reflection completed by each student. The reflection explains the IB learner profile attributes which the student identifies with the most and a section to describe how they have taken action in their learning.

The week after Chinese New Year

Monday, March 1st – CISPA Author Talk: “How to Raise a Child who Loves to Read” by Diane Frankenstein – 6:30 – 8:30 pm @ the LLAC

Wednesday, March 3rd – Portfolios returned to school with reflection sheets completed

Friday, March 5rd – Spring into Reading Assembly

Where Is The Love?

In the Eagle Nest we are in the middle of a unit of inquiry about the rights of children around the world and how people take action to support or deny these rights. We have learned about people all over the world who have made a significant difference in the lives of children whose human rights have been compromised. Since Ms. Cahusac LOVES ♥ digital editing and LOVES ♥ music she agreed to let us choose a song relating to the unit of inquiry and learn it, practice it and then eventually make our own music video about it. The Eagles chose a song performed by the Black Eyed Peas called Where Is the Love? It was the first single from the Black Eyed Peas’ third album, Elephunk, released in 2003. The song is about things that are wrong in the world and has lyrics like,

What ever happened to the values of humanity?

Whatever happened to the fairness in equality?

Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity.

Lack of understanding leading lives away from unity.”

Watch for the Eagle version of the music video coming soon!

MacBooks Going Home for CNY

Hello Parents,

Chinese New Year celebrations are well underway this week and we’re all getting very excited. The Grade 5s will be having a community celebration on the 8th floor this Friday between 9:45-10:45. Please send a small food/drink item with your child to contribute to the grade-level party. As well as food and drinks we will also being doing some crafts, dancing, games and other fun activities.

This Friday is going to be an exciting day indeed! The Grade 5 teachers have realized that we’ve actually planned for a lot of items to be carried home on this day, and that makes us a little bit nervous, especially considering that one of these items is an intricate and delicate machine. Since students will be carrying home their portfolios (including a progress report) and other possible items such as PE shoes and clothes, etc. the Grade 5 teaches would like to request that MacBooks go home on Thursday after school. This works out fine because that makes Friday a computer-free day where we can focus on what’s really important: Our Grade 5 Community!

So parents, please be advised that computers + power chargers will be coming home on Thursday afternoon (as long as they are in an approved carrying case). Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Ms. Cahusac

Season 2 ECA Update

By now you should have received your Session 2 ECA confirmation for your child.  If you have registered and have not received an email, chances are your child was not allocated that course or your course has been cancelled.  Please contact Quan McGough ( to reconfirm.  Reminder that ECA courses begin the week we get back from our Chinese New Year break on March 1st.  Non-pay/Lunch time ECA runs from March 1 to the week of May 10.  After school “C” paid ECA runs from March 1 to the week of June June 7th.

CNY Flower Fair!

Tomorrow is the annual CDNIS CNY Flower Fair. Some students have pre-ordered tokens which can be used to purchase items at the flower fair. Students who have not pre-ordered tokens are reminded to bring cash to school if they would like to purchase things at the Flower Fair. The Grade 5 students will be visiting the flower fair between 11:15-11:35am.


The following students will be receiving their token bags tomorrow morning from Ms. Cahusac:

Eagle 6, Eagle 7, Eagle 9, Eagle 10, Eagle 11, Eagle 12, Eagle 16, Eagle 17, Eagle 21, Eagle 22, Eagle 23, Eagle 26

Weekly Update – Feb. 5th

This week the Eagles began writing their summative tasks for our current unit of inquiry. They have studied and learned about writing recounts and now they can put this new knowledge to creative use! We also have been learning about Public Service Announcements and next week we will have some challenges ahead of us as we learn editing skills in iMovie and GarageBand. For some of us, this will be a very rewarding and exciting project!

Next week is an exciting one at CDNIS as we celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year. Tuesday, Feb. 9th we will be visiting the annual CNY Flower Fair where there promises to be many treasures available for purchase. Many days throughout next week Eagle 13, Eagle 21, Eagle 25 and Eagle 26 will be busy practicing for their performance on Thursday, Feb. 11th at the CNY Concert. We can’t wait to see you and show you how proud we are of your efforts and achievements. You are Super Stars 🙂


– Macbooks + power adapters will be sent home on Friday, Feb. 12th unless other arrangements have been previously made. Students must bring a suitable case or carrying bag before Friday to have it approved by Ms. Cahusac.

– Progress Reports + Student Portfolios will be send home on Friday, Feb. 12th.

– Students are encouraged to wear traditional Chinese clothes next week. There is no cost for the dressing down, but everyone is welcome to donate if they wish.

Important Dates

Monday, Feb. 8th LTT MacBook Parental Control Sessions for parents (see post below).

Tuesday, Feb. 9th CNY Annual Flower Fair

Wednesday, Feb. 10th Guizhou Trip Information Session – 6pm @ CDNIS Library. All interested Grade 5 parents and students are welcome.

Thursday, Feb. 11th CNY Concert

Friday, Feb. 13th Early dismissal 11:00am

Parental Controls

Are you wondering what your child is doing online? Worried about how much time they spend using technology? Parental Controls is an Apple resource on the MacBook that allows you to monitor what your child is doing. If you have a child in Grades 5 thru 7, this course is for you.

The first session will be held in the LLAC Lobby on Monday, February 8 from 8:30am – 10am.

The second session follows in the Library on Monday, February 8 from 6:30pm – 8pm.

Register HERE!

Weekly Update – Jan. 29th

This was an APPLE week in the Eagle Nest!

It started out with Ms. Cahusac being away at an professional development event hosted by Apple on Monday & Tuesday. There was a substitute teacher who had a MacBook Air. Super Cool. When Ms. Cahusac returned to school on Wednesday she was delighted to hear that everything was smooth and under control in her absence. She always likes hearing good reviews of the 5E Eagles. Thursday was fun because Ms. Cahusac’s friend Alex came back and she was really nice. We also learned about the unveiling of the new iPad from Apple.

