January 19

In Language Arts we learned about sequence – putting our ideas in order so that our writing is organized. We use words like, “First, second, next, finally.” The students made ‘storyboards’ – 3 boxes in a column in which they put pictures and words in order so everything makes sense. Next week, we will put this into practice in story writing. We also read the story, “The Snow Day” by Komako Sakai, and then drew and wrote about what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story.

In Math, we focused on the “Up and Down” addition strategy (e.g. the traditional way of doing addition, adding the numbers up and down) 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 tends to be more mechanical and may not enhance young children’s number sense. I also taught the students a new card game called “3 in a row.” Ask your child if he/she can teach you the game. The students shared their ideas as to which addition 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 continues to develop, it is important for young children to discover on their own adding strategies which 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 the students will be looking at the lives of five judges: Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon and Samson over the next couple months.  They will be learning about the recurring cycle in the Book of Judges where the Israelites forget their covenant with God, they then become oppressed by their neighbours, and plead to God for a deliverer – a judge.  This week, the students were introduced to the role of a judge, the cycle of disobedience, and the first judge, Othniel, whom God had sent to deliver the Israelites from the king of Aram.

In Theme, we took a closer look at the cycle of seasons, and specifically what winter looks like and how it affects us. Students began working on a booklet about seasons. They thought that we need to wear clothing to keep us warm, such as a thick jacket, 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. 

In Art, we worked with the concept of perspective and how we can show distance of an object. We made big snowman heads with ripped paper to make it look like we are close up to the snowman.

Thank you to Isaac‘s family for coming in to share about themselves! We learned that his dad, Alfredo, was born in Guatemala and therefore Isaac can speak Spanish. His last name ‘Jo’ is pronounced ‘Ho’. He is a Civil Engineer. Isaac’s mom, Dory was born in the Philippines. She goes to UBC as she is studying to become a Social Worker. Isaac’s sister, Sophie, is 3 years old. She likes to sing, dance, act and her favourite colour is pink and she loves princesses. The Jos go to Tapestry church, where Isaac was baptized. As a family, they like to attend festivals, fairs, carnivals, concerts and other events. They enjoy going to farms in the Spring (Tulip and apple etc), the symphony and Richmond Night Market. They like to travel, hike, bike, camp and picnic.









Thank you to Kaylee’s Family for coming in to share. We learned that Kaylee’s mom, Kiki, loves to take photos, swim and run. Kaylee’s dad, Yan likes to work, play hide and seek, and play games with Kaylee. Kaylee likes to play Lego, play in Summer Fun and be funny. As a family they enjoy hiking, reading, going for afternoon tea and travelling to places like Thailand, Disneyland and Mexico.








Reminders/ notices:

  • Scholastic orders due Mon., Jan. 22
  • Skating Wed, Jan. 24
  • Family Sharing coming up next month:
    • Nathan – Feb. 5-8
    • Amelia – Feb. 13-16
    • Jaycee – Feb. 19-23
    • Matthew – Feb. 26 – Mar. 2
      • Please email me or talk to me about which day of the week you plan to come once you know (Mon, Tues, Wed, or Thurs at 8:30) Thank you!

Have a blessed weekend 🙂

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

It is so wonderful to see all of you again! I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas, and time to spend with family and friends. Hopefully you were able to rest and relax too!

The kids enjoyed Pajama Day and getting to have their stuffies with them while they read with a buddy in their Family Group 🙂










This week…

In Language Arts we talked about what we did during our Christmas break and then wrote about it, focusing on the topic and adding detail such as who, what, when, where. We began studying a new author: Jan Brett. We watched an interview with Jan Brett and learned that she is both the author and illustrator of her books and that it takes her an hour to create 1 square inch of a picture (she draws and uses water colour). She travels the world and does lots of research to get ideas for her books, and uses many fables and folktales. Something we noticed about her books is that she has different pictures in the side margins. She explained her reasoning for doing this: when she was little she would always turn to the end of the story to see what happened before reading the book. Her margins give the reader a preview of what will happen next.

