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May 17

Dear Parents, 

In Language Arts, we examined more books written by our featured author, Melanie Watt.  The students thought that her books are both funny and try to teach us a lesson at the same time. During literacy centres, we continued to practice how to infer with another wordless picture book, The Line by Suzy Lee. 

This week in Math, we explored how we can compose 2-D shapes using pattern blocks (e.g. using three equilateral triangles to make a trapezoid).  The students were introduced to how we can use pattern blocks to compose tessellation (a pattern made of identical shapes that must fit together without any gaps) and to make their own artwork that is put up outside the classroom.  

As well, students were given tangrams (a Chinese geometric puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces, two large triangles, one medium triangle, two small triangles, one square, and one parallelogram) to explore and make into various shapes such as a square, triangle, and rectangle while using all 7 tangram pieces.  These challenges and activities are intended to help students compose and decompose 2-D shapes as well as develop their spatial sense (e.g. being able to flip, rotate, and slide 2-D shapes).   

In Bible, we began to look at the early church after Jesus had died.  The students learned that on Pentecost, God sent his Holy Spirits to his followers.  It gave them the courage and power to spread the good news.  The students suggested that the Holy Spirit can help us overcome what we can’t by ourselves. 

In our Inquiry unit of Light and Sound, students compare how foil and cling wrap vibrates and affects the pitches of their kazoos.  They continue to make a hypothesis, record their observations and draw conclusions in their science journal. 

In Health, we looked into another core competency, critical thinking.  The students thought that being a critical thinker means you ask good questions to learn.  We discussed that we can be a critical thinker by thinking deeply about what we do, judging our actions, and changing our mind if necessary.   

Evan’s mom, dad, and brother, Derek, came in this week to share with us the top five things that they like to do as a family.  We found out that they like to go to farmer’s markets, beaches, parks, explore Seattle, play UNO, and read books.  Evan showed us his favourite book, Ninjago: Lloyd vs. Lord Garmadon.  A word that is special to his family is “providence” as it reminds them of how God put their family together and how He had watched over them when they were sick. 

Have a fantastic weekend! 

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May 10

Dear Parents, 

Thank you for being part of the Mother’s Day celebration today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the moms (and dads!) for their support this year and all the countless hours of sacrifices that you make each day. Indeed, you have all contributed greatly to your child’s growth this year.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the video that we showed at the beginning, please pass a USB to me for downloading.

In Language Arts, we continued to practice how to ask relevant questions, make predictions and inferences as we read books to help with our reading comprehension.  We also had individual writing conferences to discuss different writing strategies that we have been introduced to this year.  We began featuring books by Melanie Watt, the award-winning author of the Scaredy Squirrel series.  From her video interview, we found out that she wrote Scaredy Squirrel to help children to be brave and take good risks.  We also found out that she likes to use animals as her story characters, was born in Quebec, and learned to speak English when she was 8 years old.  

In Math, the students practiced how to read time on their own self-made clocks to the hour, half-hour, and quarter-hour, while some students began to practice and apply their addition strategies to tell time to the minutes.  We also began a new unit on Shapes and Objects.  Students will explore how 2-D shapes and 3-D objects are alike and different.  They will be expected to sort shapes and objects using at least one attribute or description and replicate a 2-D shape (e.g. square) using other 2-D shapes (e.g. two triangles), as well as to develop their spatial sense by flipping, rotating, and sliding shapes. This week, the students sorted various 2-D shapes into groups by describing their own sorting rules.  

In Bible, the students learned that David’s son, Solomon, became the next king of Israel. He asked God to give him wisdom to rule over Israel so that he can be a good king.  But soon he turned away from God.  Just like Saul though, he failed to repent and acknowledge God for his sins.  We reinforced the importance of obeying God’s commandments and what we should do if we make mistakes.  

