November 9

November 9

This week, we talked about the meaning behind the poppies that people wear during Remembrance Day.  The students discovered that this is a day where we remember all the heroes and soldiers who have made sacrifices for our country. Yesterday, Mrs.Fok led a painting activity where students used potatoes to make a poppy stamp.

In Math, students continued to explore Ten Frame Mania and Math Limbo on the iPads, to give the students more practice on their subitization skills.  They did practice work (e.g. worksheets) using the number line and learned a new card game called make 10. Students play in partners, lay out 5 cards in front of them and look for a match (6+4). Every morning, we also practice how to skip count by 2, 5, and 10 to songs by Jack Hartman. The kids love him!

In Bible, we finished looking at the life of Joseph.  The students responded in their Bible exercise book about what they have learned from his story.  Some students said that you need to trust God even when things are hard or unfair, while others said it is wrong to be jealous and to lie. The new memory verse will be Proverbs 3:5-6. Below are the songs we sang this week.

We completed our Inquiry unit of Me to We by asking the students to contribute to a book about ways that they can help in a classroom.  Some students said that they can help 1N by being caring to others, solving problems when they arise, listening to instructions, and modeling good choices to their friends.

This week, I watched as students began to blossom more with their writing! Grade 1 is so exciting! Some are beginning to stretch their brains to add more ideas while others are growing more aware of conventions (capital letters, punctuation marks, finger spaces).

During Exploration Time this week, I had students:

1. Make a building choice of where they wanted to play (Lego, tinker toys, blocks)

2. They had to stay there for 30 minutes to build something with the other students who were there (after 30 minutes they could switch)

3. At the end of the day, their “group” shared what they built

Below are some pictures. It was exciting to watch them work together by communicating and thinking of ideas. Some also made new friends!

Notes and reminders

  • I am beginning to plan for chapel. If you leaving for holidays early, please let me know so I can take that into consideration when assigning acting parts. Thank you!
  • Please support your child in helping them to remember their home reading books on their assigned day. Thank you!
  • Boom! Zap! Pow! Put on your capes, because November 15this RCS Elementary Hero Day! Come dressed up as your favourite hero — a Bible hero, a comic book hero, or a community hero, the possibilities are endless. This is your chance to get creative and honour all the superheroes in our lives — both fictional and the real-life. 
  • Sometimes students might bring home a colouring page or worksheet that is not complete, but they do not need to finish it and bring it back. There are extra activities available to them when they are finished their work and often they like to take them home.
November 8


Today students brought home a book mark that has reading strategies on it. I have only taught them Eagle Eye, Stretchy Snake, Skippy Frog and Flippy Dolphin so far. I keep it on the table when I am conferencing with students for both of us to refer to and figured it might be helpful for you to have at home as well for reference when reading together.

November 2

November 1

Dear Parents,

In Language Arts, I continued to reinforce some of the reading strategies that I have introduced to the students so far while reading aloud books by our featured author, Mo Willems, as well as during our weekly individual reading conferences.

On Wednesday, we used a pumpkin to help write poems. First, we brainstormed words to describe the outside (bumpy, dirty, orange). After cutting it open, looking inside and touching it, we brainstormed words to describe the inside (slimy, smelly, stringy).

Mrs. Chan taught us how to choose between the letter “c” or “k” when spelling an unknown word that begins with a hard “c” sound.  The students discovered that we use “k” with a stick vowel (e and i) and “c” with a round vowel (a, o, u).  For example, kit instead of cit, cap instead of kap.

In Math, students learned how to use the number line to add numbers.  I explained that the number line is one of many tools that we can use to add and subtract numbers along with the ten frame, 100 chart, fingers, or mental math.  As well, we introduced to the students to the proper usage of the iPads and further their understanding of subitization with the introduction of the Ten Frame Mania app and Math Limbo.  They also played various math games aimed to develop their number sense.

In our inquiry unit of Me to We, students continued to work in small groups to come up with ways that we can contribute to our church community.  Some students said that they help to clean up toys, stack the chairs, pray for others, and donate food.

In Health, we talked about the different food groups.

In Bible, we read about and discussed how Joseph trusted God even when he was sold into slavery by his brothers.  Below are the two songs we sang this week.

In Art, students have been working on a pumpkin painting.

Individual photo retake is scheduled for Thursday, Nov 7.  If you wish for your child to retake his/her individual picture, please email me.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Messages from Mr, Paul

We hope that you will join us on Thursday, November 7th at 7:00pm for our Elementary Deeper Learning Parent Night. This will be an important evening of learning and information that we encourage parents to attend. 