In Math we reviewed our addition strategies during centre rotations and we began doing our addition problems vertically. Ask your child if he/she can explain to you what the different addition strategies are: Counting On, Number Line, 5 and 10 as Anchors, Double Facts. Also, we worked on problem solving booklets using the various addition strategies that we have learned. I also taught the students a new card game that I really enjoyed at their age – it’s called Speed. Ask your child if he/she can teach you how to play it. It involves quickly playing cards that are 1 more or 1 less than the current card on the discard piles before your opponent.

In Bible we began the story of Joshua. We learned that Joshua took over Moses’ leadership role and that he spent lots of time with God. He trusted God even when many of his followers did not. We acted out Moses sending spies to explore the land God promised his people, Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan River, and marching around the walls of Jericho until they came crashing down. Students wrote down the main events in their Bible journals and what they had learned from God through the story.

The children really love to sing VBS songs. Here are a couple we sang this week:

In theme we began our unit called, “Patterns in the Sky ” The big idea is: “Patterns and cycles in the sky help us understand the world.” The students brainstormed ideas of the kinds of patterns we may see in the sky. Using a globe and a flashlight, we discovered how the patterns of ‘night and day’ and the cycle of seasons occur. We watched a video on Brain Pop which explained these phenomena (the earth rotates on its axis as it orbits the sun, and the earth’s axis is tilted). See if your child is able to explain this to you yet.

In art we made snowflakes to decorate our classroom. You will see them hanging from the ceiling. We talked about how each snowflake is unique, just like people. Many students enjoyed making them that they continued to do so during exploration time.

Thank you to Alioth’s dad, Jiu Jiu, for coming in to share about his family. We were already familiar with Alioth’s twin brother, Merak, in 1C and his other brother Ryan who is 3 years older. We saw pictures of his whole family, including his mom, Grace. We learned that Alioth enjoys playing Minecraft on the computer, he likes to read chapter books, play cars with Merak and play piano. We got to see a video of him playing the piano! The family also enjoyed an amusement park in China.










Notices/ Reminders…

  • We are going skating again on January 24 and we will be at the rink from 10:30 – 12:00. Please approve the field trip online by Jan. 19. If you are able to volunteer, please let me know via email. We can always use many volunteers to help do up and undo skates.
  • Scholastic orders will be due Monday January 22.
  • Term 2 clubs begin next week. The following students are involved in this term (Jan. 15 – Mar. 2)

Tuesday Lunch Recess – Science Club – Jaycee, Amelia, Vania, Sean

Tuesday After School – Games in the Big Gym – Isaias

Thursday Lunch Recess – iMovie – Matthew

Thanks and have a blessed weekend!

December 15

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful Christmas card and generous gift! I do hope that you each thoroughly enjoy Christmas and the time you will have with your family over the break. We had fun today as it was our festive Christmassy day! 🙂








We had Christmas stations today: 1) making Christmas ornaments for the tree 2) drawing the Nativity scene 3) playing Christmas bingo 4) wrapping the card and gift that the students made for you. I hope you enjoy!








In Language Arts we have been writing Christmas cards to various people, such as you, the seniors that the students sang for, and get well cards for Mr. Przybylski as he has now broken his arm in addition to his broken foot! Please pray for his healing over the break.

The students also wrote about the Christmas story in their Bible journals. I was impressed with how much they were able to recall and write all by themselves!

In Math, we did some Christmas math related activities like connect the dots and roll the dice to make a gingerbread man or a Christmas tree.


In Art… you will see what we were doing when you open the gift from your child (hopefully they can wait until Christmas to give it to you 🙂 ).

In Theme, the students finished their own animal designs and shared them with a partner.

The students did a great job singing Christmas carols to the seniors at Pinegrove place. What a blessing to them!








Notices/ Reminders…

  • We will exchange our home reading books as usual on the week we come back in January. If you go away over the break, please leave your home reading books (and library books) at home. We would not like them to get accidentally left somewhere that they cannot be retrieved from.

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Christmas!

December 8

In Bible, we talked about Advent and that we are in a season of waiting as we prepare our hearts for Jesus. Here are a couple songs we sang this week:

We also began discussing the birth of Jesus, including the significance of him coming to earth in such a humble way. This was quite a different king! Not the kind of king that God’s people were imaging would come. We also talked about what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to raise up God as a child! It gives me goosebumps to think about!

