Term 1 Week 10 Update

Wow! What a way to end this week. Scary Dress Up Day was a huge success. Thanks to all the hard work of the parents in the PTA for decorating. Thank you to everyone who donated candy for the children’s treat bags. Thank you for all the effort that went into your children’s costumes. To quote Max, “Ms. M. Today was a really special, great day.”

But it wasn’t all fun and games this week. We did lots of learning. Well, actually we learn a lot through games so we did see a few of those this week especially in Maths. We delved into 3D shapes and played some attribute bingo, a board game matching real life objects to their 3D shape counterpart, and we went on a scavenger hunt using QR codes around the school.

In Literacy we continued working on instructions and used differentiated learning to write or sequence instructions on making a jam sandwich.
In Phonics we worked with the Short Vowel U for those of us learning to read and the letters K-N for those of us learning our letters for the first time. That means we’re over half-way through the alphabet!

As I’m sure you were told when your children got home on Wednesday, I was absent with a stomach bug. Please be aware that viruses that cause illness like the stomach flu travel quickly through schools and please keep your children home if they’re feeling poorly. I’m feeling better and your children were in good hands on the day of my absence continuing their same learning in Maths and Phonics and reviewing sequencing for Literacy while making a Jack-o-Lantern craft.

We did lots of great experiments in IPC as we continued to learn about forces. We went to the gym and felt air resistance by running freely, running with a small piece of card held in front of our bodies, then running with a large piece of card. They then illustrated their observations in a comic book style.

We also experimented with water as a force while we learned about predictions and tests. We predicted what would happen when we squirted a toy boat with water of varying force and then we tested our hypotheses.

The children have been great sports about my foot being out of commission which limits what we can do in PE. They’ve continued doing yoga and today we did a spooky work-out video to get our muscles moving and our hearts pumping.

And of course, we all bid a fond farewell to Mr. Kearney today. The whole school made him a goodbye card. The students did their best to write him messages. Authentic use of writing really brings out the best in young learners.

That’s all for this week. Have a Happy Halloween to those who celebrate. Rest well, and we’ll see you on Monday!

Term 1 We 9 Update

Another week of exciting learning happened here in FS 1/2-Y 1 this week.

In Phonics we spent the week looking at CVC words with the short vowel I as in “pig” and “bin”. We’re also working our way through the alphabet for the younger students and we studied the sounds of F-I.
In Literacy we broadened out from instructions to all of non-fiction. We learned where the non-fiction section in the library was and we studied different parts of books such as the title, author, and illustrator.

In Maths we dove deep into 2D shapes by making a Shape Turkey, doing a scavenger hunt for 2D shapes around the school, and learning some new words like “octagon”, and “parallelogram”.

We began our new IPC unit about Forces and began investigating the forces that move everything in our world: push and pull. We did a tug of war. We observed push and pull in every day life around the school, and we used a car and a ramp to study the effects of push on speed and distance. We also learned a little bit about friction.

In ICT the students were excited to use computers again. We practiced typing some more.

That’s it for this week. Don’t forget about Scary Dress-Up Day next Friday. I look forward to seeing everyone’s costumes. Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you on Monday.

FS 1/2 – Y1 Week 8 Update

A little housekeeping before we begin:


Homework has gone home this week. There is some Phonics, Maths, and IPC which reflects the learning we’re doing in class.

Homework will go home every Friday and is due back Wednesday of the following week.

For FS2 I will be sending homework but it is not mandatory.

For Y1 homework is mandatory but it is not meant to cause stress. I have a very flexible homework policy and please let me know if there’s any issues with the homework and I will adjust accordingly.

In this week’s Phonics Homework it talks about “Skill Focus Words”. This week’s Phonics Skill Focus is Short Vowel A (cat, rat, sat). I hope this helps.

Also a reader went home. This is yours to keep. A new one will be going home every Thursday or Friday and you can keep those and read with your child. As our term progresses I will also try to send home levelled readers that are at your child’s reading level. Those will need to be returned. There isn’t one in this week’s homework pack.

Bookbags and Library

Just a gentle reminder that we have Library class every Thursday. Bookbags are to be brought that day and library books that were borrowed the week previous are to be returned.

And now, the update.

As seen in our homework, we have begun a new phonics program. For the next few weeks we will be focusing on short vowels in CVC words. This week was Short Vowel A.