On Friday we had a Dress Down Day and we also helped 5D start their very own student blogs. Ms. Cahusac has been helping them get started on their blogs, teaching them the basics about internet safety and online publishing. We thought that maybe we could also share our expertise with them so for 30 minutes we became their “blogging buddies”. Picture this – there were 53 people in the 5D classroom – 49 students, Ms. Fung, Mrs. Davis, Ms. Kukka and Ms. Cahusac. It was a huge success and everyone had blogging buddies 34


February 1st & 2nd – Canadian author, Deborah Ellis, will visit and speak to the Gr. 5 about her books.

February 9th – Chinese New Year Flower Fair

February 11th – Chinese New Year Concert in the LLAC


Check out our Eagle Nest Flickr site (widget on the side menu)

New Photos this week!

Weekly Update – Jan. 22nd

A super week in the Eagle Nest as we enjoyed a few special guests from far away places. On Wednesday a good friend of Ms. Cahusac’s named Alex arrived to spend some time with the Eagles. She went to University with Ms. Cahusac as now is a teacher in London, England. Also on Wednesday we enjoyed a special presentation from an organization called Free The Children. They told us all about “Thinking WE“. We’ve been reading IQBAL and THE BREAD WINNER and really loving learning about way which people take action to help children who do not have equal access to opportunities around the world. We’ve also been learning a little about Children’s Rights.


A letter has been sent home from John D’Arcy regarding MacBooks going home for CNY. Please contact me (or the LTT department) if you have any questions.

Dress Down Day – Jan. 29th 2010. The theme is yellow and denim and all proceeds will go towards helping fund the Gr. 5 culture and language trip to Guizhou in May.

Parental Control of MacBooks

We are pleased to report that our Grade 5 students have been using their MacBooks with the level of care expected of them. In light of this success, students will take their MacBooks home over the Lunar New Year break, February 13 to 28. If this is a successful experience, we will additionally make plans for students to take their MacBooks home during the Spring Break in April.

Teaching our students to safely transport their notebooks between school and home is an important part of this exercise. Please ensure that your child brings a notebook carrying case to school on Friday, February 12.

An important part of our strategy for the Grade 5s is to help prepare parents for the shared management of the MacBook while it is at home. Please review the Acceptable Use Policy with your child at home.

On the Gr. 5 student MacBook, there is a parent administrative account that will allow parents to install programs, update software and use Parental Controls (an Apple resource that is shipped with the MacBook). Please watch an online video about how to use Parental Controls

The LTT department has organized the following training sessions for parents to learn about Parental Controls. Click here for  Registration for the sessions
Monday, February 8 8:30-10:00 am Location: LLAC lobby
Monday, February 8 6:30-8:00 pm Location: Library

Yours truly,
John D’Arcy
Learning and Teaching
Technologies Coordinator

Weekly Update – Jan. 15th

This week the Eagles really dug deeply into our new Unit Of Inquiry about how individuals’ actions can impact the lives of other people. On Friday, we enjoyed listening to award-winning film director, Christine Choy, as she explained and introduced 2 of her short films about access to equal opportunities for children in schools in rural China. This helped kick off the first stages of planning for the Grade 5 Guizhou trip which happens in May and is led by Ms. Cahusac.

Updates & Reminders for Next Week

– Please ask your child to see the letter I sent home which includes information about the Guizhou Trip. More information will follow in the upcoming weeks.

– Monday, Jan. 18th is an early dismissal day. Students will leave school at 11:00 am

– Please comment on your child’s blog posts about portfolios and goal-setting 🙂

Learning Portfolios & Student Goals

This year our school decided to stop giving out traditional style report cards! Sounds crazy, right? Well, actually it is a very interesting change in how we assess our own learning, how teachers assess learning and how the feedback from these assessments is delivered and shared with our parents and school community. The biggest change has come in the form of a personal student portfolio. At the beginning of this year, every student in Lower School was given a nice, big, red binder. Throughout the year we have been using it to organize and compile work we’ve done that exhibits our growth, development, struggles, and achievements. It’s actually like having a living and constantly growing ‘report card’. Inside you’ll find math work, writing examples, awards, digital projects, art, photographs, etc. We include work from homeroom plus work from our specialist classes like Chinese Studies, P.E., Music and French. Teachers often comment on our work, write feedback to help us improve, and encourage us to stay organized by showing us the best ways to file our work and take care of our portfolios.


Throughout the school year students will sometimes bring their portfolios home to share their learning with their parents and siblings. At this time, families are encouraged to discuss the student’s performance, their achievements and their areas for improvement. This is done partly through a guided goal-setting activity which is later followed-up with a conference between students, parents and sometimes the homeroom teacher. These are better known as 3-way learning reviews & student-led learning reviews. Personal, social and academic goal setting is an excellent way for students of all ages to identify, examine, reflect on and eventually come to a deeper understanding of their own learning.

This week the Eagles are writing their own posts describing their thoughts and reflections on student portfolios and their learning goals. Ms. Cahusac helped get them started with some text, but they’ve filled in their own personal details about their experiences. The reason we’ve done this is to help us to stay on track with our learning goals by constantly reevaluating why we do what we do! Read a few of these blog posts by clicking on the Eagle #s on the right-hand side of this blog. I’m sure you’ll be surprised and amazed by their unique perspectives, interesting insights and their growing awareness of their own learning journeys.

Dear Parents of 5E,

It is critical for you to be an active element of this learning experience and this reflective process. Please comment on your child’s post (and others if you are so inclined), with your own reflections, compliments and suggestions. I will also be commenting on them and together, we can engage in dialogue which will perpetuate this learning experience. Please remember that this is a public forum and your input may be read and/or replied to by others within our learning community. For matters that are private, please feel free to email me directly. Thank you for your continued help and support through these developments!