In Language Arts, we wrote about the adaptations that a polar bear has in order to survive in the arctic, using a picture prompt. I’m proud of all the detail the students are adding to their writing now!

In Math, students continued to work with the math strategies we have learned so far (Count on, Number line, 5 and 10 as Anchors) and explored more addition strategies.  We talked about how we can use “double facts” to help us add “near doubles.” For example, if you know that 5 + 5 = 10, then to figure out 5+6, you just add 1 to the sum of 5+5. We also played a couple games. One was “Spin to make 10.” Your child brought that game home. Did he/she explain it to you? Another game was “Addition Facts Bingo.” Hopefully, with the more practice the children get with addition strategies and various manipulatives, they will be able to visualize these math strategies mentally.








In Theme, we talked about, and drew, some of the animals we saw at the Aquarium, and the various adaptations they have to survive. God has made such cool creatures and has equipped them to survive in many neat ways! The students had a lot of fun at the aquarium. Ask your child what kinds of sea creatures they saw and the adaptations they have to survive (ex. a sea cucumber has pretend spikes to protect it from predators). Now the students are working on creating their own animal and labelling it with the adaptations it needs to survive in the environment of their choosing. They will continue to work on these next week and hopefully present them to the class.































Thank you so much to Joshua’s family for coming in to share about themselves! We met Joshua’s mom, Sylvia, his dad, Mingson, and his brother Justin who is in Grade 2. Justin was in my class last year! We learned that Joshua likes piano, swimming, and loves building Lego – he can build a large ship in just a few hours. Joshua’s family enjoy travelling. They went to Lego Land and stayed at the Lego Land hotel. They also saw Captain America in Orlando and went to Taiwan a couple years ago. They had a good time fishing on the Sunshine Coast and skiing in Whistler.








Notices/ Reminders:

  • There will be no Words Their Way next week.
  • We will continue with Home Reading next week, however, we do not expect the students to be reading the levelled books during the Christmas holidays.  Any unread books can be used after we come back from the holidays.

Have a restful weekend!

December 1

Students had fun decorating their Christmas cookies in their Family Groups today!











































In Language Arts we learned the reading strategy Tryin Lion: Try to reread the sentence or word. The students were given a picture prompt of a leaf-tailed gecko for writing on. They could choose between writing some facts about it (we learned some information ahead of time), a story, or a reflection (what would it be life if they were a leaf-tailed gecko/ what do they think about them).

In Bible we finished off the story of Moses and wrote about it in our Bible journals.


In Art, we began an outdoor scene of tissue paper trees on top of a sunset painted background. Stay tuned as these will go up on the outside bulletin boards soon.

In Math we continue to work on addition strategies in different math centres: counting on, anchor numbers 5 and 10, and using a number line.

In Theme, Amazing Adaptations, we talked about what living things need to survive: water, food, oxygen and shelter, and all living things have structural and/or behavioural adaptations that allow them to meet these needs. See if your child can tell you the difference between structural adaptations (physical features of an animal that help it survive – ie. claws on bears to help them climb trees or eat food) and behavioural adaptations (things animals do to survive – ie. hibernate, camouflage, or migrate). Ask your child what camouflage and migrate mean and what types of animals do this.

Thank you to Isaias’ family who came in to share this week! Isaias’ parents, Gian and Tommy, got married in 2008. Isaias was born on Dec. 1 – it was his birthday the day after his family sharing! Isaias’ older brother, Isaac, is in Grade 2 at RCS, and his baby brother, Iden, was born 2 months ago! Isaias’ name means salvation. Isaias enjoys basketball, swimming, soccer, skating, skiing, tennis, biking, Awana, cooking, camping and picking blueberries.










