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!


Jan 11

Dear Parents,  

It was nice to see the students come back from the holiday refreshed and readied to begin the second term.  The students reconnected with their friends and exchanged stories of what they did over their Christmas break.  Here are some pictures that we took for today’s Pajama Day: 

Now that the students are more independent, have a good understanding of class expectations, and have learned to solve problems on their own, our Language Arts lessons will take on a rotating centre format.  Students will go through four literacy centres each day while spending about 20 minutes at each station.  The centres are chosen to expose the children to various literacy activities such as word work (Words Their Way), listening to stories (iPad), handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears), read to self, and writing (creative stories or journal writing).  While the students are working at their centres, I will be teaching and conferencing with small groups of students on their word sorts, handwriting, reading and writing strategies.  A reading strategy that we introduced this week is “Chunky Monkey”.  When a student sees a longer unknown word, he/she is encouraged to look for a chunk of word that is embedded within that unfamiliar word.  The following video illustrates that strategy: 

The author that we will be looking at for the next few weeks is Kevin Henkes.  He is an award-winning author and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books and novels.  This week, we watched a short video interview with Kevin Henkes discussing his writing process with books like Chester’s Way, Kitten’s First Moon, and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.  Some students noted that he likes to use mice as his main characters and uses lots of sentences to describe his characters at the beginning of most of his stories.  

In Math, we reviewed some of the addition strategies that we have covered before the break such as “Count on”, “Make ten”, and “Double facts”.  I also introduced the “Up and Down” strategy (e.g. the traditional way of adding the numbers up and down) for addition but I cautioned the students that this is only one of the many ways to add numbers.  In order to develop our number sense, we need to be flexible and be able to use many different strategies to add numbers.  The vertical algorithm or “Up and Down” strategy tends to be more mechanical and may not enhance young children’s number sense.   

Over the next two months, the students will be looking at the lives of five judges: Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon and Samson.  They will be learning about the recurring cycle in the Book of Judges where the Israelites forget their covenant with God, oppress by their neighbours, and plead to God for a deliverer.  This week, the students were introduced to the role of a judge, the cycle of disobedience, and our new memory verse, 2 Corinthians 6:16.  Just for your information, 1C will be presenting Chapel on February 22.   

In Inquiry, we introduced the big idea that patterns and cycles help us understand the natural world.  This week, we began to explore the idea that seasons affect 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.   

In Health, we will be looking at ways to stay safe while we are at home, school or out and about. This week, we explored how we can prepare for a fire, and what are our emergency plans at home and school.  

A reminder that Club begins next week.  The following students are involved this term (Jan 14-Mar 1):  

Wednesday Clapping Club (lunch): Ella 

Friday Hockey Club (lunch): Boaz, Gabriel 

Friday Lego Challenge Club (after school in Mrs. Sanders’ room): Bernice 

Have a great weekend!


Dec 14

Dear Parents, 

We had a busy last week!  The students met with their grade twelve prayer buddies today.  They came to our campus to eat lunch, pray, and play with their grade one buddies at recess.  Each child in grade one has been matched with a grade twelve student so that they can pray for each other for the rest of this school year.  We plan to visit the prayer buddies at their campus in Spring and sing for them during their convocation in June.   

We also had a small Christmas celebration in class this Thursday.  Students rotated through a craft, bingo, games, and snack center in the morning. 

In Language Arts, we talked about being aware of using periods to end a sentence and beginning a sentence with a capital letter.  For most young children, writing is a very cognitively intensive task that entails forming the letters, leaving space between words, thinking about how to spell a word properly, what to write, and knowing the audience that they are writing for. Therefore, we often see children forgetting to use their capital and punctuation marks, and it is something that we will continue to work on throughout the year.  

This week, we concluded our look at our featured author, Leo Lionni.  The students suggested that his books have a beginning that introduces the characters, a middle that has a problem, and an ending that resolves the problem.  Some enjoyed the way that he uses collages to illustrate his books.  They also noticed that he only uses animal characters and that his books are not as funny as Robert Munsch’s and Mo Willems’.   

In Math, we reviewed the different addition strategies, such as “Count On”, “Make Ten”, and “Double Facts”, that we have explored this year and how they can be used to help us add 2-digits to 1-digit numbers.  We also discussed how some strategies may be more efficient given the set of addends (e.g. using a double fact like 4+4=8 can help us find the sum for 5+4 quickly).  The students also completed their January calendar and wrote down dates that are important to them.  

In Bible, we continued to explore the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus.  We sang Christmas songs and discussed what the lyrics mean.   

We concluded our Inquiry unit of Amazing Animals this week by discussing about 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 visited the Vancouver Aquarium this Wednesday to experience how animals adapt to live. Here are some pictures of our visit: 

On a more personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the presents and cards that I have received.  As well, a big thank you for all your prayers and support for the students of 1C, whether it is working with your child at home or coming into the class to help.  I know that they have all grown so much since the start of the school year.    

May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Dec 7

Dear Parents, 

In Language Arts, we contrasted the different books that we have read so far from Leo Lionni. The students thought that his books are usually structured to have a problem and a solution, such as Swimmy and Little Blue and Little Yellow.  As well, they noticed that he likes to use mice as his characters in books such as Frederick and Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse.  We also discussed how his stories often teach us a lesson. 