Kind Regards,

Ms. Cahusac

ECA Update

Parents are invited to attend the LS Paid ECA Session 1 Showcase and Session 2 Open House.   Wednesday, January 20th from 2pm-5pm in the LLAC

•    2pm-3pm  Open House in the LLAC Lobby for Session 2 activities

•    3pm-4pm  Showcase in LLAC Theatre by Session 1 students

•    4pm-5pm  Reception and Raffle in LLAC LobbyThis event will provide the opportunity for parents to learn more about the paid ECA’s being offered during Session 2 at CDNIS.  It’s a great way for your child to see their peers on stage and to learn about the courses with hands on demonstrations and exhibits in the lobby.One lucky attendee will have a chance to win a voucher for a FREE ECA course for Session 2 at the end of the show!!!!

We encourage you to come and spend the afternoon with your child and watch a show!   Please feel free to contact Quan McGough at for more information or have questions.

Nurse Karla Updates

With the purchase and implementation of the Infrared Thermacam that scans everyone’s temperature as they enter the 7th and 9th floor entrances, and a normal number of student absences, we will suspend daily temperature recording until further notice. However we would appreciate if you would continue to take your child’s temperature in the morning and not send your child to school if their temperature is 37.5 or above or if your child seems sick. We would also appreciate if you could remind your child about proper hygiene and hand-washing to assist in the prevention of the spread of influenza viruses. If we notice an increase in student Nurse Karlaabsences due to illness we will reassess the situation. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update – Jan. 8th

What an extremely fun week back to school! The 5E Eagle Nest has been a-buzzzz with cool new things.


– We’ve begun an exciting new Unit of Inquiry. Please see the overview by going to the UIO tab above and selecting Sharing The Planet. There are overviews available here for you to download. Ask your child the about the unit too!

– In math, we have begun a unit on Fractions. For the next month, as well as fun hands-on activities in the classroom, we will also be using an online program called IXL Math. It is very comprehensive and allows children to work on their math skills at school as well as from home. The program adjusts itself to maintain a constant challenge depending on how well the student is doing. For example if a child is getting many questions correct, the questions become harder and harder. Likewise if the child is not having success with a certain skill, the questions get easier and provide explanations to help them improve. The program compiles profiles of the student’s achievements and there are numerous styles of reports for parents to check in on. Today I sent home a letter with your child’s Username and Password so that you can see their progress. Please ask you child for this letter today and keep it for your reference.

Class Duties worked well for our first week. Students will get a new job for next week.

– We are getting back into writing a Class Blog for parents to have a window into the week’s events in 5E. Please click on the link above titled, Class Blog to see this week’s entry completed by Eagle 23. It’s great work!

– Also, our personal Eagle blogs are becoming amazing records of our writing and our creativity in expressing our ideas to the world. Please continue to check in on your child’s blog. Ask them about the comments the receive and their favorite posts. You can see an incredible progression of writing ability on all Eagle blogs. This is something to be VERY proud of 🙂


– Scholastic Books order forms went home on Thursday. The return dealine is Monday, January 11th.

Welcome Back to School!

In 5E it is obvious that we are ready to jump right into our next Unit of Inquiry with enthusiasm and energy. I hope you all had a peaceful and healthy holiday with friends and family.

In the Eagle Nest we have developed a new system of classroom duties to help us stay organized and participate collectively in the overall effectiveness of the classroom as a working environment with many elements. Ask you child what their role is this week and have them explain some of the other roles which they will have in the future.

Grade 5 intramurals begin this week with Handball, and I’m confident that 5E will support each other (and have lots of fun) through another great tournament. GO EAGLES!

Look out for information and details in this Friday’s Update about our new Unit Of Inquiry.

Weekly Update – December 11th

The holiday spirit is in the air and all around on the 8th floor lately! We are getting excited about Winter Concert, a special holiday-themed assembly and a Grade 5 party to wrap up next week. The Eagles have also been very good with a 1-week game of Secret Santa with special rules. The students have been encouraged to re-use old gifts or share items that they no longer need/want. Also many Eagles have taken the initiative to make gifts and cards from scratch proving that the holidays do not need to be about spending money and shiny new items wrapped up with bows. We even decorated our classroom with gorgeous hand-made holiday snowflakes, made entirely from recycled paper. Eagle 7 and Eagle 9 also made us a homemade Christmas tree (equipped with a perch for our class mascot Eagle brought in by Eagle 1). The tree is made from reused paper and other crafty supplies and I think it’s a thousand times better than a traditional Christmas tree 🙂


The 6th grade Market Place is happening on Monday, December 14th & Tuesday, December 15th. Students must bring $ if they’d like to purchase items. Please remind your child about being safe and careful with $ at school because there have been cases of students losing $ and personal belongings.

Winter Concert is Tuesday, December 15th. Students need to be at school at 6pm. They must wear black bottoms (skirts or pants and shoes) and a choice of red or green tops. Solid colours only please. Wearing shirts inside out or backwards is completely fine!


Winter Concert – Tuesday, December 15
Students are expected to go home at the end of the school day and return at the expected time for their performance.  For students who live too far from school to do this, they should make arrangements to go somewhere (e.g., visit a friend) so they have a break from school and are supervised.  There will be no supervision available after school until 6:00 p.m. on the evening performances.  ECAs are scheduled as usual and there will be no refund offered if students choose to not attend due to any special arrangements made on these performance nights.  Thank you for your cooperation.
Marshall Shaw_2006-07
Thanks for your support.
Marshall Shaw
Grade 4/5/6 Music Teacher

Nurse Karla Update

Government Dental Appointments

Prep to Grade 4 classes will be visiting the MacLehose Dental clinic during the first 3 weeks of January as part of the Government of Hong Kong Department of Health School Dental Care Service. An email will be sent out to notify parents of the date of their child’s class dental visit closer to the actual date. Students are asked to bring their own toothbrush and the SDCS Student Handbook if they have one to the appointment. Individual appointment slips for Grade 5 students who joined the program will be distributed on Monday. Students will need to be taken to the clinic by their parents/caregivers. Parents registered their children for this program at the beginning of the school year. If students were not registered for the program, it is too late to join for this year.

