* My apologies for forgetting to blog yesterday, sorry about that!*
Feb. 4-8 – as you probably already know, we are having dance week at RCS! Students are enjoying learning some hip hop moves and dancing to music as a way to express themselves. We won’t be having a performance on Friday but we are taking video and pictures to share with families. Stay tuned!
Schedule – this week’s schedule is a bit mixed up and changed due to dance week, as well as a science workshop we are having on Wednesday. We will be taking a break from WTW this week as well, and resume next week.
Moving towards independence – beginning this week, parents are welcome to drop off their grade one students with a hug and a kiss at the door. Many students have embraced doing their morning routines quickly by themselves and then moving to the carpet to read with a buddy. Arriving promptly at 8:20AM allows your child the greatest chance at successfully finishing their morning routine (water bottle on desk, hang up jacket and backpack, change shoes). Thank you for helping your child become more independent.
New room – your child may have mentioned to you that our room has undergone a makeover! Many hands have helped reorganize our room so that it flows and functions better for our needs. We now have labelled books and book bins to facilitate easier book searches, an art cart for drawing, and a creation station for creating. If you are able to collect and bring to school small cardboard boxes (from cereal, granola bars, etc), cardboard tubes (toilet paper and paper towel rolls) and other small plastic trays, we can add them to our Creation Station for students to create and experiment with. Thank you.
We will be trying something new this week in 1D as we work on joining in the group plan quickly as a class. The faster we all join in and work together, the more we can get done and the faster we can move on to new activities! Some changes you may notice are:
-no more Back and Forth books
-no Words Their Way (for this week)
-sitting in rows at our desks
-playing more class games
-spending more time outside
On Thursday, we will be celebrating our class differences by working together to create a fruit salad. Please send one fruit to school that morning, either an apple, orange, banana or some grapes. Thank you!
Learning as a class: as a class we have been focusing on joining in the group plan. This means that everyone is doing the same thing so that our class can be successful together. When everyone thinks about and does the same group plan, we can quickly accomplish tasks and move on to new activities. Feel free to reinforce this concept at home, and to encourage and praise your child when they “join the group plan” as a family!
Another aspect our class is working on is being independent when completing daily routines. This includes morning routines when they come to school, knowing what to do when they finish seat work, knowing and following expectations in the hallway and classroom, etc. Students have settled into school routines very well by mid-January, now it is time to move them towards independence by giving them the chance to do the activities without assistance.
Beginning in February, I will ask families to assist in fostering independence in our classroom by letting students come into the classroom and do their morning jobs by themselves. Parents and caregivers can drop students off at our door, but please do not come in. I am sorry to take away your noisy reading time in the morning, but I trust that you will be able to find other times during the day to read together. Feel free to encourage them to be independent at home by giving them age-appropriate tasks (putting their library book into their backpack on Monday nights, gathering home reading books and putting them back in the bag, setting the table, putting toys/books away, etc.), then stepping back and giving them the chance and time to accomplish it on their own. Don’t forget to praise them and give them a high-five! Positive words make a big impact on everyone’s mood and can affect our learning in dramatic ways!
Bible: this week we are learning the story of Gideon and how he asked for reassurance from God as the chosen one to lead Israel’s army against the Midianites.
Language Arts: we finished our class stories today about Liam and Tess! I will assemble the three stories into class books and we will read our finished product on Thursday!
Math: continuing to practice addition strategies, such as using a ten frame, counting on a number line or hundreds chart, using double facts and near doubles. Being very familiar with addition strategies will help us greatly when we move on to subtraction next month.
Theme: this week we will watch a BrainPOP video on fall and talk about how people adapt to fall weather.
Welcome back to school 1D Families! I hope your winter break was restful and rejuvenating. I look forward to hanging out and getting to know your child better as we learn together for the rest of the year. On that note, my email is email@example.com. Please email me if you ever have need.
