Term 1 Week 8 Update

Let’s start by talking about phonics and next week’s Alphabet Party. The students are so excited that they are nearly done learning all their letter sounds. They’re brimming with anticipation of the event. We finished learning all our sounds up to Y today so that just leaves Z on Tuesday and we’ll be ready to celebrate. This celebration will also be our Exit Point for our IEYC topic, Chattering Children. We will have some alphabet activities and we will also be serving very light refreshments. Hopefully the students can remember what they’ve learned about table manners to help serve you!

The party will be on Thursday, October 24th. at 2:30pm. We’ll gather in the FS 1/2 classroom. All parents are welcome to join.

Speaking of parties, we had a tea party this week and it was made extra special by Y 1/2 joining us for the day. We learned a little about where tea comes from. We learned that the tea we were going to have comes from a bush in Africa. We got the opportunity to smell the tea, then we watched it steep, and finally we drank a little taste. There was optional milk and honey available that most of the children opted into. Please note, this was not actual tea. It was a caffeine-free herbal tea called rooibos. In addition to being caffeine-free, rooibos tea is very low in tannins making it gentle on the stomach. The party was a great success and all the children had fun. The tea, however, received mixed reviews: some loved it and some  hated it. To view the whole album of photos on Google, please follow the private link here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/G1tPYExucFCTseo47

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We followed up this activity by making a book about it the next day. The students read (some with my help and some without) the simple text I had written about the day. Then we did a sequencing activity putting pictures from the day in order according to the text. Finally, we decorated it with stickers.

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Earlier in the week we combined playing with hats and personalities and literacy. First we gathered all the hats in our classroom to the centre of the room. Then, we tried them on and tried different personalities. Finally, we played a game reading and tossing letter and word cards into a hat. Some of the students read their first independent words!

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In Math we continued working on one more and one less and switched today to finding out how many in total 2 sets of numbers is. We rolled 2 number cubes and counted up the total number and covered the total on our game boards. The students had fun doing addition without even knowing it.

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That’s all for this week. Stay dry this weekend and we’ll see you next week!



Term 1 Week 7 Update

Well, we had another week jam-packed with learning despite it being a short week. It really was an exciting time for the students.

In Math, we continued looking at numbers which are one more and one less than a given number. We will continue working on that next week as well.

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In phonics, we’ve made it to the letter U. The students are beginning to recognise how close we are to Z and thus, how close our alphabet party is going to be. Just a reminder, our alphabet party is going to be on October 24th. We will have it during the last period of class so from approximately 2:30-3:30. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to attend. As we enter into our planning phase in this upcoming week I will let you know more solid details before the event.

Speaking of parties, IEYC was tremendously exciting this week. On Tuesday we had a full-day event baking bread.

We began the day going “shopping” for all the items necessary to bake bread. This was the students first attempt at money and they had a good time. We’ll be role playing more money scenarios in the future as this is an essential life and math skill.



Then we made the bread dough. All the children got a chance to kneed the dough.

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We let the dough rise during lunch and break time so that when the students came back in from their break it was time to bake the bread. The children played quietly while the bread was baking and when it was ready, so were they! We set the table properly with a plate, a folded napkin, and a glass of water. We all sat down together and had a lovely snack of homemade honey bread. The students used their best manners at the table.

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For the entire album of bread party photos (50+ photos), please see my Google Album (set to private and only accessible by this link) here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Tcy74PQPZz7FPL3z7

But the bread party was only how we started off the week. We ended by making puppets, trying to be ventriloquists, and trying our hands, or rather our mouths, at some tongue twisters. Can you say “unique New York” three times fast?

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I hope you have a wonderful and restful weekend. We’ll be back and ready to go on Monday!

Term 1 Week 6 Update

Wow, did we ever have an exciting week here in FS 1/2.

We start our day, every day, with a Hello Song, Morning Meeting, Calendar Time, and then some Math. This week in Math we’re working on finding out what is one less than a given number. This is a skill that does not come easily so we will be continuing to work on it as time goes on.

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In phonics we’re continuing to work on our letter sounds. We’re up to the letter R. Z will be here soon and then it’s our alphabet party. The children are getting excited.

In IEYC we began the week talking about our favourite toys. We even began doing some writing about them. Some children used their phonics knowledge and wrote some of their first words this week! What exciting growth.

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Continuing to talk about toys, we watched a clip of Toy Story featuring Mr. Potato Head. Then we all made our own Mr. Potato Heads out of real potatoes!

