Term 1 Week 13 Update

Wow, we’re really into the home stretch now. Just 3 weeks to go till the break! The learning in Ms. M’s class doesn’t let up though!

We started Monday, as you know, with a lesson about keeping our private parts private. Children were encouraged to ask their moms or dads about the names of their private parts but decided at school that we’ll just call them our privates. We know their our private parts because they’re the parts of our bodies covered by our underwear or swimsuits. The children are really working hard to respect each others’ space and bodies.

In Maths we finished off our unit on comparing numbers to 10. We learned not just about more and less but about how much more and how many less. The easiest way for the children to visualize this was to line up two sets of objects and look at which ones had “friends”. If one stack had more, with no friend to line up with it, we could count those with “no friends” and that would tell us how many more! Starting next week and going till the end of term we will be working on measurement (longer/shorter, bigger/smaller, etc).

In Phonics we finished off the letter K on Monday and looked at the letters B and U for the rest of the week.
In Writer’s Workshop we are now Storytellers! We learned that we can tell stories about things that we love or things that we can do. I’m so happy to see more and more children try to write letters or words in their stories.

In IEYC we continued on our Loose Parts unit looking at elements of play. We played outdoors with scarves and ribbons to see how they interacted in the wind. We looked at some Jackson Pollock paintings to see how he made very messy but very beautiful paintings and used fabric scraps to make our own messy paintings. We had more outdoor time with sidewalk chalk and explored large-scale mark-making by drawing on the ground.

On this note, we will be taking a trip to a drawing kid’s cafe in Week 15. I am going to check the space for suitability and safety this weekend and more details will come to your email, along with a permission form, on Monday. Keep an eye out!

Finally we played with some homemade playdough for a great sensory exploration. Because it’s homemade it gets kept in the fridge. When we take it out to play with, it’s cold. What an exciting added element for our senses!

In PE the children have really been enjoying our warm-up exercises with Miss Linky, a great, educational YouTuber. This week we learned about sea creatures and battled sharks to keep the reef safe! Then we practiced moving a ball around with a hockey stick, some basket ball, and ended the class with a team-building exercise where we all hold hands and pass a hoop around the circle without letting go of our hands. The children get better and better at that every week!

That’s all for this week! Have a restful weekend and we’ll see you back on Monday for another fun-filled week of learning! And as always, be friendly and work together.

Term 1 Week 12 Update

Hello! It was so great to be back this week full of new ideas and ready to learn. We had a very active week and will continue to be active as we enter this home stretch to Winter Break.

This coming Monday, our PSHE lesson will be centered around what parts of our bodies are private and how to respect each others bodies. If you have questions about this lesson, please feel free to contact me. My inbox will be open over the weekend.

In Phonics this week we looked at the letters F, R, and K. We briefly introduced our new Writer’s Workshop Unit “Storytellers” and that will start in full swing next week.

In Maths we continued looking at comparing numbers within 10. We focused on the concepts of “less” and “same”.

In IEYC we started our new unit “Loose Parts” where we explored individual components that make up play. We used boxes to stimulate imaginative play using the book Not A Box by Antoinette Portis to give us ideas. We explored our 5 Senses by making popcorn. We also looked at wood, metal, and objects from nature such as leaves and pinecones to see what kind of play we could have without pre-made toys.

I’m sure everyone is a little tired out at the end of this week coming back after the break so have a restful weekend and we’ll see you all refreshed and ready to go on Monday!

Weeks 9-11 MegaUpdate

Wow it’s been a wild last two and a half weeks with so much going on I completely let updates fall by the wayside. My apologies for that!

Let’s start by saying a big hello, or “hola” to our newest classmate, Hugo. He is from Brazil. We’re so glad to have you here!

In Phonics we looked at the letters N (Niko was happy to be put on our letter poster), M, I, and S. We’re really getting into a good routine with phonics and the children look forward to “alphabet time”. They often start asking me in the morning, “what letter is it today, Ms. M?” Needless to say, while they enjoyed this Global Citizenship Week we had this week (more on that later) they missed their alphabet time.

In Writer’s Workshop we finished off our unit “Writing With Sentences” by making a storybook of our own. Before that penultimate project we also looked at some mechanics of writing such as when to use a capital letter and how to space our writing (no spaces within a word and a finger space between them).

In Maths we slowed down our unit on Comparing Numbers so that the students could get a strong grasp on the concepts of more and less. We took a break from it altogether this week because we were focusing on Global Citizenship but we’ll be back at it next week!