In our Inquiry unit of Light and Sound, the students made their own kazoo (a small, simple musical instrument consisting of a hollow pipe with a hole in it, over which is a thin covering that vibrates and produces a buzzing sound when the player sings or hums into the pipe) using the toilet paper roll that they brought in.  They discovered that vibrations make sound by touching the covered end of the kazoo when they blow into it. 

In Health, we continued to focus on the different core competencies highlighted in the new BC curriculum.  This week, we looked at creative thinking and how we can get ideas from around us.   The students reflected on the components of the core competencies that they are doing well in as well as parts that they need to work on.   

Happy Mother’s Day! 

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May 3

Dear Parents, 

During our literacy centres, we discussed how good readers, in addition to using connection, visualization, and questioning, use inference to help them be more engaged with and understand what they are reading.  As readers, we can use inference to fill in what is not written on the page.  This week, we practiced how to look for clues in the pictures by using wordless picture books such as That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares 

In Math, we began to discuss ways to read an analog clock to the hour, half-hour, and quarter-hour.  We talkeabout how each number on the clock not only represents the hour but can also help us tell time to the minute.  Like most math concepts, some students will be more ready than others.  If you feel your child is ready to tell time to the minute, when possible, ask your child to approximate or tell time so that they can practice and reinforce some of the concepts taught in class.   

In Bible, we found out that after years of chasing after David, Saul was killed by the Philistines. When David was told of this news, instead of being happy, he cried and was sad.  We contrasted the lives of David and Saul.  We discovered that they both became king, were a soldier, and loved Jonathan.  But David trusted God and was blessed, while Saul didn’t trust God and had a hard life.  Later in David’s reign as king, we learned that David forgot about God and sinned against Him.  We discussed how David repented and asked God for forgiveness.  However, even though God forgave David, there was still a consequence to his sin.   

In our Inquiry unit of Light and Sound, the students tested the hypothesis that they can change the size of the shadow by either bringing the flashlight closer to or further away from an object.  They recorded what they saw, made a conclusion about their experiment, and shared what they learned with the class. 

In Health, we continued to discuss how good communicators need to be able to share their ideas with others.  We talked about how we should think about what we need to say, speak confidently, and listen to others’ ideas.  We role-played some situations where we need to share our thoughts with others. 

This week, we planned and brainstormed about what we should do for our Mother’s Day Tea celebration in class next Friday, May 10 from 1:30-2:45. We decided on dividing the class into three different centres.  The students wanted a game centre where they will be playing card games, an art centre where they can work on a craft, and a snack centre where they can make and serve sandwiches for their moms.  If you are unable to attend, please email me by next Tuesday so that I can make alternate arrangement for your child (e.g. being my special helper) that afternoon.  We look forward to seeing you then. 

A reminder that class photo will be taken on Mon, May 6.  Please help your child to dress accordingly. 

Have a restful weekend! 

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Apr 26

Dear Parents, 

It was great to see the grandparents come and visit their grandchildren in class on Wednesday.  The students took the time to explain to their grandparents what they are learning during our literacy centres.  They showed their grandparents their Words Their Way sorts, and how to use the iPads to listen to stories as well as shared their writings and read stories from our class library.  The students were also prompted to ask their grandparents what school was like before.    

In Language Arts, we continued to read books, such as Ish and Sky Color, by our featured author, Peter H. Reynolds and emphasize the importance of learning from our mistakes, being creative and using our imagination on things that we write, draw or make.  We also introduced several wordless picture books to students to spark their imagination and provide them with writing ideas.   

In Math, the students made their own analog clock using paper plates and we will be using them in class for the duration of the Time unit.  Having students make their own clock reinforces the concept of time which can be difficult for some young children.  We also continued to work on word problems and provide opportunities for the students to apply their place value, addition and subtraction strategies.  As well, they completed their May calendar with dates and events that are meaningful to them. 

In our Inquiry unit of Light and Sound, we introduced the idea that some material can be transparent, translucent, or opaque.  Students experimented with different materials to see how light interacts with them and recorded their observations in their science journal. 

