Feb. 22: Conference and Chapel

Student-led Conference: thank you for signing up to come see your child’s learning on Wednesday, February 27th.  Please be reminded that there will be no school on that day.  When you arrive, I will have a conference sheet for your child to go through with you.  At the end, there will be some time for you to write a short message to your child to celebrate all they have learned.  They are very excited as we prepare to teach you what grade one is all about!

1D Chapel: is on Friday, March 1st!  We have been practicing hard about keeping our thoughts on God and making right choices, both in our chapel rehearsals and in our everyday class time.  Students are making connections about how we can make right choices in small ways that contribute to a better classroom environment.

On Friday, March 1st, please help your child to arrive by 8:20AM.  That will give us plenty of time to change shoes and be ready by 8:30AM so that we are not rushing to get to chapel.  

Chapel verse: our class has done an awesome job memorizing Philippians 4:8.  Ask them to show you the actions and help us practice saying this verse slowly and loudly.

Feb. 15

My apologies for not blogging this past week.  It snuck up and me and I forgot.  Thankfully you are all on the ball and figured things out on your own.  Many thanks for your understanding and patience.

Today I remembered to blog!  There are several things of note coming up in the next two weeks.

NO SCHOOL: on Monday, February 18th.  Enjoy Family Day together with your loved ones!

Chapel: 1D Chapel is coming up!  We will be presenting on Friday, March 1!  Today we started our chapel rehearsal by reviewing the story of Jesus being tempted in the desert.  Our chapel focus will be on keeping our thoughts on God and making right choices.  Students will act out the three scenarios of Satan tempting Jesus in the desert.  We have begun learning our chapel verse Phillipians 4:8.  You can ask your child to show you our actions!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Our class has been working hard the last few weeks to learn about making right choices.  Students have really listened and taken our lessons to heart.  This is evident in how they are making good choices to focus on their work at learning times, and making good choices to include, share and follow rules during playing time.  We will be creating some iMovies for chapel based on our students’ experiences in the classroom.

100 Days: on Wednesday, February 20th, we will be celebrating 100 days at school!  Please help your child choose 100 SMALL items to bring that day for math activities.  We will be counting and sorting these items to show 100 in different ways.  These 100 small items should fit easily into a sandwich size ziploc bag.  Example items could be beads, cheerios, pasta, buttons, etc.

Math: we have begun learning about subtraction as it follows naturally from our addition practices.  Students will be telling and acting out subtraction stories to demonstrate their understanding of subtraction as “taking away”, “fewer”, “less”, and “smaller”.

Student-led Conferences: are coming up on Wednesday, February 27th.  Please make sure you have signed up for a time slot.  Students are excited to share with you what they have learned.  They get to be the teacher now!

Feb. 5 – Dance Week

* 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.

January 28: Trying something new!

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!

January 21

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.


Jan. 14

Bible: we learned about Ehud last week, this week we will learn about Deborah and Gideon. We will learn how God can use ordinary people who obey His word.

Language Arts: we have split into 3 groups to practice our story writing skills – starting with introducing characters and a setting. It will be exciting to read our class’ stories when we finish!

Math: continuing to practice our addition strategy of adding doubles and near doubles.

Theme: we will continue studying our theme of patterns in the sky by delving into the season of winter – how it changes and how we adapt.

Performance on Wednesday: Mallet and Membrane will be doing a percussion performance from 1:30-2:30PM.  You are welcome to join us in the big gym!

Lost & Found: a Tim Hortons gift card was found in the classroom over winter break.  Please let me know if it is yours.

Jan 7: Welcome back!

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 cchen@myrcs.ca.  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.


December 14

Dear Parents,

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.

Notices/ Reminders…

  • 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!!

















Aquarium pictureshttps://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMHtp4-i0R2OxWSsA0CQIoZ3czbAAlZRu07N3HmUhEvS9Gvm9Lrf7mYvm6KlPcJLw?key=R241UnZSeVRsZFFVOG9HUGI5MHF0Uk15STJrRU53

December 7

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.

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. 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. 

Have a restful weekend!

November 30

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.




Notices/ Reminders…

  • 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.   

Have a blessed weekend!