Please let me know if you have any questions.Nurse Karla

Nurse Karla

French Update

Dear Parents,

Your child has been practicing words and gestures related to the 3 Little Pigs story in class over the past few weeks and are ready to present to an audience – you!  Students are instructed to bring home their puppets and to briefly describe any of the characters to you. Please take a minute or two to listen to their presentation and then complete the peach-coloured comment card that is stapled into their homework diary. At this point, don’t worry if you don’t understand what your child is saying. Do encourage your child to speak audilbly and to maintain eye contact with their targeted audience.

Thank you for your participation, interest and continued support in our French program.
Elizabeth Lum
Lower School French Specialist

Weekly Update – December 4th

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

It has been a great week on the 8th floor as we begin to get into the festive holiday spirit! We started off with a truly impressive first rehearsal on Monday for the upcoming Winter Concert. The rest of the week’s highlights included making large snowflakes out of recycled paper, preparing our 60 Seconds in the Spotlight, blogging (of course!) watching Wasted! and The Lifted Lorax, and reading about Andrew being Lost in the Garbage!

Enjoy your weekend and have fun!

Monday, December 7th is an early dismissal day. Students will go home at 11am.

Class Photos, Flickr & Winter Concert

Today a few important items should have come home with your child. School photos were sent home and everyone looked great! Also, important information along with 2 free tickets to the Winter Concert on Dec. 15th was sent home. Please ask your child about these 2 important items.

A NEW feature recently added to our blog is a link to the 5E Eagle Nest Flickr website. Please scroll down and look in the far right column for the box with a link to Flickr . There are many pictures here of things we’ve been doing in class this year 🙂

5E Blog Awards

most improved bloggersThe Eagles began their blogs in August with zero blogging experience and we’ve come so far since then! Congratulations to all the Eagles listed above who’s hard work, risk taking  and self-motivated learning has gained them the status of most improved blog star. Many Eagles have won blog stars of the week already for their consistently well produced blogs and many Eagles are well on their ways to getting a blog start very soon! Keep up the GREAT work. This week I wanted to recognize the Eagles who have really come a long, long way in their blogging abilities and talents and specifically Eagles who have their blogs completely up-to-date.

Way to Go!

What Exactly is This Blog About Anyway?

Wordle is a cool tool that can create a tag cloud out of any document, blog or website. It is very artistic and creative, but also more informative than you’d actually think! It works by counting the words used within the text and represents the most commonly used words in large-scale, colourful fonts. It helps readers see the main ideas, the focus, the tone, as well as the  vocabulary used within the writing. Try it out with your own blog or website or your latest school assignment!

Here is a wordle of our class blog so far. We’ll do another one in a few months time to see how the words have changed. All the Eagles also made Wordle tag clouds this morning, so check them out in the blog roll to the right.

Wordle 4

Weekly Update – November 20th

What an amazing week for the 5E Eagles! I was very proud of the Eagles all week long, and went home happy each and every day, because I witnessed some serious effort and hard work throughout the school week.

One major highlight was on Friday afternoon we helped lead the Grade 1 Team Building day by working hard as team leaders and activity leaders. Everyone showed their best qualities and really impressed me (and my mom). What a great way to end an awesome week 🙂

I would like to thank all the people who donated school packs for the relief effort in the Philippines.

Next Week at a Glance

– Thursday, November 26th Dress Down Day + 3-way conferences 3:00 – 5:00

– Friday, November 27th 3-way conferences – NO CLASSES ALL DAY

Enjoy the weekend 🙂

Ms. Cahusac

3-Way Learning Reviews

Attached here you will find the Parent User Guide Nov2009 on how to access the Online Scheduling System for 3-way Learning Reviews on November 26 and 27. As you are required to schedule your child’s Learning Review online, please review the attachment as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Jean Lo at or 2240 6312. Please note that since 3-way Learning Reviews are only 15 minutes long, parents and children should arrive to the Learning Review with goals for improvement in mind. If you were not able to attend our parent training sessions on assessment and reporting, there are several parent resources on assessment and reporting available in the CDNIS Library for you to borrow. Please feel free to access these resources at your own leisure: – Powerpoint presentation from the Assessment and Reporting workshop – DVDs of the Assessment and Reporting workshop – excerpts from the Lower School Assessment and Reporting policy – copies of all communications with parents that have been sent home to date regarding assessment and reporting Thank you for your attention.

Dean Croy
Principal(Acting) Lower School

Portfolios and Learning Updates

Dear Parents,

Today, Prep to Grade 6 students will have brought home their portfolios, including Learning Updates, for the first time. The portfolio is a collection of student work that your child will share with you and is intended to be descriptive of your child’s learning journey.

We request that you seek to gain a better understanding of your child’s learning style, areas of strength and areas for growth as you review the portfolio and talk with your child. However, before you engage in a discussion with your child about the portfolio and Learning Update, we suggest the following:

– Please read the introductory letter at the front of the portfolio and view the guiding questions, which you can use during your discussion
– Take some mental/actual notes of your child’s responses. His/her answers will be good indicators of areas in which s/he needs to improve.
– Aim to develop a list of possible goals for your child as an outcome of your discussion. These will be further discussed at the upcoming Learning Review.
– View the informative podcast created by teachers, which is found on the CISPA website at

Learning Reviews will be held on the afternoon of Thursday, November 26 and during the day on Friday, November 27. Scheduling information will be sent next week.
Enjoy this learning dialogue with your child as it has the potential to be a very powerful experience for all.

croyYours truly,
Dean Croy
Principal (Acting), Lower School

Assessment & Reporting Update

The teachers and staff of CDNIS are excited about the new developments and focus of the assessment & reporting policies in Lower School. Through these transitions, it is important to us that we are not only supporting the students and teachers, but also supporting parents and families. The Lower School Assessment & Reporting Committee has produced a quick “Parent’s Guide to the Learning Review Process” which includes some helpful hints and information about what to expect over the next few weeks. Please take a moment to watch it.