In Health, we talked about how being a communicator can help us.  We discussed that being a communicator means that we need to first listen carefully to what our friends are saying, think about what is being said, and respond in a kind and gentle manner.  We role-played some situations where the students need to make use of their communication skills to work with others. 

Have a great weekend! 

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Apr 18

Dear Parents, 

We will be featuring books by Peter H. Reynolds over the next few weeks.  He is the award-winning author/illustrator of The DotIsh and Sky Color and writes stories to inspire young children to be more creative. This week, we watched a video by him telling us how he created his books and the importance of using our imagination.  The students then used their creativity and turned their simple dots into various scenes for our display board outside.   

In Math, we began our unit on Time.  Students will be expected to tell time on an analog clock to the hour, quarter-hour, and half-hour.  Students will be encouraged to apply their mental addition and subtraction skills to reading time.  This week, we launched the unit by asking the students why we need to learn time.  Some suggested that knowing time lets us know when to do something, not be late, and how much time is left to do something.  We brainstormed events that take seconds, minutes, hours, or days.  As well, the students were taught a card game called Guess My Card.  It helps to reinforce their ability to add numbers to twenty by using mental math as well as the idea that numbers can be decomposed into parts.  This is another card game that you can play with your child at home to improve their understanding of part-part-whole relationships (e.g. 11 is the whole and 7 and 4 are the parts), a key component in developing a young child’s number sense.  More recent research has suggested the use of games over drilling practices to help students master their number facts.   

We began our new Inquiry unit on Light and Sound this week.  Students are expected to explore the properties of light (e.g. colour, brightness) and sound (e.g. pitch, volume) and how they can be manipulated, as well as ways that light and sound help us in our daily lives.  We will also be introducing the scientific method (e.g. asking a question and making a hypothesis, deciding on the method to test the hypothesis, recording and evaluating results) through the various experiments that we have planned for this unit.  This week, we launched the unit by introducing the big idea that light and sound help us understand our world, the difference between natural and artificial light, and ways that light can travel. Students were also given pictures of natural and artificial light to sort.  They discovered that natural light comes from nature while artificial light is man-made.  We watched a BrainPOP video on how light travels and things that it can pass through. 

In order to perform some of the experiments planned for this unit, we are asking each child to bring in two toilet paper rolls by next Friday.  Thank you for your help in advance! 

A gentle reminder that next Wednesday, Apr 24 is Grandparents Day.  All grandparents are encouraged to come to watch their grandchildren perform in the gym and circulate into the classroom to see how their grandchildren learn. 

Trafford’s mom and dad came in this week to share about their family.  We discovered that Trafford likes penguins, turtles, the Power Rangers as well as to build Lego, read Who Would Win books, and play ice hockey.  He also likes to cook, swim, play Beyblade, and go to the beach with his brother Henrik.  A Bible verse that is special to them is from Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”. 

Happy Easter! 

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Apr 12

Dear Parents, 

In Language Arts, we continued to review ways that you can add voice to your writing such as telling the audience how you or the character in the story feels and adding details to liven up their writing.  We also talked about how you can use capital letters and exclamation marks to show excitement or strong feelings.  Students are also beginning to use Accelerated Reader (AR) during our literacy center time with Mrs. Mung.   

In Math, we completed our unit on Addition and Subtraction.  Students have been exposed to a host of addition and subtraction strategies and have begun to choose strategies that are more efficient given the numbers that they need to work with.  As students continue to move from the counting stage, to the reasoning (being able to reason out an answer) stage, and to the mastery (recall within 3 seconds) stage, provide your child with authentic opportunities to use their addition and subtraction skills to help them see how math is all around us! 

In Bible, the students reflected in their Bible writing book about what Easter means to them.  They suggested that Easter reminded them of how Jesus died and rose again, what he did for us, and of the need to spend time with Jesus.   