We kindly request that you use this link to RSVP. We want to ensure that we have prepared sufficient materials for those in attendance.

Please note that there will be no childcare provided and that the evening is not suitable for children.

If you would like more information about the evening, you can watch this video.

We hope to see you there!

October 29

October 29

Dear Parents,

On Monday, students wrote about one interesting thing that happened on their weekend. Keeping their writing focused and exploding a small moment (who, what, where, why, when) are skills that we will continue to reinforce this year. We also read several books written by Mo Willems, our featured author. Thursday afternoon was exciting! Ms.Huber came to join us and we read an Elephant and Piggie story together. Eventually students will be able to work on their own Mo Willems story. This week they learned how to draw Gerald!

We practiced two reading strategies this week. Ask someone to define a word is a reading strategy where students can expand their vocabulary by asking someone (usually an adult) to define words that they may not have seen before. As you read with your child at home, when reading books that are above their independent reading level, try to point out words that your child can use naturally in their writing or oral speech.  The second strategy is called “Flippy the dolphin”. Since each vowel has two sounds (long and short) I encouraged them to change the vowel sound if they read it one way and the word sounds wrong.

I am very proud of the way our students have picked up the routines for Literacy Rotations this week. Students are participating more actively in their focused group. The small grouping also allowed students to ask more questions to clarify or extend their knowledge and skills. I am beginning to see the skills being transferred to their reading and writing. The jail words we have talked about so far are: to, was, the and you.

Our school’s book fair is scheduled for Oct 28 to Nov 1. If you are interested in buying books for your child, you can visit the fair at these times:

Monday 9:30am-6:00pm

Tuesday 12:00am-8:00pm (Closed between 5-6pm)

Wednesday-Friday 8:30am-3:15pm

In Math, students continued to work on different number sense games. Next week we will be talking about number lines. 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. Students also filled in and decorated their own November calendar with dates that are important to them. We will be completing a monthly calendar each month going forward. 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.

In Bible, we continued to review the stories of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Esau. We discussed the way Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and blessings was unkind and unpleasing to God. We also learned how God is faithful and merciful, even when we sin and have made poor choices. Below are two of the songs we sang this week.


In our Inquiry unit of Me to We, we talked about how students contribute to their families. Students suggested that they help their families by doing the laundry, unloading the dishwasher, washing the dishes, making their bed and keeping their room clean.

As there is no school today, we are not going to have library this week. Students can keep their books for an extra week to enjoy!

October 19

October 19

Dear Parents,

The author who we will be focusing on over the next few weeks is Mo Willems.  He is known for the Piggie and Elephant series, and the Pigeon series. We read a few of his books this week and watched video interviews of him to learn more about his writing process.  In addition, each child received their home reading package this week.  The package needs to come back to school on the day of the week specified on the bag so that your child can exchange for new books and read with a teacher. During literacy centres with Mrs.Chan, students continued to practice reading words and blending sounds, worked on their No David stories, practiced their printing with Mrs. Mung, and listened to stories on Epic.

This week, students played various math games to help with their number sense using dominos, ten frame cards and playing cards.  They also learned a game using the ipads called ten frame mania.

In Bible, we continued to look at the story of Abraham and Isaac to learn how we are blessed when we obey God. We have been singing two songs to remind us about being thankful.  

Yesterday, the students were excited to “Meet” their Grade 12 buddy on paper. The high school buddies sent over a letter with their picture and a prayer request. After I handed out the letters, I gave them some time to pray on their own for their buddy. It was so special to watch and hear their heart for their new, older friend.

We began our new Inquiry unit of Me to We.  The students will be exploring the roles that they have at home, in school, and in their community and how they can contribute to the groups that they belong to. This week, the students were excited to start class jobs at the end of the day. They were busy washing tables, organizing the books, sweeping the floor, emptying the organics bin and cleaning the white boards. We discussed as a class how they are showing love and care for the classroom and the cleaners that work hard to keep our class clean.  

In Art, students have been experimenting with line, colour and pattern while working on fall pictures. They traced different shaped fall leaves, overlapping one another on a white piece of paper. Last week they worked on colouring the leaves with crayon.

Have a great weekend!

October 12

October 11

Dear Parents,

In Language Arts, we continued to listen to video interviews and read books written by David Shannon.  We learned how good writers need to write each day.

We will begin our home reading program starting next Tuesday, Oct. 15. 10 Students will begin and bring home their reading package (in a large Ziploc bag) on Tuesday, 5 students on Wednesday, 5 students on Thursday, and 5 students on Friday.  The expectation is for you to read with or read to your child one book each weeknight.  However, we do understand that all households are busy, and you may miss a night of reading from time to time.  For more information on how you can help at home, refer to the green handout in your child’s home reading package.

