Week 13 Update

Wow! We made it! Another term is here and gone and now it’s time for a much-deserved holiday.

We continued with Morning Meetings as we do every day although we didn’t have a specific focus. We played some developmental games such as lining up by order of which floor we lived in our apartments without speaking, making a clapping pattern go around the room, and trying to stand up back to back with clocked elbows. All of these showed the need for teamwork and cooperation.

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Our themed Morning Meetings will begin again next term where we will learn about conflict resolution. We’ll focus on how to deal with our own anger and how to react when someone is angry at us. This curriculum lasts about 8 weeks so it will take us for most of the term.

We finished our initial sounds phonics unit this week and the students were excited that their phonics book was complete. We will begin our 3rd phonics unit next term Letters to Words. We’ll be looking at CVC words, CVCe words, blends, and digraphs.

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Our Storytellers unit in Writer’s Workshop is complete and we will be moving on to writing narratives as our first unit after the holiday. We completed this unit by writing our own storybooks which the students proudly took home yesterday.

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In IPC we finished off our unit by looking at different houses around the world and the different materials they were made of. Then we made our own houses. Next term we’ll begin by looking at how things grow. A great unit for the spring.

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The students had some really creative developmental play this week. They are speaking more and more English to each other and that’s wonderful to see. The language development of the children is beautiful to behold. They love to tell jokes and stories both to me and to each other.

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I hope your holiday is restful and everyone comes back to school refreshed and ready to learn in Term 3. See you on April 22!

Week 12 Update

Another week has come and gone. We’ve nearly made it to the end!

Many of our units are beginning to wrap up. Our Kindness Morning Meeting curriculum has come to a close with a reminder that just because we’re not talking about kindness every day doesn’t mean we stop being kind. Kindness is part of our everyday lives here at HFS and at home.

We have two initial sounds left in our phonics curriculum. As such, we will not be doing centres or guided reading next week. In the new term we will begin a new phonics unit and continue to rotate it with centres and guided reading. I’m excited to see the students growing already with this targeted learning.

A couple weeks ago, we initiated something new called Fast Finishers. The students now have a workbook of literacy exercises they can work on when they finish their work early. These workbooks are different depending on each child’s literacy needs. Sometimes the students still have the opportunity to explore books silently and sometimes they work on their Fast Finishers. Speaking of exploring books, I placed the two books our class made during Term One into our class library and the students really love reading them.

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As our IPC unit begins to wrap up, we will be adding another homemade book to our collection. As a consolidation of learning, we had a little friend named Mr. Mole come visit our class. Mr. Mole doesn’t like the sun and was in need of a sunhat. The students used their knowledge of different materials to design a hat that would keep the sun out of Mr. Mole’s eyes. We even went outside and tested our hats on a sunny day. I took lots of photos and we collected them to make a book. We will be presenting this book at the final assembly. Mr. Mole will probably make an appearance.

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In PE we played a few new games. We played a parachute game called Cat and Mouse where one student (the mouse) crawled under the parachute while another student (the cat) crawled on top trying to catch the mouse. The other students in the class made the parachute wave up and down giving the mouse plenty of places to hide. We introduced a new game of tag where the person being chased got a 5 second respite if they stepped inside one of the hula hoops placed around the floor. Since last term we’ve been trying a teamwork exercise where the students hold hands and pass a hula hoop around the circle, up and over their bodies, without breaking hands. I began timing the students last week and we started with a time of 1 minute 19 seconds. Today we had our best time yet of 37 seconds. We also worked on coordination and teamwork by playing Carry the Ball in Pairs. The students couldn’t use their hands and had to press the ball between their bodies in any number of ways to carry it across the hall. They had great fun.

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During math we worked with some pretty high numbers. The students were excited to show that they could count by twos to twenty without looking at the number line and most of them could count by fives all the way to 100! We spent a lot of time placing higher numbers in order and we even made a 100s chart which is now hanging on the wall.

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Our play dough stock has been replenished so the students were excited to use that during some of their developmental play time. The students are still playing many types of make believe situations with family and home life often being the centre of the play right now.

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Our storytellers unit is coming to a close. We learned how to extend our stories by asking the 5 W’s (Who? What? Where? Why? When?). Next week we will focus on making sure our stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We will finish by making small storybooks. I am please with what all the children can do so far.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you on Monday for one last week before the break!

Week 11 Update

Wow! Another week is here and gone. We’re nearly at the end of the term. Our learning isn’t slowing down, however.

We’re continuing to alternate phonics and centres. Today was an exciting day: we began guided reading. On Wednesday, I measured all the children’s heights so they could be issued their Guided Reading License (check your child’s backpack, it should have gone home today).

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During guided reading, the children stay with their Just Right Groups and come sit with me for small-group, targeted reading lessons. Some groups worked on letter sound and recognition, others worked on identifying rhyme, many learned how to point at each word when they’re reading to learn 1:1 word and print recognition.