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We moved on and began talking about bears. We learned that bears eat many things, not just honey; but the students were still excited to try the honey I bought. Some knew they didn’t like it and chose not to try it and some tried it but weren’t all that impressed. The others loved getting a tiny spoon of something sweet.

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Continuing on the bear theme, we discussed the difference between real and fictional bears. The students told me about bears they know in stories and how real bears don’t do things like go to the market. Then we learned what real bears like to do. We learned they live in dens and sleep there all winter long and eat lots of food in the autumn so they can make it through the winter. Then we made our own den with chairs and a sheet and the students spent a good chunk of time engaged in some extremely creative imaginative play involving bears, honey, winter, and a kind man who fed them.

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We’re going to be segueing from what bears eat to how people eat and baking our own bread next week! The ingredients are: flour, honey, milk, yeast, butter, salt, and vegetable oil. If your child cannot eat these foods please let me know before Tuesday.

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

Term 1 Week 5 Update

A little housekeeping before this week’s update:

  1. The order form for winter uniforms went home in your child’s backpack today. To order a winter uniform please return the order form and the fee of 20,000won no later than Friday October 4th.
  2. Earlier this week your child brought home an invitation for our “Alphabet Party” on October 24th. By this day we will have finished learning all the sounds of the alphabet and we want to celebrate it. Additionally, our Exit Point for our IEYC unit on Chattering Children is for the children to host a celebration party with their parents and favourite stuffed animal. You are all welcome to attend. I will give additional information regarding the schedule of this alphabet party as the time draws near.
  3. Next week we will be learning about bears both fictional and real and since bears like to eat honey, I will bring some in on Wednesday October 2nd for the children to taste. If there is some reason your child cannot have honey, please let me know ASAP.

With that, it’s time for this week’s update!

We had an excellent time at the Monet exhibit at the HHI Arts Centre today. The children were able to see real paintings by Monet and also some exciting animated digital art. It was a great, short cultural trip and tied in well with our IEYC unit as we have been looking at some art and trying to recreate it.

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Speaking of art and IEYC, we looked at the collage artwork of Kurt Schwitters and made our own collages yesterday. I was very impressed with the creativity of the students.

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Mr. Mole didn’t visit us this week in but he did leave us a surprise. First, he hid letters all over the school and we had to match the lowercase letters that we found with the upper case letters on our scavenger sheet. When we finished we came into the classroom and found a package addressed to Ms. M that the students had to unwrap layer by later. In between each layer, Mr. Mole had hidden letters that we needed to identify. Mr. Mole left the rest of the letters with me and we worked on putting them all into alphabetical order. Finally, we opened the package and found our invitation to the Alphabet Party on the 24th of October and we made invitations to invite you too!

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In Math we worked on “What’s Next” in counting to 10. We rolled a number cube and had to cover up the next number on our cards. We practiced this a few times this week. The students are really gaining strong number sense.

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After last week’s picnic with Mr. Mole and encouragement in the weeks before to don hats or costumes to encourage imaginitive play, those themes are showing up spontaneously during developmental play time. The students are also showing their great sorting ability when cleaning up the toys (a math skill!).IMG_20190925_145406 IMG_20190925_150143_Bokeh IMG_20190925_151552

It looks like we’re set to have another rainy weekend so stay dry and we’ll see you next week!


Term 1 Week 4 Update

Well we certainly came back from the break with a bang! I’m very excited to tell you about our new IEYC unit: Chattering Children. It’s all about fostering communication. Guiding us through this unit is our friend Mr. Mole. The children have loved having him teach along side me. We began with the day that we met Mr. Mole by having a scavenger hunt for various things around the classroom because Mr. Mole doesn’t know where anything is. We then looked for our initials hidden in the classroom and made an About Me poster.

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The next day Mr. Mole delivered us some mail. He’s not so great at reading so he delivered the envelopes to the wrong children and they had to sort themselves out and give the envelope they had received to the right child. Inside were little notes of inspiration. Then we made our own envelopes to hold any writing work we’ll be doing in this unit.

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Mr. Mole surprised us with a picnic where we practiced asking for food politely at the table.

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We got some practice writing letters to each other. Mr. Mole delivered them to the right children this time.

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And today we worked on some literacy skills matching animals to their names, learning about animal sounds, and playing an animal letter bingo.

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But IEYC isn’t all we’ve been up to! We’re still doing phonics and we covered the letters H-K this week.

