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Feb 28

Dear Parents,  

The students were invited to 4L today to play arcade games that the grade four students made using cardboards 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.   

Thank you again for taking time out to come and celebrate your child’s learning on Thursday 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 practice our reading strategy of Ask Questions.   When reading with your child, you can employ this strategy to help him/her increase engagement and comprehension of the text. We read StuckThe 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 are popular and traditions that we celebrate from our own culture.   

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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Feb 21

Dear Parents, 

During our literacy centres this week, we talked about how we can learn from good writers and examined ways that you can wrap up a story by rereading some of the books that we have read as a class this year.  Students noticed that some books end when there is a solution to the problem (e.g Swimmy by Leo Lionni), the main character learns a lesson (e.g. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes), or a surprise (e.g. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch).   

The student-led conference is scheduled for Thursday, Feb 27.  During the half hour session, your child will take you around to different centres in the classroom.  There will be a Language Arts centre where your child will discuss their reading and writing progress with you. There will be a Math centre where your child will talk about their addition and subtraction strategies as well as teach you their favourite card and iPad game.  The final centre that your child will take you to will highlight some of their learning in Bible, French, and Exploration Time.  About ten minutes will be allotted for each of the three centres 

We began to feature books by award winning writer and illustrator Oliver Jeffers.  His works include Lost and FoundUp and Down, and The Incredible Book Eating Boy.  We watched a video interview of him describing his usual workday and how he likes to always carry a pencil and some paper around to write down his ideas for new books.   

This week we celebrated our 100th day of school. We rotated through to 1N to listen to a 100th day story, 1T to work on a 100th day of school craft, and finally to 1C to play 1010 Puzzles on their iPads.  

In Bible, we reviewed the cycle of misery through the stories of the judges.  The students reflected on what they have learned so far.  Some suggested that we need to always remember God, pray to God if we need help and that God is always by our side. 

Have a fantastic weekend! 

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Feb 14

Dear Parents, 

The students continued to get ready for our Student-led conference during our literacy centers.  They reflected on their reading and writing by coming up with some things that they do well in and some things that they need to improve on.   

In Math, we reviewed some of the subtraction strategies that we have been learning over the last few weeks. We also introduced the traditional vertical algorithm (Up and Down strategy) to the students and asked them to reflect and think about which strategy may be most efficient for a given set of minuend and subtrahend. For example, some students said that using the “count back” strategy is useful for 6-2 because you only have to count back two times. Whereas others said that using the “think addition” strategy is how they like to solve 15-7 because they are good with addition facts and this is a good way to help with subtraction.  

In Bible, we continued to study the recurring cycle of disobedience of the Israelites in the Old Testament by looking at the life of Samson.  We learned how Samson lost the trust of God by revealing the secret to his strength.  However, as he repented, God restored his strength and help him defeat the Philistines. 

To conclude our unit on Amazing Animals, we went to the Vancouver Aquarium to reinforce and expand on some of the learning that we have done in the classroom.  Here are some pictures of our trip: 

We will be celebrating our 100th day of school on Wednesday, February 19.  Students will be rotating through the different grade one classrooms that day to work on activities that are related to 100.  

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

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Feb 11

Message from Mr. Paul:

Let’s celebrate friendship on Valentine’s Day. February 14th is Red / White / Pink dress up day. Dress-up in as much Red, White and Pink as possible. Hats, hair bows, bowties, shirts, pants, dresses, socks and shoes! Be a little crazy! Be a little fun & creative!

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Feb 7

Dear Parents, 

During our literacy centres this week, we talked about how we can learn from good writers and examined ways that you can add details such as a problem and a solution to a story.  We reviewed a few books from our featured authors and identified the problems in those stories.  We also introduced another reading strategy called Flippy dolphin.  When reading an unknow word, a student can “flip” a long vowel to a short one or vice versa to see which makes more sense.  The following is a video illustrating this strategy: 

We read Zero and Two by our featured author, Kathryn Otoshi.  In the book Two, we discussed how the main character “Three” came in between “One” and “Two” who were good friends.  We talked about how sometimes friendships may go through ups and downs, and how friends will always talk about their feelings with each other when they are sad.  We also watched another interview by her telling us that reading books can teach us lots of new concepts as well as taking us on many exciting adventures.  In addition, you will find in your child’s Back and Forth book today, a list of words and spelling concepts that we hope can be reinforced at home.  When reading with your child, you can point out or ask your child to find words that matches some of the spelling concepts that we have put in the letter.  The students will be assessed on 10 of the words on the list in March.  Again, our goal is for students to begin to apply these spelling concepts in their daily writing tasks rather than just on a spelling quiz.  

In Math, we continued to practice different subtraction strategies such as Count back, and Back Over Ten.  We also talked about how we can subtract numbers by “thinking addition” (7-2=? can be thought of as: ?+2=7).  Students were given some math (word) problems to work on to see if they could apply some of the subtraction strategies that we have looked at.  

In Bible, we examined the story of Gideon and how God reassured him that He would be with them in their battle against the Midianites.  We talked about how Gideon questioned his ability to lead but eventually his faith in God helped him defeat his enemies even though he was badly outnumbered. 

In our inquiry unit of Amazing Animals this week, we discussed where we can get information on a given topic.  The students suggested that we can learn more about something by reading books, searching the internet, asking an adult, and being in the actual environment.  With that in mind, we will be reinforcing this unit by visiting the Vancouver Aquarium next Tuesday.  Please help your child pack a snack, cold lunch (e.g. sandwiches), and a water bottle that day.  It would be helpful if they put those items in a smaller backpack (if you have one) as the students will be moving around the aquarium with their backpacks for part of the day.  There is no need to bring their Back and Forth book.  If you wish to pass along a message to me, just email me that morning.

In Health, we continued to discuss ways to be safe at home, school or out and about.  This week we looked at how different signs outside of our home that may have pictures and words that can warn us of danger or to help us stay safe.   

A quick reminder that our library class will be moved to Thursday next week to accommodate our Vancouver Aquarium field trip on Tuesday.   

Have a wonderful weekend!