Notices/ Reminders…

  • Donations for the Crisis Pregnancy Centre will be accepted until Friday December 8. Gently used items can also be donated. Suggested items are sleepers and outfits (newborn to 12 months), undershirts, bibs, blankets, towels, washcloths, and bottles. Socks, slippers, hats, shampoo, lotions, diapers, wipes, and toys are also appreciated. Food items such as powdered formula, baby cereal and jarred baby food is perfect. Moms can receive treats too: toiletries, magazines and treats. Thank you for all the donations so far!
  • For the third round of show-and-tell, please assist your child in preparing to talk about a special family Christmas tradition. Something can be brought in that represents this, but it is not necessary. Please see your calendar for your child’s Special Friend day.
  • Our Christmas Concert is  Monday! It is a quick dismissal day as staff need to be at the Chan centre by 5.
  • A reminder that next Tuesday, December 6, 1D students will be going to the Vancouver Aquarium.  We will be leaving school around 8:45 and arrive back 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 ordered Nova lunch that day, please call them to cancel the order).  There is no need to bring the Back and Forth folder.  If you child usually exchanges their home readers on Wednesday, they can exchange their books Tuesday or Thursday this week.  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.
  • Report cards will be made available online next Monday, December 4.  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.
  • Next week will be our last week for Words Their Way before the break.
  • Finally, clubs for term 1 has ended.  If your child has an after-school club, please come to our classroom to pick up your child at the usual time starting next week.   

Have a blessed weekend!










November 23

Recently in…

Language Arts we introduced the Reading Power of visualization: making pictures in your head.  The Reading Power, visualize, enables students to be more aware of the descriptive language that good writers use in their text.  We practiced a simple visualization exercise where I called out a single word and students made a picture of that word in their heads.  They then described what they saw to a partner. For ‘ice cream’ for example, what flavour was their ice cream? What kind of cone did they have? How many scoops of ice cream? We decided that some words (e.g. puppies, ice cream, lollipops) are much easier to visualize than words like “the” or “at.”  I also read a story with the cover of the book covered up, and I did not show the students the pictures. They had to visualize the story as I was reading it. Then students were asked to write 1 word to sum up what the story was about. It was interesting to see who got it. The next day I read the story again, “Picture a Tree” by Barbara Reid, revealing the pictures. The students then got to make their visualizations of the tree with plasticine – they brought it home today.

The students also learned how to draw Mo Willem’s Pigeon character and continued working on their own books inspired by him.

Math we continued to explore different addition strategies, such as Count On (e.g. What is 3+2? I count past 3 two times) and Make Ten (e.g. What is 9+5? I can take 1 from the 5 and add it to the 9 to make 10, then add the 10 to the 4) using unifix cubes, number lines and ten frames. The students also completed the December calendar by putting in dates that are important to them.  Again, please help your child place the calendar in a location where he/she can see and make plans for the week.

Bible we continued learning about Moses – how God spoke to him in the burning bush and told him to tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Moses did not think he was good enough to do this. We talked about how God will give us all the skills we need in order to do whatever he is wanting us to do. We do not have to be afraid or worried or think we can’t do it.



A fun ‘movement break’ song:


Theme we began our new unit, Amazing Adaptations.  Students are expected to learn how animals adapt to their environment to meet their basic needs. We introduced the big idea: animals adapt and change to survive. I showed the class some cool pictures of animals blending into their environments to peak their interests. In partners, students talked about some adaptations they thought various animals had in order to live in their habitats (like fish to adapt to living in water).

Thank you to Carter’s family who came in to share about themselves. The students already knew Carter’s dad, Mr. Przybylski (Matt), because he teaches them PE at our school!  He loves to go fishing. They got to meet Carter’s mom, Andrea, who is a director at Richmond hospital, Abby, Carter’s 4 year old sister who is in P4 at RCS, and Brandon who is 2 years old and likes dinosaurs, frogs, fish and going on the boat. We also saw a picture of their daughter, Carrie, who sadly died shortly after she was born because her heart wasn’t working properly. They have a dog named Chippy and they go to South Delta Baptist Church – where our Christmas Concert was last year. Their family likes boating and fishing, jumping on the trampoline, playing at the beach (and finding crabs), playing at parks, tubing, catching frogs, biking, swimming, and having picnics. We got to see a video of Carter catching a red snapper fish! He has also caught a dog fish, lobsters and prawns!