Weekly Update – November 6th

What a wild and wonderful week we’ve had on the 8th floor! We spend the better part of the week using our knowledge and experience form our field trip to the Hong Kong Science Museum building exhibits about changes in the states of matter. These Exhibits were then put on display today to the rest of the grade five student body in our classroom Museums of Change. Ask your child about their project, how in connects to the unit of inquiry and in what ways they understand the central idea of the unit of inquiry.


Rememberance Day Celebrations – Poppies for Lower School Students in Preparatory-Grade 6 on November 11
Your child will have the opportunity to wear a poppy at the November 11 Remembrance Day Assembly by providing a $2 donation to a veteran’s association. Funds will be collected and poppies distributed to your child prior to the assembly. Please remember to send the coin with your child next Wednesday. Children love the opportunity to participate on this special day by giving to a special cause and wearing a poppy.

If you are able, please join us for your child’s Remembrance Day Assembly in the LLAC on Wednesday, November 11:
Prep-Grade 2 9:40-10:20
Grades 3-6 12:30-1:10

PCF Dumpsite and Cemetery School, Tondo, Manila, Philippines – CDNIS Fundraiser flyer

This is a reminder for all G5-6 students that swimming will begin next week (Nov. 10 and continue to Dec.11). Both PE periods a week will be SteinerMarcdevoted to swimming. Students must come prepared with proper swim attire (suits, goggles and towel). Uniform attendance will be taken as usual.

Marc Steiner

Immunization Information

Nurse KarlaDear Parents/Caregivers,

Immunisation forms MUST BE returned by tomorrow, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6th. The immunisation team is coming to the School tomorrow (Friday) afternoon to check the records prior to coming in on November 13th to administer the injections. Therefore we need all forms in by tomorrow morning.

If you are consenting to the immunisation, please send in your child’s original immunisation record. If your child is not getting the immunisation, there is no need to send in the record. Also, please let me know if you are available to help out on the morning of the immunisations. Please email me if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Karla Handcock
School Nurse
Canadian International School
direct line: 2240-6329

Weekly Update – November 3rd

I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing holiday with lots of time for fun too! Halloween was a very fun day for us just before leaving on our holidays, congratulations to all the participants who made it fun by dressing up and showing school spirit. It’s great to be back at school now, jumping feet first into our Museum Exhibit Projects. Be sure to ask your child what their exhibit will be about…


It is important that parents are aware of the Learning Language and the Achievement Descriptors rubric which teachers will be using for the upcoming learning review and portfolio review.

The Achievement Descriptors clearly explain the criteria your child’s progress is being measured against. Our ongoing developments in assessment and reporting clearly outline that knowledge, skills and understandings are all key components to your child’s learning.

As Susie Heinrich-Jabal clearly stated at our parent session, we want students to be approaching expectations when we begin a unit because we want them to have something to learn; this is expected. Furthermore, meeting expectations is a high level of competency and it is our goal to have students meeting grade level expectations. Students who demonstrate knowledge, skills, and understandings in a specific area of strength beyond grade level expectations are exceeding expectations.

Our new Learning Update (Nov) and Progress Reports (Feb and June) will report on a variety of knowledge, skills and understandings using the attached descriptors.

Lower School Vice Principal (Acting)


– Season 2 sports try outs begin this week. Please check the t-wolves website for further details.

– The CISPA Family Fun Fair is this Sunday, November 8th starting at 11am

Blog Stars of The Week

Congratulations to the Blog Stars of the Week who demonstrated excellence in their recent posts about How We Use Digital Technology to Express Ourselves and about Climate Change for the Blog Action Day ’09. There have been many improvements lately and your blog skills are really shinning though. Congratulations and keep up the awesome work. Also, remember to share your skills with others and continue to teach your classmates how to be Better Bloggers 🙂

Picture 2

Weekly Update: October 16th

This was another busy week on the 8th floor! Eagles jumped right into our new unit of inquiry with discussions, science experiments, procedural writing and research about museum exhibits for our summative task.

Next Week at a Glance

– Monday, October 19th is an early dismissal day. Students will be dismissed at 11:00am

– Tuesday, October 20th 5E class photos will be taken at 11:00am

– Wednesday, October 21st is our field trip to the Hong Kong museum of Science

– Friday, October 23rd is our CDNIS Halloween Celebration

Enjoy the weekend 🙂

Ms. Cahusac

Music with Mr. Shaw

Hi everyone,Marshall Shaw_2006-07

Here is a link to Mr. Shaw’s website. Please bookmark it for your future reference. You will notice that it is also now listed under Grade 5 Classes at CDNIS on the far right side bar (half way down) →

Mr. Shaw has placed resources and music that the students can practice with for
the Winter Performance in various sections. As well, he will be updating it regularly
with photos, videos and helpful music resources.

Thanks for your support.

Assessment & Reporting Update

Consultant Susie Heinrich-Jabal, recently led two very successful parent workshops to encourage a deeper understanding of Lower School assessment and reporting practices. Attached is her PowerPoint and Achievement Descriptors, which you may find useful in answering some of your questions regarding our assessment and reporting procedures and the reasoning to support implementation at the elementary level.