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During our Writer’s Workshop, we continued on our Storytellers unit and began looking at some of the mechanics of writing. For example, we practiced when to use capital letters when writing.

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There was a lot of learning packed into our Math Buddies this week. We learned to skip count by 5’s to 20. We practiced tallying. We counted out 100 objects in groups of 10 to practice counting by 10’s to 100. Finally, we started working on place value. We learned that numbers 21-29 are two tens and some ones. We will continue working on groups of “ten and then some” as we continue with numbers higher than 29 next week. And, of course, we continued to review our teen numbers.

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In IPC we continued to explore “What’s it Made Of” and examined what happens to different materials when we apply different forces to them. We organised our findings into a report poster.

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Building with Lego has become a favourite passtime during developmental play. It helps students with creative thinking, problem solving, and manual dexterity.

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As our term comes to a close, so does our Kindness Morning Meetings. The lessons we’ve learned these last 7 weeks have really impacted the class. They are becoming a more empathetic group of children and it’s wonderful to see. This week, we began by visualising how our kind words and actions ripple out into the world. Next week we will review the lessons learned and that will close off the unit. That doesn’t mean we’ll stop learning about kindness or stop having morning meetings however! You can view the teaching plan for next week here: Week 8 kindness project review

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As always, have a great weekend and we’ll see you refreshed and ready to learn on Monday!

 

100 Objects for Math

In Math Buddies we are working in depth with the numbers to 100. To this end, each student will be counting 100 objects on Thursday.

Please send your child to school with 100 small objects on Thursday March 21st.

These objects can be:

  • paper clips
  • bottle caps
  • stones
  • pompoms
  • beans

Those are just some suggestions. Any small object will do.

Unless you indicate you do not want the items returned, they will be returned when our unit is complete.

Week 10 Update

Whew, another week is complete. It was great to finish the week off with our Pajamma Day. Congratulations to Olivia who won the school “craziest pajammas” award. We had a full day of learning while feeling comfortable.

We’re continuing to alternate days of phonics and centres. The students still needed some practice working on their centres independently so we will try guided reading again next week. During writer’s workshop, we continued trying to write stories. I’m very impressed by the work the children are doing.

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In Math Buddies, we’ve moved onto our unit of numbers to 100. We started skip-counting by twos to twenty. Also because our math is a spiral curriculum we also spent time reviewing shapes from last week and teen numbers from our previous unit.

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In IPC we continued looking at What’s It Made Of and made a craftivity exploring our favourite object and its materials.

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In our Kindness Morning Meetings we finished off the week signing a Friendship Promise which now hangs proudly on our door. Our kindness curriculum is nearing an end with only two weeks to go. Next week we’ll learn about random acts of kindness. You can find the curriculum here: Week 7 random acts of kindness

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Have a great weekend and we’ll see everyone back on Monday.

 

Week 9 Update

Wow we’re back with a bang after the long weekend. What an action-packed week it’s been.

We’re back on track with our Kindness Morning Meetings learning about how to be a good friend. We finished up this week by writing a recipe for making a good friend. Next week we continue looking at how to be a good friend. Here is the curriculum plans: Week 6 to be a good friend

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The students were very excited we started our new unit in Writer’s Workshop this week. We are all now officially Storytellers. They were also extremely excited to get lined notebooks in which to do their writing. We’ll be continuing this unit until the end of the term.

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In Math Buddies we finished up our unit on shapes. The students explored triangles, rectangles, squares, circles, and hexagons. To consolidate our knowledge, today we took a walk around the school and found examples of different shapes in the real world.

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We’re continue to alternate phonics days and centres days where the students have activities tailored to their literacy level. Next week we’ll be encorportating guided reading into one of the centres days. Students will be with their Just Right Groups and sit with me to do reading activities that focus on their reading needs.

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Speaking of reading, International Book Day was a blast! The students loved dressing up as their favourite book character for the day.

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In PE we practiced basketball and hockey for coordination and also worked on balance. We tried a new activity where the students had to walk a path while balancing a beanbag.

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We continued learning What’s it Made Of in IPC. Students learned about different materials and classified objects in the classroom that were made of those materials.

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We’re looking forward to another great week of learning next week so have a restful weekend!

 

Week 8 Update

Well it was a short week and we’re having a much-needed midterm break. Because of the short week and listening to the students needs, we will be re-visiting Week 5 of the Kindness Morning Meetings next week so we can have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a good friend.

We worked hard this week on our International Projects and I’m very proud of all the students in our class for presenting at our assembly. Thank you to all the parents who brought in food for the food share. That was amazing. All the students enjoyed trying food from around the world.