We will be examining ways to help students achieve their goals using the core competencies in Health during this last term. They will be discussing what it means to be a communicator, thinker, as well as being aware of themselves and others and how these attributes can help them next school year.  This week, we brainstormed some jobs that the students would like to do when they grow up.  They discovered that they need to use all their core competencies on every job that we talked about. 

iCare for the World Week began this week.  We talked about the different sacrifices that we can make for International Child Concern (ICC) such as giving up part of our recess time to pray for ICC.  We also discussed how Jesus sacrificed his life for us as an example of how we can help others.  A reminder that the donation envelopes should be returned next Monday, April 15.   

A special thank you to Ella’s mom and dad for coming in this week to share about their family.  We learned that Ella’s English name means a bright, shining light, while her Chinese name means “to shine in harmony”.  Ella has donated her hair twice for cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital.  As a family, they like to cook, try out different restaurants, camp, snowboard, fish, go biking, and travel.  The verse that they chose for Ella and her brother, Lucas, is from Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 

Have a good weekend! 

Message from Ms. Huber:
To help students and staff prepare for the evening musical, the library and computer lab will be closed after school on Thursday, April 18th. Please arrange to pick up your child at 2:45. 

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Apr 5

Dear Parents, 

The students came back and had lots to share with the class about what they did over the holidays.  As we begin the last term of the school year, we will continue to push forward with the students’ learning, so that they will have a good start to grade two.  

In Language Arts, we reviewed ways that you can add voice to your writing.  We continued to practice how to ask relevant questions and make predictions when reading a book.   Students have begun their training on using the Accelerated Reader (AR) program.  This will be integrated into our literacy centres starting next week.   

In Math, we discussed and practiced how we can efficiently add a group of coins (penny, nickel, dime, quarters) using 10 and 25 as anchors.  As the students move from the reasoning stage of addition to the mastery stage (mental math), continue to provide an authentic experience where your child can make use of their mental math skills, such as giving them a group of coins to add or practicing giving change.   

In Bible, we reviewed the Easter story by watching a short video in class. Students reflected on what it means for Jesus to die for us and completed the display outside of our room. They suggested that he took away our sins and that Easter is about spending time with God 

iCare for the World week will begin on April 9.  Each year we raise money for International China Concern (ICC), an organization that cares for abandoned and disabled children in China.  We will be doing various activities in class to reinforce the idea of making sacrifices for others.  Your child will receive a donation envelope today.  If you wish to participate, you can donate either online or offline using the directions on the envelope.  Please return all donations by Monday, April 15.   

We will be holding our Mother’s Day Tea on Friday, May 10 from 1:30-2:45.  It would be great if you can take time out to join us that day.  More information regarding the Mother’s Day Tea to come.   

A reminder that Club begins next week.  The following students are involved this term (Apr 8-May 31):  

Monday iMovie Club (lunch): Kirsten, Emma, Amelie, Evan 

Friday Hockey Club (lunch): David 

Friday Lego Challenge Club (after school in Mrs. Sanders’ room): Charles 

Have a great weekend! 

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Mar 15

Dear Parents, 

The report cards have been released online today.  Please take a few minutes over the weekend to discuss with your child what they have done well in and what they need to improve on.  Regular reflections enable students to be more aware of their thinking and learning.  

In Language Arts, students continued to rotate through different literacy centers to write creative stories, practice their handwriting, work on their WTW sorts, and listen to reading.  They also listened to their peers present their creative stories and learned to ask questions and provide meaningful feedback. 

In Math, students were given another chance to apply their addition and subtraction skills in our mock shopping centre.  They were also introduced to the other coins in the Canadian money system (e.g. nickel, dime, and quarter).  We also practiced how we can efficiently add groups of coins quickly using 10 as an anchor or putting them into groups of tens.  Over the holidays, when possible, allow your child to use money to buy small items at a convenience store to consolidate their mental math strategies.  As well, if you are travelling overseas, let your child contrast and compare the money from that country in terms of the denominations used and the pictures on the money.  The students also completed their April calendar by putting in dates that are meaningful to them. 