Parent Session Slideshow

Achievement Descriptors Rubric

What The Eagles Think About Blogging

In 5E we are studying surveys right now and I’ve made up my own online survey to find out what our class really thinks about digital technology. A few questions about blogging caught my attention and I thought I’d share them with you. Here’s what I’ve learned:

graph 2graph

Interesting to note that blogging doesn’t seem to have any connection at all to practicing writing skills. It seems to be all working according to my master plan….. mmmwwwawww hahahaha!

– Eagle Eye

Weekly Update: October 9th

The week that felt like a month! I heard more than a few times this week…..

Monday I had to go to an appointment for the afternoon and I left the Eagle Nest in the hands of a supply teacher for the second time this year. I am thrilled to report that the feedback was all positive! The teacher even left a note for me stating that the class was excellent. Well done Eagles!

Tuesday we played our first soccer intramurals match at lunch recess and won! I appointed Eagle 15 as our captain for the week and he did a fantastic job, being very fair and considerate of all Eagles who wanted to play. And there were a lot of us. I cheered from the sidelines with other Eagles and 9 players brought us to a victory.

Wednesday was a hard day, and at the same time, a glorious celebration of Mr. CDNIS and our beautiful school community.

Thursday some Grade 5 students began the day with Painting a Glove for Habitat for Humanity. Thanks for participating in a good cause! In class, we began our new Unit of Inquiry. One of our first activities was to practice good procedural writing. Be sure to check out the silliness which ensued with our Peanut Butter Sandwich activity in the post below this one. Also, please see the UOI page tab above for an overview of the Unit, including the enduring understandings and ideas of ways that the unit can be reinforced at home. This unit will be short but very sweet – with many opportunities for hands-on activities, experiments, creations and all-around-fun science learning.

Friday we continued working on our survey graphs and watched Bill Nye introduce us to the world of matter. We won our third intramural soccer match, thanks to excellent team work and cooperation. I am so proud of how we came together as a class and supported each other, even if we were just watching from the sidelines. In the evening we enjoyed some fine Grade 5 art (and free cookies, juice and sandwiches) in the LLAC loby with parents and loved ones. It was a great chance to meet new family members, talk, mingle and simply enjoy our Grade 5 community together. What a nice way to wrap up a difficult week.


Monday, October 12th is the second (and last) parent information session about new developments in our Reporting & Assessment procedures. Sixth floor cafeteria 8:00-9:30 * I am on the Reporting & Assessment committee this year and, specifically, I will be working on supporting parents through all the changes and developments this year. Please feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns regarding this.


I have recently created an Eagle Nest Flickr account to showcase our class photos. We have been taking great photos in class and on field trips, and we all know how much I LOVE taking photos, so we need a place to show people. This blog has turned out to be fairly incompatible with photo album sharing, so I’ve made online albums with Flickr. You can check them out by clicking here !

– Eagle Eye 🙂

Procedural Writing

5E and making a peanut butter sandwich 2

Today in class we had quite a few laughs as we made peanut butter sandwiches. Why so funny? you may ask. Well first I asked the students to write down instructions to making a peanut butter sandwich – easy enough, right? Then I asked for a few student volunteers who identified themselves as not easily embarrassed. As I read their instructions out loud (I followed them word for word in attempt to make myself something edible) I enacted what was instructed. Guess what? It took 3 tries before I created something that could actually be eaten.

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At one point, following the directions written I was actually rubbing the entire loaf of wrapped bread and the closed jar of peanut butter together. In another moment I was attemptimark smileng to spread the lid of the peanut butter onto a slice of bread with a knife! Needless to say there was a lot of giggles and even some outrageous laughter (I think Eagle 15 & 16 are actually crying in the photos!).

Next, the students tried to follow each other’s instructions and created even more laughter. Luckily for everyone, in the end we all enjoyed a peanut butter sandwich just in time for recess.

Picture 4

Picture 5Eagle 11 & Eagle 2

Mr. Dick Memorial Service

Dear CDNIS Community,

The past few days have been very difficult for the CDNIS community. Staff, teachers, students, and parents have been moving through the grieving process while trying to continue as Alan would have wished.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 7 at 3:00pm. Our intention is to gather as a community to celebrate Alan’s life and to provide an opportunity for his many friends to come together to express their love and respect for Alan. The service will reflect Alan – full of spirit, colour and, of course, music. As this is a celebration of Alan’s life, we ask that parents and friends wear pink, his favourite colour.

To allow students to attend the service with their parents, school will be dismissed at 11:00am on Wednesday, October 7.

We would like to ask for your kind cooperation to refrain from taking video or pictures during the memorial service. A professional photographer and a videographer have been hired to record the service. A DVD will be made available at a later date.

Memorial Service
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Time: 3:00 pm
Venue: AsiaWorld-Summit, Hall 2, AsiaWorld-Expo
Ground Floor, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong
Dress Code: Please wear something pink, Alan’s favourite colour. For CDNIS students, please wear school uniform.

Airport Express: Those who are attending the memorial service are entitled to buy round-trip Airport Express tickets between Hong Kong Station and AsiaWorld-Expo Station at just HK$48 with an Octopus Card. Ticket counters are located at Hong Kong Station – L2 Trains to Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo (next to the existing Airport Express Shuttle Bus Counter)

In respect for Alan’s dedication to sustainability, we would ask those not taking the Airport Express to consider car pooling.

Yours sincerely,
Dave McMaster
Head of School

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Our Global Community

Ms. Cahusac loves reading blogs written by students, teachers and other interesting people from around the world. Today she compiled a fun list called Our Global Community and added it to the right side bar of our blog. She also sent the following message to each blog:

Hello classroom bloggers!We are a Grade 5 class from Hong Kong and we’re called the 5E Eagles. We’ve just created a links section on our Grade 5 class blog called “Our Global Community” 🙂

We’re writing you today because we like your blog(s) and so we’ve added you to our Global Community list. We’ve either found you through Twitter, The EduBlog Challenge or because you’re already a contact of Ms. Cahusac.