On Friday, January 11th we will be having Family Groups (instead of Chapel). It will also be Pajama and Book day! Please feel free to wear your pajamas to school and bring one book to read during Family Groups. Please label your book with your name and “1D”.
Bible – we will be studying the book of Judges and learning about the cycle of disobedience (peace –> idol worship –> defeat by enemies –> prayer –> God sends a judge –> peace).
Language Arts – our next author study will be on Kevin Henkes. We will practice writing stories with a beginning (setting and characters), middle (problem) and end (solution).
Math – reviewing and practicing addition strategies (count on, make 10, double facts, near doubles, ten frames).
Theme – our next theme is about seasons and how these patterns help us organize our lives.
I cannot believe this was my last day with the students! We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas together. We watched a Christmas movie (Veggie Tales Star of Christmas) and ate snacks. I handed out Christmas gifts to the students and we sang Christmas carols in the gym with the rest of the school.
Yesterday we had Christmas stations: 1) roll a gingerbread man/ Christmas tree 2) drawing the Nativity scene 3) playing Christmas bingo 4) making a Christmas gift for you. I hope you enjoy!
In Language Arts we wrote Christmas cards and blessing letters.
In Bible we wrote about the Christmas story in our Bible journals.
In Math, we did some Christmas related math activities like connect the dots, count the mittens by 2’s, and Christmas tree math sentences.
In Inquiry, we talked about the various animal adaptations we saw at the aquarium. We watched a Brain Pop video about Migration (another behavioural adaptation) and made puppets of different animals that migrate so that we could act out their migration patterns. To sum up the unit, the students created their own animal and included 3 adaptations it had in order to help it survive.
The students enjoyed meeting their Grade Twelve Buddy on Thursday! They introduced themselves, got to know one another for a bit and prayed for each other. They then did an activity together such as draw, colour, read, or play a game.
Thank you to Bernice’s family who came in to share. We learned that Bernice’s dad, Patrick, is a software engineer at General Electric and builds computer software. Bernice’s mom, Ellen, is an advisor at UBC – she helps students get into university. Bernice’s brother, Jaylen, is in Gr. 4 at James McKinney School. He loves hockey. Bernice loves swimming and Chinese dance. Jaylen and Bernice like to go camping, skating and playing in the sand. The family loves to travel. They’ve been to Hawaii, Legoland, a Caribbean cruise, Hong Kong and Vegas. Bernice and Jaylen go to Sunday school, VBS, and Pioneer Club at Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church. Jaylen’s favourite Bible story is David and Goliath. Bernice’s favourite Bible story is Noah’s Ark.
Students will exchange their home reading books as usual on the week they come back in January. If you go away over the break, please leave your home reading books (and library books) at home. We do not want them to get accidentally left somewhere that they cannot be retrieved from.
The Show and Tell theme for January is something that represents what you usually do as a family Christmas tradition, or something you did over the break.
Thank you so much for the lovely Baby gift, card and gift cards to Superstore! I enjoyed working with you and your children. I will miss everyone but I know you will have a great rest of the year with Mrs. Chen! Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year!!
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, the students wrote a reflection on their experience with the Christmas Concert. They preformed so well! They included details about the evening, how they felt and what they sang etc. The students also wrote about the adaptations that a polar bear has in order to survive in the arctic, using a picture prompt. Ask your child what are some physical adaptations a polar bear has to help it survive (thick fur to keep it warm; sharp claws and teeth to help it catch and eat food etc.) and behavioural adaptations (its white fur helps it camouflage into the snow). I’m proud of all the detail the students are adding to their writing!
We also began the author, Jan Brett. The students noticed that her books have a unique style where she has side bars on her pages that show what’s coming up next in the story. She has many fun Christmassy and wintery stories.