Thank you to Hannah’s family who also came in to share this week. We met Hannah’s mom, Carol, and Hannah’s older brother, Ralph. We learned that Ralph is 17 years older than Hannah and currently in University. Their dad, Jun, is a doctor and their mom used to be a doctor prior to being Hannah’s assistant. Hannah’s parents were born and raised in China. Ralph was born in China and moved to Japan when he was little. Ralph went to RCS Secondary School! Their favourite holiday is Christmas – that’s when Ralph is home from school and gets to spend lots of time with his family. Their dad decorates outside of the house while the rest of them do the inner decor. Ralph is a great big brother – he and Hannah like to make simple treats together, exercise together, have math challenges together and love God together.








Reminders/ Notices…

  • Tomorrow there is NO SCHOOL – it is a professional development day for teachers
  • Scholastic orders are due Monday November 27. If you are writing a cheque, please make it out to me, Lisa Down, as I order online with my credit card.
  • Your child will need to bring a small bag (about a quarter cup) of nut-free candy to decorate their cookies during our annual Christmas cookie decorating Friday during family groups.
  • As of Monday, we will be collecting “Gifts for the Manger.” You can send in any new or ‘gently used’ baby items like clothing, bottles, food or treats for Mom by Thurs. Dec. 7.
  • Our next round of Show & Tell will be: something that represents a special Christmas tradition that your family has. It can be an object, a picture or a drawing.
  • Our last Bible verse before the Christmas break will be sent home next week.

Have a blessed weekend!

November 17

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for the lovely birthday surprise today! I’m really looking forward to going to the spa 🙂 I really appreciate all of you!

We had fun on our skating field trip today!

















Recently in…

Language Arts, the students got to hear several writing samples – one that had a lot of detail because the writer was an expert on the topic, and another one which was pretty plain because the writer did not know anything about the topic. Students then talked with a partner about one of the topics they are an expert on. They then closed their eyes to imagine their topic and drew a picture of it. This was meant to inspire more writing when they began to write about their topic. I was impressed at the detail they included in their writing.

The students began making their own Mo Willems inspired books. They got to learn how to draw Elephant and Piggie beforehand in order to help with their illustrations.








We have completed another set of Words Their Way (WTW) sorts this week in Language Arts.  As mentioned before, this is a spelling/phonics program that focuses on the word patterns within the English language.  The students work in small groups on individualized sorts in class during the week.  The following are some ways that you can help your child with the sort that is sent home every Monday:  

Regular and speed sort: ask your child to read aloud each word and place the word under the appropriate heading.  As your child becomes more fluent, you can challenge him/her to do the sort faster.  Here is a video of how this can be done.

Blind sort: lay down the headings for the sort.  Then you read out each word without your child seeing the word.  Ask your child which heading it belongs to and why it should be there. Here is a video of how this can be done. 

Word hunt: ask your child to find three or four other words that fall under the same headings in books or magazines at home.     

Since there is no school next Friday, our next WTW quiz will be on Thursday, November 23.   

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 on specific skills.  This week, we explored the ways that we can add numbers, such as counting all and counting on by using the number line and ten frame.  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 Theme, students finished writing pages for a class book about how we can help 1D since we are better together!

In Art, the students painted inside of their black-glue pumpkins. They look very bright and beautiful. You can come check them out on the hallway bulletin board.









Reminders/ Notices…

  • Scholastic Orders are due Mon. Nov. 27 (usually 2 weeks from the day you get them.
  • There is no school on Fri. Nov. 24. The spelling quiz will be on Thursday this week.
  • The memory verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) should be said to me by Thurs. Nov. 23.

Have a blessed weekend!

November 10


We talked about the meaning behind the poppies that people wear during Remembrance Day.  The students discovered that this is a day we remember all the heroes and soldiers who have made sacrifices for our country so that we could have peace. We read a story called, “Bunny the Brave War Horse,” based on a true story about a well-trained police horse sent overseas at the beginning of World War I. Facing gas attacks, flying bullets, poor shelter and food storages, Bunny proves to be as courageous as the soldiers he is there to help.  We then tied in an art project to Remembrance Day. Ask your child the steps that were required for their pictures. The art work will be put up on a bulletin board next week.









