Last Hoorah!

My Dearest Fifth Graders,

I can’t believe that we are down to our final two weeks! Before we send you off from the elementary school, I just want to tell you that  you are a curious and passionate batch who are aware of the many issues that plague the world, and want to do something about it. I feel that with focus, discipline and sustained effort no matter the challenges, you will have what you need in order to be great leaders at school and in your communities.

If there is one thing I hope you walked away with this year, it’s the fact that you matter, you are powerful and you have the ability to improve society. I hope that you recognize your greatness, that you have deep self love and confidence in yourself, that you know the only person you should compete with is you.

I also want you to remember that kindness matters. This is not a concept that society pushes on young people. The media pushes you violence, fear and division, it makes coming at each other humorous and entertaining. But we have to get into the habit of building each other up. We have to work hard to counteract all the negative imagery we see about ourselves by being kind and supportive of each other, by congratulating each other and pushing each other towards positive goals. Love each other.

Remember to take a deep breath or two or ten when you need to center yourself. Remember our affirmations and create some of your own to get you focused, grounded and through each day. You are indeed made of love, hope and joy and it is my aspiration that you let that shine through you to others. 

I love each and every one of you, even the ones that came to class late or barely showed at all, even the ones whose phones I had to collect and whose language I had to check, even the ones that didn’t do any homework or I glared at for talking while I was talking, even the ones whose parents I had to text during class or send an email after class hours, and even you sleepy heads. 


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I enjoyed hearing your thoughts, your pondering, and your passion in class. You will be the ones to change things because you all don’t take no mess! Thank you for your honesty, support, and flexibility. Thank you for being yourselves. 

Thank you for growing with me and allowing me to grow with you. I will miss you and hope to see you in the future! I send you all the love, prayers and good vibes. Advance congratulations! Do your best in the middle school!

Dont’t forget this, “I’ll skin you alive!” :)

Lots of love,

Ms. Gracia :)

April 2019

This month was filled with so much activities. To start off, Fifth graders had a chance to have an overnight stay in Corregidor Island last April 4-5. In this field trip, students were able to incorporate their knowledge in Ancient Japan. They were able to relate the culture of the Japanese and how they prepared themselves to how they did it during Ancient Japan. They also had a chance to learn more about the events that happened during WWII, and also learn how events transpired on the island.

It was also in this month where the Math Week kicked off. Students had the chance to solve mystery puzzles, brain teasers and art exhibits. Grade Five students worked on constructing miniature model houses and had presented their work in a panel of judges composed of Mathematics teachers. In the end, they were truly proud of the houses they have built and were able to realized how important teamwork and time management were.  I was truly mesmerized with their outputs as this project was 100% constructed by the students during certain blocks in Mathematics.

Construction of the miniature model houses.

Construction of the miniature model houses.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Another construction of the  miniature model houses by one of the groups.

Another construction of the miniature model houses by one of the groups.


Finished Product!

Finished Product!

BLOG2Science on the other hand, continued to be an exciting subject as students created a model of the solar system. They were graded based on the order of planets in our solar system, oral presentation, scale of the planets, colors of the planets, knowledge about the presentation and audience impact. A group of Science teachers judged their works.


Hanging Solar System

Hanging Solar System

Soalr System_3

Solar System Model Project: Nat Geo Style

Solar System Model Project: Nat Geo Style

Solar System_2

Presentation of work to a panel of judges

Presentation of work to a panel of judges

April is truly April-riffic! :)

March 2019

We started off this month with our Second Annual Sports Day! Lower School classes were all raring to go! Lots of colour, lots of enthusiasm and lots of cheer! Students worked around an activity circuit, demonstrating their running, jumping and throwing skills. It was an extremely fun and exciting morning!

Sports Day

Sports Day 2Sports Day 4











Well done to all who took part and thank you to all students and teachers for making the event a success!