One of the key focus in primary math is on the development of students’ number sense, their intuition about numbers and their relationships.  Number sense is something that grows and develops over time as a result of exploring numbers, visualizing them in a variety of context, and relating them in ways that are not limited by traditional algorithms.  The ability to manipulate numbers and see them flexibly (e.g. 8 can be a 5 and a 3 as well as a 4 and a 4) will eventually help students see the relationships in higher math (e.g. algebra, calculus, etc.).  In order to help children grow their number sense, we will be focusing on four aspects of number sense:

  1. Subitization (recognizing a small number of objects at a glance)
  2. The concept of one more, two more, one less, two less than a given number
  3. 5 and 10 as anchor numbers
  4. Part-part-whole relationships

All the activities that we will be introducing this year, whether it is an app on the iPad, practice work, math puzzles, and games, will be based on the above four principles.

In Bible, we reflected on things we are thankful for.

Notes & Reminders

  • Scholastic Orders: are due on Friday, October 18th.
  • Photo Orders: are due October 15th. If you missed the deadline, photos can still be ordered online.
  • Photo retakes are on November 7th . Please let me know if you wish your child to retake his/her photo so I can add them to the list.
October 5

October 4

Dear Parents, 

It was an exciting week in Language Arts! Mrs.Chan brought playdoh for the students to build vowels with. They learned that some letters can hold a ball (a, o, u) and some letters can hold a stick (i, e). After forming their letters, they were given pompoms and stir sticks to decorate their letters with. 

Because we have been featuring David Shannon as our author of the month, the students were very excited to begin their own “David” stories. Some decided to retell stories that we have read, while others came up with their own ideas.  

In Math, we explored the idea of equal sets. Next week we will talk about one more, two more and one less or two less. These are concepts that are important for algebraic thinking and number sense. Young children tend to grasp the idea of “more than” much more readily than “less than”. Therefore, it would be helpful to incorporate the language of “less than” if you are sharing some math concepts with your child at home.   

In Bible, we read through a book called “What Happens When I Talk to God”. It is an easy to read book that encourages children to God to talk every day and explains prayer in ways that they understand.  Below are two songs that we sang this week in case you want to listen to them at home!

In our Inquiry unit of Matter Matters, we invited a scientist/instructor from Hightouch Hightech to come into reinforce and explore the concept of matter.  She performed various experiments to illustrate what happens to a molecule when it is in a solid, liquid or gas state.  The students mixed vinegar with baking soda to create gas and made their own oobleck (cornstarch, food colouring, and water), a substance that acts like a solid when still, but a liquid when stirred.   

In Health, we talked about how regular exercise can help make our body stronger, sleep better, improve our moods and our immune system to fight against germs.  We also talked about how we can exercise safely by drinking water, wearing the appropriate protective gear and warming up before we play.  As I sent the kids outside for recess, I asked them to think about how exercise makes them feel. When they came back inside, they were excited to share that they felt happy, calm and relaxed. We have also started talking about an emotion each week. This week the focus was on anger. We brainstormed ways to solve problems or ease frustrations. Students suggested that they can take a deep breath, talk to a teacher, count to 10 or drink water.

  • Student individual photo orders are due on Tuesday, Oct 15 instead of Oct 8 (as stated on the package). Life Touch will return on November 7 for retakes if you were not satisfied with the first photo proofs.
  • There is also no school next Thursday and Fridayas teachers from the school will be engaged with professional development on those days.   
  • We have an ice–skating field trip on Tuesday, January 28th. Parents who come to volunteer are able to skate for free! I will be sending out more details closer to the actual skating date.
  • Please continue to replenish and check your child’s extra clothes box! Rainy season is here and our class loves to play in puddles and the mud. Rain boots are also a good idea.

Below are some pictures from our root beer float day.


Have a wonderful weekend! 

September 29

September 29

Dear Parents,

It was great seeing so many of you on Thursday! Literacy is a key component of learning for young children.  It is truly a partnership between home and school.  We hope that our sharing gave you some insights into how young children learn to read and write, and how you can help at home.  If you were not able to attend last night, the information covered will be included over time in my weekly blog.   

In Math, we completed our unit on Patterns by asking students to explore geometric (growing) patterns and translate patterns.

We followed up on the idea of trusting and obeying God by looking at the life of Abraham.  The students learned how Abraham obeyed God when he was asked to move to Canaan and had to sacrifice the son that he had at an old age.  He trusted God even though he was asked to make tough choices. Below are two songs we sang this week.

