Nov 15

Dear Parents, 

Today, we celebrated different kinds of heroes.  Biblical heroes, comic book heroes, and community heroes.  We talked about how heroes sacrifice themselves for others.  Whether it is by helping others, serving others, respecting others, or loving others, we all have a hero within ourselves.

We introduced the reading strategy of visualization to the students this week.  Visualization enables students to be more aware of the descriptive languages that good writers use in their text.  We practiced a simple visualization exercise by me calling out a single word and asking them to make a picture in their heads.  We decided that some words (e.g. objects) are much easier for visualization and other words like “the” or “at” are more difficult to visualize.  We discussed how we could use our different senses when visualizing the text.   

In addition to the “c vs. K” rule that we talked about two weeks ago, we introduced another spelling rule to the students called “Buzz Off Miss Pill”.  When students try to spell a one syllable word with a short vowel and ends with “z, f, s, l”, the last letter should be doubled (e.g. frizz, stuff, less, bell).   

We continued to read books and watch interviews online by Robert Munsch.  Students noticed that his books are like Mo Willems because they are humorous and encourage children to read aloud together. 

In Math, students rotated through Math centers to work independently on different math skills related to number sense and addition.  Students are grouped during this time based on their specific math needs.  The groupings are flexible and can be changed depending on what we are working on that week.  There are four centers that the students rotate through every 15-20 minutes.  At the iPad center, students work on a specific app to enhance their number sense.  At the Game center, students play math games related to addition.  At the Practice Work center, students work on math drills or worksheets to reinforce their addition and subtraction skills.  At the last center, students work with me and practice articulating their mathematical thinking through various math tasks.  This week, we explored the ways that we can add numbers, such as counting all and counting on by using tools such as the number line, ten frame, fingers, and 100chart.  It is our intent to move the students from the counting stage to the reasoning stage of addition and eventually to the mastery stage where students can do addition mentally without the aid of manipulatives. 

In Inquiry, we introduced the big idea that patterns help us understand our world.  This week, we began to explore the idea that seasons affects all living things.  We will be looking at why we have seasons, and how they affect our daily lives.  Students were asked to brainstorm some questions that they would like to find out more about.  The students wondered why the days are longer in the summer, why does the earth spin, and why does the sky change?  We also found out that we have seasons because of how the earth tilts towards the sun.   

I came across an interesting TED Talk video by Sir Ken Robinson, an author, speaker, and educational advisor, on creating an education system that nurtures creativity – one of the core competencies in our new BC curriculum.  The video is about 20 minutes long.  

We will be visiting the Vancouver Aquarium as part of our Inquiry unit on Animal Adaptation on Tuesday, February 11.  Please email me if you can volunteer to be a group leader that day.  You will be taking care of a small group of students around the aquarium.  We will be requiring your assistance from 8:45 to 2:45.   A special admission fee will be charged to you unless you have a season pass at the aquarium.  There will be spaces on the school bus for parent volunteers. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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