Grade 4JL

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A Snapshot of Ancient China

For second quarter, we have been learning about Ancient China. It is one of the oldest and longest lasting civilizations in the history of the world. The history of Ancient China can be traced back over 4,000 years.

We learned about the different geographical features of China and how it affected its early development. Using a blank map of China, we plotted the different land forms and bodies of water. We also divided into groups and identified why they were isolated.

During the Time of the Warring States in China, Chinese society experienced much disorder. Scholars wondered what it would take to peace to the land. They developed three ways of thinking: Legalism, Confucianism and Daoism. We explored the three philosophies that emerged during the Zhou dynasty.   Through a brief PowerPoint, an interactive reader’s theater, and finally, an engaging game entitled, “Liar’s Club,” we were able to explain the major principles and beliefs of these philosophies, as well as discuss how each impacted the government of ancient China.

We also loved the story of the Terracotta Warriors! These clay soldiers were the soldiers who guarded the first emperor of China, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi in life, and in death. After watching a video and discussing about the terracotta army, we created our own clay warriors.

It was a fun learning experience and we are excited to explore and learn about other ancient civilizations!

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Engaging ELA CLass

It is the end of September and it has been an amazing ride. We had fun learning about different things in class. In our English Language Arts class, we had reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing activities.

We learned about the four kinds of sentences. While we are discussing about the different kinds of sentences, we are also reviewing by playing the four corners game. The game is played by labeling the four corners of the classroom using the kinds of sentences. We had to identify the sentence shown on the board and answer by going to the correct corner of the classroom. We had so much fun that we asked our teacher to give us more sentences!

We also learned about character traits in class. We read the story “The Legend of the Bluebonnet” by Tomie dePaola. This folktale is about a courageous Comanche girl who sacrifices her precious doll to save her tribe from the drought. This very lonely girl lost her parents to the drought and her doll is her only connection to her family. As a result of her sacrifice, the gods covered the ground with beautiful bonnets and rain. Using the story, we were divided into three groups because there were three activities. We had to go through each activity with our group mates.  In the first station, we had to describe the main character. In the second station, we had to infer the character trait from the character’s actions and words. For the last station, we had to explain why the main character changed based from the events in the story. The three activities helped us gain more understanding in deciding the traits of the main characters.

We were also given different kinds of books to learn more about character traits. We worked with a partner to review the main character of the story and use evidences from the book to identify the character traits. We really enjoyed reading and analyzing the story with our partners.

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We have also been practicing descriptive writing. We used our five senses to write more descriptively so it will make our writing more interesting and engaging to read. We are now writing about our favorite things by going through the writing process. We are already done with the first two steps in the writing process which is prewriting and drafting. For prewriting, we brainstormed about our favorite things using different graphic organizers. For drafting, we worked independently to create our draft. As we go through the other steps, we are excited to finish and publish our work so we can proudly show it to the world!

You can also see what we did in our science class by checking out the link below.


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Welcome to S.Y. 2019 – 2020!


(8:20 AM)
8:30-9:20 ELA
9:20-9:40 SNACKS
10:30-11:20 MANDARIN
11:20-12:00 LUNCH
12:00-12:50 MATH
12:50-1:40 SCIENCE ART


  • SCHOOL HOURS – 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • WEDNESDAYS – Late Start at 8:20 a.m.
  • EARLY BIRDS (7:00-7:25 a.m.) – Students leave their bags in their cubbies along the second floor hallway, and wait at the Lower School Library.
  • LATECOMERS – Students secure a late slip from the Admissions Office.
  • DISMISSAL – Students wait at the cafeteria.


  • MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS – Students wear P.E. kit and bring a CISM shirt.
  • FRIDAYS – Students have the option to wear casual clothes. Nail polish, make-up, jewelry (except for stud earrings), flamboyant hairstyles, and immodest style of clothes (e.g., short shorts, hanging shirt/top) are discouraged.


  •  NOTEBOOKS – Label, cover with clear plastic, and return on or before August 16.
  • ASSIGNMENT NOTEBOOK – Check for notes, sign, and send to school everyday. Homework is assigned only when needed.
  • READING LOG – Daily independent reading at home is encouraged by using Library or any available books.
  • LIBRARY BOOKS – Students borrow and return books on Mondays.
  • STUDENT PACKET – Supplies will be kept in the classroom.