In Bible, we continued with the story of David and Saul.  This week, the students discovered that David restrained himself from harming Saul because he was anointed by God.  God was with David and kept him safe from Saul.   

We concluded our Inquiry unit on Diversity.  The students walked around the classroom to find students who may have the same or different attributes as themselves.  We discussed how we are different, yet very much the same as we are all made in the image of God.  It is our hope the students can see that we can learn so much from those who are not the same as us. 

In Health, we completed our Health unit on Ways to be Safe.  We reviewed ways to be safe when we are at home, school, and out and about.  After the Spring Break, we will begin a Health unit on Ways to Succeed.  Students will be expected to learn strategies/core competencies that can help them achieve their goals.  

For our family presentation this week, Ryan told us that, as a family, they like to watch movies, go to the beach and travel.  With his mom, he likes to go out and play video games.  With his dad, he likes to play lots of video games.  Each night, he likes to read his devotionals and spend time with God.   

Have a great Spring Break! 

Message from Mrs. Laing and Mrs. Mung regarding Accelerated Reading (AR) in Grade 1 

Thank you for attending our AR Parent Meeting on March 11th. We are encouraged by your commitment to your child’s education and appreciate and value your partnership. 

For those of you unable to attend the meeting, please take note of the following housekeeping details: 

  • AR Training will take place during school hours from April 1-12th 
  • Beginning the week of April 15th, your child will be attending AR in a small group, 1x/week, for 30 minutes. 
  • Your child’s AR class will run from the week of April 15th – May 31st, after which AR and the library will be closed for the summer inventory process to occur. 
  • Grade 1 students are NOT permitted to take AR quizzes after school; however, they are most welcome to come to the library and read books. Please keep in mind that Grade 1 students must be supervised during after-school library time. The library is open from 2:45 – 3:15 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 

If you have any questions about the workings of the AR program, please feel free to contact Mrs. Wendy Mung, our AR Technician (wmung@myrcs.ca). If you have any questions about how the AR program is used to support our early literacy program at RCS, please feel free to contact Mrs. Angela Laing, our Literacy Coach (alaing@myrcs.ca). 

We look forward to introducing your child to the wonderful world of AR! 

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Mar 8

Dear Parents, 

During our Literacy centres, we continued to explore ways to use our “voice” in our writing, such as being aware of who our audience is, and telling the reader what the characters think and how they feel.  We introduced a new reading strategy, “predict”.  This strategy involves students making predictions to what will happen next in a story as they read and using the text to confirm them.  We read two books by Oliver Jeffers.  We contrasted his books and the students thought that The Incredible Book Eating Boy is funny like his other books.  As well, they suggested that he used a different first sentence in The Moose Belongs to Me to hook the audience than his usual “Once there was a boy…”.  The students were given a chance to share the writing that they did throughout the week with the class and practice giving meaningful feedback to their classmates.  

To integrate our unit on Addition and Subtraction in Math with the concept of money, we put together a mock shopping centre in our classroom for students to put their math skills in action.   

Students were divided into two groups, shopkeepers and shoppers. Shopkeepers worked in groups of twos or threes to sell their goods (e.g. rulers, markers, pencils, etc.) to the shoppers who began with $10.  After the shopping period ended, we examined the materials bought by each student and see if the materials, including any change, added up to $10.  Once students were able to get the right amount, they will be given an extra $10 to spend during the next round of shopping.  Students alternated being shopkeepers and shoppers each day.   

We will be looking at the consequence of disobedience through Saul and David this week and next.  This week, we learned how the Israelites asked God for a king even though they already have God.  We discovered that Samuel crowned Saul to be their first king. But Saul was proud of his own achievements and failed to listen to God. Then we found out how Samuel anointed David as the new king because of Saul’s transgressions.  He filled David with the Holy Spirit and gave him the ability to defeat Goliath and the Philistines.  King Saul became jealous of David and decided to harm David.    

