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! 


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! 


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. 


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! 


Feb 22

Dear Parents, 

Thank you for coming in today to support your child during Chapel.  The students worked hard these last two weeks in preparation for this presentation.  If you are interested in obtaining the Chapel video that we made, please send a labelled USB with your child to school so that I can download the video on it.   

The student-led conference is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 27.  During the half-hour session that you can sign up for online, 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 math game 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 also watched a video interview of him describing his usual work day and how he likes to always carry a pencil and some paper around to write down his ideas for new books.   

We introduced another reading strategy, Flippy dolphin, to help students read unfamiliar words.  The following is a video illustrating this strategy: 

This week we celebrated our 100th day of school. We rotated through to 1N to work on an art activity related to 100, to 1D to put together a 100-piece puzzle, 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! 


Feb 15

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.  

Just a reminder that 1C’s Chapel presentation is next Friday, February 22.  We encourage you to come and support your child.  The video for the Chapel presentation will be made available to you after the presentation. 

We will be celebrating our 100th day of school on Wednesday, February 20.  Students will be rotating through the different grade one classrooms that day to work on activities that are related to 100.  

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Message from the office: 

Signup for student-led conferences is now open. If you haven’t signed up yet, please CLICK HERE to sign up.  Signup closes on Wednesday.


Feb 8

Dear Parents, 

During literacy centres this week, the students practiced their independent reading skills, looked for patterns with their Words Their Way sorts, and worked on their handwriting and creative stories. Over the next few weeks, we will begin to discuss how good writers use “voice” to make their writing unique. This week, we began by impressing on the students that we write for a specific audience.  Depending on the audience, we may adjust our writing to express our “voice”.   We also continued to practice asking questions before, during and after we read to enhance our understanding of the text.  

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 with her telling us that reading books can teach us lots of new concepts as well as taking us on many exciting adventures.  

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.  

We have completed our Inquiry unit on Patterns in the Sky.  Students will be bringing home a booklet that they have worked on over the last few weeks.  Please take some time this weekend to talk to them about what they have learned.  We will not be starting another Inquiry unit until after the student-led conference (Feb 27) as we will be spending time in class to prepare the students for that date.   

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 help us stay safe.   

We concluded our Inquiry unit of Patterns in the Sky by inviting High Touch High Tech to come to our class to answer some of the questions that the students have about this unit.  They explored why we have seasons, how seasons affect all living things, how to read a thermometer, and how to make “snow”.   

We would like to thank Annabelle, her brother, Justin, and her mom and dad for coming in this week to tell us what makes their family unique.  They talked about how they like to celebrate Christmas by building gingerbread houses and decorating their house as well as the upcoming Chinese New Year.  Annabelle is involved with her church activities, Awana, art and dance classes.  She likes to ski, travel, bake, and play Chess with her family as well! 

A quick reminder that next Thursday, February 14, will be Red, Pink and White Day.  Your child is encouraged to come to school wearing those colours to celebrate Valentine’s Day.   

Have a wonderful weekend!


January 31

Dear Parents, 

Next week will be Dance week.  All specialist (Music, French, PE) classes will be cancelled.  Students will be attending 30 minutes dance classes taught by a dancing instructor from Monday to Friday.  Library will be changed to Wednesday instead! 

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).  I also took some time to touch base and conference with the students on their writing over the last few weeks.  We talked about things that they are doing well and things that they can improve on. We continued to examine the reading strategy that we introduced last week, Ask question and Skippy frog.  We talked about how asking questions before, during and after we read is a way to help us understand our text better.  

For the next few weeks, our featured author will be Kathryn Otoshi.  Some of her books that we will be reading aloud in class are ZeroOne and Two.  We watched a video interview of her telling us how she remembered spending lots of time in the library when she was young, how she usually gets ideas for her books from real life experiences, and how she usually writes first and draws after to let the picture also tell part of the story in her books.  

In Math, we continued to discuss ways that you can subtract numbers.  We discussed and practiced a new subtraction strategy, Back Over Ten (e.g. 13-4 can be thought of as 13-3 to get to 10 first, then take away one more to get to 9).  For students to use this efficient strategy to subtract, however, students must master (being able to recall without prompting) a good number of addition facts before hand.  Something that you could do while driving with your child is to ask him/her the sum of any given two addends.  When presented as a game, young children often find solving simple addition question engaging.     

In Bible, we looked at the story of another judge, Deborah, from the Book of Judges.  We learned how she was sent by God to deliver the Israelites from King Jabin and the Canaanites. Some students began to comment on how the Israelites keep forgetting about God.    

As we continued to discuss ways to be safe in Health with the students, we examined the topic of bullying by reading One by Kathryn Otoshi. We defined a bully as someone who says or does hurtful things repeatedly to another person.  When being bullied, we should not feel embarrassed and tell an adult immediately.  We can also tell the bully how you feel calmly or stay with friends who can help us.  When seeing someone being bullied, we should help by telling an adult about what happened.   

In our Inquiry unit of Patterns in the Sky, we explored how autumn affects us in what we need to wear, as well as what we can see and do.  We also created a Wonder Wall on our outside display to illustrate what are some questions that students may still have about this unit.  It is our hope that the students continue to be curious about their world around them and take the initiative to find their own answers. 