Come and check us out or look at some of the other classes which are listed.


Ms. Cahusac also recommends that Eagles should check into these various class blogs to see what they’re up to. There are so many things to discover like new widgets, fun add-ons, cool school projects and ideas for exciting posts. Hopefully this will ignite a few new penpal relationships between Eagles and students all over the world while compelling us and encouraging us on our journey to becoming global citizens and learners.

Photo Credit:

Assessment & Reporting: Parent Information Session

The Lower School will be holding a parent information session: Understanding Lower School Assessment and Reporting Practices. Guest assessment consultant, Susie Heinrich-Jabal, will be addressing the difference between traditional and authentic assessment, and how moving towards the latter is encouraging the development of students to immerse in their own learning as life long learners. There will be two repeated sessions: Thursday evening, October 8, 2009 from 6:30pm-8:00pm in the 6th floor cafeteria and again on Monday morning, October 12 from 8:00am-9:30am in the 6th floor cafeteria. If you are interested in attending one of the two repeated sessions, please RSVP by Monday October 5, 2009 to Lower School Coordinator,

Linda Parnsalu:


As you know, students of Grade 5 participated in an exciting field trip to the central Art Jamming studio this week. The purpose of this trip was to use the cumulative classroom experiences of the current unit of inquiry to celebrate our individual expression with a masterpiece of art. This is where we rooted our inspiration and our motivation, but this only part of the picture. Our current unit also emphasizes how we express ourselves to an audience and so we had a bigger plan in mind as we prepared our masterpieces at Art Jamming. Now we are requesting your participation to help us complete the elements of this unit and thus further our learning journey together.

See the Grade 5 Portrait Exhibit invitation below for all details and necessary information.

In order to help us properly prepare and plan for this event, please RSVP to me by email at your soonest convienince.

Picture 2

In Loving Memory

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge,
Myth is more potent than history,
Dreams are more powerful than facts,
Hope always triumphs over experience,
Laughter is the cure for grief,
Love is stronger than death

For many of our students and their parents, Alan Dick personified the Canadian International School. As a passionate and dynamic educator, and a proud Canadian, he created an incredible legacy through his contribution to the development of our school and our community.

He did so not from behind closed doors, but with tremendous personal warmth and charisma. Each and every day, he greeted students at the entrance, addressing everyone by name. Every afternoon, he sent them home the same way.

At assemblies his Smile Factor was infectious, as Alan led the children in singing songs ranging from O Canada to the Hokey Pokey. He taught children what it is to be a global citizen, and what it was to be a Canadian.

He also taught them to love school by making it a loving place. He was a great hugger, and loved to visit the children in class, where he disrupted many a lesson. In some respects, he was the biggest of kids, with his Funny Bunny, Winnie the Pooh staff badge, silly ties, and extraordinary Hallowe’en costumes. His playful approach won the children’s hearts and so, their minds.

He himself was a dedicated life-long learner – the book “The Learning Leader” is still on his desk. He is survived by a sister, a brother and his parents.

He was an extraordinary character, larger than life and a life lived large, and he will be sorely missed as an educator and a friend.

You are loved and missed.

Forever in our hearts and dreams.

~Blog Stars of the Week~

Eagle Eye just spent a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon with some very good reading! What could she possibly be reading that is so exciting? The 5E Eagles’ blogs – that’s what!

I know that I have said this before, but I just can’t get over how AWESOME all the blogs are. The Eagles are a fine bunch of writers and they are becoming fantastic bloggers so quickly! I am amazed and impressed with every Eagle’s work.

I decided to award Stars of the Week to Eagles who have shown commitment to their personal best, exceeded my expectations and demonstrated consistent hard work with their blogs lately. There will be MANY more opportunities to get a Blog Star in the future, so keep up the hard work everyone.

This week’s Blog Star Winners are:


Weekly Update: September 25th

Today was a FUNDAY in the Eagle Nest (last Friday of the month)! Wow, September is almost over already! Next week will be a short week with the National Holiday on Thursday and a school Holiday on Friday. Wednesday, September 30th the eagles will be getting creative as a celebration of the end of our Unit of Inquiry at ART JAMMING! I can’t wait. Please see the Class Work tab above for further classroom and curriculum updates from this week.

new macbooks 12

The 5E Eagles were thrilled on Tuesday to get their sleek and snazzy new orange MacBook gem covers. Although some students were skeptical about the colour at first, it turned out that everyone was dazzled by the glowing neon effect they have once we slid them on. Eagle Eye thinks they’re looking really fantastic too!

new macbooks 1new macbooks 3

Guidance Update

Teen Success with Jaime Simpson presents Connecting with My Pre-Teen on Wednesday, October 14th, 09 in the CDNIS library at 7:00 p.m. Unlock the potential in you to develop a great relationship with the teen in your life. Session is free. Please sign up with Lower School Guidance Counsellor Leslie Stitt at

If you enjoy the presentation and would like a further workshop, Jamie will also offer a course putting theory into practice. Offered at the CDNIS LLAC for 4 sessions, taught by Jaime from Teen Success on Wednesdays, November 4, 11, 18 and 25th from 12:00 to 2:00. A testimonal from a parent noted “the results are wonderful and the added bonus has been the positive effects the course has had on all relationships. I was a little sceptical at first…not any more.” What you get: 8 hours of practical learning, parent and coach text book, exercises and practices and e-mail support from coach. Course investment is HK $1300 per person.



EduBlogs Blogging Challenge

Recently EduBlogs kicked off their 2009 Student Blog Challenge. Students from the Eagle Nest were encouraged to enter their own blogs in this contest if they were interested. Each week there will be new challenges for the participants to complete. So far the 5E Eagles are the only participants entered from Hong Kong. You can see the names of the students who have entered the contest on this participant list.