In Language arts, we also read a book about what peace feels like, smells like, tastes like, sounds like and looks like. Students shared what that was for them in partners and then wrote about it. One student shared that peace sounded like Mrs. Down and it melted my heart! You could discuss with your child what peace looks like, feels like etc. for each of you. I explain that when they feel peace, they feel loved, safe, happy, relaxed etc.

We met the author Mo Willems in a video interview and got to see how he makes his books and how he creates his characters, such as Elephant and Piggy, and the Pigeon. Next week the kids will get to start making their own books inspired by Mo Willems! (They don’t know this yet 😉 )

We learned a new reading strategy called Skippy Frog – skip the word you don’t know (“skip it, skip it, skip it”) and read to the end of the sentence and try to figure out what would make sense.

Students did their own ‘Words Their Way’ sorts and they did very well on their spelling quizzes today! I sent them home – please review the results with your child so they know what to watch out for next time. For the word sorts, keep in mind that one mark was given for correct spelling and another mark was given for writing the word in the correct category. Next week the new sorts will be given out on Tuesday so the students will have one less day to practice their words.

In Math, we explored another iPad game, Num Tanga, to give the students more practice with their subitization skills. Students had to match 2 representations of a number. You can play this game at home – it is free online – just goole Num Tanga – Greg Tang Math. We introduced a new card game called, “Collect Ten.” Ask your child how to play it – if you have a deck of cards, see if your child can show you (you have 5 cards each and have to make pairs that add up to 10). We also did practice work adding and subtracting numbers using the number line.

In Bible, we finished reading and watching the story of Joseph. Students wrote in their Bible journals, “Joseph trusted in God even in bad times. God was always in control of Joseph’s life and had a good plan for him. God has a good plan for me too!” I just have to say, I absolutely love how ‘into’ Bible the kids are! When I read/ teach them Bible stories, they want to hear more. During quiet reading time, many of the students will ask to read one of my Bibles or devotionals. This is why I’m grateful for the additional Bible stories that were purchased by you for the classroom – thanks so much!

In Theme, the other three groups presented on how they contribute to the particular group they were assigned to (Family, School, and Sports Team). Students also started creating a page for a class book on how they can help 1D (how they can contribute to the classroom to make it a great place). They are writing it with next years Grade One students in mind – how could they teach the new grade one students how to best learn and feel safe/ loved in class. We will finish this next week.

Thank you to Hayden’s family for coming in to share with our class! We learned that Hayden’s mom, Grace, is a developer who helps to build high rises. Hayden’s dad, Edmund, is an accountant. They have 5 family members in their house – the three of them as well as Hayden’s Grandma and Grandpa. They love to have picnics together and Hayden loves to eat sushi and ice cream. They go to Burnaby Alliance Church – the church that Grace and Edmund grew up in. Hayden is involved in Awana, Sparks, and VBS in the summer. He was so excited that he got his first Bible last month. He also loves swimming, biking and camping (they went for the first time last summer).

Reminders/ Notices…

  • We are going to the Minoru Ice Rink for skating Friday, November 17.  All parents who have volunteered can come help out and skate for free.  As we have a high number of parents coming, we will not be appointing specific parents as supervisors for the trip.  Rather, we will just ask that you help out where needed that day. Students will be leaving school via a school bus at 10:15 and should arrive at the ice rink by 10:30.  The actual skating time is from 10:45-11:45.  We will be back at school for lunch. You will have to make your own way there if you are coming to help.  Please wait at the entrance of the ice rink and pick up your child as we go in.  You may be asked to help one other child to put on and take off their skates during the day.  Remember to log in your volunteering hours in the black binder next to Rowena at the school office.

Enjoy your long weekend!

November 3

Thank you for coming out to Parent Teacher Conferences, it was great to have that one-on-one time with you!

It was so fun to come to school dressed as a super hero today!









Students got to play “Jesus Bingo” in their family group which had words describing Jesus’ character. In chapel afterwards, we got to see Mr. Przybylski do some cool science demonstrations to show us that Jesus is the spark that ignites the gas ‘in our car,’ which enables us ‘to drive.’ In other words, Jesus is the one who empowers us and equips us to run the race of life. He is the one to really set us on fire to live life and live it well. Ask your child about the flames they saw!



