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Sep 28

Dear Parents, 

It was great seeing so many of you last night!  Literacy is a key component of learning for young children.  It is truly a partnership between home and school.  We hope that our sharing gave you some insights in to how young children learn to read and write, and how you can help at home.  If you were not able to attend last night, the information covered will be included over time in my weekly blog.   

There are several components to our writing program: ideas, organization, word choice, and conventions.  This week, we asked the students where writing ideas come from.  Most students recognized that we get ideas from people, places and things that we know as well as experiences that we had.  We talked about how we are all “experts” of ourselves.  Students continued to write about their weekend and present their writing to the class. 

In Math, we completed our unit on Patterns by asking students to explore geometric patterns, translate patterns, and discover environmental patterns.  Here are some things that the students said they learned: “the core/unit in a pattern repeats”, “patterns are everywhere”, patterns can be found in colour, numbers, shapes, and sound” and “patterns help us be prepare”.  

We followed up on the idea of trusting and obeying God by looking at the life of Abraham.  The students learned how Abraham obeyed God when he was asked to move to Canaan and had to sacrifice the son that he had at an old age.  He trusted God even though he was asked to make tough choices.  Next week, students will have an opportunity to recite their memory Bible verse (Romans 12:2) to me from Monday to Wednesday.   

In our inquiry unit of Matter matters, we defined matter as something that takes up space and is made up of three groups: solids, liquids, and gases.  Solid is something that takes on a definite shape, a liquid is something that you can put your hand through, feels wet, and takes on the shape of the container that it is in, and a gas is something that you can also put your hand through but may not feel wet.  We practiced sorting different object into these three groups.   

In Health, we continued to discuss ways to improve our wellness choices.  This week, we explored how regular exercise can help make our body stronger, sleep better, improve our moods and our immune system to fight against germs.  We also talked about how we can exercise safely by drinking water, wearing the appropriate protective gear and warming up before we play.   

A reminder that student individual photo orders are due next Tuesday, Oct. 2.  After that date, you will have to order online at https://my.lifetouch.ca/mylifetouch/#/.  Life Touch will return on Nov. 6 for retakes if you were not satisfied with the first photo proofs.  There is also no school next Thursday and Friday as teachers from the school will be attending professional conferences on those days.   

Have a restful weekend!

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Sep 21

Dear Parents, 

We celebrated Super Hero/Terry Fox Day with lots of excitement.  The rain held off enough so that the students ran around the school once to commemorate all that Terry Fox had done for cancer research.  Thank you for your donation on behalf of the Terry Fox Cancer Foundation. 

This week, we started our printing program called Handwriting Without Tears.  We reviewed the capital letters that the students were exposed to last year as well as the correct way to hold a pencil.  Each student practiced printing in their own exercise book after we go over the correct stroke order as a class.  We also continued to focus on the first reading strategy of connection.  As I read aloud different stories to the students, they were asked to tell the class the connections that they have made.   

In Math, we asked the students to create and extend patterns with 3 or 4 elements and record them on to paper.  As well, we started to expose students to word problems.  We discussed how it is useful to re-read the question to ensure that we understand the question.  We also talked about how we need to persevere when working on math problems and not give up so easily.   

I came across a TED Talk video by Dan Finkel, the founder of Math for Love.  In this video, he discusses the five principles that he believes make for good math teaching which can be applied at home as well.  It’s an interesting way of thinking about math.  If you are interested, the video is around 14 minutes long.   

In Bible, we reviewed the story of Noah and the Ark.  Students reflected in their Bible book as to why Noah obeyed God.  Some thought that Noah was obedient because he trusted God even though others thought he was silly, while others thought that he knew God has a plan for him.  We made a rainbow to decorate the front of the Bible book to remind the students of God’s covenant with us and Noah.   

We started Health this year by focusing on healthy lifestyle choices.  Students will explore ways to maintain proper hygiene and positive wellness choices such as the importance of diet, exercise and sleep.  This week, we discussed why we need to eat healthy foods and organized them into different categories such as healthy, unhealthy or in between (food that we can eat once in a while).  Most children suggested that pop is unhealthy and ice cream is more of a treat! 

In our first inquiry unit of the year, Matter Matters, we will be exploring the big idea that “everything is made up of matter”.  Students will inquire into the properties of matter (how something acts, feels, and looks) and how they affect its function.  We launched the unit this week by introducing the topic to the students.  

A reminder that our Literacy Night is scheduled for Thursday, September 27 at 7 pm.  We will be discussing our literacy program and ways that you can help your child at home.   

We have planned two ice skating field trips to the Minoru Ice Skating Rink and will be requiring volunteers on those dates.  We have scheduled them on Tuesday, Nov 13 and Wednesday, Jan 23. We are looking for volunteers from 10:30-12:00 to help students put on their skates.  You are welcomed to join in and skate for free that day.  I will be sending out more details closer to the actual skating dates. 

Have a fruitful weekend!

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Sep 14

Dear Parents, 

Thank you for taking time out to come to our Meet the Teacher Night.  It was great to be able to touch base and share my teaching philosophy and approaches to teaching with you.  Thank you to those who have already placed their names on our Celebrating Families sign-up sheet outside of our class.  We look forward to getting to know more about your family! 

The students are beginning to adjust to the routines and expectations of the class.  We continue to encourage students to take risks and play with new friends during recess times as well as be problem solvers and communicators. 

We started our reading program this week.  Students were introduced to the reading strategy of “making connections” which can help with their reading comprehension.  For the next few weeks, we will be focusing on making connections to what we read.  A connection is something that the story or text remind us of.  We read the book David Goes to School and David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon and students were asked to make connections to the different things David did in the story.   To reinforce this strategy, you can ask your child about the connections that he/she makes as you read with them at home. 

In Math, we began our unit on Patterns. This week, we discussed how patterns are embedded everywhere, from our calendar to the 100 chart.  Students suggested that patterns are a way to help us predict what will happen next, like the days of the week.  They also asked their friends to guess the different patterns that they made with unifix cubes and pattern blocks.  We will work on creating and extending patterns up to four elements (e.g. ABCDABCD) as well as translate patterns from one representation to another (e.g., red, yellow, orange, white to ABCD).  Understanding patterns help children build a foundation for algebraic thinking.   

In Bible, we reviewed the story of Creation.  Next Monday, I will be sending home a letter explaining more about our Memory Verse Program in your child’s Back and Forth Book.  Please be sure to take a look at our self-portraits in the hallway to celebrate how God has created each one of us uniquely. 

We had our first Library class with Ms. Huber this Thursday.  She introduced the library routines and explained how to use our library keys.  Please continue to help your child to develop a habit of bringing in a library bag (something that can protect the library books in case of linkage in your child’s school bag) each Thursday to promote their sense of independence.   

A reminder that next Friday is Super Hero/Terry Fox Day.  Students will be participating in an activity related to Terry Fox as well as be encouraged to wear their Super Hero costumes (e.g. Batman, Superman, doctors, nurses, Jesus, Moses, etc.).   

If you wish to find out more information about our Library, Music and French program, please subscribe to those blogs found on the right side of 1C’s blog.  You will receive an email when these blogs are updated. 

Have a great weekend!