In Literacy we have begun learning about instructions. The students scoured the school and Hanmaeum centre looking for examples of instructions that were posted. We made a photo collage of these instructions on our tablets. We also began learning about what makes a good instruction.

In Maths we’ve begun looking at shapes. We did some exploration of 2D and 3D shapes. This begins our Geometry unit which will continue for some weeks.

In IPC we finished up our Super Humans unit by looking at the sense of taste. We tried an experiment using trying to only use our sense of taste (not sight or smell) to determine the flavour of something. We also looked at the Food Pyramid and began talking about healthy food. We made menus for our own healthy restaurants. We finished off the week with a lively discussion about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how in some parts of the world people do not have clean water or enough food. The students were very curious and asked a lot of questions.

In PE we played some low-contact games. Isabella taught us how to spin like a dancer. We tried an activity we learned in our Monday assembly where we all had to stand on a mat and try to flip it over without falling off. The children had a great time.

That’s all for this week. Have a restful weekend and we’ll see you on Monday!

Term 1 Week 5 Update

Wow! What a great week of learning in FS1/2-Y1!

The students really enjoy their music time with Mr. Green.

In Maths we learned some arithmetic strategies and used the number line a lot to understand the relationship between numbers. We learned that subtracting is just counting down which we demonstrated by standing on a number, rolling a die, and walking down the number line. We did a scavenger hunt to help us start learning about adding three single-digit numbers. Our strategy for that is to look for numbers that can easily make 10. And we practised adding and subtracting 2 to any given number by hopping on the number line and also with a fun game with dice and counters. Students had a personal number line they could consult to confirm their answers.

In Literacy we started writing our own stories and working through the writing process. We began with prewriting using a graphic organiser to choose our character, setting, and plot (or as the students know it “what happens”). Then we drafted our stories. We had a writer’s workshop one-on-one with Ms. M where we looked for any mistakes we could correct in the revising and editing process. I’m very pleased to say we will be publishing our stories on Monday.

In IPC we continued on our SuperHumans unit. We designed and made a sensory book for a baby using all kinds of different textures. We learned about the eye and how it is connected to the brain. We drew our first scientific diagrams and also polled the school to see which eye colour was the most popular. Brown was the winner by an overwhelming majority. Finally we learned about the ear and sound. We sure did make a racket!

Next week is a short week with only 2 days before the Chuseok break. Don’t forget we will be celebrating Chuseok on Monday so your child can come in their hanbok or the traditional dress of your country (this is not mandatory).

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!

Term 1 Week 4 Update

Well we are definitely into the swing of things here in FS 1/2 – Y1. We’ve had a lot of great learning going on this week.

As you know we begin our days with our Mindful Morning Meetings. Currently we’re working on emotions. We’ve discussed happiness and sadness and this week we went on to discuss fear, nervousness, and anxiety. The students were really upfront about what makes them feel scared and nervous and we talked about strategies that could help us overcome fear and anxiety. We set positive intentions for the day to “have a peaceful day” with a hand symbol (a bird flying like a dove) to help us remember to stay calm and peaceful. Today we wrote and drew our worries and fears on a piece of paper and then one by one tossed them into the trashcan, while telling our fears to “GET OUT OF HERE!”

In Maths we worked on more mental maths strategies like counting by 10s not just from 10 but from any number and how to estimate a quantity that we could check by counting later.

In Literacy we dove deep into the book The Rainbow Fish and studied it all week long. We read it many times. We wrote about our favourite part of the book. We did a sequencing activity where we put images of the book back in order. We did a role-play retelling activity where we acted out the story. And finally today we wrote our first book review.

We began our new IPC unit this week, “Super Humans” with a visit from Dr. M. We measured our height and weight and used the tablets with an app to measure our heart rates. Then we ran in place and measured our heart rates again. We all signed a promise to take good care of our bodies. We did our Knowledge Harvest by tracing Ayaka (our smallest classmate) onto a piece of paper and labelling it with all the body parts we knew. We compared human body parts to other animals and used our laptops to do it. Finally we went on a senses walk to see what we could see, hear, touch, and smell outside. We all decided we weren’t going to taste anything outside because it wasn’t a good idea to taste trees or mud.

In PE we practiced dribbling skills with a basketball this time and also did some more yoga.

Last, but not least, in ICT we began using the laptops and practised touch typing. The children found the platform we’re learning on fun but the practice of touch typing to be somewhat frustrating. It’s a big learning curve going from tablets to computers but I know they’ll be able to do it.