In Math, students continued to work with the math addition strategies we have learned so far (Count on, Number line, Make 10, and Double Facts). Ask your child if he/she can explain each of these to you. We also 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 talked about choosing the best addition strategies for particular addition questions. For instance, if the question has a small number added to a large number (6 + 2), it would probably be efficient to use either the Count On strategy or the Number line. If the question has an 8 or 9 as one of the addends (9 + 6), it would be quick to use the Make 10 strategy as 9 is so close to 10 and you can borrow 1 from the 6 to make 10 + 5. We also played a Double Facts bingo game. Your child brought that game home. Did he/she explain it to you? 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 Inquiry, we talked about the difference between Physical Adaptations (physical features an animal has on its body to help it survive) and Behavioural Adaptations (things an animal does to survive like camouflage, hibernate or migrate). The students watched a video clip and did activities related to camouflage and hibernation.
In Art, the students glued tissue paper trees onto painted sunset backgrounds, added snow and a golden outline to their trees. They look beautiful! They are up on our bulletin board outside of the classroom – come check them out! We also made snowflakes by cutting many shapes out of folded up paper. They are hanging in our classroom and look great! We talked about how no two snowflakes are alike – they are each unique and special like people.
Thank you so much to Tammi’s family for coming in to share about themselves on Tammi’s birthday Tuesday! We met her older brother, AJ, who is in Grade 7, and learned that he had wanted a younger sister for a while so that he could take care of her, so he prayed and prayed for her. He got to pick her name when she was born! Tammi’s dad, Tony, liked to play Lego when he was a kid. He wanted his own Lego so he drew it and cut it out of wood. He likes to build and be creative. He builds and flies kites and builds robots. He works in a manufacturing company. Tammi’s mom, Angela, works as a purchaser. She looks for the best and cheapest items to buy. She studied to be a designer and used to design mugs, dresses and posters. She likes to draw and use different colours. As a family, they like to celebrate Christmas by watching fire works.
There will be noWords 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. If you are travelling, please keep the Home Reading books at home.
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.
Tuesday, December 11 we go to the Aquarium. We will be leaving school at 8:45 am and arrive back around 2:30 pm. In order to minimize what the students carry 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 book. If you have a message for me that day, you can email me the night before. If your child usually exchanges their home readers on Tuesday, please have him/her bring them Monday or Wednesday instead. 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.
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. Also, 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). This tied into our Amazing Adaptations unit as these leaf-tailed geckos mimic leaves to blend into their environments and keep them safe from predators. The class also wrote letters to Mrs. Chen to tell her a bit about themselves and to ask questions that they might have. It was nice to have her with us this week; the kids really enjoyed her! Finally, we had our last Story Workshop with Mrs. Laing this week. The students wrote letters to her as well in order to thank her for doing this with us and telling her what they loved about it.
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 were focusing on the strategies of making ten and using double facts to help us add. For instance if you have the question 7 + 8 and you know the double fact 7 +7 = 14, then you just add 1 more to it. Therefore 7 + 8 = 15. If you could reinforce double facts (1+1; 2+2; 3+3 etc. up to 10 +10) at home that would be great.
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 what behavioural adaptations are (things animals do to survive – ie. hibernate, camouflage, or migrate). We have touched on camouflage so far.
Thank you to Jasper’s family who came in to share this week! We learned that Jasper’s mom’s name is Summer, Jasper’s dad’s name is Marc, and they love travelling. They have been to places like the U.S., Japan and China. Jasper enjoys playing soccer, skating, biking and basketball. They are Whitecaps fans. Jasper had a job delivering newspapers. We got to see some videos of these things.
Donations for the Crisis Pregnancy Centre will be accepted until Friday December 14. 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.
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. This will begin in January.
Our Christmas Concert is Tuesday! It is a quick dismissal day as staff need to be at the Chan centre by 5. The library will be closed after school so that students can rest before the concert.
Report cards will be made available online 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.
Next week will be our last week for Words Their Way before the break.
If you are volunteering for our Aquarium field trip, please hand in $16 to me beforehand if you have not already done so. Thank you!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.