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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!