That’s all for this busy week! Have a restful weekend and we’ll see you again on Monday!

Term 1 Week 3 Update – Farewell Rani

Well, we survived the typhoon on Monday but sadly we did not have any class. Thank you so much to the parents who were ready to help their children with e-Learning. I’m glad we have structures in place for continuous learning should the need arise.

On Wednesday we said goodbye to our dear Rani Choi. She will be greatly missed.

This week had a lot of great learning. In Literacy we continued reading stories and writing responses to them. We learned about setting – the Where and When of a story. We identified the problem within a story. Finally we tried to add onto a story about a cat who likes to hide in boxes by using our imaginations to think of something our cat might like to do.

In Maths we finished off our Numbers to 20 by practicing ordering numbers 0-20 and began on some mental maths. We practiced our math facts with addition to 10 and also began exploring “double numbers” (the double of 1 is 2, the double of 2 is 4). We explored up to double 10 with a focus on doubles 1-5.

We finished off our IPC topic on Metagognition – thinking about thinking. We’ve had some robust discussions about learning. memory, the brain, and thinking. We’ll be starting our new IPC topic this upcoming week.

The students also still get developmental play time and they have been using it in all kinds of creative ways. I’m really excited to see their learning in action as they work with puzzles.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you ready to learn on Monday!

Term 1 Week 2 Update

Hello and welcome to our second week of school! We certainly had a fun and exciting week as we settle into our new routines.

On Monday, the children had their first Music lesson with Mr. Green. I could hear from my classroom that they were having an excellent time.

In PE we learned about dribbling as a way to control a ball with small movements to make the ball go where we wanted it to.

In Literacy we are learning about stories with familiar settings. This week we focused on characters. We learned who the main character and other characters were in stories and thought about who was our favourite character in the story. We also tried a new activity called Think, Pair, Share. In this activity after I ask a question, the students think silently about their answer. Then, they pair up with a partner and discuss their answer quietly, finally they share their answer with the class. This activity produced some rich discussions and everyone felt confident sharing their answer with the class.

In Maths we are looking at numbers 0-20. We spent some time using a number line to count the numbers in order. We played a game called “I Have Who Has?” to practice number identification. We used blocks to count concrete objects up to 20 and also to learn that no matter what shape a pile of objects is, it’s still the same number. I’m happy to say the students caught onto that quite quickly.

In IPC we continued with our Brainwave unit and learned more about how our brains worked. We learned about thinking outside the box by looking at close up photos of animals and guessing what they were. Then we used our tablets to take close up shots of things around the classroom for our classmates to guess. We also learned about giving clear instructions with an activity where we sat back to back and had to tell our partners what to draw on their whiteboards so that they would produce the same picture as us. Finally, we used the laptop computers. That was a slow process as this is very new for all the children but I know they will become adept with the computers as we practice more.

That’s all for this week. Don’t forget, Monday is going to be e-Learning. Please log on to Google Classroom by 9 am for your first lesson. Instructions on how to use Google Classroom were sent in the school newsletter. I will be sending further instructions via email this weekend about how to log out of Kids Mode as well as other information regarding usernames and passwords that you may need.

Have a great weekend. Stay dry. And we’ll see you virtually on Monday!

Term 1 Week 1 Update and Hello!

Hello families of FS1-Y1. Welcome to the new faces and welcome back to the returning friends. We sure are glad to have you all in our class and we’re off to a roaring start.

We began the year as we’re going to begin each day with a Morning Meeting. We’re using a character development morning meeting curriculum that begins with learning about our emotions and how to express them. This week began with talking about our class as community and how we can participate to make it a community we all feel comfortable in.

In English and Maths this week we did some simple, formative assessments so I could gauge the levels of the incoming students and see what the returning students remembered. This will allow me to better tailor the children’s learning as we embark on our learning journey this year.

PE is starting to take a different form as Level 2 distancing informs our choices about what we can and can’t do at school while keeping your child safe. We stuck with an old standby this week and did some socially distanced yoga in the hall.

In IPC we began our yearly introduction Brainwave unit but as we did a Brainwave unit last year, we are doing the follow-up unit: Metacognition. We’re learning how to think about thinking. We started with some memory games, reviewed what the brain does, and finished off this week with some memory tests. The students learned different methods of trying to remember lists of objects. We’ll see on Monday and next Friday if they can remember their lists!

That’s it for this week. I hope you have a restful weekend and come back and ready to continue learning next week!