In Language Arts we talked about adding details to our writing. I read some excerpts that contrasted a writing piece with lots of detail with one that had very little. The students could hear a difference and they preferred the one with more detail – it was more interesting to listen to and it gave them a better picture in their mind. They then wrote an opinion piece to answer if they would rather explore the moon or the ocean, and were asked to give details to explain why.

We began to study the author, Mo Willems. The kids love the Elephant and Piggy books, and will later get to write a story inspired by him. If you have not already seen your child’s book inspired by David Shannon, come take a look at it on Monday morning (it is on the bulletin board outside of our classroom).

We learned the reading strategy Flippy the Dolphin: flip the vowel sound (for example, if short a doesn’t make sense in the word, try the long a sound).

Our spelling program, Words Their Way (WTW), will begin next week on Monday. Students will be taking home a word sort or picture sort to cut up and do at home. They will be receiving different word sorts depending on their needs. As we discussed at Literacy Night, students learn best when there is a balance between will and skill, thus we want the students to be doing sorts that are appropriate for where they are at so that they can feel competent and successful, and ultimately enjoy spelling.  The focus of WTW is on the patterns in the English language, rather than the memorization of individual words. Your child will be practicing these words at school and should be able to tell you how the words are sorted based on specific patterns. If you click on the “Words Their Way” tab on the top of my blog, you can see the specific activities to do each night of the week with your child. These will repeat each week when your child brings home a new sort. During the last day of the week (usually Friday), the students will be tested on their understanding of the patterns of these words with a spelling quiz.  I will choose 10 words from the sort randomly to test the students. For each word, 1 mark will be given for the correct spelling and 1 mark will be given for placing the word under the correct heading (according to the correct pattern). The quiz will be sent home for you to keep and to monitor your child’s progress.  I have included a video made by our literacy coach, Angela Laing, answering some commonly asked questions regarding this program. 

In Math, students made their own number line to reinforce their understanding of number sequence.  Being able to see and work with a number line enhances their mental math strategies for adding and subtracting numbers.  We will be referring to this tool throughout the school year.  We introduced the students to the proper usage of the iPads and furthered their understanding of subitization with the introduction of the Ten Frame Mania app. Subitizing is recognizing numbers at a glance.

Another good math app for the iPhone or iPad that you could have your child do at home is called “10 Frame Fill.” The app asks questions that we have been doing in class such as, “How many more dots to make 10?” Here is what the app looks like:




10 Frame Fill

iPhone Screenshot 1

iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3
We have begun Math Centres. The students are put into 4 groups and each group works on one thing at a time and then we rotate. One group works with me to develop a skill, such as using the number line. Another group will do practice work – worksheets reinforcing the skill we are learning. The third group will do iPad games that help develop our number sense. The last group will be doing a math game with manipulatives such as cards or dominos to also reinforce the concepts we are learning.
 In Bible, we learned how Jacob wrestled with God on his journey home to his brother Esau, and how worried he was to see his brother again. Surprisingly, Esau forgave Jacob and was delighted to see him again. We also began learning about the story of Joseph and watched the first part of a video about Joseph. We will continue with this story next week.
Some worship songs we sang are:

The new memory verse that we will be starting next week is Proverbs 3:5-6. I have started to play a song version of this verse for the kids. You could play it at home as well to help your child learn the memory verse. I will ask that your child tell me the verse by November 23.

In Theme, we continued brainstorming in groups how we contribute to the following groups that we are a part of: family, school, church, and a sports team. One group (church) got to present to the class. The other groups will be presenting next week.











Thank you to Belinda’s family for coming in to share about themselves on Belinda’s birthday! We met Belinda’s mom, Helena, and dad, Jack, and Belinda’s twin brother, Jason who is in Miss Neibel’s class. They have an older sister, Olive, who is 17 years old. They are from Wuhan, Hubai, in China. We learned that Wuhan has 4x as many people as Greater Vancouver. Belinda’s parents met in 1997 and were married in 1998. In 2001 they moved to Beijing. They visited places such as Disneyland, Singapore, Hawaii, Thailand and Japan (and saw Mt. Fuji). Olive plays Zheng, a traditional Chinese instrument. Belinda and Jason were born in Hong Kong in 2011. When they were 2 years old, they moved to Vancouver. They do everything together – swim, skate, dragon boat, Lego, read etc. They got to go to Cuba together.