This week, two families came in to share with us what makes their family unique.  Elias’ mom and dad told us about their connection with different countries such as Korea (where their family is from), US (where they met), Australia (where some of their family members live), and Canada.  As a family, they enjoy traveling, making arts and crafts, biking, playing squash, learning magic tricks and math.  They are thankful to God for His love, providing for their family, and bringing them to Canada, RCS, and their church community.  Meanwhile, Asher and his dad showed us pictures of Asher’s sisters, Naomi and Nevia, his grandparents, and great grandma.  We found out that Asher’s dad is studying at Regent College and his mom is a high school science teacher.  Asher loves playing with Lego, UNO and Rush Hour, going to the aquarium, making pizza at home, and reading books by Peter Reynolds.  One of their favourite verse from the Bible is 1 Peter 2:9: 

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 

Have a great weekend!


Jan 25

Dear Parents,

We went skating this week and here are some photos taken by Ms. Neibel:

During our literacy centres this week, the students reread some of the books that we have read this year and tried to find interesting first sentences that made them want to read on.  They wrote down some good first sentences that they like into their writing book.  We also introduced two reading strategies, Ask questions and Skippy frog, to the students.  We talked about how asking questions can help us understand the text better and that there are two types of questions, quick and deep-thinking questions.  Quick questions are quick to ask, quick to answer, and is right there in the book.  While the answers to deep-thinking questions are not directly in the book and are more inferential, help us think beyond the story, and the answer can differ from one person to the next.  As for Skippy frog, I have included a short video to illustrate this decoding strategy: 

A reminder that since there is no school next Friday (Feb 1), we will be giving the students their Words Their Way quiz on Thursday instead.  For those who usually bring their home reading books back on Friday, please also help your child to bring them in next Thursday instead.   

In Math, we discussed where we can use our subtraction skills (e.g. helps us when we are shopping) and introduced some math vocabularies to help us describe a subtraction number sentence such as minuend, subtrahend and minus.  Most students have suggested that you can use manipulatives (e.g. fingers, counters) or count back on a number line to subtract numbers.  We worked on a few questions using these methods and asked the students to apply them to their math worksheets.  It is our goal to move students from the counting stage to the reasoning stage (students can explain with reasons how they got the answer) and eventually to the mastery stage (instant recall of answer) over the next year or two.  

In Bible, as we continued to look at the Book of Judges, we examined the story of Ehud and how he led the Israelites to defeat their oppressors, the Moabites.  We played Freeze Frame to reinforce the story.   

In our Inquiry unit of Patterns in the sky, we examined how spring and summer affects the clothes that we wear, as well as the things that we can do and see.  The students thought that we need to wear light jackets, pants, and long sleeve T-shirts during spring; while we need to wear shorts, short sleeve T-shirts, and sandals in the summer.  They also noticed that we can see flowers and plants bloom during spring and lots of sunshine in the summer.

Have a nice weekend!


Jan 18

Dear Parents,  

It was another week of settling into our new Literacy centers routines and expectations.  It is quite amazing to see how quickly the students were able to work independently on different literacy tasks each day ranging from word study/work (Words Their Way), writing, handwriting, listening to stories (iPads), and reading to self at the class library.  During this time, I conference with individual students on their story or journal writing and review some of the writing strategies that we have covered so far.  We continued to learn more about Kevin Henkes and some students notice that a lot of his stories tend to teach us a moral lesson (e.g. Waiting teaches us to not be impatient and being a flexible friend).  

In Math, we reviewed the different addition strategies that can be used to help us add numbers. The students shared their ideas as to which strategy may be more efficient for a given set of addends (e.g. using double facts may be more efficient for 7+6).  As their number sense continued to develop, it is important for young children to discern addition strategies that are most efficient to use to solve a given problem.  When possible, continue to ask your child to solve authentic math problems involving addition (e.g. we had 3 oranges at home, now we have 9 in total, how many did we buy?) over the weekend.  Over the next few weeks, we will switch gears to learning about different subtraction strategies.   

In Bible, we continued to look at the recurring cycle in the Book of Judges.  This week, we learned about Othniel, the first judge that God had sent to deliver the Israelites from the king of Aram.  Students drew a picture in their Bible workbook to illustrate this cycle of disobedience.   

In our Inquiry unit of Patterns in the Sky, we examined how winter affects the clothes that we wear, as well as the things that we can do and see.  The students thought that we need to wear clothing to keep us warm, such as thick jackets, pants, boots, mittens, scarves and hats.  They also noticed that we can go skiing, play in the snow, and see birds migrating during this season. 

Kirsten’s mom and dad came in this week to share with us what they do as a family.  We found out that they celebrate birthdays and half-birthdays.  They enjoy many different outdoor activities such as skating, playing in the snow, in their backyard, in the park, and biking.  They also like to read, cook, travel, and do daily bedtime devotions with Kirsten’s favourite book, Daily Bread for Kids.  Kirsten has many church friends and is involved with the children’s choir, and Vacation Bible School.  

A reminder that we will be going ice skating again next Wednesday, January 23.  We will be leaving school at 10:15 (student will have a quick snack before we go on the school bus) and begin skating at 10:45. The skating session will end at 11:45 and we should be boarding the school bus at 12:00 so that we can come back for lunch.  Please either email me or make a note in your child’s Back and Forth book if you can come and help.  You are welcomed to come and skate with us for free at the Minoru Ice Rink.  

Have a fruitful weekend!