And who can forget about the dinosaurs? We got a special package from Dr. Rattlebone who heard we were good at identifying dinosaurs. We opened the boxes and found dinosaur bones that we had to put together. We did that and then worked on our museum display that everyone was able to come and see. They got to see the dinosaur skeleton that Dr. Rattlebone sent us, our bones we dug up, our fossils we made, and dinosaur art that we made. The students were very proud to show off their work.

On our final week of our dinosaur unit we read Harry and the Bucket Full of Dinosaurs. Wouldn’t you know it? Our dinosaurs went missing, just like Harry’s. We created missing posters and got a letter from Harry the next day telling us we had to travel to DinoLand to find our missing dinosaurs. So, we hopped into our magic buckets and off to DinoLand we went. First we had to cross a river and find out about things that could float or sink. Then we had to help Terry the Tyranosaurus fix her toothache. Finally we had to visit (make) a desert island and that’s where we found our dinosaurs!

Additionally, we looked at what dinosaurs ate. We used our kitchen food toys to feed the dinosaurs. We learned that some ate meat and had really pointy teeth, while others ate plants and vegetables and had flat teeth to help them chew. Lastly we made dinosaur costumes and had a little dinosaur dance party to finish off the unit.

During Calendar Time we hit an important milestone – the 50th day of school. We count what day of school it is every day and we’ll have a 100-day party when the time comes. We’re over half-way there!

And last, but definitely not least: this week was Global Citizenship Week! We learned lots about how to protect the Earth and how plants can help our environment. We made some art with leaves and twigs that Mrs. Sim was so kind as to gather for us. On Tuesday when the weather was better we went outside and planted some native Korean wildflowers. Today we looked at the different countries we are all from. We also baked some cookies using seeds and fruits. Those were met with mixed reviews.

Term 1 Week 8 Update

Well it’s official: we’re half way through the term and comfortably into cold and flu season. We had some friends absent this week and that’s OK. If your little one is feeling under the weather, please don’t hesitate to keep them home to rest and recover.

We started the week with an earthquake drill. The whole school practiced sheltering under their desks and our evacuation routes.

In Phonics we looked at the letters T, P, and began the letter A. We got to add two friends to our alphabet posters Ayla and Alex!
In Writer’s Workshop we started using our Sight Words Chart and Colour Words Chart for those friends who want to write some words when they’re illustrating their stories.

In Maths we finished off our Numbers 6-10 unit. We worked with a tens frame and counted out 10 beads to put on a necklace. We used action cards to do a variety actions between 6-10 times. We used a spinner to pick a number and write that number and the numbers that came immediately before and after it. And we finished off the week singing “There Were 10 In The Bed” but there aren’t 10 of us in the class so we were helped by Ms. M and some plushies to act out the song.

In IEYC we’re still discovering dinosaurs! We made a background for all our dino crafts from last week. Then we started learning about museums and treasures and that we often have to dig to find dinosaur bones and fossils. So dig we did! One day we found clay pots and coins and eggs (marbles). The next day we found some dinosaur bones! We examined them closely, cleaned them off, and put them in our treasure box and museum tray. Finally, we used some salt dough to make fossils (imprints of toy dinosaurs) that we will paint next week!

That it for this week. Stay healthy and warm and we’ll see you Monday!

Term 1 Week 7 Update

Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs! We’re up to our ears in dinosaurs! We spent the week in IEYC this week making all kinds of different dinosaur crafts. We made paper plate glitter dinosaurs, toilet paper tube diplodocuses, felt stegosauruses, and tried our hand at a very fine motor activity threading spines onto the back of cardstock spinosauri. (And yes, I had to use Google to get all those plurals correct). This collection of dinosaurs will continue to be used in play next week.

In Phonics we are doing a deep dive into initial sounds of words – one letter every two days. This week we finished off the letter O and then did G and H.

In Maths we continued to look at the numbers 6-10. We used our tens frames and blocks to create different numbers in the very early stages of addition, which we call “counting on”. We put 5 blocks on the top of our tens frame and then rolled a modified die where the 6 was replaced with a sticker representing 0 and then depending on what we rolled we counted on from 5 to make our new number. For example, if we rolled a 4 we would look at our tens frame with 5 blocks on it already and say, “5…6, 7, 8, 9” as we added one block at a time for the 4 we rolled. We also played a game called “Guess My Number”. In pairs the students took a number strip with the numbers 1-10 and placed a block over one number while their partner’s eyes were closed. When the partner opened their eyes they had to look at the number strip and use strategies such as counting down or up to find out what the covered number was.