Reminders/ Notices:

  • Nov 10 – Our Remembrance Day Assembly
  • Nov 6 – Scholastic Orders due ( if writing cheques, please make them out to Lisa Down – I order everything on my credit card)
  • Nov 13 – NO SCHOOL (Remembrance Day observance)
  • Nov 17 – Skating Field trip – make sure you approve the permission form by next Friday, November 10.

Have a blessed weekend!



October 27

Recently in:

Language Arts we learned some new reading strategies to help us decode unknown words. Lips the Fish: get your lips ready and say the first few sounds of the word out loud. Chunky Monkey: chunk the word; look for a chunk that you know (-ing, -and, -art, -old, etc.) We also learned some new strategies to help us with comprehension: Check for understanding, Backup and reread, and ask someone. It would be helpful if you used this same terminology at home with your child.

Students continued to work on their David books. They have done such a great job of these and have felt proud to have their work read to the class. These will be coming to a bulletin board soon! Students have also continued to work on their handwriting, touch typing, and routines for Words Their Way program.

Math we played some domino and card games to improve our number sense, focusing on ‘equal to’ and ‘1 more than’ ‘1 less than’ and ‘2 more than’ and ‘2 less than.’  Ask your child if he/she can teach you how to play those games.






Students also filled in their own November calendar with dates that are important to them. Please go over it with them at home and add classes or events they may be missing. Please help your child put the calendar in a place where they can see and make use of it to reinforce the concept of time. Some suggested that they would like to tape it to their doors, inside their room or on the refrigerator door.  We discussed how the calendar can help us organize our routines.

Bible we learned about Jacob and Esau. We read the story, watched a video clip and acted it out. Students also wrote about the story in their Bible journals. It’s surprising that even though Jacob messed up, he still got God’s blessing. Like Jacob, we all mess up sometimes but God still wants us to be a part of his story.

Art we studied pumpkins – felt them, smelt them, touched the gooey seeds inside and wrote a poem about them using descriptive words we came up with using our senses. We began to make an outline of a pumpkin with black glue. We will continue with this project next week.

Theme we got into groups and began to brainstorm and write down ideas about how we contribute to one of four groups: family, church, school, a sports team. Students will present these to the class when they are finished.


Thank you to Vania’s family for coming in to share about themselves! We learned that Vania’s mom, Nancy, is a piano teacher who has taught Vania how to play piano. Vania’s dad, Tony is an accountant. Vania’s sister, Valerie, is 3 years younger and Vania’s Grandpa, River, visited us too. Vania is a good, caring big sister. Nancy and Tony are from Taiwan and were married for 7 years. Vania enjoys playing the piano, playing with Lego, going to VBS and singing. The family has visited Disneyland and Taiwan and went to a neat restaurant where they made their own pizzas.








Reminders/ Notices:

  • We do not dress up for/celebrate Halloween at school. Tuesday will be a regular day
  • Our school book fair is scheduled for Oct 30 to Nov 2.  If you are interested in buying books for your child, you can visit the fair at these times:Monday 9:00am-3:15pm

    Tuesday 8:30am-3:15pm

    Wednesday 8:30am-6:00pm

    Thursday 12:00am-8:00pm

    You are also welcome to purchase books for our classroom library.  A wish list has been compiled.

  • Friday, Nov 3 will be Dress like a super hero day. Students are encouraged to dress like a fictional hero such as batman or superman, or a real life hero like a doctor or police officer etc.
  • Scholastic orders are due Monday November 5
  • Thank you to parents who have offered to volunteer for the skating field trip on Nov 17. All volunteers are welcome to come and encouraged to do so. Students will need help putting on their skates and taking them off. You are welcome to come on the ice but you do not have to. Volunteers will need to drive separately and meet us at the rink as we do not have room on the bus.

Have a good weekend and I look forward to meeting you next week during our Parent-teacher conferences!