In our inquiry unit of Matter matters, we defined matter as something that takes up space and is made up of three groups: solids, liquids, and gases.  Solid is something that takes on a definite shape, a liquid is something that you can put your hand through, feels wet, and takes on the shape of the container that it is in, and a gas is something that you can also put your hand through but may not feel.  We practiced sorting different objects into these three groups. On Friday, we had root beer floats so students could see the three states of matter! On Tuesday, High Touch High Tech will be coming into our class to do a few matter related science experiments as we prepare to wrap up this unit.

In Health, we continued to discuss ways to improve our wellness choices.  This week, we talked about types of exercise that the students enjoy.

Our Chapel has been scheduled for Friday, December 13.  Please mark that date on your calendar and come to support 1N on that morning (8:35-9:05).

September 22

September 27

Dear Parents,

This week, we started our printing program called Handwriting Without Tears.  We reviewed the capital letters that the students were exposed to last year as well as the correct way to hold a pencil. We also continued to focus on the first reading strategy of connection. Students continued to show a love for reading during “Read to Self” time. Each morning, we work on building their “reading stamina”. Read to self has some rules. They have to pick 3-4 books, choose a spot that will help them focus and read the whole time (pictures or words). On Friday, they made it to 9 minutes!  

On Friday, I introduced the students to Story Workshop. I modeled a retelling of one of their favourite stories “No David” and then made up my own story about David going to the beach. Students learned that they are all authors with stories to tell. They can use their own experiences to tell a story, or their imaginations. They then had a chance to practice this with their own story boards and manipulatives.

In Math, students were asked to create and extend patterns with 3 or 4 elements and record them by drawing on paper or taking a picture.

In Bible, we reviewed the story of Adam and Eve and Noah and the Ark. We also sang some new songs this week which are down below!

In our first inquiry unit of the year, Matter Matters, we will be exploring the big idea that “everything is made up of matter”.  Students will inquire into the properties of matter (how something acts, feels, and looks) and how they affect its function.  We launched the unit this week by introducing the topic to the students.

A reminder that our Literacy Night is scheduled for Thursday, September 26 at 7 pm.  We will be discussing our literacy program and ways that you can help your child at home.

I hope you are able to enjoy this rainy Sunday!

September 14

September 14

Dear Parents,

Thank you for taking time out to come to our Meet the Teacher Night!

The students are beginning to adjust to the routines and expectations of the class. We continue to encourage students to take risks and play with new friends during recess times as well as be problem solvers and communicators.

In Language Arts we talked about the three ways we can read a book which are read the pictures, read the words and re-tell the story. We talked about ‘good-fit’ books so that students would choose appropriate books to read. Does it interest them? Do they want to learn or enjoy a story?

We started our reading program this week.  Students were introduced to the reading strategy of “making connections” which can help with their reading comprehension. We will be focusing on this over the next few weeks. A connection is a memory or something that the story or text remind us of. To reinforce this strategy, you can ask your child about the connections that he/she makes as you read with them at home.

We began practicing the proper way to write sentences (start with a capital, use lowercase letters on the proper spots on the lines, finger spaces in between words, end with a period). Students practiced writing simple sentences with the short ‘a’ sound on their lined whiteboards (“The cat sat on a mat.”). I would say the sentence out loud and they would write what they heard. They love finding the mistakes I purposefully include in my sample sentences on the board and they eagerly help me fix them.

In Math, we began our unit on Patterns. This week, we discussed how patterns are embedded everywhere, from our calendar, the clothes we wear and pictures throughout the classroom. Yesterday, the students were excited to build patterns and have a friend recreate it. We will work on creating and extending patterns up to four elements (e.g. ABCDABCD) as well as translate patterns from one representation to another (e.g., red, yellow, orange, white to ABCD). Understanding patterns help children build a foundation for algebraic thinking.

In Bible, we reviewed the story of Creation. I will be sending home a letter explaining more about our Memory Verse Program. We sang two songs this week to remind us of God’s power and all the things He created.

In Art, students created self-portraits to celebrate how God has created each one of us uniquely.

We had our first Library class with Ms. Huber this Tuesday.  She introduced the library routines and explained how to use our library keys.  Please continue to help your child to develop a habit of bringing in a library bag (something that can protect the library books in case of linkage in your child’s school bag) each Tuesday to promote their sense of independence.   

A reminder that students will be taking their individual photos next Wednesday, Sep 18.  Please help your child dress accordingly.   

Have a great weekend!