In our Inquiry unit of Diversity, we identified some of the cultures that represents this class as well as the languages that are spoken at home.  We discovered that English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean, and Spanish are used in the homes of the students in this class.  In addition, we talked about food that is popular to the students’ own culture and some of the more common festivals that they may celebrate with their families.   

In Health, we picked up on our theme of Ways to be Safe at home, school, and out and about. We watched a video on the safe usage of medicine.  The students discovered that there are specific ways to use each medicine.  Some are meant to be swallowed, while others are inhaled, injected, applied topically as well as placed into our ears or eyes.  They also learned that we need to ask an adult before taking medicine, always read the direction on the bottle, and to never share our medicine with others. 

I will be replacing the content of your child’s Back and Forth book next Friday. If you wish to retain the old pages, please email me and let me know.  Otherwise, they will be shredded and recycled.  

Have a great weekend! 

Message from Mr. Paul: 

On Monday, March 11th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, there will be an important meeting for Grade One parents during which we will share information regarding the Accelerated Reading Program (AR).  

All Grade One students will begin AR when they return from Spring Break. Prior to your child participating in this program, we would like to meet with you to share information about the purpose and philosophy of the program; the details regarding when and where the program takes place; as well as a tour of how the program works. If you are a parent with an older child who has already participated in the AR program, you will find new information presented at this meeting and we encourage you to attend. 

We look forward to seeing you for this important information evening. Please come to the Elementary Campus library on March 11th at 7pm. Please note that childcare will not be available. 

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Mar 1

Dear Parents, 

Thank you again for taking time out to come and celebrate your child’s learning on Wednesday during our student-led conference.  Hopefully, it provided you with a glimpse of what your child is learning and doing in class. It was also a great reminder of how much the students have grown since the start of the school year.  Children are naturally curious, and it is our job to cultivate that sense of wonder and help them become lifelong learners.    

In Language Arts, we continued to discuss how we can use our “voice” to improve our writing. This week, we discussed how our writing voice is unique like our speaking voice. If we say what we think and how we feel, our writing voice will come through loud and clear. As well, we continued to practice our reading strategy of Ask Questions.  Students practiced how to ask questions before, during, and after reading using a book that we have read before. When reading with your child, you can employ this strategy to help him/her increase engagement and comprehension of the text. We read The Way Back Home and Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers. The students reflected on his books and said that he always has a human character, he began most of his story with “Once there was a boy”, and he likes to stretch out the problem in his stories. 

This week, we started our Inquiry unit on Diversity.  Students are expected to see how each person is valued as we are made in the image of God.  We presented some of the questions that we will be inquiring into such as the different home languages that we speak, food that is popular and traditions that we celebrate from our own culture.   

The students were invited to 4L on Thursday to play arcade games that the grade four students made using cardboard and a whole lot of imagination and creativity.  Just like at an arcade, the students were able to win prizes (gently used toys donated by the grade four students) for playing the games.  This was a great way for 4L to share their learning with their younger peers.   

We found out from Charles this week during his family presentation that his Chinese name, Tian-Ze, means blessing from God.  He showed us pictures of his family including his older sister and baby brother going on trips to China, Mexico, and Australia as well as local trips to hiking, rock climbing and the park.  We also discovered that his mom, dad, grandpa and grandma were baptized over the last 7 years.   

Clubs have ended this week.  If your child was involved this term with after-school clubs, please be sure to pick them up at their usual dismissal time from our classroom next week.   

On Friday, March 8th our chapel theme will be “Incredible Companion” so bring your special friend who has been with you through thick and thin, also known as your favourite stuffy! We will have our annual stuffy toss at the end of the chapel.

Have a wonderful weekend!