If you have any questions or concerns. please don’t hesitate to ask your child or myself about this activity. Happy blogging!

Weekly Update – Sept. 18

It was an unusual week for 5E, with Typhoon Koppu on Tuesday and our first supply teacher in for a full day on Wednesday while Ms. Cahusac attended a Learning & Teaching Technology workshop. Much to Ms. Cahusac’s delight, the supply teacher had nothing but positive comments to make about her day in the Eagle Nest with the 5E Eagles. It definitely put us all in a good mood for the rest of the week, as we continued to build our classroom community bonds and work towards being a supportive and trustworthy group of people.

We have been working hard at getting our blogs started and we’ve invested quite a bit of hard work into making them great. Please check them out and leave comments for us if you have some. You can find the Eagle’s individual blogs on the right hand side of this webpage under Blog Roll.


1. A permission form went home today for our upcoming field trip to Art Jam. Please complete and return these by Tuesday, September 22nd.

2. Some information was also sent home regarding an upcoming Habitat for Humanity ‘decorate a glove’ fund raiser.

– Monday, September 21st is an early dismissal day
– Please continue to complete the daily temperature records in your child’s student diary
– ECAs will being next week
– Students need to be wearing black shoes to school as part of their uniform
– Please make sure your child has a set of earphones for use with our macbooks in class

Weekly Update – Sept. 11

This was a busy week on the 8th floor! 5E enjoyed having the entire Eagle Nest full today with perfect attendance and no sick students. We’re all feeling great and it was fun to enjoy everyone’s company during our Friday Class Community Circle.


– If you couldn’t make it to Curriculum Night then all documents were sent home with your child today. Included was a Walk-About permission form. Please return this at your soonest convenience.

– Please purchase a simple set of headphones for your child. These will remain in the desks of students throughout the school year. There need not be of any specifications – size or colour etc.

– A USB drive (min. 1GB) will be very useful throughout the year for your child’s computer literacy development and growth. I would like to teach the students how to back-up and organize their files to help manage their work carefully.

Enjoy the weekend and try to stay dry 🙂

Ms. Cahusac

Grade 5 Physical Education

Good day Parents of Grade 5,

It was a pleasure to see many of you yesterday at Curriculum Night. It’s wonderful to see such a diverse group of parents who are all interested in the well being of their children.

The students have had a great start to the school year! You will have noticed that your child recently completed their Term 1 Fitness Testing, which gives me an idea of their current fitness level and allows students to set goals for themselves leading up to Term 2. I was very pleased with the overall results of the tests, and the effort and enthusiasm, which the students exhibited when completing the tests. Some students that were absent will have the opportunity to attend lunchtime makeup fitness assessment sessions next week. We have just begun our unit on basketball and the classes are enjoying themselves. I integrate with the Grade 4-6 teams by attending planning sessions that focus on a particular Unit of Inquiry. I contribute to these sessions and help plan activities and student reflections that fit in well with the UOI from a PE standpoint. I also focus on the Learner Profile and Attitudes of the PYP.

I am also coaching the U12 Cross Country Running Team this season and the team has got off to a solid start!! I look forward to the upcoming competitions and the ISSFHK Championships, which we have won 3 years in a row.

It is important that students come to class prepared to participate in every class as I take uniform attendance everyday to see how responsible students are in being prepared to participate in PE.

SteinerMarc– Mr. Steiner

Lower School Guidance

Leslie Stitt Reports – Lower School Guidance

Dr. Louise Porter, the Educational Psychologist from Australia who spoke at CDNIS last May is returning to Hong Kong in September. She will be speaking at CDNIS on Tuesday, September the 15th from 7:00 to 9:00 in the Leo Lee Arts Centre on the topic of Children’s Friendships and Social Skills. Information about this event is added here.

Children’s friendships and social skills
In this Question-and-answer session, Dr Louise Porter will present on children’s social skills and friendships and on how to assist isolated children. These children may be isolated because of developmental differences between them and their peers, as a result of their learning difficulties or disabilities, or because of their aggression or bullying. Some withdraw socially because of shyness, lack of confidence or introversion. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions on these or other issues relevant to them and their children.

Tickets for this event can be obtained at the Leo Lee Arts Centre Box office by calling the phone number 25185877, in person Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 4:00 at the Box Office at the LLAC, or by ordering them online at, or at the box office on the night after 6:00 pm. Tickets are 200 Hong Kong dollars each.

In addition, families who have recently moved to Hong Kong may enjoy the workshop on Transition led by Gudrun Kittel-Thong who works as a guide and a counsellor for expatriate families and individual professionals.

Third Culture Kids, Growing Up Away from Home
Family life is a complex unit. Every day brings new routines and activities, which can be at times challenging but also invigorating. Imagine uprooting this system every 3 or 4 years and relocating it to a completely new environment. What impact does thi
s have on your family? How do you cope as a couple and as parents? Did you have to put your career on hold? How do your children react to leaving their friends behind? In this 2-hour workshop Gudrun will give you information to make transitions easier, provide a few tips and let you share your particular experiences and questions. Come with a curious mind and take home what works for you. (Info pack included).

Free for all. Leo Lee Arts Centre on Thursday, September 17th from 8:30 to 10:30 am. Please RSVP to if you plan to come to this workshop. LeslieStitt

– Leslie Stitt

Welcome to 5E 2009-2010

This is the new & exciting 5E Eagles’ blog space!

It is an area which works like a class website and within it you’ll find useful and exciting information about what is happening generally in Grade 5 and more specifically, in 5E. By clicking on the pages found on the top and right side menus, you can find information about what is happening in our classroom, links to student blogs, school updates & reminders, timetables, photos, useful websites, and a whole lot more!

Stay up to date by checking this site often to see what’s new and exciting.