In Math we worked on subitizing (recognising instantly groups of numbers) 1-5 and we added 6 today. We do this through song and also through different hands-on games.

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For something a little different in PE while the Year 3-9 were away on their field trip, we did some yoga with the Cosmic Kids Yoga program.

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And of course we had developmental play time where the students became very interested in building and playing out some familiar scenarios.

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Term 1 Week 3 Update

What an intense, short week we’ve had. We had an amazing Chuseok celebration on Monday; a fantastic trip to the Ulju Mountain Film Festival Tuesday; and today we’ve had a low-key day with our regular routine of Calendar, Math, Phonics as well as some tablet time, creative playdough exploration, and some developmental play. The students are learning and growing so much through all these different elements of their education. I hope everyone who celebrates Chuseok has a special time with their families and those who don’t make good use of the time off to connect with one another still in the spirit of thankfulness that Chuseok reminds us of. Have a great long weekend and we’ll see you next week. Don’t forget about our curriculum evening on Monday at 5:30 and school photos on Wednesday.

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Term 1 Week 2 Update

Well, it certainly was an interesting week here in FS 1/2. With rainy days and a lot of absences, we didn’t have a typical week. We still did lots of rich learning, however.

Continuing in our IEYC unit, Brainwave, Professor Spark sent us some video messages and set us some challenges. We learned about Knowledge, Skills and Understanding and how they come together. Professor Spark promised us some magic in one of his messages and that was shown with our 3D glasses. We also designed our own obstacle course and tried it till we had the skills to do it successfully. Finally today we brought our learning back to thinking about the brain and made a mini-book about what makes a healthy brain.

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In our Math we’re expanding beyond simple counting and into subetizing and writing our numbers. Today we played a game where we rolled a number cube, counted the dots, and wrote the corresponding number.

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In Phonics we continued with our letter sounds, one letter one day at a time. This week we did letters C-F.

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And as always we’re strengthening social emotional learning through developmental play. Some new scenarios played out this week and some familiar ones. Some students are taking on the role of teacher and insisting I sit on the carpet and listen to their lesson. Other times they’re playing firefighter and saving our classroom. And sometimes they’re just stretching their brains by building block towers as high as they can.

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Don’t forget about our special Chuseok program on Monday and our trip on Tuesday. Clubs will be as normal after those 2 special days and classes and clubs will be as usual on Wednesday before the break.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Try to stay dry! We’ll see you next week!

Term 1 Week 1 Update

Wow we’re off to a great start here in FS 1/2. The students had a great week getting to know each other and settling into classroom routines. Our class jobs have been assigned and the students are excited to rotate through their positions as line leader, screen monitor, and lights monitor.


We began the week by making “about me” representations of ourselves.


Our math is focusing on the numbers 1-5 during our calendar time. We’ve counted all the way to 5 because we’ve been in school 5 days. We’ve also looked at many different ways to represent 5 – as a tally, on a domino, and on a tens frame.

In Phonics we’ve begun letter sounds. This is a review for some children but it’s good to have a strong foundation. We’re also learning how to write letters clearly.

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In IEYC we’re starting with our Brainwave unit. We’ve transformed the classroom into Professor Spark’s Learning Lab. We’re learning about the brain and how we learn. We’ve learned that our brain makes connections and that it gets stronger the more times we practice things. The students are really excited to be helping Professor Spark with his research.

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And of course we’ve had plenty of time for developmental play. Developmental play is essential to learning in the early year. It allows students to process the teaching they’ve been exposed to and to develop social and emotional connections.

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We also had our first PE lesson of the year today combined with the Year 1-2 class. All PE lessons this year will be combined allowing a for larger group of students. They had a great time with their friends.

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


Homework Folders

As you have seen in your child’s backpack today, a pink folder containing homework was sent home. This is work your child should be able to do nearly independently and is a review of work we’ve done in the last week.

Every Friday homework will go home in the folder and should be returned, in the folder, by the following Wednesday.

If you have any questions or concerns about homework, please let me know.

Ulju Mountain Film Festival Trip Permission Form

We’re starting this year off with a bang. We’ll be going to the Ulju Mountain Film Festival on Tuesday September 10. The bus will leave the school promptly at 9:05am and will return by 3:10. Students will still be able to attend clubs.

At the festival we will make some upcycled cars out of boxes, watch a short film, and do some (age appropriate) climbing.

Please make sure to pack a snack, lunch, and water bottle for your child.

Here is the permission form. Please have it signed by Tuesday September 3.