As we approach the fourth quarter, fifth graders will be using Google Classroom for both Mathematics and Science. Lesson Notes and Formative Assessments such as homework, links to youtube and or websites, will all be posted here.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom2

Students, on the other hand, will post their answers to the homework given via Google Classroom. As soon as their works have been marked, it will be returned back to them with their corresponding mark.  For Mathematics, students will focus more in Statistics, Probability, Integers and Angles, while grade fives will focus more on Earth and Space for Science. Students will still be graded on the following categories for Science: Formative Assessments (20%), Summative Assessments (50%) and Project (30%); while the breakdown of grading for Mathematics will still be as follow:  Formative Assessments (30%), Summative Assessments (50%) and Project (20%).

In addition, I strongly encourage parents to always check their child’s academic performance by logging onto the PowerSchool. Let us maximize this platform to monitor our fifth grader’s progress.


Should there will be questions or clarifications, please feel free to email me at :)








February literally just passed by! Fifth graders are so busy doing their floor plans and miniature  model projects in Mathematics.

Children, regardless of gender or nationality, are always fascinated and delighted with their toy house. Little do they know that making such a toy requires an understanding of mathematics, a great sense of creativity and perseverance and patience from the maker.  In this project, the students in groups of 3 will build their own miniature house.

In the process of doing it, they need to observe the following:

(1)          apply the concept of area and perimeter, ratio, scale, fraction and percentage;

(2)          use appropriate symbols for the doors, rooms, partitions and windows;

(3)          use to construct the floor plan;

(4)          use appropriate (preferably recyclable) materials to build the miniature house;

(5)          document the process of building the miniature house using i-movie or publisher or power point.

In the end, students are to take pride with the miniature house they built as these houses will be displayed during Math Week.

Below is just one of the floor plans made by the fifth graders via


The project is divided into three categories and is spiral in nature. Categories are: 

(a) Floor Plan Making

(b) Construction of Miniature House

(c) Documentation (which will give them 25 extra credit points)


Students are graded based on the following rubrics:

Floorplan rubrics

floorplan rubrics 2


Timeline of this project was given as well to students to avoid delays and penalties:




Science continues to be a challenging and fun class; as students get to know more about plate tectonics, atmosphere and layers of the atmosphere. On this month as well where they logged in their observations of their terrarium projects.



Student’s Logbook Journal on what they have observed with the organisms they put in their bottled terrarium, from Day 1 to Day 7.


Students’ Logbook Journal: Comparison of Top View and Side View of their Bottled Terrarium between Day 1 and Day 7.

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Students also had a marshmallow challenge using marshmallows and sticks on which they were given a challenge to build the tallest three-layer tower. It’s a fun and instructive exercise that allows teams to experience simple lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity.

Moreover, students learn how engineers design and construct buildings to withstand earthquake damage by building their own models structures. They experiment to see how earthquake-proof their buildings by testing them in an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O.

Truly, February is Feb-u-lous!

Hello, January!

I can’t believe that January is about to end! Fifth graders has full of hands on activities in Mathematics and Science. We have been busy discussing Ecosystems, Water Cycle and some of the major biomes on earth such as deserts, grasslands or savannahs, temperate deciduous forest, temperate rainforest, tundra and taiga.

Fifth graders also made a terrarium which is a tiny garden enclosed within a sealed bottled container. Terrariums are lots of fun to make, and are also a great way to teach kids about the water cycle, as they demonstrate evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Because the water in a terrarium is trapped inside the container, terrariums can live for years without ever being watered!  Terrarium’s are made from layers of sand, stones, gravel and soil, with a few extra ingredients mixed in, which help the soil breath, and the water move up and down the water table. Plants are then planted in the tiny world and moss is added. Finally, children can choose tiny decorations to live in their gardens (like fairies and dinosaurs!) making this a fun, wholesome and beautiful living craft project! On top of that, they get to record their observations on the organisms placed in their terrarium for two weeks; whether they were still alive or dead; and explain the appearance of the bottle as a whole every time they check their terrariums.

Terrarium 1


Terrarium 3




Terrarium 2









Mathematics, on the other hand, has always been jam packed with activities. It is in this quarter where operations on decimals were taught; as well as the conversion of fractions to decimals to percents, and how was discounted price being computed. Third quarter focuses more on the process skills in solving multi-step word problems in fractions, decimals and percentages.

