November 22

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.

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. We made unifix towers ten blocks high in different combinations using two different colours. We learned a new iPad game called, “How Much, How Many?” which asked problem solving questions such as, “which is fewer, the carrots or the peas?” and “how many fewer peas are there?” We also learned a game called, “Spin to Ten” which your child brought home and hopefully taught you how to play.

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. We also learned about the ten plagues that God sent to Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go. The students will illustrate pictures for each of the plagues next week.

Inquiry 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 and we talked about what it means to adapt to an environment.

Thank you to Jeremy’s family who came in to share about themselves. We met Jeremy’s dad, Paul, his mom, Margaret, and his sister Jazley, who is in Grade Four. Paul and Margaret lived in Vancouver and then moved to Richmond when Jeremy was born (June 23, 2012). Jeremy has loved reading since a young age, as well as climbing everywhere, and singing aloud on stage since preschool. Jeremy’s grandparents visited Canada in 2014. The family has been to places like Grouse Mountain and the Space Needle in Seattle.



Reminders/ Notices…

  • Tomorrow there is NO SCHOOL – it is a professional development day for teachers
  • Scholastic orders are due Thursday November 29.
  • 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, November 30 during family groups. It is also a day to dress up in red and green.
  • Our last Bible verse before the Christmas break will be sent home next week.
  • The teacher who is taking over for me in January, Mrs. Catherine Chen, will be here all of next week with me in order to meet the students and get to know them and the routines of our class. Make sure you introduce yourself to her.

Have a blessed weekend!

November 16

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for the lovely birthday surprise today! The card, plant and gift cards for groceries were really special 🙂 I appreciate all of you!

We had fun on our skating field trip this week! Minoru had plastic seals that the students could ride on/ push and so many were having fun with those. Pictures to follow below.


Recently in…

Language Arts, the students wrote about their long weekend and their skating experience. They were encouraged to add detail such as the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why), how they felt, was it difficult, had they been skating many times before etc. I’ve been very impressed with their ability to add detail to their writing, and also with the neatness of their writing.


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 22. 

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, ten frame, and fingers.  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.  We also did another problem solving question in the form of a video clip, where students had to show their work for each part of the problem on their white boards, including an estimate at the beginning. This problem had to do with balloons: how many were there to begin with, how many popped, and how many were left?  

In computers, the students made Remembrance Day pictures using images such as poppies, doves, crosses, hearts etc. and saved it to their slideshow.

In Art, the students painted inside of their black-glue pumpkins. They look very bright and beautiful. They will be coming to the hallway bulletin board soon.

Thank you to Cloris’ family who came in to share this week. We met her dad, Alan, and mom, Ji. Cloris has an older brother, Wayne, who is in Gr. 9 at RCS. Cloris’ family previously lived in Dawson Creek when Alan bought a carwash and Uhaul dealership business there in 2013. It was very cold – it would get down to -36 or -40 degrees C. The family would take long road trips together from there: they drove 14 hours in one day (1300 km) to Yellowknife in 2017, and 4000 km to Alaska in 2018. In 2014, they got their Canadian Citizenship. As a family they enjoyed travelling to other places as well, including Mexico, Cuba, Europe and Japan. They would also visit Cloris’ grandparents in China. Cloris likes piano, dance and her dog, Alia.

Reminders/ Notices…

  • Scholastic Orders are due Thurs. Nov. 29 (usually 2 weeks from the day you get them).
  • There is no school on Fri. Nov. 23. The spelling quiz will be on Thursday this week.
  • The memory verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) should be said to me by Thurs. Nov. 22.

Have a blessed weekend!

November 9


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, “What Does Peace Feel Like?” Students then brainstormed and wrote about what peace feels like, smells like, sounds like, tastes like and looks like to them. 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 learned a couple new reading strategies: 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, and Flippy Dolphin – flip the vowel sound (instead of short a, try long a).

In Language Arts, we also wrote about a topic that we are an expert on. The students were encouraged to close their eyes, think about their topic and draw what they saw. This was followed by writing with as much detail as possible to explain their topic.