  •  LABEL your child’s things with his/her full name and class.
  • WATER BOTTLE should be sent to school everyday.
  • HYGIENE KIT – Students leave extra clothes, underwear, socks, small towel, comb/ brush, and apron in a small box or bag at school.
  • GADGETS AND TOYS are not allowed at school.


  • Healthy food and drinks (Chips and soda are highly discouraged.)
  • MEDICATION – Give this along with instructions to the school nurse.

HOMEROOM TEACHER: Ms. Jesca N. Lagman (Ms. Jesca)



Ms. Jesca is the homeroom teacher of grade 4JL and the Language Arts and Social Studies for both Grade 4 classes. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. This is her first year of teaching at Chinese International School Manila but it is her tenth year of teaching in the primary level. She has taught 3rd grade for seven years at Multiple Intelligence International School and 1st grade for two years at Mentari Intercultural School Jakarta. She was also a coach and a trainer of the football team in different schools in Manila and Jakarta.

MATH and SCIENCE TEACHER: Ms. Jerjan May B. Oquendo  (Ms.Jerjan)


Ms. Jerjan handles the Grade 4 JO Homeroom class and Grade 4 Math and Science classes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education Major in Mathematics from University of St. La Salle with an award in Academic Excellence. She earned her Master of Arts in Education Major in Educational Leadership degree from the same university with High Academic Honors. It is her first year with Chinese International School Manila but she has been in the profession for 10 years. She has experience teaching Math and Science classes to children from grades         7 – 10.

MANDARIN TEACHER: Ms. Verlyn Holaysan


Verlyn Holaysan is on her seventh year at Chinese International School Manila, and her fourteenth year in the profession. As a lifelong learner, she has attended East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Teachers’ Conferences, International Baccalaureate (IB) workshops and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Convention Workshops and continues to learn through online professional development programs.



Ms. Wong has been teaching Mandarin for the past 16 years in middle school and high school. She is very passionate about teaching, and firmly believes that learning Chinese and its rich culture is fun and interesting. She speaks English, Filipino, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Fookienese. She earned her Masters Degree in Education from Ateneo de Manila University, and is currently a candidate of another Masters degree in Education of Chinese Language Teaching from Huaqiao University, China.   She also holds a Bachelor degree in Education from Jinan University, China, and a degree in Commerce from De La Salle University.

MUSIC TEACHER: Mr. Ronald Peter T. Palma (Mr. Ronald)


Ronald holds a Bachelor of Music Major in Guitar degree from Centro Escolar University. In 2014, he earned his Master of Music in Performance: Guitar Arranging and Orchestration degree at IISF Nagoya Japan. Ronald has been teaching music for more than 15 years. This is his first year at CISM, and he is very excited to share his knowledge and God given talents with his students. He is married and has a son and a daughter.

VISUAL ARTS TEACHER: Nelson Suarez (Mr. Nelson)


Nelson Suarez teaches Visual Arts to elementary students at CISM. He is very passionate about creating Artwork and sharing his enthusiasm, skills, and values to educate young students. He also has a background as a Math teacher in the United States, graduated (2006) from the California Polytechnic University of Pomona in Pomona, California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and holds a Professional Engineering License. His technical background and life-long interest in the visual arts has enabled him to structure his work and teaching in a very clear and methodical way, making it engaging and fun, simple to understand and emulate. He believes it is important for young students to develop art skills and appreciation; nonetheless, he emphasizes the importance of original work, exploration, idea creation, imagination, expression, and even beauty that visual arts provides to his students empowering them to make a difference in their own lives and the world around them.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: Mr. Zuriel Castro              (Coach Zuriel)


Coach Zuriel handles the Physical Education class. He holds a Bachelor of Physical Education degree from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and is taking his Master’s degree in Human Movement Science from the same university. He has been teaching Physical Education for 5 years, and it will be his 1st year teaching at Chinese International School Manila.



Zen Martinez is the current Lower School Digital Literacy Teacher for Grades 1 to 4. She graduated from University of the Philippines. Zen taught Digital Literacy in the Upper School division of Chinese International School Manila (CISM) from 2016 to 2019. She is a Google Certified Educator. Zen loves teaching and learning about Digital Citizenship, Google Apps, Scratch, Makey Makey, Robotics, and MIT App Inventor.

Ready for 4th Grade!

Ready for 4th Grade!