Math 2

Working in groups, students were given a task to shop the items listed on the shopping list with a budget of one thousand pesos. They were tasked to ensure as well that all the items in the list will be procured and yet, they will not go above their budget.

Math 1

Fifth graders were challenged to procure all of the items listed in their shopping list and spend the closest total amount to one thousand pesos.








A Walk To November

As part of our Science discussion on Water Cycle, one of the parents from Grade 5AM class volunteered to raise awareness on how water was being recycled.  On the 15th of November, Mr. Tom Mattison brought with him his team of scientists from the Manila Water Company Incorporated to raise awareness on how water was being processed and treated; making it safe to drink and to be used for other purposes.

A group of scientist from the Manila Water Inc.

A group of scientists from the Manila Water Inc.

Apparently, Manila Water Company Inc. has been visiting various local schools to educate the students and teachers alike on how water was being recycled. They are also the sole provider of water and waste water services to more than six million people in the East Zone of Metro Manila.

According to them, there were eight processes on how water is being treated before it is sent to storage reservoir and then distributed to household consumers, businesses, and industries; and the processes are as follows:

1.) Screening

Surface water (water from Angat Dam and Ipo Dam) often contains large debris, such as sticks, logs, leaves, fish, and trash. These objects can clog the water-treatment system and therefore must removed before the water enters the treatment plant. As such, treatment facilities that use surface water have large screens that cover the site of water intake. The debris is too large to pass through the holes in these screens. So as the water enters the facility’s tunnels and aqueducts, the large debris is removed. These screens, however, must be cleaned periodically to remove any objects that have become stuck and prevent the screen from becoming clogged and impeding water flow into the facility.

2.) Pre-Chlorination (Disinfection)

This step effectively kills any organisms (pathogens) in the water that may maybe harmful to humans. This is done through the addition of chlorine, and is repeated after all other treatment sequences to ensure the destruction such organisms.

3.) Rapid Mixing

As the first step in which the water is being treated, this involves intense vigorous mixing and promotes the dispersion of coagulation chemicals (Aluminum Sulfate and Polymer) in the raw water.

A series of chemical reactions occur to begin the formation of a “floc”, which is a cluster of coagulative chemicals and impurities, such as suspended solids and organic matter. The intensity of the mixing is then reduced, allowing well-defined pinhead-sized particles of floc to begin to form.



4.) Flocculation

These small non-rigid particles are made to come in contact and agglomerate with one another by mixing the water. When the agglomeration of the particles gets large enough, the aggregate will then settle in still water by sedimentation.

The larger particles continue to combine, or flocculate, into much larger and heavier particles. These particles become too heavy to float and begin to sink and settle. Other suspended particles that do not agglomerate well by flocculation are removed from the water through the use of polymers.

After flocculation, the water is ready for the next step in the treatment process, sedimentation.

5.) Coagulation         

Aluminum sulfate is added to the water entering the plant. The water is mixed, rapidly at first and then more slowly as the process continues. Mixing causes lightweight particles in the chemically treated to clump together, or coagulate, into much larger particles.

Coagulation is the process of gathering particles into a cluster or clot, often achieved by the addition of special chemicals known as coagulants. The most common coagulant used in water treatment facilities is aluminum sulfate (alum, Al2 (SO4) 3). Other Al and Fe salts, including polyaluminum chloride, ferric chloride, and ferric sulfate, may be used as well. As this precipitate forms, other particles are caught in the solid and form a mass.

6.) Sedimentation

Other suspended insoluble particles, such as sand and dirt, are often small enough to pass easily through the screens. Therefore, these particles must be removed from the water by another process known as sedimentationWhen water is allowed to sit, heavy suspended particles, such as sand, will settle to the bottom over time, as they are denser than water. The water, now free of the suspended impurities, can be collected from the top without disturbing the layer of sediment at the bottom, which is eventually discarded.

7.) Filtration         

Oftentimes, however, the particles generated by the previous precipitation reactions are too small to settle efficiently by sedimentation. One strategy frequently employed to remove these solids is gravity filtration.

In this process, water containing solid impurities is passed through a porous medium, typically layers of sand and gravel pieces. The solids formed from precipitation get stuck in the pores, and are thus removed from the water as it passes through the porous medium. The water that remains at the bottom of the filter no longer contains those solid impurities.