Students did their own ‘Words Their Way‘ sorts and wrote their spelling quizzes today. Once you receive the quiz, 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, unless it was a picture sort. In that case, they just received 1 mark for each correct sound written down. 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). It’s really helpful if the students can get quick with knowing which combinations of numbers add up to 10 (0+10, 1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6, 5+5). That will really help them with all addition and subtraction questions and give them a good foundation for many other math skills. We also did practice work adding and subtracting numbers using the number line and learned a game called Bump. In Bump, students had to roll 2 dice, add up the total, and cover the sum in a circle on a sheet with various numbers using a unifix cube. Their partner would go next. If he/she rolled the same number, he/she could bump the partner off that circle. The only way to avoid being bumped is if you have 2 unifix cubes of your colour on the same number, resulting from rolling it twice. Whoever has the most unifix cubes covering the page wins.


In Bible, we finished reading and writing about the story of Joseph. The students did well to write about the characters and many details in the story. 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 us too.

In Inquiry, the students finished their page for a class book on how they can help 1D (how they can contribute to the classroom to make it a great place to help others learn, feel loved and be safe – a personal social core competency). They also began a page about how they can contribute to their family.

Thank you to Nathan’s family for coming in to share with our class! We learned that Nathan has a little sister, Raina, who is 4 years old and at RCS as well. The family has a garden in their backyard which Nathan helps to look after. They have two guinea pigs. As a family, they have travelled to Jasper (where they saw Mt. Robson, an ice field and Lake Louise), Disneyland and Mexico. They also have been to the Sunshine Coast where they caught crabs, oysters and clams. They enjoyed going to a farm in North Van and feeding kangaroos, as well as going sledding last winter in North Van.


Reminders/ Notices…

  • No School Monday Nov. 12.
  • We are going to the Minoru Ice Rink for skating Tuesday, November 13.  All parents who volunteer can come help students put on/take off skates and helmets and skate for free.  You may need to help other students get rental skates by handing in one of their shoes. 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 leave the rink at 12:00 and 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. 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!


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 learned the reading strategy Stretchy Snake: s-t-r-e-t-ch the sounds out to figure out the word. We also learned the strategy Back up and re-read if you did not understand or remember what you read in order to improve your comprehension of the story.

We worked on the Reading Power of making connections by reading “Waiting Is Not Easy” by Mo Willems and then drawing and writing what this reminded us of.

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.
We have also began problem solving using videos demonstrating a problem that leaves the students wondering about what information needs to be solved and figuring out how to go about doing that based on the information given. Students used their whiteboards at the carpet to record the important information and to show their work of how they solved the problem.
 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. The students had fun acting this out. We also began learning about the story of Joseph and watched a video about it. We will continue with this story next week.

The new memory verse that we will be starting next week is Proverbs 3:5-6. I will 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 22.

In Inquiry, we began making individual pages for a class book about how we can help 1D. Each student had to come up with four ideas (pictures and words) to show how they can make good choices to help others learn, feel loved, and be safe in 1D. This is one of our Personal Social Core Competencies. They were demonstrating the importance of contributing to a community that they belong to: school.


Thank you to Micah C’s family for coming in to share about themselves. We learned that Micah has an older sister in Grade Six, Jubilee, and an older brother in Grade Two, Noah, who I actually had taught in Kindergarten! Micah’s family loves nature and travelling. They had been to places such as Calgary, Dinosaur Park, Drumheller Museum, Bowen Island and Salt Spring Island. Micah loves to sing, dance, read, play Lego, basketball and play with his siblings. His mom, Cynthia, loves to cook and make yummy cupcakes. His dad, John, loves to play with kids as his job deals with “boring numbers everyday.” They have a big family including a great grandma.








Reminders/ Notices:

  • Individual photo retakes are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov 6.  If you wish for your child to retake his/her individual picture, please email me or write in the Back and Forth book to let me know. 
  • Nov 8 – Curriculum Night at 7 pm at the school for parents
  • Nov 9 – Our Remembrance Day Assembly
  • Nov 9 – Scholastic Orders due
  • Nov 12 – NO SCHOOL (Remembrance Day observance)
  • Nov 13 – Skating Field trip – make sure you approve the permission form by next Friday, November 9.Message from Mrs. Teodoro: 

    We are no longer distributing Nova Food paper forms to each student. Online orders can be made directly at these food delivery providers instead: 

     If you require a paper form, please pick up from the office. Thank you.

Have a blessed weekend!