In Writer’s Workshop we introduced writing goals. Our 3 goals of the moment are:
-I can use details
-I can use labels
-I can use words
As the students demonstrate that they can consistently do these things in their writing, their names will go up on the wall next to the goal they’ve achieved. It’s a great motivator.

In our Morning Meetings we’re looking at the feeling of anger. We’ve learned that there are various degrees of anger and sometimes our anger gets so big we can’t control it anymore. We’ll be learning strategies over the coming days to keep our anger under control so we can maintain a peaceful classroom.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend, stay dry, and we’ll see you on Monday!

Term 1 Week 6 Update

Wow! What an exciting week here in Ms. M’s class.

In Phonics we finished off our alphabet sounds with the letter Z on Monday and on Tuesday we all graduated and got our Unit 2 – Initial Sounds workbooks and a great ABC certificate. We also used our PE time to have an excellent ABC party. We played games like rolling a GIANT ball to each other while reciting the alphabet, making the letters with our bodies, and doing animal actions that corresponded with each letter of the alphabet. What a great time we had. Then we started our Unit 2 – Initial Sounds. We looked at the letter L for 2 days and O for one day. We’ll continue with O on Monday as each letter we look at will take 2 days. This unit will take us through the end of the term. As we looked closely at each letter we made a letter sounds poster and also practiced writing the letters independently on small whiteboards.

In Writer’s Workshop we started slowly sounding out words. I let the children know that if they didn’t feel ready to write words, it’s OK. They can just add lots of detail to their pictures and do their best to add labels. We also learned “I make mistakes and that’s OK!” Making mistakes doesn’t make us bad – it’s a part of learning! If we make a mistake we can just cross it out and try again.

In Maths we started looking at the numbers 6 – 10. We did 6, 7, and 8 this week. We practiced counting on by rolling a die (or a dot cube as we often call them in class), counting the number, and putting a marker on our game board for the next number after what we rolled. That’s a pretty tricky skill so we’ll be working on it lots. We also looked at what is called “conservation of number”. Simply put, we learned that no matter how we arranged our snap cubes the number stayed the same. Every time we rearranged them and counted them we always had 8. Today we practiced writing the numbers 0-8 on our whiteboards and then we worked in pairs to collect sets of 0-8 classroom items.

And holy cow, has our new IPC unit been a hit! We went on a hunt for dinosaur eggs on Monday. The children had great fun smashing them open and finding a dinosaur inside to catch their curiosity to begin the unit. We used our dinosaur toys to sort dinosaurs into land (with 2 and 4 legs), air, and water animals. We definitely have mostly land dinos. Then we found dinosaur footprints leading from our class to the Hall one day when we came in from break. We followed them and found a life-sized tyrannosaurus footprint. It was the same size as Elena! We found out that all 14 of our shoes (mine included) did not fill up a tyrannosaurus footprint but 77 toy dinos will. We also learned that this dinosaur was 9 meters long and our class laying end to end was not that long. We measured 7 meters but I’m a little iffy on that accuracy as we were making sure not to kick each other in the head. Safety first!

Mr. Green has spoken in the Newsletter about most of the school doing InCAS tests. Our class does not do those tests, however there is some of the year testing both for FS1 and FS2 that the children completed with Ms. Jiyu this week. These are just baseline tests to assess what prior learning the children have. We will do these tests again at the end of the year. It is a low-stress way to understand what the students know.

Our calendar is marked for our Halloween party on November 29th. Everyone is already planning and plotting their costumes. We’re excited every morning as we do our calendar to watch the days get closer.

That’s it for this week! Enjoy the weekend and we’ll see you again on Monday.

Term 1 Week 5 Update

Wow what a wonderful, busy week we had back after our relaxing Chuseok break.

We finished off our This Is Me! unit in IEYC. We practiced crossing the road safely by role playing in the hall, practicing with small world figures on our car mats, and actually going outside to cross the road outside of school. The students did wonderfully. They enjoyed it so much they continued to role play when we had our play time after the class. We explored friendship by making friendship bracelets for each other. We also explored cooperation by working on a drawing together, a Lego structure together, and a a clay sculpture. We finished off by making a mural of puzzle pieces because we all fit together.

In Maths we finished off our Sort and Classify unit by exploring more and less and also identifying and predicting patterns. We made patterns with our bodies and also with manipulatives.

In Phonics we’re nearly done our alphabet! We finished up to letter Y today and we’ll polish off the alphabet on Monday with the letter Z and an ABC themed day on Tuesday. We’ll begin Initial Sounds later in the week.

Writer’s Workshop saw us to focus on adding writing to our stories. This will come together as Phonics starts to work more and more on initial sounds so we can write the first letter of the things we illustrate in our stories. In last month’s Writer’s Workshop unit we were Illustrators and now we’re Authors!