These gravity filters are essentially a pipe feeding into the under-drain, or the bottom layer where the clean water is collected. By adding water to the filter through this pipe, clean water can be forced upward through the filter to remove the solids that have collected in the filter. This process is used to clean the filter.

8.) Disinfection

In many water supplies, the most serious health threats are posed not by chemicals, but by infectious organisms, such as bacteria, in the water. Chlorine (CI2) is a major disinfectant that is affordable and kills most of the serious disease-causing bacteria in the water. Other methods are also employed to remove the organisms, including through coagulation, sedimentation, and filtration.


E.Coli Bacteria


Students looking at the alive bacteria found in a dirty water via a microscope


Some bacterium found in a dirty water


Looking at the alive bacteria


Who would like to volunteer?


UV Screening















It was truly a very informative, enlightening and an unforgettable hands on experience for us on how water is being recycled.  Manila Water Company Inc. even brought each one of us a water bottle souvenir! It was truly a care for every drop!

Before the month ends, CISM celebrated its annual Book Week. Students get to dressed up their favorite book character. Each class presented as well a 3-minute skit based on their chosen book. And the 5GT class chose the Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring. Look at how cute they were on these costumes! They were all in character! Great job, kiddos!

All were in character!

All were in character!




An October To Remember

October has been an another busy month as the students were filled with exciting activities. They get to dressed up in their pyjamas, tropical-themed clothes and favorite hobbies; as we celebrated Spirit Week.

It was in this month as well, when our Grade 5 students were officially announced as the TetraPack Officers of our school.  As part of the campaign of Tetra Pack, students became more environmentally-conscious and into healthy and active lifestyles. Among its benefits is that a Tetra Pak carton is a Pack That Grows Back since it is renewable and recyclable. Lower School students get to bring their empty tetra packs. Our grade 5 students count and record it and bring it to the tetra pack garbage bins on a weekly basis.

It is also in October that we have celebrated United Nations, with the theme of “Greening the Blue”, where our students were able to wear their own country’s traditional costumes.

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We have also done our trick-or-treating in this month. Students enjoyed visiting and collecting candies from the accounting office, PSA’s lounge and Ms. Feli’s office. They were so happy and were even mesmerized with all the costumes, office make-overs and make-ups.


It was also in this month that Grade 5 students had their assembly featuring the IB learning profile: communicator. They had truly showed us how to become a good and effective communicator on that day as they get to speak in seven different languages (Filipino, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Russian, Indonesian and English) on their opening salvo. They danced and sang remarkably well, too!

I must say, October is really something to remember!



All Aboard to Fifth Grade

I can’t believe it’s been two months already since we have welcomed school year 2018-2019. Time flies so fast! It feels like we have accomplished so much already in that span of time.

The kids have been busy working, learning and adapting to the routine of fifth grade. Since this is also a transition period from Elementary to Middle School, they are being trained to be socially responsible and to always show empathy and care to one another. Circle Time is also being done with the Guidance Counselor to help the kids cope with the challenges in fifth grade.

For the past seven weeks, kids have been spending a lot of time doing hands on activities and experiments in Science. They have been observing, exploring and note taking the changes in matter- whether it is a physical or a chemical change.

Math continues to be a challenging and fun class as they get to do Mental Sums and Speed Tests for 2 minutes, with 20 to 30 questions; solve problem sums and exit questions and do active and engaged activities. Power School (PS)  has also been introduced to the kids. They get to see their numerical grade (in real time) for both Maths and Science and how are their grades were generated in the Power School. Parents can also access their child’s grade in the Power School by logging in to their accounts.

Below are some photos from the past two months. I can’t wait to see more of their activities as the rest of the year goes. :)




Estimating the area and perimeter of the enclosed figure using yarn and pinky finger’s width of 1 centimetre.


Working in pairs, they are to tasked to inflate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar


Discussion time! Estimating the area and perimeter of the enclosed figure using yarn and pinky finger’s width of 1 centimetre.