The students have been working hard on their Words Their Way (WTW) sorts over the last few weeks.  Therefore, we will be taking a break from this program next week.  Your child will not be receiving any WTW sorts next Monday.   

As for the home reading program, students should still be bringing in their package to exchange for new books next week, but we do not expect the students to be reading the leveled books during the Christmas holidays.  Any unread books can be used after we come back from the holidays. 

In Math, students explored more addition strategies this week.  We talked about how we can use “double facts” to help us add “near doubles”.  As well, we looked at some important addition properties such as the commutative property (e.g. 4+5=5+4) and zero property (e.g. any number plus zero is itself).  At this developmental stage, some students are beginning to transfer these strategies mentally while some are using manipulatives (e.g. unifix cubes, counters, fingers) to help them visualize their math problems.   

In Bible, we continued to discuss the birth of Jesus.  The students responded in their Bible exercise book about why we celebrate Christmas.  Some of them said it is because Jesus is born on that day, while others said that Jesus came to take our sins away.   

In Health, we continued to look at dental health related to young children.  We discussed what happens when we go to a dentist (e.g. getting our teeth cleaned and taking x-rays to see if there are any problems) and why a regular checkup is important. 

In our Inquiry unit on Amazing Animals, we looked at another adaptation that animals make in order to survive – hibernation.  We learned why animals hibernate and how they prepare themselves beforehand. 

Amelie’s mom and dad came in this week to share with us what they do as a family throughout the year.  They celebrate Chinese New Year with their family at the beginning of the year.  They recognize that Jesus died for us during Easter.  They love to go berry picking and traveling over the summer.  During fall, they enjoy pumpkin picking and watching the changing leaves.  At the end of the year, they have lots of birthdays to celebrate but the most important one is the birth of Jesus.  A Bible verse that is special to them is “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonian 5:16-18. 

A reminder that next Wednesday, December 12, 1C students will be going to the Vancouver Aquarium.  We will be leaving school at around 9:00 and arrive back at around 2:30. In order to minimize what the students need to carry to and around the aquarium, your child only needs to bring a small snack, a cold lunch and a small water bottle to school that day, preferably in a small backpack (If you have order Nova lunch that day, please call them to cancel the order).  There is no need to bring the Back and Forth book.  If you have a message for me that day, you can email me the night before.  However, if your child usually exchanges their home readers on Wednesday, please continue to bring that to school.  We will do the exchange in the morning and leave the package at school.  This is a normal school day where you will drop off your child to school at the usual time.  If you wish to take your child home directly from the aquarium, please email me so that I can help make the necessary arrangement ahead of time.  Otherwise, students will come back to school to get their belongings and be dismissed at 2:45pm.   

I will be replacing the content of the Back and Forth Book next Friday.  If you would like to keep the pages, please email me by next Friday.  Otherwise, I will shred and recycle the pages. 

Have a restful weekend! 

Message from Ms. Huber: 

The library will be closed after school on Friday, December 14th. Students are welcome to keep their books over the break. If you are planning to travel, please keep library books at home.


Nov 30

Dear Parents, 

Today, we met with our Family Groups and decorated gingerbread cookies.  Here are some pictures of the event: 

The fourth author that we are focusing on this year is Leo Lionni.  He was an award-winning children’s author and illustrator of more than 40 books.  Some of his books include Inch by InchAlexander and the Wind-up Mouse, and Swimmy.  The students noticed that his books are similar in style to Eric Carle’s in how he uses collages for illustrations.  Some students suggested that his books are not as funny as Mo Willems’ or Robert Munsch’s books, while others thought that his books have a beginning that introduces the characters, a middle that tells us there is a problem, and an ending where there is a solution.  We also practiced our handwriting, touch-typing, and Words Their Way sorts throughout the week.  

Since we started exploring different addition strategies in Math several weeks ago, we have covered strategies such as “count on”, and “make ten”.  This week, we discussed how we can add by using “double facts” or near doubles.  The students rotated through various math centres to reinforce their addition skills using the iPads, worksheets, and games. 

We watched another video on Joshua and asked the students to reflect on what they have learned from him.  We also talked about the meaning of our new memory verse, Isaiah 9:6 

In our Inquiry unit of Amazing Animals, we looked at another adaptation that animals make to live – migration.  The students found out that animals migrate to find food, water, and shelter.  They also learned how animals prepare for migration. 

Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at medical conditions that are relevant to young children, such as the common cold and flu, allergies, and asthma in Health. This week, we talked about what happens when you lose a tooth and the difference between the baby teeth and the adult teeth. We also learned about our mouth: teeth, roots, gums, and jaw.    

Daniela’s mom, dad, and brother came in this week to tell us something about their family.  We learned that she speaks Spanish as her dad is from Nicaragua and her mom teaches Spanish at the high school.  We also found out that Daniela loves to spend time with her friends, baby cousins, and take care of her five fish tanks.  She has many hobbies such as reading, drawing, swimming, playing the piano, singing, and dancing. 

Report cards will be made available online next Monday, December 3.  Do take some time to go over the report card with your child.  Let them know what they are doing well in and what are some areas that they need to work on.    

Have a joyful weekend!  

Message from Ms. Huber: 

On Tuesday, December 4th, the library will be closed after school. This is to give students time to rest before the Christmas concert.