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you rested and relaxed on Monday!

Term 1 Week 4 Update

So sorry for the late update. I had some technical difficulties before the Chuseok break.

We had lots of great learning and exciting exploration happening.

In Maths we continued to explore ways to sort and classify. We looked at things that could be pairs, like socks or shoes – even earrings. We sorted items by different attributes such as buttons that could be sorted by colour or then sorted by the number of holes they had. 

In Phonics we looked at the letters P, Q, R, S, and T. We’re getting close to the end of the alphabet! In Writer’s Workshop we continued adding labels to our stories and finished off our Writing With Stories unit by drawing our own picture books!

In IEYC we had a show and tell with our favourite toys. We learned about the right way to wash our hands to keep ourselves sick. This is an important lesson even outside of coronavirus. We also learned about brushing our teeth. We soaked white eggs (like the kind we have in Canada and the US) in cola overnight and then used some toothpaste and a toothbrush to see if we could remove all those stains. It was definitely a visual lesson on how sugar and food can stain our teeth. 

In PE we put in a valiant effort trying to do some yoga with moderate success.

Of course, on Friday we had our Chuseok activities. It was great seeing everyone in their hanbok. 

Term 1 Week 3 Update

Wow! There was a lot happening this week in Ms. M’s class.

In Maths we finished off our unit on Numbers 1-5 and began our unit on Sorting and Classifying. We practiced writing our numbers using games and worksheets and did a lot of hands-on work ordering numbers 1-5. We also learned about the number 0 and how that means there are absolutely none of something. We finished off our unit with the song Five Little Ducks and did a small roleplay where everyone got to be a duck and had to sit down when their number was called. When we began sorting and classifying we used a variety of methods to look at things that are the same or different than each other. We worked in pairs one day to line up matching objects from a bag and the next day we made sure our objects were different. It was a lot of fun.

In Phonics we looked at the letters K-O. The students really are starting to learn their letter sounds!

In Writer’s Workshop we began applying those letter sounds to our stories by adding “labels” to our illustrations. For example, if a student drew a story about a cat, perhaps they could sounds out C-C-CAT and write the letter “C” next to their cat. This is our goal for Writer’s Workshop this unit and we’ll be working more and more towards this goal as time goes on.

In IEYC we played with the keys we made last week while hunting around the classroom for a treasure box. But! When we found it, it was empty so we made some treasure ourselves to go into it. Finally we wrote some cards to send home in the mail. Please keep an eye on your mailbox over the coming days. I’m not sure when they will be coming as they are traveling through Korea Post but it should be too long. Then we moved onto our next learning block about when we were babies and our families. We made a poster of our families (thank you for sending those photos) and we did a matching game on the interactive board putting our baby pictures together with our school photos. Finally, we made an “I Can” book about all the things we might be able to do now that we’re not babies. anymore.

That’s it for this week. Lots of excellent learning. And of course, we played.

Term 1 Week 2 Update

Well it was rainy week but we didn’t let that get us down. We had lots of great learning happening.

In IEYC we finished off learning about ourselves by discussing our feelings and making a feelings wheel where we used collage materials to represent how each of 4 feelings felt: happy, sad, angry, and worried. Then we moved on to learning about our home and different homes around the world. We looked at our apartment buildings or the parks nearby on Google Earth. We got on an aeroplane and flew around the world looking at different homes like houseboats, tree houses, igloos, and yurts. We also discovered and explored some keys. Following each of those lessons we created apartment floor plans so we could learn what furniture went in each room. We build apartment blocks for our little Minion friends. We made some houses with chairs and blankets. Finally we created our own keys out of clay. They’re drying over the weekend and hopefully we can play with them a little more next week.

In Maths we continued looking at the numbers 1-5 but we also added 0. We compared less and more and we learned to put those numbers in order. We used the book Five Little Monkeys a lot during these lessons. We represented numbers with snap cubes and straws. We also used number cards with numerals, dots, and fingers. Of course we also used our own fingers and even our whole bodies counting actions like 5 jumping jacks.

In Phonics we learned the letters F-J. In writer’s workshop we focused on adding more details to our stories and some people have started feeling comfortable trying writing some letters. We’ve graduated to lined paper to write our stories on.

In PSHE we learned about friendly and unfriendly actions.

And of course we had lots of play time!

Thank you all so much for coming to our Curriculum Morning. It was great getting to tell all of you about what we’re doing in this class and how we do it.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and do try to get outside if the weather clears up! We’re in for another rainy one next week. See you Monday!