Working in groups, they are tasked to inflate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar


Working in groups, they are tasked to inflate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar


Working in groups, they are tasked to inflate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar.


Working in pairs, they are tasked to inflate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar


Working in pairs, they are to find a way to control the amount of gas produced in a baking soda and vinegar reaction


Working in pairs, they are to list down the changes they have observed when one tablet of Berocca was dissolved in a cold water.


Jotting down their answers on the area and perimeter activity.


Welcome back, Dragons!

Dear Parents,


Welcome to Fifth Grade!  I hope you all had a wonderful and restful summer break.   I am excited about the opportunity to get to know you, and I am looking forward to a happy and productive school year.


I am Mrs. Gracia Tamayo and I will be your child’s Homeroom, Mathematics and Science Teacher this year.  This is my second year in Chinese International School Manila and my fifteenth year in the profession, having taught Mathematics in Grade School, Middle and High School at various schools in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia; giving teacher trainings to various international schools in Jakarta and coaching students for various Mathematical Olympiads.


On the following pages are a few general guidelines for the Grade 5-GT Class, as well as the class schedule.


Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  You may email me at, send me a note via your child’s homework notebook, or set an appointment through the school office (at 02 7980011).  I look forward to meeting you soon, and working with you in ensuring your child’s success in the coming year.





Warm regards,




Gracia D. Tamayo

Mathematics and Science Facilitator

Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher

After-School Activities and Club (ASAC) Coordinator



  1. Hours / Schedule
    • 7:30 am to 2:30 pm
    • 8:20 am late start on Wednesdays.
    • 3:30 pm dismissal on club days (some clubs may go on till later).
    • Punctuality is emphasized.
    • Library Day is on Thursdays.
    • Pastoral (Guidance) is every third Friday of the month.
    • Attached is a copy of your child’s class schedule for your guidance.


  1. Personal Belongings
    • All items should be clearly labeled with your child’s name.
    • Please send a water bottle in with your child each day.
    • Gadgets and toys are to be kept at home unless required by the teacher for academic purposes.


  1. Personal Hygiene Kit

Each student is required to have a personal hygiene kit, which will be kept                               in their classroom cubbies for them to use when needed. Please use a                                         container that is durable and compact. This kit should contain the                                             following items, each clearly labeled with your child’s name:

  • extra set of clothes (shirt, shorts/pants, underwear, socks)
  • insect repellant
  • cologne
  • powder
  • wet wipes
  • alcohol
  • tissue
  • comb
  • small face towel
  1. Notebooks
    • Please label and cover your child’s notebooks with plastic, and send them back to school by Friday, August 10.
  1. Snack and Lunch
  • Healthy food and drinks are encouraged.
  • Please refrain from sending junk food or soda.


  1. Uniform
  • P.E. days are Mondays and Fridays. Please be sure to send your child’s P.E. uniform on these days.
  • Friday is casual dress day. We do not want to restrict your child in terms of their clothing choice for Fridays; however, for safety purposes, we encourage them to ensure their choice in footwear will enable them to participate in the day’s class activities.
  1. Medication
  • Should your child need any medication, please ensure that it is left with our School Nurse at the Clinic on the first floor.
  1. Homework
  • Homework will be given Monday through Thursday; Friday only if it is a necessity or a long term project.  Homework is given to ensure that the child understands what was taught in class and allows the student to practice the skills learned.  This independent practice is essential to learning the concept and will also teach responsibility. Your child will have approximately 30 minutes of homework nightly. Long term projects will be in addition to this time not a part of it. Should you have any questions about a particular subject or concept, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher.
  1. Grading Scale
  • Your child will earn letter marks for their report card grade.  Class work, homework, projects and tests/quizzes are used to calculate your child’s grade. Percentage of each category as well as the grade boundaries for each letter grade will be informed soon.
  1. 10.      Home-School Communication
    • Your child’s homework notebook will be sent home daily. Please make sure to check and sign it daily.
    • I will also be sending home communication letter every two weeks that contains the incoming topics and assessments in Mathematics and Science so that you will be in the loop of your child’s progress in the subjects.
    • Email:
    • If you wish to set an appointment with me, please contact the school office at (02) 7980011.

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