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We introduced our new IPC topic “What’s it Made Of” by learning about where yarn comes from. The students got to see a video of sheep being sheared and got to try out my spinning wheel. They also got to feel some unspun fleece.

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In literacy we added a new element. We started doing centres. The students are divided into their “Just Right Groups” to work together at phonics and reading activities at their level. We had a stamping station, a tablet station, and a magnet matching station. As the term (and year) goes on, we will also incorporate guided reading where students will practice reading skills in small groups with the teacher according to their individual literacy levels.

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During developmental play we saw lots of team work building block structures, making puzzles, and having imaginative play.

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I hope everyone has a great long weekend and comes back to school next week refreshed and ready to learn.

Week 7 Update

We made it! Tuesday was our hundredth day here at HFS!

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Counting to the hundredth day of school is a great way for students to learn their numbers in the early years. It was extra special this year – marking 100 days at our new campus. Our class had a great Hundred Day party. We dressed like we were 100 years old. We made crowns. We put 100 stamps into a booklet. We made necklaces with 100 Froot Rings. The whole day was a celebration of the number 100. I took a lot of photos so the entire Google Album can be seen here.

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This celebration of 100 has even shown itself later this week during developmental play time where some students are starting to take our daily math routines and practice them on our own. Ezra was very proud to show me he did a tally chart to count 100.

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There’s been lots of development in our developmental play time. The students are beginning to act out family scenes with different friends taking on the role of Mommy, Daddy, Sister, and Brother. Other students are starting to show an interest in cutting and pasting and colouring. There’s been some really creative things made such as Aras’s dragon and dinosaur.

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A lot of development is being seen in our Writer’s Workshop with students really trying their best to write words, sentences, and stories to accompany their illustrations. It’s been fantastic to see a connection between our phonics work and our writing work.

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Part of what we do in phonics is break apart words to hear their individual sounds. Today we represented sounds in words with snap cubes and looked for the middle sound of the word. The students had a try at it themselves.

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Math Buddies is moving away from learning new numbers (although we still spend time reviewing) to studying shapes. We began with 3D shapes. We’re learning about cubes, cylinders, spheres, and cones. This is tricky new vocabulary for second language learners so please try to reinforce this at home. We worked with some real-life objects such as a party hat, a box, a can of stewed tomatoes, and a ball to show that these words can describe the shape of real-life objects so the students are familiar with that concept.

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When the Year 2-9s were away on their trip on Thursday, we used the playground equipment during our snack and lunch breaks. The students had great fun playing on the structure.

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Our Kindness Morning Meetings are continuing. Sometimes I wonder if the students are understanding the concepts we discuss because it’s not immediately apparent in the meetings but during the day I see them using language and concepts we’re learned. Next week’s curriculum can be found here: Week 5 to be a good friend

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

 

Week 6

It was our first full week back to school since the Seollal break and it was a cold and wet one. The children didn’t get a lot of outside play time this week because of the weather so they were little bundles of energy in class. The weather forecast for the weekend looks good so if you have the opportunity to go outside and play, please take advantage of it.

This coming Monday the 18th, Ottawa Class will be in charge of the Monday assembly for the first time this year. Our topic is “A Day in the Life of FS1/2/Y1”. If you can, please come watch our assembly Monday at 1:30.

Tuesday, February 19th is our 100th day of school. The students have been anticipating this for quite some time (they really started to see how close we were around Day 80). I’ve promised them a 100 Day party. To help celebrate our 100 Days I would like to ask students to come dressed up as what they think they’ll look like when they’re 100 years old. There are no wrong answers, so have fun!

We had an exciting time this week with lots of great learning. The students finished their IPC unit trying to do small puppet shows with the theatre we made and generally having fun with their sock puppets.

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In Math we’ve almost finished off teen numbers. We’ll be finishing 19 on Monday afternoon then moving on to 2D and 3D shapes. To help conceptualise that teen numbers are “ten plus some more” we used a kind of abacus called a rekenrek. It really helped some of the students who were struggling and solidified knowledge for those who understood the concepts.

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Much to the children’s enjoyment, we’ve started back with our Writer’s Workshop. This week we focused on where and when to use capital letters. I’m very excited to see the FS1 students start to label their illustrations consistently with the first letter of things in their drawings. I’m also excited to see the FS2 and Year 1 students write words and sentences consistently.

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Ottawa class was a little blue to see I had brought baking supplies in for the student council and not for them. Due to a little cookie cooking disaster that night, we were in need of many more cookies for our Valentines Day bake sale. So, I brought in supplies and my oven and the children had fun making chocolate chunk cookies. They weren’t all that impressed that they had to wait till the following day to eat the fruits of their labour but they did enjoy all the treats at the bake sale. Thank you so much to all the parents who sent money with their children. The school raised 164,000won for the WeHope Charity.

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Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back for some excellent learning next week!